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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Protease-antiprotease imbalances differ between Cystic Fibrosis patients' upper and lower airway secretions.
J. Cyst. Fibros.
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2014
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Balanced levels of proteases and anti-proteases are essential in host defense systems. In CF patients' lungs, elevated protease/anti-protease-ratios contribute to damage of airway tissue and premature death with the inherited disease. Little is known about upper airway protease equilibrium in CF.
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Dynamics of soluble and cellular inflammatory markers in nasal lavage obtained from cystic fibrosis patients during intravenous antibiotic treatment.
BMC Pulm Med
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2014
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In cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, the upper airways display the same ion channel defect as evident in the lungs, resulting in chronic inflammation and infection. Recognition of the sinonasal area as a site of first and persistent infection with pathogens, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, reinforces the "one-airway" hypothesis. Therefore, we assessed the effect of systemic antibiotics against pulmonary pathogens on sinonasal inflammation.
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Differential protein expression in seminal plasma from fertile and infertile males.
J Hum Reprod Sci
PUBLISHED: 03-17-2014
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The aim of this study was to analyze human seminal plasma proteins in association with male fertility status using the proteomic mass spectrometry technology Surface-Enhanced Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight (SELDI-TOF-MS).
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Getting too sweet: galectin-1 dysregulation in gestational diabetes mellitus.
Mol. Hum. Reprod.
PUBLISHED: 03-17-2014
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Galectin-1 (gal-1) is a prototype carbohydrate-binding protein, whose dysregulation is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as spontaneous abortion and pre-eclampsia. Furthermore, it is known that faulty gal-1 protein production or gene regulation can be caused by single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the LGALS1 gene. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is also an adverse pregnancy outcome and the most common metabolic disorder during gestation. However, gal-1 expression patterns during GDM remain largely unknown. Our aims were to define local and peripheral gal-1 expression patterns during pregnancy, and to investigate LGALS1 gene polymorphisms in GDM patients. Circulating gal-1 levels were determined by ELISA in GDM patients and normal pregnant controls, and LGALS1 gene polymorphisms were assessed for association with GDM. Placental tissues were collected from control and GDM term pregnancies to evaluate local gal-1 expression by immunofluorescence. Our results show that GDM is associated with a failure to increase circulating gal-1 levels during the second and third trimester, as well as overexpression of gal-1 in placental tissue. Additionally, the LGALS1 polymorphism rs4820294 was associated with the development of GDM. In pregnancies complicated by GDM, we observed gal-1 dysregulation both locally in the placenta and peripherally in the circulation. Furthermore, the association between the LGALS1 polymorphism and GDM may indicate a genetic contribution to this adverse pregnancy outcome.
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Non-invasive assessment of upper and lower airway infection and inflammation in CF patients.
Pediatr. Pulmonol.
PUBLISHED: 01-25-2014
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The upper (UAW) and lower (LAW) airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) have the same ion-channel defects, but little is known about similarities and differences in host immunological responses at the two levels.
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Placental immune response to apple allergen in allergic mothers.
J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2014
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The immunological milieu in the placenta may be crucial for priming the developing foetal immune system. Early imbalances may promote the establishment of immune-mediated diseases in later life, including allergies. The initial exposure to allergens seems to occur in utero, but little is known about allergen-induced placental cytokine and chemokine release. The release of several cytokines and chemokines from placenta tissue after exposure to mast cell degranulator compound 48/80 or apple allergen in placentas from allergic and healthy mothers was to be analysed. Four placentas from women with apple allergy and three controls were applied in a placental perfusion model with two separate cotyledons simultaneously perfused with and without apple allergen (Mal d 1). Two control placentas were perfused with compound 48/80. In outflow, histamine was quantified spectrophotofluorometrically, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF and IFN-? by a cytometric multiplex bead array and IL-13 and CXCL10, CXCL11, CCL17 and CCL22 with an in-house multiplex Luminex assay. Compound 48/80 induced a rapid release of histamine, CXCL10, CXCL11, CCL17 and CCL22, but not of the other factors. Apple allergen induced a time-dependent release of IL-6 and TNF, but not of histamine, in placentas of women with apple allergy compared with the unstimulated cotyledon. CCL17 levels were slightly increased after allergen stimulation in control placentas. Allergens can induce placental cytokines and chemokines distinctly in allergic and healthy mothers. These mediators may affect the prenatal development of the immune system and modify the risk of diseases related to immune disorders in childhood such as allergies.
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Influences of nasal lavage collection-, processing- and storage methods on inflammatory markers - Evaluation of a method for non-invasive sampling of epithelial lining fluid in cystic fibrosis and other respiratory diseases.
J. Immunol. Methods
PUBLISHED: 09-30-2013
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Non-invasive sampling of airway epithelial-lining-fluid by nasal lavage (NL) is an emerging method to monitor allergy, infection and inflammation in patients with respiratory diseases. However, the influences of collection-, processing- and storage-methods have not been sufficiently evaluated and standardized.
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The Placenta in Toxicology. Part I: Animal Models in Toxicology: Placental Morphology and Tolerance Molecules in the Cynomolgus Monkey (Macaca fascicularis).
Toxicol Pathol
PUBLISHED: 04-02-2013
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The immune system represents a key defense mechanism against potential pathogens and adverse non-self materials. During pregnancy, the placenta is the point of contact between the maternal organism and non-self proteins of the fetal allograft and hence undoubtedly fulfils immune functions. In the placenta bacteria, foreign (non-self) proteins and proteins that might be introduced in toxicological studies or by medication are barred from reaching the progeny, and the maternal immune system is primed for acceptance of non-maternal fetal protein. Both immunologic protection of the fetus and acceptance of the fetus by the mother require effective mechanisms to prevent an immunologic fetomaternal conflict and to keep both organisms in balance. This is why the placenta requires toxicological consideration in view of its immune organ function. The following articles deal with placenta immune-, control-, and tolerance mechanisms in view of both fetal and maternal aspects. Furthermore, models for experimental access to placental immune function are addressed and the pathological evaluation is elucidated. "The Placenta as an Immune Organ and Its Relevance in Toxicological Studies" was subject of a continuing education course at the 2012 Society of Toxicologic Pathology meeting held in Boston, MA.
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The Placenta in Toxicology. Part IV: Battery of Toxicological Test Systems Based on Human Placenta.
Toxicol Pathol
PUBLISHED: 04-02-2013
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This review summarizes the potential and also some limitations of using human placentas, or placental cells and structures for toxicology testing. The placenta contains a wide spectrum of cell types and tissues, such as trophoblast cells, immune cells, fibroblasts, stem cells, endothelial cells, vessels, glands, membranes, and many others. It may be expected that in many cases the relevance of results obtained from human placenta will be higher than those from animal models due to species specificity of metabolism and placental structure. For practical and economical reasons, we propose to apply a battery of sequential experiments for analysis of potential toxicants. This should start with using cell lines, followed by testing placenta tissue explants and isolated placenta cells, and finally by application of single and dual side ex vivo placenta perfusion. With each of these steps, the relative workload increases while the number of feasible repeats decreases. Simultaneously, the predictive power enhances by increasing similarity with in vivo human conditions. Toxic effects may be detected by performing proliferation, vitality and cell death assays, analysis of protein and hormone expression, immunohistochemistry or testing functionality of signaling pathways, gene expression, transport mechanisms, and so on. When toxic effects appear at any step, the subsequent assays may be cancelled. Such a system may be useful to reduce costs and increase specificity in testing questionable toxicants. Nonetheless, it requires further standardization and end point definitions for better comparability of results from different toxicants and to estimate the respective in vivo translatability and predictive value.
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Transthyretin is dysregulated in preeclampsia, and its native form prevents the onset of disease in a preclinical mouse model.
Am. J. Pathol.
PUBLISHED: 03-27-2013
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Preeclampsia is a major pregnancy complication with potential short- and long-term consequences for both mother and fetus. Understanding its pathogenesis and causative biomarkers is likely to yield insights for prediction and treatment. Herein, we provide evidence that transthyretin, a transporter of thyroxine and retinol, is aggregated in preeclampsia and is present at reduced levels in sera of preeclamptic women, as detected by proteomic screen. We demonstrate that transthyretin aggregates form deposits in preeclampsia placental tissue and cause apoptosis. By using in vitro approaches and a humanized mouse model, we provide evidence for a causal link between dysregulated transthyretin and preeclampsia. Native transthyretin inhibits all preeclampsia-like features in the humanized mouse model, including new-onset proteinuria, increased blood pressure, glomerular endotheliosis, and production of anti-angiogenic factors. Our findings suggest that a focus on transthyretin structure and function is a novel strategy to understand and combat preeclampsia.
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Seminal plasma peptides may determine maternal immune response that alters success or failure of pregnancy in the abortion-prone CBAxDBA/2 model.
J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 03-27-2013
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Spontaneous abortion (resorption) in the DBA/2-mated CBA/J mouse involves a deficiency in Treg cell activity against paternal antigens at the time of mating. Preimmunization of female CBA/J by BALB/c splenocytes, but not DBA/2 splenocytes, protects against subsequent abortions after a CBAxDBA/2 mating. Previous immunogenetic studies with BALB/cxDBA/2 recombinants have indicated that H-2(d)-restricted presentation of a single minor non-H-2(d) peptide might be responsible for protection, while the product of a second independent allele might promote abortions. Using brefeldin-treated BALB/c and DBA/2 splenocytes, we found that incubation in BALB/c seminal plasma rendered DBA/2 splenocytes protective and DBA/2 seminal plasma eliminated protection. The active protective moiety was <10 kD consistent with a peptide. DBA/2 seminal plasma contained a <10-kD peptide that boosted the abortion rate. Maternal H-2(k) CBA/J splenocytes were unable to present the protective activity. Amicon fractionation also unmasked a <10-kD activity in DBA/2 seminal plasma that could boost abortion rates when presented by BALB/c splenocytes. SELDI-TOF mass spectrometry proteomic analysis of <10-kD filtrates reproducibly detected 1416, 1468, 1774 D peptides in BALB/c that were reduced or absent in DBA/2, and the presence of 2662, 4559 and 5320 D molecules in DBA/2, the latter two definitely not present in BALB/c. Direct antigen presentation of paternal H-2(d)-restricted paternal peptides (600-1800 D) may prevent the rejection of the CBAxDBA/2 embryos, and larger sized peptides may bind to immunizing splenocytes and augment abortion mechanisms.
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The Placenta in Toxicology. Part II: Systemic and Local Immune Adaptations in Pregnancy.
Toxicol Pathol
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2013
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During pregnancy, the maternal immune system is challenged by the semiallogeneic fetus, which must be tolerated without compromising fetal or maternal health. This review updates the systemic and local immune changes taking place during human pregnancy, including some examples in rodents. Systemic changes are induced by contact of maternal blood with placental factors and include enhanced innate immunity with increased activation of granulocytes and nonclassical monocytes. Although a bias toward T helper (Th2) and regulatory T cell (Treg) immunity has been associated with healthy pregnancy, the relationship between different circulating Th cell subsets is not straightforward. Instead, these adaptations appear most evidently at the fetal-maternal interface, where for instance Tregs are enriched and promote fetal tolerance. Also innate immune cells, that is, natural killer cells and macrophages, are enriched, constituting the majority of decidual leukocytes. These cells not only contribute to immune regulation but also aid in establishing the placenta by promoting trophoblast recruitment and angiogenesis. Thus, proper interaction between leukocytes and placental trophoblasts is necessary for normal placentation and immune adaptation. Consequently, spontaneous maladaptation or interference of the immune system with toxic substances may be important contributing factors for the development of pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, preterm labor, and recurrent miscarriages.
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The Placenta in Toxicology. Part III: Pathologic Assessment of the Placenta.
Toxicol Pathol
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2013
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This short review is derived from the peer-reviewed literature and the experience and case materials of the authors. Brief illustrated summaries are presented on the gross and histologic normal anatomy of rodent and macaque placentas, including typical organ weights, with comments on differences from the human placenta. Common incidental findings, background lesions, and induced toxic lesions are addressed, and a recommended strategy for pathologic evaluation of placentas is provided.
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Pregnancy-associated miRNA-clusters.
J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2013
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are expressed in the placenta and can be detected in maternal plasma. An increasing number of studies have been published on the cellular origin, distribution and function of miRNAs in pregnancy. Specific miRNA profiles have been described for the placenta, maternal plasma and several pregnancy disorders. It has been observed that numerous miRNAs, which are predominantly or exclusively expressed during pregnancy, are clustered in chromosomal regions, may be controlled by the same promoters, may have similar seed regions and targets, and work synergistically. The three most eminent clusters are the chromosome 19 miRNA cluster (C19MC), C14MC and miR-371-3 cluster, which is also localized on chromosome 19. MiRNA members of these clusters are not only detected in the placenta, but also in other compartments, e.g. in serum where they have the potential to become novel biomarkers of pregnancy disorders. Additionally, some members are also expressed in a variety of tumors. Antagonism of selected miRNAs or their targets may lead to novel strategies for the development of new drug classes in pregnancy disorders or other diseases. This review summarizes current knowledge on the pregnancy-related miRNA clusters - the C19MC, C14MC and miR-371-3 cluster - in regard to pregnancy and also other, mostly pathological circumstances.
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HTR8/SVneo cells display trophoblast progenitor cell-like characteristics indicative of self-renewal, repopulation activity, and expression of "stemness-" associated transcription factors.
Biomed Res Int
PUBLISHED: 01-10-2013
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JEG3 is a choriocarcinoma--and HTR8/SVneo a transformed extravillous trophoblast--cell line often used to model the physiologically invasive extravillous trophoblast. Past studies suggest that these cell lines possess some stem or progenitor cell characteristics. Aim was to study whether these cells fulfill minimum criteria used to identify stem-like (progenitor) cells. In summary, we found that the expression profile of HTR8/SVneo (CDX2+, NOTCH1+, SOX2+, NANOG+, and OCT-) is distinct from JEG3 (CDX2+ and NOTCH1+) as seen only in human-serum blocked immunocytochemistry. This correlates with HTR8/SVneos self-renewal capacities, as made visible via spheroid formation and multi-passagability in hanging drops protocols paralleling those used to maintain embryoid bodies. JEG3 displayed only low propensity to form and reform spheroids. HTR8/SVneo spheroids migrated to cover and seemingly repopulate human chorionic villi during confrontation cultures with placental explants in hanging drops. We conclude that HTR8/SVneo spheroid cells possess progenitor cell traits that are probably attained through corruption of "stemness-" associated transcription factor networks. Furthermore, trophoblastic cells are highly prone to unspecific binding, which is resistant to conventional blocking methods, but which can be alleviated through blockage with human serum.
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Intranuclear Crosstalk between Extracellular Regulated Kinase1/2 and Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 Regulates JEG-3 Choriocarcinoma Cell Invasion and Proliferation.
ScientificWorldJournal
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Invasiveness of trophoblast and choriocarcinoma cells is in part mediated via leukemia inhibitory factor- (LIF-) induced activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). The regulation of STAT3 phosphorylation at its ser727 binding site, possible crosstalk with intracellular MAPK signaling, and their functional implications are the object of the present investigation. JEG-3 choriocarcinoma cells were cultured in presence/absence of LIF and the specific ERK1/2 inhibitor (U0126). Phosphorylation of signaling molecules (p-STAT3 (ser727 and tyr705) and p-ERK1/2 (thr 202/tyr 204)) was assessed per Western blot. Immunocytochemistry confirmed results, but also pinpointed the location of phosphorylated signaling molecules. STAT3 DNA-binding capacity was studied with a colorimetric ELISA-based assay. Cell viability and invasion capability were assessed by MTS and Matrigel assays. Our results demonstrate that LIF-induced phosphorylation of STAT3 (tyr705 and ser727) is significantly increased after blocking ERK1/2. STAT3 DNA-binding capacity and cell invasiveness are enhanced after LIF stimulation and ERK1/2 blockage. In contrast, proliferation is enhanced by LIF but reduced after ERK1/2 inhibition. The findings herein show that blocking ERK1/2 increases LIF-induced STAT3 phosphorylation and STAT3 DNA-binding capacity by an intranuclear crosstalk, which leads to enhanced invasiveness and reduced proliferation.
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Understanding the link between the IL-6 cytokine family and pregnancy: implications for future therapeutics.
Expert Rev Clin Immunol
PUBLISHED: 09-08-2011
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Cytokines are involved in almost all processes during the menstrual cycle, the fertilization period and pregnancy. They are expressed in numerous reproduction-related body fluids and tissues. Disorders of cytokine expression patterns may cause pregnancy pathologies. Therefore, cytokines have the potential as new biomarkers in different body compartments for a variety of such pathologies. Furthermore, cytokines may also serve to treat fertility and pregnancy disorders. The IL-6-like family of cytokines is an intensively investigated group of cytokines with well-accepted functions in fertility and pregnancy. This article summarizes current knowledge on IL-6-like cytokines in regard of their role in reproduction and their potential for new strategies in the treatment of reproductive pathologies.
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Is galectin-1 a trigger for trophoblast cell fusion?: the MAP-kinase pathway and syncytium formation in trophoblast tumour cells BeWo.
Mol. Hum. Reprod.
PUBLISHED: 08-10-2011
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Galectin-1 (gal-1), a member of the mammalian ?-galactoside-binding proteins, exerts biological effects by recognition of glycan ligands, including those involved in cell adhesion and growth regulation. In a previous study, we demonstrated that gal-1 induces cell differentiation processes on the membrane of choriocarcinoma cells BeWo, including the receptor tyrosine kinases, REarranged during transfection, janus kinase 2 and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3. Within this study, we examined which mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and serine/threonine kinases were phoshorylated by gal-1. Out of a number of 21 different MAPKs and other serine/threonine kinases, the stimulation of BeWo cells with gal-1 showed a significant alteration of signal intensity in extracellular-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2), Akt-3, Akt-pan and glycogen synthase kinase-?/? (GSK-3?/?). We demonstrated that gal-1 significantly inhibited ERK1/2, Akt-3/pan and GSK-3?/? phosphorylation in BeWo cells and in addition induced Elk1 transcription factor activation. In contrast to gal-1 effects, MAPK inhibitor U0126 reduced syncytium formation of BeWo cells. The results of our data showed that phosphorylation of MAP kinases are involved in gal-1-induced signal transduction processes in BeWo cells. Additional results obtained with MAPK inhibitor U0126 close the gap between syncytium formation induced by gal-1 and MAPK activation in trophoblast cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that gal-1 induces the activation of Elk1, a transcription factor that is activated by MAPK pathways.
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Reduction in miR-141 is induced by leukemia inhibitory factor and inhibits proliferation in choriocarcinoma cell line JEG-3.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 07-06-2011
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Starting from the peri-implantation period, leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a major regulator of trophoblast functions. Micro-RNAs (miRNA) are short non-coding RNA sequences, which regulate expression of genes at post-transcriptional level. The influence of LIF on miRNA expression in trophoblastic cells has not yet been analyzed and was focus of this investigation.
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Leukaemia inhibitory factor mediated proliferation of HTR-8/SVneo trophoblast cells is dependent on activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2.
Reprod. Fertil. Dev.
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2011
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Leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is one of the cytokines that is indispensable for embryo implantation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 in LIF-mediated proliferation of HTR-8/SVneo cells. Stimulation of HTR-8/SVneo cells with LIF (50 ng mL(-1)) resulted in an increase in cell proliferation (P < 0.05) via increased transition of cells to the G(2)/M phase of cell cycle. Stimulation with LIF resulted in the activation of both signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 Tyr(705) and ERK1/2, but inhibition of ERK1/2 signalling by pretreatment of cells with U0126 (10 µM) for 2h resulted in abrogation of LIF-mediated increases in G(2)/M transition, with a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in absolute cell numbers compared with control. Although STAT3 silencing had no effect on LIF-dependent proliferation of HTR-8/SVneo cells, it did result in an increase in cell apoptosis, which increased further upon inhibition of ERK1/2 activation irrespective of LIF stimulation. Stimulation of cells with LIF increased the Bcl-2/Bax ratio, whereas ERK1/2 inhibition decreased the Bcl-2/Bax ratio, even after LIF stimulation. Hence, it can be inferred that ERK1/2 activation is essential for LIF-mediated increases in proliferation and that both STAT3 and ERK1/2 activation are important for the survival of HTR-8/SVneo cells.
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Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS3) balance controls cytotoxicity and IL-10 expression in decidual-like natural killer cell line NK-92.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 03-09-2011
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OBJECTIVES? In previous studies, we have shown that sHLA-G reduces cytotoxicity of decidual NK cells, which was dependent upon reduction in signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and perforin. In this study, we aimed to confirm the role of STAT3 for induction of cytotoxicity and to analyze the regulative role of its antagonist suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3). Furthermore, the influence of both factors on cytokine expression should be analyzed. METHODS? All experiments were performed on NK-92 cells. STAT3 and SOCS3 have been silenced using two different small interfering RNA sequences each. Silencing efficiency and STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation have been analyzed by Western blotting. Cytotoxicity to K562 target cells has been assessed by flow cytometry. Expression of IFN-?, IL-1?, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-?, and TNF-? has been measured using cytometric bead arrays for flow cytometry. RESULTS? STAT3 and SOCS3 have been successfully silenced. STAT3 silencing reduced cytotoxicity. SOCS3 silencing induced increase in STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation and cytotoxicity. STAT3 silencing reduced IL-10 expression significantly, while SOCS3 silencing induced, also significantly, the opposite effect. The other cytokines were expressed at very low concentration or not constantly affected. CONCLUSION? STAT3 and SOCS3 are involved in regulation of NK cell cytotoxicity and IL-10 expression.
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Prevention and treatment of allergic asthma in pregnancy: from conventional drugs to new therapeutical approaches.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol
PUBLISHED: 02-24-2011
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Different conventional anti-asthmatic and anti-allergic drugs are commonly used in pregnancy, including inhaled corticosteroids, long- and short-acting ?-agonists, leukotriene modifiers, cromolyn, and theophylline. Alternatively, immunotherapy with allergens before and during pregnancy is accepted as a causal treatment of allergies, but the allergy specifity and severity in combination with a variety of application protocols and procedures cause wide heterogenity of this treatment principle. Furthermore, the pharmacokinetic characteristics and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classification of conventional anti-allergic drugs and immunological implications of immunotherapy are summarized in this review, and insights on fetal programming of allergies are introduced. We propose a potential perspective of treatment with anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving mediators, such as lipoxins, resolvins and protectins; these are lipid mediators physiologically generated during the immune response from arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. This proposal fits with the recently appreciated approaches to allergy prevention for the newborn child by a balanced maternal nutrition and omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption.
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MicroRNAs in pregnancy.
J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-12-2011
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Since the discovery of non-coding RNAs, several families of small regulatory molecules have been described including small nucleolar RNAs, piwi-interacting RNAs and microRNAs (miRNAs). MiRNAs are small single-stranded RNA molecules which play an important role in the regulation of gene expression at the transcriptional level. Recent studies demonstrated that about 30% of human genes are regulated by miRNAs and their deregulation has been associated with malignancies and poor outcome. Therefore, it is not surprising that profiling of miRNAs expression and studies on their regulation became a great field of interest in the last decade. However, miRNA-mediated regulation in pregnancy remains poorly investigated although several independent processes associated with placenta development have been shown to be miRNA-regulated. This review provides a general overview of the current data on profiles and functions of microRNAs in the peri-implantation period, embryonic stem cells, placentation and pregnancy, as well as in several pregnancy-related pathologies. We conclude that miRNAs present in the maternal circulation may provide a new promising diagnostic tool for pregnancy disorders.
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Governing the invasive trophoblast: current aspects on intra- and extracellular regulation.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 03-17-2010
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This review summarizes several aspects especially of regulating factors governing trophoblast invasion. Those include the composition of the extracellular matrix containing a variety of matrix metalloproeinases and their inhibitors, but also intracellular signals. Furthermore, a newly described trophoblast subtype, the endoglandular trophoblast, is presented. Its presence may provide a possible mechanism for opening and connecting uterine glands into the intervillous space. Amongst others, two intracellular signalling pathways are crucial for regulation of trophoblast functions and development: Wnt- and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 signalling. Wnt signalling promotes implantation, placentation and trophoblast differentiation. Several Wnt-dependent cascades and regulatory mechanisms display different functions in trophoblast cells. The STAT3 signalling system is fundamental for induction and regulation of invasiveness in physiological trophoblastic cells, but also in tumours. The role of galectins (Gal) in trophoblast regulation and placenta development comes increasingly into focus. The Gal- 1-4, 7-10 and 12-14 have been detected in humans. Detailed information is only available for Gal-1, -2, -3, -4, -9 and -12 in endometrium and decidua. Gal-1, -3 and -13 (-14) have been detected and studied in trophoblast cells.
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Leptin gene (TTTC)(n) microsatellite polymorphism as well as leptin receptor R223Q and PPARgamma2 P12A substitutions are not associated with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-12-2010
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Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) affects up to 15% of all pregnancies. Disturbed placentation is one factor associated with PIH. Leptin and peroxisome proliferator activator receptors (PPAR) seem to play an important role in placentation, fetal development, and blood pressure regulation. Therefore, we investigated polymorphisms in the genes encoding leptin, the leptin receptor, and PPARgamma2 in patients with PIH.
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Role of regulatory and angiogenic cytokines in invasion of trophoblastic cells.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 12-29-2009
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Trophoblast invasion is a temporally and locally restricted process, which regulates implantation and oxygen arrival to the embryo through the dialog with spiral artery endothelium. Trophoblast factors with angiogenic potential are activated by hypoxia. Their capacities to induce proliferation, migration, and invasion of trophoblastic cells have been investigated.
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Interleukin-11 increases invasiveness of JEG-3 choriocarcinoma cells by modulating STAT3 expression.
J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 06-29-2009
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Amongst the interleukin-6 (IL-6) family of cytokines, leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) has been shown to promote trophoblast invasion and proliferation. In the present study interleukin-11 (IL-11), another member of the IL-6 family, was investigated for its role in regulating invasion, migration and proliferation of JEG-3 choriocarcinoma cells. JEG-3 cells, like extra villous trophoblast (EVT), express mRNA transcripts encoding IL-11 and IL-11 receptor-alpha (IL-11Ralpha). Treatment of JEG-3 cells with IL-11 led to an increase in invasion across Matrigel extracellular matrix without an increase in proliferation. There was a dose-dependent increase in activation of STAT3 under the influence of IL-11 with maximum Tyr705 phosphorylation by 10min. In addition, treatment of JEG-3 cells with IL-11 for 24h led to an increase in expression of unphosphorylated STAT1 and STAT3. Analysis of the nuclear fraction showed an increased localization of STAT3 following IL-11 treatment while STAT1 was absent. Silencing the expression of STAT3 by siRNA caused a 25% reduction in invasion compared to control cells, however this was not significant. Furthermore, treatment of STAT3-silenced JEG-3 cells with IL-11 led to a significant increase in invasion compared to STAT3-silenced cells without cytokine, but this was not significant compared to non-transfected control cells. Silencing the expression of gp130 but not of IL-6R abrogated the increase in invasiveness of JEG-3 cells following IL-11 treatment. In conclusion, activation and upregulation of STAT3 appears to be critical for the IL-11-mediated increase in invasiveness of JEG-3 cells.
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Knocking off the suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS): their roles in mammalian pregnancy.
J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 03-16-2009
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This review discusses the possible role of the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins in mammalian reproduction. SOCS are regulatory proteins that are rapidly transcribed in response to intracellular Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) signaling, a cascade governing biological functions including cytokine-induced immunological responses and reproductive processes. For instance STAT3 appears to mediate trophoblast invasion induced by LIF. The SOCS family includes 8 members (cytokine-inducible SH2 protein [CIS] and SOCS1-7) that orchestrate distinct reactions by antagonizing STAT activation. Emerging evidence points to a role of some family members in synchronizing Th1/Th2 cell profiles, the balance in which is considered vital to pregnancy maintenance. The reproductive phenotypes of mutant mice harboring targeted disruption of SOCS gene isoforms offer insights for reproductive immunology, trophoblast function and human pregnancy. CIS transgenic mice display impaired responses to IL-2 and resemble STAT5 deficient mice, except they are fertile. SOCS1 deficiency leads to an overabundance of IFNgamma signaling, yet SOCS1 null mutant mice are able to reproduce. Lack of SOCS3 is embryonically lethal due to placental insufficiency, while SOCS3 over-expression leads to elevated Th2 responses. SOCS3 seems to be vital for reproduction by regulating LIF-driven trophoblast differentiation. SOCS5 inhibits IL-4 signaling, yet the SOCS5 transgenic mouse has no conspicuous reproductive phenotype. SOCS-6 and SOCS-7 null mutant mice display growth retardation. In summary, SOCS proteins are avidly involved in fine regulation of immunological and other vital cellular responses. Many of the above phenotypes present contradictions to accepted reproductive immunological paradigms.
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Novel approaches for mechanistic understanding and predicting preeclampsia.
J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2009
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Despite intense investigation, preeclampsia (PE) remains largely enigmatic. Relatively late onset of diagnostic signs and heterogeneous nature of the disease further contribute to poor understanding of its etiology and clinical management. There exist no concrete animal models that can provide mechanistic underpinnings for evaluating targeted therapeutic intervention. Poor cross-sectional findings with potential biochemical markers reported so far have proved counterintuitive and suggest a need for novel approaches to predict the early onset of disease. Because of the co-onset of local placental anomalies and systemic manifestation of symptoms, it is highly likely that serum from PE patients can provide a "blueprint" of causative factors. Proteomic and/or functional analysis of maternal serum are expected to predict the onset of disease ahead of manifestation of clinical symptoms. A serum-based predictive assay should overcome complexities resulting from the heterogeneous etiology of PE. This review attempts to address some of these issues and discuss the signature biochemical serum factors and propose new and better ways to predict PE.
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Development of a human model to study homing behavior of immune cells into decidua and placental villi under ex vivo conditions.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2009
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Homing of lymphocytes and NK cells into the decidua and its regulation has been very controversially discussed. Therefore, we aimed to establish an in vivo simulation method for analysis of homing behavior, which might be also useful for other cells such as stem or tumor cells.
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mTOR mediates human trophoblast invasion through regulation of matrix-remodeling enzymes and is associated with serine phosphorylation of STAT3.
Exp. Cell Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2009
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The intracellular signaling molecule mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is essential for cell growth and proliferation. It is involved in mouse embryogenesis, murine trophoblast outgrowth and linked to tumor cell invasiveness. In order to assess the role of mTOR in human trophoblast invasion we analyzed the in vitro invasiveness of HTR-8/SVneo immortalized first-trimester trophoblast cells in conjunction with enzyme secretion upon mTOR inhibition and knockdown of mTOR protein expression. Additionally, we also tested the capability of mTOR to trigger signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-3 by its phosphorylation status. Rapamycin inhibited mTOR kinase activity as demonstrated with a lower phosphorylation level of the mTOR substrate p70 S6 kinase (S6K). With the use of rapamycin and siRNA-mediated mTOR knockdown we could show that cell proliferation, invasion and secretion of matrix-metalloproteinases (MMP)-2 and -9, urokinase-like plasminogen activator (uPA) and its major physiological uPA inhibitor (PAI)-1 were inhibited. While tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 was unaffected by mTOR inhibition and knockdown, serine phosphorylation was diminished. We conclude that mTOR signaling is one major mechanism in a tightly regulated network of intracellular signal pathways including the JAK/STAT system to regulate invasion in human trophoblast cells by secretion of enzymes that remodel the extra-cellular matrix (ECM) such as MMP-2, -9, uPA and PAI-1. Dysregulation of mTOR may contribute to pregnancy-related pathologies caused through impaired trophoblast invasion.
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Selective downregulation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase alpha in leukocytes during pregnancy.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2009
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During pregnancy, it is crucially important that the mothers immune system tolerates the developing embryo. Although a number of mechanisms of immunological tolerance have been described, little is known about intracellular signaling events, causing a decrease in the mothers leukocyte activity.
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Soluble inflammation markers in nasal lavage from CF patients and healthy controls.
J. Cyst. Fibros.
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CF sinonasal and bronchial mucosa reveal identical ion channel defects. Nasal Lavage (NL) allows non-invasive repeated sampling of airway surface liquid. We compared inflammatory mediators in NL from CF-patients and healthy controls, and in CF in relation to sinonasal pathogen colonization.
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Stem cells in the reproductive system.
Am. J. Reprod. Immunol.
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This review article summarizes current knowledge on regulation, functions, and capacities of stem cells in the female and male reproductive tract. Major locations in which pluripotent cells reside and from where they can be isolated are the ovaries, the endometrium, the decidua, and the testis. They include oocytes, embryonic stem cells, trophoblast stem cells, and spermatogonial stem cells, but also several side populations, which can be obtained after certain isolation and culture procedures. The potential of pluripotent cells in the reproductive tract to differentiate is manifold, but heterogenous, depending upon their respective origin. As stem cells have a potential for future application in transplantation and regenerative medicine, this article also reviews the literature on major histocompatibility complex expression on stem cells of the reproductive tract, because of its immunogenic effects, but also because of its potential expression of HLA-G, a potent immunomodulator mainly associated with trophoblast cells.
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AP-1 transcription factors, mucin-type molecules and MMPs regulate the IL-11 mediated invasiveness of JEG-3 and HTR-8/SVneo trophoblastic cells.
PLoS ONE
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This study examines the IL-11 mediated activation of downstream signaling and expression of effector molecules to resolve the controversies associated with the IL-11 mediated regulation of the invasiveness of two commonly used trophoblastic cell models viz. JEG-3 and HTR-8/SVneo cells. It has been reported that IL-11 increases the invasiveness of JEG-3 cells while, reduces the invasiveness of HTR-8/SVneo cells. Invasion assay performed simultaneously for both the cell lines confirmed the above findings. In addition, HTR-8/SVneo cells showed a higher basal invasiveness than JEG-3 cells. Western blot showed the IL-11 mediated activation of STAT3(tyr705) and STAT1(tyr701) in both the cell lines. However, IL-11 activated the ERK1/2 phosphorylation in JEG-3 cells but, inhibited it in HTR-8/SVneo cells. Within 10 min of IL-11 treatment, p-STAT3(tyr705) was localized inside the nucleus of both the cell lines but, there was enhanced co-localization of protein inhibitor of activated STAT1/3 (PIAS1/3) and p-STAT3(tyr705) in HTR-8/SVneo cells and not in JEG-3 cells. This could be reason for the poor responsiveness of STAT3 responsive genes like mucin 1 (MUC1) in HTR-8/SVneo cells and not in JEG-3 cells. Further, microarray analysis of the IL-11 treated cells revealed differential responsiveness of JEG-3 as compared to HTR-8/SVneo cells. Several family of genes like activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcription factors (Jun and Fos), mucin-type molecules, MMP23B etc showed enhanced expression in IL-11 treated JEG-3 cells while, there was no response or decrease in their expression in IL-11 treated HTR-8/SVneo cells. Expression of these molecules was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, HTR-8/SVneo cells also showed a significant decrease in the expression of MMP2, MMP3 and MMP9 upon IL-11 treatment. Hence, IL-11 mediated differential activation of signaling and expression of effector molecules is responsible for the differential invasive response of JEG-3 and HTR-8/SVneo cells.
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