Postnatal endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been successfully isolated from whole bone marrow, blood and the walls of conduit vessels. They can, therefore, be classified into circulating and resident progenitor cells. The differentiation capacity of resident lung endothelial progenitor cells from mouse has not been evaluated.
Survival of ex vivo constructed tissues after transplantation is limited by insufficient oxygen and nutrient supply. Therefore, strategies aiming at improvement of neovascularization of engineered tissues are a key issue in tissue engineering applications. This in vitro study aimed at exploring the usability of osteogenically differentiated human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as carriers of the angiogenic growth factor genes vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) for therapeutic angiogenesis in bone tissue engineering. The ex vivo adenoviral vector mediated transduction into osteogenically differentiated MSCs revealed a highly efficient and long lasting expression of the transgenes. Biological activity of VEGF and Ang-1 secreted from transduced cells was confirmed by analyzing the sprouting, proliferation and apoptosis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in response to conditioned medium obtained from transduced cells. The transduced osteogenically differentiated MSCs described in this report may be suitable for inducing neovascularization in bone tissue engineering applications.
Quentmeier, Hilmar; Eberth, Sonja; Romani, Julia; Weich, Herbert A; Zaborski, Margarete; Drexler, Hans G (2012-01-17)
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors (VEGFs) and their receptors (VEGF-Rs) are important regulators for angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. VEGFs and VEGF-Rs are not only expressed on endothelial cells but also on various subtypes of solid tumors and leukemias contributing to the growth of the malignant cells. This study was performed to examine whether VEGF-R2 (KDR) and VEGF-R3 (FLT4) are regulated by DNA methylation.
VEGF-A activity is tightly regulated by ligand and receptor availability. Here we investigate the physiological function of heterodimers between VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1; Flt-1) and VEGFR-2 (KDR; Flk-1) (VEGFR(1-2)) in endothelial cells with a synthetic ligand that binds specifically to VEGFR(1-2). The dimeric ligand comprises one VEGFR-2-specific monomer (VEGF-E) and a VEGFR-1-specific monomer (PlGF-1). Here we show that VEGFR(1-2) activation mediates VEGFR phosphorylation, endothelial cell migration, sustained in vitro tube formation and vasorelaxation via the nitric oxide pathway. VEGFR(1-2) activation does not mediate proliferation or elicit endothelial tissue factor production, confirming that these functions are controlled by VEGFR-2 homodimers. We further demonstrate that activation of VEGFR(1-2) inhibits VEGF-A-induced prostacyclin release, phosphorylation of ERK1/2 MAP kinase and mobilization of intracellular calcium from primary endothelial cells. These findings indicate that VEGFR-1 subunits modulate VEGF activity predominantly by forming heterodimer receptors with VEGFR-2 subunits and such heterodimers regulate endothelial cell homeostasis.
A small animal model was established to evaluate the potential of iron as a degradable implant material. After insertion into the tail of mice, the implants gradually degraded over a clinically relevant time period of several months. Histological analysis and gene expression data from whole-genome microarray analyses indicated a limited inflammatory reaction. No evidence of cellular responses to excess iron ions was detected, suggesting that the iron degradation products were metabolically inactive. Iron-rich compounds could be detected in the vicinity of the implant and in individual cells distant from the implantation site. These results demonstrate that the mouse model could be useful for the primary in vivo evaluation of novel implant materials and that iron degradation products can accumulate in diverse organs of the body.
Thiele, Wilko; Krishnan, Jaya; Rothley, Melanie; Weih, Debra; Plaumann, Diana; Kuch, Vanessa; Quagliata, Luca; Weich, Herbert A; Sleeman, Jonathan P (2012-08-30)
VEGFR-3 is a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase that is activated by its ligands VEGF-C and VEGF-D. Although VEGFR-3 has been linked primarily to the regulation of lymphangiogenesis, in the present study, we demonstrate a role for VEGFR-3 in megakaryopoiesis. Using a human erythroleukemia cell line and primary murine BM cells, we show that VEGFR-3 is expressed on megakaryocytic progenitor cells through to the promegakaryoblast stage. Functionally, specific activation of VEGFR-3 impaired the transition to polyploidy of CD41(+) cells in primary BM cultures. Blockade of VEGFR-3 promoted endoreplication consistently. In vivo, long-term activation or blockade of VEGFR-3 did not affect steady-state murine megakaryopoiesis or platelet counts significantly. However, activation of VEGFR-3 in sublethally irradiated mice resulted in significantly elevated numbers of CD41(+) cells in the BM and a significant increase in diploid CD41(+) cells, whereas the number of polyploid CD41(+) cells was reduced significantly. Moreover, activation of VEGFR-3 increased platelet counts in thrombopoietin-treated mice significantly and modulated 5-fluorouracil-induced thrombocytosis strongly, suggesting a regulatory role for VEGFR-3 in megakaryopoiesis.
Interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) and IRF-8, also known as interferon consensus sequence binding protein (ICSBP), are important regulators of macrophage differentiation and function. These factors exert their activities through the formation of heterocomplexes. As such, they are coactivators of various interferon-inducible genes in macrophages. To gain better insights into the involvement of these two transcription factors in the onset of the innate immune response and to identify their regulatory network in activated macrophages, DNA microarray was employed. Changes in the expression profile were analyzed in peritoneal macrophages from wild type mice and compared to IRF-1 and IRF-8 null mice, before and following 4 h exposure to IFN-gamma and LPS. The expression pattern of 265 genes was significantly changed (up/down) in peritoneal macrophages extracted from wild type mice following treatment with IFN-gamma and LPS, while no changes in the expression levels of these genes were observed in samples of the same cell-type from both IRF-1 and IRF-8 null mice. Among these putative target genes, numerous genes are involved in macrophage activity during inflammation. The expression profile of 10 of them was further examined by quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, the promoter regions of three of the identified genes were analyzed by reporter gene assay for the ability to respond to IRF-1 and IRF-8. Together, our results suggest that both IRF-1 and IRF-8 are involved in the transcriptional regulation of these genes. We therefore suggest a broader role for IRF-1 and IRF-8 in macrophages differentiation and maturation, being important inflammatory mediators.
Leprince, Audrey; de Lorenzo, Víctor; Völler, Petra; van Passel, Mark W J; Martins dos Santos, Vitor A P (2012-06)
Cumulative site-directed mutagenesis is of limited suitability for the global analysis of the gene functions in the microbe's cellular network. In order to simplify and stabilize the genome of the soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida, we developed a recyclable three-step excision method based on the combination of customized mini-transposons and the FLP-FRT site-specific recombination system. To demonstrate the powerful potential of these tools, we first established insertion mutant libraries that allow users to study gene functions with respect either to phenotypic characteristics (single insertions) or to their involvement in predicted networks (double insertions). Based on these libraries, we generated as a proof-of-principle, single-deletion mutants lacking ~4.1% of the genome (~3.7% of the gene repertoire). A cyclical application of the method generated four double-deletion mutants of which a maximum of ~7.4% of the chromosome (~6.9% of the gene count) was excised. This procedure demonstrates a new strategy for rapid genome streamlining and gain of new insights into the molecular interactions and regulations.
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