Persistent activation of Survivin and its overexpression contribute to the formation, progression and metastasis of several different tumor types. Therefore, Survivin is an ideal target for RNA interference mediated-growth inhibition. Blockade of Survivin using specific short hairpin RNAs (shRNA) can significantly reduce prostate tumor growth. RNA interference does not fully ablate target gene expression, owing to the idiosyncrasies associated with shRNAs and their targets. To enhance the therapeutic efficacy of Survivin-specific shRNA, we employed a combinatorial expression of Survivin-specific shRNA and gene associated with retinoid-interferon-induced mortality-19 (GRIM-19). Then, the GRIM-19 coding sequences and Survivin-specific shRNAs were used to create a dual expression plasmid vector and were carried by an attenuated strain of Salmonella enteric serovar typhimurium (S. typhimurium) to treat prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo. We found that the co-expressed Survivin-specific shRNA and GRIM-19 synergistically and more effectively inhibited prostate tumor proliferation and survival, when compared with treatment with either single agent alone in vitro and in vivo. This study has provided a novel cancer gene therapeutic approach for prostate cancer.
GRIM-19; prostate cancer; RNAi; Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium; Survivin; tumor cell growth
Stem cell factor (SCF) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) are initially discovered as the essential hematopoietic growth factors regulating bone marrow stem cell proliferation and differentiation, and SCF in combination with G-CSF (SCF+G-CSF) has synergistic effects on bone marrow stem cell mobilization. In this study we have determined the effect of SCF and G-CSF on neurite outgrowth in rat cortical neurons. Using molecular and cellular biology and live cell imaging approaches, we have revealed that receptors for SCF and G-CSF are expressed on the growth core of cortical neurons, and that SCF+G-CSF synergistically enhances neurite extension through PI3K/AKT and NFκB signaling pathways. Moreover, SCF+G-CSF induces much greater NFκB activation, NFκB transcriptional binding and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production than SCF or G-CSF alone. In addition, we have also observed that BDNF, the target gene of NFκB, is required for SCF+G-CSF-induced neurite outgrowth. These data suggest that SCF+G-CSF has synergistic effects to promote neurite growth. This study provides new insights into the contribution of hematopoietic growth factors in neuronal plasticity.
Chemoresistance is a major cause of treatment failure in patients with lung cancer. Although the extensive efforts have been made in overcoming chemoresistance, the underlying mechanisms are still elusive. Cancer cells reprogram cellular metabolism to satisfy the demands of malignant phenotype. To reveal roles of cancer metabolism in regulating chemoresistance, we profiled the metabolic characteristics in paclitaxel-resistant lung cancer cells by flux assay. Glucose and oleate metabolism were significantly different between resistant and non-resistant cells. In addition, targeting metabolism as a strategy to overcome drug resistance was investigated using specific metabolic inhibitors. Inhibition of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation by 2-deoxyglucose and malonate, respectively, potentiated the effects of paclitaxel on nonresistant lung adenocarcinoma cells but not paclitaxel-resistant cells. By contrast, inhibition of lipolysis by mercaptoacetate or etomoxir synergistically inhibited drug-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cell proliferation. We conclude that lipolysis inhibition potentially be a therapeutic strategy to overcome drug resistance in lung cancer.
Pain and agitation are common in patients after craniotomy. They can result in tachycardia, hypertension, immunosuppression, increased catecholamine production and increased oxygen consumption. Dexmedetomidine, an alpha-2 agonist, provides adequate sedation without respiratory depression, while facilitating frequent neurological evaluation.
The study is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled, parallel-group design. Consecutive patients are randomly assigned to one of the two treatment study groups, labeled ‘Dex group’ or ‘Saline group.’ Dexmedetomidine group patients receive a continuous infusion of 0.6 μg/kg/h (10 ug/ml). Placebo group patients receive a maintenance infusion of 0.9% sodium chloride for injection at a volume and rate equal to that of dexmedetomidine. The mean percentages of time in optimal sedation, vital signs, various and adverse events, the percentage of patients requiring propofol for rescue to achieve/maintain targeted sedation (Sedation-Agitation Scale, SAS 3 to 4) and total dose of propofol required throughout the study drug infusion are collected. The percentage of patients requiring fentanyl for additional rescue to analgesia and total dose of fentanyl required are recorded. The effects of dexmedetomidine on hemodynamic and recovery responses during extubation are measured. Intensive care unit and hospital length of stay also are collected. Plasma levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, cortisol, neuron-specific enolase and S100-B are measured before infusion (T1), at two hours (T2), four hours (T3) and eight hours (T4) after infusion and at the end of infusion (T5) in 20 patients in each group.
The study has been initiated as planned in July 2012. One interim analysis advised continuation of the trial. The study will be completed in July 2013.
ClinicalTrials (NCT): ChiCTR-PRC-12002903.
Dexmedetomidine; Analgesia; Sedation; Prophylactic; Delayed extubation; Craniotomy
Stroke is a serious cerebrovascular disease that causes high mortality and persistent disability in adults worldwide. Stroke is also an enormous public health problem and a heavy public financial burden in the United States. Treatment for stroke is very limited. Thrombolytic therapy by tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the only approved treatment for acute stroke, and no effective treatment is available for chronic stroke. Developing new therapeutic strategies, therefore, is a critical need for stroke treatment. This article summarizes the discovery of new routes of treatment for acute and chronic stroke using two hematopoietic growth factors, stem cell factor (SCF) and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). In a study of acute stroke, SCF and G-CSF alone or in combination displays neuroprotective effects in an animal model of stroke. SCF appears to be the optimal treatment for acute stroke as the functional outcome is superior to G-CSF alone or in combination (SCF+G-CSF); however, SCF+G-CSF does show better functional recovery than G-CSF. In a chronic stroke study, the therapeutic effects of SCF and G-CSF alone or in combination appear differently as compared with their effects on the acute stroke. SCF+G-CSF induces stable and long-lasting functional improvement; SCF alone also improves functional outcome but its effectiveness is less than SCF+G-CSF, whereas G-CSF shows no therapeutic effects. Although the mechanism by which SCF+G-CSF repairs the brain in chronic stroke remains poorly understood, our recent findings suggest that the SCF+G-CSF-induced functional improvement in chronic stroke is associated with a contribution to increasing angiogenesis and neurogenesis through bone marrow-derived cells and the direct effects on stimulating neurons to form new neuronal networks. These findings would assist in developing new treatment for stroke. The article presents some promising patents on role of stem cell factor and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor in treatment of stroke.
Acute stroke; chronic stroke; G-CSF; hematopoietic growth factors; neuroprotection; neuronal plasticity; SCF
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and hyperinsulinemia are associated closely with endometrial carcinoma risk, although the molecular mechanism remains unclear. Insulin receptor isoformA expression is upregulated in many cancer cells and tissues, which suggests that IR-A-mediated signaling pathways may have important implications for cancer pathogenesis. We measured the expression of insulin receptor isoforms (IR-A and IR–B in the normal endometrium tissues, the endometrial carcinoma tissues and the endometrial carcinoma cell lines. We found that the total insulin receptor (IR) and IR-A expression mRNA levels and the ratio of IR-A to total IR in endometrial carcinoma specimens were significantly higher than them in control endometrial tissue specimens(P<0.05). Further analysis indicated that the tendency was more prominently in patients with T2DM. IR-A mRNA was differentially expressed in four endometrial carcinoma cell lines (Ishikawa, KLE, RL95-2 and HEC-1-A. RL95-2 cells have a low endogenous IR-A expression, and these were used to construct a stable cell line overexpressing IR-A. We found that IR-A overexpression significantly increased cell proliferation, the proportion of cells in S phase, activation of the Akt pathway and tumorigenicity of xenografts in nude mice. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the the percentage of apoptotic cells between cells overexpressing IR-A and control cells. Moreover, levels of phosphorylated ERK1/2 protein were significantly decreased in cells overexpressing IR-A relative to controls. These findings reveal the pivotal role of IR-A in endometrial cancer carcinogenesis, and suggest that the association of elevated IR-A levels with cell proliferation and tumorigenicity may be causally linked to its effect on the proportion of cells in S phase and the activation of the Akt pathway.
X-ray repair cross-complementing protein 3 (XRCC3) is an essential gene involved in the double-strand break repair pathway. Published evidence has shown controversial results about the relationship between XRCC3 Thr241Met polymorphism and clinical outcomes of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the predictive value of XRCC3 Thr241Met polymorphism on clinical outcomes of advanced NSCLC receiving platinum-based chemotherapy. Response to chemotherapy, overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed.
A number of 11 eligible studies were identified according to the inclusion criteria. Carriers of the variant XRCC3 241Met allele were significantly associated with good response to platinum-based chemotherapy (ThrMet/MetMet vs. ThrThr: OR = 1.509, 95% CI: 1.099–2.072, Pheterogeneity = 0.618). The XRCC3 Thr241Met polymorphism was not associated with OS (MetMet vs. ThrThr, HR = 0.939, 95% CI:0.651–1.356, Pheterogeneity = 0.112) or PFS (MetMet vs. ThrThr, HR = 0.960, 95% CI: 0.539–1.710, Pheterogeneity = 0.198). Additionally, no evidence of publication bias was observed.
This systematic review and meta-analysis shows that carriers of the XRCC3 241Met allele are associated with good response to platinum-based chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC, while the XRCC3 Thr241Met polymorphism is not associated with OS or PFS.
The protein Pspto_3016 is a 117-residue member of the protein domain family PF04237 (DUF419), which is to date a functionally uncharacterized family of proteins. In this report, we describe the structure of Pspto_3016 from Pseudomonas syringae solved by both solution NMR and X-ray crystallography at 2.5 Å resolution. In both cases, the structure of Pspto_3016 adopts a “double wing” α/β sandwich fold similar to that of protein YjbR from Escherichia coli and to the C-terminal DNA binding domain of the MotA transcription factor (MotCF) from T4 bacteriophage, along with other uncharacterized proteins. Pspto_3016 was selected by the Protein Structure Initiative of the National Institutes of Health and the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG ID PsR293).
Pspto_3016; PF04237; DUF419; structural genomics; 2KFP; 3H9X; double wing; NMR; X-ray crystallography
Studies have suggested that the nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCOR1) could play an important role in human cancers. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms by which it functions in vivo to affect cancer progression are not clear. The present study elucidated the in vivo actions of NCOR1 in carcinogenesis using a mouse model (ThrbPV/PV mice) that spontaneously develops thyroid cancer. ThrbPV/PV mice harbor a dominantly negative thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ) mutant (denoted as PV). We adopted the loss-of-the function approach by crossing ThrbPV mice with mice that globally express an NCOR1 mutant protein (NCOR1ΔID) in which the receptor interaction domains have been modified so that it cannot interact with the TRβ, or PV, in mice. Remarkably, expression of NCOR1ΔID protein reduced thyroid tumor growth, markedly delayed tumor progression, and prolonged survival of ThrbPV/PVNcor1ΔID/ΔID mice. Tumor cell proliferation was inhibited by increased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21waf1/cip1; Cdkn1A), and apoptosis was activated by elevated expression of pro-apoptotic BCL-Associated X (Bax). Further analyses showed that p53 was recruited to the p53-binding site on the proximal promoter of the Cdkn1A and the Bax gene as a co-repressor complex with PV/NCOR1/histone deacetylas-3 (HDAC-3), leading to repression of the Cdkn1A as well as the Bax gene in thyroids of ThrbPV/PV mice. In thyroids of ThrbPV/PVNcor1ΔID/ΔID mice, the p53/PV complex could not recruit NCOR1ΔID and HDAC-3, leading to de-repression of both genes to inhibit cancer progression. The present studies provided direct evidence in vivo that NCOR1 could function as an oncogene via transcription regulation in a mouse model of thyroid cancer.
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a neurotoxin found in puffer fish and other marine animals. New clinical studies suggest that low-dose TTX can safely relieve severe, treatment-resistant cancer pain. The therapeutic potential of TTX in addiction is supported by studies in laboratory animals. The purpose of this double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to assess the effect of a single intramuscular dose of TTX on cue-induced craving and anxiety in abstinent heroin addicts.
Forty-five abstinent heroin addicts were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: placebo, 5 μg TTX, or 10 μg TTX. Participants were exposed to a neutral video or a heroin-related video. Craving, anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate were measured pre- and post-exposure.
Heroin-related cues increased both craving and anxiety and had no effect on blood pressure and heart rate. A single dose of TTX dose-dependently attenuated the increases in craving and anxiety while having no effect on blood pressure or heart rate.
The results suggest that low-dose TTX is acutely effective in reducing cue-induced increases in heroin craving and associated anxiety.
Drug cues; Heroin dependence; Tetrodotoxin; Craving
Association studies suggest that thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ) could function as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer development, but unequivocal evidence is still lacking. To understand the role of TRβ in breast tumor development, we adopted the gain-of-function approach by stably expressing the THRB gene in a human breast cancer cell line, MCF-7 (MCF-7-TRβ). Parental MCF-7 cells express the estrogen receptor, but not TRs. MCF-7 cells, stably expressing only the selectable marker, the Neo gene, were also generated as control for comparison (MCF-7-Neo cells). Cell-based studies indicate that the estrogen (E2)-dependent growth of MCF-7 cells was inhibited by the expression of TRβ in the presence of the thyroid hormone (T3). In a xenograft mouse model, large tumors rapidly developed after inoculation of MCF-7-Neo cells in athymic mice. In contrast, markedly smaller tumors (98% smaller) were found when MCF-7-TRβ cells were inoculated in athymic mice, indicating that TRβ inhibited the E2-dependent tumor growth of MCF-7 cells. Further detailed molecular analysis showed that TRβ acted to activate apoptosis and decrease proliferation of tumor cells, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth. The TRβ-mediated inhibition of tumor growth was elucidated via down-regulation of the JAK-STAT-cyclin D pathways. This in vivo evidence shows that TRβ could act as a tumor suppressor in breast tumorigenesis. The present study provides new insights into the role of TR in breast cancer.
Thyroid hormone receptor beta; tumor suppressor; tumorigenesis; STAT signaling; MCF-7 cells
Parasecretion of the hematopoietic cytokines is considered as one of the mechanisms account for bone marrow hematopoiesis disorder. In this study, the level of IL-6 secreted by bone marrow stromal cells from a mouse model of aplastic anemia was analyzed. The aplastic anemia mouse model was established with cyclophosphamide in combination with chloramphenicol and 60Coγ radiation. The impairment of bone marrow hematopoiesis induced by irradiation and chemotherapeutic drugs was subsequently characterized by peripheral blood cell count, pathomorphological changes, and apoptosis rate. Furthermore, the in vitro proliferation of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) and the IL-6 secretion levels of BMSC were analyzed. In our model of aplastic anemia, the number of peripheral blood cells and bone marrow cells (BMC) were notably decreased, and the apoptosis rate of BMC increased. Furthermore, the proliferation of BMSC was obviously impeded while the IL-6 secretion levels of BMSC significantly increased. The findings of our study suggested that the IL-6 secretion level may be enhanced to some extent by the induction of aplastic anemia caused by irradiation and chemotherapeutic drugs and that the abnormal level of IL-6 might probably interfere with the stability of the bone marrow hematopoietic microenvironment.
So far, no effective therapy is available for acute kidney injury (AKI), a common and serious complication with high morbidity and mortality. Interest has recently been focused on the potential therapeutic effect of mouse adult renal progenitor cells (MRPC), erythropoietin (EPO) and suramin in the recovery of ischemia-induced AKI. The aim of the present study is to compare MRPC with MRPC/EPO or MRPC/suramin concomitantly in the treatment of a mouse model of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) AKI.
MRPC were isolated from adult C57BL/6-gfp mice. Male C57BL/6 mice (eight-weeks old, n = 72) were used for the I/R AKI model. Serum creatinine (Cr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and renal histology were detected in MRPC-, MRPC/EPO-, MRPC/suramin- and PBS-treated I/R AKI mice. E-cadherin, CD34 and GFP protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemical assay.
MRPC exhibited characteristics consistent with renal stem cells. The features of MRPC were manifested by Pax-2, Oct-4, vimentin, α-smooth muscle actin positive, and E-cadherin negative, distinguished from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) by expression of CD34 and Sca-1. The plasticity of MRPC was shown by the ability to differentiate into osteoblasts and lipocytes in vitro. Injection of MRPC, especially MRPC/EPO and MRPC/suramin in I/R AKI mice attenuated renal damage with a decrease of the necrotic injury, peak plasma Cr and BUN. Furthermore, seven days after the injury, MRPC/EPO or MRPC/suramin formed more CD34+ and E-cadherin+ cells than MRPC alone.
These results suggest that MRPC, in particular MRPC/EPO or MRPC/suramin, promote renal repair after injury and may be a promising therapeutic strategy.
Adult kidney stem cell; Cell therapy; Erythropoietin; Suramin
Stress and stress hormone are known to play important roles in modulating different stages of memory including reconsolidation. In a previous study, we found that treatment with stress or corticosterone after a single memory reactivation disrupted reconsolidation of a drug-related memory in rats. Here we presumed that stress after memory reactivation can effectively inhibit drug-related memory by disrupting its reconsolidation in abstinent heroin addicts.
Materials and methods
In the present study, 21 abstinent heroin addicts learned a word list (containing ten neutral, ten heroin-related negative, and ten heroin-related positive words) on day 1; retrieval of a word list (learned 24 h earlier) was made on day 2; and immediately after retrieval, they were exposed to either a standardized psychosocial laboratory stressor (Trier Social Stress Test) or a control condition in a crossover manner. On day 3, free recall of the word list and other psychological and physical responses were assessed.
The stressor induced a significant increase in salivary free cortisol and a decrease in mood. Memory recall was significantly impaired after the stress condition. Follow-up analysis revealed that heroin-related negative and positive words (i.e., heroin-related words) were affected, whereas no effect was observed for neutral words. No changes were detected for cued recall, working memory, or attention. Stress after drug-related memory retrieval significantly decreased its subsequent recall, likely through impaired drug-related memory reconsolidation process.
Reconsolidation blockade may thus provide a potential therapeutic strategy for the prevention of relapse in drug addiction.
Stress; Glucocorticoids; Heroin-related memory; Reconsolidation
We have recently reported that calreticulin (CRT), a luminal resident protein, can be found in the sera of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and also that recombinant CRT (rCRT) exhibits extraordinarily strong immunological activities. We herein further demonstrate that rCRT fragments 18–412 (rCRT/18-412), rCRT/39-272, rCRT/120-308 and rCRT/120-250 can self-oligomerize in solution and are 50–100 fold more potent than native CRT (nCRT, isolated from mouse livers) in activating macrophages in vitro. We narrowed down the active site of CRT to residues 150–230, the activity of which also depends on dimerization. By contrast, rCRT/18-197 is almost completely inactive. When rCRT/18-412 is fractionated into oligomers and monomers by gel filtration, the oligomers maintain most of their immunological activities in terms of activating macrophages in vitro and inducing specific antibodies in vivo, while the monomers were much less active by comparison. Additionally, rCRT/18-412 oligomers are much better than monomers in binding to, and uptake by, macrophages. Inhibition of macrophage endocytosis partially blocks the stimulatory effect of rCRT/18-412. We conclude that the immunologically active site of CRT maps between residues 198–230 and that soluble CRT could acquire potent immuno-pathological activities in microenvironments favoring its oligomerization.
Enteral nutrition is increasingly advocated in the treatment of acute pancreatitis, but its timing is still controversial. The aim of this meta-analysis was to find out the feasibility of early enteral nutrition within 48 hours of admission and its possible advantages.
Methods and Findings
We searched PubMed, EMBASE Databases, Web of Science, the Cochrane library, and scholar.google.com for all the relevant articles about the effect of enteral nutrition initiated within 48 hours of admission on the clinical outcomes of acute pancreatitis from inception to December 2012. Eleven studies containing 775 patients with acute pancreatitis were analyzed. Results from a pooled analysis of all the studies demonstrated that early enteral nutrition was associated with significant reductions in all the infections as a whole (OR 0.38; 95%CI 0.21–0.68, P<0.05), in catheter-related septic complications (OR 0.26; 95%CI 0.11–0.58, P<0.05), in pancreatic infection (OR 0.49; 95%CI 0.31–0.78, P<0.05), in hyperglycemia (OR 0.24; 95%CI 0.11–0.52, P<0.05), in the length of hospitalization (mean difference −2.18; 95%CI −3.48−(−0.87); P<0.05), and in mortality (OR 0.31; 95%CI 0.14–0.71, P<0.05), but no difference was found in pulmonary complications (P>0.05). The stratified analysis based on the severity of disease revealed that, even in predicted severe or severe acute pancreatitis patients, early enteral nutrition still showed a protective power against all the infection complications as a whole, catheter-related septic complications, pancreatic infection complications, and organ failure that was only reported in the severe attack of the disease (all P<0.05).
Enteral nutrition within 48 hours of admission is feasible and improves the clinical outcomes in acute pancreatitis as well as in predicted severe or severe acute pancreatitis by reducing complications.
Although oxygen has been reported to regulate biofilm formation by several Shewanella species, the exact regulatory mechanism mostly remains unclear. Here, we identify a direct oxygen-sensing diguanylate cyclase (DosD) and reveal its regulatory role in biofilm formation by Shewanella putrefaciens CN32 under aerobic conditions. In vitro and in vivo analyses revealed that the activity of DosD culminates to synthesis of cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) in the presence of oxygen. DosD regulates the transcription of bpfA operon which encodes seven proteins including a large repetitive adhesin BpfA and its cognate type I secretion system (TISS). Regulation of DosD in aerobic biofilms is heavily dependent on an adhesin BpfA and the TISS. This study offers an insight into the molecular mechanism of oxygen-stimulated biofilm formation by S. putrefaciens CN32.
Skin engineering provides a new strategy for treating a wide variety of skin defects. In particular, electrospun nanofibrous membranes have been used as carriers for epidermis engineering. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of a modified gelatin and polycaprolactone (GT/PCL) electrospun membrane for epidermis engineering. The biocompatibility of the membranes was evaluated by seeding HaCaT cells (human keratinocyte cell line) on the membrane and the mechanical properties of the membranes were determined with and without cells after culture. A cell proliferation assay showing that HaCaT cells attached and proliferated well on the membranes demonstrated that the membranes possess good biocompatibility. Mechanical tests showed that the membranes are strong enough to be handled during transplantation. Further in vivo transplantation studies revealed that epidermises engineered with GT/PCL membranes were able to repair skin defects in the nude mouse. These results demonstrate that GT/PCL electrospun membranes could be suitable scaffolds for skin engineering.
epidermis engineering; electrospun nanofibrous membrane; gelatin; polycaprolactone
Stroke has a high incidence in the elderly. Stroke enters the chronic phase 3 months after initial stroke onset. Currently, there is no pharmaceutical treatment available for chronic stroke. We have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of the combination of stem cell factor (SCF) and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) (SCF+G-CSF) on chronic stroke. However, it remains unclear how SCF+G-CSF repairs the brain in chronic stroke. In this study, we determined the effects of SCF+G-CSF on neuronal network remodeling in the aged brain of chronic stroke. Cortical brain ischemia was produced in 16–18 month-old transgenic mice expressing yellow fluorescent protein in layer V pyramidal neurons. SCF+G-CSF was subcutaneously injected for 7 days beginning at 3.5 months post-ischemia. Using both live brain imaging and immunohistochemistry, we observed that SCF+G-CSF increased the mushroom-type spines on the apical dendrites of layer V pyramidal neurons adjacent to the infarct cavities 2 and 6 weeks after treatment. SCF+G-CSF also augmented dendritic branches and post-synaptic density protein 95 puncta in the peri-infarct cortex 6 weeks after treatment. These data suggest that SCF+G-CSF treatment in chronic stroke remodels neural circuits in the aged brain. This study provides evidence to support the development of a new therapeutic strategy for chronic stroke.
Gene regulation remains one of the major challenges for gene therapy in clinical trials. In the present study, we first generated a binary tetracycline-on (Tet-On) system based on two lentivirus vectors, one expressing both human glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (hGDNF) and humanized recombinant green fluorescent protein (hrGFP) genes under second-generation tetracycline response element (TRE), and the other expressing the advanced reverse tetracycline-controlled transactivator - rtTA2S-M2 under a human minimal cytomegalovirus immediate early (CMV-IE) promoter. This system allows simultaneous expression of hGDNF and hrGFP genes in the presence of doxycycline (Dox). Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were transduced with the binary Tet-On lentivirus vectors and characterized in vitro in the presence (On) or absence (Off) of Dox. The expression of hGDNF and hrGFP transgenes in transduced hMSCs was tightly regulated as determined by flow cytometry (FCM), GDNF enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). There was a dose-dependent regulation for hrGFP transgene expression. The levels of hGDNF protein in culture medium were correlated with the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) units of hrGFP. The levels of transgene background expression were very low in the absence of Dox. The treatment of the conditioned medium from cultures of transduced hMSCs in the presence of Dox protected SH-SY5Y cells against 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) toxicity as determined by cell viability using 3, [4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]- diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The treatment of the conditioned medium was also found to improve the survival of dopaminergic (DA) neurons of ventral mesencephalic (VM) tissue in serum-free culture conditions as assessed by cell body area, the number of neurites and dendrite branching points, and proportion of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive (IR) cells. Our inducible lentivirus-mediated hGDNF gene delivery system may provide useful tools for basic research on gene therapy for chronic neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Adoptive transfer of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells appears to be a promising immunotherapeutic strategy. CAR combines the specificity of antibody and cytotoxicity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes, enhancing T cells’ ability to specifically target antigens and to effectively kill cancer cells. Recent efforts have been made to integrate the costimulatory signals in the CAR to improve the antitumor efficacy. Epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) is an attractive therapeutic target as it frequently expresses in glioma and many other types of cancers. Our current study aimed to investigate the specific and efficient antitumor effect of T cells modified with CAR containing inducible costimulator (ICOS) signaling domain.
A second generation of EGFRvIII/CAR was generated and it contained the EGFRvIII single chain variable fragment, ICOS signaling domain and CD3ζ chain. Lentiviral EGFRvIII/CAR was prepared and human CD3+ T cells were infected by lentivirus encoding EGFRvIII/CAR. The expression of EGFRvIII/CAR on CD3+ T cells was confirmed by flow cytometry and Western blot. The functions of EGFRvIII/CAR+ T cells were evaluated using in vitro and in vivo methods including cytotoxicity assay, cytokine release assay and xenograft tumor mouse model.
Chimeric EGFRvIIIscFv-ICOS-CD3ζ (EGFRvIII/CAR) was constructed and lentiviral EGFRvIII/CAR were made to titer of 106 TU/ml. The transduction efficiency of lentiviral EGFRvIII/CAR on T cells reached around 70% and expression of EGFRvIII/CAR protein was verified by immunoblotting as a band of about 57 kDa. Four hour 51Cr release assays demonstrated specific and efficient cytotoxicity of EGFRvIII/CAR+ T cells against EGFRvIII expressing U87 cells. A robust increase in the IFN-γ secretion was detected in the co-culture supernatant of the EGFRvIII/CAR+ T cells and the EGFRvIII expressing U87 cells. Intravenous and intratumor injection of EGFRvIII/CAR+ T cells inhibited the in vivo growth of the EGFRvIII expressing glioma cells.
Our study demonstrates that the EGFRvIII/CAR-modified T cells can destroy glioma cells efficiently in an EGFRvIII specific manner and release IFN-γ in an antigen dependent manner. The specific recognition and effective killing activity of the EGFRvIII-directed T cells with ICOS signaling domain lays a foundation for us to employ such approach in future cancer treatment.
Adoptive immunotherapy; Chimeric antigen receptor; Glioma
We have recently demonstrated that adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9)-mediated human erythropoietin (hEPO) gene delivery into the brain protects dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. In the present study, we examined whether pre-exposure to AAV9-hEPO vectors with an intramuscular or intrastriatal injection would reduce AAV9-mediated hEPO transduction in rat brain. We first characterized transgene expression and immune responses against AAV9-hEPO vectors in rat striatum at 4 days, 3 weeks and 6 months, and with doses ranging from 1011 to 1013 viral genomes. To sensitize immune system, rats received an injection of AAV9-hEPO into either the muscle or the left striatum, and then sequentially an injection of AAV9-hEPO into the right striatum 3 weeks later. We observed that transgene expression exhibited in a time course and dose dependent manner, and inflammatory and immune responses displayed in a time course manner. Intramuscular, but not intrastriatal injections of AAV9-hEPO resulted in reduced levels of hEPO transduction and increased levels of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II antigen expression in the striatum following AAV9-hEPO re-administration. There were infiltration of the cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4)-and CD8-lymphacytes, and accumulation of activated microglial cells and astrocytes in the virally injected striatum. In addition, the sera from the rats with intramuscular injections of AAV9-hEPO contained greater levels of antibodies against both AAV9 capsid protein and hEPO protein than the other treatment groups. hEPO gene expression was negatively correlated with the levels of circulating antibodies against AAV9 capsid protein. Intramuscular and intrastriatal re-administration of AAV9-hEPO led to increased numbers of red blood cells in peripheral blood. Our results suggest that pre-immunization with an intramuscular injection can lead to the reduction of transgene expression in the striatal re-administration.
There is a growing concern about the potential health effects of exposure to various environmental chemicals during pregnancy and infancy. The placenta is expected to be an effective barrier protecting the developing embryo against some endocrine disruptors (EDs) circulating in maternal blood. The current study was designed to assess in utero exposure levels of non-persistent organic pollutants (non-POPs) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Chinese newborns and potential role of placenta barrier against fetal exposure to these commonly-used environmental endocrine disruptors. A total of 230 newborn-mother pairs were enrolled during 2010–2011, 201 pairs of which were recruited from Shanghai, and the other 29 pairs came from Wenzhou. Maternal blood, cord blood, and meconium specimens were collected in the subject population from Shanghai and analyzed for non-POPs, including mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP), octylphenol (OP) and 4-nonylphenol (4-NP). A total of 19 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) congeners, which belong to POPs, were detected in maternal and cord blood specimens from the other 29 pairs. Fetal-maternal ratios (F-M ratios) and regression coefficients were presented to assess potential function of placenta on barricading the mother/fetal transfer of these EDs. Concentrations of the detected non-POPs in cord blood samples were approximately 20% lower than those in maternal blood, and regression coefficients of which were all over 0.80. In contrast, PBDEs levels in cord blood samples were significantly higher than those in maternal blood. MEHP levels in meconium were much higher than those in cord blood samples, and highly correlated. Therefore, observations demonstrated that the placental barrier slightly decreased the fetal exposure to most non-POPs, while PBDEs seemed to be totally transferred across the placenta and finally reached the fetus. For in utero exposure assessment of Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), MEHP level in meconium may be a useful biomarker.
The activity of 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase is strictly controlled by fructose-2,6-bisphosphate, the level of which is regulated by another enzyme, 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase (PFK2/FBP2). PFK2/FBP2 is a bifunctional enzyme, having kinase and phosphatase activities, and regulates both glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Here, we examined the hormonal regulation of the PFK2/FBP2 gene in vitro using the reporter assay, the electromobility shift assay (EMSA), and the chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay in HuH7 cells and also using the mouse liver in vivo. We found that the transcriptional activity of the PFK2/FBP2 gene was stimulated by insulin and inhibited by cAMP and glucocorticoid. Liver X receptor (LXR) α showed a potent and specific stimulatory effect on PFK2/FBP2 gene transcription. Deletion and mutagenesis analyses identified the LXR response element (LXRE) in the 5′-promoter region of the PFK2/FBP2 gene. Binding of LXRα was confirmed by the EMSA and ChIP assay. Endogenous PFK2/FBP2 mRNA in the mouse liver was increased in the fasting/refeeding state compared with the fasting state. Altogether, PFK2/FBP2 gene transcription is found to be regulated in a way that is more similar to other glycolytic enzyme genes than to gluconeogenic genes. Furthermore, our data strongly suggest that LXRα is one of the key regulators of PFK2/FBP2 gene transcription.