The use of live virus in the laboratory requires additional precautions, such as personnel training and special equipment, in order to limit the transmission risk. This is a requirement which not all laboratories can fulfill. In this study, a viral inactivation method is introduced using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which maintains antigenicity. Three strains of influenza viruses were inactivated and the ex vivo cellular and humoral immune responses were further analyzed, by comparing them to live viruses, in ELISpot, Multiplex and ELISA assays. In all assays, the H2O2 inactivated viruses displayed comparable responses to the live viruses, suggesting that the inactivated viruses still elicited immunogenic responses even though inactivation was confirmed by lack of viral replication in MDCK cells. Taken together, this study demonstrates that influenza viruses inactivated with H2O2 retain immunogenicity and are able to both detect humoral and elicit cellular immune responses in vitro, which could reduce the need to handle live viruses in the laboratory.
Many ovarian cancers originate from ovarian surface epithelium, where they develop from cysts intermixed with stroma. The stromal layer is critical to the progression and survival of the neoplasm and consequently is recruited into the tumor microenvironment.
Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is over-activated in several solid tumors where it plays a central role in cell growth, stroma recruitment and tumor progression. In the Hh signaling pathway, the Smoothened (SMO) receptor comprises a primary drug target with experimental small molecule SMO antagonists currently being evaluated in clinical trials.
Canonical Wnt signaling is deregulated in several types of human cancer where it plays a central role in tumor cell growth and progression. Here we report the identification of 2 new small molecules that specifically inhibit canonical Wnt pathway at the level of the destruction complex. Specificity was verified in various cellular reporter systems, a Xenopus double-axis formation assay and a gene expression profile analysis. In human colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, the new compounds JW67 and JW74 rapidly reduced active ?-catenin with a subsequent downregulation of Wnt target genes, including AXIN2, SP5, and NKD1. Notably, AXIN2 protein levels were strongly increased after compound exposure. Long-term treatment with JW74 inhibited the growth of tumor cells in both a mouse xenograft model of CRC and in Apc(Min) mice (multiple intestinal neoplasia, Min). Our findings rationalize further preclinical and clinical evaluation of these new compounds as novel modalities for cancer treatment.
Multipotent mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSC) have shown potential clinical utility. However, previous assessments of MSC behavior in recipients have relied on visual detection in host tissue following sacrifice, failing to monitor in vivo MSC dispersion in a single animal and limiting the number of variables that can be observed concurrently. In this study, we used noninvasive, in vivo bioluminescent imaging to determine conditions under which MSC selectively engraft in sites of inflammation. MSC modified to express firefly luciferase (ffLuc-MSC) were injected into healthy mice or mice bearing inflammatory insults, and MSC localization was followed with bioluminescent imaging. The inflammatory insults investigated included cutaneous needle-stick and surgical incision wounds, as well as xenogeneic and syngeneic tumors. We also compared tumor models in which MSC were i.v. or i.p. delivered. Our results demonstrate that ffLuc-expressing human MSC (hMSC) systemically delivered to nontumor-bearing animals initially reside in the lungs, then egress to the liver and spleen, and decrease in signal over time. However, hMSC in wounded mice engraft and remain detectable only at injured sites. Similarly, in syngeneic and xenogeneic breast carcinoma-bearing mice, bioluminescent detection of systemically delivered MSC revealed persistent, specific colocalization with sites of tumor development. This pattern of tropism was also observed in an ovarian tumor model in which MSC were i.p. injected. In this study, we identified conditions under which MSC tropism and selective engraftment in sites of inflammation can be monitored by bioluminescent imaging over time. Importantly, these consistent findings were independent of tumor type, immunocompetence, and route of MSC delivery.
Evidence suggests that multiple tumors, including pancreatic adenocarcinoma, display heterogeneity in parameters that are critical for tumor formation, progression and metastasis. Understanding heterogeneity in solid tumors is increasingly providing a plethora of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. In this study, a particular focus was put on identifying a subpopulation of stem cell-like, slow cycling tumor cells in a pancreas adenocarcinoma cell lines. Using a label retention technique a subpopulation of slow cycling cells (DiI+/SCC) was identified and further evaluated in the BxPC-3 and Panc03.27 cell lines. These slowly cycling cells managed to retain the lipophilic labeling dye DiI, while the bulk of the cells (>94%) did not. The DiI+/SCC population, showed only a partial overlap with the CSC markers CD24(+)/CD44(+), CD133(+) and ALDH but they survived chemotherapeutic treatment, and were able to recreate the initial heterogeneous tumor cell population. DiI+/SCCs exhibited an increased invasive potential as compared with their non-label retaining, faster cycling cells (DiI-/FCC). They also had increased tumorigenic potential and morphological changes resembling cells that have undergone an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Analysis of DiI+/SCC cells by real time PCR revealed a selective up-regulation of tell tale components of the Hedgehog/TGFbeta pathways, as well as a down-regulation of EGFR, combined with a shift in crucial components implied in EMT. The presented findings offer an expanded mechanistic understanding that associates tumor initiating potential with cycling speed and EMT in pancreatic cancer cell lines.
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells or multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have been shown to engraft into the stroma of several tumor types, where they contribute to tumor progression and metastasis. However, the chemotactic signals mediating MSC migration to tumors remain poorly understood. Previous studies have shown that LL-37 (leucine, leucine-37), the C-terminal peptide of human cationic antimicrobial protein 18, stimulates the migration of various cell types and is overexpressed in ovarian, breast, and lung cancers. Although there is evidence to support a pro-tumorigenic role for LL-37, the function of the peptide in tumors remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that neutralization of LL-37 in vivo significantly reduces the engraftment of MSCs into ovarian tumor xenografts, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth as well as disruption of the fibrovascular network. Migration and invasion experiments conducted in vitro indicated that the LL-37-mediated migration of MSCs to tumors likely occurs through formyl peptide receptor like-1. To assess the response of MSCs to the LL-37-rich tumor microenvironment, conditioned medium from LL-37-treated MSCs was assessed and found to contain increased levels of several cytokines and pro-angiogenic factors compared with controls, including IL-1 receptor antagonist, IL-6, IL-10, CCL5, VEGF, and matrix metalloproteinase-2. Similarly, Matrigel mixed with LL-37, MSCs, or the combination of the two resulted in a significant number of vascular channels in nude mice. These data indicate that LL-37 facilitates ovarian tumor progression through recruitment of progenitor cell populations to serve as pro-angiogenic factor-expressing tumor stromal cells.
Tumor associated fibroblasts (TAF), are essential for tumor progression providing both a functional and structural supportive environment. TAF, known as activated fibroblasts, have an established biological impact on tumorigenesis as matrix synthesizing or matrix degrading cells, contractile cells, and even blood vessel associated cells. The production of growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, matrix-degrading enzymes, and immunomodulatory mechanisms by these cells augment tumor progression by providing a suitable environment. There are several suggested origins of the TAF including tissue-resident, circulating, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transitioned cells.
Oxysterols are important in numerous biological processes, including cell signaling. Here we present an automated filtration/filter backflush-solid phase extraction-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (AFFL-SPE-LC-MS/MS) method for determining 24-hydroxysterol and the isomers 25-hydroxycholesterol and 22S-hydroxycholesterol that enables simplified sample preparation, high sensitivity (~25 pg/mL cell lysis sample) and low sample variability. Only one sample transfer step was required for the entire process of cell lysis, derivatization and determination of selected oxysterols. During the procedure, autoxidation of cholesterol, a potential/common problem using standard analytical methods, was found to be negligible. The reversed phase AFFL-SPE-LC-MS/MS method utilizing a 1mm inner diameter column was validated, and used to determine levels of the oxysterol analytes in mouse fibroblast cell lines SSh-LII and NIH-3T3, and human cancer cell lines, BxPC3, HCT-15 and HCT-116. In BxPC3 cells, the AFFL-SPE-LC-MS/MS method was used to detect significant differences in 24S-OHC levels between vimentin+ and vimentin- heterogenous sub-populations. The methodology also allowed monitoring of significant alterations in 24S-OHC levels upon delivery of the Hedgehog (Hh) antagonist MS-0022 in HCT-116 colorectal carcinoma cell lines.
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