Stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (CMs) are often electrophysiologically immature and heterogeneous, which represents a major barrier to their in vitro and in vivo application. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine whether Neuregulin-1b (NRG-1b) treatment could enhance in vitro generation of mature "working-type" CMs from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) and assessed the regenerative effects of these CMs on cardiac tissue following acute myocardial infarction (AMI). With that purpose, adult mouse fibroblast-derived iPS from ?-MHC-GFP mice were derived and differentiated into CMs through NRG-1b and/or DMSO treatment. Cardiac specification and maturation of the iPS was analyzed by gene expression array, qRT-PCR, immunofluorescence, electron microscopy, and patch-clamp techniques. In vivo, the iPS-derived CMs or culture medium-control were injected into the peri-infarct region of hearts following coronary artery ligation, and functional and histology changes assessed from 1-8 weeks post-transplantation. Upon differentiation, the iPS displayed early and robust in vitro cardiogenesis, expressing cardiac-specific genes and proteins. More importantly, electrophysiological studies demonstrated that a more mature ventricular-like cardiac phenotype was achieved when cells were treated with NRG-1b and DMSO compared to DMSO alone. Furthermore, in vivo studies demonstrated that iPS-derived CMs were able to engraft and electromechanically couple to heart tissue, ultimately preserving cardiac function and inducing and adequate heart tissue remodeling. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that combined treatment with NRG-1b and DMSO leads to efficient differentiation of iPS into mature ventricular-like cardiac cells, which are capable of preserving cardiac function and tissue viability when transplanted into a mouse model of AMI.
We evaluated the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of the administration of 4 sequential doses (intravenously administered on days 1, 4, 11, and 18) of cryopreserved bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) expanded with platelet lysate and obtained from third-party donors as a second-line treatment for steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host (aGVHD) disease in a series of 25 patients. All patients received at least 2 doses of MSC, whereas 21 received 3 doses and 18 received the initially planned 4 doses. Because of the achievement of partial response, 4 patients received additional doses of MSC. Median single cell dose administered was 1.1 × 10(6) MSC/kg of recipient body weight. There were no adverse events related to the MSC infusion in the 99 procedures performed, with the exception of a cardiac ischemic event that occurred twice in a patient with prior history of cardiac ischemia. Response to MSC at 60 days after the first dose was evaluable in 24 patients. Seventeen patients (71%) responded (11 complete and 6 partial responses), with a median time to response of 28 days after the first MSC dose, whereas 7 patients did not respond. In summary, we can conclude that sequential cryopreserved third-party MSC therapy administered on days 1, 4, 11, and 18 is a safe procedure for patients with steroid-refractory aGVHD. This strategy may provide a high rate of overall responses of aGVHD with a low toxicity profile.
The development of biomaterials for myocardial tissue engineering requires a careful assessment of their performance with regards to functionality and biocompatibility, including the immune response. Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB), poly(e-caprolactone) (PCL), silk, poly-lactic acid (PLA), and polyamide (PA) scaffolds were generated by electrospinning, and cell compatibility in vitro, and immune response and cardiac function in vitro and in vivo were compared with a noncrosslinked collagen membrane (Col) control material. Results showed that cell adhesion and growth of mesenchymal stem cells, cardiomyocytes, and cardiac fibroblasts in vitro was dependent on the polymer substrate, with PHB and PCL polymers permitting the greatest adhesion/growth of cells. Additionally, polymer substrates triggered unique expression profiles of anti- and pro-inflammatory cytokines in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Implantation of PCL, silk, PLA, and PA patches on the epicardial surface of healthy rats induced a classical foreign body reaction pattern, with encapsulation of polymer fibers and induction of the nonspecific immune response, whereas Col and PHB patches were progressively degraded. When implanted on infarcted rat heart, Col, PCL, and PHB reduced negative remodeling, but only PHB induced significant angiogenesis. Importantly, Col and PHB modified the inflammatory response to an M2 macrophage phenotype in cardiac tissue, indicating a more beneficial reparative process and remodeling. Collectively, these results identify PHB as a superior substrate for cardiac repair.
The CXCR4/SDF1 axis participates in various cellular processes, including cell migration, which is essential for skeletal muscle repair. Although increasing evidence has confirmed the role of CXCR4/SDF1 in embryonic muscle development, the function of this pathway during adult myogenesis remains to be fully elucidated. In addition, a role for CXCR4 signaling in muscle maintenance and repair has only recently emerged. Here, we have demonstrated that CXCR4 and stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF1) are up-regulated in injured muscle, suggesting their involvement in the repair process. In addition, we found that notexin-damaged muscles showed delayed muscle regeneration on treatment with CXCR4 agonist (AMD3100). Accordingly, small-interfering RNA-mediated silencing of SDF1 or CXCR4 in injured muscles impaired muscle regeneration, whereas the addition of SDF1 ligand accelerated repair. Furthermore, we identified that CXCR4/SDF1-regulated muscle repair was dependent on matrix metalloproteinase-10 (MMP-10) activity. Thus, our findings support a model in which MMP-10 activity modulates CXCR4/SDF1 signaling, which is essential for efficient skeletal muscle regeneration.
Infarcted hearts are macroscopically stiffer than healthy organs. Nevertheless, although cell behavior is mediated by the physical features of the cell niche, the intrinsic micromechanical properties of healthy and infarcted heart extracellular matrix (ECM) remain poorly characterized. Using atomic force microscopy, we studied ECM micromechanics of different histological regions of the left ventricle wall of healthy and infarcted mice. Hearts excised from healthy (n=8) and infarcted mice (n=8) were decellularized with sodium dodecyl sulfate and cut into 12 ?m thick slices. Healthy ventricular ECM revealed marked mechanical heterogeneity across histological regions of the ventricular wall with the effective Young's modulus ranging from 30.2 ± 2.8 to 74.5 ± 8.7 kPa in collagen- and elastin-rich regions of the myocardium, respectively. Infarcted ECM showed a predominant collagen composition and was 3-fold stiffer than collagen-rich regions of the healthy myocardium. ECM of both healthy and infarcted hearts exhibited a solid-like viscoelastic behavior that conforms to two power-law rheology. Knowledge of intrinsic micromechanical properties of the ECM at the length scale at which cells sense their environment will provide further insight into the cell-scaffold interplay in healthy and infarcted hearts.
Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) is over-expressed in numerous cancers with respect to normal cells, and has either a tumor suppressor or oncogenic role depending on cellular context. This gene is associated with numerous alternatively spliced transcripts, which initiate from two different unique first exons within the WT1 and the alternative (A)WT1 promoter intervals. Within the hematological system, WT1 expression is restricted to CD34+/CD38- cells and is undetectable after differentiation. Detectable expression of this gene is an excellent marker for minimal residual disease in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but the underlying epigenetic alterations are unknown.
Endothelial cells (ECs) lining arteries and veins have distinct molecular/functional signatures. The underlying regulatory mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we established a specific fingerprint of freshly isolated arterial and venous ECs from human umbilical cord comprising 64 arterial and 12 venous genes, representing distinct functions/pathways. Among the arterial genes were 8 transcription factors (TFs), including Notch target HEY2, the current "gold standard" determinant for arterial EC (aEC) specification. Culture abrogated differential gene expression in part due to gradual loss of canonical Notch activity and HEY2 expression. Notably, restoring HEY2 expression or Delta-like4-induced Notch signaling in cultured ECs only partially reinstated the aEC gene signature, whereas combined overexpression of the 8 TFs restored this fingerprint more robustly. Whereas some TFs stimulated few genes, others boosted a large proportion of arterial genes. Although there was some overlap and crossregulation, the TFs largely complemented each other in regulating the aEC gene profile. Finally, overexpression of the 8 TFs in human umbilical vein ECs conveyed an arterial-like behavior upon their implantation in a Matrigel plug in vivo. Thus, our study shows that Notch signaling determines only part of the aEC signature and identifies additional novel and complementary transcriptional players in the complex regulation of human arteriovenous EC identity.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous cancer that is characterized by rapid and uncontrolled proliferation of immature B- or T-lymphoid precursors. Although ALL has been regarded as a genetic disease for many years, the crucial importance of epigenetic alterations in leukemogenesis has become increasingly evident. Epigenetic mechanisms, which include DNA methylation and histone modifications, are critical for gene regulation during many key biological processes. Here, we review the cell signaling pathways that are regulated by DNA methylation or histone modifications in ALL. Recent studies have highlighted the fundamental role of these modifications in ALL development, and suggested that future investigation into the specific genes and pathways that are altered by epigenetic mechanisms can contribute to the development of novel drug-based therapies for ALL.
Although transplantation of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) in chronic myocardial infarction (MI) models is associated with functional improvement, its therapeutic value is limited due to poor long-term cell engraftment and survival. Thus, the objective of this study was to examine whether transplantation of collagen patches seeded with ADSC could enhance cell engraftment and improve cardiac function in models of chronic MI. With that purpose, chronically infarcted Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 58) were divided into four groups and transplanted with media, collagen scaffold (CS), rat ADSC, or CS seeded with rat ADSC (CS-rADSC). Cell engraftment, histological changes, and cardiac function were assessed 4 months after transplantation. In addition, Göttingen minipigs (n = 18) were subjected to MI and then transplanted 2 months later with CS or CS seeded with autologous minipig ADSC (CS-pADSC). Functional and histological assessments were performed 3 months post-transplantation. Transplantation of CS-rADSC was associated with increased cell engraftment, significant improvement in cardiac function, myocardial remodeling, and revascularization. Moreover, transplantation of CS-pADSC in the pre-clinical swine model improved cardiac function and was associated with decreased fibrosis and increased vasculogenesis. In summary, transplantation of CS-ADSC resulted in enhanced cell engraftment and was associated with a significant improvement in cardiac function and myocardial remodeling.
Acidic fibroblast growth factor (FGF1) and neuregulin-1 (NRG1) are growth factors involved in cardiac development and regeneration. Microparticles (MPs) mediate cytokine sustained release, and can be utilized to overcome issues related to the limited therapeutic protein stability during systemic administration. We sought to examine whether the administration of microparticles (MPs) containing FGF1 and NRG1 could promote cardiac regeneration in a myocardial infarction (MI) rat model. We investigated the possible underlying mechanisms contributing to the beneficial effects of this therapy, especially those linked to endogenous regeneration. FGF1- and NRG1-loaded MPs were prepared using a multiple emulsion solvent evaporation technique. Seventy-three female Sprague-Dawley rats underwent permanent left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion, and MPs were intramyocardially injected in the peri-infarcted zone four days later. Cardiac function, heart tissue remodeling, revascularization, apoptosis, cardiomyocyte proliferation, and stem cell homing were evaluated one week and three months after treatment. MPs were shown to efficiently encapsulate FGF1 and NRG1, releasing the bioactive proteins in a sustained manner. Three months after treatment, a statistically significant improvement in cardiac function was detected in rats treated with growth factor-loaded MPs (FGF1, NRG1, or FGF1/NRG1). The therapy led to inhibition of cardiac remodeling with smaller infarct size, a lower fibrosis degree and induction of tissue revascularization. Cardiomyocyte proliferation and progenitor cell recruitment were detected. Our data support the therapeutic benefit of NRG1 and FGF1 when combined with protein delivery systems for cardiac regeneration. This approach could be scaled up for use in pre-clinical and clinical studies.
For patients with smoldering multiple myeloma, the standard of care is observation until symptoms develop. However, this approach does not identify high-risk patients who may benefit from early intervention.
Multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease. New approaches to develop better tools for improving patient prognostication and monitoring treatment efficacy are very much needed. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the potential of metabolomics by (1)H-NMR to provide information on metabolic profiles that could be useful in the management of multiple myeloma.
Interstitial deletion of chromosome 5q is the most common chromosomal abnormality in myelodysplastic syndromes. The catalogue of genes involved in the molecular pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes is rapidly expanding and next-generation sequencing technology allows detection of these mutations at great depth. Here we describe the design, validation and application of a targeted next-generation sequencing approach to simultaneously screen 25 genes mutated in myeloid malignancies. We used this method alongside single nucleotide polymorphism-array technology to characterize the mutational and cytogenetic profile of 43 cases of early or advanced del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes. A total of 29 mutations were detected in our cohort. Overall, 45% of early and 66.7% of advanced cases had at least one mutation. Genes with the highest mutation frequency among advanced cases were TP53 and ASXL1 (25% of patients each). These showed a lower mutation frequency in cases of 5q- syndrome (4.5% and 13.6%, respectively), suggesting a role in disease progression in del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes. Fifty-two percent of mutations identified were in genes involved in epigenetic regulation (ASXL1, TET2, DNMT3A and JAK2). Six mutations had allele frequencies <20%, likely below the detection limit of traditional sequencing methods. Genomic array data showed that cases of advanced del(5q) myelodysplastic syndrome had a complex background of cytogenetic aberrations, often encompassing genes involved in myeloid disorders. Our study is the first to investigate the molecular pathogenesis of early and advanced del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes using next-generation sequencing technology on a large panel of genes frequently mutated in myeloid malignancies, further illuminating the molecular landscape of del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes.
Over the last decade, cell therapy has emerged as a potentially new approach for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Among the wide range of cell types and sources, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells have shown promise, mainly due to its plasticity and remarkable paracrine-secretion capacity, largely demonstrated at the in vitro and in vivo levels. Furthermore, its accessibility and abundance, the low morbidity of the surgical procedure, its easy isolation, culture, and long-term passaging capacity added to its immunomodulatory properties that could allow its allogeneic transplantation, making it one of the most attractive candidates for clinical application. In this chapter, we will focus on the methodology for the isolation, expansion, phenotypical characterization, differentiation, and storage of the adipose-derived stem cells.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are functional RNAs longer than 200 nucleotides in length. LncRNAs are as diverse as mRNAs and they normally share the same biosynthetic machinery based on RNA polymerase II, splicing and polyadenylation. However, lncRNAs have low coding potential. Compared to mRNAs, lncRNAs are preferentially nuclear, more tissue specific and expressed at lower levels. Most of the lncRNAs described to date modulate the expression of specific genes by guiding chromatin remodelling factors; inducing chromosomal loopings; affecting transcription, splicing, translation or mRNA stability; or serving as scaffolds for the organization of cellular structures. They can function in cis, cotranscriptionally, or in trans, acting as decoys, scaffolds or guides. These functions seem essential to allow cell differentiation and growth. In fact, many lncRNAs have been shown to exert oncogenic or tumor suppressor properties in several cancers including haematological malignancies. In this review, we summarize what is known about lncRNAs, the mechanisms for their regulation in cancer and their role in leukemogenesis, lymphomagenesis and hematopoiesis. Furthermore, we discuss the potential of lncRNAs in diagnosis, prognosis and therapy in cancer, with special attention to haematological malignancies.
Most DNA methylation studies in classic Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms have been performed on a gene-by-gene basis. Therefore, a more comprehensive methylation profiling is needed to study the implications of this epigenetic marker in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Here, we have analyzed 71 chronic (24 polycythemia vera, 23 essential thrombocythemia and 24 primary myelofibrosis) and 13 transformed myeloproliferative neoplasms using genome-wide DNA methylation arrays. The three types of chronic Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms showed a similar aberrant DNA methylation pattern when compared to control samples. Differentially methylated regions were enriched in a gene network centered on the NF-?B pathway, indicating that they may be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases. In the case of transformed myeloproliferative neoplasms, we detected an increased number of differentially methylated regions with respect to chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms. Interestingly, these genes were enriched in a list of differentially methylated regions in primary acute myeloid leukemia and in a gene network centered around the IFN pathway. Our results suggest that alterations in the DNA methylation landscape play an important role in the pathogenesis and leukemic transformation of myeloproliferative neoplasms. The therapeutic modulation of epigenetically-deregulated pathways may allow us to design targeted therapies for these patients.
Penetrating keratoplasty has previously been the only surgical treatment for patients with corneal endothelial disorders. Recently, posterior lamellar keratoplasty has become a viable and less aggressive alternative technique. However, both transplantation techniques have disadvantages, such as non-immunologic graft failure, allograft endothelial rejection or a global shortage of donor corneas. Over the past few years, several groups have established methods for the isolation, preservation, in vitro cultivation, transplantation, and in vivo stimulation of human corneal endothelial cells in animal models. It is hoped that these new strategies will allow the treatment of more than one patient with one donor cornea, performing autologous corneal endothelium transplantation from a surgical biopsy sample, or stimulating the growth of corneal endothelial cells in vivo. However, several aspects need to be addressed before commencing clinical trials.
Myocardial ischemia (MI) remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Angiogenic therapy with the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a promising strategy to overcome hypoxia and its consequences. However, from the clinical data it is clear that fulfillment of the potential of VEGF warrants a better delivery strategy. On the other hand, the compelling evidences of the role of oxidative stress in diseases like MI encourage the use of antioxidant agents. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) due to its role in the electron transport chain in the mitochondria seems to be a good candidate to manage MI but is associated with poor biopharmaceutical properties seeking better delivery approaches. The female Sprague Dawley rats were induced MI and were followed up with VEGF microparticles intramyocardially and CoQ10 nanoparticles orally or their combination with appropriate controls. Cardiac function was assessed by measuring ejection fraction before and after three months of therapy. Results demonstrate significant improvement in the ejection fraction after three months with both treatment forms individually; however the combination therapy failed to offer any synergism. In conclusion, VEGF microparticles and CoQ10 nanoparticles can be considered as promising strategies for managing MI.
The ASXL1 gene encodes a chromatin-binding protein involved in epigenetic regulation in haematopoietic cells. Loss-of-function ASXL1 mutations occur in patients with a range of myeloid malignancies and are associated with adverse outcome. We have used lentiviral-based shRNA technology to investigate the effects of ASXL1 silencing on cell proliferation, apoptosis, myeloid differentiation and global gene expression in human CD34(+) cells differentiated along the myeloid lineage in vitro. ASXL1-deficient cells showed a significant decrease in the generation of CD11b(+) and CD15(+) cells, implicating impaired granulomonocytic differentiation. Furthermore, colony-forming assays showed a significant increase in the number of multipotent mixed lineage colony-forming unit (CFU-GEMM) colonies and a significant decrease in the numbers of granulocyte-macrophage CFU (CFU-GM) and granulocyte CFU (CFU-G) colonies in ASXL1-deficient cells. Our data suggests that ASXL1 knockdown perturbs human granulomonocytic differentiation. Gene expression profiling identified many deregulated genes in the ASXL1-deficient cells differentiated along the granulomonocytic lineage, and pathway analysis showed that the most significantly deregulated pathway was the LXR/RXR activation pathway. ASXL1 may play a key role in recruiting the polycomb repressor complex 2 (PRC2) to specific loci, and we found over-representation of PRC2 targets among the deregulated genes in ASXL1-deficient cells. These findings shed light on the functional role of ASXL1 in human myeloid differentiation.
The possibility to induce pluripotency in somatic cells or, even further, to induce cell transdifferentiation through the forced expression of reprogramming factors has offered new, attractive options for cardiovascular regenerative medicine. In fact, recent discoveries have demonstrated that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be differentiated into cardiomyocytes, suggesting that iPS cells have the potential to significantly advance future cardiac regenerative therapies. Herein, we provide an overview of the characteristics and differentiation potential associated with iPS cells. In addition, we discuss current methods for inducing their specification towards a cardiovascular phenotype as well as in vivo evidence supporting the therapeutic benefit of iPS-derived cardiac cells. Finally, we describe recent findings regarding the use of iPS-derived cells for modeling several genetic cardiac disorders, which have indicated that these pluripotent cells represent an ideal tool for drug testing and might contribute to the development of future personalized regenerative cell therapies.
?-cell replacement may efficiently cure type 1 diabetic (T1D) patients whose insulin-secreting ?-cells have been selectively destroyed by autoantigen-reactive T cells. To generate insulin-secreting cells we used two cell sources: rat multipotent adult progenitor cells (rMAPC) and the highly similar rat extra-embryonic endoderm precursor (rXEN-P) cells isolated under rMAPC conditions from blastocysts (rHypoSC). rMAPC/rHypoSC were sequentially committed to definitive endoderm, pancreatic endoderm, and ?-cell like cells. On day 21, 20% of rMAPC/rHypoSC progeny expressed Pdx1 and C-peptide. rMAPCr/HypoSC progeny secreted C-peptide under the stimulus of insulin agonist carbachol, and was inhibited by the L-type voltage-dependent calcium channel blocker nifedipine. When rMAPC or rHypoSC differentiated d21 progeny were grafted under the kidney capsule of streptozotocin-induced diabetic nude mice, hyperglycemia reversed after 4 weeks in 6/10 rMAPC- and 5/10 rHypoSC-transplanted mice. Hyperglycemia recurred within 24 hours of graft removal and the histological analysis of the retrieved grafts revealed presence of Pdx1-, Nkx6.1- and C-peptide-positive cells. The ability of both rMAPC and HypoSC to differentiate to functional ?-cell like cells may serve to gain insight into signals that govern ?-cell differentiation and aid in developing culture systems to commit other (pluripotent) stem cells to clinically useful ?-cells for cell therapy of T1D.
The role of epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) with a tumour-suppressor function in human neoplasms has recently been established. Several miRNAs have been found to be inappropriately regulated by DNA methylation in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). We analysed the methylation status of the three members of the MIR9 family (MIR9-1, MIR9-2 and MIR9-3) in a uniformly treated cohort of 200 newly diagnosed ALLs. MIR9 was methylated in 54% of the patients and was associated with downregulation of MIR9 (P?0·01). Hypermethylation of MIR9 was an independent prognostic factor for disease-free survival, overall survival and event-free survival in a multivariate analysis (P?0·01). Epigenetic downregulation of MIR9 induced upregulation of its targets, FGFR1 and CDK6, while treatment of ALL cells with FGFR1 (PD-173074) and CDK6 (PD-0332991) inhibitors induced a decrease in cell proliferation and an increase in apoptosis of ALL cells. Our results indicate that the MIR9 family is involved in the pathogenesis and clinical behaviour of ALL and provide the basis for new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of ALL, targeting the epigenetic regulation of miRNAs and/or the FGFR1 or CDK6-RB pathway directly.
The EVI1 gene (3q26) codes for a zinc finger transcription factor with important roles in both mammalian development and leukemogenesis. Over-expression of EVI1 through either 3q26 rearrangements, MLL fusions, or other unknown mechanisms confers a poor prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia.
The chromosomal translocation t(11;14)(q13;q32) leading to cyclin-D1 overexpression plays an essential role in the development of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), an aggressive tumor that remains incurable with current treatment strategies. Cyclin-D1 has been postulated as an effective therapeutic target, but the evaluation of this target has been hampered by our incomplete understanding of its oncogenic functions and by the lack of valid MCL murine models. To address these issues, we generated a cyclin-D1-driven mouse model in which cyclin-D1 expression can be regulated externally. These mice developed cyclin-D1-expressing lymphomas capable of recapitulating features of human MCL. We found that cyclin-D1 inactivation was not sufficient to induce lymphoma regression in vivo; however, using a combination of in vitro and in vivo assays, we identified a novel prosurvival cyclin-D1 function in MCL cells. Specifically, we found that cyclin-D1, besides increasing cell proliferation through deregulation of the cell cycle at the G(1)-S transition, sequestrates the proapoptotic protein BAX in the cytoplasm, thereby favoring BCL2s antiapoptotic function. Accordingly, cyclin-D1 inhibition sensitized the lymphoma cells to apoptosis through BAX release. Thus, genetic or pharmacologic targeting of cyclin-D1 combined with a proapoptotic BH3 mimetic synergistically killed the cyclin-D1-expressing murine lymphomas, human MCL cell lines, and primary lymphoma cells. Our study identifies a role of cyclin-D1 in deregulating apoptosis in MCL cells, and highlights the potential benefit of simultaneously targeting cyclin-D1 and survival pathways in patients with MCL. This effective combination therapy also might be exploited in other cyclin-D1-expressing tumors.
Transcription factors are common targets of epigenetic inactivation in human cancer. Promoter hypermethylation and subsequent silencing of transcription factors can lead to further deregulation of their targets. In this study, we explored the potential epigenetic deregulation in cancer of Ikaros family genes, which code for essential transcription factors in cell differentiation and exhibit genetic defects in hematologic neoplasias. Unexpectedly, our analysis revealed that Ikaros undergoes very specific promoter hypermethylation in colorectal cancer, including in all the cell lines studied and around 64% of primary colorectal adenocarcinomas, with increasing proportions in advanced Dukes stages. Ikaros hypermethylation occurred in the context of a novel long-range epigenetic silencing (LRES) region. Reintroduction of Ikaros in colorectal cancer cells, ChIP-chip analysis, and validation in primary samples led us to identify a number of direct targets that are possibly related with colorectal cancer progression. Our results not only provide the first evidence that LRES can have functional specific effects in cancer but also identify several deregulated Ikaros targets that may contribute to progression in colorectal adenocarcinoma.
Most of the studies characterizing DNA methylation patterns have been restricted to particular genomic loci in a limited number of human samples and pathological conditions. Herein, we present a compromise between an extremely comprehensive study of a human sample population with an intermediate level of resolution of CpGs at the genomic level. We obtained a DNA methylation fingerprint of 1628 human samples in which we interrogated 1505 CpG sites. The DNA methylation patterns revealed show this epigenetic mark to be critical in tissue-type definition and stemness, particularly around transcription start sites that are not within a CpG island. For disease, the generated DNA methylation fingerprints show that, during tumorigenesis, human cancer cells underwent a progressive gain of promoter CpG-island hypermethylation and a loss of CpG methylation in non-CpG-island promoters. Although transformed cells are those in which DNA methylation disruption is more obvious, we observed that other common human diseases, such as neurological and autoimmune disorders, had their own distinct DNA methylation profiles. Most importantly, we provide proof of principle that the DNA methylation fingerprints obtained might be useful for translational purposes by showing that we are able to identify the tumor type origin of cancers of unknown primary origin (CUPs). Thus, the DNA methylation patterns identified across the largest spectrum of samples, tissues, and diseases reported to date constitute a baseline for developing higher-resolution DNA methylation maps and provide important clues concerning the contribution of CpG methylation to tissue identity and its changes in the most prevalent human diseases.
Vitiligo is an acquired skin disease that significantly impacts the quality of life of patients. Medical treatment of vitiligo includes the use of melanocyte transplant, but the results are variable. We have treated 4 patients with either focal or generalized stable vitiligo using a graft of autologous melanocytes culture on a denuded amniotic membrane (AM). A culture biopsy was obtained in every patient and grown in melanocytes media for 10-14 days after which cells were transferred to a denuded AM and transplanted into the achromic lesions. Patients were followed for up to 6 months using clinical assessment of achromic lesions. Treated areas ranged between 4?cm(2) and 210.6?cm(2). Response to treatment was excellent in all patients with 90-95% repigmentation success rate. Our results demonstrate that transplantation of autologous melanocytes cultured on AM is a new, simple, and effective treatment for stable vitiligo.
Stroke models are essential tools in experimental stroke. Although several models of stroke have been developed in a variety of animals, with the development of transgenic mice there is the need to develop a reliable and reproducible stroke model in mice, which mimics as close as possible human stroke.
Recent studies have shown aberrant expression of SOX11 in various types of aggressive B-cell neoplasms. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to such deregulation, we performed a comprehensive SOX11 gene expression and epigenetic study in stem cells, normal hematopoietic cells and different lymphoid neoplasms. We observed that SOX11 expression is associated with unmethylated DNA and presence of activating histone marks (H3K9/14Ac and H3K4me3) in embryonic stem cells and some aggressive B-cell neoplasms. In contrast, adult stem cells, normal hematopoietic cells and other lymphoid neoplasms do not express SOX11. Such repression was associated with silencing histone marks H3K9me2 and H3K27me3. The SOX11 promoter of non-malignant cells was consistently unmethylated whereas lymphoid neoplasms with silenced SOX11 tended to acquire DNA hypermethylation. SOX11 silencing in cell lines was reversed by the histone deacetylase inhibitor SAHA but not by the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor AZA. These data indicate that, although DNA hypermethylation of SOX11 is frequent in lymphoid neoplasms, it seems to be functionally inert, as SOX11 is already silenced in the hematopoietic system. In contrast, the pathogenic role of SOX11 is associated with its de novo expression in some aggressive lymphoid malignancies, which is mediated by a shift from inactivating to activating histone modifications.
LMO2 is highly expressed at the most immature stages of lymphopoiesis. In T-lymphocytes, aberrant LMO2 expression beyond those stages leads to T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, while in B cells LMO2 is also expressed in germinal center lymphocytes and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, where it predicts better clinical outcome. The implication of LMO2 in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia must still be explored.
Aberrant DNA methylation is one of the most frequent alterations in patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Using methylation bead arrays we analyzed the methylation status of 807 genes implicated in cancer in a group of ALL samples at diagnosis (n?=?48). We found that 154 genes were methylated in more than 10% of ALL samples. Interestingly, the expression of 13 genes implicated in the TP53 pathway was downregulated by hypermethylation. Direct or indirect activation of TP53 pathway with 5-aza-2-deoxycitidine, Curcumin or Nutlin-3 induced an increase in apoptosis of ALL cells. The results obtained with the initial group of 48 patients was validated retrospectively in a second cohort of 200 newly diagnosed ALL patients. Methylation of at least 1 of the 13 genes implicated in the TP53 pathway was observed in 78% of the patients, which significantly correlated with a higher relapse (p?=?0.001) and mortality (p<0.001) rate being an independent prognostic factor for disease-free survival (DFS) (p?=?0.006) and overall survival (OS) (p?=?0.005) in the multivariate analysis. All these findings indicate that TP53 pathway is altered by epigenetic mechanisms in the majority of ALL patients and correlates with prognosis. Treatments with compounds that may reverse the epigenetic abnormalities or activate directly the p53 pathway represent a new therapeutic alternative for patients with ALL.
Cardiovascular diseases constitute the first cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Alternative treatments like transplantation of (stem) cell populations derived from several adult tissue sources, like the bone marrow, skeletal muscle, or even adipose tissue, have been already employed in diverse clinical trials. Results from these studies and previous animal studies have reached to the conclusion that stem cells induce a benefit in the treated hearts, which is exerted mainly through paracrine mechanisms and not through direct differentiation as it was initially expected. However, a strong technical limitation for the stem cell therapy, which is the low level of cell survival and engraftment, diminishes their potential. Thus, new strategies like combination of the cells with bioengineering techniques have been developed and are being subject of intense research, suggesting that new strategies may improve the efficacy of these therapies. In this review, we will discuss the different therapeutic approaches, drawbacks, and future expectations of new regenerative therapies for cardiovascular diseases.
In recent years, stem cell treatment of myocardial infarction has elicited great enthusiasm upon scientists and physicians alike, thus making the finding of a suitable cell a compulsory subject for modern medicine. Due to its potential, accessibility and efficiency of harvesting, adipose tissue has become one of the most attractive sources of stem cells for regenerative therapies. The differentiation capacity and the paracrine activity of these cells has made them an optimal candidate for the treatment of a diverse range of diseases from immunological disorders as graft versus host disease to cardiovascular pathologies like peripheral ischemia. In this review, we will focus on the use of stem cells derived from adipose tissue for treatment of myocardial infarction, with special attention to their putative in vivo mechanisms of action.
There is a need for comparative studies to determine which cell types are better candidates to remedy ischemia. Here, we compared human AC133(+) cells and multipotent adult progenitor cells (hMAPC) in a mouse model reminiscent of critical limb ischemia. hMAPC or hAC133(+) cell transplantation induced a significant improvement in tissue perfusion (measured by microPET) 15 days posttransplantation compared to controls. This improvement persisted for 30 days in hMAPC-treated but not in hAC133(+)-injected animals. While transplantation of hAC133(+) cells promoted capillary growth, hMAPC transplantation also induced collateral expansion, decreased muscle necrosis/fibrosis, and improved muscle regeneration. Incorporation of differentiated hAC133(+) or hMAPC progeny into new vessels was limited; however, a paracrine angio/arteriogenic effect was demonstrated in animals treated with hMAPC. Accordingly, hMAPC-conditioned, but not hAC133(+)-conditioned, media stimulated vascular cell proliferation and prevented myoblast, endothelial, and smooth muscle cell apoptosis in vitro. Our study suggests that although hAC133(+) cell and hMAPC transplantation both contribute to vascular regeneration in ischemic limbs, hMAPC exert a more robust effect through trophic mechanisms, which translated into collateral and muscle fiber regeneration. This, in turn, conferred tissue protection and regeneration with longer term functional improvement.
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a malignant clonal disorder of the hematopoietic system caused by the expression of the BCR/ABL fusion oncogene. Although it is well known that CML cells are genetically unstable, the mechanisms accounting for this genomic instability are still poorly understood. Because the Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway is believed to control several mechanisms of DNA repair, we investigated whether this pathway was disrupted in CML cells. Our data show that CML cells have a defective capacity to generate FANCD2 nuclear foci, either in dividing cells or after DNA damage. Similarly, human cord blood CD34(+) cells transduced with BCR/ABL retroviral vectors showed impaired FANCD2 foci formation, whereas FANCD2 monoubiquitination in these cells was unaffected. Soon after the transduction of CD34(+) cells with BCR/ABL retroviral vectors a high proportion of cells with supernumerary centrosomes was observed. Similarly, BCR/ABL induced a high proportion of chromosomal abnormalities, while mediated a cell survival advantage after exposure to DNA cross-linking agents. Significantly, both the impaired formation of FANCD2 nuclear foci, and also the predisposition of BCR/ABL cells to develop centrosomal and chromosomal aberrations were reverted by the ectopic expression of BRCA1. Taken together, our data show for the first time a disruption of the FA/BRCA pathway in BCR/ABL cells, suggesting that this defective pathway should play an important role in the genomic instability of CML by the co-occurrence of centrosomal amplification and DNA repair deficiencies.
In Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia (BL), achievement of complete remission with first-line chemotherapy remains a challenging issue, as most patients who respond remain disease-free, whereas those refractory have few options of being rescued with salvage therapies. The mechanisms underlying BL chemoresistance and how it can be circumvented remain undetermined. We previously reported the frequent inactivation of the proapoptotic BIM gene in B-cell lymphomas. Here we show that BIM epigenetic silencing by concurrent promoter hypermethylation and deacetylation occurs frequently in primary BL samples and BL-derived cell lines. Remarkably, patients with BL with hypermethylated BIM presented lower complete remission rate (24% vs 79%; P = .002) and shorter overall survival (P = .007) than those with BIM-expressing lymphomas, indicating that BIM transcriptional repression may mediate tumor chemoresistance. Accordingly, by combining in vitro and in vivo studies of human BL-xenografts grown in immunodeficient RAG2(-/-)?c(-/-) mice and of murine B220(+)IgM(+) B-cell lymphomas generated in E?-MYC and E?-MYC-BIM(+/-) transgenes, we demonstrate that lymphoma chemoresistance is dictated by BIM gene dosage and is reversible on BIM reactivation by genetic manipulation or after treatment with histone-deacetylase inhibitors. We suggest that the combination of histone-deacetylase inhibitors and high-dose chemotherapy may overcome chemoresistance, achieve durable remission, and improve survival of patients with BL.
The main goal of this study was to evaluate the potential of collagen meshes derived from porcine dermis as scaffolds for repairing pelvic organ prolapses. Mechanical properties of collagen meshes with different cross-linking percentages before and after Adipose Derived Stromal Cells (ADSC) seeding were studied as well as the cell-scaffold interaction. Uniaxial tensile tests of the collagen meshes with three different cross-linking percentages (full-, partial-, and noncross-linked) were carried out along orthogonal directions. Their mechanical properties were studied with the same tests before and after seeding with human derived adipose stem cells (ADSC) after 1 and 7 days. Histological analyses were performed to determine adhesion and proliferation of ADSC. Significant differences in mechanical properties of the unseeded meshes were observed between each orthogonal direction independently of the cross-linking percentage. A better cell adhesion rate was observed in the cross-linked meshes. An increase in the mechanical properties after cell seeding was observed with a direct relation with the degree of cross-linking. All meshes analyzed showed a marked anisotropy that should be taken into account during the surgical procedure. The cross-linking treatment increased cell adhesion and the mechanical properties of the collagen meshes after seeding. These results suggest that the mechanical properties of this type of collagen mesh could be useful as scaffolds for repair of pelvic organ prolapse.
The use of pro-angiogenic growth factors in ischemia models has been associated with limited success in the clinical setting, in part owing to the short lived effect of the injected cytokine. The use of a microparticle system could allow localized and sustained cytokine release and consequently a prolonged biological effect with induction of tissue revascularization. To assess the potential of VEGF(165) administered as continuous release in ischemic disease, we compared the effect of delivery of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microparticles (MP) loaded with VEGF(165) with free-VEGF or control empty microparticles in a rat model of ischemia-reperfusion. VEGF(165) loaded microparticles could be detected in the myocardium of the infarcted animals for more than a month after transplant and provided sustained delivery of active protein in vitro and in vivo. One month after treatment, an increase in angiogenesis (small caliber caveolin-1 positive vessels) and arteriogenesis (?-SMA-positive vessels) was observed in animals treated with VEGF microparticles (p<0.05), but not in the empty microparticles or free-VEGF groups. Correlating with this data, a positive remodeling of the heart was also detected in the VEGF-microparticle group with a significantly greater LV wall thickness (p<0.01). In conclusion, PLGA microparticle is a feasible and promising cytokine delivery system for treatment of myocardial ischemia. This strategy could be scaled up and explored in pre-clinical and clinical studies.
Aberrant promoter DNA methylation has been shown to play a role in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) pathophysiology. However, further studies to discuss the prognostic value and the relationship of the epigenetic signatures with defined genomic rearrangements in acute myeloid leukemia are required.
While leukemia-originating stem cells are critical in the initiation and maintenance of leukemias, the existence of similar cell populations that may generate B-cell lymphoma upon mutation remains uncertain. Here we propose that committed lymphoid progenitor/precursor cells with an active V-D-J recombination program are the initiating cells of follicular lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma when targeted by immunoglobulin (IG)- gene translocations in the bone marrow. However, these pre-malignant lymphoma-initiating cells cannot drive complete malignant transformation, requiring additional cooperating mutations in specific stem-cell programs to be converted into the lymphoma-originating cells able to generate and sustain lymphoma development. Conversely, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and sporadic Burkitts lymphoma derive from B lymphocytes that acquire translocations through IG-hyper-mutation or class-switching errors within the germinal center. Although secondary reprogramming mutations are generally required, some cells such as centroblasts or memory B cells that have certain stem cell-like features, or lymphocytes with MYC rearrangements that deregulate self-renewal pathways, may bypass this need and directly function as the lymphoma-originating cells. An alternative model supports an aberrant epigenetic modification of gene sets as the first occurring hit, which either leads to retaining stem-cell features in hematopoietic stem or progenitor cells, or reprograms stemness into more committed lymphocytes, followed by secondary chromosomal translocations that eventually drive lymphoma development. Isolation and characterization of the cells that are at the origin of the different B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphomas will provide critical insights into the disease pathogenesis and will represent a step towards the development of more effective therapies.
Although recent advances for the treatment of myocardial infarction have dramatically increased the rate of survival after the ischemic event, this has also led to a rise in the number of chronic patients, making the finding of a suitable therapy a compulsory subject for modern medicine. Over the last decade, stem cells have been a promise for the cure of several diseases not only due to their plasticity but also to their capacity to act in a paracrine manner and influence the affected tissue, prompting the launching of several clinical trials. In spite of the knowledge already acquired, stem cell application to chronically infarcted hearts has been much less approached than its acute counterpart. Through this review, we will focus in stem cell therapy in animal models of chronic myocardial infarction: cell types employed, functional results, mechanisms analyzed, and questions raised.
This report describes the isolation of rodent multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs) and proliferation of these cells in both standard medium and medium without exogenous serum or growth factors conditioned by the rat cell line B104. MAPCs have exacting requirements for their proliferation in vitro but once established proliferate rapidly at low seeding density, requiring almost daily passage and media exchange. Previously published methods for growth of MAPCs in vitro all used media supplemented with serum and growth factors, which adds considerable expense.
The aim of this study is to assess the long-term effect of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) transplantation in a rat model of chronic myocardial infarction (MI) in comparison with the effect of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNC) transplant. Five weeks after induction of MI, rats were allocated to receive intramyocardial injection of 10(6) GFP-expressing cells (BM-MNC or MSC) or medium as control. Heart function (echocardiography and (18)F-FDG-microPET) and histological studies were performed 3 months after transplantation and cell fate was analyzed along the experiment (1 and 2 weeks and 1 and 3 months). The main findings of this study were that both BM-derived populations, BM-MNC and MSC, induced a long-lasting (3 months) improvement in LVEF (BM-MNC: 26.61 +/- 2.01% to 46.61 +/- 3.7%, p < 0.05; MSC: 27.5 +/- 1.28% to 38.8 +/- 3.2%, p < 0.05) but remarkably, only MSC improved tissue metabolism quantified by (18)F-FDG uptake (71.15 +/- 1.27 to 76.31 +/- 1.11, p < 0.01), which was thereby associated with a smaller infarct size and scar collagen content and also with a higher revascularization degree. Altogether, results show that MSC provides a long-term superior benefit than whole BM-MNC transplantation in a rat model of chronic MI.
Wnt5a is a member of the Wnt family of proteins that signals through the non-canonical Wnt/Ca(2+)pathway to suppress cyclin D1. Deregulation of this pathway has been found in animal models suggesting that it acts as tumour suppressor in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although DNA methylation is the main mechanism of regulation of the canonical Wnt pathway in AML, the role of WNT5A abnormalities has never been evaluated in this clinical setting. The methylation status of WNT5A promoter-exon 1 was analyzed by methylation-specific PCR and sequencing in eleven AML-derived cell lines and 252 AML patients. We observed WNT5A hypermethylation in seven cell lines and in 43% (107/252) of AML patients. WNT5A methylation was associated with decreased WNT5A expression (P < 0.001) that was restored after exposure to 5-Aza-2-deoxycytidine. Moreover, WNT5A hypermethylation correlated with upregulation of CYCLIN D1 expression (P < 0.001). Relapse (15%vs 37%, P < 0.001) and mortality (61%vs 79%, P = 0.004) rates were lower for patients in the non-methylated group. Disease-free survival and overall survival at 6 and 7 years, respectively, were 60% and 27% for unmethylated patients and 20% and 0% for hypermethylated patients (P = 0.0001 and P = 0.04, respectively). Interestingly, significant differences were also observed when the analysis was carried out according to cytogenetic risk groups. We demonstrate that WNT5A, a putative tumor suppressor gene in AML, is silenced by methylation in this disease and that this epigenetic event is associated with upregulation of CYCLIN D1 expression and confers poor prognosis in patients with AML.
Although transplantation of skeletal myoblast (SkM) in models of chronic myocardial infarction (MI) induces an improvement in cardiac function, the limited engraftment remains a major limitation. We analyse in a pre-clinical model whether the sequential transplantation of autologous SkM by percutaneous delivery was associated with increased cell engraftment and functional benefit.
Alterations in the DNA methylation pattern are a hallmark of leukemias and lymphomas. However, most epigenetic studies in hematologic neoplasms (HNs) have focused either on the analysis of few candidate genes or many genes and few HN entities, and comprehensive studies are required.
In the last years, microRNAs (miRNA) have emerged as new molecular players involved in carcinogenesis. Deregulation of miRNAs expression has been shown in different human cancer but the molecular mechanism underlying the alteration of miRNA expression is unknown. To identify tumor-supressor miRNAs silenced through aberrant epigenetic events in colorectal cancer (CRC), we used a sequential approach. We first identified 5 miRNAs down-regulated in patient with colorectal cancer samples and located around/on a CpG island. Treatment with a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor and a HDAC inhibitor restored expression of 3 of the 5 microRNAs (hsa-miR-9, hsa-miR-129 and hsa-miR-137) in 3 CRC cell lines. Expression of hsa-miR-9 was inversely correlated with methylation of their promoter regions as measure by MSP and bisulphate sequencing. Further, methylation of the hsa-miR-9-1, hsa-miR-129-2 and hsa-miR-137 CpG islands were frequently observed in CRC cell lines and in primary CRC tumors, but not in normal colonic mucosa. Finally, methylation of hsa-miR-9-1 was associated with the presence of lymph node metastasis. In summary, our results aid in the understanding of miRNA gene regulation showing that aberrant DNA methylation and histone modifications work together to induce silencing of miRNAs in CRC.
Cells derived from the stroma vascular fraction (SVF) of mouse adipose tissue can spontaneously give rise to rare, functional, cardiac-like cells in vitro. This study aimed to improve the production of adipose-derived cardiomyogenic cells (AD-CMG), to characterize them and to assess their cardiac fate and functional outcomes after their administration in a mouse model of acute myocardial infarction.
The development of Imatinib Mesylate (IM), the first specific inhibitor of BCR-ABL1, has had a major impact in patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), establishing IM as the standard therapy for CML. Despite the clinical success obtained with the use of IM, primary resistance to IM and molecular evidence of persistent disease has been observed in 20-25% of IM treated patients. The existence of second generation TK inhibitors, which are effective in patients with IM resistance, makes identification of predictors of resistance to IM an important goal in CML. In this study, we have identified a group of 19 miRNAs that may predict clinical resistance to IM in patients with newly diagnosed CML.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells. Based on their properties, several clinical trials have been designed to explore their potential therapeutic effect. Fetal calf serum (FCS, commonly used for in vitro expansion) is an undesirable source of xenogeneic antigens and bears the risk of transmitting contaminations. As an alternative for FCS, platelet lysate (PL) and both autologous and allogeneic human serum have been proposed. The aim of this study is to compare the culture of bone marrow (BM)-derived MSCs in the presence of different serum supplements to determine the effect on cell growth, differentiation potential, and immunologic function.
The therapeutic use of multipotent stem cells depends on their differentiation potential, which has been shown to be variable for different populations. These differences are likely to be the result of key changes in their epigenetic profiles.
Whereas transcriptional silencing of genes due to epigenetic mechanisms is one of the most important alterations in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), some recent studies indicate that DNA methylation contributes to down-regulation of miRNAs during tumorigenesis. To explore the epigenetic alterations of miRNAs in ALL, we analyzed the methylation and chromatin status of the miR-124a loci in ALL. Expression of miR-124a was down-regulated in ALL by hypermethylation of the promoter and histone modifications including decreased levels of 3mk4H3 and AcH3 and increased levels of 2mK9H3, 3mK9H3, and 3mK27H3. Epigenetic down-regulation of miR-124a induced an up-regulation of its target, CDK6, and phosphorylation of retinoblastoma (Rb) and contributed to the abnormal proliferation of ALL cells both in vitro and in vivo. Cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6) inhibition by sodium butyrate or PD-0332991 decreased ALL cell growth in vitro, whereas overexpression of pre-miR124a led to decreased tumorigenicity in a xenogeneic in vivo Rag2(-/-)gammac(-/-) mouse model. The clinical implications of these findings were analyzed in a group of 353 patients diagnosed with ALL. Methylation of hsa-miR-124a was observed in 59% of the patients, which correlated with down-regulation of miR-124a (P < 0.001). Furthermore, hypermethylation of hsa-miR-124a was associated with higher relapse rate (P = 0.001) and mortality rate (P < 0.001), being an independent prognostic factor for disease-free survival (P < 0.001) and overall survival (P = 0.005) in the multivariate analysis. These results provide the grounds for new therapeutic strategies in ALL either targeting the epigenetic regulation of microRNAs and/or directly targeting the CDK6-Rb pathway.
Lymphomas are assumed to originate at different stages of lymphocyte development through chromosomal aberrations. Thus, different lymphomas resemble lymphocytes at distinct differentiation stages and show characteristic morphologic, genetic, and transcriptional features. Here, we have performed a microarray-based DNA methylation profiling of 83 mature aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (maB-NHLs) characterized for their morphologic, genetic, and transcriptional features, including molecular Burkitt lymphomas and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas. Hierarchic clustering indicated that methylation patterns in maB-NHLs were not strictly associated with morphologic, genetic, or transcriptional features. By supervised analyses, we identified 56 genes de novo methylated in all lymphoma subtypes studied and 22 methylated in a lymphoma subtype-specific manner. Remarkably, the group of genes de novo methylated in all lymphoma subtypes was significantly enriched for polycomb targets in embryonic stem cells. De novo methylated genes in all maB-NHLs studied were expressed at low levels in lymphomas and normal hematopoietic tissues but not in nonhematopoietic tissues. These findings, especially the enrichment for polycomb targets in stem cells, indicate that maB-NHLs with different morphologic, genetic, and transcriptional background share a similar stem cell-like epigenetic pattern. This suggests that maB-NHLs originate from cells with stem cell features or that stemness was acquired during lymphomagenesis by epigenetic remodeling.
Recent studies indicate that carotid body (CB) could be a suitable cell source for cell therapy in Parkinsons disease. We have isolated and successfully expanded in culture as monolayer adult CB-derived cells using a modification of the culture medium employed for bone marrow multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs). These cells express variable amounts of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), beta-III tubulin and Sox2. In addition, CB-derived cells showed high expression of Sox2 related to a high rate of proliferation and consistent with an undifferentiated state. Under culture conditions that reduced cell proliferation, Sox2 expression decreased while TH and beta-III tubulin expression was increased. This could indicate that the differentiation of some cells occurs in the culture, thus accounting for a certain neural differentiation potential of CB-derived cells.
Expression of the pro-apoptotic BCL-2-interacting mediator (BIM) has recently been implicated in imatinib-induced apoptosis of BCR-ABL1(+) cells. However, the mechanisms involved in the regulation of BIM in CML and its role in the clinical setting have not been established.
The use of scaffolds composed of natural biodegradable matrices represents an attractive strategy to circumvent the lack of cell engraftment, a major limitation of stem cell therapy in cardiovascular diseases. Bovine-derived non-porous collagen scaffolds with different degrees of cross-linking (C0, C2, C5 and C10) were produced and tested for their mechanical behavior, in vitro biocompatibility with adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) and tissue adhesion and inflammatory reaction. Uniaxial tensile tests revealed an anisotropic behavior of collagen scaffolds (2×0.5cm) and statistically significant differences in the mechanical behavior between cross-linked and non-cross-linked scaffolds (n=5). In vitro, ADSCs adhered homogenously and showed a similar degree of proliferation on all four types of scaffolds (cells×10(3)cm(-2) at day 7: C0: 94.7±37.1; C2: 91.7±25.6; C5: 88.2±6.8; C10: 72.8±10.7; P=n.s.; n=3). In order to test the in vivo biocompatibility, a chronic myocardial infarction model was performed in rats and 1.2×1.2cm size collagen scaffolds implanted onto the heart 1month post-infarction. Six animals per group were killed 2, 7 and 30days after transplant. Complete and long-lasting adhesion to the heart was only observed with the non-cross-linked scaffolds with almost total degradation 1month post-transplantation. After 7 and 30days post-implantation, the degree of inflammation was significantly lower in the hearts treated with non-cross-linked scaffolds (day 7: C0: 10.2±2.1%; C2: 16.3±2.9%; C5: 15.9±4.8%; C10: 17.4±4.1%; P<0.05 vs. C0; day 30: C0: 1.3±1.3%; C2: 9.4±3.0%; C5: 7.0±2.1%; C10: 9.8±2.5%; P<0.01 vs. C0). In view of the results, the non-cross-linked scaffold (C0) was chosen as an ADSC-carrier sheet and tested in vivo. One week post-implantation, 25.3±7.0% of the cells transplanted were detected in those animals receiving the cell-carrier sheet whereas no cells were found in animals receiving cells alone (n=3 animals/group). We conclude that the biocompatibility and mechanical properties of the non-cross-linked collagen scaffolds make them a useful cell carrier that greatly favors tissue cell engraftment and may be exploited for cell transplantation in models of cardiac disease.
The specific ablation of Rb1 gene in stratified epithelia (Rb(F/F);K14cre) promotes proliferation and altered differentiation but is insufficient to produce spontaneous tumors. The pRb relative, p107, compensates some of the functions of pRb in these tissues; however, Rb(F/F);K14cre;p107(-/-) mice die postnatally. Here we show, using an inducible mouse model (Rb(F/F);K14creER(TM)), that p107 exerts specific tumor suppressor functions in the absence of pRb in stratified epithelia. The simultaneous absence of pRb and p107 produces impaired p53 transcriptional functions and reduction of Pten expression, allowing spontaneous squamous carcinoma development. These tumors display significant overlap with human squamous carcinomas, supporting that Rb(F/F);K14creER(TM);p107(-/-) mice might constitute a new model for these malignancies. Remarkably tumor development in vivo is partially alleviated by mTOR inhibition. These data demonstrate the existence of a previously unreported functional connection between pRb, Pten and p53 tumor suppressors, through p107, of a particular relevance in squamous tumor development.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs that fine-tune gene expression, play multiple roles in the cell, including cell fate specification. We have analyzed the differential expression of miRNAs during fibroblast reprogramming into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and endoderm induction from iPSCs upon treatment with high concentrations of Activin-A. The reprogrammed iPSCs assumed an embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like miRNA signature, marked by the induction of pluripotency clusters miR-290-295 and miR-302/367 and conversely the downregulation of the let-7 family. On the other hand, endoderm induction in iPSCs resulted in the upregulation of 13 miRNAs. Given that the liver and the pancreas are common derivatives of the endoderm, analysis of the expression of these 13 upregulated miRNAs in hepatocytes and pancreatic islets revealed a tendency for these miRNAs to be expressed more in pancreatic islets than in hepatocytes. These observations provide insights into how differentiation may be guided more efficiently towards the endoderm and further into the liver or pancreas. Moreover, we also report novel miRNAs enriched for each of the cell types analyzed.
Stroke represents an attractive target for stem cell therapy. Although different types of cells have been employed in animal models, a direct comparison between cell sources has not been performed. The aim of our study was to assess the effect of human multipotent adult progenitor cells (hMAPCs) and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on endogenous neurogenesis, angiogenesis and inflammation following stroke. BALB/Ca-RAG 2(-/-) ?C(-/-) mice subjected to FeCl(3) thrombosis mediated stroke were intracranially injected with 2 × 10(5) hMAPCs or hMSCs 2 days after stroke and followed for up to 28 days. We could not detect long-term engraftment of either cell population. However, in comparison with PBS-treated animals, hMSC and hMAPC grafted animals demonstrated significantly decreased loss of brain tissue. This was associated with increased angiogenesis, diminished inflammation and a glial-scar inhibitory effect. Moreover, enhanced proliferation of cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and survival of newly generated neuroblasts was observed. Interestingly, these neuroprotective effects were more pronounced in the group of animals treated with hMAPCs in comparison with hMSCs. Our results establish cell therapy with hMAPCs and hMSCs as a promising strategy for the treatment of stroke.
Acute myeloid leukemia patients with normal cytogenetics (CN-AML) account for almost half of AML cases. We aimed to study the frequency and relationship of a wide range of genes previously reported as mutated in AML (ASXL1, NPM1, FLT3, TET2, IDH1/2, RUNX1, DNMT3A, NRAS, JAK2, WT1, CBL, SF3B1, TP53, KRAS and MPL) in a series of 84 CN-AML cases. The most frequently mutated genes in primary cases were NPM1 (60.8%) and FLT3 (50.0%), and in secondary cases ASXL1 (48.5%) and TET2 (30.3%). We showed that 85% of CN-AML patients have mutations in at least one of ASXL1, NPM1, FLT3, TET2, IDH1/2 and/or RUNX1. Serial samples from 19 MDS/CMML cases that progressed to AML were analyzed for ASXL1/TET2/IDH1/2 mutations; seventeen cases presented mutations of at least one of these genes. However, there was no consistent pattern in mutation acquisition during disease progression. This report concerns the analysis of the largest number of gene mutations in CN-AML studied to date, and provides insight into the mutational profile of CN-AML.
Due to the attractive properties of poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) for tissue engineering, the aim was to determine the growth and differentiation capacity of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in PLLA scaffolds and their potential use in the treatment of cartilage diseases.
The aim of this article is to present an optimized acquisition and analysis protocol for the echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricle (LV) remodeling in a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI).
Using high-resolution genomic microarray analysis, a distinct genomic profile was defined in 114 samples from patients with splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL). Deletion or uniparental disomy of chromosome 7q were detected in 42 of 114 (37%) SMZLs but in only nine of 170 (5%) mature B-cell lymphomas (P < 0·00001). The presence of unmutated IGHV, genomic complexity, 17p13-TP53 deletion and 8q-MYC gain, but not 7q deletion, correlated with shorter overall survival of SMZL patients. Mapping studies narrowed down a commonly deleted region of 2·7 Mb in 7q32.1-q32.2 spanning a region between the SND1 and COPG2 genes. High-throughput sequencing analysis of the 7q32-deleted segment did not identify biallelic deletions/insertions or clear pathogenic gene mutations, but detected six nucleotide changes in IRF5 (n = 2), TMEM209 (n = 2), CALU (n = 1) and ZC3HC1 (n = 1) not found in healthy individuals. Comparative expression analysis found a fourfold down-regulation of IRF5 gene in lymphomas with 7q32 deletion versus non-deleted tumours (P = 0·032). Ectopic expression of IRF5 in marginal-zone lymphoma cells decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis in vitro, and impaired lymphoma development in vivo. These results show that cryptic deletions, insertions and/or point mutations inactivating genes within 7q32 are not common in SMZL, and suggest that IRF5 may be a haploinsufficient tumour suppressor in this lymphoma entity.
The potential of poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) microparticles as carriers for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been demonstrated in a previous study by our group, where we found improved angiogenesis and heart remodeling in a rat myocardial infarction model (Formiga et al., 2010). However, the observed accumulation of macrophages around the injection site suggested that the efficacy of treatment could be reduced due to particle phagocytosis. The aim of the present study was to decrease particle phagocytosis and consequently improve protein delivery using stealth technology. PEGylated microparticles were prepared by the double emulsion solvent evaporation method using TROMS (Total Recirculation One Machine System). Before the uptake studies in monocyte-macrophage cells lines (J774 and Raw 264.7), the characterization of the microparticles developed was carried out in terms of particle size, encapsulation efficiency, protein stability, residual poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and in vitro release. Microparticles of suitable size for intramyocardial injection (5 ?m) were obtained by TROMS by varying the composition of the formulation and TROMS conditions with high encapsulation efficiency (70-90%) and minimal residual PVA content (0.5%). Importantly, the bioactivity of the protein was fully preserved. Moreover, PEGylated microparticles released in phosphate buffer 50% of the entrapped protein within 4h, reaching a plateau within the first day of the in vitro study. Finally, the use of PLGA microparticles coated with PEG resulted in significantly decreased uptake of the carriers by macrophages, compared with non PEGylated microparticles, as shown by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. On the basis of these results, we concluded that PEGylated microparticles loaded with VEGF could be used for delivering growth factors in the myocardium.
Since the discovery of the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and its leading role in the angiogenic process, this has been seen as a promising molecule for promoting neovascularization in the infarcted heart. However, even though several clinical trials were initiated, no therapeutic effects were observed, due in part to the short half life of this factor when administered directly to the tissue. In this context, drug delivery systems appear to offer a promising strategy to overcome limitations in clinical trials of VEGF.The aim of this paper is to review the principal drug delivery systems that have been developed to administer VEGF in cardiovascular disease. Studies published in the last 5 years are reviewed and the main features of these systems are explained. The tissue engineering concept is introduced as a therapeutic alternative that holds promise for the near future.
Chromosomal translocations involving the MALT1 gene are hallmarks of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. To date, targeting these translocations to mouse B cells has failed to reproduce human disease. Here, we induced MALT1 expression in mouse Sca1(+)Lin(-) hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, which showed NF-?B activation and early lymphoid priming, being selectively skewed toward B-cell differentiation. These cells accumulated in extranodal tissues and gave rise to clonal tumors recapitulating the principal clinical, biological, and molecular genetic features of MALT lymphoma. Deletion of p53 gene accelerated tumor onset and induced transformation of MALT lymphoma to activated B-cell diffuse large-cell lymphoma (ABC-DLBCL). Treatment of MALT1-induced lymphomas with a specific inhibitor of MALT1 proteolytic activity decreased cell viability, indicating that endogenous Malt1 signaling was required for tumor cell survival. Our study shows that human-like lymphomas can be modeled in mice by targeting MALT1 expression to hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, demonstrating the oncogenic role of MALT1 in lymphomagenesis. Furthermore, this work establishes a molecular link between MALT lymphoma and ABC-DLBCL, and provides mouse models to test MALT1 inhibitors. Finally, our results suggest that hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells may be involved in the pathogenesis of human mature B-cell lymphomas.
Missense mutations in TP53 gene promote metastasis in human tumours. However, little is known about the complete loss of function of p53 in tumour metastasis. Here we show that squamous cell carcinomas generated by the specific ablation of Trp53 gene in mouse epidermis are highly metastatic. Biochemical and genome-wide mRNA and miRNA analyses demonstrated that metastases are associated with the early induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and deregulated miRNA expression in primary tumours. Increased expression of miR-21 was observed in undifferentiated, prometastatic mouse tumours and in human tumours characterized by p53 mutations and distant metastasis. The augmented expression of miR-21, mediated by active mTOR and Stat3 signalling, conferred increased invasive properties to mouse keratinocytes in vitro and in vivo, whereas blockade of miR-21 in a metastatic spindle cell line inhibits metastasis development. Collectively these data identify novel molecular mechanisms leading to metastasis in vivo originated by p53 loss in epithelia.
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