Extracellular vesicles are spherical bilayered proteolipids, harboring various bioactive molecules. Due to the complexity of the vesicular nomenclatures and components, online searches for extracellular vesicle-related publications and vesicular components are currently challenging.
Myocardial infarction is a leading cause of death among all cardiovascular diseases. The analysis of molecular mechanisms by which the ischemic myocardium initiates repair and remodeling indicates that secreted soluble factors are key players in communication to local and distant tissues, such as bone marrow. Recently, actively secreted membrane vesicles, including exosomes, are being recognized as new candidates with important roles in intercellular and tissue-level communication. In this review, we critically examine the emerging role of exosomes in local and distant microcommunication mechanisms after myocardial infarction. A comprehensive understanding of the role of exosomes in cardiac repair after myocardial infarction could bridge a major gap in knowledge of the repair mechanism after myocardial injury.
Transplantation of human CD34(+) stem cells to ischemic tissues has been associated with reduced angina, improved exercise time, and reduced amputation rates in phase 2 clinical trials and has been shown to induce neovascularization in preclinical models. Previous studies have suggested that paracrine factors secreted by these proangiogenic cells are responsible, at least in part, for the angiogenic effects induced by CD34(+) cell transplantation.
Cystatin C (CysC) expression in the brain is elevated in human patients with epilepsy, in animal models of neurodegenerative conditions, and in response to injury, but whether up-regulated CysC expression is a manifestation of neurodegeneration or a cellular repair response is not understood. This study demonstrates that human CysC is neuroprotective in cultures exposed to cytotoxic challenges, including nutritional-deprivation, colchicine, staurosporine, and oxidative stress. While CysC is a cysteine protease inhibitor, cathepsin B inhibition was not required for the neuroprotective action of CysC. Cells responded to CysC by inducing fully functional autophagy via the mTOR pathway, leading to enhanced proteolytic clearance of autophagy substrates by lysosomes. Neuroprotective effects of CysC were prevented by inhibiting autophagy with beclin 1 siRNA or 3-methyladenine. Our findings show that CysC plays a protective role under conditions of neuronal challenge by inducing autophagy via mTOR inhibition and are consistent with CysC being neuroprotective in neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, modulation of CysC expression has therapeutic implications for stroke, Alzheimers disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Ischemic cardiovascular disease represents one of the largest epidemics currently facing the aging population. Current literature has illustrated the efficacy of autologous, stem cell therapies as novel strategies for treating these disorders. The CD34+ hematopoetic stem cell has shown significant promise in addressing myocardial ischemia by promoting angiogenesis that helps preserve the functionality of ischemic myocardium. Unfortunately, both viability and angiogenic quality of autologous CD34+ cells decline with advanced age and diminished cardiovascular health.
Neuronal cell culture models have been used to demonstrate the protective effects of cystatin C against a variety of insults, including the toxicity induced by oligomeric and fibrillar amyloid ? (A?). Here, we describe assays quantifying cystatin C protective effects against cytotoxicity induced by nutrient deprivation, oxidative stress, or cytotoxic forms of A?. Three methods for the evaluation of either cell death or cell survival are described: measurement of metabolic activity, cell death, and cell division. The cell culture models used are murine primary cortical neurons and murine primary cerebral smooth muscle cells. The effects of exogenously applied cystatin C are studied by comparing the viability of nonstressed control, stressed control, and cystatin C-treated stressed cells. The effect of endogenous level of cystatin C expression is studied by comparing stressed primary cells isolated from brains of cystatin C transgenic, cystatin C knockout, and wild-type mice.
The use of murine cerebrovascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells has not been widely employed as a cell culture model for the investigation of cellular mechanisms involved in cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). Difficulties in isolation and propagation of murine cerebrovascular cells and insufficient yields for molecular and cell culture studies have deterred investigators from using mice as a source for cerebrovascular cells in culture. Instead, cerebrovascular cells from larger mammals are preferred and several methods describing the isolation of endothelial and smooth muscle cells from human, canine, rat, and guinea pig have been published. In recent years, several transgenic mouse lines showing CAA pathology have been established; consequently murine cerebrovascular cells derived from these animals can serve as a key cellular model to study CAA. Here, we describe a procedure for isolating murine microvessels that yields healthy smooth muscle and endothelial cell populations and produce sufficient material for experimental purposes. Murine smooth muscle cells isolated using this protocol exhibit the classic "hill and valley" morphology and are immunoreactive for the smooth muscle cell marker ?-actin. Endothelial cells display a "cobblestone" pattern phenotype and show the characteristic immunostaining for the von Willebrand factor and the factor VIII-related antigen. In addition, we describe methods designed to preserve these cells by storage in liquid nitrogen and reestablishing viable cell cultures. Finally, we compare our methods with protocols designed to isolate and maintain human cerebrovascular cell cultures.
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