Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapy and costimulation blockade are two immunomodulatory strategies being developed concomitantly for the treatment of immunological diseases. Both of these strategies have the capacity to inhibit immune responses and induce regulatory T cells; however, their ability to synergize remains largely unexplored. In order to study this, MSCs from C57BL/6 (H2(b)) mice were infused together with fully major histocompatibility complex-mismatched Balb/c (H2(d)) allogeneic islets into the portal vein of diabetic C57BL/6 (H2(b)) mice, which were subsequently treated with costimulation blockade for the first 10 days after transplantation. Mice receiving both recipient-type MSCs, CTLA4Ig, and anti-CD40L demonstrated indefinite graft acceptance, just as did most of the recipients receiving MSCs and CTLA4Ig. Recipients of MSCs only rejected their grafts, and fewer than one half of the recipients treated with costimulation blockade alone achieved permanent engraftment. The livers of the recipients treated with MSCs plus costimulation blockade contained large numbers of islets surrounded by Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. These recipients showed reduced antidonor IgG levels and a glucose tolerance similar to that of naïve nondiabetic mice. Intrahepatic lymphocytes and splenocytes from these recipients displayed reduced proliferation and interferon-? production when re-exposed to donor antigen. MSCs in the presence of costimulation blockade prevented dendritic cell maturation, inhibited T cell proliferation, increased Foxp3(+) regulatory T cell numbers, and increased indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase activity. These results indicate that MSC infusion and costimulation blockade have complementary immune-modulating effects that can be used for a broad number of applications in transplantation, autoimmunity, and regenerative medicine.
Carotid plaque instability is a major cause of ischemic stroke, but detailed knowledge about underlying molecular pathways is still lacking. Here, we evaluated large-scale transcriptomic and protein expression profiling in a biobank of carotid endarterectomies followed by characterization of identified candidates, as a platform for discovery of novel proteins differentially regulated in unstable carotid lesions.
Heparan sulfate (HS) chains bind and modulate the signaling efficiency of many ligands, including members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and platelet-derived growth factor families. We previously reported the structure of HS synthesized by embryonic fibroblasts from mice with a gene trap mutation of Ext1 that encodes a glycosyltransferase involved in HS chain elongation. The gene trap mutation results in low expression of Ext1, and, as a consequence, HS chain length is substantially reduced. In the present study, Ext1 mutant and wild-type mouse embryonic fibroblasts were analyzed for the functional consequences of the Ext1 mutation for growth factor signaling and interaction with the extracellular matrix. Here, we show that the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in response to FGF2 stimulation was markedly decreased in the Ext1 mutant fibroblasts, whereas neither PDGF-BB nor FGF10 signaling was significantly affected. Furthermore, Ext1 mutants displayed reduced ability to attach to collagen I and to contract collagen lattices, even though no differences in the expression of collagen-binding integrins were observed. Reintroduction of Ext1in the Ext1 mutant fibroblasts rescued HS chain length, FGF2 signaling, and the ability of the fibroblasts to contract collagen. These data suggest that the length of the HS chains is a critical determinant of HS-protein interactions and emphasize the essential role of EXT1 in providing specific binding sites for growth factors and extracellular matrix proteins.
Stromal fibroblasts are important determinants of tumor cell behavior. They act to condition the tumor microenvironment, influence tumor growth, support tumor angiogenesis and affect tumor metastasis. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans, present both on tumor and stromal cells, interact with a large number of ligands including growth factors, their receptors, and structural components of the extracellular matrix. Being ubiquitously expressed in the tumor microenvironment heparan sulfate proteoglycans are candidates for playing central roles in tumor-stroma interactions. The objective of this work was to investigate the role of heparan sulfate expressed by stromal fibroblasts in modulating the growth of tumor cells and in controlling the interstitial fluid pressure in a 3-D model.
The pathophysiology of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is constituted by pulmonary hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension (PH). We previously reported successful treatment with imatinib of a patient with CDH. This study examines the effect of antenatal imatinib administration on the pulmonary vasculature in a rat model of CDH. Pregnant rats were given nitrofen to induce CDH. Controls were given olive oil. Half of the CDH fetuses and half of the controls were treated with imatinib antenatally E17-E21, rendering four groups: Control, Control+Imatinib, CDH, and CDH+Imatinib. Lung sections were obtained for morphometry and immunohistochemistry, and protein was purified for Western blot. Effects of nitrofen and imatinib on Ki-67, caspase-3, PDGF-B, and PDGF receptors were analyzed. Imatinib significantly reduced medial wall thickness in pulmonary arteries of rats with CDH. It also normalized lumen area and reduced the proportion of fully muscularized arteries. Imatinib also caused medial thinning in the control group. Cell proliferation was increased in CDH, and this proliferation was significantly reduced by imatinib. PDGF-B and PDGFR-? were upregulated in CDH, and imatinib treatment resulted in a downregulation. PDGFR-? remained unchanged in CDH but was significantly downregulated by imatinib. Antenatal imatinib treatment reduces development of medial wall thickness and restores lumen area in pulmonary arteries in nitrofen-induced CDH. The mechanism is reduced cell proliferation. Imatinib is an interesting candidate for antenatal therapy for PH in CDH, but potential side effects need to be investigated and more specific targeting of PDGF signaling is needed.
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