SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Journal of cellular and molecular medicine

4

Circulating trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a canonical metabolite from gut flora, has been related to the risk of cardiovascular disorders. However, the association between circulating TMAO and the risk of cardiovascular events has not been quantitatively evaluated. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of all available cohort studies regarding the association between baseline circulating TMAO and subsequent cardiovascular events. Embase and PubMed databases were searched for relevant cohort studies. The overall hazard ratios for the developing of cardiovascular events (CVEs) and mortality were extracted. Heterogeneity among the included studies was evaluated with Cochran’s Q Test and I(2) statistics. A random-effect model or a fixed-effect model was applied depending on the heterogeneity. Subgroup analysis and meta-regression were used to evaluate the source of heterogeneity. Among the 11 eligible studies, three reported both CVE and mortality outcome, one reported only CVEs and the other seven provided mortality data only. Higher circulating TMAO was associated with a 23% higher risk of CVEs (HR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.07-1.42, I(2) = 31.4%) and a 55% higher risk of all-cause mortality (HR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.19-2.02, I(2) = 80.8%). Notably, the latter association may be blunted by potential publication bias, although sensitivity analysis by omitting one study at a time did not significantly change the results. Further subgroup analysis and meta-regression did not support that the location of the study, follow-up duration, publication year, population characteristics or the samples of TMAO affect the results significantly. Higher circulating TMAO may independently predict the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events and mortality.

Concepts: Research methods, Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Evidence-based medicine, Cardiovascular disease, Actuarial science, Meta-analysis, Amine oxides

3

Vascular calcification (VC) is caused by hydroxyapatite deposition in the intimal and medial layers of the vascular wall, leading to severe cardiovascular events in patients with hypertension, chronic kidney disease and diabetes mellitus. VC occurrences involve complicated mechanism networks, such as matrix vesicles or exosomes production, osteogenic differentiation, reduced cell viability, aging and so on. However, with present therapeutic methods targeting at VC ineffectively, novel targets for VC treatment are demanded. Exosomes are proven to participate in VC and function as initializers for mineral deposition. Secreted exosomes loaded with microRNAs are also demonstrated to modulate VC procession in recipient vascular smooth muscle cells. In this review, we targeted at the roles of exosomes during VC, especially at their effects on transporting biological information among cells. Moreover, we will discuss the potential mechanisms of exosomes in VC.

3

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is associated with gastrointestinal disease, systemic immune activation and changes in the gut microbiota. Here, we aim to investigate the gut microbiota patterns of HIV-infected individuals and HIV-uninfected individuals in populations from South China. We enrolled 33 patients with HIV (14 participants treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy [HAART] for more than 3 months; the remaining 19 individuals had not received treatment) and 35 healthy controls (HC) for a cross-sectional comparison of gut microbiota using stool samples. Gut microbial communities were profiled by sequencing the bacterial 16S rRNA genes. Dysbiosis was more common among patients with AIDS compared with healthy individuals. Dysbiosis was characterized by decreased α-diversity, low mean counts of Bacteroidetes, Faecalibacterium, Prevotella, Bacteroides vulgatus, Dialister and Roseburia inulnivorans, and high mean counts of Proteobacteria, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, Lachnociostridium, Ruminococcus gnavus and Streptococcus vestibularis. Increased abundance of Bacilli was observed in homosexual patients. Proteobacteria were higher among heterosexual patients with HIV infections. Tenericutes were higher among patients with history of intravenous drug abuse. Restoration of gut microbiota diversity and a significant increase in abundance of Faecalibacterium, Blautia and Bacteroides were found in patients receiving HAART compared to those who did not receive. HIV infection-associated dysbiosis is characterized by decreased levels of α-diversity and Bacteroidetes, increased levels of Proteobacteria and the alterations of gut microbiota correlate with the route of HIV transmission. The imbalanced faecal microbiota of HIV infection is partially restored after therapy.

Concepts: Antiretroviral drug, HIV, AIDS, Protease inhibitor, Immune system, Bacteria, Gut flora, Immunodeficiency

3

The recruitment of bone marrow (BM)-derived progenitor cells to the lung is related to pulmonary remodelling and the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Although sildenafil is a known target in PH treatment, the underlying molecular mechanism is still elusive. To test the hypothesis that the therapeutic effect of sildenafil is linked to the reduced recruitment of BM-derived progenitor cells, we induced pulmonary remodelling in rats by two-week exposure to chronic hypoxia (CH, 10% oxygen), a trigger of BM-derived progenitor cells. Rats were treated with either placebo (saline) or sildenafil (1.4 mg/kg/day ip) during CH. Control rats were kept in room air (21% oxygen) with no treatment. As expected, sildenafil attenuated the CH-induced increase in right ventricular systolic pressure and right ventricular hypertrophy. However, sildenafil suppressed the CH-induced increase in c-kit(+) cells in the adventitia of pulmonary arteries. Moreover, sildenafil reduced the number of c-kit(+) cells that colocalize with tyrosine kinase receptor 2 (VEGF-R2) and CD68 (a marker for macrophages), indicating a positive effect on moderating hypoxia-induced smooth muscle cell proliferation and inflammation without affecting the pulmonary levels of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α. Furthermore, sildenafil depressed the number of CXCR4(+) cells. Collectively, these findings indicate that the improvement in pulmonary haemodynamic by sildenafil is linked to decreased recruitment of BM-derived c-kit(+) cells in the pulmonary tissue. The attenuation of the recruitment of BM-derived c-kit(+) cells by sildenafil may provide novel therapeutic insights into the control of pulmonary remodelling.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Blood, Atherosclerosis, Heart, Receptor tyrosine kinase, Artery, Pulmonary artery, Smooth muscle

3

Highly up-regulated in liver cancer (HULC) was originally identified as the most overexpressed long non-coding RNA in hepatocellular carcinoma. Since its discovery, the aberrant up-regulation of HULC has been demonstrated in other cancer types, including gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, osteosarcoma and hepatic metastasis of colorectal cancer. Recent discoveries have also shed new light on the upstream molecular mechanisms underlying HULC deregulation. As an oncogene, HULC promotes tumorigenesis by regulating multiple pathways, such as down-regulation of EEF1E1, promotion of abnormal lipid metabolism, and up-regulation of sphingosine kinase 1. Pertinent to clinical practice, a genetic variant in the HULC gene has been found to alter the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma and oesophageal cancer, whereas cancer patients with high or low expression of HULC exhibit different clinical outcome. These findings highlighted the pathogenic role and clinical utility of HULC in human cancers. Further efforts are warranted to promote the development of HULC-directed therapeutics.

Concepts: DNA, Vitamin D, Gene expression, Cancer, Oncology, RNA, Gastrointestinal cancer, Oncogene

3

Many B-cell acute and chronic leukaemias tend to be resistant to killing by natural killer (NK) cells. The introduction of chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) into T cells or NK cells could potentially overcome this resistance. Here, we extend our previous observations on the resistance of malignant lymphoblasts to NK-92 cells, a continuously growing NK cell line, showing that anti-CD19-CAR (αCD19-CAR) engineered NK-92 cells can regain significant cytotoxicity against CD19 positive leukaemic cell lines and primary leukaemia cells that are resistant to cytolytic activity of parental NK-92 cells. The ‘first generation’ CAR was generated from a scFv (CD19) antibody fragment, coupled to a flexible hinge region, the CD3ζ chain and a Myc-tag and cloned into a retrovirus backbone. No difference in cytotoxic activity of NK-92 and transduced αCD19-CAR NK-92 cells towards CD19 negative targets was found. However, αCD19-CAR NK-92 cells specifically and efficiently lysed CD19 expressing B-precursor leukaemia cell lines as well as lymphoblasts from leukaemia patients. Since NK-92 cells can be easily expanded to clinical grade numbers under current Good Manufactoring Practice (cGMP) conditions and its safety has been documented in several phase I clinical studies, treatment with CAR modified NK-92 should be considered a treatment option for patients with lymphoid malignancies.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymphocyte, Antibody, Cell, Cell biology, Natural killer cell, T cell, Cytotoxicity

3

The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a monolayer located between the photoreceptors and the choroid, is constantly damaged by oxidative stress, particularly because of reactive oxygen species (ROS). As the RPE, because of its physiological functions, is essential for the survival of the retina, any sustained damage may consequently lead to loss of vision. Exosomes are small membranous vesicles released into the extracellular medium by numerous cell types, including RPE cells. Their cargo includes genetic material and proteins, making these vesicles essential for cell-to-cell communication. Exosomes may fuse with neighbouring cells influencing their fate. It has been observed that RPE cells release higher amounts of exosomes when they are under oxidative stress. Exosomes derived from cultured RPE cells were isolated by ultracentrifugation and quantified by flow cytometry. VEGF receptors (VEGFR) were analysed by both flow cytometry and Western blot. RT-PCR and qPCR were conducted to assess mRNA content of VEGFRs in exosomes. Neovascularization assays were performed after applying RPE exosomes into endothelial cell cultures. Our results showed that stressed RPE cells released a higher amount of exosomes than controls, with a higher expression of VEGFR in the membrane, and enclosed an extra cargo of VEGFR mRNA. Angiogenesis assays confirmed that endothelial cells increased their tube formation capacity when exposed to stressed RPE exosomes.

Concepts: Cell, Angiogenesis, Cell biology, Blood vessel, Vascular endothelial growth factor, Retina, Endothelium, Retinal pigment epithelium

2

Leydig cells (LCs) are the primary source of testosterone in the testis, and testosterone deficiency caused by LC functional degeneration can lead to male reproductive dysfunction. LC replacement transplantation is a very promising approach for this disease therapy. Here, we report that human adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) can be differentiated into Leydig-like cells using a novel differentiation method based on molecular compounds. The isolated human ADSCs expressed positive CD29, CD44, CD59 and CD105, negative CD34, CD45 and HLA-DR using flow cytometry, and had the capacity of adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation. ADSCs derived Leydig-like cells (ADSC-LCs) acquired testosterone synthesis capabilities, and positively expressed LC lineage-specific markers LHCGR, STAR, SCARB1, SF-1, CYP11A1, CYP17A1, HSD3B1 and HSD17B3 as well as negatively expressed ADSC specific markers CD29, CD44, CD59 and CD105. When ADSC-LCs labelled with lipophilic red dye (PKH26) were injected into rat testes which were selectively eliminated endogenous LCs using ethylene dimethanesulfonate (EDS, 75 mg/kg), the transplanted ADSC-LCs could survive and function in the interstitium of testes, and accelerate the recovery of blood testosterone levels and testis weights. These results demonstrated that ADSCs could be differentiated into Leydig-like cells by few defined molecular compounds, which might lay the foundation for further clinical application of ADSC-LC transplantation therapy.

2

Emerging evidence has indicated that deregulation of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) can contribute to the progression of human cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the role and exact mechanism of most lncRNAs in tumours remains largely unknown. In the current study, we found a novel long non-coding RNA termed SNAI3-AS1 which was generally up-regulated in HCC tissues compared with normal control. Higher expression of SNAI3-AS1 was significantly correlated with shorter overall survival of HCC patients. Knockdown of SNAI3-AS1 inhibited the proliferation and metastasis of HCC cells in vitro, whereas overexpression of SNAI3-AS1 promoted the proliferation and metastasis of HCC cells. Further investigations showed that SNAI3-AS1 could affect HCC tumorigenesis by binding up-frameshift protein 1 (UPF1), regulating Smad7 expression and activating TGF-β/Smad pathway. Functionally, SNAI3-AS1 promoted HCC growth and metastasis by inducing tumour epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Taken together, these findings showed that SNAI3-AS1 promotes the progression of HCC by regulating the UPF1 and activating TGF-β/Smad pathway.

2

A high frequency of MAGE-CT (cancer testis) antigens are expressed in Multiple Myeloma (MM) patients; however, in other plasma cell dyscrasias, their potential function remains unclear. We measured the expression of MAGE-CT genes (MAGE-C1/CT7, MAGE-A3, MAGE-C2/CT10) in 105 newly diagnosed amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis patients between June 2013 and January 2018 at Peking University People’s Hospital using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. In the newly diagnosed AL patients, the positive expression rates of patients with MAGE-C1/CT7, MAGE-C2/CT10 and MAGE-A3 were 83.8% (88/105), 56.71% (38/67) and 22.0% (13/59) respectively. There was no significant correlation between organ propensity and MAGE-CT gene expression. Changes in the MAGE-C1/CT7 levels were consistent with a therapeutic effect. The expression levels of MAGE-C1/CT7, MAGE-C2/CT10 and MAGE-A3 provide potentially effective clinical indicators for auxiliary diagnoses and monitoring treatment efficacy in AL amyloidosis patients.