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1.  Costimulation Blockade Induces Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells to Human Embryonic Stem Cells 
BioResearch Open Access  2013;2(6):455-458.
Abstract
Transplantation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), like other allogeneic cellular transplants, require immunomodulation or immunosuppression in order to be maintained in the recipient. Costimulation blockade applied at the time of transplantation inhibits costimulatory signals in the immunological synapse leading to a state of anergy in the donor reactive T-cell population and a state of immunological tolerance in the host. In models of solid organ transplantation, tolerance is maintained by the infiltration of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells into the graft. In order to study if regulatory T cells could be generated to hESC transplants, costimulation blockade (CTLA4Ig, anti-CD40L, anti-LFA-1) was administered for the first week after transplantation of two different hESC lines implanted under the kidney capsule of wild-type mice. hESC transplants were maintained indefinitely, and when harvested at long-term follow-up, Foxp3+ T-cells were found surrounding the graft, implying the maintenance of tolerance through the induction of regulatory T cells. These results imply that costimulation blockade could be a useful treatment strategy for the induction of tolerance to hESC transplants and may down-modulate immune responses locally around the graft.
doi:10.1089/biores.2013.0039
PMCID: PMC3869426  PMID: 24380056
immunology; immunotherapy; monoclonal antibodies; stem cells
2.  Small molecule screening platform for assessment of cardiovascular toxicity on adult zebrafish heart 
BMC Physiology  2012;12:3.
Background
Cardiovascular toxicity is a major limiting factor in drug development and requires multiple cost-effective models to perform toxicological evaluation. Zebrafish is an excellent model for many developmental, toxicological and regenerative studies. Using approaches like morpholino knockdown and electrocardiogram, researchers have demonstrated physiological and functional similarities between zebrafish heart and human heart. The close resemblance of the genetic cascade governing heart development in zebrafish to that of humans has propelled the zebrafish system as a cost-effective model to conduct various genetic and pharmacological screens on developing embryos and larvae. The current report describes a methodology for rapid isolation of adult zebrafish heart, maintenance ex vivo, and a setup to perform quick small molecule throughput screening, including an in-house implemented analysis script.
Results
Adult zebrafish were anesthetized and after rapid decapitation the hearts were isolated. The short time required for isolation of hearts allows dissection of multiple fishes, thereby obtaining a large sample size. The simple protocol for ex vivo culture allowed maintaining the beating heart for several days. The in-house developed script and spectral analyses allowed the readouts to be presented either in time domain or in frequency domain. Taken together, the current report offers an efficient platform for performing cardiac drug testing and pharmacological screens.
Conclusion
The new methodology presents a fast, cost-effective, sensitive and reliable method for performing small molecule screening. The variety of readouts that can be obtained along with the in-house developed analyses script offers a powerful setup for performing cardiac toxicity evaluation by researchers from both academics and industry.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-12-3
PMCID: PMC3334682  PMID: 22449203
Heart; Screening; Zebrafish; Small molecule; Ex vivo; Ca2+ signaling
3.  Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptor Subtype-Specific Regulation of Calcium Oscillations 
Neurochemical Research  2011;36(7):1175-1185.
Oscillatory fluctuations in the cytosolic concentration of free calcium ions (Ca2+) are considered a ubiquitous mechanism for controlling multiple cellular processes. Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptors (IP3R) are intracellular Ca2+ release channels that mediate Ca2+ release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ stores. The three IP3R subtypes described so far exhibit differential structural, biophysical, and biochemical properties. Subtype specific regulation of IP3R by the endogenous modulators IP3, Ca2+, protein kinases and associated proteins have been thoroughly examined. In this article we will review the contribution of each IP3R subtype in shaping cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations.
doi:10.1007/s11064-011-0457-7
PMCID: PMC3111726  PMID: 21479917
Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor; Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor-associated protein; Calcium signaling; Calcium oscillations

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