• MicroRNA-125b-5p mimic inhibits acute liver failure.

      Yang, Dakai; Yuan, Qinggong; Balakrishnan, Asha; Bantel, Heike; Klusmann, Jan-Henning; Manns, Michael P; Ott, Michael; Cantz, Tobias; Sharma, Amar Deep; Twincore Centre of Experimental and Clinical Infection Research; a joint venture between the Hannover Medical School and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Hannover 30625, Germany. (2016)
      The lack of broad-spectrum anti-acute liver failure (ALF) therapeutic agents contributes to ALF-related mortality. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are suggested to be potent serum biomarkers for ALF, but their functional and therapeutic relevance in ALF are unclear. Here we show an unbiased approach, using two complementary miRNA screens, to identify miRNAs that can attenuate ALF. We identify miR-125b-5p as a regulator of cell death that attenuates paracetamol-induced and FAS-induced toxicity in mouse and human hepatocytes. Importantly, administration of miR-125b-5p mimic in mouse liver prevents injury and improves survival in models of ALF. Functional studies show that miR-125b-5p ameliorates ALF by directly regulating kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1, in turn elevating expression of nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2, a known regulator in ALF. Collectively, our findings establish miR-125b-5p as an important regulator of paracetamol-induced and FAS-induced cell death. Thus, miR-125b-5p mimic may serve as a broad-spectrum therapeutic attenuator of cell death during ALF.
    • Regional transient portal ischemia and irradiation as preparative regimen for hepatocyte transplantation.

      Koenig, S; Yuan, Q; Krause, P; Christiansen, H; Rave-Fraenk, M; Kafert-Kasting, S; Kriegbaum, H; Schneider, A; Ott, M; Meyburg, J; et al. (2011)
      Hepatocyte transplantation is regarded as a promising option to correct hereditary metabolic liver disease. This study describes a novel method involving regional transient portal ischemia (RTPI) in combination with hepatic irradiation (IR) as a preparative regimen for hepatocyte transplantation. The right lobules of rat livers (45% of liver mass) were subjected to RTPI of 30-120 min. Liver specimens and serum samples were analyzed for transaminase levels, DNA damage, apoptosis, and proliferation. Repopulation experiments involved livers of dipeptidylpeptidase IV (DPPIV)-deficient rats preconditioned with RTPI (60-90 min) either with or without prior partial hepatic IR (25 Gy). After reperfusion intervals of 1 and 24 h, 12 million wild-type (DPPIV positive) hepatocytes were transplanted into recipient livers via the spleen. RTPI of 60-90 min caused limited hepatic injury through necrosis and induced a distinct regenerative response in the host liver. Twelve weeks following transplantation, small clusters of donor hepatocytes were detected within the portal areas. Quantitative analysis revealed limited engraftment of 0.79% to 2.95%, whereas control animals (sham OP) exhibited 4.16% (determined as relative activity of DPPIV when compared to wild-type liver). Repopulation was significantly enhanced (21.43%) when IR was performed prior to RTPI, optimum preconditioning settings being 90 min of ischemia and 1 h of reperfusion before transplantation. We demonstrate that RTPI alone is disadvantageous to donor cell engraftment, whereas the combination of IR with RTPI comprises an effective preparative regimen for liver repopulation. The method described clearly has potential for clinical application.
    • The temporal and hierarchical control of transcription factors-induced liver to pancreas transdifferentiation.

      Berneman-Zeitouni, Dana; Molakandov, Kfir; Elgart, Marina; Mor, Eytan; Fornoni, Alessia; Domínguez, Miriam Ramírez; Kerr-Conte, Julie; Ott, Michael; Meivar-Levy, Irit; Ferber, Sarah; et al. (2014)
      Lineage-specific transcription factors (TFs) display instructive roles in directly reprogramming adult cells into alternate developmental fates, in a process known as transdifferentiation. The present study analyses the hypothesis that despite being fast, transdifferentiation does not occur in one step but is rather a consecutive and hierarchical process. Using ectopic expression of Pdx1 in human liver cells, we demonstrate that while glucagon and somatostatin expression initiates within a day, insulin gene expression becomes evident only 2-3 days later. To both increase transdifferentiation efficiency and analyze whether the process indeed display consecutive and hierarchical characteristics, adult human liver cells were treated by three pancreatic transcription factors, Pdx1, Pax4 and Mafa (3pTFs) that control distinct hierarchical stages of pancreatic development in the embryo. Ectopic expression of the 3pTFs in human liver cells, increased the transdifferentiation yield, manifested by 300% increase in the number of insulin positive cells, compared to each of the ectopic factors alone. However, only when the 3pTFs were sequentially supplemented one day apart from each other in a direct hierarchical manner, the transdifferentiated cells displayed increased mature β-cell-like characteristics. Ectopic expression of Pdx1 followed by Pax4 on the 2(nd) day and concluded by Mafa on the 3(rd) day resulted in increased yield of transdifferentiation that was associated by increased glucose regulated c-peptide secretion. By contrast, concerted or sequential administration of the ectopic 3pTFs in an indirect hierarchical mode resulted in the generation of insulin and somatostatin co-producing cells and diminished glucose regulated processed insulin secretion. In conclusion transcription factors induced liver to pancreas transdifferentiation is a progressive and hierarchical process. It is reasonable to assume that this characteristic is general to wide ranges of tissues. Therefore, our findings could facilitate the development of cell replacement therapy modalities for many degenerative diseases including diabetes.