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#26138224   2015/07/03 Save this To Up

In vivo bioimaging with tissue-specific transcription factor activated luciferase reporters.

The application of transcription factor activated luciferase reporter cassettes in vitro is widespread but potential for in vivo application has not yet been realized. Bioluminescence imaging enables non-invasive tracking of gene expression in transfected tissues of living rodents. However the mature immune response limits luciferase expression when delivered in adulthood. We present a novel approach of tissue-targeted delivery of transcription factor activated luciferase reporter lentiviruses to neonatal rodents as an alternative to the existing technology of generating germline transgenic light producing rodents. At this age, neonates acquire immune tolerance to the conditionally responsive luciferase reporter. This simple and transferrable procedure permits surrogate quantitation of transcription factor activity over the lifetime of the animal. We show principal efficacy by temporally quantifying NFκB activity in the brain, liver and lungs of somatotransgenic reporter mice subjected to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation. This response is ablated in Tlr4(-/-) mice or when co-administered with the anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid analogue dexamethasone. Furthermore, we show the malleability of this technology by quantifying NFκB-mediated luciferase expression in outbred rats. Finally, we use somatotransgenic bioimaging to longitudinally quantify LPS- and ActivinA-induced upregulation of liver specific glucocorticoid receptor and Smad2/3 reporter constructs in somatotransgenic mice, respectively.

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#25841238   2015/11/10 Save this To Up

Microenvironmental hCAP-18/LL-37 promotes pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma by activating its cancer stem cell compartment.

The tumour stroma/microenvironment not only provides structural support for tumour development, but more importantly it provides cues to cancer stem cells (CSCs) that regulate their self-renewal and metastatic potential. This is certainly true for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC), where tumour-associated fibroblasts, pancreatic stellate cells and immune cells create an abundant paracrine niche for CSCs via microenvironment-secreted factors. Thus understanding the role that tumour stroma cells play in PDAC development and CSC biology is of utmost importance.

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#11753507   2001/12/25 Save this To Up

Response of human fetal pituitary cells to activin, inhibin, hypophysiotropic and neuroregulatory factors in vitro.

Activin has been previously demonstrated to directly stimulate the synthesis of GnRH receptors and to increase FSH secretion in non-human pituitary cell cultures (PCC). Several results in Macaque monkeys failed to support an unequivocal role for Inhibin in FSH suppression. Whereas the bioactivity of Inhibin and Activin has been demonstrated in rat PCC, no data exist on human pituitary response to these peptides. We studied, therefore, the secretion of FSH and LH by dispersed human fetal PCC from > 140 midtrimester abortions in response to recombinant human (rh-) Activin-A, Inhibin, and other secretagogues. After mechanical and enzymatic dispersion, using collagenase and deoxyribonuclease, the human fetal pituitary cells were cullured on extracellular matrix (ECM) like material coaled 24 well plate (Primaria, Falcon) in fetal calf serum-containing medium. After 3 days incubation in serum-containing medium, the PCC were washed and preincubated for 90 mins in serum-free medium and incubated with rh-ActivinA, Inhibin, TGF-p, Follistatin, sex steroids, and GnRH in quadruplicate wells. The EC50 of rh-Activin-A for FSH secretion was ~ 10 ng/mL. rh- Activin-A was a more potent secretagogue for FSH secretion than GnRH. On the contrary, GnRH (20 ng/mL) was more potent than rh-Activin A for LH secretion. Nevertheless, a significant increase in LH secretion into the medium was brought about by rh-Activin-A. Inhibin decreased FSH secretion but LH response to Inhibin was inconsistent. GnRH opposed the inhibitory effect of Inhibin on both gonadotropins. In dynamic, short term, repetitive exposure of fetal pituitary fragments to rh-Activin-A (superfusionl we could not receive -a similar increase in LH & FSH as in static incubations, as opposed to a short GnRH exposure. Melatonin did not inhibit LH secretion in human PCC as opposed to rodents. In addition to their endocrine, paracrine, and sutocrine effects and to their role as possible markers, the TGF-b superfamily members may atiect embryogenesis and possibly immunomodulation of the fetus. In contrast to others, who could detect Inhibin-B only in male but not in female fetuses sera, we have measured Inhibin-B in both male and female midtrimester fetal sera, challenging the previous assumption that the fetal origin is only Sertoli cells. Human fetal PCC express the previously reported physiologic responses to Activin and Inhibin generated in non-human experiments on gonadotropin secretion in-vitro, and may serve as a physiologic model for studying human gonadotrope responses to the TGF-b family of peptides. Our preliminary data may provide the first unequivocal evidence for the validity of the Activin/Inhibin hypothesis in human.

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#10392842   1999/10/06 Save this To Up

Administration of recombinant human Activin-A has powerful neurotrophic effects on select striatal phenotypes in the quinolinic acid lesion model of Huntington's disease.

Huntington disease is characterized by the selective loss of striatal neurons, particularly of medium-sized spiny glutamate decarboxylase67 staining/GABAergic projection neurons which co-contain the calcium binding protein calbindin. Lesioning of the adult rat striatum by intrastriatal injection of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor agonist quinolinic acid (100 nmol) results in a pattern of striatal neuropathology seven days later that resembles that seen in the Huntington brain. Using this animal model of human Huntington's disease we investigated the effect of daily intrastriatal infusion of the nerve cell survival molecule ActivinA (single bolus dose of 0.73 microg daily for seven days) on the quinolinic acid-induced degeneration of various striatal neuronal phenotypes. By seven days, unilateral intrastriatal infusion of quinolinic acid produced a partial but significant loss (P < 0.01) in the number of striatal neurons immunoreactive for glutamate decarboxylase (to 51.0+/-5.8% of unlesioned levels), calbindin (to 58.7+/-5.1%), choline acetyltransferase (to 68.6+/-6.1%), NADPH-diaphorase (to 47.4+/-5.4%), parvalbumin (to 58.8+/-4.1%) and calretinin (to 60.6+/-8.6%) in adult rats that were administered intrastriatal phosphate-buffered saline for seven days following quinolinic acid. In contrast, in rats that received intrastriatal recombinant human ActivinA once daily for seven days following quinolinic acid, phenotypic degeneration was significantly attenuated in several populations of striatal neurons. Treatment with ActivinA had the most potent protective effect on the striatal cholinergic interneuron population almost completely preventing the lesion induced decline in choline acetyltransferase expression (to 95.1+/-5.8% of unlesioned levels, P < 0.01). ActivinA also conferred a significant protective effect on parvalbumin (to 87.5+/-7.7%, P < 0.01) and NADPH-diaphorase (to 77.5+/-7.5%, P < 0.01) interneuron populations but failed to prevent the phenotypic degeneration of calretinin neurons (to 56.6+/-5.5%). Glutamate decarboxylase67 and calbindin-staining nerve cells represent largely overlapping populations and both identify striatal GABAergic projection neurons. We found that ActivinA significantly attenuated the loss in the numbers of neurons staining for calbindin (to 79.7+/-6.6%, P < 0.05) but not glutamate decarboxylase67 (to 61.1+/-5.9%) at seven days following quinolinic acid lesioning. Taken together these results suggest that exogenous administration of ActivinA can rescue both striatal interneurons (labelled with choline acetyltransferase, parvalbumin, NADPH-diaphorase) and striatal projection neurons (labelled by calbindin) from excitotoxic lesioning with quinolinic acid. Longer-term studies will be required to determine whether these surviving calbindin-expressing projection neurons recover their ability to express the glutamate decarboxylase67/GABAergic phenotype. These results therefore suggest that treatment with ActivinA may help to prevent the degeneration of vulnerable striatal neuronal populations in Huntington's disease.

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