• In vitro toxicological screening of nanoparticles on primary human endothelial cells and the role of flow in modulating cell response.

      Ucciferri, Nadia; Collnot, Eva-Marie; Gaiser, Birgit K; Tirella, Annalisa; Stone, Vicki; Domenici, Claudio; Lehr, Claus-Michael; Ahluwalia, Arti (2014-09)
      After passage through biological barriers, nanomaterials inevitably end up in contact with the vascular endothelium and can induce cardiovascular damage. In this study the toxicity and sub-lethal effects of six types of nanoparticle, including four of industrial and biomedical importance, on human endothelial cells were investigated using different in vitro assays. The results show that all the particles investigated induce some level of damage to the cells and that silver particles were most toxic, followed by titanium dioxide. Furthermore, endothelial cells were shown to be more susceptible when exposed to silver nanoparticles under flow conditions in a bioreactor. The study underlines that although simple in vitro tests are useful to screen compounds and to identify the type of effect induced on cells, they may not be sufficient to define safe exposure limits. Therefore, once initial toxicity screening has been conducted on nanomaterials, it is necessary to develop more physiologically relevant in vitro models to better understand how nanomaterials can impact on human health.
    • Lymphatic endothelial cells are a replicative niche for Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

      Lerner, Thomas R; de Souza Carvalho-Wodarz, Cristiane; Repnik, Urska; Russell, Matthew R G; Borel, Sophie; Diedrich, Collin R; Rohde, M; Wainwright, Helen; Collinson, Lucy M; Wilkinson, Robert J; et al. (2016-03-01)
      In extrapulmonary tuberculosis, the most common site of infection is within the lymphatic system, and there is growing recognition that lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) are involved in immune function. Here, we identified LECs, which line the lymphatic vessels, as a niche for Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lymph nodes of patients with tuberculosis. In cultured primary human LECs (hLECs), we determined that M. tuberculosis replicates both in the cytosol and within autophagosomes, but the bacteria failed to replicate when the virulence locus RD1 was deleted. Activation by IFN-γ induced a cell-autonomous response in hLECs via autophagy and NO production that restricted M. tuberculosis growth. Thus, depending on the activation status of LECs, autophagy can both promote and restrict replication. Together, these findings reveal a previously unrecognized role for hLECs and autophagy in tuberculosis pathogenesis and suggest that hLECs are a potential niche for M. tuberculosis that allows establishment of persistent infection in lymph nodes.
    • Setup for investigating gold nanoparticle penetration through reconstructed skin and comparison to published human skin data.

      Labouta, Hagar I; Thude, Sibylle; Schneider, Marc; Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany. (2013-06)
      Owing to the limited source of human skin (HS) and the ethical restrictions of using animals in experiments, in vitro skin equivalents are a possible alternative for conducting particle penetration experiments. The conditions for conducting penetration experiments with model particles, 15-nm gold nanoparticles (AuNP), through nonsealed skin equivalents are described for the first time. These conditions include experimental setup, sterility conditions, effective applied dose determination, skin sectioning, and skin integrity check. Penetration at different exposure times (two and 24 h) and after tissue fixation (fixed versus unfixed skin) are examined to establish a benchmark in comparison to HS in an attempt to get similar results to HS experiments presented earlier. Multiphoton microscopy is used to detect gold luminescence in skin sections. λ(ex)=800 nm is used for excitation of AuNP and skin samples, allowing us to determine a relative index for particle penetration. Despite the observed overpredictability of penetration into skin equivalents, they could serve as a first fast screen for testing the behavior of nanoparticles and extrapolate their penetration behavior into HS. Further investigations are required to test a wide range of particles of different physicochemical properties to validate the skin equivalent-human skin particle penetration relationship.