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Special Issue "Telocytes and Other Interstitial Cells: From Structure to Function"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Sanda M. Cretoiu
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 'Carol Davila' University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8 Eroii Sanitari Blvd., Bucharest 050474, Romania
Interests: telocytes; interstitial cells; extracellular vesicles; miRNAs; microbiome
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A Special Issue on the hot topic of “Telocytes and Other Interstitial Cells: From Structure to Function” is being prepared for the journal IJMS.

Interstitial cells are seen as any of the many cells that lies in connective tissue, filling the spaces between the functional tissue of an organ (parenchyma). Cells that use the name interstitial are found in many locations, such as the seminiferous tubules of the testes, and ovaries, the medulla and cortex of the kidney, etc. Moreover, in this category, we also include the interstitial cells of Cajal.

In recent years, special attention has been given to the telocytes, formerly known as interstitial Cajal-like cells. Telocytes represent a particular type of interstitial cells, seen as “connecting devices” integrating the overall information from the vascular, nervous and immune system, interstitium, and stem cells.

This Special Issue is devoted to recent progress in research onto interstitial cells in general. It also aims to form an opinion on the controversial role of telocytes and especially to see them integrated in the context of the concept of interstitial cells.

Outstanding experts interested in this thematic issue are very welcome to send original manuscripts and reviews dealing with any of the abovementioned cells.

Dr. Sanda Cretoiu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • interstitial cells
  • interstitial cells of Cajal
  • telocytes
  • intercellular communication
  • extracellular vesicles

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Interstitial Leydig Cell Tumorigenesis—Leptin and Adiponectin Signaling in Relation to Aromatase Expression in the Human Testis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3649; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103649 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
Although epidemiological studies from the last years report an increase in the incidences of Leydig cell tumors (previously thought to be a rare disease), the biochemical characteristics of that tumor important for understanding its etiology, diagnosis, and therapy still remains not completely characterized. [...] Read more.
Although epidemiological studies from the last years report an increase in the incidences of Leydig cell tumors (previously thought to be a rare disease), the biochemical characteristics of that tumor important for understanding its etiology, diagnosis, and therapy still remains not completely characterized. Our prior studies reported G-protein coupled estrogen receptor signaling and estrogen level disturbances in Leydig cell tumors. In addition, we found that expressions of multi-level-acting lipid balance- and steroidogenesis–controlling proteins including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor are altered in this tumor. In order to get deeper into the other molecular mechanisms that regulate lipid homeostasis in the Leydig cell tumor, here we investigate the presence and expression of newly-described hormones responsible for lipid homeostasis balancing (leptin and adiponectin), together with expression of estrogen synthase (aromatase). Samples of Leydig cell tumors (n = 20) were obtained from patients (31–45 years old) and used for light and transmission electron microscopic, western blotting, and immunohistochemical analyses. In addition, body mass index (BMI) was calculated. In tumor mass, abundant lipid accumulation in Leydig cells and various alterations of Leydig cell shape, as well as the presence of adipocyte-like cells, were observed. Marked lipid content and various lipid droplet size, especially in obese patients, may indicate alterations in lipid homeostasis, lipid processing, and steroidogenic organelle function in response to interstitial tissue pathological changes. We revealed significantly increased expression of leptin, adiponectin and their receptors, as well as aromatase in Leydig cell tumors in comparison to control. The majority of patients (n = 13) were overweight as indicated by their BMI. Moreover, a significant increase in expression of phospholipase C (PLC), and kinases Raf, ERK which are part of adipokine transductional pathways, was demonstrated. These data expand our previous findings suggesting that in human Leydig cell tumors, estrogen level and signaling, together with lipid status, are related to each other. Increased BMI may contribute to certain biochemical characteristics and function of the Leydig cell in infertile patients with a tumor. In addition, altered adipokine-estrogen microenvironment can have an effect on proliferation, growth, and metastasis of tumor cells. We report here various targets (receptors, enzymes, hormones) controlling lipid balance and estrogen action in Leydig cell tumors indicating their possible usefulness for diagnostics and therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Telocytes and Other Interstitial Cells: From Structure to Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Simulation and Modeling of Telocytes Behavior in Signaling and Intercellular Communication Processes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2615; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072615 - 09 Apr 2020
Abstract
Background: Telocytes (TCs) are unique interstitial or stromal cells of mesodermal origin, defined by long cellular extensions called telopodes (Tps) which form a network, connecting them to surrounding cells. TCs were previously found around stem and progenitor cells, and were thought to be [...] Read more.
Background: Telocytes (TCs) are unique interstitial or stromal cells of mesodermal origin, defined by long cellular extensions called telopodes (Tps) which form a network, connecting them to surrounding cells. TCs were previously found around stem and progenitor cells, and were thought to be most likely involved in local tissue metabolic equilibrium and regeneration. The roles of telocytes are still under scientific scrutiny, with existing studies suggesting they possess various functions depending on their location. Methods: Human myometrium biopsies were collected from pregnant and non-pregnant women, telocytes were then investigated in myometrial interstitial cell cultures based on morphological criteria and later prepared for time-lapse microscopy. Semi-analytical and numerical solutions were developed to highlight the geometric characteristics and the behavior of telocytes. Results: Results were gathered in a database which would further allow efficient telocyte tracking and indexing in a content-based image retrieval (CBIR) of digital medical images. Mathematical analysis revealed pivotal information regarding the homogeneity, hardness and resistance of telocytes’ structure. Cellular activity models were monitored in vitro, therefore supporting the creation of databases of telocyte images. Conclusions: The obtained images were analyzed, using segmentation techniques and mathematical models in conjunction with computer simulation, in order to depict TCs behavior in relation to surrounding cells. This paper brings an important contribution to the development of bioinformatics systems by creating software-based telocyte models that could be used both for diagnostic and educational purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Telocytes and Other Interstitial Cells: From Structure to Function)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Telocytes in the Pancreas of Turtles—A role in Cellular Communication
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(6), 2057; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21062057 - 17 Mar 2020
Abstract
The existence of telocytes (TCs) has not yet been established in the pancreases of aquatic reptiles. Here, we report TCs in the exocrine pancreas of Pelodiscus sinensis using transmission electron microscope (TEM), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and immunofluorescence (IF) techniques. TCs surrounded the acini and [...] Read more.
The existence of telocytes (TCs) has not yet been established in the pancreases of aquatic reptiles. Here, we report TCs in the exocrine pancreas of Pelodiscus sinensis using transmission electron microscope (TEM), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and immunofluorescence (IF) techniques. TCs surrounded the acini and ducts of the connective tissue of the exocrine pancreas and between lobules and gland cells. The cells were located preferably close to the blood vessels, interlobular ducts, and nerve fibers. Ultrastructurally, TCs exhibited small and large bodies with thick and thin portions, podoms, and podomers, and prolongations that form dichotomous branching with hetero-cellular and homo-cellular junctions. The podom (thick) portions showed caveolae, mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum, and vesicles. The nucleus carries heterochromatin and is irregular in shape. The shape of TCs depends on the number of telopodes (Tps) bearing long, short, spindle, triangular, and “beads on a string” shapes with twisted, tortuous prolongations and ramifications. Shed extracellular vesicles and exosomes were found frequently released from projections and Tps within connective tissue in the vicinity of the acini and collagen fibers. IHC and IF results showed CD34+, α-SMA+, and vimentin+, long and triangle-shaped TCs, consistent with the TEM findings. The presence of shaded vesicles from TCs might implicate their possible role in immune surveillance, tissue regeneration as well as regulatory functions in the reptilian pancreas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Telocytes and Other Interstitial Cells: From Structure to Function)
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