The objective of this work was to evaluate the efficacy of placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy in a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI). Since MSCs can be obtained from two different regions of the human term placenta (chorionic plate or villi), cells obtained from both these regions were compared so that the best candidate for cell therapy could be selected.
DNA damage repair (DDR) is an orchestrated process encompassing the injury detection to its complete resolution. DNA double-strand break lesions are repaired mainly by two distinct mechanisms: the error-free homologous recombination (HR) and the error-prone non-homologous end-joining. Galectin-3 (GAL3) is the unique member of the chimeric galectins subfamily and is reported to be involved in several cancer development and progression related events. Recently our group described a putative protein interaction between GAL3 and BARD1, the main partner of breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene product BRCA1, both involved in HR pathway. In this report we characterized GAL3/BARD1 protein interaction and evaluated the role of GAL3 in DDR pathways using GAL3 silenced human cells exposed to different DNA damage agents. In the absence of GAL3 we observed a delayed DDR response activation, as well as a decrease in the G 2/M cell cycle checkpoint arrest associated with HR pathway. Moreover, using a TAP-MS approach we also determined the protein interaction network of GAL3.
Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are somatic cells that have been reprogrammed to a pluripotent state via the introduction of defined transcription factors. Although iPS is a potentially valuable resource for regenerative medicine and drug development, several issues regarding their pluripotency, differentiation propensity and potential for tumorigenesis remain to be elucidated. Analysis of cell surface glycans has arisen as an interesting tool for the characterization of iPS. An appropriate characterization of glycan surface molecules of human embryonic stem (hES) cells and iPS cells might generate crucial data to highlight their role in the acquisition and maintenance of pluripotency. In this study, we characterized the surface glycans of iPS generated from menstrual blood-derived mesenchymal cells (iPS-MBMC). We demonstrated that, upon spontaneous differentiation, iPS-MBMC present high amounts of terminal ?-galactopyranoside residues, pointing to an important role of terminal-linked sialic acids in pluripotency maintenance. The removal of sialic acids by neuraminidase induces iPS-MBMC and hES cells differentiation, prompting an ectoderm commitment. Exposed ?-galactopyranose residues might be recognized by carbohydrate-binding molecules found on the cell surface, which could modulate intercellular or intracellular interactions. Together, our results point for the first time to the involvement of the presence of terminal sialic acid in the maintenance of embryonic stem cell pluripotency and, therefore, the modulation of sialic acid biosynthesis emerges as a mechanism that may govern stem cell differentiation.
Embryonic stem cells (ES cells) express a transient and heterogeneous pattern of molecules, which suggests a notable mechanism to control self-renewal avoid the differentiation into germ layers. We show that 9-O-acetyl GD3 (9OacGD3), a highly expressed b-series ganglioside in neural stem (NS) cells, is expressed in undifferentiated mouse ES cells in a heterogeneous fashion. After sorting, undifferentiated 9OacGD3(+) ES cell population had higher levels of nestin and Sox2 mRNA than the 9OacGD3(-) cells. Even with elevated expression of these neural transcription factors, 9OacGD3(+) cells did not give rise to more neural progenitors than 9OacGD3(-) cells. Expression of 9OacGD3 was recovered from 9OacGD3(-) cell population, demonstrating that expression of this ganglioside in mouse embryonic stem cells is transient, and does not reflect cell fate. Our findings show that the ganglioside 9OacGD3 is expressed heterogeneously and transiently in ES cells, and this expression corresponds to higher levels of Sox2 and Nestin transcripts.
Properties of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) have been extensively studied since their first derivation in 2006. However, the modification in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and detoxification caused by reprogramming still needs to be further elucidated. The objective of this study was to compare the response of iPSC generated from menstrual blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (mb-iPSC), embryonic stem cells (H9) and adult menstrual blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (mbMSC) to ROS exposure and investigate the effects of reprogramming on cellular oxidative stress (OS). mbMSC were extremely resistant to ROS exposure, however, mb-iPSC were 10-fold less resistant to H(2)O(2), which was very similar to embryonic stem cell sensitivity. Extracellular production of ROS was also similar in mb-iPSC and H9 and almost threefold lower than in mbMSC. Furthermore, intracellular amounts of ROS were higher in mb-iPSC and H9 when compared with mbMSC. As the ability to metabolize ROS is related to antioxidant enzymes, we analysed enzyme activities in these cell types. Catalase and superoxide dismutase activities were reduced in mb-iPSC and H9 when compared with mbMSC. Finally, cell adhesion under OS conditions was impaired in mb-iPSC when compared with mbMSC, albeit similar to H9. Thus, reprogramming leads to profound modifications in extracellular ROS production accompanied by loss of the ability to handle OS.
Dual oxidases (DUOX1 and DUOX2) are NADPH oxidases (NOX) involved in hydrogen peroxide production necessary for thyroid hormonogenesis, but recently, the NOX4 has also been described in the thyroid gland. The prevalence of thyroid disease is higher in women, and the basis for this difference might involve a higher oxidative stress level in the female thyroid gland. Hence, we aimed at evaluating whether the function and the expression of enzymes involved in the thyroid redox balance differ between females and males.
In this study, we characterized ceramide synthase (CerS) of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi at the molecular and functional levels. TcCerS activity was detected initially in a cell-free system using the microsomal fraction of epimastigote forms of T. cruzi, [(3)H]dihydrosphingosine or [(3)H]sphingosine, and fatty acids or acyl-CoA derivatives as acceptor or donor substrates, respectively. TcCerS utilizes both sphingoid long-chain bases, and its activity is exclusively dependent on acyl-CoAs, with palmitoyl-CoA being preferred. In addition, Fumonisin B(1), a broad and well-known acyl-CoA-dependent CerS inhibitor, blocked the parasites CerS activity. However, unlike observations in fungi, the CerS inhibitors Australifungin and Fumonisin B(1) did not affect the proliferation of epimastigotes in culture, even after exposure to high concentrations or after extended periods of treatment. A search of the parasite genome with the conserved Lag1 motif from Lag1p, the yeast acyl-CoA-dependent CerS, identified a T. cruzi candidate gene (TcCERS1) that putatively encodes the parasites CerS activity. The TcCERS1 gene was able to functionally complement the lethality of a lag1? lac1? double deletion yeast mutant in which the acyl-CoA-dependent CerS is not detectable. The complemented strain was capable of synthesizing normal inositol-containing sphingolipids and is 10 times more sensitive to Fumonisin B(1) than the parental strain.
Glycosylated mouse cystatin C (mCysC), an endogenous inhibitor of cysteine cathepsin proteases (CP), has been suggested as a cofactor of ?-FGF to induce the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into neural progenitor cells (NPCs). To investigate the possible role of CP in neural differentiation, we treated embryoid bodies (EBs) with (i) E64, an inhibitor of papain-like CP and of calpains, (ii) an inhibitor of cathepsin L (iCatL), (iii) an inhibitor of calpains (iCalp), or (iv) cystatins, and their ability to differentiate into neural cells was assessed. We show that the inhibition of CP induces a significant increase in Pax6 expression in EBs, leading to an increase in the number of nestin-positive cells after 3 days. Fourteen days after E64 treatment, we observed increased numbers of ?-III-tubulin-positive cells, showing greater percentage of immature neurons, and this feature persisted up to 24 days. At this point, we encountered higher numbers of neurons with inward Na(+) current compared with untreated EBs. Further, we show that mCysC and iCatL, but not unglycosylated egg white cystatin or iCalp, increased the numbers of NPCs. In contrast to E64 and iCatL, mCysC did not inhibit CP in EBs and its neural-inducing activity required ?-FGF. We propose that the inhibition of CP induces the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into NPCs and neurons through a mechanism that is distinct from CysC-induced neural differentiation.
Gene regulation in trypanosomatids occurs mainly by post-transcriptional mechanisms modulating mRNA stability and translation. We have investigated heat shock protein (HSP) 70 gene regulation in Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas disease. The HSP70 mRNAs half-life increases after heat shock, and the stabilization is dependent on protein synthesis. In a cell-free RNA decay assay, a U-rich region in the 3 untranslated region (UTR) is a target for degradation, which is reduced when in the presence of protein extracts from heat shocked cells. In a transfected reporter gene assay, both the 5- and 3-UTRs confer temperature-dependent regulation. Both UTRs must be present to increase mRNA stability at 37 degrees C, indicating that the 5- and 3-UTRs act cooperatively to stabilize HSP70 mRNA during heat shock. We conclude that HSP70 5- and 3-UTRs regulate mRNA stability during heat shock in T. cruzi.
The illicit use of supraphysiological doses of androgenic steroids (AAS) has been suggested as a cause of arrhythmia in athletes. The objectives of the present study were to investigate the time-course and the cellular, ionic and molecular processes underlying ventricular repolarization in rats chronically treated with AAS. Male Wistar rats were treated weekly for 8 weeks with 10mg/kg of nandrolone decanoate (DECA n=21) or vehicle (control n=20). ECG was recorded weekly. Action potential (AP) and transient outward potassium current (I(to)) were recorded in rat hearts. Expression of KChIP2, Kv1.4, Kv4.2, and Kv4.3 was assessed by real-time PCR. Hematoxylin/eosin and Picrosirius red staining were used for histological analysis. QTc was greater in the DECA group. After DECA treatment the left, but not right, ventricle showed a longer AP duration than did the control. I(to) current densities were 47.5% lower in the left but not in the right ventricle after DECA. In the right ventricle the I(to) inactivation time-course was slower than in the control group. After DECA the left ventricle showed lower KChIP2 ( approximately 26%), Kv1.4 ( approximately 23%) and 4.3 ( approximately 70%) expression while the Kv 4.2 increased in 4 ( approximately 250%) and diminished in 3 ( approximately 30%) animals of this group. In the right ventricle the expression of I(to) subunits was similar between the treatment and control groups. DECA-treated hearts had 25% fewer nuclei and greater nuclei diameters in both ventricles. Our results strongly suggest that supraphysiological doses of AAS induce morphological remodeling in both ventricles. However, the electrical remodeling was mainly observed in the left ventricle.
The bone marrow stromal cell line S17 has been used to study hematopoiesis in vitro. In this study, we demonstrate the presence of calcium and chloride currents in cultured S17 cells. Calcium currents were of low amplitude or barely detectable (50-100 pA). Hence to amplify the currents, we have used barium as a charge carrier. Barium currents were identified based on their distinct voltage-dependence, and sensitivity to dihydropyridines. S17 cells also exhibited a slowly activating outward current without inactivation, most commonly seen when the sodium of the extracellular solution was replaced either by TEA (TEA/Cs saline) or NMDG (NMDG saline), or by addition of amiloride to the extracellular solution. This current was abolished either by 500 microM SITS (4,4-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2-2-disulfonic acid) or 500 microM DPC (diphenylamine-2-carboxylic acid) a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel blocker, identifying it as a Cl(-) current. RT-PCR identified the presence of ENaC and CFTR transcripts. CFTR blockade reduced cell proliferation, suggesting that this channel plays a physiological role in regulation of S17 cell proliferation.
Elastin haploinsufficiency in Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) leads to increased vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and stenoses. Our objective was to generate a human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cell model for in vitro assessment of the WBS phenotype and to test the ability of candidate agents to rescue the phenotype. hiPS cells were reprogrammed from skin fibroblasts of a WBS patient with aortic and pulmonary stenosis and healthy control BJ fibroblasts using four-factor retrovirus reprogramming and were differentiated into SMCs. Differentiated SMCs were treated with synthetic elastin-binding protein ligand 2 (EBPL2) (20 ?g/ml) or the antiproliferative drug rapamycin (100 nM) for 5 days. We generated four WBS induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines that expressed pluripotency genes and differentiated into all three germ layers. Directed differentiation of BJ iPS cells yielded an 85%-92% pure SMC population that expressed differentiated SMC markers, were functionally contractile, and formed tube-like structures on three-dimensional gel assay. Unlike BJ iPS cells, WBS iPS cells generated immature SMCs that were highly proliferative, showed lower expression of differentiated SMC markers, reduced response to the vasoactive agonists, carbachol and endothelin-1, impaired vascular tube formation, and reduced calcium flux. EBPL2 partially rescued and rapamycin fully rescued the abnormal SMC phenotype by decreasing the smooth muscle proliferation rate and enhancing differentiation and tube formation. WBS iPS cell-derived SMCs demonstrate an immature proliferative phenotype with reduced functional and contractile properties, thereby recapitulating the human disease phenotype. The ability of rapamycin to rescue the phenotype provides an attractive therapeutic candidate for patients with WBS and vascular stenoses.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were originally generated by forced ectopic expression of four transcription factors genes-OCT4, KLF4, SOX2, and c-MYC-in fibroblasts. However, the efficiency of iPSCs obtention is extremely low, and reprogramming takes about 20 days. We reasoned that adult cells showing basal expression of core embryonic stem (ES) cell regulator genes could be a better cell source for reprogramming. Menstrual blood-derived mesenchymal cells (MBMCs) are multipotent cells that show detectable levels of some of the core ES cells regulators. The aim of this study was to determine whether reprogramming efficiency could be increased by using MBMCs as a cell source to generate iPSCs. MBMCs were transduced with recombinant retroviruses expressing the coding regions of OCT4, SOX2, and KLF4 genes. Cells with high nucleus/cytoplasm ratio can be detected about 5 days of posttransduction, and colonies of typical ES-like cells begun to appear after 7 days. At day 15, colonies were picked up and expanded for characterization. Most of the clones were morphologically identical to ES cells and positive at the mRNA and protein levels for all pluripotency markers tested. The clones are capable of forming embryoid bodies and to differentiate in vitro into cells of the three germ cell layers. Our results show that the reprogramming was faster and with efficiency around 2-5%, even in the absence of ectopic expression of c-MYC. To date, this is the first study showing MBMCs as a cell source for nuclear reprogramming.
Myocardial tolerance to ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is improved by exercise training, but this cardioprotection is impaired by the chronic use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). The present study evaluated whether blockade of angiotensin II receptor (AT1-R) with losartan and aldosterone receptor (mineralocorticoid receptor, MR) with spironolactone could prevent the deleterious effect of AAS on the exercise-induced cardioprotection.
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