To investigate whether lipoxin A4 (LXA4) increases expression of heme oxygenase-1(HO-1) in cardiomyocytes, whether LXA4-induced HO-1 protects cardiomyocytes against hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) injury, and what are the mechanisms involved in the LXA4-induced HO-1 induction.
Rat cardiomyocytes were exposed to H/R injury with or without preincubation with LXA4 or HO-1 inhibitor ZnPP-IX or various signal molecule inhibitors. Expressions of HO-1 protein and mRNA were analyzed by using Western blot and RT-PCR respectively. Activity of nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) binding to the HO-1 E1 enhancer was assessed by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Nrf2 binding to the HO-1 antioxidant responsive element (ARE) were measured by using electrophoretic mobility shift assay.
Pretreatment of the cells undergoing H/R lesion with LXA4 significantly reduced the lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase productions, increased the cell viability, and increased the expressions of HO-1 protein and mRNA and HO-1 promoter activity. HO-1 inhibition abolished the protective role of LXA4 on the cells undergoing H/R lesion. LXA4 increased p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) activation, nuclear translocation of Nrf2, Nrf2 binding to the HO-1 ARE and E1 enhancer in cardiomyocytes with or without H/R exposure.
The protection role of LXA4 against H/R injury of cardiomyocytes is related to upregulation of HO-1, via activation of p38 MAPK pathway and nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and Nrf2 binding to the HO-1 ARE and E1 enhancer, but not via activation of phosphatidyinositol-3-kinase or extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway.
The mobilization of bone-marrow (BM) progenitor cells (PCs) is largely governed by interactions between stromal–cell derived factor 1 (SDF-1) and CXC-chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4). Ischemic injury disrupts the SDF-1–CXCR4 interaction and releases BM PCs into the peripheral circulation, where the mobilized cells are recruited to the injured tissue and contribute to vessel growth. BM PCs can also be mobilized by the pharmacological CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100, but the other components of the SDF-1–CXCR4 signaling pathway are largely unknown. c-kit, a membrane bound tyrosine-kinase and the receptor for stem cell factor, has also been shown to play a critical role in BM PC mobilization and ischemic tissue repair.
To investigate the functional interaction between SDF-1–CXCR4 signaling and c-kit activity in BM PC mobilization.
Methods and Results
AMD3100 administration failed to mobilize BM PCs in mice defective in c-kit kinase activity or in mice transplanted with BM cells that expressed a constitutively active c-kit mutant. Furthermore, BM levels of phosphorylated c-kit (phospho–c-kit) declined after AMD3100 administration and after CXCR4 deletion. In cells adhering to culture plates coated with vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), SDF-1 and SCF increased phospho–c-kit levels, and AMD3100 treatment suppressed SDF-1–induced, but not SCF-induced, c-kit phosphorylation. SDF-1–induced c-kit phosphorylation also required the activation of Src non-receptor tyrosine kinase: pre-treatment of cells with a selective Src inhibitor blocked both c-kit phosphorylation and the interaction between c-kit and phosphorylated Src.
These findings indicate that the regulation of BM PC trafficking by SDF-1 and CXCR4 is dependent on Src-mediated c-kit phosphorylation.
CXCR4; c-kit; Integrin; Stem cells; Bone marrow; Niche; Mobilization; Homing
Recent studies have identified a polymorphism in the ECE-1b promoter (−338C/A) that is strongly associated with hypertension in women, and the polymorphism is located in a consensus binding sequence for the E2F family of transcription factors. E2F proteins are crucially involved in cell-cycle regulation, but their roles in cardiovascular function are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the potential role of E2F2 in blood pressure (BP) regulation.
Methods and Results
Tail-cuff measurements of systolic and diastolic BP were significantly higher in E2F2-null (E2F2−/−) mice than in their wild-type (WT) littermates, and in ex vivo ring assays, aortas from the E2F2−/− mice exhibited significantly greater contractility in response to big endothelin-1 (BigET-1). BigET-1 is activated by endothelin converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1), and mRNA levels of ECE-1b, the repressive ECE-1 isoform, were significantly lower in E2F2−/− mice than in WT mice. In endothelial cells, chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays confirmed that E2F2 binds the ECE-1b promoter, and promoter-reporter assays indicated that E2F2 activates ECE-1b transcription. Furthermore, loss or downregulation of E2F2 led to a decline in ECE-1b levels, to higher levels of the membranous ECE-1 isoforms (i.e., ECE-1a, -1c, and -1d), and to deregulated ECE-1 activity. Lastly, Sam68 co-immunopreciptated with E2F2, occupied the ECE-1b promoter (ChIP), and repressed E2F2-mediated ECE-1b promoter activity (promoter-reporter assays).
Our results identify a cell cycle-independent mechanism by which E2F2 regulates endothelial function, arterial contractility, and BP.
E2F; Sam68; Endothelium; Endothelin; Blood pressure
Myocardial infarction (MI) rapidly depletes the endogenous cardiac progenitor-cell pool, and the inefficient recruitment of exogenously administered progenitor cells limits the effectiveness of cardiac-cell therapy. Recent reports indicate that interactions between the CXC chemokine stromal-cell–derived factor 1 (SDF-1) and its receptor CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) critically mediate the ischemia-induced recruitment of bone-marrow—derived circulating stem/progenitor cells, but the expression of CXCR4 in cardiac progenitor cells is very low. Here, we studied the influence of hypoxia on CXCR4 expression in cardiac progenitor cells, on the recruitment of intravenously administered cells to ischemic heart tissue, and on the preservation of heart function in a murine MI model. We found that hypoxic preconditioning increased CXCR4 expression in cardiosphere-derived, Lin−/c-kit+ progenitor (CLK) cells and markedly augmented CLK-cell migration (in vitro) and recruitment (in vivo) to the ischemic myocardium. Four weeks after surgically induced MI, infarct size and heart function were significantly better in mice administered hypoxia-preconditioned CLK cells than in mice treated with cells cultured under normoxic conditions. Furthermore, these effects were largely abolished by the addition of a CXCR4 inhibitor, indicating that the benefits of hypoxic preconditioning are mediated by the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis, and that therapies targeting this axis may enhance cardiac-progenitor-cell—based regenerative therapy.
Cardiac progenitor cells; Hypoxia; CXCR4; Cell migration; Myocardial infarction
Gene modification of cells for prior to their transplantation, especially stem cells, enhances their survival and increases their function in cell therapy. Like the Trojan horse, the gene modified cell has to gain entrance inside the host’s walls and survive and deliver its transgene products Using cellular, molecular and gene manipulation techniques the transplanted cell can be protected in a hostile environment from immune rejection, inflammation, hypoxia and apoptosis. Genetic engineering to modify cells involves constructing modules of functional gene sequences. They can be simple reporter genes or complex cassettes with gene switches, cell specific promoters and multiple transgenes. We discuss methods to deliver and construct gene cassettes with viral and non viral delivery, siRNA, and conditional Cre/Lox P. We review the current uses of gene modified stem cells in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurological diseases,( including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and spinal cord injury repair), bone defects, hemophilia, and cancer.
vigilant vector; stem cells; microRNA; Cre/LoxP; heart failure; cancer; diabetes; neurological diseases
Resident cardiac stem cells (CSCs) are characterized by their capacity to self-renew in culture, and are multi-potent for forming normal cell types in hearts. CSCs were originally isolated directly from enzymatically digested hearts using stem cell markers. However, long exposure to enzymatic digestion can affect the integrity of stem cell markers on the cell surface, and also compromise stem cell function. Alternatively resident CSCs can migrate from tissue explant and form cardiospheres in culture. However, fibroblast contamination can easily occur during CSC culture. To avoid these problems, we developed a two-step procedure by growing the cells before selecting the Sca1+ cells and culturing in cardiac fibroblast conditioned medium, they avoid fibroblast overgrowth.
Stem cells; Differentiation; cell transplantation; myocardial infarction
Angiotensin II (AngII) is a major contributor to the development of heart failure, however, the molecular and cellular mechanisms still remain elucidative. Inadequate angiogenesis in myocardium leads to transition from cardiac hypertrophy to dysfunction, this study was therefore conducted to examine the effects of AngII on myocardial angiogenesis and the underlying mechanisms. AngII treatment significantly impaired angiogenetic responses, which were determined by counting the capillaries either in matrigel formed by cultured cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (CMVECs) or in myocardium of mice and by measuring the in vitro and in vivo production of VEGF proteins, and stimulated accumulation and phosphorylation of cytosolic p53 which led to increases in phosphorylated p53 and decreases of hypoxia inducible factor (Hif-1) in nucleus. All of these cellular and molecular events induced by AngII in CEMCs and hearts of mice were largely reduced by a p53 inhibitor, pifithrin-α (PFT-α). Interestingly, AngII stimulated the upregulation of Jagged1, a ligand of Notch, but it didn’t affect the expression of Delta-like 4 (Dll-4), another ligand of Notch. Inhibition of p53 by PFT-α partly abolished this effect of AngII. Further experiments showed that knockdown ofJagged1 by addition of siRNA to cultured CMVECs dramatically declined AngII-stimulated accumulation and phosphorylation of p53 in cytosol, upregulation of phosphorylated p53 and downregulation of Hif-1 expression in nucleus, decrease of VEGF production and impairment of capillary-like tube formation by the cells. Our data collectively suggest that AngII impairs myocardial angiogenetic responses through p53-dependent downregulation of Hif-1 which is regulated by Jagged1/Notch1 signaling.
Adipogenesis is tightly regulated by altering gene expression, and TNF-α is a multifunctional cytokine that plays an important role in regulating lipogenesis. MicroRNAs are strong post-transcriptional regulators of cell differentiation. In our previous work, we found high expression of miR-181a in a fat-rich pig breed. Using bioinformatic analysis, miR-181a was identified as a potential regulator of TNF-α. Here, we validated TNF-α as the target of miR-181a by a dual luciferase assay. In response to adipogenesis, a mimic or inhibitor was used to overexpress or reduce miR-181a expression in porcine pre-adipocytes, which were then induced into mature adipocytes. Overexpression of miR-181a accelerated accumulation of lipid droplets, increased the amount of triglycerides, and repressed TNF-α protein expression, while the inhibitor had the opposite effect. At the same time, TNF-alpha rescued the increased lipogenesis by miR181a mimics. Additionally, miR-181a suppression decreased the expression of fatty synthesis associated genes PDE3B (phosphodiesterase 3B), LPL (lipoprotein lipase), PPARγ (proliferator-activated receptor-γ), GLUT1(glucose transporter), GLUT4, adiponectin and FASN (fatty acid synthase), as well as key lipolytic genes HSL (hormone-sensitive lipase) and ATGL (adipose triglyceride lipase) as revealed by quantitative real-time PCR. Our study provides the first evidence of the role of miR-181a in adipocyte differentiation by regulation of TNF-α, which may became a new therapeutic target for anti-obesity drugs.
MicroRNAs of the miR-302 cluster are involved in early embryonic development and somatic cell reprogramming. Expression of the miR-302 gene is regulated by the binding of the pluripotency factors Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog to the miR-302 promoter. The specific expression pattern of the miR-302 gene suggested that additional transcription factors might be involved in its regulation. Here, we show that the miR-302 promoter is a direct target of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. We found that the miR-302 promoter contains three different functional Tcf/Lef binding sites. Two of the three sites were located within the cluster of Oct4/Sox2/Nanog binding sites and were essential for Wnt/β-catenin-mediated regulation of the miR-302 gene. Tcf3, the only Tcf/Lef factor that bound to the miR-302 promoter, acted as a repressor of miR-302 transcription. Interestingly, mutations in the two Tcf/Lef binding sites and the Oct4/Nanog binding sites abolished miR-302 promoter responsiveness to Wnt signaling, suggesting that the Tcf/Lef and the Oct4/Nanog sites interact genetically.
Transgenic mouse with a stably integrated reporter gene(s) can be a valuable resource for obtaining uniformly labeled stem cells, tissues, and organs for various applications. We have generated a transgenic mouse model that ubiquitously expresses a tri-fusion reporter gene (fluc2-tdTomato-ttk) driven by a constitutive chicken β-actin promoter. This “Tri-Modality Reporter Mouse” system allows one to isolate most cells from this donor mouse and image them for bioluminescent (fluc2), fluorescent (tdTomato), and positron emission tomography (PET) (ttk) modalities. Transgenic colonies with different levels of tri-fusion reporter gene expression showed a linear correlation between all three-reporter proteins (R2=0.89 for TdTomato vs Fluc, R2=0.94 for Fluc vs TTK, R2=0.89 for TdTomato vs TTK) in vitro from tissue lysates and in vivo by optical and PET imaging. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from this transgenics showed high level of reporter gene expression, which linearly correlated with the cell numbers (R2=0.99 for bioluminescence imaging (BLI)). Both BLI (R2=0.93) and micro-PET (R2=0.94) imaging of the subcutaneous implants of Tri-Modality Reporter Mouse derived MSCs in nude mice showed linear correlation with the cell numbers and across different imaging modalities (R2=0.97). Serial imaging of MSCs transplanted to mice with acute myocardial infarction (MI) by intramyocardial injection exhibited significantly higher signals in MI heart at days 2, 3, 4, and 7 (p<0.01). MSCs transplanted to the ischemic hindlimb of nude mice showed significantly higher BLI and PET signals in the first 2 weeks that dropped by 4th week due to poor cell survival. However, laser Doppler perfusion imaging revealed that blood circulation in the ischemic limb was significantly improved in the MSCs transplantation group compared with the control group. In summary, this mouse can be used as a source of donor cells and organs in various research areas such as stem cell research, tissue engineering research, and organ transplantation.
Unexpected adverse effects on the cardiovascular system remain a major challenge in the development of novel active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). To overcome the current limitations of animal-based in vitro and in vivo test systems, stem cell derived human cardiomyocyte clusters (hCMC) offer the opportunity for highly predictable pre-clinical testing. The three-dimensional structure of hCMC appears more representative of tissue milieu than traditional monolayer cell culture. However, there is a lack of long-term, real time monitoring systems for tissue-like cardiac material. To address this issue, we have developed a microcavity array (MCA)-based label-free monitoring system that eliminates the need for critical hCMC adhesion and outgrowth steps. In contrast, feasible field potential derived action potential recording is possible immediately after positioning within the microcavity. Moreover, this approach allows extended observation of adverse effects on hCMC. For the first time, we describe herein the monitoring of hCMC over 35 days while preserving the hCMC structure and electrophysiological characteristics. Furthermore, we demonstrated the sensitive detection and quantification of adverse API effects using E4031, doxorubicin, and noradrenaline directly on unaltered 3D cultures. The MCA system provides multi-parameter analysis capabilities incorporating field potential recording, impedance spectroscopy, and optical read-outs on individual clusters giving a comprehensive insight into induced cellular alterations within a complex cardiac culture over days or even weeks.
Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) has been implicated in anesthetic preconditioning (APC) induced protection against anoxia and reoxygenation (A/R) injury. The authors hypothesized that desflurane preconditioning would induce NF-κB oscillation and prevent endothelial cells apoptosis.
A human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) A/R injury model was used. A 30 minute desflurane treatment was initiated before anoxia. NF-κB inhibitor BAY11-7082 was administered in some experiments before desflurane preconditioning. Cells apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry using annexin V–fluorescein isothiocyanate staining and cell viability was evaluated by modified tertrozalium salt (MTT) assay. The cellular superoxide dismutases (SOD) activitiy were tested by water-soluble tetrazolium salt (WST-1) assay. NF-κB p65 subunit nuclear translocation was detected by immunofluorescence staining. Expression of inhibitor of NF-κB-α (IκBα), NF-κB p65 and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 1 (c-IAP1), B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), cysteine containing aspartate specific protease 3 (caspases-3) and second mitochondrial-derived activator of caspase (SMAC/DIABLO) were determined by western blot.
Desflurane preconditioning caused phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of NF-κB before anoxia, on the contrary, induced the synthesis of IκBα and inhibition of NF-κB after reoxygenation. Desflurane preconditioning up-regulated the expression of c-IAP1 and Bcl-2, blocked the cleavage of caspase-3 and reduced SMAC release, and decreased the cell death of HUVECs after A/R. The protective effect was abolished by BAY11-7082 administered before desflurane.
The results demonstrated that desflurane activated NF-κB during the preconditioning period and inhibited excessive activation of NF-κB in reperfusion. And the oscillation of NF-κB induced by desflurane preconditioning finally up-regulated antiapoptotic proteins expression and protected endothelial cells against A/R.
Insufficient neovascularization, characterized by poor endothelial cell (EC) growth, contributes to the pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease and limits cardiac tissue preservation and regeneration. The E2F family of transcription factors are critical regulators of the genes responsible for cell-cycle progression and growth; however, the specific roles of individual E2Fs in ECs are not well understood. Here we investigated the roles of E2F2 and E2F3 in EC growth, angiogenesis, and their functional impact on myocardial infarction (MI). An endothelial-specific E2F3-deficient mouse strain VE-Cre; E2F3fl/fl was generated, and MI was surgically induced in VE-Cre; E2F3fl/fl and E2F2-null (E2F2 KO) mice and their wild-type (WT) littermates, VE-Cre; E2F3+/+ and E2F2 WT, respectively. The cardiac function, infarct size, and vascular density were significantly better in E2F2 KO mice and significantly worse in VE-Cre; E2F3fl/fl mice than in their WT littermates. The loss of E2F2 expression was associated with an increase in the proliferation of ECs both in vivo and in vitro, while the loss of E2F3 expression led to declines in EC proliferation. Thus, E2F3 promotes while E2F2 suppresses ischemic cardiac repair through corresponding changes in EC proliferation; and differential targeting of specific E2F members may provide a novel strategy for therapeutic angiogenesis of ischemic heart disease.
White adipose tissue (WAT) is a multi-faceted endocrine organ involved in energy storage, metabolism, immune function and disease pathogenesis. In contrast to subcutaneous fat, visceral fat (V-WAT) has been associated with numerous diseases and metabolic disorders, indicating specific functions related to anatomical location. Although visceral depots are often used interchangeably in V-WAT-associated disease studies, there has been a recent subdivision of V-WAT into “true visceral” and non-visceral intra-abdominal compartments. These were associated with distinct physiological roles, illustrating a need for depot-specific information. Here, we use FACS analysis to comparatively characterize the leukocyte and progenitor populations in the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of peritoneal serous fluid (PSF), parametrial (pmWAT), retroperitoneal (rpWAT), and omental (omWAT) adipose tissue from seven-month old C57BL/6 female mice. We found significant differences in SVF composition between all four microenvironments. PSF SVF was comprised almost entirely of CD45+ leukocytes (>99%), while omWAT contained less, but still almost two-fold more leukocytes than pmWAT and rpWAT (75%, 38% and 38% respectively; p<0.01). PmWAT was composed primarily of macrophages, whereas rpWAT more closely resembled omWAT, denoted by high levels of B1 B-cell and monocyte populations. Further, omWAT harbored significantly higher proportions of T-cells than the other tissues, consistent with its role as a secondary lymphoid organ. These SVF changes were also reflected in the gene expression profiles of the respective tissues. Thus, intra-abdominal fat pads represent independent immunomodulatory microenvironments and should be evaluated as distinct entities with unique contributions to physiological and pathological processes.
Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (circEPCs) of bone marrow (BM) origin contribute to postnatal neovascularization and represent a potential therapeutic target for ischemic disease. Statins are beneficial for ischemia disease and have been implicated to increase neovascularization via mechanisms independent of lipid lowering. However, the effect of Statins on EPC function is not completely understood. Here we sought to investigate the effects of Rosuvastatin (Ros) on EPC mobilization and EPC-mediated neovascularization during ischemic injury. In a mouse model of surgically-induced hindlimb ischemia (HLI), treatment of mice with low dose (0.1 mg/kg) but not high dose (5 mg/kg) significantly increased capillary density and accelerated blood flow recovery, as compared to saline-treated group. When HLI was induced in mice that had received Tie2/LacZ BM transplantation, Ros treatment led a significantly larger amount of endothelial cells (ECs) of BM origin incorporated at ischemic sites than saline. After treatment of mice with a single low dose of Ros, circEPCs significantly increased from 2 h, peaked at 4 h, declined until 8 h. In a growth-factor reduced Matrigel plug-in assay, Ros treatment for 5 d induced endothelial lineage differentiation in vivo. Interestingly, the enhanced circEPCs and post-HLI neovascularization stimulated by Ros were blunted in mice deficient in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and Ros increased p-Akt/p-eNOS levels in EPCs in vitro, indicating these effects of Ros are dependent on eNOS activity. We conclude that Ros increases circEPCs and promotes their de novo differentiation through eNOS pathway.
Epithelial repair following acute kidney injury (AKI) requires epithelial-mesenchyme-epithelial cycling associated with transient re-expression of genes normally expressed during kidney development as well as activation of growth factors and cytokine-induced signaling. In normal kidney, the Hnf-1β transcription factor drives nephrogenesis, tubulogenesis and epithelial homeostasis through the regulation of epithelial planar cell polarity and expression of developmental or tubular segment-specific genes. In a mouse model of ischemic AKI induced by a 2-hours hemorrhagic shock, we show that expression of this factor is tightly regulated in the early phase of renal repair with a biphasic expression profile (early down-regulation followed by transient over-expression). These changes are associated to tubular epithelial differentiation as assessed by KSP-cadherin and megalin-cubilin endocytic complex expression analysis. In addition, early decrease in Hnf1b expression is associated with the transient over-expression of one of its main target genes, the suppressor of cytokine signaling Socs3, which has been shown essential for renal repair. In vitro, hypoxia induced early up-regulation of Hnf-1β from 1 to 24 hours, independently of the hypoxia-inducible factor Hif-1α. When prolonged, hypoxia induced Hnf-1β down-regulation while normoxia led to Hnf-1β normalization. Last, Hnf-1β down-regulation using RNA interference in HK-2 cells led to phenotype switch from an epithelial to a mesenchyme state. Taken together, we showed that Hnf-1β may drive recovery from ischemic AKI by regulating both the expression of genes important for homeostasis control during organ repair and the state of epithelial cell differentiation.
Our previous studies have shown that OX40-OX40L interaction regulates the expression of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1(NFATc1) in ApoE−/− mice during atherogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether OX40-OX40L interaction promotes Th cell activation via NFATc1 in ApoE−/− mice.
Methods and Results
The lymphocytes isolated from spleen of ApoE−/− mice were cultured with anti-CD3 mAb in the presence or absence of anti-OX40 or anti-OX40L antibodies. The expression of NFATc1 mRNA and protein in isolated lymphocytes were measured by real time PCR (RT-PCR) and flow cytometry (FCM), respectively. The proliferation of lymphocytes was analyzed by MTT method,and the expression of IL-2, IL-4 and IFN-γ in the cultured cells and supernatant were measured by RT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assary (ELISA), respectively. After stimulating OX40-OX40L signal pathway, the expression of NFATc1 and the proliferation of leukocytes were significantly increased. Anti-OX40L suppressed the expression of NFATc1 in lymphocytes of ApoE−/− mice. Anti-OX40L or the NFATc1 inhibitor (CsA) markedly suppressed the cell proliferation induced by anti-OX40. Moreover, the expression of IL-2 and IFN-γ was increased in lymphocytes induced by OX40-OX40L interaction. Blocking OX40-OX40L interaction or NFATc1 down-regulated the expression of IL-2 and IFN-γ, but didn’t alter the expression of IL-4 in supernatants.
These results suggest that OX40-OX40L interaction promotes the proliferation and activation of lymphocytes through NFATc1.
Diabetes is associated with a higher incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) and increased risk for adverse vascular and fibrogenic events post-MI. Bone marrow-derived progenitor cell (BMPC) therapy has been shown to promote neovascularization, decrease infarct area and attenuate left ventricular (LV) dysfunction after MI. Unlike vascular effects, the anti-fibrosis mechanisms of BMPC, specifically under diabetic conditions, are poorly understood. We demonstrated that intramyocardial delivery of BMPCs in infarcted diabetic db/db mice significantly down-regulates profibrotic miRNA-155 in the myocardium and improves LV remodeling and function. Furthermore, inhibition of paracrine factor hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) signaling in vivo suppressed the BMPC-mediated inhibition of miR-155 expression and the associated protective effect on cardiac fibrosis and function. In vitro studies confirmed that the conditioned media of BMPC inhibited miR-155 expression and profibrotic signaling in mouse cardiac fibroblasts under diabetic conditions. However, neutralizing antibodies directed against HGF blocked these effects. Furthermore, miR-155 over-expression in mouse cardiac fibroblasts inhibited antifibrotic Sloan-Kettering Institute proto-oncogene (Ski) and Ski-related novel gene, non-Alu-containing (SnoN) signaling and abrogated antifibrogenic response of HGF. Together, our data demonstrates that paracrine regulation of cardiac miRNAs by transplanted BMPCs contributes to the antifibrotic effects of BMPC therapy. BMPCs release HGF, which inhibits miR-155-mediated profibrosis signaling, thereby preventing cardiac fibrosis. These data suggest that targeting miR-155 might serve as a potential therapy against cardiac fibrosis in the diabetic heart.
Because of their regenerative and paracrine abilities, cardiac stem cells (CSCs) are the most appropriate, optimal and promising candidates for the development of cardiac regenerative medicine strategies. However, native and exogenous CSCs in ischemic hearts are exposed to various pro-apoptotic or cytotoxic factors preventing their regenerative and paracrine abilities.
Methods and Results
We examined the effects of H2O2 on mouse CSCs (mCSCs), and observed that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment induces mCSCs apoptosis via the caspase 3 pathway, in a dose-dependent manner. We then examined the effects of Wnt1 over-expression on H2O2-induced apoptosis in mCSCs and observed that Wnt1 significantly decreased H2O2-induced apoptosis in mCSCs. On the other hand, inhibition of the canonical Wnt pathway by the secreted frizzled related protein 2 (SFRP2) or knockdown of β-catenin in mCSCs reduced cells resistance to H2O2-induced apoptosis, suggesting that Wnt1 predominantly prevents H2O2-induced apoptosis through the canonical Wnt pathway.
Our results provide the first evidences that Wnt1 plays an important role in CSCs’ defenses against H2O2-induced apoptosis through the canonical Wnt1/GSK3β/β-catenin signaling pathway.
We report that a single growth factor, NM23-H1, enables serial passaging of both human ES and iPS cells in the absence of feeder cells, their conditioned media or bFGF in a fully defined xeno-free media on a novel defined, xeno-free surface. Stem cells cultured in this system show a gene expression pattern indicative of a more “naïve” state than stem cells grown in bFGF-based media. NM23-H1 and MUC1* growth factor receptor cooperate to control stem cell self-replication. By manipulating the multimerization state of NM23-H1, we override the stem cell's inherent programming that turns off pluripotency and trick the cells into continuously replicating as pluripotent stem cells. Dimeric NM23-H1 binds to and dimerizes the extra cellular domain of the MUC1* transmembrane receptor which stimulates growth and promotes pluripotency. Inhibition of the NM23-H1/MUC1* interaction accelerates differentiation and causes a spike in miR-145 expression which signals a cell's exit from pluripotency.
Human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells are capable of differentiation into derivatives of all three primary embryonic germ layers and can self-renew indefinitely. They therefore offer a potentially scalable source of replacement cells to treat a variety of degenerative diseases. The ability to reprogram adult cells to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has now enabled the possibility of patient-specific hPS cells as a source of cells for disease modeling, drug discovery, and potentially, cell replacement therapies. While reprogramming technology has dramatically increased the availability of normal and diseased hPS cell lines for basic research, a major bottleneck is the critical unmet need for more efficient methods of deriving well-defined cell populations from hPS cells. Phage display is a powerful method for selecting affinity ligands that could be used for identifying and potentially purifying a variety of cell types derived from hPS cells. However, identification of specific progenitor cell-binding peptides using phage display may be hindered by the large cellular heterogeneity present in differentiating hPS cell populations. We therefore tested the hypothesis that peptides selected for their ability to bind a clonal cell line derived from hPS cells would bind early progenitor cell types emerging from differentiating hPS cells. The human embryonic stem (hES) cell-derived embryonic progenitor cell line, W10, was used and cell-targeting peptides were identified. Competition studies demonstrated specificity of peptide binding to the target cell surface. Efficient peptide targeted cell labeling was accomplished using multivalent peptide-quantum dot complexes as detected by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. The cell-binding peptides were selective for differentiated hPS cells, had little or no binding on pluripotent cells, but preferential binding to certain embryonic progenitor cell lines and early endodermal hPS cell derivatives. Taken together these data suggest that selection of phage display libraries against a clonal progenitor stem cell population can be used to identify progenitor stem cell targeting peptides. The peptides may be useful for monitoring hPS cell differentiation and for the development of cell enrichment procedures to improve the efficiency of directed differentiation toward clinically relevant human cell types.
Stroma cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) is a cardioprotective chemokine, acting through its G-protein coupled receptor CXCR4. In experimental acute myocardial infarction, administration of SDF-1α induces an early improvement of systolic function which is difficult to explain solely by an anti-apoptotic and angiogenic effect. We wondered whether SDF-1α signaling might have direct effects on calcium transients and beating frequency.
Primary rat neonatal cardiomyocytes were culture-expanded and characterized by immunofluorescence staining. Calcium sparks were studied by fluorescence microscopy after calcium loading with the Fluo-4 acetoxymethyl ester sensor. The cardiomyocyte enriched cellular suspension expressed troponin I and CXCR4 but was vimentin negative. Addition of SDF-1α in the medium increased cytoplasmic calcium release. The calcium response was completely abolished by using a neutralizing anti-CXCR4 antibody and partially suppressed and delayed by preincubation with an inositol triphosphate receptor (IP3R) blocker, but not with a ryanodine receptor (RyR) antagonist. Calcium fluxes induced by caffeine, a RyR agonist, were decreased by an IP3R blocker. Treatment with forskolin or SDF-1α increased cardiomyocyte beating frequency and their effects were additive. In vivo, treatment with SDF-1α increased left ventricular dP/dtmax.
These results suggest that in rat neonatal cardiomyocytes, the SDF-1α/CXCR4 signaling increases calcium transients in an IP3-gated fashion leading to a positive chronotropic and inotropic effect.
Cellular retinoic acid binding protein 2 (CRABP2), a member of a family of specific carrier proteins for Vitamin A, belongs to a family of small cytosolic lipid binding proteins. Our previous study suggested that CRABP2 was involved in skeletal muscle development; however, the molecular function and regulatory mechanism of CRABP2 in myogenesis remained unclear. In this study, we found that the expression of the CRABP2 gene was upregulated during C2C12 differentiation. An over-expression assay revealed that CRABP2 promotes myogenic transformation by regulating the cell cycle during C2C12 differentiation. The region from −459 to −4 bp was identified as the core promoter and contains a TATA box, a GC box and binding sites for the transcription factors MyoD and Sp1. Over-expression, site-directed mutagenesis and EMSA assays indicated that the transcription factors MyoD and Sp1 regulate CRABP2 expression and promote myoblast differentiation in C2C12 cells.
Since pluripotent embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines were first derived from the mouse, tremendous efforts have been made to establish ESC lines in several domestic species including the pig; however, authentic porcine ESCs have not yet been established. It has proven difficult to maintain an ESC-like state in pluripotent porcine cell lines due to the frequent occurrence of spontaneous differentiation into an epiblast stem cell (EpiSC)-like state during culture. We have been able to derive EpiSC-like porcine ESC (pESC) lines from blastocyst stage porcine embryos of various origins, including in vitro fertilized (IVF), in vivo derived, IVF aggregated, and parthenogenetic embryos. In addition, we have generated induced pluripotent stem cells (piPSCs) via plasmid transfection of reprogramming factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc) into porcine fibroblast cells. In this study, we analyzed characteristics such as marker expression, pluripotency and the X chromosome inactivation status in female of our EpiSC-like pESC lines along with our piPSC line. Our results show that these cell lines demonstrate the expression of genes associated with the Activin/Nodal and FGF2 pathways along with the expression of pluripotent markers Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, SSEA4, TRA 1–60 and TRA 1–81. Furthermore all of these cell lines showed in vitro differentiation potential, the X chromosome inactivation in female and a normal karyotype. Here we suggest that the porcine species undergoes reprogramming into a primed state during the establishment of pluripotent stem cell lines.
Timed exposure of pluripotent stem cell cultures to exogenous molecules is widely used to drive differentiation towards desired cell lineages. However, screening differentiation conditions in conventional static cultures can become impractical in large parameter spaces, and is intrinsically limited by poor spatiotemporal control of the microenvironment that also makes it impossible to determine whether exogenous factors act directly or through paracrine-dependent mechanisms. We detail here the development of a continuous flow microbioreactor array platform that combines full-factorial multiplexing of input factors with progressive accumulation of paracrine factors through serially-connected culture chambers, and further, the use of this system to explore the combinatorial parameter space of both exogenous and paracrine factors involved in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) differentiation to a MIXL1-GFP+ primitive streak-like population. We show that well known inducers of primitive streak (BMP, Activin and Wnt signals) do not simply act directly on hESC to induce MIXL1 expression, but that this requires accumulation of surplus, endogenous factors; and, that conditioned medium or FGF-2 supplementation is able to offset this. Our approach further reveals the presence of a paracrine, negative feedback loop to the MIXL1-GFP+ population, which can be overcome with GSK-3β inhibitors (BIO or CHIR99021), implicating secreted Wnt inhibitory signals such as DKKs and sFRPs as candidate effectors. Importantly, modulating paracrine effects identified in microbioreactor arrays by supplementing FGF-2 and CHIR in conventional static culture vessels resulted in improved differentiation outcomes. We therefore demonstrate that this microbioreactor array platform uniquely enables the identification and decoding of complex soluble factor signalling hierarchies, and that this not only challenges prevailing strategies for extrinsic control of hESC differentiation, but also is translatable to conventional culture systems.