Articles by Esther Dronkers in JoVE
The Isolation and Culture of Primary Epicardial Cells Derived from Human Adult and Fetal Heart Specimens Esther Dronkers1, Asja T. Moerkamp1, Tessa van Herwaarden1, Marie-José Goumans1, Anke M. Smits1 1Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center The epicardium plays a crucial role in the development and repair of the heart by providing cells and growth factors to the myocardial wall. Here, we describe a method to culture human primary epicardial cells that enables the study and comparison of their developmental and adult characteristics.
Other articles by Esther Dronkers on PubMed
Human Fetal and Adult Epicardial-derived Cells: a Novel Model to Study Their Activation Stem Cell Research & Therapy. 11, 2016 | Pubmed ID: 27899163 The epicardium, a cell layer covering the heart, plays an important role during cardiogenesis providing cardiovascular cell types and instructive signals, but becomes quiescent during adulthood. Upon cardiac injury the epicardium is activated, which includes induction of a developmental gene program, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and migration. However, the response of the adult epicardium is suboptimal compared to the active contribution of the fetal epicardium to heart development. To understand the therapeutic value of epicardial-derived cells (EPDCs), a direct comparison of fetal and adult sources is paramount. Such analysis has been hampered by the lack of appropriate culture systems.
Antibacterial Defense of Human Airway Epithelial Cells from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients Induced by Acute Exposure to Nontypeable Haemophilus Influenzae: Modulation by Cigarette Smoke Journal of Innate Immunity. 2017 | Pubmed ID: 28171878 Antimicrobial proteins and peptides (AMPs) are a central component of the antibacterial activity of airway epithelial cells. It has been proposed that a decrease in antibacterial lung defense contributes to an increased susceptibility to microbial infection in smokers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, whether reduced AMP expression in the epithelium contributes to this lower defense is largely unknown. We investigated the bacterial killing activity and expression of AMPs by air-liquid interface-cultured primary bronchial epithelial cells from COPD patients and non-COPD (ex-)smokers that were stimulated with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). In addition, the effect of cigarette smoke on AMP expression and the activation of signaling pathways was determined. COPD cell cultures displayed reduced antibacterial activity, whereas smoke exposure suppressed the NTHi-induced expression of AMPs and further increased IL-8 expression in COPD and non-COPD cultures. Moreover, smoke exposure impaired NTHi-induced activation of NF-κB, but not MAP-kinase signaling. Our findings demonstrate that the antibacterial activity of cultured airway epithelial cells induced by acute bacterial exposure was reduced in COPD and suppressed by cigarette smoke, whereas inflammatory responses persisted. These findings help to explain the imbalance between protective antibacterial and destructive inflammatory innate immune responses in COPD.
The Epicardium As a Source of Multipotent Adult Cardiac Progenitor Cells: Their Origin, Role and Fate Pharmacological Research. 01, 2018 | Pubmed ID: 28751220 Since the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian heart is limited, cardiac injury leads to the formation of scar tissue and thereby increases the risk of developing compensatory heart failure. Stem cell therapy is a promising therapeutic approach but is facing problems with engraftment and clinical feasibility. Targeting an endogenous stem cell population could circumvent these limitations. The epicardium, a membranous layer covering the outside of the myocardium, is an accessible cell population which plays a key role in the developing heart. Epicardial cells undergo epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), thus providing epicardial derived cells (EPDCs) that migrate into the myocardium and cooperate in myocardial vascularisation and compaction. In the adult heart, injury activates the epicardium, and an embryonic-like response is observed which includes EMT and differentiation of the EPDCs into cardiac cell types. Furthermore, paracrine communication between the epicardium and myocardium improves the regenerative response. The significant role of the epicardium has been shown in both the developing and the regenerating heart. Interestingly, the epicardial contribution to cardiac repair can be improved in several ways. In this review, an overview of the epicardial origin and fate will be given and potential therapeutic approaches will be discussed.