A major contributing factor to glioma development and progression is its ability to evade the immune system. Nano-meter sized vesicles, exosomes, secreted by glioma-stem cells (GSC) can act as mediators of intercellular communication to promote tumor immune escape. Here, we investigated the immunomodulatory properties of GCS-derived exosomes on different peripheral immune cell populations. Healthy donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) stimulated with anti-CD3, anti-CD28 and IL-2, were treated with GSC-derived exosomes. Phenotypic characterization, cell proliferation, Th1/Th2 cytokine secretion and intracellular cytokine production were analysed by distinguishing among effector T cells, regulatory T cells and monocytes. In unfractionated PBMCs, GSC-derived exosomes inhibited T cell activation (CD25 and CD69 expression), proliferation and Th1 cytokine production, and did not affect cell viability or regulatory T-cell suppression ability. Furthermore, exosomes were able to enhance proliferation of purified CD4+ T cells. In PBMCs culture, glioma-derived exosomes directly promoted IL-10 and arginase-1 production and downregulation of HLA-DR by unstimulated CD14+ monocytic cells, that displayed an immunophenotype resembling that of monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (Mo-MDSCs). Importantly, the removal of CD14+ monocytic cell fraction from PBMCs restored T-cell proliferation. The same results were observed with exosomes purified from plasma of glioblastoma patients. Our results indicate that glioma-derived exosomes suppress T-cell immune response by acting on monocyte maturation rather than on direct interaction with T cells. Selective targeting of Mo-MDSC to treat glioma should be considered with regard to how immune cells allow the acquirement of effector functions and therefore counteracting tumor progression.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult multipotent cells able to differentiate toward mature mesodermal lineages. In spite of more than a decade of investigation, little is known about the molecular mechanisms regulating the undifferentiated state and the identity of distinct functional subpopulations in these cells. Transcription factors that regulate the maintenance of the pluripotent state in embryonic stem cells, including NANOG, SOX2, and OCT4, have been proposed to play a similar role also in adult stem cells, although with conflicting results. We performed a critical evaluation of expression of these 3 transcription factors and found that NANOG, but not OCT-4 and SOX-2, is expressed in cultured human adult MSCs. Actually, NANOG was not expressed in freshly isolated MSCs, but was detected only after in vitro culture. NANOG was detected only in proliferating cells, but not in MSCs induced to differentiate. The percentage of cells expressing NANOG was maintained throughout early passages of MSCs, but then started to decrease in late passages in MSCs from adipose tissue and heart but not from bone marrow. However, the number of NANOG-expressing cells did not associate with the proliferative and differentiative capabilities of MSC populations, neither its expression appeared to identify cells having stem or progenitor cell properties. Accordingly, we propose that activation of NANOG expression in MSCs is associated with, although cannot directly regulate, the transition from in vivo quiescence to adaptation to in vitro growth conditions.
IntroductionAutologous fat grafting is commonly used to correct soft-tissue contour deformities. However, results are impaired by a variable and unpredictable resorption rate. Autologous adipose-derived stromal cells in combination with lipoinjection (cell-assisted lipotransfer) seem to favor a long-term persistence of fat grafts, thus fostering the development of devices to be used in the operating room at the point of care, to isolate the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and produce SVF-enhanced fat grafts with safe and standardized protocols. Focusing on patients undergoing breast reconstruction by lipostructure, we analyzed a standard technique, a modification of the Coleman’s procedure, and three different commercially available devices (Lipokit, Cytori, Fastem), in terms of 1) ability to enrich fat grafts in stem cells and 2) clinical outcome at 6 and 12 months.MethodsTo evaluate the ability to enrich stem cells, we compared, for each patient (n = 20), the standard lipoaspirate with the respective stem cell-enriched one, analyzing yield, immunophenotype and colony-forming capacity of the SVF cells as well as immunophenotype, clonogenicity and multipotency of the obtained adipose stem cells (ASCs). Regarding the clinical outcome, we compared, by ultrasonography imaging, changes at 6 and 12 months in the subcutaneous thickness of patients treated with stem-cell enriched (n = 14) and standard lipoaspirates (n = 16).ResultsBoth methods relying on the enzymatic isolation of primitive cells led to significant increase in the frequency, in the fat grafts, of SVF cells as well as of clonogenic and multipotent ASCs, while the enrichment was less prominent for the device based on the mechanical isolation of the SVF. From a clinical point of view, patients treated with SVF-enhanced fat grafts demonstrated, at six months, a significant superior gain of thickness of both the central and superior-medial quadrants with respect to patients treated with standard lipotransfer. In the median-median quadrant the effect was still persistent at 12 months, confirming an advantage of lipotransfer technique in enriching improving long-term fat grafts.ConclusionsThis comparative study, based on reproducible biological and clinical parameters and endpoints, showed an advantage of lipotransfer technique in enriching fat grafts in stem cells and in favoring, clinically, long-term fat grafts.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/scrt536) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The ability of exosomes to elicit specific cellular responses suggests that they may be increasingly used as therapeutics. Their vesicular nature makes them suitable as potential nanocarriers for drugs or nucleic acids delivery. Here we address the question whether the method of preparation of enriched exosomal fractions can affect their uptake by cells and their ability to trigger a response.We compared ultracentrifugation and polymer-based precipitation methods on supernatants of glioma-associated stem cells isolated from a high-grade glioma patient. We determined particle size distributions after purification and their correlation with uptake, proliferation and migration in glioblastoma cell cultures.Our findings indicate that polymer-based precipitation leads to smaller particle size distributions, faster uptake by target cells and increased cellular motility. The different effect that isolation method-dependent populations of particles have on cell motility suggests their size distribution could also profoundly affect exosomes therapeutic potential.
The invasion properties of glioblastoma hamper a radical surgery and are responsible for its recurrence. Understanding the invasion mechanisms is thus critical to devise new therapeutic strategies. Therefore, the creation of in vitro models that enable these mechanisms to be studied represents a crucial step. Since in vitro models represent an over-simplification of the in vivo system, in these years it has been attempted to increase the level of complexity of in vitro assays to create models that could better mimic the behaviour of the cells in vivo. These levels of complexity involved: 1. The dimension of the system, moving from two-dimensional to three-dimensional models; 2. The use of microfluidic systems; 3. The use of mixed cultures of tumour cells and cells of the tumour micro-environment in order to mimic the complex cross-talk between tumour cells and their micro-environment; 4. And the source of cells used in an attempt to move from commercial lines to patient-based models. In this review, we will summarize the evidence obtained exploring these different levels of complexity and highlighting advantages and limitations of each system used.
This study demonstrates for the first time the independent prognostic role of NF-kB activation in LGG and outlines the role of patient-based stem cell models as a tool for precision medicine approaches.
Deletion of type I IFN genes and resistance to apoptosis induced by type I IFNs are common in glioblastoma. Here we have investigated the importance of the constitutive weak IFN-signaling in the apoptotic response to IFN-α in glioblastoma cells. U87MG cells hold a deletion of type I IFN genes, whereas in T98G cells the spontaneous IFN signaling is intact. In response to IFN-α U87MG cells produce much less TRAIL, while other IFN-inducible genes were efficiently up-regulated. Alterations in TRAIL promoter sequence and activity were not observed. DNA methylation can influence TRAIL transcription but without overt differences between the two cell lines. We also discovered that TRAIL mRNA stability is influenced by IFN-α, but again no differences can be appreciated between the two cell lines. By silencing IFNAR1 we provide evidences that the spontaneous IFN signaling loop is required to sustain elevated levels of TRAIL expression, possibly through the regulation of IRF-1. Despite the presence/absence of the constitutive IFN signaling, both cell lines were resistant to IFN-α induced apoptosis. Targeting the deisgylase USP18 can overcome resistance to IFN-induced apoptosis only in T98G cells. Alterations in elements of the extrinsic apoptotic pathway, such as Bid and c-FLIP contribute to apoptotic resistance of U87MG cells. Down-regulation of USP18 expression together with the induction of ER-stress efficiently restored apoptosis in U87MG cells. Finally, we demonstrated that the BH3-only protein Noxa provides an important contribution in the apoptotic response to ER-stress in USP18 silenced cells.
Exosomes are one of the most important mediators of the cross talk occurring between glioma stem cells (GSCs) and the surrounding microenvironment. We have previously shown that exosomes released by patient-derived glioma-associated stem cells (GASC) are able to increase, in vitro, the aggressiveness of both GSC and glioblastoma cell lines. To understand which molecules are responsible for this tumour-supporting function, we performed a descriptive proteomic analysis of GASC-exosomes and identified, among the others, Semaphorin7A (SEMA7A). SEMA7A was described as a promigratory cue in physiological and pathological conditions, and we hypothesised that it could modulate GSC migratory properties. Here, we described that SEMA7A is exposed on GASC-exosomes’ surface and signals to GSC through Integrin β1. This interaction activates focal adhesion kinase into GSC and increases their motility, in our patient-based in vitro model. Our findings suggest SEMA7A-β1-integrin as a new target to disrupt the communication between GSCs and the supporting microenvironment.
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