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           Search results for: GFP Expressing Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells   

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Nck adapter proteins promote podosome biogenesis facilitating extracellular matrix degradation and cancer invasion.

Podosomes are membrane-bound adhesive structures formed by actin remodeling. They are capable of extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, which is a prerequisite for cancer cell invasion and metastasis. The signaling mechanism of podosome formation is still unknown in cancer. We previously reported that Nck adaptors regulate directional cell migration and endothelial lumen formation by actin remodeling, while deficiency of Nck reduces cancer metastasis. This study evaluated the role of Nck adaptors in podosome biogenesis and cancer invasion.

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Identification of a pro-angiogenic functional role for FSP1-positive fibroblast subtype in wound healing.

Fibrosis accompanying wound healing can drive the failure of many different organs. Activated fibroblasts are the principal determinants of post-injury pathological fibrosis along with physiological repair, making them a difficult therapeutic target. Although activated fibroblasts are phenotypically heterogeneous, they are not recognized as distinct functional entities. Using mice that express GFP under the FSP1 or αSMA promoter, we characterized two non-overlapping fibroblast subtypes from mouse hearts after myocardial infarction. Here, we report the identification of FSP1-GFP cells as a non-pericyte, non-hematopoietic fibroblast subpopulation with a predominant pro-angiogenic role, characterized by in vitro phenotypic/cellular/ultrastructural studies and in vivo granulation tissue formation assays combined with transcriptomics and proteomics. This work identifies a fibroblast subtype that is functionally distinct from the pro-fibrotic αSMA-expressing myofibroblast subtype. Our study has the potential to shift our focus towards viewing fibroblasts as molecularly and functionally heterogeneous and provides a paradigm to approach treatment for organ fibrosis.

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Metformin alleviates hyperglycemia-induced endothelial impairment by downregulating autophagy via the Hedgehog pathway.

Studies regarding macroautophagic/autophagic regulation in endothelial cells (ECs) under diabetic conditions are very limited. Clinical evidence establishes an endothelial protective effect of metformin, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We aimed to investigate whether metformin exerts its protective role against hyperglycemia-induced endothelial impairment through the autophagy machinery. db/db mice were treated with intravitreal metformin injections. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were cultured either in normal glucose (NG, 5.5 mM) or high glucose (HG, 33 mM) medium in the presence or absence of metformin for 72 h. We observed an obvious inhibition of hyperglycemia-triggered autophagosome synthesis in both the diabetic retinal vasculature and cultured HUVECs by metformin, along with restoration of hyperglycemia-impaired Hedgehog (Hh) pathway activity. Specifically, deletion of ATG7 in retinal vascular ECs of db/db mice and cultured HUVECs indicated a detrimental role of autophagy in hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction. Pretreatment with GANT61, a Hh pathway inhibitor, abolished the metformin-mediated downregulation of autophagy and endothelial protective action. Furthermore, GLI-family (transcription factors of the Hh pathway) knockdown in HUVECs and retinal vasculature revealed that downregulation of hyperglycemia-activated autophagy by the metformin-mediated Hh pathway activation was GLI1 dependent. Mechanistically, GLI1 knockdown-triggered autophagy was related to upregulation of BNIP3, which subsequently disrupted the association of BECN1/Beclin 1 and BCL2. The role of BNIP3 in BECN1 dissociation from BCL2 was further confirmed by BNIP3 overexpression or BNIP3 RNAi. Taken together, the endothelial protective effect of metformin under hyperglycemia conditions could be partly attributed to its role in downregulating autophagy via Hh pathway activation. Abbreviations: 3-MA = 3-methyladenine; 8×GLI BS-FL = 8×GLI-binding site firefly luciferase; AAV = adeno-associated virus; AAV-Cdh5-sh-Atg7 = AAV vectors carrying shRNA against murine Atg7 under control of murine Cdh5 promoter; AAV-Cdh5-sh-Gli1 = AAV vectors carrying shRNA against murine Gli1 under control of murine Cdh5 promoter; AAV-Cdh5-Gli1 = AAV vectors carrying murine Gli1 cDNA under the control of murine Cdh5 core promoter; ACAC = acetyl-CoA carboxylase; Ad-BNIP3 = adenoviruses harboring human BNIP3`; Ad-GLI1 = adenoviruses harboring human GLI1; Ad-sh-ATG7 = adenoviruses harboring shRNA against human ATG7; Ad-sh-BNIP3 = adenoviruses harboring shRNA against human BNIP3; Ad-sh-GLI = adenoviruses harboring shRNA against human GLI; AGEs = advanced glycation end products; ATG = autophagy-related; atg7 mice = mice bearing an Atg7 allele, in which exon 14 of the Atg7 gene is flanked by 2 loxP sites; BafA1 = bafilomycin A; BECN1 = beclin 1; CDH5/VE-cadherin = cadherin 5; CASP3 = caspase 3; CASP8 = caspase 8; CASP9 = caspase 9; ECs = endothelial cells; GAPDH = glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; GCL = ganglion cell layer; GFP-LC3B = green fluorescent protein labelled LC3B; HG = high glucose; Hh = Hedgehog; HHIP = hedgehog interacting protein; HUVECs = human umbilical vein endothelial cells; IB4 = isolectin B4; INL = inner nuclear layer; i.p. = intraperitoneal; MAP1LC3/LC3 = microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3; MAN = mannitol; MET = metformin; NG = normal glucose; ONL = outer nuclear layer; p-ACAC = phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase; PECAM1/CD31= platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1; PRKAA1/2 = protein kinase AMP-activated catalytic subunits alpha 1/2; p-PRKAA1/2 = phosphorylated PRKAA1/2; PTCH1 = patched 1; RAPA = rapamycin; RL = Renilla luciferase; SHH = sonic hedgehog; shRNA = short hairpin RNA; sh-PRKAA1/2 = short hairpin RNA against human PRKAA1/2; scrambled shRNA = the scrambled short hairpin RNA serves as a negative control for the target-specific short hairpin RNA, which has the same nucleotide composition as the input sequence and has no match with any mRNA of the selected organism database; SMO = smoothened, frizzled class receptor; sqRT-PCR = semi-quantitative RT-PCR; TEK/Tie2 = TEK receptor tyrosine kinase; Tek-Cre (+) mice = a mouse strain expressing Cre recombinase under the control of the promoter/enhancer of Tek, in a pan-endothelial fashion; TUNEL = terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP-mediated nick-end labeling.

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Effect of High Glucose on Human Alveolar Macrophage Phenotype and Phagocytosis of Mycobacteria.

Diabetes mellitus (DBM) reduces immunological activity and increases susceptibility to various infections, including tuberculosis (TB). Human alveolar macrophage (hAM) functions are altered in DBM.

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Angiogenic and Osteogenic Synergy of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells Cocultured on a Nanomatrix.

To date, bone tissue regeneration strategies lack an approach that effectively provides an osteogenic and angiogenic environment conducive to bone growth. In the current study, we evaluated the osteogenic and angiogenic response of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and green fluorescent protein-expressing human umbilical vein endothelial cells (GFP-HUVECs) cocultured on a self-assembled, peptide amphiphile nanomatrix functionalized with the cell adhesive ligand RGDS (PA-RGDS). Analysis of alkaline phosphatase activity, von Kossa staining, Alizarin Red quantification, and osteogenic gene expression, indicates a significant synergistic effect between the PA-RGDS nanomatrix and coculture that promoted hMSC osteogenesis. In addition, coculturing on PA-RGDS resulted in enhanced HUVEC network formation and upregulated vascular endothelial growth factor gene and protein expression. Though PA-RGDS and coculturing hMSCs with HUVECs were each previously reported to individually enhance hMSC osteogenesis, this study is the first to demonstrate a synergistic promotion of HUVEC angiogenesis and hMSC osteogenesis by integrating coculturing with the PA-RGDS nanomatrix. We believe that using the combination of hMSC/HUVEC coculture and PA-RGDS substrate is an efficient method for promoting osteogenesis and angiogenesis, which has immense potential as an efficacious, engineered platform for bone tissue regeneration.

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Bone mesenchymal stem cells co-expressing VEGF and BMP-6 genes to combat avascular necrosis of the femoral head.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential of bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) treated with a combination of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and bone morphogenetic protein-6 (BMP-6) genes for the treatment of avascular necrosis of the femoral head (ANFH). Rat BMSCs were isolated and purified using a density gradient centrifugation method. The purity and characteristics of the BMSCs were detected by cell surface antigens identification using flow cytometry. The experimental groups were administered with one of the following adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector constructs: AAV-green fluorescent protein (AAV-GFP), AAV-BMP-6, AAV-VEGF or AAV-VEGF-BMP-6. The expression of VEGF and BMP-6 was detected by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blotting and ELISA assays. The effects of VEGF and BMP-6 on BMSCs were evaluated by angiogenic and osteogenic assays. The transfected BMSCs were combined with a biomimetic synthetic scaffold poly lactide-co-glycolide (PLAGA) and they were then subcutaneously implanted into nude mice. After four weeks, the implants were analyzed with histology and subsequent immunostaining to evaluate the effects of BMSCs on blood vessel and bone formation . In the AAV-VEGF-BMP-6 group, the expression levels of VEGF and BMP-6 were significantly increased and human umbilical vein endothelial cells tube formation was significantly enhanced compared with other groups. Capillaries and bone formation in the AAV-VEGF-BMP-6 group was significantly higher compared with the other groups. The results of the present study suggest that BMSCs expressing both VEGF and BMP-6 induce an increase in blood vessels and bone formation, which provides theoretical support for ANFH gene therapy.

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Platelet-Rich Plasma as an Autologous and Proangiogenic Cell Delivery System.

Angiogenesis is a key factor in early stages of wound healing and is crucial for the repair of vascularized tissues such as the bone. However, supporting timely revascularization of the defect site still presents a clinical challenge. Tissue engineering approaches delivering endothelial cells or prevascularized constructs may overcome this problem. In the current study, we investigated platelet-rich plasma (PRP) gels as autologous, injectable cell delivery systems for prevascularized constructs. PRP was produced from human thrombocyte concentrates. GFP-expressing human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were encapsulated in PRP gels in different proportions. The formation of cellular networks was assessed over 14 days by time-lapse microscopy, gene expression analysis, and immunohistology. PRP gels presented a favorable environment for the formation of a three-dimensional (3D) cellular network. The formation of these networks was apparent as early as 3 days after seeding. Networks increased in complexity and branching over time but were only stable in HUVEC-MSC cocultures. The high cell viability together with the 3D capillary-like networks observed at early time points suggests that PRP can be used as an autologous and proangiogenic cell delivery system for the repair of vascularized tissues such as the bone.

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Degradation of endothelial network in disordered tumor-containing cell sheet.

Tumor angiogenesis is an important event in tumor malignancy; and the vasculature formed in tumor region is typically dysfunctional. Multiple factors are associated with tumor vessel abnormalities, but the precise mechanism has not been fully understood. In the present study, a tumor-containing cell sheet was prepared by mixing a small population of human embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cells (RDs) with human skeletal muscle myoblasts (HSMMs) to mimic muscle tissue invaded by RMS cells. Sheet fluidity and the extracellular matrix (ECM) meshwork of the tumor-containing cell sheet were found to be elevated and disordered, demonstrating the disruptive effect of tumor cells on sheet structure. When green fluorescent protein expressing human umbilical vein endothelial cells (GFP-HUVECs) were co-cultured with the tumor-containing cell sheet, an endothelial network was formed, but degraded faster as a result of activated migration of endothelial cells in the tumor-containing cell sheet. This study suggested that disorganized tissue structure facilitate tumor angiogenesis by activation of endothelial cell migration.

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Non-viral vectors based on magnetoplexes, lipoplexes and polyplexes for VEGF gene delivery into central nervous system cells.

Nanotechnology based non-viral vectors hold great promise to deliver therapeutic genes into the central nervous system (CNS) in a safe and controlled way. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potential therapeutic gene candidate for CNS disorders due to its specific roles in brain angiogenesis and neuroprotection. In this work, we elaborated three different non-viral vectors based on magnetic, cationic lipid and polymeric nanoparticles complexed to the phVEGF165aIRESGFP plasmid, which codifies the VEGF protein -extracellular- and the green fluorescent protein (GFP) -intracellular-. Nanoparticles and corresponding nanoplexes -magnetoplexes, lipoplexes and polyplexes- were characterized in terms of size, zeta potential, polydispersity index, morphology and ability to bind, release and protect DNA. Transfection efficiencies of nanoplexes were measured in terms of percentage of GFP expressing cells, mean fluorescent intensity (MFI) and VEGF (ng/ml) production in HEK293, C6 and primary neuronal culture cells. Magnetoplexes showed the highest transfection efficiencies in C6, followed by lipoplexes, and in primary neuronal culture cells, followed by polyplexes. Lipoplexes were the most efficient in HEK293 cells, followed by magnetoplexes. The biological activity of VEGF was confirmed by its proliferative effect in HUVEC cells. Overall, these results provide new insights for VEGF gene delivery into CNS cells using non-viral vectors.

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