In recent years, human dental pulp stromal cells (DPSCs) have received growing attention due to their characteristics in common with other mesenchymal stem cells, in addition to the ease with which they can be harvested. In this study, we demonstrated that the isolation of DPSCs from third molar teeth of healthy individuals allowed the recovery of dental mesenchymal stem cells that showed self-renewal and multipotent differentiation capability. DPSCs resulted positive for CD73, CD90, CD105, STRO-1, negative for CD34, CD45, CD14 and were able to differentiate into osteogenic and chondrogenic cells. We also assayed the angiogenic potential of DPSCs, their capillary tube-like formation was assessed using an in vitro angiogenesis assay and the uptake of acetylated low-density lipoprotein was measured as a marker of endothelial function. Based on these results, DPSCs were capable of differentiating into cells with phenotypic and functional features of endothelial cells. Furthermore, this study investigated the growth and differentiation of human DPSCs under a variety of bioengineering platforms, such as low frequency ultrasounds, tissue engineering and nanomaterials. DPSCs showed an enhanced chondrogenic differentiation under ultrasound application. Moreover, DPSCs were tested on different scaffolds, poly(vinyl alcohol)/gelatin (PVA/G) sponges and human plasma clots. We showed that both PVA/G and human plasma clot are suitable scaffolds for adhesion, growth and differentiation of DPSCs toward osteoblastic lineages. Finally, we evaluated the interactions of DPSCs with a novel class of nanomaterials, namely boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). From our investigation, DPSCs have appeared as a highly versatile cellular tool to be employed in regenerative medicine.
Intricate interrelationships connect tissue factor (TF), the principal initiator of the clotting cascade, to inflammation, a cross-talk amplified by locally active angiotensin II, a proinflammatory agent with direct TF-stimulating properties mediated by the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R)s. However, angiotensin II also stimulates angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R)s and they may as well contribute to TF expression, a possibility in need of further evaluation. We investigated the effect of C21, a highly specific AT2R agonist, on TF antigen (ELISA), procoagulant activity (PCA, one-stage clotting assay) and TF-mRNA (real-time PCR) in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)s activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a pro-inflammatory and procoagulant stimulus. C21 downregulated LPS-stimulated TF antigen, PCA and TF mRNA, an effect abolished by PD123?319, a selective AT2R antagonist, and left unchanged by omesartan, a selective AT1R antagonist. PD123?319 per se did not affect LPS-induced TF expression while omesartan inhibited and BAY 11-7082, a specific NF?B inhibitor, abolished endotoxin-activated procoagulant activity (PCA). C21, a selective AT2R agonist, downregulates the transcriptional expression of TF in LPS-activated PBMCs, a finding consistent with the existence in PBMCs of AT2Rs whose stimulation attenuates inflammation-mediated procoagulant responses. The data open insofar unexplored and potentially relevant facets to our understanding of the complex links connecting angiotensin II to inflammation and coagulation.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are a heterogeneous cell population capable of differentiating toward several cell lines in vitro and, possibly, in vivo. Within cultured MSCs, we identified and purified a precursor cell population [mesodermal progenitor cells (MPCs)] retaining robust proliferation potential and ability to differentiate into endothelial or mesenchymal cells. MPC-derived MSCs retain the ability to further differentiate into osteoblasts, cartilage, or fat cells. Here we further characterized MPCs and MSCs by evaluating expression of integrins and adhesion molecules showing their ability to assemble the molecular machinery involved in endothelium adhesion. MPCs were shown to interact with activated and nonactivated endothelium, whereas MSCs exhibited activation of focal adhesion complexes, higher cell motility, and reduced or absent adhesiveness onto endothelial cells, suggesting a matrix remodeling vocation. We also reported a consistent expression of CXCR4 on the MPC cell surface, suggesting that the different phenotypic behavior could be related to specific functions of the cell in each differentiation stage.
Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) remain poorly characterized because of the absence of manifest physical, phenotypic, and functional properties in cultured cell populations. Despite considerable research on MSCs and their clinical application, the biology of these cells is not fully clarified and data on signalling activation during mesenchymal differentiation and proliferation are controversial. The role of Wnt pathways is still debated, partly due to culture heterogeneity and methodological inconsistencies. Recently, we described a new bone marrow cell population isolated from MSC cultures that we named Mesodermal Progenitor Cells (MPCs) for their mesenchymal and endothelial differentiation potential. An optimized culture method allowed the isolation from human adult bone marrow of a highly pure population of MPCs (more than 97%), that showed the distinctive SSEA-4+CD105+CD90(neg) phenotype and not expressing MSCA-1 antigen. Under these selective culture conditions the percentage of MSCs (SSEA-4(neg)CD105+CD90(bright) and MSCA-1+), in the primary cultures, resulted lower than 2%.
We investigated whether acute and chronic administration of zofenopril, an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, may modulate the expression of genes which are involved in the pathophysiology of myocardial ischemia and heart failure. We used an acute and a chronic model. In the former isolated rat hearts were perfused for 120 min in the presence or in the absence of 10 ?M zofenoprilat, the active metabolite of zofenopril. In the chronic model one group of rats was treated with zofenopril (15.2 mg/Kg die per os) for 15 days, while control rats were treated with the same diet, except that zofenopril was omitted. Total RNA was extracted from hearts, and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to evaluate the expression of ? myosin heavy chain, superoxide dismutase, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), nitric oxide synthase 2 and 3 (NOS2, NOS3), heme oxygenase 1, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), muscle phosphofructokinase. Acute or chronic zofenopril administration did not produce any change in hemodynamic variables. qRT-PCR experiments showed that in the acute model ANP expression was slightly although not significantly increased. In the chronic model, significant changes in gene expression were detected: in particular, HSP70 was upregulated (1.06 ± 0.38 vs. 0.72 ± 0.20 arbitrary units, P = 0.025), while NOS3 was downregulated (0.66 ± 0.06 vs. 0.83 ± 0.18 arbitrary units, P = 0.007). In the chronic model, liver samples were also assayed, but no significant change in the expression of any gene was detected. We conclude that zofenopril can produce heart-specific effects on gene expression. Persistent changes were detected with regard to specific heat shock protein and nitric oxide synthase subtypes. This action might contribute to the therapeutical response, and particularly to the increased resistance to ischemia.
We recently characterized a progenitor of mesodermal lineage (MPCs) from the human bone marrow of adults or umbilical cord blood. These cells are progenitors able to differentiate toward mesenchymal, endothelial and cardiomyogenic lineages. Here we present an extensive molecular characterization of MPCs, from bone marrow samples, including 39 genes involved in stem cell machinery, differentiation and cell cycle regulation.
Isolated rat hearts were perfused for 120 minutes in the presence or in the absence of 10 microM zofenoprilat, the active metabolite of zofenopril. At the end of perfusion, cardiac tissue was used to assay sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) (45)Ca uptake and SR calcium release, which was determined by automatized quick filtration technique after SR vesicle loading with (45)Ca. The expression of genes involved in the control of calcium homeostasis was evaluated by polymerase chain reaction after reverse transcription. In chronic experiments, SR (45)Ca uptake and gene expression were measured in hearts derived from rats treated with 15 mg*kg(-1)*day(-1) zofenopril for 15 days. Acute or chronic zofenopril administration did not produce any change in contractile performance. In acute experiments, SR (45)Ca uptake was significantly increased after exposure to zofenoprilat. The rate constant of calcium-induced calcium release was slightly although not significantly higher, and the calcium leak measured under conditions promoting SR channel closure was significantly increased. In the chronic model, significant increase in the rate of SR (45)Ca uptake was confirmed. Gene expression was not modified, except for decreased phospholamban expression, which is observed in the acute but not in the chronic model. In conclusion, zofenopril increases SR calcium cycling and stimulates active calcium uptake into the SR.
3-Iodothyronamine (T1AM) is a novel chemical messenger, structurally related to thyroid hormone, able to interact with G protein-coupled receptors known as trace amine-associated receptors (TAARs). Little is known about the physiological role of T1AM. In this prospective, we synthesized [125I]-T1AM and explored its distribution in mouse after injecting in the tail vein at a physiological concentration (0.3?nM). The expression of the nine TAAR subtypes was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. [125I]-T1AM was taken up by each organ. A significant increase in tissue vs blood concentration occurred in gallbladder, stomach, intestine, liver, and kidney. Tissue radioactivity decreased exponentially over time, consistent with biliary and urinary excretion, and after 24?h, 75% of the residual radioactivity was detected in liver, muscle, and adipose tissue. TAARs were expressed only at trace amounts in most of the tissues, the exceptions being TAAR1 in stomach and testis and TAAR8 in intestine, spleen, and testis. Thus, while T1AM has a systemic distribution, TAARs are only expressed in certain tissues suggesting that other high-affinity molecular targets besides TAARs exist.
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