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Cells, Volume 12, Issue 23 (December-1 2023) – 101 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Muscular sarcoidosis is a rare manifestation of sarcoidosis affecting the skeletal muscles. It is characterized by the formation of non-caseating granulomas composed of immune cells, including macrophages, lymphocytes, and inflammatory mediators that infiltrate the muscle. The mechanisms by which granulomas alter the skeletal muscle tissue are still unresolved. Here, Lequain and collaborators, through a spatial transcriptomics approach, investigated the intercommunications between granuloma and the skeletal muscle. They identified pathophysiological pathways showing that granuloma immune cells have a direct impact on proximal muscle tissue by promoting its progressive replacement by fibrosis via the expression of pro-inflammatory and profibrotic signatures. View this paper
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16 pages, 1524 KiB  
Review
Unlocking Therapeutic Synergy: Tailoring Drugs for Comorbidities such as Depression and Diabetes through Identical Molecular Targets in Different Cell Types
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2768; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232768 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 817
Abstract
Research in the field of pharmacology aims to generate new treatments for pathologies. Nowadays, there are an increased number of chronic disorders that severely and durably handicap many patients. Among the most widespread pathologies, obesity, which is often associated with diabetes, is constantly [...] Read more.
Research in the field of pharmacology aims to generate new treatments for pathologies. Nowadays, there are an increased number of chronic disorders that severely and durably handicap many patients. Among the most widespread pathologies, obesity, which is often associated with diabetes, is constantly increasing in incidence, and in parallel, neurodegenerative and mood disorders are increasingly affecting many people. For years, these pathologies have been so frequently observed in the population in a concomitant way that they are considered as comorbidities. In fact, common mechanisms are certainly at work in the etiology of these pathologies. The main purpose of this review is to show the value of anticipating the effect of baseline treatment of a condition on its comorbidity in order to obtain concomitant positive actions. One of the implications would be that by understanding and targeting shared molecular mechanisms underlying these conditions, it may be possible to tailor drugs that address both simultaneously. To this end, we firstly remind readers of the close link existing between depression and diabetes and secondly address the potential benefit of the pleiotropic actions of two major active molecules used to treat central and peripheral disorders, first a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (Prozac ®) and then GLP-1R agonists. In the second part, by discussing the therapeutic potential of new experimental antidepressant molecules, we will support the concept that a better understanding of the intracellular signaling pathways targeted by pharmacological agents could lead to future synergistic treatments targeting solely positive effects for comorbidities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Signaling)
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30 pages, 5293 KiB  
Article
Contemporaneous Perioperative Inflammatory and Angiogenic Cytokine Profiles of Surgical Breast, Colorectal, and Prostate Cancer Patients: Clinical Implications
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2767; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232767 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 862
Abstract
Surgery-induced tumor growth acceleration and synchronous metastatic growth promotion have been observed for decades. Surgery-induced wound healing, orchestrated through growth factors, chemokines, and cytokines, can negatively impact patients harboring residual or metastatic disease. We provide detailed clinical evidence of this process in surgical [...] Read more.
Surgery-induced tumor growth acceleration and synchronous metastatic growth promotion have been observed for decades. Surgery-induced wound healing, orchestrated through growth factors, chemokines, and cytokines, can negatively impact patients harboring residual or metastatic disease. We provide detailed clinical evidence of this process in surgical breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer patients. Plasma samples were analyzed from 68 cancer patients who had not received treatment before surgery or adjuvant therapy until at least four weeks post-surgery. The levels of plasma cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors were simultaneously quantified and profiled using multiplexed immunoassays for eight time points sampled per patient. The immunologic processes are induced immediately after surgery in patients, characterized by a drastic short-term shift in the expression levels of pro-inflammatory and angiogenic molecules and cytokines. A rapid and significant spike in circulating plasma levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), interleukin-6 (IL-6), placental growth factor (PLGF), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) after surgery was noted. The rise in these molecules was concomitant with a significant drop in transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-AB/BB), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-2 (MCP-2). If not earlier, each plasma analyte was normalized to baseline levels within 1–2 weeks after surgery, suggesting that surgical intervention alone was responsible for these effects. The effects of surgical tumor removal on disrupting the pro-inflammatory and angiogenic plasma profiles of cancer patients provide evidence for potentiating malignant progression. Our findings indicate a narrow therapeutic window of opportunity after surgery to prevent disease recurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumor Immune Microenvironment for Effective Therapy II)
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15 pages, 964 KiB  
Review
Potential Role of IL-37 in Atopic Dermatitis
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2766; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232766 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 953
Abstract
Interleukin 37 (IL-37) is a recently discovered member of the IL-1 cytokine family that appears to have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects in various diseases. IL-37 acts as a dual-function cytokine, exerting its effect extracellularly by forming a complex with the receptors IL-18 α [...] Read more.
Interleukin 37 (IL-37) is a recently discovered member of the IL-1 cytokine family that appears to have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects in various diseases. IL-37 acts as a dual-function cytokine, exerting its effect extracellularly by forming a complex with the receptors IL-18 α (IL-18Rα) and IL-1R8 and transmitting anti-inflammatory signals, as well as intracellularly by interacting with Smad3, entering the nucleus, and inhibiting the transcription of pro-inflammatory genes. Consequently, IL-37 is linked to IL-18, which plays a role in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD), consistent with our studies. Some isoforms of IL-37 are expressed by keratinocytes, monocytes, and other skin immune cells. IL-37 has been found to modulate the skewed T helper 2 (Th2) inflammation that is fundamental to the pathogenesis of AD. This review provides an up-to-date summary of the function of IL-37 in modulating the immune system and analyses its potential role in the pathogenesis of AD. Moreover, it speculates on IL-37’s hypothetical value as a therapeutic target in the treatment of AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Roles of Cytokines in Skin Inflammation)
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22 pages, 3249 KiB  
Article
Wnt/β-Catenin-Signaling Modulates Megakaryopoiesis at the Megakaryocyte-Erythrocyte Progenitor Stage in the Hematopoietic System
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2765; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232765 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1152
Abstract
The bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic system (HS) gives rise to blood cells originating from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), including megakaryocytes (MKs) and red blood cells (erythrocytes; RBCs). Many steps of the cell-fate decision remain to be elucidated, being important for cancer treatment. To [...] Read more.
The bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic system (HS) gives rise to blood cells originating from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), including megakaryocytes (MKs) and red blood cells (erythrocytes; RBCs). Many steps of the cell-fate decision remain to be elucidated, being important for cancer treatment. To explore the role of Wnt/β-catenin for MK and RBC differentiation, we activated β-catenin signaling in platelet-derived growth factor b (Pdgfb)-expressing cells of the HS using a Cre-lox approach (Ctnnb1BM-GOF). FACS analysis revealed that Pdgfb is mainly expressed by megakaryocytic progenitors (MKPs), MKs and platelets. Recombination resulted in a lethal phenotype in mutants (Ctnnb1BM-GOFwt/fl, Ctnnb1BM-GOFfl/fl) 3 weeks after tamoxifen injection, showing an increase in MKs in the BM and spleen, but no pronounced anemia despite reduced erythrocyte counts. BM transplantation (BMT) of Ctnnb1BM-GOF BM into lethally irradiated wildtype recipients (BMT-Ctnnb1BM-GOF) confirmed the megakaryocytic, but not the lethal phenotype. CFU-MK assays in vitro with BM cells of Ctnnb1BM-GOF mice supported MK skewing at the expense of erythroid colonies. Molecularly, the runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) mRNA, known to suppress erythropoiesis, was upregulated in Ctnnb1BM-GOF BM cells. In conclusion, β-catenin activation plays a key role in cell-fate decision favoring MK development at the expense of erythroid production. Full article
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19 pages, 6568 KiB  
Article
Pulmonary Hypertension-Associated Right Ventricular Cardiomyocyte Remodelling Reduces Treprostinil Function
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2764; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232764 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 805
Abstract
(1) Pulmonary hypertension (PH)-associated right ventricular (RV) failure is linked to a reduction in pulmonary vasodilators. Treprostinil has shown effectiveness in PAH patients with cardiac decompensation, hinting at potential cardiac benefits. We investigated treprostinil’s synergy with isoprenaline in RV and LV cardiomyocytes. We [...] Read more.
(1) Pulmonary hypertension (PH)-associated right ventricular (RV) failure is linked to a reduction in pulmonary vasodilators. Treprostinil has shown effectiveness in PAH patients with cardiac decompensation, hinting at potential cardiac benefits. We investigated treprostinil’s synergy with isoprenaline in RV and LV cardiomyocytes. We hypothesised that disease-related RV structural changes in cardiomyocytes would reduce contractile responses and cAMP/PKA signalling activity. (2) We induced PH in male Sprague Dawley rats using monocrotaline and isolated their ventricular cardiomyocytes. The effect of in vitro treprostinil and isoprenaline stimulation on contraction was assessed. FRET microscopy was used to study PKA activity associated with treprostinil stimulation in AKAR3-NES FRET-based biosensor-expressing cells. (3) RV cells exhibited maladaptive remodelling with hypertrophy, impaired contractility, and calcium transients compared to control and LV cardiomyocytes. Combining treprostinil and isoprenaline failed to enhance inotropy in PH RV cardiomyocytes. PH RV cardiomyocytes displayed an aberrant contractile behaviour, which the combination treatment could not rectify. Finally, we observed decreased PKA activity in treprostinil-treated PH RV cardiomyocytes. (4) PH-associated RV cardiomyocyte remodelling reduced treprostinil sensitivity, inotropic support, and impaired relaxation. Overall, this study highlights the complexity of RV dysfunction in advanced PH and suggests the need for alternative therapeutic strategies. Full article
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12 pages, 1276 KiB  
Article
LRP1 and RAGE Genes Transporting Amyloid and Tau Protein in the Hippocampal CA3 Area in an Ischemic Model of Alzheimer’s Disease with 2-Year Survival
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2763; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232763 - 04 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
Explaining changes at the gene level that occur during neurodegeneration in the CA3 area is crucial from the point of view of memory impairment and the development of post-ischemic dementia. An ischemic model of Alzheimer’s disease was used to evaluate changes in the [...] Read more.
Explaining changes at the gene level that occur during neurodegeneration in the CA3 area is crucial from the point of view of memory impairment and the development of post-ischemic dementia. An ischemic model of Alzheimer’s disease was used to evaluate changes in the expression of genes related to amyloid transport in the CA3 region of the hippocampus after 10 min of brain ischemia with survival of 2, 7 and 30 days and 12, 18 and 24 months. The quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR assay revealed that the expression of the LRP1 and RAGE genes involved in amyloid transport was dysregulated from 2 days to 24 months post-ischemia in the CA3 area of the hippocampus. LRP1 gene expression 2 and 7 days after ischemia was below control values. However, its expression from day 30 to 24 months, survival after an ischemic episode was above control values. RAGE gene expression 2 days after ischemia was below control values, reaching a maximum increase 7 and 30 days post-ischemia. Then, after 12, 18 and 24 months, it was again below the control values. The data indicate that in the CA3 area of the hippocampus, an episode of brain ischemia causes the increased expression of the RAGE gene for 7–30 days during the acute phase and that of LRP1 from 1 to 24 months after ischemia during the chronic stage. In other words, in the early post-ischemic stage, the expression of the gene that transport amyloid to the brain increases (7–30 days). Conversely, in the late post-ischemic stage, amyloid scavenging/cleaning gene activity increases, reducing and/or preventing further neuronal damage or facilitating the healing of damaged sites. This is how the new phenomenon of pyramidal neuronal damage in the CA3 area after ischemia is defined. In summary, post-ischemic modification of the LRP1 and RAGE genes is useful in the study of the ischemic pathways and molecular factors involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
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17 pages, 2961 KiB  
Article
ATM/ATR Phosphorylation of CtIP on Its Conserved Sae2-like Domain Is Required for Genotoxin-Induced DNA Resection but Dispensable for Animal Development
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2762; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232762 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 892
Abstract
Homology-directed repair (HDR) of double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs) is dependent on enzymatic resection of DNA ends by the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex. DNA resection is triggered by the CtIP/Sae2 protein, which allosterically promotes Mre11-mediated endonuclease DNA cleavage at a position internal to the DSB. Although [...] Read more.
Homology-directed repair (HDR) of double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs) is dependent on enzymatic resection of DNA ends by the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex. DNA resection is triggered by the CtIP/Sae2 protein, which allosterically promotes Mre11-mediated endonuclease DNA cleavage at a position internal to the DSB. Although the mechanics of resection, including the initial endonucleolytic step, are largely conserved in eucaryotes, CtIP and its functional counterpart in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Sae2) share only a modest stretch of amino acid homology. Nonetheless, this stretch contains two highly conserved phosphorylation sites for cyclin-dependent kinases (T843 in mouse) and the damage-induced ATM/ATR kinases (T855 in mouse), both of which are required for DNA resection. To explore the function of ATM/ATR phosphorylation at Ctip-T855, we generated and analyzed mice expressing the Ctip-T855A mutant. Surprisingly, unlike Ctip-null mice and Ctip-T843A-expressing mice, both of which undergo embryonic lethality, homozygous CtipT855A/T855A mice develop normally. Nonetheless, they are hypersensitive to ionizing radiation, and CtipT855A/T855A mouse embryo fibroblasts from these mice display marked defects in DNA resection, chromosomal stability, and HDR-mediated repair of DSBs. Thus, although ATM/ATR phosphorylation of CtIP-T855 is not required for normal animal development, it enhances CtIP-mediated DNA resection in response to acute stress, such as genotoxin exposure. Full article
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18 pages, 6364 KiB  
Article
Early Age- and Sex-Dependent Regulation of Astrocyte-Mediated Glutamatergic Synapse Elimination in the Rat Prefrontal Cortex: Establishing an Organotypic Brain Slice Culture Investigating Tool
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2761; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232761 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 841
Abstract
Clinical and pre-clinical studies of neuropsychiatric (NP) disorders show altered astrocyte properties and synaptic networks. These are refined during early postnatal developmental (PND) stages. Thus, investigating early brain maturational trajectories is essential to understand NP disorders. However, animal experiments are highly time-/resource-consuming, thereby [...] Read more.
Clinical and pre-clinical studies of neuropsychiatric (NP) disorders show altered astrocyte properties and synaptic networks. These are refined during early postnatal developmental (PND) stages. Thus, investigating early brain maturational trajectories is essential to understand NP disorders. However, animal experiments are highly time-/resource-consuming, thereby calling for alternative methodological approaches. The function of MEGF10 in astrocyte-mediated synapse elimination (pruning) is crucial to refine neuronal networks during development and adulthood. To investigate the impact of MEGF10 during PND in the rat prefrontal cortex (PFC) and its putative role in brain disorders, we established and validated an organotypic brain slice culture (OBSC) system. Using Western blot, we characterized the expression of MEGF10 and the synaptic markers synaptophysin and PSD95 in the cortex of developing pups. We then combined immunofluorescent-immunohistochemistry with Imaris-supported 3D analysis to compare age- and sex-dependent astrocyte-mediated pruning within the PFC in pups and OBSCs. We thereby validated this system to investigate age-dependent astrocyte-mediated changes in pruning during PND. However, further optimizations are required to use OBSCs for revealing sex-dependent differences. In conclusion, OBSCs offer a valid alternative to study physiological astrocyte-mediated synaptic remodeling during PND and might be exploited to investigate the pathomechanisms of brain disorders with aberrant synaptic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cells of the Nervous System)
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17 pages, 3404 KiB  
Article
Diverse Transcriptome Responses to Salinity Change in Atlantic Cod Subpopulations
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2760; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232760 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 695
Abstract
Adaptation to environmental variation caused by global climate change is a significant aspect of fisheries management and ecology. A reduction in ocean salinity is visible in near-shore areas, especially in the Baltic Sea, where it is affecting the Atlantic cod population. Cod is [...] Read more.
Adaptation to environmental variation caused by global climate change is a significant aspect of fisheries management and ecology. A reduction in ocean salinity is visible in near-shore areas, especially in the Baltic Sea, where it is affecting the Atlantic cod population. Cod is one of the most significant teleost species, with high ecological and economical value worldwide. The population of cod in the Baltic Sea has been traditionally divided into two subpopulations (western and eastern) existing in higher- and lower-salinity waters, respectively. In recent decades, both Baltic cod subpopulations have declined massively. One of the reasons for the poor condition of cod in the Baltic Sea is environmental factors, including salinity. Thus, in this study, an oligonucleotide microarray was applied to explore differences between Baltic cod subpopulations in response to salinity fluctuations. For this purpose, an exposure experiment was conducted consisting of salinity elevation and reduction, and gene expression was measured in gill tissue. We found 400 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in the immune response, metabolism, programmed cell death, cytoskeleton, and extracellular matrix that showed a subpopulation-dependent pattern. These findings indicate that osmoregulation in Baltic cod is a complex process, and that western and eastern Baltic cod subpopulations respond differently to salinity changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Molecular and Cellular Basis for Fish Health)
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15 pages, 2998 KiB  
Article
Role of Phosphodiesterase 1 in the Regulation of Real-Time cGMP Levels and Contractility in Adult Mouse Cardiomyocytes
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2759; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232759 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 803
Abstract
In mouse cardiomyocytes, the expression of two subfamilies of the calcium/calmodulin-regulated cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 1 (PDE1)—PDE1A and PDE1C—has been reported. PDE1C was found to be the major subfamily in the human heart. It is a dual substrate PDE and can hydrolyze both 3′,5′-cyclic [...] Read more.
In mouse cardiomyocytes, the expression of two subfamilies of the calcium/calmodulin-regulated cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 1 (PDE1)—PDE1A and PDE1C—has been reported. PDE1C was found to be the major subfamily in the human heart. It is a dual substrate PDE and can hydrolyze both 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and 3′,5′-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Previously, it has been reported that the PDE1 inhibitor ITI-214 shows positive inotropic effects in heart failure patients which were largely attributed to the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) signaling. However, the role of PDE1 in the regulation of cardiac cGMP has not been directly addressed. Here, we studied the effect of PDE1 inhibition on cGMP levels in adult mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes using a highly sensitive fluorescent biosensor based on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). Live-cell imaging in paced and resting cardiomyocytes showed an increase in cGMP after PDE1 inhibition with ITI-214. Furthermore, PDE1 inhibition and PDE1A knockdown amplified the cGMP-FRET responses to the nitric oxide (NO)-donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP) but not to the C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), indicating a specific role of PDE1 in the regulation of the NO-sensitive guanylyl cyclase (NO-GC)-regulated cGMP microdomain. ITI-214, in combination with CNP or SNP, showed a positive lusitropic effect, improving the relaxation of isolated myocytes. Immunoblot analysis revealed increased phospholamban (PLN) phosphorylation at Ser-16 in cells treated with a combination of SNP and PDE1 inhibitor but not with SNP alone. Our findings reveal a previously unreported role of PDE1 in the regulation of the NO-GC/cGMP microdomain and mouse ventricular myocyte contractility. Since PDE1 serves as a cGMP degrading PDE in cardiomyocytes and has the highest hydrolytic activities, it can be expected that PDE1 inhibition might be beneficial in combination with cGMP-elevating drugs for the treatment of cardiac diseases. Full article
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22 pages, 3017 KiB  
Article
Glycation Interferes with the Expression of Sialyltransferases and Leads to Increased Polysialylation in Glioblastoma Cells
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2758; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232758 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive brain tumor that often utilizes aerobic glycolysis for energy production (Warburg effect), resulting in increased methylglyoxal (MGO) production. MGO, a reactive dicarbonyl compound, causes protein alterations and cellular dysfunction via glycation. In this study, we investigated the [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive brain tumor that often utilizes aerobic glycolysis for energy production (Warburg effect), resulting in increased methylglyoxal (MGO) production. MGO, a reactive dicarbonyl compound, causes protein alterations and cellular dysfunction via glycation. In this study, we investigated the effect of glycation on sialylation, a common post-translational modification implicated in cancer. Our experiments using glioma cell lines, human astrocytes (hA), and primary glioma samples revealed different gene expressions of sialyltransferases among cells, highlighting the complexity of the system. Glycation has a differential effect on sialyltransferase expression, upregulating ST8SIA4 in the LN229 and U251 cell lines and decreasing the expression in normal hA. Subsequently, polysialylation increased in the LN229 and U251 cell lines and decreased in hA. This increase in polysialylation could lead to a more aggressive phenotype due to its involvement in cancer hallmark processes such as immune evasion, resistance to apoptosis, and enhancing invasion. Our findings provide insights into the mechanisms underlying GBM aggressiveness and suggest that targeting glycation and sialylation could be a potential therapeutic strategy. Full article
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21 pages, 4657 KiB  
Article
Tpr Misregulation in Hippocampal Neural Stem Cells in Mouse Models of Alzheimer’s Disease
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2757; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232757 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are highly dynamic macromolecular protein structures that facilitate molecular exchange across the nuclear envelope. Aberrant NPC functioning has been implicated in neurodegeneration. The translocated promoter region (Tpr) is a critical scaffolding nucleoporin (Nup) of the nuclear basket, facing the [...] Read more.
Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are highly dynamic macromolecular protein structures that facilitate molecular exchange across the nuclear envelope. Aberrant NPC functioning has been implicated in neurodegeneration. The translocated promoter region (Tpr) is a critical scaffolding nucleoporin (Nup) of the nuclear basket, facing the interior of the NPC. However, the role of Tpr in adult neural stem/precursor cells (NSPCs) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is unknown. Using super-resolution (SR) and electron microscopy, we defined the different subcellular localizations of Tpr and phospho-Tpr (P-Tpr) in NSPCs in vitro and in vivo. Elevated Tpr expression and reduced P-Tpr nuclear localization accompany NSPC differentiation along the neurogenic lineage. In 5xFAD mice, an animal model of AD, increased Tpr expression in DCX+ hippocampal neuroblasts precedes increased neurogenesis at an early stage, before the onset of amyloid-β plaque formation. Whereas nuclear basket Tpr interacts with chromatin modifiers and NSPC-related transcription factors, P-Tpr interacts and co-localizes with cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) at the nuclear chromatin of NSPCs. In hippocampal NSPCs in a mouse model of AD, aberrant Tpr expression was correlated with altered NPC morphology and counts, and Tpr was aberrantly expressed in postmortem human brain samples from patients with AD. Thus, we propose that altered levels and subcellular localization of Tpr in CNS disease affect Tpr functionality, which in turn regulates the architecture and number of NSPC NPCs, possibly leading to aberrant neurogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells in Neurological Diseases)
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17 pages, 2214 KiB  
Perspective
The Management of Data for the Banking, Qualification, and Distribution of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Lessons Learned from the European Bank for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2756; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232756 - 01 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 697
Abstract
The European Bank for induced pluripotent Stem Cells (EBiSC) was established in 2014 as a non-profit project for the banking, quality control, and distribution of human iPSC lines for research around the world. EBiSC iPSCs are deposited from diverse laboratories internationally and, hence, [...] Read more.
The European Bank for induced pluripotent Stem Cells (EBiSC) was established in 2014 as a non-profit project for the banking, quality control, and distribution of human iPSC lines for research around the world. EBiSC iPSCs are deposited from diverse laboratories internationally and, hence, a key activity for EBiSC is standardising not only the iPSC lines themselves but also the data associated with them. This includes enabling unique nomenclature for the cells, as well as applying uniformity to the data provided by the cell line generator versus quality control data generated by EBiSC, and providing mechanisms to share personal data in a secure and GDPR-compliant manner. A joint approach implemented by EBiSC and the human pluripotent stem cell registry (hPSCreg®) has provided a solution that enabled hPSCreg® to improve its registration platform for iPSCs and EBiSC to have a pipeline for the import, standardisation, storage, and management of data associated with EBiSC iPSCs. In this work, we describe the experience of cell line data management for iPSC banking throughout the course of EBiSC’s development as a central European banking infrastructure and present a model for how this could be implemented by other iPSC repositories to increase the FAIRness of iPSC research globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Pluripotent Stem Cells)
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16 pages, 1504 KiB  
Review
The Molecular Mechanisms Responsible for Tear Hyperosmolarity-Induced Pathological Changes in the Eyes of Dry Eye Disease Patients
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2755; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232755 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1410
Abstract
Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial disorder of the lacrimal system and ocular surface, characterized by a deficiency in the quality and/or quantity of the tear fluid. The multifactorial nature of DED encompasses a number of interconnected underlying pathologies, including loss of [...] Read more.
Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial disorder of the lacrimal system and ocular surface, characterized by a deficiency in the quality and/or quantity of the tear fluid. The multifactorial nature of DED encompasses a number of interconnected underlying pathologies, including loss of homeostasis, instability and hyperosmolarity of the tears, and the induction and propagation of detrimental inflammatory responses in the eyes, which finally results in the development of neurosensory dysfunction and visual disruption. Dryness, grittiness, scratchiness, discomfort, inflammation, burning, watering, ocular fatigue, pain, and decreased functional visual acuity are common symptoms of DED. Eye dysfunction drastically attenuates patients’ quality of life. Accordingly, a better understanding of the pathogenic processes that regulate the development and progression of DED is crucially important for the establishment of new and more effective DED-related treatment approaches, which would significantly improve the quality of life of DED patients. Since the process of osmoregulation, which guards the ocular surface epithelia and maintains normal vision, is affected when the osmolarity of the tears is greater than that of the epithelial cells, tear hyperosmolarity (THO) is considered an initial, important step in the development, progression, and aggravation of DED. In order to delineate the role of THO in the pathogenesis of DED, in this review article, we summarize current knowledge related to the molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of THO-induced pathological changes in the eyes of DED patients, and we briefly discuss the therapeutic potential of hypo-osmotic eye drops in DED treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Cell Signaling during Eye Development and Diseases)
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22 pages, 1161 KiB  
Review
Targeting Striatal Glutamate and Phosphodiesterases to Control L-DOPA-Induced Dyskinesia
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2754; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232754 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 778
Abstract
A large body of work during the past several decades has been focused on therapeutic strategies to control L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias (LIDs), common motor complications of long-term L-DOPA therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Yet, LIDs remain a clinical challenge for the management of patients [...] Read more.
A large body of work during the past several decades has been focused on therapeutic strategies to control L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias (LIDs), common motor complications of long-term L-DOPA therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Yet, LIDs remain a clinical challenge for the management of patients with advanced disease. Glutamatergic dysregulation of striatal projection neurons (SPNs) appears to be a key contributor to altered motor responses to L-DOPA. Targeting striatal hyperactivity at the glutamatergic neurotransmission level led to significant preclinical and clinical trials of a variety of antiglutamatergic agents. In fact, the only FDA-approved treatment for LIDs is amantadine, a drug with NMDAR antagonistic actions. Still, novel agents with improved pharmacological profiles are needed for LID therapy. Recently other therapeutic targets to reduce dysregulated SPN activity at the signal transduction level have emerged. In particular, mechanisms regulating the levels of cyclic nucleotides play a major role in the transduction of dopamine signals in SPNs. The phosphodiesterases (PDEs), a large family of enzymes that degrade cyclic nucleotides in a specific manner, are of special interest. We will review the research for antiglutamatergic and PDE inhibition strategies in view of the future development of novel LID therapies. Full article
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17 pages, 16016 KiB  
Article
FastCellpose: A Fast and Accurate Deep-Learning Framework for Segmentation of All Glomeruli in Mouse Whole-Kidney Microscopic Optical Images
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2753; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232753 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 707
Abstract
Automated evaluation of all glomeruli throughout the whole kidney is essential for the comprehensive study of kidney function as well as understanding the mechanisms of kidney disease and development. The emerging large-volume microscopic optical imaging techniques allow for the acquisition of mouse whole-kidney [...] Read more.
Automated evaluation of all glomeruli throughout the whole kidney is essential for the comprehensive study of kidney function as well as understanding the mechanisms of kidney disease and development. The emerging large-volume microscopic optical imaging techniques allow for the acquisition of mouse whole-kidney 3D datasets at a high resolution. However, fast and accurate analysis of massive imaging data remains a challenge. Here, we propose a deep learning-based segmentation method called FastCellpose to efficiently segment all glomeruli in whole mouse kidneys. Our framework is based on Cellpose, with comprehensive optimization in network architecture and the mask reconstruction process. By means of visual and quantitative analysis, we demonstrate that FastCellpose can achieve superior segmentation performance compared to other state-of-the-art cellular segmentation methods, and the processing speed was 12-fold higher than before. Based on this high-performance framework, we quantitatively analyzed the development changes of mouse glomeruli from birth to maturity, which is promising in terms of providing new insights for research on kidney development and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Computational Imaging for Biophotonics and Biomedicine)
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18 pages, 1725 KiB  
Review
AhR, PXR and CAR: From Xenobiotic Receptors to Metabolic Sensors
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2752; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232752 - 30 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 942
Abstract
Traditionally, xenobiotic receptors are known for their role in chemical sensing and detoxification, as receptor activation regulates the expression of various key enzymes and receptors. However, recent studies have highlighted that xenobiotic receptors also play a key role in the regulation of lipid [...] Read more.
Traditionally, xenobiotic receptors are known for their role in chemical sensing and detoxification, as receptor activation regulates the expression of various key enzymes and receptors. However, recent studies have highlighted that xenobiotic receptors also play a key role in the regulation of lipid metabolism and therefore function also as metabolic sensors. Since dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for various cardiometabolic diseases, like atherosclerosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, it is of major importance to understand the molecular mechanisms that are regulated by xenobiotic receptors. In this review, three major xenobiotic receptors will be discussed, being the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR). Specifically, this review will focus on recent insights into the metabolic functions of these receptors, especially in the field of lipid metabolism and the associated dyslipidemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipids, Their Receptors and Signaling in Development and Diseases)
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18 pages, 4183 KiB  
Article
Secreted Metabolome of ALS-Related hSOD1(G93A) Primary Cultures of Myocytes and Implications for Myogenesis
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2751; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232751 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 701
Abstract
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron (MN) disease associated with progressive muscle atrophy, paralysis, and eventually death. Growing evidence demonstrates that the pathological process leading to ALS is the result of multiple altered mechanisms occurring not only in MNs but also [...] Read more.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron (MN) disease associated with progressive muscle atrophy, paralysis, and eventually death. Growing evidence demonstrates that the pathological process leading to ALS is the result of multiple altered mechanisms occurring not only in MNs but also in other cell types inside and outside the central nervous system. In this context, the involvement of skeletal muscle has been the subject of a few studies on patients and ALS animal models. In this work, by using primary myocytes derived from the ALS transgenic hSOD1(G93A) mouse model, we observed that the myogenic capability of such cells was defective compared to cells derived from control mice expressing the nonpathogenic hSOD1(WT) isoform. The correct in vitro myogenesis of hSOD1(G93A) primary skeletal muscle cells was rescued by the addition of a conditioned medium from healthy hSOD1(WT) myocytes, suggesting the existence of an in trans activity of secreted factors. To define a dataset of molecules participating in such safeguard action, we conducted comparative metabolomic profiling of a culture medium collected from hSOD1(G93A) and hSOD1(WT) primary myocytes and report here an altered secretion of amino acids and lipid-based signaling molecules. These findings support the urgency of better understanding the role of the skeletal muscle secretome in the regulation of the myogenic program and mechanisms of ALS pathogenesis and progression. Full article
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31 pages, 2104 KiB  
Review
CAR NK Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma: Potential & Prospects
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2750; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232750 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1303
Abstract
Melanoma is among the most lethal forms of cancer, accounting for 80% of deaths despite comprising just 5% of skin cancer cases. Treatment options remain limited due to the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms associated with melanoma heterogeneity that underlie the rapid development of [...] Read more.
Melanoma is among the most lethal forms of cancer, accounting for 80% of deaths despite comprising just 5% of skin cancer cases. Treatment options remain limited due to the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms associated with melanoma heterogeneity that underlie the rapid development of secondary drug resistance. For this reason, the development of novel treatments remains paramount to the improvement of patient outcomes. Although the advent of chimeric antigen receptor-expressing T (CAR-T) cell immunotherapies has led to many clinical successes for hematological malignancies, these treatments are limited in their utility by their immune-induced side effects and a high risk of systemic toxicities. CAR natural killer (CAR-NK) cell immunotherapies are a particularly promising alternative to CAR-T cell immunotherapies, as they offer a more favorable safety profile and have the capacity for fine-tuned cytotoxic activity. In this review, the discussion of the prospects and potential of CAR-NK cell immunotherapies touches upon the clinical contexts of melanoma, the immunobiology of NK cells, the immunosuppressive barriers preventing endogenous immune cells from eliminating tumors, and the structure and design of chimeric antigen receptors, then finishes with a series of proposed design innovations that could improve the efficacy CAR-NK cell immunotherapies in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Field of Metastatic Melanoma)
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21 pages, 769 KiB  
Review
Th17 Cells, Glucocorticoid Resistance, and Depression
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2749; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232749 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Depression is a severe mental disorder that disrupts mood and social behavior and is one of the most common neuropsychological symptoms of other somatic diseases. During the study of the disease, a number of theories were put forward (monoamine, inflammatory, vascular theories, etc.), [...] Read more.
Depression is a severe mental disorder that disrupts mood and social behavior and is one of the most common neuropsychological symptoms of other somatic diseases. During the study of the disease, a number of theories were put forward (monoamine, inflammatory, vascular theories, etc.), but none of those theories fully explain the pathogenesis of the disease. Steroid resistance is a characteristic feature of depression and can affect not only brain cells but also immune cells. T-helper cells 17 type (Th17) are known for their resistance to the inhibitory effects of glucocorticoids. Unlike the inhibitory effect on other subpopulations of T-helper cells, glucocorticoids can enhance the differentiation of Th17 lymphocytes, their migration to the inflammation, and the production of IL-17A, IL-21, and IL-23 in GC-resistant disease. According to the latest data, in depression, especially the treatment-resistant type, the number of Th17 cells in the blood and the production of IL-17A is increased, which correlates with the severity of the disease. However, there is still a significant gap in knowledge regarding the exact mechanisms by which Th17 cells can influence neuroinflammation in depression. In this review, we discuss the mutual effect of glucocorticoid resistance and Th17 lymphocytes on the pathogenesis of depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Neuroinflammation)
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19 pages, 4201 KiB  
Article
NK92 Expressing Anti-BCMA CAR and Secreted TRAIL for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma: Preliminary In Vitro Assessment
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2748; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232748 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) has witnessed improved patient outcomes through advancements in therapeutic approaches. Notably, allogeneic stem cell transplantation, proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, and monoclonal antibodies have contributed to enhanced quality of life. Recently, a promising avenue has emerged with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) [...] Read more.
Multiple myeloma (MM) has witnessed improved patient outcomes through advancements in therapeutic approaches. Notably, allogeneic stem cell transplantation, proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, and monoclonal antibodies have contributed to enhanced quality of life. Recently, a promising avenue has emerged with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), expressed widely on MM cells. To mitigate risks associated with allogenic T cells, we investigated the potential of BCMA CAR expression in natural killer cells (NKs), known for potent cytotoxicity and minimal side effects. Using the NK-92 cell line, we co-expressed BCMA CAR and soluble tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (sTRAIL) employing the piggyBac transposon system. Engineered NK cells (CAR-NK-92-TRAIL) demonstrated robust cytotoxicity against a panel of MM cell lines and primary patient samples, outperforming unmodified NK-92 cells with a mean difference in viability of 45.1% (±26.1%, depending on the target cell line). Combination therapy was explored with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (BZ) and γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs), leading to a significant synergistic effect in combination with CAR-NK-92-TRAIL cells. This synergy was evident in cytotoxicity assays where a notable decrease in MM cell viability was observed in combinatorial therapy compared to single treatment. In summary, our study demonstrates the therapeutic potential of the CAR-NK-92-TRAIL cells for the treatment of MM. The synergistic impact of combining these engineered NK cells with BZ and GSI supports further development of allogeneic CAR-based products for effective MM therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Killer Cells in Cancer Immunotherapy)
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20 pages, 8243 KiB  
Article
Spatial Transcriptomics Reveals Signatures of Histopathological Changes in Muscular Sarcoidosis
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2747; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232747 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1014
Abstract
Sarcoidosis is a multisystemic disease characterized by non-caseating granuloma infiltrating various organs. The form with symptomatic muscular involvement is called muscular sarcoidosis. The impact of immune cells composing the granuloma on the skeletal muscle is misunderstood. Here, we investigated the granuloma–skeletal muscle interactions [...] Read more.
Sarcoidosis is a multisystemic disease characterized by non-caseating granuloma infiltrating various organs. The form with symptomatic muscular involvement is called muscular sarcoidosis. The impact of immune cells composing the granuloma on the skeletal muscle is misunderstood. Here, we investigated the granuloma–skeletal muscle interactions through spatial transcriptomics on two patients affected by muscular sarcoidosis. Five major transcriptomic clusters corresponding to perigranuloma, granuloma, and three successive muscle tissue areas (proximal, intermediate, and distal) around the granuloma were identified. Analyses revealed upregulated pathways in the granuloma corresponding to the activation of T-lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages cytokines, the upregulation of extracellular matrix signatures, and the induction of the TGF-β signaling in the perigranuloma. A comparison between the proximal and distal muscles to the granuloma revealed an inverse correlation between the distance to the granuloma and the upregulation of cellular response to interferon-γ/α, TNF-α, IL-1,4,6, fibroblast proliferation, epithelial to mesenchymal cell transition, and the downregulation of muscle gene expression. These data shed light on the intercommunications between granulomas and the muscle tissue and provide pathophysiological mechanisms by showing that granuloma immune cells have a direct impact on proximal muscle tissue by promoting its progressive replacement by fibrosis via the expression of pro-inflammatory and profibrosing signatures. These data could possibly explain the evolution towards a state of disability for some patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Muscle Research in Health and Disease)
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12 pages, 2729 KiB  
Article
The Neutralization of the Eosinophil Peroxidase Antibody Accelerates Eosinophilic Mucin Decomposition
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2746; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232746 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 733
Abstract
Eosinophilic airway inflammation, complicated by bronchial asthma and eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis (ECRS), is difficult to treat. The disease may become refractory when eosinophilic mucin associated with eosinophil peroxidase (EPX) and autoantibodies fills in the paranasal sinus and small airway. This study investigated the [...] Read more.
Eosinophilic airway inflammation, complicated by bronchial asthma and eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis (ECRS), is difficult to treat. The disease may become refractory when eosinophilic mucin associated with eosinophil peroxidase (EPX) and autoantibodies fills in the paranasal sinus and small airway. This study investigated the functional role of an anti-EPX antibody in eosinophilic mucin of ECRS in eosinophilic airway inflammation. Eosinophilic mucin was obtained from patients with ECRS. The effects of the anti-EPX antibody on dsDNA release from eosinophils and eosinophilic mucin decomposition were evaluated. Immunofluorescence or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were performed to detect the anti-EPX antibody and its supernatant and serum levels in eosinophilic mucin, respectively. The serum levels of the anti-EPX antibody were positively correlated with sinus computed tomography score and fractionated exhaled nitrogen oxide. Patients with refractory ECRS had higher serum levels of the anti-EPX antibody than those without. However, dupilumab treatment decreased the serum levels of the anti-EPX antibody. Immunoglobulins (Igs) in the immunoprecipitate of mucin supernatants enhanced dsDNA release from eosinophils, whereas the neutralization of Igs against EPX stopped dsDNA release. Furthermore, EPX antibody neutralization accelerated mucin decomposition and restored corticosteroid sensitivity. Taken together, the anti-EPX antibody may be involved in the formulation of eosinophilic mucin and be used as a clinical marker and therapeutic target for intractable eosinophilic airway inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Insights into Molecular Mechanisms and Therapy of Asthma)
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15 pages, 1039 KiB  
Review
Skin Barrier Function: The Interplay of Physical, Chemical, and Immunologic Properties
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2745; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232745 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1215
Abstract
An intact barrier function of the skin is important in maintaining skin health. The regulation of the skin barrier depends on a multitude of molecular and immunological signaling pathways. By examining the regulation of a healthy skin barrier, including maintenance of the acid [...] Read more.
An intact barrier function of the skin is important in maintaining skin health. The regulation of the skin barrier depends on a multitude of molecular and immunological signaling pathways. By examining the regulation of a healthy skin barrier, including maintenance of the acid mantle and appropriate levels of ceramides, dermatologists can better formulate solutions to address issues that are related to a disrupted skin barrier. Conversely, by understanding specific skin barrier disruptions that are associated with specific conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis, the development of new compounds could target signaling pathways to provide more effective relief for patients. We aim to review key factors mediating skin barrier regulation and inflammation, including skin acidity, interleukins, nuclear factor kappa B, and sirtuin 3. Furthermore, we will discuss current and emerging treatment options for skin barrier conditions. Full article
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12 pages, 14611 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell Therapy in Mustard Keratopathy: Discovering New Roads to Combat Cellular Senescence
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2744; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232744 - 30 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 688
Abstract
Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are considered a valuable option to treat ocular surface disorders such as mustard keratopathy (MK). MK often leads to vision impairment due to corneal opacification and neovascularization and cellular senescence seems to have a role in its pathophysiology. Herein, [...] Read more.
Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are considered a valuable option to treat ocular surface disorders such as mustard keratopathy (MK). MK often leads to vision impairment due to corneal opacification and neovascularization and cellular senescence seems to have a role in its pathophysiology. Herein, we utilized intrastromal MSC injections to treat MK. Thirty-two mice were divided into four groups based on the exposure to 20 mM or 40 mM concentrations of mustard and receiving the treatment or not. Mice were clinically and histopathologically examined. Histopathological evaluations were completed after the euthanasia of mice after four months and included hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), CK12, and beta-galactosidase (β-gal) staining. The treatment group demonstrated reduced opacity compared to the control group. While corneal neovascularization did not display significant variations between the groups, the control group did register higher numerical values. Histopathologically, reduced CK12 staining was detected in the control group. Additionally, β-gal staining areas were notably lower in the treatment group. Although the treated groups showed lower severity of fibrosis compared to the control groups, statistical difference was not significant. In conclusion, it seems that delivery of MSCs in MK has exhibited promising therapeutic results, notably in reducing corneal opacity. Furthermore, the significant reduction in the β-galactosidase staining area may point towards the promising anti-senescence potential of MSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Stem Cells in Tissue Engineering and Regeneration)
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22 pages, 7484 KiB  
Article
Hyaluronic Acid Induction Promotes the Differentiation of Human Neural Crest-like Cells into Periodontal Ligament Stem-like Cells
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2743; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232743 - 30 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 781
Abstract
Periodontal ligament (PDL) stem-like cells (PDLSCs) are promising for regeneration of the periodontium because they demonstrate multipotency, high proliferative capacity, and the potential to regenerate bone, cementum, and PDL tissue. However, the transplantation of autologous PDLSCs is restricted by limited availability. Since PDLSCs [...] Read more.
Periodontal ligament (PDL) stem-like cells (PDLSCs) are promising for regeneration of the periodontium because they demonstrate multipotency, high proliferative capacity, and the potential to regenerate bone, cementum, and PDL tissue. However, the transplantation of autologous PDLSCs is restricted by limited availability. Since PDLSCs are derived from neural crest cells (NCs) and NCs persist in adult PDL tissue, we devised to promote the regeneration of the periodontium by activating NCs to differentiate into PDLSCs. SK-N-SH cells, a neuroblastoma cell line that reportedly has NC-like features, seeded on the extracellular matrix of PDL cells for 2 weeks, resulted in the significant upregulation of PDL marker expression. SK-N-SH cell-derived PDLSCs (SK-PDLSCs) presented phenotypic characteristics comparable to induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived PDLSCs (iPDLSCs). The expression levels of various hyaluronic acid (HA)-related genes were upregulated in iPDLSCs and SK-PDLSCs compared with iPSC-derived NCs and SK-N-SH cells, respectively. The knockdown of CD44 in SK-N-SH cells significantly inhibited their ability to differentiate into SK-PDLSCs, while low-molecular HA (LMWHA) induction enhanced SK-PDLSC differentiation. Our findings suggest that SK-N-SH cells could be applied as a new model to induce the differentiation of NCs into PDLSCs and that the LMWHA–CD44 relationship is important for the differentiation of NCs into PDLSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stem Cells)
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26 pages, 1450 KiB  
Review
Unraveling the Intricacies of Autophagy and Mitophagy: Implications in Cancer Biology
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2742; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232742 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Autophagy is an essential lysosome-mediated degradation pathway that maintains cellular homeostasis and viability in response to various intra- and extracellular stresses. Mitophagy is a type of autophagy that is involved in the intricate removal of dysfunctional mitochondria during conditions of metabolic stress. In [...] Read more.
Autophagy is an essential lysosome-mediated degradation pathway that maintains cellular homeostasis and viability in response to various intra- and extracellular stresses. Mitophagy is a type of autophagy that is involved in the intricate removal of dysfunctional mitochondria during conditions of metabolic stress. In this review, we describe the multifaceted roles of autophagy and mitophagy in normal physiology and the field of cancer biology. Autophagy and mitophagy exhibit dual context-dependent roles in cancer development, acting as tumor suppressors and promoters. We also discuss the important role of autophagy and mitophagy within the cancer microenvironment and how autophagy and mitophagy influence tumor host–cell interactions to overcome metabolic deficiencies and sustain the activity of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in a stromal environment. Finally, we explore the dynamic interplay between autophagy and the immune response in tumors, indicating their potential as immunomodulatory targets in cancer therapy. As the field of autophagy and mitophagy continues to evolve, this comprehensive review provides insights into their important roles in cancer and cancer microenvironment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy, Mitophagy and Disease)
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19 pages, 3690 KiB  
Article
UBE3C Facilitates the ER-Associated and Peripheral Degradation of Misfolded CFTR
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2741; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232741 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 786
Abstract
The ubiquitin E3 ligase UBE3C promotes the proteasomal degradation of cytosolic proteins and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane proteins. UBE3C is proposed to function downstream of the RNF185/MBRL ER-associated degradation (ERAD) branch, contributing to the ERAD of select membrane proteins. Here, we report that [...] Read more.
The ubiquitin E3 ligase UBE3C promotes the proteasomal degradation of cytosolic proteins and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane proteins. UBE3C is proposed to function downstream of the RNF185/MBRL ER-associated degradation (ERAD) branch, contributing to the ERAD of select membrane proteins. Here, we report that UBE3C facilitates the ERAD of misfolded CFTR, even in the absence of both RNF185 and its functional ortholog RNF5 (RNF5/185). Unlike RNF5/185, UBE3C had a limited impact on the ubiquitination of misfolded CFTR. UBE3C knockdown (KD) resulted in an additional increase in the functional ∆F508-CFTR channels on the plasma membrane when combined with the RNF5/185 ablation, particularly in the presence of clinically used CFTR modulators. Interestingly, although UBE3C KD failed to attenuate the ERAD of insig-1, it reduced the ERAD of misfolded ∆Y490-ABCB1 and increased cell surface expression. UBE3C KD also stabilized the mature form of ∆F508-CFTR and increased the cell surface level of T70-CFTR, a class VI CFTR mutant. These results suggest that UBE3C plays a vital role in the ERAD of misfolded CFTR and ABCB1, even within the RNF5/185-independent ERAD pathway, and it may also be involved in maintaining the peripheral quality control of CFTR. Full article
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25 pages, 1488 KiB  
Review
A New Era of Integration between Multiomics and Spatio-Temporal Analysis for the Translation of EMT towards Clinical Applications in Cancer
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2740; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232740 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 891
Abstract
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is crucial to metastasis by increasing cancer cell migration and invasion. At the cellular level, EMT-related morphological and functional changes are well established. At the molecular level, critical signaling pathways able to drive EMT have been described. Yet, the translation [...] Read more.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is crucial to metastasis by increasing cancer cell migration and invasion. At the cellular level, EMT-related morphological and functional changes are well established. At the molecular level, critical signaling pathways able to drive EMT have been described. Yet, the translation of EMT into efficient diagnostic methods and anti-metastatic therapies is still missing. This highlights a gap in our understanding of the precise mechanisms governing EMT. Here, we discuss evidence suggesting that overcoming this limitation requires the integration of multiple omics, a hitherto neglected strategy in the EMT field. More specifically, this work summarizes results that were independently obtained through epigenomics/transcriptomics while comprehensively reviewing the achievements of proteomics in cancer research. Additionally, we prospect gains to be obtained by applying spatio-temporal multiomics in the investigation of EMT-driven metastasis. Along with the development of more sensitive technologies, the integration of currently available omics, and a look at dynamic alterations that regulate EMT at the subcellular level will lead to a deeper understanding of this process. Further, considering the significance of EMT to cancer progression, this integrative strategy may enable the development of new and improved biomarkers and therapeutics capable of increasing the survival and quality of life of cancer patients. Full article
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21 pages, 3924 KiB  
Review
The Research Progress in Transforming Growth Factor-β2
Cells 2023, 12(23), 2739; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12232739 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 815
Abstract
Transforming growth factor-beta 2 (TGF-β2), an important member of the TGF-β family, is a secreted protein that is involved in many biological processes, such as cell growth, proliferation, migration, and differentiation. TGF-β2 had been thought to be functionally identical to TGF-β1; however, an [...] Read more.
Transforming growth factor-beta 2 (TGF-β2), an important member of the TGF-β family, is a secreted protein that is involved in many biological processes, such as cell growth, proliferation, migration, and differentiation. TGF-β2 had been thought to be functionally identical to TGF-β1; however, an increasing number of recent studies uncovered the distinctive features of TGF-β2 in terms of its expression, activation, and biological functions. Mice deficient in TGF-β2 showed remarkable developmental abnormalities in multiple organs, especially the cardiovascular system. Dysregulation of TGF-β2 signalling was associated with tumorigenesis, eye diseases, cardiovascular diseases, immune disorders, as well as motor system diseases. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of the research progress in TGF-β2 to support further research on TGF-β2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Signaling)
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