Intranasal treatment with C57BL/6 MSCs reduces lesion volume and improves motor and cognitive behavior in the neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) mouse model. In this study, we investigated the potential of human MSCs (hMSCs) to treat HI brain injury in the neonatal mouse. Assessing the regenerative capacity of hMSCs is crucial for translation of our knowledge to the clinic. We determined the neuroregenerative potential of hMSCs in vitro and in vivo by intranasal administration 10 d post-HI in neonatal mice. HI was induced in P9 mouse pups. 1×106 or 2×106 hMSCs were administered intranasally 10 d post-HI. Motor behavior and lesion volume were measured 28 d post-HI. The in vitro capacity of hMSCs to induce differentiation of mouse neural stem cell (mNSC) was determined using a transwell co-culture differentiation assay. To determine which chemotactic factors may play a role in mediating migration of MSCs to the lesion, we performed a PCR array on 84 chemotactic factors 10 days following sham-operation, and at 10 and 17 days post-HI. Our results show that 2×106 hMSCs decrease lesion volume, improve motor behavior, and reduce scar formation and microglia activity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the differentiation assay reflects the neuroregenerative potential of hMSCs in vivo, as hMSCs induce mNSCs to differentiate into neurons in vitro. We also provide evidence that the chemotactic factor CXCL10 may play an important role in hMSC migration to the lesion site. This is suggested by our finding that CXCL10 is significantly upregulated at 10 days following HI, but not at 17 days after HI, a time when MSCs no longer reach the lesion when given intranasally. The results described in this work also tempt us to contemplate hMSCs not only as a potential treatment option for neonatal encephalopathy, but also for a plethora of degenerative and traumatic injuries of the nervous system.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been shown to improve outcome after neonatal hypoxic ischemic brain injury possibly by secretion of growth factors stimulating repair processes. We investigated whether MSC, modified to secrete specific growth factors, can further enhance recovery. Using an in vitro assay we show that MSC secreting BDNF, EGFL7, PSP or SHH regulate proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells. Moreover, mice that received an intranasal application of 100.000 MSC-BDNF (MSC-BDNF) showed significantly improved outcome as demonstrated by improved motor function and decreased lesion volume compared to mice treated with empty vector (EV-)MSC. Treatment with MSC-EGFL7 did improve motor function, but had no effect on lesion size. Treatment with MSC-PSP or MSC-SHH did neither improve outcome nor reduce lesion size in comparison to MSC-EV treated mice. Moreover, mice treated with MSC-SHH showed even decreased functional outcome when compare to MSC-EV. Treatment with MSC-BDNF induced cell proliferation in the ischemic hemisphere lasting at least 18 days after MSC administration while treatment with MSC-EV did not. These data suggest that gene-modified cell therapy might be a useful approach to consider for treatment of neonatal HI brain damage. However, care must be taken when selecting the agent to overexpress.Molecular Therapy (2013); doi:10.1038/mt.2013.260.
The potential of exosomes to treat central nervous system (CNS) pathologies has been recently demonstrated. These studies make way for a complete new field that aims to exploit the natural characteristics of these vesicles, considered for a long time as side products of physiological cellular pathways. Recently, however, the biological significance of exosomes has been evaluated and exosomes can now be viewed upon as new relevant functional entities for development of novel therapeutic strategies. In this review, we aim to summarize the state-of-the-art role of exosomes in the CNS and to speculate about possible future therapeutic applications of exosomes. In particular, we will speculate about the use of these vesicles as a substitute of cell-based therapies for the treatment of brain damage and review the potential of exosomes as drug delivery vehicles for the CNS.
Despite advances in detection and therapies, breast cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide. The etiology of this neoplasm is complex, and both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the complicate scenario. Gene profiling studies have been extensively used over the last decades as a powerful tool to define the signature of different cancers and to predict outcome and response to therapies. More recently, a new class of small (19-25 nucleotides) non-coding RNAs, microRNAs (miRs or miRNAs) has been linked to several human diseases, included cancer. MicroRNAs are involved in temporal and tissue-specific eukaryotic gene regulation,(1) either by translational inhibition or exonucleolytic mRNA decay, targeted through imperfect complementarity between the microRNA and the 3 untranslated region (3UTR) of the mRNA.(2) Since their ability to potentially target any human mRNA, it is likely that microRNAs are involved in almost every biological process, including cell cycle regulation, cell growth, apoptosis, cell differentiation and stress response.(3) The involvement of microRNAs in the biology of human cancer is supported by an increasing body of experimental evidence, that has gradually switched from profiling studies, as the first breast cancer specific signature reported in 2005 by our group(4) describing an aberrant microRNA expression in different tumor types, to biological demonstrations of the causal role of these small molecules in the tumorigenic process, and the possible implications as biomarkers or therapeutic tools.(5) These more recent studies have widely demonstrated that microRNAs can modulate oncogenic or tumor suppressor pathways, and that, at the same time, their expression can be regulated by oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. The possibility to modulate microRNA expression both in vitro and in vivo by developing synthetic pre-microRNA molecules or antisense oligonucletides has at the same time provided a powerful tool to a deeper comprehension of the molecular mechanisms regulated by these molecules, and suggested the intriguing and promising perspective of a possible use in therapy. Here we review our current knowledge about the involvement of microRNAs in cancer, focusing particularly on breast cancer, and their potential as diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic tools.
An increasing body of evidence highlights an intriguing interaction between microRNAs and transcriptional factors involved in determining cell fate, including the well known "genome guardian" p53. Here we show that miR-205, oncosuppressive microRNA lost in breast cancer, is directly transactivated by oncosuppressor p53. Moreover, evaluating miR-205 expression in a panel of cell lines belonging to the highly aggressive triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype, which still lacks an effective targeted therapy and characterized by an extremely undifferentiated and mesenchymal phenotype, we demonstrated that this microRNA is critically down-expressed compared to a normal-like cell line. Re-expression of miR-205 where absent strongly reduces cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and clonogenic potential in vitro, and inhibits tumor growth in vivo, and this tumor suppressor activity is at least partially exerted through targeting of E2F1, master regulator of cell cycle progression, and LAMC1, component of extracellular matrix involved in cell adhesion, proliferation and migration.
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