In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (20)

Articles by Michael J. Galko in JoVE

Other articles by Michael J. Galko on PubMed

Cellular and Genetic Analysis of Wound Healing in Drosophila Larvae

PLoS Biology. Aug, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15269788

To establish a genetic system to study postembryonic wound healing, we characterized epidermal wound healing in Drosophila larvae. Following puncture wounding, larvae begin to bleed but within an hour a plug forms in the wound gap. Over the next couple of hours the outer part of the plug melanizes to form a scab, and epidermal cells surrounding the plug orient toward it and then fuse to form a syncytium. Subsequently, more-peripheral cells orient toward and fuse with the central syncytium. During this time, the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway is activated in a gradient emanating out from the wound, and the epidermal cells spread along or through the wound plug to reestablish a continuous epithelium and its basal lamina and apical cuticle lining. Inactivation of the JNK pathway inhibits epidermal spreading and reepithelialization but does not affect scab formation or other wound healing responses. Conversely, mutations that block scab formation, and a scabless wounding procedure, provide evidence that the scab stabilizes the wound site but is not required to initiate other wound responses. However, in the absence of a scab, the JNK pathway is hyperinduced, reepithelialization initiates but is not always completed, and a chronic wound ensues. The results demonstrate that the cellular responses of wound healing are under separate genetic control, and that the responses are coordinated by multiple signals emanating from the wound site, including a negative feedback signal between scab formation and the JNK pathway. Cell biological and molecular parallels to vertebrate wound healing lead us to speculate that wound healing is an ancient response that has diversified during evolution.

Live Imaging of Wound Inflammation in Drosophila Embryos Reveals Key Roles for Small GTPases During in Vivo Cell Migration

The Journal of Cell Biology. Feb, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15699212

Aa robust inflammatory response to tissue damage and infection is conserved across almost all animal phyla. Neutrophils and macrophages, or their equivalents, are drawn to the wound site where they engulf cell and matrix debris and release signals that direct components of the repair process. This orchestrated cell migration is clinically important, and yet, to date, leukocyte chemotaxis has largely been studied in vitro. Here, we describe a genetically tractable in vivo wound model of inflammation in the Drosophila melanogaster embryo that is amenable to cinemicroscopy. For the first time, we are able to examine the roles of Rho-family small GTPases during inflammation in vivo and show that Rac-mediated lamellae are essential for hemocyte motility and Rho signaling is necessary for cells to retract from sites of matrix- and cell-cell contacts. Cdc42 is necessary for maintaining cellular polarity and yet, despite in vitro evidence, is dispensable for sensing and crawling toward wound cues.

Circulating Blood Cells Function As a Surveillance System for Damaged Tissue in Drosophila Larvae

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18632567

Insects have an open circulatory system in which the heart pumps blood (hemolymph) into the body cavity, where it directly bathes the internal organs and epidermis. The blood contains free and tissue-bound immune cells that function in the inflammatory response. Here, we use live imaging of transgenic Drosophila larvae with fluorescently labeled blood cells (hemocytes) to investigate the circulatory dynamics of larval blood cells and their response to tissue injury. We find that, under normal conditions, the free cells rapidly circulate, whereas the tissue-bound cells are sessile. After epidermal wounding, tissue-bound cells around the wound site remain sessile and unresponsive, whereas circulating cells are rapidly recruited to the site of damage by adhesive capture. After capture, these cells distribute across the wound, appear phagocytically active, and are subsequently released back into circulation by the healing epidermis. The results demonstrate that circulating cells function as a surveillance system that monitors larval tissues for damage, and that adhesive capture, an important mechanism of recruitment of circulating cells to inflammatory sites in vertebrates, is shared by insects and vertebrates despite the vastly different architectures of their circulatory systems.

Active Cop, Passive Cop: Developmental Stage-specific Modes of Wound-induced Blood Cell Recruitment in Drosophila

Fly. Nov-Dec, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 19077535

In the past few years a number of fly labs have studied wounded Drosophila embryos,(1-3) larvae(4-6) and adults7 in an effort to uncover the molecular/genetic basis of wound healing responses. The early studies in this growing field focused on the signature event of wound healing--the closure of the epidermal gap through cell migration. These studies showed that there is a conserved dichotomy between embryonic and postembryonic repair processes in flies and vertebrates: embryonic wounds heal through contraction of a supracellular actin pursestring assembled at the wound margin and postembryonic wounds heal through extension of cell processes and migration across the wound gap. Now, our group and others have begun to use these wounding assays to examine other steps of the healing process. Inflammation, the recruitment of hemocytes (blood cells) to the site of tissue damage, has been a particular focus of recent studies. This extra view article summarizes these recent findings on wound-induced inflammation, especially the curious dichotomy between modes of blood cell recruitment in embryos and larvae.

Cytokine Signaling Mediates UV-induced Nociceptive Sensitization in Drosophila Larvae

Current Biology : CB. May, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19375319

Heightened nociceptive (pain) sensitivity is an adaptive response to tissue damage and serves to protect the site of injury. Multiple mediators of nociceptive sensitization have been identified in vertebrates, but the complexity of the vertebrate nervous system and tissue-repair responses has hindered identification of the precise roles of these factors.

A Blood-borne PDGF/VEGF-like Ligand Initiates Wound-induced Epidermal Cell Migration in Drosophila Larvae

Current Biology : CB. Sep, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19646875

Epidermal cell migration is critical for restoration of tissue structure and function after damage. However, the mechanisms by which differentiated cells neighboring the wound sense the wound and assume a motile phenotype remain unclear. Here, we show that Pvr, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) related to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, and one of its ligands, Pvf1, are required for epidermal wound closure. Morphological comparison of wound-edge cells lacking Pvr or the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway previously implicated in larval wound closure suggests that Pvr signaling leads wound-margin epidermal cells to extend actin-based cell processes into the wound gap while JNK mediates transient dedifferentiation of cells at the wound margin. Genetic epistasis experiments reinforce the conclusion that the JNK and Pvr signaling pathways act in parallel. Tissue-specific knockdown and rescue experiments suggest that epidermally derived Pvf1 may be sequestered in the blood and that tissue damage exposes blood-borne Pvf1 to Pvr receptors on wound-edge epidermal cells and initiates the extension of cell processes into the wound gap. These results uncover a novel mechanism of sensing tissue damage and suggest that PDGF/VEGF ligands and receptors may play a conserved autocrine role in epidermal wound closure.

Two Sides of the Same Coin No Longer: Genetic Separation of Nociceptive Sensitization Responses

Communicative & Integrative Biology. Nov, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 20195458

Nociceptive sensitization is a conserved form of neuronal plasticity that serves an important survival function, as it fosters behavior that protects damaged tissue during healing. This sensitization may involve a lowering of the nociceptive threshold (allodynia) or an increased response to normally noxious stimuli (hyperalgesia). Although nociceptive sensitization has been intensively studied in vertebrate models, an open question in the field is the extent to which allodynia and hyperalgesia, which almost always occur in tandem, are truly separate events at the mechanistic level. We recently introduced a genetically tractable model for damage-induced nociceptive sensitization in Drosophila larvae, and identified a conserved cytokine signaling module that mediates development of allodynia following UV irradiation. This pathway includes the Drosophila homolog of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFalpha), Eiger, which is released from damaged epidermal cells and acts directly on its receptor, Wengen, located on nociceptive sensory neurons. Here we show that although Eiger and Wengen are both required for the development of thermal allodynia, they are dispensable for thermal hyperalgesia, suggesting, contrary to what is commonly assumed, that these two forms of hypersensitivity are initiated by separate genetic pathways.

A Targeted UAS-RNAi Screen in Drosophila Larvae Identifies Wound Closure Genes Regulating Distinct Cellular Processes

Genetics. Nov, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20813879

Robust mechanisms for tissue repair are critical for survival of multicellular organisms. Efficient cutaneous wound repair requires the migration of cells at the wound edge and farther back within the epidermal sheet, but the genes that control and coordinate these migrations remain obscure. This is in part because a systematic screening approach for in vivo identification and classification of postembryonic wound closure genes has yet to be developed. Here, we performed a proof-of-principle reporter-based in vivo RNAi screen in the Drosophila melanogaster larval epidermis to identify genes required for normal wound closure. Among the candidate genes tested were kinases and transcriptional mediators of the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway shown to be required for epithelial sheet migration during development. Also targeted were genes involved in actin cytoskeletal remodeling. Importantly, RNAi knockdown of both canonical and noncanonical members of the JNK pathway caused open wounds, as did several genes involved in actin cytoskeletal remodeling. Our analysis of JNK pathway components reveals redundancy among the upstream activating kinases and distinct roles for the downstream transcription factors DJun and DFos. Quantitative and qualitative morphological classification of the open wound phenotypes and evaluation of JNK activation suggest that multiple cellular processes are required in the migrating epidermal cells, including functions specific to cells at the wound edge and others specific to cells farther back within the epidermal sheet. Together, our results identify a new set of conserved wound closure genes, determine putative functional roles for these genes within the migrating epidermal sheet, and provide a template for a broader in vivo RNAi screen to discover the full complement of genes required for wound closure during larval epidermal wound healing.

Hedgehog Signaling Regulates Nociceptive Sensitization

Current Biology : CB. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21906949

Nociceptive sensitization is a tissue damage response whereby sensory neurons near damaged tissue enhance their responsiveness to external stimuli. This sensitization manifests as allodynia (aversive withdrawal to previously nonnoxious stimuli) and/or hyperalgesia (exaggerated responsiveness to noxious stimuli). Although some factors mediating nociceptive sensitization are known, inadequacies of current analgesic drugs have prompted a search for additional targets.

Pokes, Sunburn, and Hot Sauce: Drosophila As an Emerging Model for the Biology of Nociception

Developmental Dynamics : an Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21932321

The word "nociception" is derived from the Latin "nocere," which means "to harm." Nociception refers to the sensory perception of noxious stimuli that have the potential to cause tissue damage. Since the perception of such potentially harmful stimuli often results in behavioral escape responses, nociception provides a protective mechanism that allows an organism to avoid incipient (or further) damage to the tissue. It appears to be universal in metazoans as a variety of escape responses can be observed in both mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrates, as well as diverse invertebrates such as leeches, nematodes, and fruit flies (Sneddon [2004] Brain Research Review 46:123-130; Tobin and Bargmann [2004] Journal of Neurobiology 61:161-174; Smith and Lewin [2009] Journal of Comparative Physiology 195:1089-1106). Several types of stimuli can trigger nociceptive sensory transduction, including noxious heat, noxious chemicals, and harsh mechanical stimulation. Such high-threshold stimuli induce the firing of action potentials in peripheral nociceptors, the sensory neurons specialized for their detection (Basbaum et al. [2009] Cell 139:267-284). In vertebrates, these action potentials can either be relayed directly to a spinal motor neuron to provoke escape behavior (the so-called monosynaptic reflex) or can travel via spinal cord interneurons to higher-order processing centers in the brain. This review will cover the establishment of Drosophila as a system to study various aspects of nociceptive sensory perception. We will cover development of the neurons responsible for detecting noxious stimuli in larvae, the assays used to assess the function(s) of these neurons, and the genes that have been found to be required for both thermal and mechanical nociception. Along the way, we will highlight some of the genetic tools that make the fly such a powerful system for studies of nociception. Finally, we will cover recent studies that introduce new assays employing adult Drosophila to study both chemical and thermal nociception and provide an overview of important unanswered questions in the field.

Transcriptional Regulation of Profilin During Wound Closure in Drosophila Larvae

Journal of Cell Science. Dec, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22976306

Injury is an inevitable part of life, making wound healing essential for survival. In postembryonic skin, wound closure requires that epidermal cells recognize the presence of a gap and change their behavior to migrate across it. In Drosophila larvae, wound closure requires two signaling pathways [the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway and the Pvr receptor tyrosine kinase signaling pathway] and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. In this and other systems, it remains unclear how the signaling pathways that initiate wound closure connect to the actin regulators that help execute wound-induced cell migrations. Here, we show that chickadee, which encodes the Drosophila Profilin, a protein important for actin filament recycling and cell migration during development, is required for the physiological process of larval epidermal wound closure. After injury, chickadee is transcriptionally upregulated in cells proximal to the wound. We found that JNK, but not Pvr, mediates the increase in chic transcription through the Jun and Fos transcription factors. Finally, we show that chic-deficient larvae fail to form a robust actin cable along the wound edge and also fail to form normal filopodial and lamellipodial extensions into the wound gap. Our results thus connect a factor that regulates actin monomer recycling to the JNK signaling pathway during wound closure. They also reveal a physiological function for an important developmental regulator of actin and begin to tease out the logic of how the wound repair response is organized.

Autophagy Drives Epidermal Deterioration in a Drosophila Model of Tissue Aging

Aging. Apr, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23599123

Organismal lifespan has been the primary readout in aging research. However, how longevity genes control tissue-specific aging remains an open question. To examine the crosstalk between longevity programs and specific tissues during aging, biomarkers of organ-specific aging are urgently needed. Since the earliest signs of aging occur in the skin, we sought to examine skin aging in a genetically tractable model. Here we introduce a Drosophila model of skin aging. The epidermis undergoes a dramatic morphological deterioration with age that includes membrane and nuclear loss. These changes were decelerated in a long-lived mutant and accelerated in a short-lived mutant. An increase in autophagy markers correlated with epidermal aging. Finally, the epidermis of Atg7 mutants retained younger characteristics, suggesting that autophagy is a critical driver of epidermal aging. This is surprising given that autophagy is generally viewed as protective during aging. Since Atg7 mutants are short-lived, the deceleration of epidermal aging in this mutant suggests that in the epidermis healthspan can be uncoupled from longevity. Because the aging readout we introduce here has an early onset and is easily visualized, genetic dissection using our model should identify other novel mechanisms by which lifespan genes feed into tissue-specific aging.

Using Drosophila Larvae to Study Epidermal Wound Closure and Inflammation

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24029952

This methods chapter describes two methods for creating epithelial wounds in Drosophila larvae: pinch and puncture wounding. It also covers protocols for visualizing epithelial wounds, either in a dissected whole mount preparation or, using transgenic reporter larvae, in a live whole mount preparation. Finally, useful transgenic lines for live genetic screening of genes required for wound closure or inflammation are described.

Macrophages Gain a Partner at the Table: Epidermal Cells Digest Peripheral Dendritic Debris in Drosophila

Neuron. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24507184

In this issue of Neuron, Han et al. (2014) develop powerful methods to visualize phagocytosis of Drosophila peripheral sensory neuron dendrites. Remarkably, epidermal cells rather than professional phagocytes are the primary mediators of debris clearance, using both familiar and new molecular players.

Will the Wound-healing Field Earn Its Wings?

Experimental Dermatology. Nov, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25040854

In a recently published issue of Experimental Dermatology, Dr. Nuria Paricio and colleagues review recent advances using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a wound-healing model. They describe many of the advantages of the fly model for gene discovery and functional analysis, highlighting its particular strengths and limitations for studies of wound healing. This commentary assumes that dermatologist-scientists and fly wound-healing researchers share a common field-wide goal of discovering all of the clinically relevant wound-healing genes and understanding in molecular detail how those genes work. We ask: how can we cooperate to achieve this shared goal?

Rapid Clearance of Epigenetic Protein Reporters from Wound Edge Cells in Drosophila Larvae Does Not Depend on the JNK or PDGFR/VEGFR Signaling Pathways

Regeneration (Oxford, England). Apr, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25114797

The drastic cellular changes required for epidermal cells to dedifferentiate and become motile during wound closure are accompanied by changes in gene transcription, suggesting corresponding alterations in chromatin. However, the epigenetic changes that underlie wound-induced transcriptional programs remain poorly understood partly because a comprehensive study of epigenetic factor expression during wound healing has not been practical. To determine which chromatin modifying factors might contribute to wound healing, we screened publicly available fluorescently-tagged reporter lines in Drosophila for altered expression at the wound periphery during healing. Thirteen reporters tagging seven different proteins showed strongly diminished expression at the wound edge. Three downregulated proteins, Osa, Kismet, and Spt6, are generally associated with active chromatin, while four others, Sin3A, Sap130, Mi-2, and Mip120, are associated with repressed chromatin. In all cases reporter down regulation was independent of the Jun N-terminal Kinase and Pvr pathways, suggesting that novel signals control reporter clearance. Taken together, our results suggest that clearance of chromatin modifying factors may enable wound edge cells to rapidly and comprehensively change their transcriptional state following tissue damage.

Integrin Adhesions Suppress Syncytium Formation in the Drosophila Larval Epidermis

Current Biology : CB. Aug, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26255846

Integrins are critical for barrier epithelial architecture. Integrin loss in vertebrate skin leads to blistering and wound healing defects. However, how integrins and associated proteins maintain the regular morphology of epithelia is not well understood. We found that targeted knockdown of the integrin focal adhesion (FA) complex components β-integrin, PINCH, and integrin-linked kinase (ILK) caused formation of multinucleate epidermal cells within the Drosophila larval epidermis. This phenotype was specific to the integrin FA complex and not due to secondary effects on polarity or junctional structures. The multinucleate cells resembled the syncytia caused by physical wounding. Live imaging of wound-induced syncytium formation in the pupal epidermis suggested direct membrane breakdown leading to cell-cell fusion and consequent mixing of cytoplasmic contents. Activation of Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling, which occurs upon wounding, also correlated with syncytium formation induced by PINCH knockdown. Further, ectopic JNK activation directly caused epidermal syncytium formation. No mode of syncytium formation, including that induced by wounding, genetic loss of FA proteins, or local JNK hyperactivation, involved misregulation of mitosis or apoptosis. Finally, the mechanism of epidermal syncytium formation following JNK hyperactivation and wounding appeared to be direct disassembly of FA complexes. In conclusion, the loss-of-function phenotype of integrin FA components in the larval epidermis resembles a wound. Integrin FA loss in mouse and human skin also causes a wound-like appearance. Our results reveal a novel and unexpected role for proper integrin-based adhesion in suppressing larval epidermal cell-cell fusion--a role that may be conserved in other epithelia.

Tachykinin Acts Upstream of Autocrine Hedgehog Signaling During Nociceptive Sensitization in Drosophila

ELife. Nov, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26575288

Pain signaling in vertebrates is modulated by neuropeptides like Substance P (SP). To determine whether such modulation is conserved and potentially uncover novel interactions between nociceptive signaling pathways we examined SP/Tachykinin signaling in a Drosophila model of tissue damage-induced nociceptive hypersensitivity. Tissue-specific knockdowns and genetic mutant analyses revealed that both Tachykinin and Tachykinin-like receptor (DTKR99D) are required for damage-induced thermal nociceptive sensitization. Electrophysiological recording showed that DTKR99D is required in nociceptive sensory neurons for temperature-dependent increases in firing frequency upon tissue damage. DTKR overexpression caused both behavioral and electrophysiological thermal nociceptive hypersensitivity. Hedgehog, another key regulator of nociceptive sensitization, was produced by nociceptive sensory neurons following tissue damage. Surprisingly, genetic epistasis analysis revealed that DTKR function was upstream of Hedgehog-dependent sensitization in nociceptive sensory neurons. Our results highlight a conserved role for Tachykinin signaling in regulating nociception and the power of Drosophila for genetic dissection of nociception.

Wound Signaling: Monkeywrenching Macrophage Migration with Microscopes, Movies, and Math

Current Biology : CB. Aug, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27505244

Drosophila hemocytes (blood cells) have emerged as a powerful system to image wound-induced inflammatory responses in vivo. New work reveals that layering mathematical modeling on top of imaging may be the most powerful tool yet for determining the properties of wound-induced signals.

The TRP Channels Pkd2, NompC, and Trpm Act in Cold-Sensing Neurons to Mediate Unique Aversive Behaviors to Noxious Cold in Drosophila

Current Biology : CB. Dec, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27818173

The basic mechanisms underlying noxious cold perception are not well understood. We developed Drosophila assays for noxious cold responses. Larvae respond to near-freezing temperatures via a mutually exclusive set of singular behaviors-in particular, a full-body contraction (CT). Class III (CIII) multidendritic sensory neurons are specifically activated by cold and optogenetic activation of these neurons elicits CT. Blocking synaptic transmission in CIII neurons inhibits CT. Genetically, the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels Trpm, NompC, and Polycystic kidney disease 2 (Pkd2) are expressed in CIII neurons, where each is required for CT. Misexpression of Pkd2 is sufficient to confer cold responsiveness. The optogenetic activation level of multimodal CIII neurons determines behavioral output, and visualization of neuronal activity supports this conclusion. Coactivation of cold- and heat-responsive sensory neurons suggests that the cold-evoked response circuitry is dominant. Our Drosophila model will enable a sophisticated molecular genetic dissection of cold nociceptive genes and circuits.

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