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1.  Prostacyclin Suppresses Twist Expression in the Presence of Indomethacin in Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells 
Iloprost, a stable prostacyclin I2 analogue, seems to have an osteoblast-protective potential, whereas indomethacin suppresses new bone formation. The aim of this study was to investigate human bone marrow stromal cell (BMSC) proliferation and differentiation towards the osteoblastic lineage by administration of indomethacin and/or iloprost.
Human bone marrow cells were obtained from 3 different donors (A=26 yrs/m; B=25 yrs/f, C=35 yrs/m) via vacuum aspiration of the iliac crest followed by density gradient centrifugation and flow cytometry with defined antigens (CD105+/73+/45−/14−). The cells were seeded and incubated as follows: without additives (Group 0; donor A/B/C), with 10−7 M iloprost only (Group 0+ilo; A/B), with indomethacin only in concentrations of 10−6 M (Group 1, A), 10−5 M (Group 2, B), 10−4 M (Group 3, A/B), and together with 10−7 M iloprost (Groups 4–6, A/B/C). On Day 10 and 28, UV/Vis spectrometric and immunocytochemical assays (4 samples per group and donor) were performed to investigate cell proliferation (cell count measurement) and differentiation towards the osteoblastic lineage (CD34−, CD45−, CD105+, type 1 collagen (Col1), osteocalcin (OC), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Runx2, Twist, specific ALP-activity).
Indomethacin alone suppressed BMSC differentiation towards the osteoblastic lineage by downregulation of Runx2, Col1, and ALP. In combination with indomethacin, iloprost increased cell proliferation and differentiation and it completely suppressed Twist expression at Day 10 and 28. Iloprost alone did not promote cell proliferation, but moderately enhanced Runx2 and Twist expression. However, the proliferative effects and the specific ALP-activity varied donor-dependently.
Iloprost partially antagonized the suppressing effects of indomethacin on BMSC differentiation towards the osteoblast lineage. It enhanced the expression of Runx2 and, only in the presence of indomethacin, it completely suppressed Twist. Thus, in the treatment of avascular osteonecrosis or painful bone marrow edema, the undesirable effects of indomethacin might be counterbalanced by iloprost.
PMCID: PMC4238757  PMID: 25382306
Cell Differentiation; Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit; Indomethacin; Mesenchymal Stromal Cells; Prostaglandins I; Twist Transcription Factor
2.  Neonicotinoids Interfere with Specific Components of Navigation in Honeybees 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91364.
Three neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiacloprid, agonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the central brain of insects, were applied at non-lethal doses in order to test their effects on honeybee navigation. A catch-and-release experimental design was applied in which feeder trained bees were caught when arriving at the feeder, treated with one of the neonicotinoids, and released 1.5 hours later at a remote site. The flight paths of individual bees were tracked with harmonic radar. The initial flight phase controlled by the recently acquired navigation memory (vector memory) was less compromised than the second phase that leads the animal back to the hive (homing flight). The rate of successful return was significantly lower in treated bees, the probability of a correct turn at a salient landscape structure was reduced, and less directed flights during homing flights were performed. Since the homing phase in catch-and-release experiments documents the ability of a foraging honeybee to activate a remote memory acquired during its exploratory orientation flights, we conclude that non-lethal doses of the three neonicotinoids tested either block the retrieval of exploratory navigation memory or alter this form of navigation memory. These findings are discussed in the context of the application of neonicotinoids in plant protection.
PMCID: PMC3960126  PMID: 24646521
3.  The role of KIR genes and ligands in leukemia surveillance 
The antileukemic potential of natural killer (NK) cells has been of rising interest in recent years. Interactions between inhibitory killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and HLA class I ligands seem to be critically involved in the immunosurveillance process. It is also well established that mismatching of HLA class I-encoded KIR ligands in the setting of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation leads to allorecognition of leukemic cells by NK cells, which is in line with the concept of missing-self recognition. Recent data now suggest that KIR gene polymorphism constitutes another important parameter that needs to be taken into account for selection of suitable stem cell donors. Moreover, the role of KIR gene polymorphism for predisposition to leukemia is a current matter of debate. Here, we would like to review the role of KIR function and genetic polymorphism for recognition of leukemia and discuss the impact of these findings for developing novel concepts for NK cell-based immunotherapy strategies.
PMCID: PMC3566379  PMID: 23404428
NK cells; KIR; leukemia; ALL; AML; oncology; HSCT
4.  O6-Methylguanine DNA methyltransferase protein expression in tumor cells predicts outcome of temozolomide therapy in glioblastoma patients 
Neuro-Oncology  2009;12(1):28-36.
O6-Methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) is implicated as a major predictive factor for treatment response to alkylating agents including temozolomide (TMZ) of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients. However, whether the MGMT status in GBM patients should be detected at the level of promoter methylation or protein expression is still a matter of debate. Here, we compared promoter methylation (by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction) and protein expression (by Western blot) in tumor cell explants with respect to prediction of TMZ response and survival of GBM patients (n = 71). Methylated MGMT gene promoter sequences were detected in 47 of 71 (66%) cases, whereas 37 of 71 (52%) samples were scored positive for MGMT protein expression. Although overall promoter methylation correlated significantly with protein expression (χ2 test, P < .001), a small subgroup of samples did not follow this association. In the multivariate Cox regression model, a significant interaction between MGMT protein expression, but not promoter methylation, and TMZ therapy was observed (test for interaction, P = .015). In patients treated with TMZ (n = 42), MGMT protein expression predicted a significantly shorter overall survival (OS; hazard ratio [HR] for death 5.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.76–17.37; P = .003), whereas in patients without TMZ therapy (n = 29), no differences in OS were observed (HR for death 1.00, 95% CI 0.45–2.20; P = .99). These data suggest that lack of MGMT protein expression is superior to promoter methylation as a predictive marker for TMZ response in GBM patients.
PMCID: PMC2940563  PMID: 20150365
O6-Methylguanine DNA methyltransferase; glioblastoma multiforme; protein expression; temozolomide
5.  Cell therapy in bone healing disorders 
Orthopedic Reviews  2010;2(2):e20.
In addition to osteosynthetic stabilizing techniques and autologous bone transplantations, so-called orthobiologics play an increasing role in the treatment of bone healing disorders. Besides the use of various growth factors, more and more new data suggest that cell-based therapies promote local bone regeneration. For ethical and biological reasons, clinical application of progenitor cells on the musculoskeletal system is limited to autologous, postpartum stem cells. Intraoperative one-step treatment with autologous progenitor cells, in particular, delivered promising results in preliminary clinical studies. This article provides an overview of the rationale for, and characteristics of the clinical application of cell-based therapy to treat osseous defects based on a review of existing literature and our own experience with more than 100 patients. Most clinical trials report successful bone regeneration after the application of mixed cell populations from bone marrow. The autologous application of human bone marrow cells which are not expanded ex vivo has medico-legal advantages. However, there is a lack of prospective randomized studies including controls for cell therapy for bone defects. Autologous bone marrow cell therapy seems to be a promising treatment option which may reduce the amount of bone grafting in future.
PMCID: PMC3143975  PMID: 21808710
stem cell; cell therapy; bone defect; osteoblast.
6.  A New Human Somatic Stem Cell from Placental Cord Blood with Intrinsic Pluripotent Differentiation Potential 
Here a new, intrinsically pluripotent, CD45-negative population from human cord blood, termed unrestricted somatic stem cells (USSCs) is described. This rare population grows adherently and can be expanded to 1015 cells without losing pluripotency. In vitro USSCs showed homogeneous differentiation into osteoblasts, chondroblasts, adipocytes, and hematopoietic and neural cells including astrocytes and neurons that express neurofilament, sodium channel protein, and various neurotransmitter phenotypes. Stereotactic implantation of USSCs into intact adult rat brain revealed that human Tau-positive cells persisted for up to 3 mo and showed migratory activity and a typical neuron-like morphology. In vivo differentiation of USSCs along mesodermal and endodermal pathways was demonstrated in animal models. Bony reconstitution was observed after transplantation of USSC-loaded calcium phosphate cylinders in nude rat femurs. Chondrogenesis occurred after transplanting cell-loaded gelfoam sponges into nude mice. Transplantation of USSCs in a noninjury model, the preimmune fetal sheep, resulted in up to 5% human hematopoietic engraftment. More than 20% albumin-producing human parenchymal hepatic cells with absence of cell fusion and substantial numbers of human cardiomyocytes in both atria and ventricles of the sheep heart were detected many months after USSC transplantation. No tumor formation was observed in any of these animals.
PMCID: PMC2212008  PMID: 15263023
cord blood; regenerative medicine; ex vivo expansion; developmental potential

Results 1-6 (6)