Among new potential solvents for lignocellulosic materials, ionic liquids (ILs) are attracting considerable attention. Hence, the knowledge of the thermophysical properties of such fluids is essential for the design of related industrial processes. Therefore, in this work, a set of thermophysical properties, namely, density, viscosity, and refractive index, as a function of temperature, and isobaric thermal expansivity and heat capacities at a constant temperature, were determined for eight ionic liquids with the 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium cation combined with the following anions: acetate, methylphosphonate, methanesulfonate, trifluoromethanesulfonate, dicyanamide, thiocyanate, tosylate, and dimethylphosphate. Imidazolium-based ILs were chosen since these are the most studied ionic fluids in biomass dissolution approaches, while a large array of anions was investigated because it was already demonstrated that it is the IL anion that mainly governs the dissolution.
Various physiologically relevant processes are regulated by the interaction of the receptor tyrosine kinase (c-Kit) and its ligand stem cell factor (SCF), with SCF known to be the most important growth factor for mast cells (MCs). In spite of their traditional role in allergic disorders and innate immunity, MCs have lately emerged as versatile modulators of a variety of physiologic and pathologic processes. Here we show that MCs are critical for pregnancy success. Uterine MCs presented a unique phenotype, accumulated during receptivity and expanded upon pregnancy establishment. KitW-sh/W-sh mice, whose MC deficiency is based on restricted c-Kit gene expression, exhibited severely impaired implantation, which could be completely rescued by systemic or local transfer of wild-type bone marrow-derived MCs. Transferred wild-type MCs favored normal implantation, induced optimal spiral artery remodeling and promoted the expression of MC proteases, transforming growth factor-β and connective tissue growth factor. MCs contributed to trophoblast survival, placentation and fetal growth through secretion of the glycan-binding protein galectin-1. Our data unveil unrecognized roles for MCs at the fetomaternal interface with critical implications in reproductive medicine.
BackgroundMast cells (MCs) have long been suspected as important players for implantation based on the fact that their degranulation causes the release of pivotal factors, e.g., histamine, MMPs, tryptase and VEGF, which are known to be involved in the attachment and posterior invasion of the embryo into the uterus. Moreover, MC degranulation correlates with angiogenesis during pregnancy. The number of MCs in the uterus has been shown to fluctuate during menstrual cycle in human and estrus cycle in rat and mouse indicating a hormonal influence on their recruitment from the periphery to the uterus. However, the mechanisms behind MC migration to the uterus are still unknown.Methodology/Principal FindingsWe first utilized migration assays to show that MCs are able to migrate to the uterus and to the fetal-maternal interface upon up-regulation of the expression of chemokine receptors by hormonal changes. By using a model of ovariectomized animals, we provide clear evidences that also in vivo, estradiol and progesterone attract MC to the uterus and further provoke their maturation and degranulation.Conclusion/SignificanceWe propose that estradiol and progesterone modulate the migration of MCs from the periphery to the uterus and their degranulation, which may prepare the uterus for implantation.
Deep eutectic solvents (DES) have been studied in a wide range of applications, and despite their potential as sustainable solvents, detailed knowledge on their solvatochromic parameters is still lacking. To overcome this problem, in this work, the Kamlet Taft (KT) solvatochromic parameters, namely the hydrogen-bond acidity, hydrogen-bond basicity and dipolarity/polarizability, of a wide range of DES composed of ammonium-based salts as hydrogen bond acceptors (HBAs), and carboxylic acids as hydrogen bond donors (HBDs), were determined aiming at better understanding the influence of the chemical structure of the DES components on their polarity. It is shown that the high acidity of the DES investigated is mainly provided by the organic acid present in the mixture, and that an increase of the alkyl side chain of both the HBA and the HBD species leads to a lower ability of the solvent to donate protons. On the other hand, the ammonium salt plays the major role on the hydrogen-bond basicity of DES. Contrarily to the hydrogen-bond acidity, an increase in the length of the aliphatic moieties of both the carboxylic acid and salt cation results in solvents with higher ability to accept protons. The dipolarity/polarizability of DES is mainly defined by the ionic species present, and tend to decrease with the increase of the aliphatic moiety of the organic acid. In general, DES composed of ammonium-based salts and carboxylic acids present a higher capacity to donate and accept protons when compared to most of the ionic liquids or organic molecular solvents.
Implantation of the fertilized egg into the maternal uterus depends on the fine balance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory processes. Whilst regulatory T cells (Tregs) are reportedly involved in protection of allogeneic fetuses against rejection by the maternal immune system, their role for pregnancy to establish, e.g., blastocyst implantation, is not clear. By using 2-photon imaging we show that Foxp3+ cells accumulated in the mouse uterus during the receptive phase of the estrus cycle. Seminal fluid further fostered Treg expansion. Depletion of Tregs in two Foxp3.DTR-based models prior to pairing drastically impaired implantation and resulted in infiltration of activated T effector cells as well as in uterine inflammation and fibrosis in both allogeneic and syngeneic mating combinations. Genetic deletion of the homing receptor CCR7 interfered with accumulation of Tregs in the uterus and implantation indicating that homing of Tregs to the uterus was mediated by CCR7. Our results demonstrate that Tregs play a critical role in embryo implantation by preventing the development of a hostile uterine microenvironment.
Aiming at replacing the noxious solvents commonly employed, ionic-liquid-based solvents have been recently explored as novel non-volatile and non-flammable media for the electrospinning of polymers. In this work, nanosized and biodegradable cellulose fibers were obtained by electrospinning at room temperature using a pure ionic liquid or a binary mixture of two selected ionic liquids. The electrospinning of 8 wt% cellulose in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate medium (a low viscosity and room temperature ionic liquid capable of efficiently dissolving cellulose) showed to produce electrospun fibers with average diameters within (470 ± 110) nm. With the goal of tailoring the surface tension of the spinning dope, a surface active ionic liquid was further added in a 0.10 : 0.90 mole fraction ratio. Electrospun cellulose fibers from the binary mixture composed of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate and 1-decyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquids presented average diameters within (120 ± 55) nm. Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric assays were used as core methods to evaluate the structural integrity, morphology and crystallinity of the raw, electrospun, and regenerated samples of cellulose. Moreover, the photoluminescence spectra of both raw and electrospun fibers were acquired, and compared, indicating that the cellulose emitting centers are not affected by the dissolution of cellulose in ionic liquids. Finally, the use of non-volatile solvents in electrospinning coupled to a water coagulation bath allows the recovery of the ionic fluid, and represents a step forward into the search of environmentally friendly alternatives to the conventional approaches.
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