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1.  Isolation and characterization of platelet-derived extracellular vesicles 
Journal of Extracellular Vesicles  2014;3:10.3402/jev.v3.24692.
Platelet-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) participate, for example, in haemostasis, immunity and development. Most studies of platelet EVs have targeted microparticles, whereas exosomes and EV characterization under various conditions have been less analyzed. Studies have been hampered by the difficulty in obtaining EVs free from contaminating cells and platelet remnants. Therefore, we optimized an EV isolation protocol and compared the quantity and protein content of EVs induced by different agonists.
Platelets isolated with iodixanol gradient were activated by thrombin and collagen, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or Ca2+ ionophore. Microparticles and exosomes were isolated by differential centrifugations. EVs were quantitated by nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and total protein. Size distributions were determined by NTA and electron microscopy. Proteomics was used to characterize the differentially induced EVs.
The main EV populations were 100–250 nm and over 90% were <500 nm irrespective of the activation. However, activation pathways differentially regulated the quantity and the quality of EVs, which also formed constitutively. Thrombogenic activation was the most potent physiological EV-generator. LPS was a weak inducer of EVs, which had a selective protein content from the thrombogenic EVs. Ca2+ ionophore generated a large population of protein-poor and unselectively packed EVs. By proteomic analysis, EVs were highly heterogeneous after the different activations and between the vesicle subpopulations.
Although platelets constitutively release EVs, vesiculation can be increased, and the activation pathway determines the number and the cargo of the formed EVs. These activation-dependent variations render the use of protein content in sample normalization invalid. Since most platelet EVs are 100–250 nm, only a fraction has been analyzed by previously used methods, for example, flow cytometry. As the EV subpopulations could not be distinguished and large vesicle populations may be lost by differential centrifugation, novel methods are required for the isolation and the differentiation of all EVs.
doi: 10.3402/jev.v3.24692
PMCID: PMC4125723  PMID: 25147646
extracellular vesicles; microparticle; microvesicle; exosome; platelet; nanoparticle tracking analysis; transmission electron microscopy; proteomics
2.  Metabolic glycoengineering of mesenchymal stromal cells with N-propanoylmannosamine 
Glycobiology  2013;23(8):1004-1012.
There is an increasing interest in the modification of cell surface glycosylation to improve the properties of therapeutic cells. For example, glycosylation affects the biodistribution of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Metabolic glycoengineering is an efficient way to modify the cell surface. The mammalian biosynthetic machinery tolerates the unnatural sialic acid precursor, N-propanoylmannosamine (ManNProp), and incorporates it into cell surface glycoconjugates. We show here by mass spectrometric analysis of cell surface N-glycans that about half of N-acetylneuraminic acid was replaced by N-propanoylneuraminic acid in the N-glycans of human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs supplemented with ManNProp. In addition, the N-glycan profile was altered. ManNProp-supplemented cells had more multiply fucosylated N-glycan species than control cells. The fucosylated epitopes were shown in tandem mass spectrometric analysis to be Lewis x or blood group H epitopes, but not sialyl Lewis x (sLex). The amounts of tri- and tetra-antennary and polylactosamine-containing N-glycans also increased in ManNProp supplementation. In accordance with previous studies of other cell types, increased expression of the sLex epitope in ManNProp-supplemented MSCs was demonstrated by flow cytometry. In light of the N-glycan analysis, the sLex epitope in these cells is likely to be carried by O-glycans or glycolipids. sLex has been shown to target MSCs to bone marrow, which may be desirable in therapeutic applications. The present results represent the first structural analysis of an N-glycome of ManNProp-supplemented cells and demonstrate the feasibility of modifying cell surface glycosylation of therapeutic cells by this type of metabolic glycoengineering.
PMCID: PMC3695754  PMID: 23708401
glycoengineering; mesenchymal stromal cell; N-propanoylmannosamine; sialic acid; umbilical cord blood
3.  Transient Proteolytic Modification of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Increases Lung Clearance Rate and Targeting to Injured Tissue 
This study showed that an alternative cell detachment of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) with pronase instead of trypsin significantly accelerated the lung clearance of the cells and, importantly, increased their targeting to an area of injury. Pronase detachment could be used as a method to improve the MSC lung clearance and targeting in vivo. This may have a major impact on the bioavailability of MSCs in future therapeutic regimes.
Systemic infusion of therapeutic cells would be the most practical and least invasive method of administration in many cellular therapies. One of the main obstacles especially in intravenous delivery of cells is a massive cell retention in the lungs, which impairs homing to the target tissue and may decrease the therapeutic outcome. In this study we showed that an alternative cell detachment of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) with pronase instead of trypsin significantly accelerated the lung clearance of the cells and, importantly, increased their targeting to an area of injury. Cell detachment with pronase transiently altered the MSC surface protein profile without compromising cell viability, multipotent cell characteristics, or immunomodulative and angiogenic potential. The transient modification of the cell surface protein profile was sufficient to produce effective changes in cell rolling behavior in vitro and, importantly, in the in vivo biodistribution of the cells in mouse, rat, and porcine models. In conclusion, pronase detachment could be used as a method to improve the MSC lung clearance and targeting in vivo. This may have a major impact on the bioavailability of MSCs in future therapeutic regimes.
PMCID: PMC3697819  PMID: 23734061
Mesenchymal stem cells; Bone marrow stromal cells; Cell adhesion molecules; Cell transplantation; Experimental models
4.  Extracellular O-Linked N-Acetylglucosamine Is Enriched in Stem Cells Derived from Human Umbilical Cord Blood 
BioResearch Open Access  2014;3(2):39-44.
Stem cells have a unique ability to self-renew and differentiate into diverse cell types. Currently, stem cells from various sources are being explored as a promising new treatment for a variety of human diseases. A diverse set of functional and phenotypical markers are used in the characterization of specific therapeutic stem cell populations. The glycans on the stem cell surface respond rapidly to alterations in cellular state and signaling and are therefore ideal for identifying even minor changes in cell populations. Many stem cell markers are based on cell surface glycan epitopes including the widely used markers SSEA-3, SSEA-4, Tra 1-60, and Tra 1-81. We have now discovered by mRNA analysis that a novel glycosyltranferase, epidermal growth factor (EGF) domain-specific O-linked GlcNAc transferase (EOGT), is highly expressed in stem cells. EOGT is responsible for adding O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) to folded EGF domains on extracellular proteins, such as those on the Notch receptors. We were able to show by immunological assays that human umbilical cord blood–derived mesenchymal stromal cells display O-GlcNAc, the product of EOGT, and that O-GlcNAc is further elongated with galactose to form O-linked N-acetyllactosamine. We suggest that these novel glycans are involved in the fine tuning of Notch receptor signaling pathways in stem cells.
PMCID: PMC3995142  PMID: 24804163
biomarkers; cellular biology; stem cells
5.  Extracellular membrane vesicles from umbilical cord blood-derived MSC protect against ischemic acute kidney injury, a feature that is lost after inflammatory conditioning 
Journal of Extracellular Vesicles  2013;2:10.3402/jev.v2i0.21927.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are shown to have a great therapeutic potential in many immunological disorders. Currently the therapeutic effect of MSCs is considered to be mediated via paracrine interactions with immune cells. Umbilical cord blood is an attractive but still less studied source of MSCs. We investigated the production of extracellular membrane vesicles (MVs) from human umbilical cord blood derived MSCs (hUCBMSC) in the presence (MVstim) or absence (MVctrl) of inflammatory stimulus.
hUCBMSCs were cultured in serum free media with or without IFN-γ and MVs were collected from conditioned media by ultracentrifugation. The protein content of MVs were analyzed by mass spectrometry. Hypoxia induced acute kidney injury rat model was used to analyze the in vivo therapeutic potential of MVs and T-cell proliferation and induction of regulatory T cells were analyzed by co-culture assays.
Both MVstim and MVctrl showed similar T-cell modulation activity in vitro, but only MVctrls were able to protect rat kidneys from reperfusion injury in vivo. To clarify this difference in functionality we made a comparative mass spectrometric analysis of the MV protein contents. The IFN-γ stimulation induced dramatic changes in the protein content of the MVs. Complement factors (C3, C4A, C5) and lipid binding proteins (i.e apolipoproteins) were only found in the MVctrls, whereas the MVstim contained tetraspanins (CD9, CD63, CD81) and more complete proteasome complex accompanied with MHCI. We further discovered that differently produced MV pools contained specific Rab proteins suggesting that same cells, depending on external signals, produce vesicles originating from different intracellular locations.
We demonstrate by both in vitro and in vivo models accompanied with a detailed analysis of molecular characteristics that inflammatory conditioning of MSCs influence on the protein content and functional properties of MVs revealing the complexity of the MSC paracrine regulation.
PMCID: PMC3860334  PMID: 24349659
stem cells; cell therapy; inflammation; immunology; membrane trafficking
6.  The effect of proatherogenic pathogens on adipose tissue transcriptome and fatty acid distribution in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:709.
Chronic infections have been demonstrated to maintain low-grade systemic inflammation and associate with atherosclerosis. We studied the inflammation- and lipid homeostasis-related effects of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) and Chlamydia pneumoniae (Cpn) infections on the epididymal and inguinal adipose tissue (AT) transcriptomes and fatty acid distribution in apolipoprotein (apo) E-deficient mice. Chow-fed apoE-deficient mice were exposed to 1) chronic intranasal infection with C. pneumoniae (Cpn group), 2) recurrent intravenous infection with A. actinomycetemcomitans (Aa group), 3) a combination of both types of infection (Cpn + Aa group), or 4) infection with the vehicle (control group). Epididymal and inguinal AT gene expression was analyzed using an Illumina Mouse WG-6 v2.0 platform and quantitative PCR (QPCR). Microarray data were analyzed using Gene Ontology enrichment analysis. AT fatty acid analysis was performed using gas–liquid chromatography.
The transcriptomics data revealed significant enrichment in inflammation-associated biological pathways in both AT depots derived from the Aa and Cpn + Aa treated mice compared with the control group. The proportion of saturated fatty acids was higher in the inguinal AT in Aa (p = 0.027) and Cpn + Aa (p = 0.009) groups and in the epididymal AT in Aa group (p = 0.003). The proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids was significantly lower among all Aa-infected groups in both depots. Chronic Cpn infection displayed only minor effects on transcriptomics and fatty acids of the AT depots.
Systemic infection with A. actinomycetemcomitans activates inflammation-related biological pathways and modulates cellular lipid homeostasis. The adverse changes in adipose tissues during chronic infection may promote atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4008135  PMID: 24131481
A. actinomycetemcomitans; C. pneumoniae; Adipose tissue; apoE-deficient mice; Transcriptome; Fatty acid distribution
7.  Production of a Recombinant Antibody Specific for i Blood Group Antigen, a Mesenchymal Stem Cell Marker 
BioResearch Open Access  2013;2(5):336-345.
Multipotent mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) offer great promise for future regenerative and anti-inflammatory therapies. Panels of functional and phenotypical markers are currently used in characterization of different therapeutic stem cell populations from various sources. The i antigen (linear poly-N-acetyllactosamine) from the Ii blood group system has been suggested as a marker for MSCs derived from umbilical cord blood (UCB). However, there are currently no commercially available antibodies recognizing the i antigen. In the present study, we describe the use of antibody phage display technology to produce recombinant antibodies recognizing a structure from the surface of mesenchymal stem cells. We constructed IgM phage display libraries from the lymphocytes of a donor with an elevated serum anti-i titer. Antibody phage display technology is not dependent on immunization and thus allows the generation of antibodies against poorly immunogenic molecules, such as carbohydrates. Agglutination assays utilizing i antigen–positive red blood cells (RBCs) from UCB revealed six promising single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibodies, three of which recognized epitopes from the surface of UCB-MSCs in flow cytometric assays. The amino acid sequence of the VH gene segment of B12.2 scFv was highly similar to the VH4.21 gene segment required to encode anti-i specificities. Further characterization of binding properties revealed that the binding of B12.2 hyperphage was inhibited by soluble linear lactosamine oligosaccharide. Based on these findings, we suggest that the B12.2 scFv we have generated is a prominent anti-i antibody that recognizes i antigen on the surface of both UCB-MSCs and RBCs. This binder can thus be utilized in UCB-MSC detection and isolation as well as in blood group serology.
PMCID: PMC3777189  PMID: 24083089
i blood group antigen; MSC; phage display; recombinant antibody development
8.  Mitochondrial Function and Energy Metabolism in Umbilical Cord Blood- and Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
Stem Cells and Development  2011;21(4):575-588.
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are an attractive choice for a variety of cellular therapies. hMSCs can be isolated from many different tissues and possess unique mitochondrial properties that can be used to determine their differentiation potential. Mitochondrial properties may possibly be used as a quality measure of hMSC-based products. Accordingly, the present work focuses on the mitochondrial function of hMSCs from umbilical cord blood (UCBMSC) cells and bone marrow cells from donors younger than 18 years of age (BMMSC <18) and those more than 50 years of age (BMMSC >50). Changes of ultrastructure and energy metabolism during osteogenic differentiation in all hMSC types were studied in detail. Results show that despite similar surface antigen characteristics, the UCBMSCs had smaller cell surface area and possessed more abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum than BMMSC >50. BMMSC <18 were morphologically more UCBMSC-like. UCBMSC showed dramatically higher mitochondrial-to-cytoplasm area ratio and elevated superoxide and manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) levels as compared with BMMSC >50 and BMMSC <18. All hMSCs types showed changes indicative of mitochondrial activation after 2 weeks of osteogenic differentiation, and the increase in mitochondrial-to-cytoplasm area ratio appears to be one of the first steps in the differentiation process. However, BMMSC >50 showed a lower level of mitochondrial maturation and differentiation capacity. UCBMSCs and BMMSCs also showed a different pattern of exocytosed proteins and glycoproteoglycansins. These results indicate that hMSCs with similar cell surface antigen expression have different mitochondrial and functional properties, suggesting different maturation levels and other significant biological variations of the hMSCs. Therefore, it appears that mitochondrial analysis presents useful characterization criteria for hMSCs intended for clinical use.
PMCID: PMC3280604  PMID: 21615273
9.  CD200 Positive Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Suppress TNF-Alpha Secretion from CD200 Receptor Positive Macrophage-Like Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31671.
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) display immunosuppressive properties in vitro and the potential has also been transferred successfully to clinical trials for treatment of autoimmune diseases. OX-2 (CD200), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, is widely expressed in several tissues and has recently been found from hMSCs. The CD200 receptor (CD200R) occurs only in myeloid-lineage cells. The CD200-CD200R is involved in down-regulation of several immune cells, especially macrophages. The present study on 20 hMSC lines shows that the CD200 expression pattern varied from high (CD200Hi) to medium (CD200Me) and low (CD200Lo) in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (BMMSC) lines, whereas umbilical cord blood derived mesenchymal stem cells (UCBMSCs) were constantly negative for CD200. The role of the CD200-CD200R axis in BMMSCs mediated immunosuppression was studied using THP-1 human macrophages. Interestingly, hMSCs showed greater inhibition of TNF-α secretion in co-cultures with IFN-γ primed THP-1 macrophages when compared to LPS activated cells. The ability of CD200Hi BMMSCs to suppress TNF-α secretion from IFN-γ stimulated THP-1 macrophages was significantly greater when compared to CD200Lo whereas UCBMSCs did not significantly reduce TNF-α secretion. The interference of CD200 binding to the CD200R by anti-CD200 antibody weakened the capability of BMMSCs to inhibit TNF-α secretion from IFN-γ activated THP-1 macrophages. This study clearly demonstrated that the efficiency of BMMSCs to suppress TNF-α secretion of THP-1 macrophages was dependent on the type of stimulus. Moreover, the CD200-CD200r axis could have a previously unidentified role in the BMMSC mediated immunosuppression.
PMCID: PMC3282758  PMID: 22363701
10.  Chlamydial and Periodontal Pathogens Induce Hepatic Inflammation and Fatty Acid Imbalance in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice▿  
Infection and Immunity  2009;77(8):3442-3449.
Periodontitis and Chlamydia pneumoniae infection are independent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of C. pneumoniae and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans infection on hepatic inflammation and lipid homeostasis of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Mice were infected with viable C. pneumoniae intranasally three times for chronic infection or once for acute infection. Viable A. actinomycetemcomitans was administered 10 times intravenously alone or in concert with C. pneumoniae. Hepatic alterations were assessed by histochemistry, lipid quantification, and fatty acid profile analysis. The RNA expression levels and the presence of pathogens in the livers and lungs were detected by quantitative real-time PCR. Both pathogens were detected in the livers of the infected animals. Chronic C. pneumoniae infection induced marked changes in hepatic lipid homeostasis. A. actinomycetemcomitans infection resulted in inflammatory cell infiltration into the liver, accompanied by elevated hepatic RNA expression levels of inflammation-related genes and higher serum amyloid A and lipopolysaccharide concentrations. Our results indicate that proatherogenic pathogens infect the liver, causing proinflammatory alterations and lipid disturbances. This infection may maintain chronic systemic inflammation attributable to atherogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2715688  PMID: 19451238
11.  A Cytosolic Splice Variant of Cab45 Interacts with Munc18b and Impacts on Amylase Secretion by Pancreatic Acini 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2007;18(7):2473-2480.
We identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen the EF-hand Ca2+-binding protein Cab45 as an interaction partner of Munc18b. Although the full-length Cab45 resides in Golgi lumen, we characterize a cytosolic splice variant, Cab45b, expressed in pancreatic acini. Cab45b is shown to bind 45Ca2+, and, of its three EF-hand motifs, EF-hand 2 is demonstrated to be crucial for the ion binding. Cab45b is shown to interact with Munc18b in an in vitro assay, and this interaction is enhanced in the presence of Ca2+. In this assay, Cab45b also binds the Munc18a isoform in a Ca2+-dependent manner. The endogenous Cab45b in rat acini coimmunoprecipitates with Munc18b, syntaxin 2, and syntaxin 3, soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors with key roles in the Ca2+-triggered zymogen secretion. Furthermore, we show that Munc18b bound to syntaxin 3 recruits Cab45b onto the plasma membrane. Importantly, antibodies against Cab45b are shown to inhibit in a specific and dose-dependent manner the Ca2+-induced amylase release from streptolysin-O–permeabilized acini. The present study identifies Cab45b as a novel protein factor involved in the exocytosis of zymogens by pancreatic acini.
PMCID: PMC1924827  PMID: 17442889
12.  Potential roles of ROR-α in cardiovascular endocrinology 
Atherosclerosis is a chronic disease of the arteries whose development involves a local inflammatory response characterized by the activation of different cells such as macrophages, T-lymphocytes, smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs). This review will summarize recent evidence for a modulatory role of the nuclear receptor ROR-α in cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC1402228  PMID: 16604183

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