Certain mitochondrial haplotypes (mthaps) are associated with disease, possibly through differences in oxidative phosphorylation and/or immunosurveillance. We explored whether mthaps are associated with allogeneic HCT outcomes. Recipient (n=437) and donor (n=327) DNA was genotyped for common European mthaps (H, J, U, T, Z, K, V, X, I, W, K2). HCT outcomes for mthap matched siblings (n=198), all recipients, and all donors were modeled using relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals and compared to mthap H, the most common. Siblings with I and V were significantly more likely to die within 5 years (RR=3.0;1.2-7.9 and 4.6;1.8-12.3, respectively). W siblings experienced higher aGVHD II-IV events (RR=2.1;1.1-2.4) with no events for K or K2. Similar results were observed for all recipients combined, although J recipients experienced lower GVHD and higher relapse. Patients with I donors had a 2.7 fold (1.2-6.2) increased risk of death in five years, while few patients with K2 or W donors died. No patients with K2 donors and few patients with U donors relapsed. Mthap may be an important consideration in HCT outcomes, although validation and functional studies are needed. If confirmed, it may be feasible to select donors based on mthap to increase positive or decrease negative outcomes.
Mucolipidosis type II (MLII), or I-cell disease, is a rare but severe disorder affecting localization of enzymes to the lysosome, generally resulting in death before the 10th birthday. Although hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been used to successfully treat some lysosomal storage diseases, only 2 cases have been reported on the use of HSCT to treat MLII. For the first time, we describe the combined international experience in the use of HSCT for MLII in 22 patients. Although 95% of the patients engrafted, overall survival was low, with only 6 patients (27%) alive at last follow-up. The most common cause of death post-transplant was cardiovascular complications, most likely due to disease progression. Survivors were globally delayed in development and often required complex medical support, such as gastrostomy tubes for nutrition and tracheostomy with mechanical ventilation. Although HSCT has demonstrated efficacy in treating some lysosomal storage disorders, the neurologic outcome and survival for patents with MLII were poor. Therefore, new medical and cellular therapies should be sought for these patients.
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are stem cell disorders that can progress to acute myeloid leukemia. Although hematopoietic cell transplantation can be curative, additional therapies are needed for a disease that disproportionally afflicts the elderly. We tested the ability of a CD16xCD33 BiKE to induce natural killer (NK) cell function in 67 MDS patients. Compared with age-matched normal controls, CD7(+) lymphocytes, NK cells, and CD16 expression were markedly decreased in MDS patients. Despite this, reverse antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity assays showed potent degranulation and cytokine production when resting MDS-NK cells were triggered with an agonistic CD16 monoclonal antibody. Blood and marrow MDS-NK cells treated with bispecific killer cell engager (BiKE) significantly enhanced degranulation and tumor necrosis factor-? and interferon-? production against HL-60 and endogenous CD33(+) MDS targets. MDS patients had a significantly increased proportion of immunosuppressive CD33(+) myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that negatively correlated with MDS lymphocyte populations and CD16 loss on NK cells. Treatment with the CD16xCD33 BiKE successfully reversed MDSC immunosuppression of NK cells and induced MDSC target cell lysis. Lastly, the BiKE induced optimal MDS-NK cell function irrespective of disease stage. Our data suggest that the CD16xCD33 BiKE functions against both CD33(+) MDS and MDSC targets and may be therapeutically beneficial for MDS patients.
There is accumulating evidence that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have their origin as perivascular cells (PVCs) in vivo, but precisely identifying them has been a challenge, as they have no single definitive marker and are rare. We have developed a fluorescent transgenic vertebrate model in which PVC can be visualized in vivo based upon sdf1 expression in the zebrafish. Prospective isolation and culture of sdf1(DsRed) PVC demonstrated properties consistent with MSC including prototypical cell surface marker expression; mesodermal differentiation into adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic lineages; and the ability to support hematopoietic cells. Global proteomic studies performed by two-dimensional liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry revealed a high degree of similarity to human MSC (hMSC) and discovery of novel markers (CD99, CD151, and MYOF) that were previously unknown to be expressed by hMSC. Dynamic in vivo imaging during fin regeneration showed that PVC may arise from undifferentiated mesenchyme providing evidence of a PVC-MSC relationship. This is the first model, established in zebrafish, in which MSC can be visualized in vivo and will allow us to better understand their function in a native environment.
The objective of this study is to systematically review the literature on worldwide numbers of leukodystrophy patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) as well as the safety and efficacy of the procedure in this patient population.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for lysosomal storage diseases (LSD) has been performed for over 20 years. In that time, many advances have been made in understanding the unique pathophysiology of the various LSDs. We have also made advances in HSCT, particularly in the use of umbilical cord blood as a stem cell source. The goal of HSCT has always been to correct the deficient lysosomal enzyme through the engraftment of enzyme replete donor cells that include cells of the hematopoietic system and its derivatives (i.e. brain microglia). In those LSDs that are accompanied by some form of neuro-degeneration as part of their phenotype, one of the primary endpoints of performing HSCT is to slow or arrest the neurodegenerative process. As a general rule, earlier HSCT leads to improved outcomes since irreversible organ and tissue damage has had less time to occur. Mostly through trial and error we have learned which LSDs respond best to HSCT and which have shown minimal improvement after HSCT. Due to the rare nature of LSDs, this learning process is not complete. Even after two decades of performing HSCT for LSDs, many experiences are still being published as case reports. In recent years, the advent of enzyme replacement therapy for several of the LSDs offers new avenues for treatments that can be complemented by HSCT. In this review, we discuss what is currently known of HSCT related outcomes in the treatment of LSDs.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common X-linked disorder in the world. G6PD deficiency puts children at risk for hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus during the newborn period and an increased risk of severe hemolysis after exposure to many antimalarial medications. A laboratory diagnosis of G6PD deficiency is rare in the developing world due to limited resources. We developed a TaqMan-based allele-specific assay to rapidly determine rates of G6PD deficiency contributing alleles (G202A and A376G) in East Africa. We tested umbilical cord blood from 100 Ugandan newborns and found that the overall allele frequency of G202A was .13 and A376G was .32. The overall incidence of G6PD A- (G202A/A376G) was 6%; all A- variants were males. There was no correlation between G6PD deficiency and umbilical cord blood hemoglobin, white blood count, platelet count, or other hematologic parameters. Allele-specific PCR can serve as a rapid method to determine specific G6PD deficiency allele frequencies in a given population and as a diagnostic tool in a hospital setting in which laboratory resources are present.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common genetic defect and enzymopathy worldwide, affecting approximately 400 million people and causing acute hemolysis in persons exposed to prooxidant compounds such as menthol, naphthalene, antimalarial drugs, and fava beans. Mouse models have not been useful because of a lack of significant response to oxidative challenge. We turned to zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos, which develop ex utero and are transparent, allowing visualization of hemolysis. We designed morpholinos to zebrafish g6pd that were effective in reducing gene expression as shown by Western blot and G6PD enzyme activity, resulting in a brisk hemolysis and pericardial edema secondary to anemia. Titration of the g6pd knockdown allowed us to generate embryos that displayed no overt phenotype until exposed to the prooxidant compounds 1-naphthol, menthol, or primaquine, after which they developed hemolysis and pericardial edema within 48-72 hours. We were also able to show that g6pd morphants displayed significant levels of increased oxidative stress compared with controls. We anticipate that this will be a useful model of G6PD deficiency to study hemolysis as well as oxidative stress that occurs after exposure to prooxidants, similar to what occurs in G6PD-deficient persons.
The ability of cells to detect changes in the microenvironment is important in cell signaling and responsiveness to environmental fluctuations. Our interest is in understanding how human bone marrow stromal-derived cells (MSC) and their relatives, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), interact with their environment through novel receptors. We found, through a proteomics screen, that MSC express the bitter taste receptor, TAS2R46, a protein more typically localized to the taste bud. Expression was also confirmed in VSMCs. A prototypical bitter compound that binds to the bitter taste receptor class, denatonium, increased intracellular calcium release and decreased cAMP levels as well as increased the extracellular release of ATP in human MSC. Denatonium also bound and activated rodent VSMC with a change in morphology upon compound exposure. Finally, rodents given denatonium in vivo had a significant drop in blood pressure indicating a vasodilator response. This is the first description of chemosensory detection by MSC and VSMCs via a taste receptor. These data open a new avenue of research into discovering novel compounds that operate through taste receptors expressed by cells in the marrow and vascular microenvironments.
Spontaneous reversion of disease-causing mutations has been observed in some genetic disorders. In our clinical observations of severe generalized recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), a currently incurable blistering genodermatosis caused by loss-of-function mutations in COL7A1 that results in a deficit of type VII collagen (C7), we have observed patches of healthy-appearing skin on some individuals. When biopsied, this skin revealed somatic mosaicism resulting from the self-correction of C7 deficiency. We believe this source of cells could represent an opportunity for translational "natural" gene therapy. We show that revertant RDEB keratinocytes expressing functional C7 can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and that self-corrected RDEB iPSCs can be induced to differentiate into either epidermal or hematopoietic cell populations. Our results give proof in principle that an inexhaustible supply of functional patient-specific revertant cells can be obtained-potentially relevant to local wound therapy and systemic hematopoietic cell transplantation. This technology may also avoid some of the major limitations of other cell therapy strategies, eg, immune rejection and insertional mutagenesis, which are associated with viral- and non-viral-mediated gene therapy. We believe this approach should be the starting point for autologous cellular therapies using "natural" gene therapy in RDEB and other diseases.Journal of Investigative Dermatology accepted article preview online, 6 December 2013. doi:10.1038/jid.2013.523.
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is burdened with a growing population and poor health care resources. Transfusion medicine is uniquely affected for SSA as a result of a combination of factors which put tremendous pressure on the blood supply. In this review, we consider these factors including: malaria, sickle cell anemia, transfusion medicine infrastructure, and past transfusion medicine policies including those which are tied to foreign aid, such as a VNRD-only practice. We also consider how SSA can overcome some of these hurdles to achieve a safe and adequate blood supply for its people through the advent of new vaccines, medications, infrastructure development, policy changes, and education.
Although exceptionally high radiation dose-rates are currently attaining clinical feasibility, there have been relatively few studies reporting the biological consequences of these dose-rates in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT). In zebrafish models of HCT, preconditioning before transplant is typically achieved through radiation alone. We report the comparison of outcomes in adult zebrafish irradiated with 20 Gy at either 25 or 800 cGy/min in the context of experimental HCT. In non-transplanted irradiated fish we observed no substantial differences between dose-rate groups as assessed by fish mortality, cell death in the kidney, endogenous hematopoietic reconstitution, or gene expression levels of p53 and ddb2 (damage-specific DNA binding protein 2) in the kidney. However, following HCT, recipients conditioned with the higher dose rate showed significantly improved donor-derived engraftment at 9 days post transplant (p ? 0.0001), and improved engraftment persisted at 31 days post transplant. Analysis for sdf-1a expression, as well as transplant of hematopoietic cells from cxcr4b -/- zebrafish, (odysseus), cumulatively suggest that the sdf-1a/cxcr4b axis is not required of donor-derived cells for the observed dose-rate effect on engraftment. Overall, the adult zebrafish model of HCT indicates that exceptionally high radiation dose-rates can impact HCT outcome, and offers a new system for radiobiological and mechanistic interrogation of this phenomenon. Key words: Radiation dose rate, Total Marrow Irradiation (TMI), Total body irradiation (TBI), SDF-1, Zebrafish, hematopoietic cell transplant.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common human enzymopathy and in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a significant cause of infection- and drug-induced hemolysis and neonatal jaundice. Our goals were to determine the prevalence of G6PD deficiency among Nigerian children of different ethnic backgrounds and to identify predictors of G6PD deficiency by analyzing vital signs and hematocrit and by asking screening questions about symptoms of hemolysis. We studied 1,122 children (561 males and 561 females) aged 1 month to 15 years. The mean age was 7.4 ± 3.2 years. Children of Yoruba ethnicity made up the largest group (77.5%) followed by those Igbo descent (10.6%) and those of Igede (10.2%) and Tiv (1.8%) ethnicity. G6PD status was determined using the fluorescent spot method. We found that the overall prevalence of G6PD deficiency was 15.3% (24.1% in males, 6.6% in females). Yoruba children had a higher prevalence (16.9%) than Igede (10.5%), Igbo (10.1%) and Tiv (5.0%) children. The odds of G6PD deficiency were 0.38 times as high in Igbo children compared to Yoruba children (p=0.0500). The odds for Igede and Tiv children were not significantly different from Yoruba children (p=0.7528 and 0.9789 respectively). Mean oxygen saturation, heart rate and hematocrit were not significantly different in G6PD deficient and G6PD sufficient children. The odds of being G6PD deficient were 2.1 times higher in children with scleral icterus than those without (p=0.0351). In conclusion, we determined the prevalence of G6PD deficiency in Nigerian sub-populations. The odds of G6PD deficiency were decreased in Igbo children compared to Yoruba children. There was no association between vital parameters or hematocrit and G6PD deficiency. We found that a history of scleral icterus may increase the odds of G6PD deficiency, but we did not exclude other common causes of icterus such as sickle cell disease or malarial infection.
In mammals, stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) promotes hematopoietic cell mobilization and migration. Although the zebrafish, Danio rerio, is an emerging model for studying hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), the role of SDF-1 in the adult zebrafish has yet to be determined. We sought to characterize sdf-1 expression and function in the adult zebrafish in the context of HCT. In situ hybridization of adult zebrafish organs shows sdf-1 expression in kidney tubules, gills, and skin. Radiation up-regulates sdf-1 expression in kidney to nearly 4-fold after 40 Gy. Assays indicate that zebrafish hematopoietic cells migrate toward sdf-1, with a migration ratio approaching 1.5 in vitro. A sdf-1a:DsRed2 transgenic zebrafish allows in vivo detection of sdf-1a expression in the adult zebrafish. Matings with transgenic reporters localized sdf-1a expression to the putative hematopoietic cell niche in proximal and distal renal tubules and collecting ducts. Importantly, transplant of hematopoietic cells into myelosuppressed recipients indicated migration of hematopoietic cells to sdf-1a-expressing sites in the kidney and skin. We conclude that sdf-1 expression and function in the adult zebrafish have important similarities to mammals, and this sdf-1 transgenic vertebrate will be useful in characterizing the hematopoietic cell niche and its interactions with hematopoietic cells.
Cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (cALD) remains a devastating neurodegenerative disease; only allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) has been shown to provide long-term disease stabilization and survival. Sixty boys undergoing HCT for cALD from 2000 to 2009 were analyzed. The median age at HCT was 8.7 years; conditioning regimens and allograft sources varied. At HCT, 50% demonstrated a Loes radiographic severity score ? 10, and 62% showed clinical evidence of neurologic dysfunction. A total of 78% (n = 47) are alive at a median 3.7 years after HCT. The estimate of 5-year survival for boys with Loes score < 10 at HCT was 89%, whereas that for boys with Loes score ? 10 was 60% (P = .03). The 5-year survival estimate for boys absent of clinical cerebral disease at HCT was 91%, whereas that for boys with neurologic dysfunction was 66% (P = .08). The cumulative incidence of transplantation-related mortality at day 100 was 8%. Post-transplantation progression of neurologic dysfunction depended significantly on the pre-HCT Loes score and clinical neurologic status. We describe the largest single-institution analysis of survival and neurologic function outcomes after HCT in cALD. These trials were registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00176904, #NCT00668564, and #NCT00383448.
Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is an X-linked peroxisomal disorder characterized by the abnormal beta-oxidation of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA). In 35-40% of children with ALD, an acute inflammatory process occurs in the central nervous system (CNS) leading to demyelination that is rapidly progressive, debilitating and ultimately fatal. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) can halt disease progression in cerebral ALD (C-ALD) if performed early. In contrast, for advanced patients the risk of morbidity and mortality is increased with transplantation. To date there is no means of quantitating neuroinflammation in C-ALD, nor is there an accepted measure to determine prognosis for more advanced patients.
The goal of this study was to determine if we could establish a mesenchymal stromal line from zebrafish that would support hematopoietic cells. Such a coculture system would be a great benefit to study of the hematopoietic cell-stromal cell interaction in both in vitro and in vivo environments. Zebrafish stromal cells (ZStrC) were isolated from the "mesenchymal" tissue of the caudal tail and expanded in a specialized growth media. ZStrC were evaluated for phenotype, gene expression, and ability to maintain zebrafish marrow cells in coculture experiments. ZStrC showed mesenchymal and endothelial gene expression. Although ZStrC lacked the ability to differentiate into classic mesenchymal stromal cell lineages (i.e., osteocytes, adipocytes, chondrocytes), they did have the capacity for endotube formation on Matrigel and low-density lipoprotein uptake. ZStrC supported marrow cells for >2 weeks in vitro. Importantly, marrow cells were shown to retain homing ability in adoptive transfer experiments. ZStrC were also shown to improve hematopoietic recovery after sublethal irradiation after adoptive transfer. As the zebrafish model grows in popularity and importance in the study of hematopoiesis, new tools to aid in our understanding of the hematopoietic cell-stromal cell interaction are required. ZStrC represent an additional tool in the study of hematopoiesis and will be useful in understanding the factors that mediate the stromal cell-hematopoietic cell interactions that are important in hematopoietic cell maintenance.
Human progeroid syndromes and premature aging mouse models present as segmental, accelerated aging because some tissues and not others are affected. Skeletal muscle is detrimentally changed by normal aging but whether it is an affected tissue in progeria has not been resolved. We hypothesized that mice which mimic Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome would exhibit age-related alterations of skeletal muscle. Zmpste24 (-/-) and Zmpste24 (+/+) littermates were assessed for skeletal muscle functions, histo-morphological characteristics, and ankle joint mechanics. Twenty-four-hour active time, ambulation, grip strength, and whole body tension were evaluated as markers of neuromuscular performance, each of which was at least 33% lower in Zmpste24 (-/-) mice compared with littermates (p?0.06). Contractile capacity of the posterior leg muscles were not affected in Zmpste24 (-/-) mice, but muscles of the anterior leg were 30-90% weaker than those of Zmpste24 (+/+) mice (p?0.01). Leg muscles were 32-47% smaller in the Zmpste24 (-/-) mice and contained ~60% greater collagen relative to littermates (p?0.01). Soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscles of Zmpste24 (-/-) mice had excessive myonuclei and altered fiber size distributions but, otherwise, appeared normal. Ankle range of motion was 70% lower and plantar- and dorsiflexion passive torques were nearly 3-fold greater in Zmpste24 (-/-) than Zmpste24 (+/+) mice (p???0.01). The combined factors of muscle atrophy, collagen accumulation, and perturbed joint mechanics likely contributed to poor neuromuscular performance and selective muscle weakness displayed by Zmpste24 (-/-)mice. In summary, these characteristics are similar to those of aged mice indicating accelerated aging of skeletal muscle in progeria.
Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is an inherited blistering skin disorder caused by mutations in the COL7A1 gene-encoding type VII collagen (Col7), the major component of anchoring fibrils at the dermal-epidermal junction. Individuals with RDEB develop painful blisters and mucosal erosions, and currently, there are no effective forms of therapy. Nevertheless, some advances in patient therapy are being made, and cell-based therapies with mesenchymal and hematopoietic cells have shown promise in early clinical trials. To establish a foundation for personalized, gene-corrected, patient-specific cell transfer, we generated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from three subjects with RDEB (RDEB iPS cells). We found that Col7 was not required for stem cell renewal and that RDEB iPS cells could be differentiated into both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic lineages. The specific epigenetic profile associated with de-differentiation of RDEB fibroblasts and keratinocytes into RDEB iPS cells was similar to that observed in wild-type (WT) iPS cells. Importantly, human WT and RDEB iPS cells differentiated in vivo into structures resembling the skin. Gene-corrected RDEB iPS cells expressed Col7. These data identify the potential of RDEB iPS cells to generate autologous hematopoietic grafts and skin cells with the inherent capacity to treat skin and mucosal erosions that typify this genodermatosis.
Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS IH; Hurler syndrome) is a congenital deficiency of ?-L-iduronidase, leading to lysosomal storage of glycosaminoglycans that is ultimately fatal following an insidious onset after birth. Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a life-saving measure in MPS IH. However, because a suitable hematopoietic donor is not found for everyone, because HCT is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, and because there is no known benefit of immune reaction between the host and the donor cells in MPS IH, gene-corrected autologous stem cells may be the ideal graft for HCT. Thus, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells from 2 patients with MPS IH (MPS-iPS cells). We found that ?-L-iduronidase was not required for stem cell renewal, and that MPS-iPS cells showed lysosomal storage characteristic of MPS IH and could be differentiated to both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells. The specific epigenetic profile associated with de-differentiation of MPS IH fibroblasts into MPS-iPS cells was maintained when MPS-iPS cells are gene-corrected with virally delivered ?-L-iduronidase. These data underscore the potential of MPS-iPS cells to generate autologous hematopoietic grafts devoid of immunologic complications of allogeneic transplantation, as well as generating nonhematopoietic cells with the potential to treat anatomical sites not fully corrected with HCT.
Pulsed Q dissociation enables combining LTQ ion trap instruments with isobaric peptide tagging. Unfortunately, this combination lacks a technique which accurately reports protein abundance ratios and is implemented in a freely available, flexible software pipeline. We developed and implemented a technique assigning collective reporter ion intensity-based weights to each peptide abundance ratio and calculating a proteins weighted average abundance ratio and p-value. Using an iTRAQ-labeled standard mixture, we compared our techniques performance to the commercial software MASCOT, finding that it performed better than MASCOTs nonweighted averaging and median peptide ratio techniques, and equal to its weighted averaging technique. We also compared performance of the LTQ-Orbitrap plus our technique to 4800 MALDI TOF/TOF plus Protein Pilot, by analyzing an iTRAQ-labeled stem cell lysate. We found highly correlated protein abundance ratios, indicating that the LTQ-Orbitrap plus our technique yields results comparable to the current standard. We implemented our technique in a freely available, automated software pipeline, called LTQ-iQuant, which is mzXML-compatible; supports iTRAQ 4-plex and 8-plex LTQ data; and can be modified for and have weights trained to a users LTQ and other isobaric peptide tagging methods. LTQ-iQuant should make LTQ instruments and isobaric peptide tagging accessible to more proteomic researchers.
Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa is an incurable, often fatal mucocutaneous blistering disease caused by mutations in COL7A1, the gene encoding type VII collagen (C7). On the basis of preclinical data showing biochemical correction and prolonged survival in col7 ?/? mice, we hypothesized that allogeneic marrow contains stem cells capable of ameliorating the manifestations of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa in humans.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are gaining in popularity as an experimental therapy for a number of conditions that often require expansion ex vivo prior to use. Data comparing clinical-grade MSC from various ages of donors are scant. We hypothesized that MSC from older donors may display differences in cellular fitness when expanded for clinical use.
Previous research has suggested that human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) may integrate into host cell chromosomes and be vertically transmitted in the germ line, but the evidence--primarily fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)--is indirect. We sought, first, to definitively test these two hypotheses. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from families in which several members, including at least one parent and child, had unusually high copy numbers of HHV-6 DNA per milliliter of blood. FISH confirmed that HHV-6 DNA colocalized with telomeric regions of one allele on chromosomes 17p13.3, 18q23, and 22q13.3, and that the integration site was identical among members of the same family. Integration of the HHV-6 genome into TTAGGG telomere repeats was confirmed by additional methods and sequencing of the integration site. Partial sequencing of the viral genome identified the same integrated HHV-6A strain within members of families, confirming vertical transmission of the viral genome. We next asked whether HHV-6A infection of naïve cell lines could lead to integration. Following infection of naïve Jjhan and HEK-293 cell lines by HHV-6, the virus integrated into telomeres. Reactivation of integrated HHV-6A virus from individuals PBMCs as well as cell lines was successfully accomplished by compounds known to induce latent herpesvirus replication. Finally, no circular episomal forms were detected even by PCR. Taken together, the data suggest that HHV-6 is unique among human herpesviruses: it specifically and efficiently integrates into telomeres of chromosomes during latency rather than forming episomes, and the integrated viral genome is capable of producing virions.
The zebrafish is an increasingly popular model for studying many aspects of biology. Recently, ztert, the zebrafish homolog of the mammalian telomerase gene has been cloned and sequenced. In contrast to humans, it has been shown that the zebrafish maintains telomerase activity for much of its adult life and has remarkable regenerative capacity. To date, there has been no longitudinal study to assess whether this retention of telomerase activity equates to the retention of chromosome telomere length through adulthood.
The glyco-isoforms of intact apolipoprotein C3 (ApoC3) were used to probe glycomic changes associated with obesity and recovery following bariatric surgery, liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and alcoholic liver cirrhosis, as well as severe, multiorgan diseases such as sepsis and graft vs host disease (GVHD). ApoC3 glyco-isoform ratios responded to unique stimuli that did not correlate with serum lipids or with other blood components measured in either a control population or a group of extremely obese individuals. However, glyco-isoform ratios correlated with obesity with a 1.8-fold change among subjects eligible for bariatric surgery relative to a nonobese control population. Bariatric surgery resulted in rapid change of isoform distribution to that of nonobese individuals, after which the distribution was stable in each individual. Although multiple simultaneous factors complicated effector attribution, the isoform ratios of very obese individuals were nearly normal for diabetic individuals on metformin therapy. Glyco-isoform ratios were sensitive to liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis C and alcoholic liver cirrhosis. The correlation coefficient with fibrosis was superior to that of current assays of serum enzyme levels. Diseases of pregnancy that can result in liver damage, HELLP syndrome and pre-eclampsia, did not alter ApoC3 glyco-isoform ratios. Early after umbilical cord blood transplantation the isoform ratios changed and returned to normal in long-term survivors. Larger changes were observed in persons who died. GVHD had little effect. Persons with severe sepsis showed altered ratios. Similar cut-points for mortality (3.5-fold difference from controls) were found for UCBT and sepsis. Similar values characterized liver cirrhosis. Overall, while changes of glyco-isoform ratios occurred in many situations, individual stability of isoform distribution was evident and large changes were limited to high-level disease. If ratio changes associated with obesity are found to document a risk factor for long-term outcomes, the information provided by glyco-isoform ratio changes may provide important, novel information for diagnostic, prognostic and therapy response to metabolic conditions.
Since most oncogenic viruses persist as extrachromosomal covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in tumor cells, we developed an assay to visualize and identify cccDNA in primary lymphomas. We identified concatemers of the mitochondrial genome in all samples analyzed, but not in normal lymphocytes. One AIDS-associated lymphoma (EL) was further studied in detail as its mitochondrial genome consisted of tandem head-to-tail duplications. Insertion of C-residues was noted near the origin of replication of EL mtDNA. EL cells responded weakly to Fas-apoptotic stimulus, displayed reduced mitochondrial activity and mass, and produced higher levels of reactive oxygen intermediates. Screening of several AIDS-associated lymphomas and established lymphoid cell lines also revealed the presence of mitochondrial genome concatemers consisting of interlinked monomer molecules. Taken together, our results suggest that formation of mtDNA concatemers is associated with oncogenic transformation in lymphoid cells.
The recessive dystrophic form of epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is a disorder of incurable skin fragility and blistering caused by mutations in the type VII collagen gene (Col7a1). The absence of type VII collagen production leads to the loss of adhesion at the basement membrane zone due to the absence of anchoring fibrils, which are composed of type VII collagen. We report that wild-type, congenic bone marrow cells homed to damaged skin, produced type VII collagen protein and anchoring fibrils, ameliorated skin fragility, and reduced lethality in the murine model of RDEB generated by targeted Col7a1 disruption. These data provide the first evidence that a population of marrow cells can correct the basement membrane zone defect found in mice with RDEB and offer a potentially valuable approach for treatment of human RDEB and other extracellular matrix disorders.
X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy results from mutations in the ABCD1 gene disrupting the metabolism of very-long-chain fatty acids. The most serious form of ALD, cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (cALD), causes neuroinflammation and demyelination. Neuroimaging in cALD shows inflammatory changes and indicates blood-brain-barrier (BBB) disruption. We hypothesize that disruption may occur through the degradation of the extracellular matrix defining the BBB by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). MMPs have not been evaluated in the setting of cALD.
Adult zebrafish possess a significant ability to regenerate injured heart tissue through proliferation of pre-existing cardiomyocytes, which contrasts with the inability of mammals to do so after the immediate postnatal period. Zebrafish therefore provide a model system in which to study how an injured heart can be repaired. However, it remains unknown what important processes cardiomyocytes are involved in other than partial de-differentiation and proliferation. Here we show that migration of cardiomyocytes to the injury site is essential for heart regeneration. Ventricular amputation induced expression of cxcl12a and cxcr4b, genes encoding a chemokine ligand and its receptor. We found that cxcl12a was expressed in the epicardial tissue and that Cxcr4 was expressed in cardiomyocytes. We show that pharmacological blocking of Cxcr4 function as well as genetic loss of cxcr4b function causes failure to regenerate the heart after ventricular resection. Cardiomyocyte proliferation was not affected but a large portion of proliferating cardiomyocytes remained localized outside the injury site. A photoconvertible fluorescent reporter-based cardiomyocyte-tracing assay demonstrates that cardiomyocytes migrated into the injury site in control hearts but that migration was inhibited in the Cxcr4-blocked hearts. By contrast, the epicardial cells and vascular endothelial cells were not affected by blocking Cxcr4 function. Our data show that the migration of cardiomyocytes into the injury site is regulated independently of proliferation, and that coordination of both processes is necessary for heart regeneration.
X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a metabolic, peroxisomal disease that results from a mutation in the ABCD1 gene. The most severe course of ALD progression is the cerebral inflammatory and demyelinating form of the disease, cALD. To date there is very little information on the cytokine mediators in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) of these boys.
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