Sepsis is a major cause of death worldwide. It triggers systemic inflammation, the role of which remains unclear. In the current study, we investigated the induction of microRNA (miRNA) during sepsis and their role in the regulation of inflammation. Patients, on days 1 and 5 following sepsis diagnosis, had reduced T cells but elevated monocytes. Plasma levels of IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and MCP-1 dramatically increased in sepsis patients on day 1. T cells from sepsis patients differentiated primarily into Th2 cells, whereas regulatory T cells decreased. Analysis of 1163 miRNAs from PBMCs revealed that miR-182, miR-143, miR-145, miR-146a, miR-150, and miR-155 were dysregulated in sepsis patients. miR-146a downregulation correlated with increased IL-6 expression and monocyte proliferation. Bioinformatics analysis uncovered the immunological associations of dysregulated miRNAs with clinical disease. The current study demonstrates that miRNA dysregulation correlates with clinical manifestations and inflammation, and therefore remains a potential therapeutic target against sepsis.
The emergent self-organization of a neuronal network in a developing nervous system is the result of a remarkably orchestrated process involving a multitude of chemical, mechanical and electrical signals. Little is known about the dynamic behavior of a developing network (especially in a human model) primarily due to a lack of practical and non-invasive methods to measure and quantify the process. Here we demonstrate that by using a novel optical interferometric technique, we can non-invasively measure several fundamental properties of neural networks from the sub-cellular to the cell population level. We applied this method to quantify network formation in human stem cell derived neurons and show for the first time, correlations between trends in the growth, transport, and spatial organization of such a system. Quantifying the fundamental behavior of such cell lines without compromising their viability may provide an important new tool in future longitudinal studies.
Cysteine proteinases and their inhibitors play a significant role in the proteolytic environment of the cells. Inhibitors of cysteine proteinases regulate the activity of these enzymes helping in checking the degdration activity of cathepsins. The bilirubin secreated by liver cells can bind to cystatin present in the liver resulting in its functional inactivation, which may further lead to the increase in cathepsins level causing liver cirrhosis. In case of some pathophysiological conditions excess bilirubin gets accumulated e.g. in presence of Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke) in mammals and humans, leading to liver cirrhosis and possibly jaundice or normal blockade of bile duct causing increased level of bilirubin in blood. Protease-cystatin imbalance causes disease progression. In the present study, Bilirubin (BR) and liver cystatin interaction was studied to explore the cystatin inactivation and structural alteration. The binding interaction was studied by UV-absorption, FT-IR and fluorescence spectroscopy. The quenching of protein fluorescence confirmed the binding of BR with buffalo liver cystatin (BLC). Stern-Volmer analysis of BR-BLC system indicates the presence of static component in the quenching mechanism and the number of binding sites to be close to 1. The fluorescence data proved that the fluorescence quenching of liver cystatin by BR was the result of BR-cystatin complex formation. FTIR analysis of BR-Cystatin complex revealed change in the secondary structure due to perturbation in the microenvironment further confirmed by the decreased caseinolytic activity of BLC against papain. Fluorescence measurements also revealed quenching of fluorescence and shift in peak at different time intervals and at varying pH values. Photo-illumination of BR-cystatin complex causes change in the surrounding environment of liver cystatin as indicated by red-shift. The binding constant for BR-BLC complex was found to be 9.279 × 10(4) M(-1). The cystatin binding with bilirubin has a significant biophysical and pathophysiological significance, hence our effort to study the same.
The detection and treatment of cancer has advanced significantly in the past several decades, with important improvements in our understanding of the fundamental molecular and genetic basis of the disease. Despite these advancements, drug-screening methodologies have remained essentially unchanged since the introduction of the in vitro human cell line screen in 1990. Although the existing methods provide information on the overall effects of compounds on cell viability, they are restricted by bulk measurements, large sample sizes, and lack capability to measure proliferation kinetics at the individual cell level. To truly understand the nature of cancer cell proliferation and to develop personalized adjuvant therapies, there is a need for new methodologies that provide quantitative information to monitor the effect of drugs on cell growth as well as morphological and phenotypic changes at the single cell level. Here we show that a quantitative phase imaging modality known as spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM) addresses these needs and provides additional advantages over existing proliferation assays. We demonstrate these capabilities through measurements on the effects of the hormone estradiol and the antiestrogen ICI182,780 (Faslodex) on the growth of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Along with providing information on changes in the overall growth, SLIM provides additional biologically relevant information. For example, we find that exposure to estradiol results in rapidly growing cells with lower dry mass than the control population. Subsequently blocking the estrogen receptor with ICI results in slower growing cells, with lower dry masses than the control. This ability to measure changes in growth kinetics in response to environmental conditions provides new insight on growth regulation mechanisms. Our results establish the capabilities of SLIM as an advanced drug screening technology that provides information on changes in proliferation kinetics at the cellular level with greater sensitivity than any existing method.
GM-CSF is an endogenous pulmonary cytokine produced by normal alveolar epithelial cells (AEC) that is a key defender of the alveolar space. AEC GM-CSF expression is suppressed by oxidative stress through alternations in mRNA turnover, an effect that is reversed by treatment with recombinant GM-CSF. We hypothesized that specific microRNA (miRNA) would play a key role in AEC GM-CSF regulation. A genome-wide miRNA microarray identified 19 candidate miRNA altered in primary AEC during oxidative stress with reversal by treatment with GM-CSF. Three of these miRNA (miR 133a, miR 133a*, miR 133b) are also predicted to bind the GM-CSF 3-untranslated region (UTR). PCR for the mature miRNA confirmed induction during oxidative stress that was reversed by treatment with GM-CSF. Experiments using a GM-CSF 3-UTR reporter construct demonstrated that miR133a and miR133b effects on GM-CSF expression are through interactions with the GM-CSF 3UTR. Using lentiviral transduction of specific mimics and inhibitors in primary murine AEC, we determined that miR133a and miR133b suppress GM-CSF expression and that their inhibition both reverses oxidant-induced suppression of GM-CSF expression and increases basal expression of GM-CSF in cells in normoxia. In contrast, these miRNAs are not active in regulation of GM-CSF expression in murine EL4 T cells. Thus, members of the miR133 family play key roles in regulation of GM-CSF expression through effects on mRNA turnover in AEC in the setting of oxidative stress. Increased understanding of GM-CSF gene regulation may provide novel miRNA-based interventions to augment pulmonary innate immune defense in the setting of lung injury.
Sepsis is a deadly immunological disorder and its pathophysiology is still poorly understood. We aimed to determine if specific pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines can be used as diagnostic and therapeutic targets for sepsis.
A series of new steroidal 4H-pyrans (4-6) have been synthesized from steroidal ?, ?-unsaturated ketones (1-3). The products (4-6) were characterized by IR, (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, MS and analytical data. The interaction studies of compounds (4-6) with DNA were carried out by employing gel electrophoresis, UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. The gel electrophoresis pattern revealed that compounds (4-6) bind to DNA and also demonstrated that the compound 6 alone or in presence of Cu (II) causes the nicking of supercoiled pBR322. The compounds 4 and 5 bind to DNA preferentially through electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions with Kb values found to be 5.3×10(3) and 3.7×10(3) M(-1), respectively, indicating the higher binding affinity of compound 4 towards DNA. The docking study suggested the intercalation of compounds in between the nucleotide base pairs. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of the newly synthesized compounds were checked by MTT and comet assay, respectively during which compound 6 showed potential behaviour.
We report the main findings of the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health (WHOMCS), which aimed to assess the burden of complications related to pregnancy, the coverage of key maternal health interventions, and use of the maternal severity index (MSI) in a global network of health facilities.
A common-path interferometer was designed with rapidly tunable broadband swept laser source, which provides quantitative phase measurements of nanometer scale motions with very high sensitivity. With this setup, we are able to detect the thermal fluctuations in liquid droplets hanging at the end of an optical fiber. The measured nanoscale displacement fluctuations of various droplet surfaces were used to extract the surface tension. This newly developed technique proved the feasibility of noninvasive, fast, phase-resolved dynamic light scattering measurement of fluid mechanical properties.
Exposure of mice to hyperoxia induces alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) injury, acute lung injury and death. Overexpression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in the lung protects against these effects, although the mechanisms are not yet clear. Hyperoxia induces cellular injury via effects on mitochondrial integrity, associated with induction of proapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family. We hypothesized that GM-CSF protects AEC through effects on mitochondrial integrity. MLE-12 cells (a murine type II cell line) and primary murine type II AEC were subjected to oxidative stress by exposure to 80% oxygen and by exposure to H(2)O(2). Exposure to H(2)O(2) induced cytochrome c release and decreased mitochondrial reductase activity in MLE-12 cells. Incubation with GM-CSF significantly attenuated these effects. Protection induced by GM-CSF was associated with Akt activation. GM-CSF treatment also resulted in increased expression of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family member, Mcl-1. Primary murine AEC were significantly more tolerant of oxidative stress than MLE-12 cells. In contrast to MLE-12 cells, primary AEC expressed significant GM-CSF at baseline and demonstrated constitutive activation of Akt and increased baseline expression of Mcl-1. Treatment with exogenous GM-CSF further increased Akt activation and Mcl-1 expression in primary AEC. Conversely, suppression of AEC GM-CSF expression by use of GM-CSF-specific small interfering RNA resulted in decreased tolerance of oxidative stress, Furthermore, silencing of Mcl-1 prevented GM-CSF-induced protection. We conclude that GM-CSF protects alveolar epithelial cells against oxidative stress-induced mitochondrial injury via the Akt pathway and its downstream components, including Mcl-1. Epithelial cell-derived GM-CSF may contribute to intrinsic defense mechanisms limiting lung injury.
In response to an outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in western Afghanistan, we measured immunoglobulin G seroprevalence among household members and their animals. Seroprevalence was 11.2% and 75.0% in humans (n = 330) and livestock (n = 132), respectively. Persons with frequent exposure to cattle had an elevated risk of being immunoglobulin G positive.
It has recently been shown that quantitative phase imaging methods can provide clinically relevant parameters for red blood cell analysis with unprecedented detail and sensitivity. Since the quantitative phase information is dependent on both the thickness and refractive index, a major limitation to clinical translation has been a simple and practical approach to measure both simultaneously. Here we demonstrate both theoretically and experimentally that, by combining quantitative phase with a single absorption measurement, it is possible to measure both quantities at the single cell level. We validate this approach by comparing our results to those acquired using a clinical blood analyzer. This approach to decouple the thickness and refractive index for red blood cells may be used with any quantitative phase imaging method that can operate in tandem with bright field microscopy at the Soret-band wavelength.
The primary role of a red blood cell (RBC) is delivering oxygen throughout our body. Abnormalities of this basic function lead to anemia and are caused by numerous diseases such as malaria and sickle cell anemia. As prompt and inexpensive tests for blood screening are in demand, we have developed a faster and reliable way to measure morphological parameters associated with the structure of red blood cells and the size distribution of the cells in a whole blood smear. Modeling the RBC shape under Born approximation, we are able to determine parameters of clinical relevance, such as the diameter, thickness and dimple size. From a measured quantitative phase image of a blood smear, we can determine the average and standard deviation of the red blood cell volume simultaneously, i.e., without analyzing each cell individually. This approach may open the door for a new generation of label-free, high-throughput blood testing.
It has recently been shown that spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM) developed in our laboratory can be used to quantify the dry mass growth of single cells with femtogram sensitivity [M. Mir et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 108, 32 (2011)]. Here we show that it is possible to measure the motility of single cells in conjunction with the dry mass measurements. Specifically the effect of poly-L-lysine substrate on the dry mass growth of Drosophila S2 cells is studied. By measuring the mean square displacement of single cells and clusters it is shown that cells that adhere better to the surface are unable to grow. Using such a technique it is possible to measure both growth and morphogenesis, two of the cornerstones of developmental biology.
Determining the growth patterns of single cells offers answers to some of the most elusive questions in contemporary cell biology: how cell growth is regulated and how cell size distributions are maintained. For example, a linear growth in time implies that there is no regulation required to maintain homeostasis; an exponential pattern indicates the opposite. Recently, there has been great effort to measure single cells using microelectromechanical systems technology, and several important questions have been explored. However, a unified, easy-to-use methodology to measure the growth rate of individual adherent cells of various sizes has been lacking. Here we demonstrate that a newly developed optical interferometric technique, known as spatial light interference microscopy, can measure the cell dry mass of many individual adherent cells in various conditions, over spatial scales from micrometers to millimeters, temporal scales ranging from seconds to days, and cell types ranging from bacteria to mammalian cells. We found evidence of exponential growth in Escherichia coli, which agrees very well with other recent reports. Perhaps most importantly, combining spatial light interference microscopy with fluorescence imaging provides a unique method for studying cell cycle-dependent growth. Thus, by using a fluorescent reporter for the S phase, we measured single cell growth over each phase of the cell cycle in human osteosarcoma U2OS cells and found that the G2 phase exhibits the highest growth rate, which is mass-dependent and can be approximated by an exponential.
We present spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM) as a new optical microscopy technique, capable of measuring nanoscale structures and dynamics in live cells via interferometry. SLIM combines two classic ideas in light imaging: Zernikes phase contrast microscopy, which renders high contrast intensity images of transparent specimens, and Gabors holography, where the phase information from the object is recorded. Thus, SLIM reveals the intrinsic contrast of cell structures and, in addition, renders quantitative optical path-length maps across the sample. The resulting topographic accuracy is comparable to that of atomic force microscopy, while the acquisition speed is 1,000 times higher. We illustrate the novel insight into cell dynamics via SLIM by experiments on primary cell cultures from the rat brain. SLIM is implemented as an add-on module to an existing phase contrast microscope, which may prove instrumental in impacting the light microscopy field at a large scale.
We present optical measurements of nanoscale red blood cell fluctuations obtained by highly sensitive quantitative phase imaging. These spatio-temporal fluctuations are modeled in terms of the bulk viscoelastic response of the cell. Relating the displacement distribution to the storage and loss moduli of the bulk has the advantage of incorporating all geometric and cortical effects into a single effective medium behavior. The results on normal cells indicate that the viscous modulus is much larger than the elastic one throughout the entire frequency range covered by the measurement, indicating fluid behavior.
Blood smear analysis has remained a crucial diagnostic tool for pathologists despite the advent of automatic analyzers such as flow cytometers and impedance counters. Though these current methods have proven to be indispensible tools for physicians and researchers alike, they provide limited information on the detailed morphology of individual cells, and merely alert the operator to manually examine a blood smear by raising flags when abnormalities are detected. We demonstrate an automatic interferometry-based smear analysis technique known as diffraction phase cytometry (DPC), which is capable of providing the same information on red blood cells as is provided by current clinical analyzers, while rendering additional, currently unavailable parameters on the 2-D and 3-D morphology of individual red blood cells. To validate the utility of our technique in a clinical setting, we present a comparison between tests generated from 32 patients by a state of the art clinical impedance counter and DPC.
Pyrrolizidine alakloids (PAs) are known to cause hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD). Outbreaks have occurred in Western Afghanistan since 1974, the latest in February 2008. We conducted an outbreak investigation using a case-control design. Sixty-seven cases of VOD were compared with 199 community controls. Consumption of bread was strongly associated with disease (adjusted odds ratio: 35.8 [95%CI: 7.6-168.2]). Toxic doses of PA were found in plant extracts and in samples of wheat flour taken from the study area. Compared to wheat flour there was 1000 times less PA in milk and whey and in water samples the PA content was zero. Although direct analysis was not possible, contaminated wheat flour used to make bread was the likely source of PA causing the outbreak. Eating a more varied diet including meat and fruit may be protective. Prevention and control measures will rely on community awareness and agricultural interventions to ensure safety of the food supply.
Pulmonary expression of granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is critically important for normal functional maturation of alveolar macrophages. We found previously that lung GM-CSF is dramatically suppressed in mice exposed to hyperoxia. Alveolar epithelial cells (AEC) are a major source of GM-CSF in the peripheral lung, and in vivo hyperoxia resulted in greatly reduced expression of GM-CSF protein by AEC ex vivo. We now explore the mechanisms responsible for this effect, using primary cultures of murine AEC exposed to hyperoxia in vitro. Exposure of AEC to 80% oxygen/5% CO(2) for 48 h did not induce overt toxicity, but resulted in significantly decreased GM-CSF protein and mRNA expression compared with cells in normoxia. Similar effects were seen when AEC were stressed with serum deprivation, an alternative inducer of oxidative stress. The effects in AEC were opposite those in a murine lung epithelial cell line (MLE-12 cells), in which hyperoxia induced GM-CSF expression. Both hyperoxia and serum deprivation resulted in increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in AEC. Hyperoxia and serum deprivation induced significantly accelerated turnover of GM-CSF mRNA. Treatment of AEC with catalase during oxidative stress preserved GM-CSF protein and mRNA and was associated with stabilization of GM-CSF mRNA. We conclude that hyperoxia-induced suppression of AEC GM-CSF expression is a function of ROS-induced destabilization of GM-CSF mRNA. We speculate that AEC oxidative stress results in significantly impaired pulmonary innate immune defense due to effects on local GM-CSF expression in the lung.
We demonstrate Diffraction Phase Cytometry (DPC) as a single shot, full-field, high throughput quantitative phase imaging modality, dedicated to analyzing whole blood smears. Utilizing a commercial CD as a sample substrate, along with dynamic spatial filtering via a liquid crystal spatial light modulator, we have developed a compact instrument capable of making quantitative, physiologically relevant measurements. To illustrate the ability of the system to function as a highly sensitive cytometer we imaged a large number (N=1,537) of live human erythrocytes in whole blood without preparation. We retrieved a comprehensive set of geometrical parameters including cell volume and surface area, which are not directly available using existing cytometers. Furthermore, we retrieved the minimum cylindrical diameter, through which red blood cells can pass, and deliver oxygen. These initial results prove the concept for an inexpensive lab-on-a-chip blood screening device.
Studying the 3D sub-cellular structure of living cells is essential to our understanding of biological function. However, tomographic imaging of live cells is challenging mainly because they are transparent, i.e., weakly scattering structures. Therefore, this type of imaging has been implemented largely using fluorescence techniques. While confocal fluorescence imaging is a common approach to achieve sectioning, it requires fluorescence probes that are often harmful to the living specimen. On the other hand, by using the intrinsic contrast of the structures it is possible to study living cells in a non-invasive manner. One method that provides high-resolution quantitative information about nanoscale structures is a broadband interferometric technique known as Spatial Light Interference Microscopy (SLIM). In addition to rendering quantitative phase information, when combined with a high numerical aperture objective, SLIM also provides excellent depth sectioning capabilities. However, like in all linear optical systems, SLIMs resolution is limited by diffraction. Here we present a novel 3D field deconvolution algorithm that exploits the sparsity of phase images and renders images with resolution beyond the diffraction limit. We employ this label-free method, called deconvolution Spatial Light Interference Tomography (dSLIT), to visualize coiled sub-cellular structures in E. coli cells which are most likely the cytoskeletal MreB protein and the division site regulating MinCDE proteins. Previously these structures have only been observed using specialized strains and plasmids and fluorescence techniques. Our results indicate that dSLIT can be employed to study such structures in a practical and non-invasive manner.
We present white light diffraction phase microscopy (wDPM) as a quantitative phase imaging method that combines the single shot measurement benefit associated with off-axis methods, high temporal phase stability associated with common path geometries, and high spatial phase sensitivity due to the white light illumination. We propose a spatiotemporal filtering method that pushes the limit of the pathlength sensitivity to the subangstrom level at practical spatial and temporal bandwidths. We illustrate the utility of wDPM with measurements on red blood cell morphology and HeLa cell growth over 18 hours.
Local pulmonary expression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is critically important for defense of the pulmonary alveolar space. It is required for surfactant homeostasis and pulmonary innate immune responses and is protective against lung injury and aberrant repair. Alveolar epithelial cells (AEC) are a major source of GM-CSF; however, the control of homeostatic expression of GM-CSF is incompletely characterized. Increasing evidence suggests considerable plasticity of expression of AEC phenotypic characteristics. We tested the hypothesis that this plasticity extends to regulation of expression of GM-CSF using 1) MLE-12 cells (a commonly used murine cell line expressing some features of normal type II AEC, 2) primary murine AEC incubated under standard conditions [resulting in rapid spreading and loss of surfactant protein C (SP-C) expression with induction of the putative type I cell marker (T1?)], or 3) primary murine AEC on a hyaluronic acid/collagen matrix in defined medium, resulting in preservation of SP-C expression. AEC in standard cultures constitutively express abundant GM-CSF, with further induction in response to IL-1? but little response to TNF-?. In contrast, primary cells cultured to preserve SP-C expression and MLE-12 cells both express little GM-CSF constitutively, with significant induction in response to TNF-? and limited response to IL-1?. We conclude that constitutive and cytokine-induced expression of GM-CSF by AEC varies in concert with other cellular phenotypic characteristics. These changes may have important implications both for the maintenance of normal pulmonary homeostasis and for the process of repair following lung injury.
Characterizing the physical properties of single cells is of great interest for unraveling the heterogeneity in a cell population. Recent advances in micro-systems technologies and quantitative imaging have enabled measurements of the mass and growth of single cells. So far, three classes of techniques have been reported for such measurements. These are suspended micro-channel resonators (SMR) sensors, quantitative phase imaging (QPI), and pedestal resonant sensors. Here we compare the unique merits of each method and discuss their potential to evolve into multi-modal platforms for answering fundamental questions in biology and medicine.
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