The concept of tumor stem cells (TSCs) provides a new paradigm for understanding tumor biology, although it remains unclear whether TSCs will prove to be a more robust model than traditional cancer cell lines. We demonstrate marked phenotypic and genotypic differences between primary human tumor-derived TSCs and their matched glioma cell lines. Unlike the matched, traditionally grown tumor cell lines, TSCs derived directly from primary glioblastomas harbor extensive similarities to normal neural stem cells and recapitulate the genotype, gene expression patterns, and in vivo biology of human glioblastomas. These findings suggest that TSCs may be a more reliable model than many commonly utilized cancer cell lines for understanding the biology of primary human tumors.
A polymorphism of human AE3 is associated with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Knockout of AE3 in mice lowers the threshold for triggering epileptic seizures. The explanations for these effects are elusive. Comparisons of cells from wild‐type vs . AE3 –/– mice show that AE3 (present in hippocampal neurons, not astrocytes; mediates HCO 3 – efflux) enhances intracellular pH (pH i ) recovery (decrease) from alkali loads in neurons and, surprisingly, adjacent astrocytes. During metabolic acidosis (MAc), AE3 speeds initial acidification, but limits the extent of pH i decrease in neurons and astrocytes. AE3 speeds re‐alkalization after removal of MAc in neurons and astrocytes, and speeds neuronal pH i recovery from an ammonium prepulse‐induced acid load. We propose that neuronal AE3 indirectly increases acid extrusion in (a) neurons via Cl – loading, and (b) astrocytes by somehow enhancing NBCe1 (major acid extruder). The latter would enhance depolarization‐induced alkalinization of astrocytes, and extracellular acidification, and thereby reduce susceptibility to epileptic seizures.
Autophagic (type II) cell death, characterized by the massive accumulation of autophagic vacuoles in the cytoplasm of cells, has been suggested to play pathogenetic roles in cerebral ischemia, brain trauma, and neurodegenerative disorders. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) is an illicit drug causing long-term neurotoxicity in the brain. Apoptotic (type I) and necrotic (type III) cell death have been implicated in MDMA-induced neurotoxicity, while the role of autophagy in MDMA-elicited neurotoxicity has not been investigated. The present study aimed to evaluate the occurrence and contribution of autophagy to neurotoxicity in cultured rat cortical neurons challenged with MDMA. Autophagy activation was monitored by expression of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3; an autophagic marker) using immunofluorescence and western blot analysis. Here, we demonstrate that MDMA exposure induced monodansylcadaverine (MDC)- and LC3B-densely stained autophagosome formation and increased conversion of LC3B-I to LC3B-II, coinciding with the neurodegenerative phase of MDMA challenge. Autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) pretreatment significantly attenuated MDMA-induced autophagosome accumulation, LC3B-II expression, and ameliorated MDMA-triggered neurite damage and neuronal death. In contrast, enhanced autophagy flux by rapamycin or impaired autophagosome clearance by bafilomycin A1 led to more autophagosome accumulation in neurons and aggravated neurite degeneration, indicating that excessive autophagosome accumulation contributes to MDMA-induced neurotoxicity. Furthermore, MDMA induced phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and its downstream unc-51-like kinase 1 (ULK1), suggesting the AMPK/ULK1 signaling pathway might be involved in MDMA-induced autophagy activation.
Chemical composition, nutritional value and other physico-chemical parameters of sea bass from two different geographical areas (Greece and Spain) and from aquaculture and wild origin were studied. Farmed and wild fish differ in proximate composition, colour, and especially in texture, fatty acids and free amino acids (FAAs) profiles. Flesh of wild fish was firmer, which could be attributed to their lower fat content and higher level of activity. Cultured fish showed a higher content of monounsaturated fatty acids and lower of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Within the PUFA group, −3 fatty acids were predominant in wild sea bass, while −6 were more abundant in farmed fish. Some FAAs related to the characteristic flavour of fish, such as glutamic acid, aspartic acid, alanine, and glycine were more abundant in cultured sea bass. No differences between fish from both farms were found, due to the similar composition of the feed used.
Cultured meat has evolved from an idea and concept into a reality with the August 2013 cultured hamburger tasting in London. Still, how consumers conceive cultured meat is largely an open question. This study addresses consumers' reactions and attitude formation towards cultured meat through analyzing focus group discussions and online deliberations with 179 meat consumers from Belgium, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Initial reactions when learning about cultured meat were underpinned by feelings of disgust and considerations of unnaturalness. Consumers saw few direct personal benefits but they were more open to perceiving global societal benefits relating to the environment and global food security. Both personal and societal risks were framed in terms of uncertainties about safety and health, and possible adverse societal consequences dealing with loss of farming and eating traditions and rural livelihoods. Further reflection pertained to skepticism about ‘the inevitable’ scientific progress, concern about risk governance and control, and need for regulation and proper labeling.
Despite the ubiquity and beneficial role of silicon (Si) in plant biology, structural and chemical mechanisms operating at the single-cell level have not been extensively studied. To obtain insights regarding the effect of Si on individual cells, we cultivated suspended rice ( ) cells in the absence and presence of Si and analyzed single cells using a combination of physical techniques including atomic force microscopy (AFM). Si is naturally present as a constituent of the cell walls, where it is firmly bound to the cell wall matrix rather than occurring within intra- or extracellular silica deposition, as determined by using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). This species of Si, linked with the cell wall matrix, improves the structural stability of cell walls during their expansion and subsequent cell division. Maintaining cell shape is thereby enhanced, which may be crucial for the function and survival of cells. This study provides further evidence that organosilicon is present in plant cell walls, which broadens our understanding of the chemical nature of ‘anomalous Si’ in plant biology.
Tar DNA Binding Protein-43 (TDP-43) is a principle component of inclusions in many cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-U) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). TDP-43 resides predominantly in the nucleus, but in affected areas of ALS and FTLD-U central nervous system, TDP-43 is aberrantly processed and forms cytoplasmic inclusions. The mechanisms governing TDP-43 inclusion formation are poorly understood. Increasing evidence indicates that TDP-43 regulates mRNA metabolism by interacting with mRNA binding proteins that are known to associate with RNA granules. Here we show that TDP-43 can be induced to form inclusions in cell culture and that most TDP-43 inclusions co-localize with SGs. SGs are cytoplasmic RNA granules that consist of mixed protein - RNA complexes. Under stressful conditions SGs are generated by the reversible aggregation of prion-like proteins, such as TIA-1, to regulate mRNA metabolism and protein translation. We also show that disease-linked mutations in TDP-43 increased TDP-43 inclusion formation in response to stressful stimuli. Biochemical studies demonstrated that the increased TDP-43 inclusion formation is associated with accumulation of TDP-43 detergent insoluble complexes. TDP-43 associates with SG by interacting with SG proteins, such as TIA-1, via direct protein-protein interactions, as well as RNA-dependent interactions. The signaling pathway that regulates SGs formation also modulates TDP-43 inclusion formation. We observed that inclusion formation mediated by WT or mutant TDP-43 can be suppressed by treatment with translational inhibitors that suppress or reverse SG formation. Finally, using Sudan black to quench endogenous autofluorescence, we also demonstrate that TDP-43 positive-inclusions in pathological CNS tissue co-localize with multiple protein markers of stress granules, including TIA-1 and eIF3. These data provide support for accumulating evidence that TDP-43 participates in the SG pathway.
Benzophenone-3 (BP-3; oxybenzone) is an ingredient in sunscreen lotions and personal-care products that protects against the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. Oxybenzone is an emerging contaminant of concern in marine environments—produced by swimmers and municipal, residential, and boat/ship wastewater discharges. We examined the effects of oxybenzone on the larval form (planula) of the coral Stylophora pistillata, as well as its toxicity in vitro to coral cells from this and six other coral species. Oxybenzone is a photo-toxicant; adverse effects are exacerbated in the light. Whether in darkness or light, oxybenzone transformed planulae from a motile state to a deformed, sessile condition. Planulae exhibited an increasing rate of coral bleaching in response to increasing concentrations of oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is a genotoxicant to corals, exhibiting a positive relationship between DNA-AP lesions and increasing oxybenzone concentrations. Oxybenzone is a skeletal endocrine disruptor; it induced ossification of the planula, encasing the entire planula in its own skeleton. The LC50 of planulae exposed to oxybenzone in the light for an 8- and 24-h exposure was 3.1 mg/L and 139 µg/L, respectively. The LC50s for oxybenzone in darkness for the same time points were 16.8 mg/L and 779 µg/L. Deformity EC20 levels (24 h) of planulae exposed to oxybenzone were 6.5 µg/L in the light and 10 µg/L in darkness. Coral cell LC50s (4 h, in the light) for 7 different coral species ranges from 8 to 340 µg/L, whereas LC20s (4 h, in the light) for the same species ranges from 0.062 to 8 µg/L. Coral reef contamination of oxybenzone in the U.S. Virgin Islands ranged from 75 µg/L to 1.4 mg/L, whereas Hawaiian sites were contaminated between 0.8 and 19.2 µg/L. Oxybenzone poses a hazard to coral reef conservation and threatens the resiliency of coral reefs to climate change.
Approaches to evaluate T ‐cell responses to E pstein– B arr virus ( EBV ) include enzyme‐linked immunospot ( ELISPOT ), which quantifies cells capable of immediate interferon‐γ secretion upon antigen stimulation. However, evaluation of expandable EBV ‐specific memory T cells in an ELISPOT format has not been described previously. We quantified EBV ‐specific T ‐cell precursors with high proliferative capacity by using a peptide‐based cultured interferon‐γ ELISPOT assay. Standard and cultured ELISPOT responses to overlapping peptide pools (15‐mers overlapping by 11 amino acids) covering the lytic ( BZLF 1 and BMRF 1) and latent ( EBNA 1, EBNA 3a, EBNA 3b, EBNA 3c, LMP 1 and LMP 2) EBV proteins were evaluated in 20 healthy subjects with remote EBV infection and, for comparison, in four solid organ transplant recipients. Cultured ELISPOT responses to both lytic and latent EBV antigens were significantly higher than standard ELISPOT responses. The distribution of EBV ‐specific T ‐cell responses detected in healthy virus carriers showed more consistent cultured ELISPOT responses compared with standard ELISPOT responses. T‐cell responses quantified by cultured ELISPOT were mainly mediated by CD 4 + T cells and a marked pattern of immunodominance to latent‐phase antigens ( EBNA 1 > EBNA 3 family antigens > LMP 2 > LMP 1) was shown. Both the magnitude and distribution of EBV ‐specific T‐cell responses were altered in solid organ transplant recipients; in particular, cultured ELISPOT responses were almost undetectable in a lung‐transplanted patient with EBV ‐associated diseases. Analysis of T‐cell responses to EBV by ELISPOT assays might provide new insights into the pathogenesis of EBV ‐related diseases and serve as new tools in the monitoring of EBV infection in immunocompromised patients.
The principal function of an epithelium is to form a dynamic barrier that regulates movement between body compartments. Each epithelium is specialized with barrier functions that are specific for the tissues it serves. The apical surface commonly faces a lumen, but the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) appears to be unique by a facing solid tissue, the sensory retina. Nonetheless, there exists a thin (subretinal) space that can become fluid filled during pathology. RPE separates the subretinal space from the blood supply of the outer retina, thereby forming the outer blood–retinal barrier. The intricate interaction between the RPE and sensory retina presents challenges for learning how accurately culture models reflect native behavior. The challenge is heightened by findings that detail the variation of RPE barrier proteins both among species and at different stages of the life cycle. Among the striking differences is the expression of claudin family members. Claudins are the tight junction proteins that regulate ion diffusion across the spaces that lie between the cells of a monolayer. Claudin expression by RPE varies with species and life-stage, which implies functional differences among commonly used animal models. Investigators have turned to transcriptomics to supplement functional studies when comparing native and cultured tissue. The most detailed studies of the outer blood–retinal barrier have focused on human RPE with transcriptome and functional studies reported for human fetal, adult, and stem-cell derived RPE.