In a multicenter study, we determined the expression profiles of 863 microRNAs by array analysis of 454 blood samples from human individuals with different cancers or noncancer diseases, and validated this 'miRNome' by quantitative real-time PCR. We detected consistently deregulated profiles for all tested diseases; pathway analysis confirmed disease association of the respective microRNAs. We observed significant correlations (P = 0.004) between the genomic location of disease-associated genetic variants and deregulated microRNAs.
The overall goal of this project is to determine the uptake patterns of silica nanoparticle geometries in model cells, in order to aid in the identification of the role of geometry on cellular uptake and transport. In our experiments we observed a significant difference in the viability of two phenotypes of primary macrophages; immortalized macrophages exhibited similar patterns. However, both primary and immortalized epithelial cells did not exhibit toxicity profiles. Interestingly uptake of these geometries in all cell lines, exhibited very different time dependent patterns. A screening of a series of chemical inhibitors of endocytosis was performed to isolate the uptake mechanisms of the different particles. The results show that all geometries exhibit very different uptake profiles and that this may be due to the orientation of the nanoparticles when they interact with the cell surface. Additionally, evidence suggests that these uptake patterns initialize different downstream cellular pathways, dependent on cell type and phenotype.
BackgroundDeregulated miRNAs are found in cancer cells and recently in blood cells of cancer patients. Due to their inherent stability miRNAs may offer themselves for blood based tumor diagnosis. Here we addressed the question whether there is a sufficient number of miRNAs deregulated in blood cells of cancer patients to be able to distinguish between cancer patients and controls.MethodsWe synthesized 866 human miRNAs and miRNA star sequences as annotated in the Sanger miRBase onto a microarray designed by febit biomed gmbh. Using the fully automated Geniom Real Time Analyzer platform, we analyzed the miRNA expression in 17 blood cell samples of patients with non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) and in 19 blood samples of healthy controls.ResultsUsing t-test, we detected 27 miRNAs significantly deregulated in blood cells of lung cancer patients as compared to the controls. Some of these miRNAs were validated using qRT-PCR. To estimate the value of each deregulated miRNA, we grouped all miRNAs according to their diagnostic information that was measured by Mutual Information. Using a subset of 24 miRNAs, a radial basis function Support Vector Machine allowed for discriminating between blood cellsamples of tumor patients and controls with an accuracy of 95.4% [94.9%-95.9%], a specificity of 98.1% [97.3%-98.8%], and a sensitivity of 92.5% [91.8%-92.5%].ConclusionOur findings support the idea that neoplasia may lead to a deregulation of miRNA expression in blood cells of cancer patients compared to blood cells of healthy individuals. Furthermore, we provide evidence that miRNA patterns can be used to detect human cancers from blood cells.
Organs-on-chips have the potential to improve drug development efficiency and decrease the need for animal testing. For the successful integration of these devices in research and industry, they must reproduce in vivo contexts as closely as possible and be easy to use. Here, we describe a ‘breathing’ lung-on-chip array equipped with a passive medium exchange mechanism that provide an in vivo-like environment to primary human lung alveolar cells (hAEpCs) and primary lung endothelial cells. This configuration allows the preservation of the phenotype and the function of hAEpCs for several days, the conservation of the epithelial barrier functionality, while enabling simple sampling of the supernatant from the basal chamber. In addition, the chip design increases experimental throughput and enables trans-epithelial electrical resistance measurements using standard equipment. Biological validation revealed that human primary alveolar type I (ATI) and type II-like (ATII) epithelial cells could be successfully cultured on the chip over multiple days. Moreover, the effect of the physiological cyclic strain showed that the epithelial barrier permeability was significantly affected. Long-term co-culture of primary human lung epithelial and endothelial cells demonstrated the potential of the lung-on-chip array for reproducible cell culture under physiological conditions. Thus, this breathing lung-on-chip array, in combination with patients’ primary ATI, ATII, and lung endothelial cells, has the potential to become a valuable tool for lung research, drug discovery and precision medicine.
The air-blood barrier with its complex architecture and dynamic environment is difficult to mimic in vitro. Lung-on-a-chips enable mimicking the breathing movements using a thin, stretchable PDMS membrane. However, they fail to reproduce the characteristic alveoli network as well as the biochemical and physical properties of the alveolar basal membrane. Here, we present a lung-on-a-chip, based on a biological, stretchable and biodegradable membrane made of collagen and elastin, that emulates an array of tiny alveoli with in vivo-like dimensions. This membrane outperforms PDMS in many ways: it does not absorb rhodamine-B, is biodegradable, is created by a simple method, and can easily be tuned to modify its thickness, composition and stiffness. The air-blood barrier is reconstituted using primary lung alveolar epithelial cells from patients and primary lung endothelial cells. Typical alveolar epithelial cell markers are expressed, while the barrier properties are preserved for up to 3 weeks.
BackgroundInvestigations on pulmonary macrophages (MΦ) mostly focus on alveolar MΦ (AM) as a well-defined cell population. Characteristics of MΦ in the interstitium, referred to as lung interstitial MΦ (IM), are rather ill-defined. In this study we therefore aimed to elucidate differences between AM and IM obtained from human lung tissue.MethodsHuman AM and IM were isolated from human non-tumor lung tissue from patients undergoing lung resection. Cell morphology was visualized using either light, electron or confocal microscopy. Phagocytic activity was analyzed by flow cytometry as well as confocal microscopy. Surface marker expression was measured by flow cytometry. Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression patterns as well as cytokine expression upon TLR4 or TLR9 stimulation were assessed by real time RT-PCR and cytokine protein production was measured using a fluorescent bead-based immunoassay.ResultsIM were found to be smaller and morphologically more heterogeneous than AM, whereas phagocytic activity was similar in both cell types. HLA-DR expression was markedly higher in IM compared to AM. Although analysis of TLR expression profiles revealed no differences between the two cell populations, AM and IM clearly varied in cell reaction upon activation. Both MΦ populations were markedly activated by LPS as well as DNA isolated from attenuated mycobacterial strains (M. bovis H37Ra and BCG). Whereas AM expressed higher amounts of inflammatory cytokines upon activation, IM were more efficient in producing immunoregulatory cytokines, such as IL10, IL1ra, and IL6.ConclusionAM appear to be more effective as a non-specific first line of defence against inhaled pathogens, whereas IM show a more pronounced regulatory function. These dissimilarities should be taken into consideration in future studies on the role of human lung MΦ in the inflammatory response.
Induction of glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) by glucocorticoids plays a key role in their anti-inflammatory action. In activated macrophages, GILZ levels are downregulated via tristetraprolin-mediated GILZ mRNA destabilization. To assess the functional significance of GILZ downregulation, we generated myeloid-specific GILZ knockout (KO) mice. GILZ-deficient macrophages displayed a higher responsiveness toward LPS, as indicated by increased TNF-α and IL-1β expression. This effect was due to an activation of ERK, which was significantly amplified in GILZ KO cells. The LPS-induced activation of macrophages is attenuated upon pretreatment of macrophages with low-dose LPS, an effect termed endotoxin tolerance. In LPS-tolerant macrophages, GILZ mRNA was stabilized, whereas ERK activation was strongly decreased. In contrast, GILZ KO macrophages exhibited a strongly reduced desensitization. To explore the contribution of GILZ expression in macrophages to endotoxin tolerance in vivo, we treated GILZ KO mice with repeated i.p. injections of low-dose LPS followed by treatment with high-dose LPS. LPS pretreatment resulted in reduced proinflammatory mediator expression upon high-dose LPS treatment in serum and tissues. In contrast, cytokine induction was preserved in tolerized GILZ KO animals. In summary, our data suggest that GILZ is a key regulator of macrophage functions.
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