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Cryopreserved human skin allografts promote angiogenesis and dermal regeneration in a murine model.

Cryopreserved human skin allografts (CHSAs) are used for the coverage of major burns when donor sites for autografts are insufficiently available and have clinically shown beneficial effects on chronic non-healing wounds. However, the biologic mechanisms behind the regenerative properties of CHSA remain elusive. Furthermore, the impact of cryopreservation on the immunogenicity of CHSA has not been thoroughly investigated and raised concerns with regard to their clinical application. To investigate the importance and fate of living cells, we compared cryopreserved CHSA with human acellular dermal matrix (ADM) grafts in which living cells had been removed by chemical processing. Both grafts were subcutaneously implanted into C57BL/6 mice and explanted after 1, 3, 7, and 28 days (n = 5 per group). A sham surgery where no graft was implanted served as a control. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and flow cytometry were used to characterise the ultrastructure and cells within CHSA before implantation. Immunofluorescent staining of tissue sections was used to determine the immune reaction against the implanted grafts, the rate of apoptotic cells, and vascularisation as well as collagen content of the overlaying murine dermis. Digital quantification of collagen fibre alignment on tissue sections was used to quantify the degree of fibrosis within the murine dermis. A substantial population of live human cells with intact organelles was identified in CHSA prior to implantation. Subcutaneous pockets with implanted xenografts or ADMs healed without clinically apparent rejection and with a similar cellular immune response. CHSA implantation largely preserved the cellularity of the overlying murine dermis, whereas ADM was associated with a significantly higher rate of cellular apoptosis, identified by cleaved caspase-3 staining, and a stronger dendritic cell infiltration of the murine dermis. CHSA was found to induce a local angiogenic response, leading to significantly more vascularisation of the murine dermis compared with ADM and sham surgery on day 7. By day 28, aggregate collagen-1 content within the murine dermis was greater following CHSA implantation compared with ADM. Collagen fibre alignment of the murine dermis, correlating with the degree of fibrosis, was significantly greater in the ADM group, whereas CHSA maintained the characteristic basket weave pattern of the native murine dermis. Our data indicate that CHSAs promote angiogenesis and collagen-1 production without eliciting a significant fibrotic response in a xenograft model. These findings may provide insight into the beneficial effects clinically observed after treatment of chronic wounds and burns with CHSA.

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IL-17A and IL-17F orchestrate macrophages to promote lung cancer.

Previously, inflammation has been found to be associated with the development of lung cancer. Despite their well-characterized pro-inflammatory functions, the putative roles of interleukin-17 (IL-17) cytokine family members in tumorigenesis have remained controversial. While IL-17A exhibits both pro- and anti-tumor effects, IL-17F has been suggested to serve as a candidate for cancer therapy. Thus, we aimed at clarifying the involvement of IL-17A/F in lung cancer.

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Endometrial Cancer Immune Escape Mechanisms: Let Us Learn From the Fetal-Maternal Interface.

The immune escape mechanisms at the base of tumor progression in endometrial cancer mimic immune tolerance mechanisms occurring at the maternal-fetal interface. The biological and immunological processes behind the maternal-fetal interface are finely tuned in time and space during embryo implantation and subsequent pregnancy stages; conversely, those behind cancer progression are often aberrant. The environment composition at the maternal-fetal interface parallels the pro-tumor microenvironment identified in many cancers, pointing to the possibility for the use of the maternal-fetal interface as a model to depict immune therapeutic targets in cancer. The framework of cancer environment signatures involved in immune adaptations, precisely timed in cancer progression, could reveal a specific "immune clock" in endometrial cancer, which might guide clinicians in patient risk class assessment, diagnostic workup, management, surgical and therapeutic approach, and surveillance strategies. Here, we review studies approaching this hypothesis, focusing on what is known so far about oncofetal similarities in immunity with the idea to individualize personalized immunotherapy targets, through the downregulation of the immune escape stage or the reactivation of the pro-inflammatory processes suppressed by the tumor.

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Bcl-6-directed follicular helper T cells promote vascular inflammatory injury in diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a vision-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus characterized by chronic retinal microvascular inflammation. The involvement of CD4+ T cells in retinal vascular inflammation has been considered, but the specific subset and mechanism of T cell-mediated response during the process remains unclear. Here, we aim to investigate the potential role of follicular helper T (Tfh) cells, a newly identified subset of CD4+ T cells in retinal vascular inflammation in DR. : Patients with DR were enrolled and the PD-1CXCR5CD4 Tfh cells were detected in the peripheral blood by flow cytometry. The streptozotocin (STZ)-induced DR model and oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model were established, and 79-6, an inhibitor of Bcl-6, was injected intraperitoneally to suppress Tfh cells. The Tfh cells-related genes were investigated in the spleen, lymph nodes, and retina of mice by flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, and qPCR. : The Tfh cells expanded in the circulation of patients with DR and also increased in circulation, lymph nodes and retinal tissues from the STZ-induced DR mice and OIR mice. Notably, inhibition of Bcl-6, a critical transcription factor for Tfh cells development, prevented upregulation of Tfh cells and its typical IL-21 cytokine, and ameliorated vascular leakage in DR mice or retinal angiogenesis in OIR mice, indicating that Bcl-6-directed Tfh cells could promote vascular inflammation and angiogenesis. : Our results suggested that excessive Bcl-6-directed Tfh cells represent an unrecognized feature of DR and be responsible for the retinal vascular inflammation and angiogenesis, providing opportunities for new therapeutic approaches to DR.

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CD8 T-cell plasticity regulates vascular regeneration in type-2 diabetes.

In this study, we observe that the ischemic tissues of type-2 diabetic (T2D) patients and mice have significantly more CD8 T-cells than that of their normoglycemic counterparts, respectively. However, the role of CD8 T-cells in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular complication has been less studied. : We employed loss-of-function studies in mouse models using the non-lytic anti-CD8 antibody that blocks tissue infiltration of CD8 T-cells into the injured tissue. We also performed genome-wide, single-cell RNA-sequencing of CD8 T-cells to uncover their role in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular diseases. : The vascular density is negatively correlated with the number of CD8 T-cells in the ischemic tissues of patients and mice after injury. CD8 T-cells or their supernatant can directly impair human and murine angiogenesis. Compared to normoglycemic mice that can regenerate their blood vessels after injury, T2D mice fail in this regeneration. Treatment with the CD8 checkpoint blocking antibody increases the proliferation and function of endothelial cells in both Lepr mice and diet-induced diabetic lineage-tracing mice after ischemic injury Furthermore, single-cell transcriptomic profiling reveals that CD8 T-cells of T2D mice showed a cell fate change from the angiogenic, tissue-resident memory cells towards the effector and effector memory cells after injury. Functional revascularization by CD8 checkpoint blockade is mediated through unleashing such a poised lineage commitment of CD8 T-cells from T2D mice. : Our results reveal that CD8 T-cell plasticity regulates vascular regeneration; and give clinically relevant insights into the potential development of immunotherapy targeting vascular diseases associated with obesity and diabetes.

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The biological implications of Yin Yang 1 in the hallmarks of cancer.

Tumorigenesis is a multistep process characterized by the acquisition of genetic and epigenetic alterations. During the course of malignancy development, tumor cells acquire several features that allow them to survive and adapt to the stress-related conditions of the tumor microenvironment. These properties, which are known as hallmarks of cancer, include uncontrolled cell proliferation, metabolic reprogramming, tumor angiogenesis, metastasis, and immune system evasion. Zinc-finger protein Yin Yang 1 (YY1) regulates numerous genes involved in cell death, cell cycle, cellular metabolism, and inflammatory response. YY1 is highly expressed in many cancers, whereby it is associated with cell proliferation, survival, and metabolic reprogramming. Furthermore, recent studies also have demonstrated the important role of YY1-related non-coding RNAs in acquiring cancer-specific characteristics. Therefore, these YY1-related non-coding RNAs are also crucial for YY1-mediated tumorigenesis. Herein, we summarize recent progress with respect to YY1 and its biological implications in the context of hallmarks of cancer.

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Long noncoding RNA SNHG6 promotes proliferation and angiogenesis of cholangiocarcinoma cells through sponging miR-101-3p and activation of E2F8.

Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) development is an extremely complex process with alterations occurring in numerous genes. SNHG6, a validated lncRNA, has been reported to regulate the expression of multiple tumor-related genes in hepatocellular carcinoma, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Here, we elucidated the function and possible molecular mechanisms of SNHG6 in human CCA cells. Our results proved that the expression SNHG6 was upregulated in CCA tissues and cell lines. Ectopic expression of SNHG6 promoted cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, migration, and angiogenesis in CCA cells, whereas knockdown of SNHG6 repressed these cellular processes. Further mechanistic studies revealed that SNHG6 could compete with the transcription factor E2F8 to bind with miR-101-3p, thus affecting E2F8 expression. Taken together, these results provided a comprehensive analysis of the role of SNHG6 in CCA cells and offered important clues to understand the key roles of competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) mechanisms in human cholangiocarcinoma.

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A Computational Model of the Endothelial to Mesenchymal Transition.

Endothelial cells (ECs) form the lining of lymph and blood vessels. Changes in tissue requirements or wounds may cause ECs to behave as tip or stalk cells. Alternatively, they may differentiate into mesenchymal cells (MCs). These processes are known as EC activation and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), respectively. EndMT, Tip, and Stalk EC behaviors all require SNAI1, SNAI2, and Matrix metallopeptidase (MMP) function. However, only EndMT inhibits the expression of VE-cadherin, PECAM1, and VEGFR2, and also leads to EC detachment. Physiologically, EndMT is involved in heart valve development, while a defective EndMT regulation is involved in the physiopathology of cardiovascular malformations, congenital heart disease, systemic and organ fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and atherosclerosis. Therefore, the control of EndMT has many promising potential applications in regenerative medicine. Despite the fact that many molecular components involved in EC activation and EndMT have been characterized, the system-level molecular mechanisms involved in this process have not been elucidated. Toward this end, hereby we present Boolean network model of the molecular involved in the regulation of EC activation and EndMT. The simulated dynamic behavior of our model reaches fixed and cyclic patterns of activation that correspond to the expected EC and MC cell types and behaviors, recovering most of the specific effects of simple gain and loss-of-function mutations as well as the conditions associated with the progression of several diseases. Therefore, our model constitutes a theoretical framework that can be used to generate hypotheses and guide experimental inquiry to comprehend the regulatory mechanisms behind EndMT. Our main findings include that both the extracellular microevironment and the pattern of molecular activity within the cell regulate EndMT. EndMT requires a lack of VEGFA and sufficient oxygen in the extracellular microenvironment as well as no FLI1 and GATA2 activity within the cell. Additionally Tip cells cannot undergo EndMT directly. Furthermore, the specific conditions that are sufficient to trigger EndMT depend on the specific pattern of molecular activation within the cell.

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Noninvasive monitoring of liver metastasis development via combined multispectral photoacoustic imaging and fluorescence diffuse optical tomography.

molecular imaging in preclinical animal models is a tool of choice for understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in cancer development and for conducting drug development research. Moreover, combining several imaging modalities can provide multifaceted, complementary and cross-validated information. Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) is a promising imaging modality that can reflect blood vasculature and tissue oxygenation as well as detect exogenous molecules, but one shortcoming of PAI is a lack of organic photoacoustic contrast agents capable of providing tumor contrast. In the present study, we designed an animal model of liver metastases from colon cancer and monitored metastasis development by bioluminescence and X-ray microcomputed tomography. Contrast-agent-free PAI was used to detect the respective amounts of oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin and, thus, liver tissue oxygenation. two contrast agents, Angiostamp800 and indocyanin green (ICG), respectively with and without tumor targeting specificity, were then evaluated for their dual fluorescence and photoacoustic detectability and were then used for combined PAI and fluorescence diffuse optical tomography (fDOT) at various disease development stages. Contrast-agent-free PAI reflected tumor angiogenesis and gradual hypoxia during metastasis development. Multispectral PAI enabled noninvasive real-time monitoring of ICG blood pharmacokinetics, which demonstrated tumor-related liver dysfunction. Both PAI and fluorescence ICG signals were clearly modified in metastasis-bearing livers but did not allow for differentiation between different disease stages. In contrast, there was a significant improvement achieved by using the tumor-specific marker Angiostamp800, which provided gradually increasing PAI and fDOT signals during metastasis development. We demonstrated for the first time the value of using Angiostamp800 as a bimodal tumor-targeting contrast agent for combined PAI and fluorescence imaging of liver metastasis progression

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In Vitro Model of Coronary Angiogenesis.

Here, we describe an in vitro culture assay to study coronary angiogenesis. Coronary vessels feed the heart muscle and are of clinical importance. Defects in these vessels represent severe health risks such as in atherosclerosis, which can lead to myocardial infarctions and heart failures in patients. Consequently, coronary artery disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Despite its clinical importance, relatively little progress has been made on how to regenerate damaged coronary arteries. Nevertheless, recent progress has been made in understanding the cellular origin and differentiation pathways of coronary vessel development. The advent of tools and technologies that allow researchers to fluorescently label progenitor cells, follow their fate, and visualize progenies in vivo have been instrumental in understanding coronary vessel development. In vivo studies are valuable, but have limitations in terms of speed, accessibility, and flexibility in experimental design. Alternatively, accurate in vitro models of coronary angiogenesis can circumvent these limitations and allow researchers to interrogate important biological questions with speed and flexibility. The lack of appropriate in vitro model systems may have hindered the progress in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of coronary vessel growth. Here, we describe an in vitro culture system to grow coronary vessels from the sinus venosus (SV) and endocardium (Endo), the two progenitor tissues from which many of the coronary vessels arise. We also confirmed that the cultures accurately recapitulate some of the known in vivo mechanisms. For instance, we show that the angiogenic sprouts in culture from SV downregulate COUP-TFII expression similar to what is observed in vivo. In addition, we show that VEGF-A, a well-known angiogenic factor in vivo, robustly stimulates angiogenesis from both the SV and Endo cultures. Collectively, we have devised an accurate in vitro culture model to study coronary angiogenesis.

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