Time-dependent expression of cytochrome p450 epoxygenases during human prenatal development
There is growing evidence that some members of cytochrome P450 enzymes contribute to regulation of normal prenatal development. CYP epoxygenases (CYP2C and CYP2J subfamilies) convert arachidonic acid into four regioisomeric epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), biologically active molecules involved in mitogenesis and cell signaling. Almost nothing is known about localization of their expression in tissues during human prenatal development. The spatio-temporal expression pattern of CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP2J2 in human embryonic/fetal intestines, liver, and kidney was investigated by immunohistochemical method. CYP epoxygenases are expressed already in early stages of development in these embryonic/fetal tissues (as early as 7th week of IUD in the intestines, 5th week of IUD in the liver, and 6th week of IUD in the kidney). In kidney, CYP epoxygenases are expressed in the metanephrogenic blastema (but not in the uninduced mesenchyme) and in the tubular system. In the intestines, diverse CYP epoxygenases distribution along crypt-villus axis could suggest role in cell differentiation. Moreover, we detected higher CYP2J2 level in these organs than in adult tissue samples.
Mesenchymal stem cells support hepatocyte function in engineered liver grafts
Recent studies suggest that organ decellularization is a promising approach to facilitate the clinical application of regenerative therapy by providing a platform for organ engineering. This unique strategy uses native matrices to act as a reservoir for the functional cells which may show therapeutic potential when implanted into the body. Appropriate cell sources for artificial livers have been debated for some time. The desired cell type in artificial livers is primary hepatocytes, but in addition, other supportive cells may facilitate this stem cell technology. In this context, the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) is an option meeting the criteria for therapeutic organ engineering. Ideally, supportive cells are required to (1) reduce the hepatic cell mass needed in an engineered liver by enhancing hepatocyte function, (2) modulate hepatic regeneration in a paracrine fashion or by direct contact, and (3) enhance the preservability of parenchymal cells during storage. Here, we describe enhanced hepatic function achieved using a strategy of sequential infusion of cells and illustrate the advantages of co-cultivating bone marrow-derived MSCs with primary hepatocytes in the engineered whole-liver scaffold. These co-recellularized liver scaffolds colonized by MSCs and hepatocytes were transplanted into live animals. After blood flow was established, we show that expression of adhesion molecules and proangiogenic factors was upregulated in the graft.
Engineering of human hepatic tissue with functional vascular networks
Although absolute organ shortage highlights the needs of alternative organ sources for regenerative medicine, the generation of a three-dimensional (3D) and complex vital organ, such as well-vascularized liver, remains a challenge. To this end, tissue engineering holds great promise; however, this approach is significantly limited by the failure of early vascularization in vivo after implantation. Here, we established a stable 3D in vitro pre-vascularization platform to generate human hepatic tissue after implantation in vivo. Human fetal liver cells (hFLCs) were mixed with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and were implanted into a collagen/fibronectin matrix composite that was used as a 3-D carrier. After a couple of days, the fluorescent HUVECs developed premature vascular networks in vitro, which were stabilized by hMSCs. The establishment of functional vessels inside the pre-vascularized constructs was proven using dextran infusion studies after implantation under a transparency cranial window. Furthermore, dynamic morphological changes during embryonic liver cell maturation were intravitaly quantified with high-resolution confocal microscope analysis. The engineered human hepatic tissue demonstrated multiple liver-specific features, both structural and functional. Our new techniques discussed here can be implemented in future clinical uses and industrial uses, such as drug testing.
Metakaryotic stem cell nuclei use pangenomic dsRNA/DNA intermediates in genome replication and segregation
Bell shaped nuclei of metakaryotic cells double their DNA content during and after symmetric and asymmetric amitotic fissions rather than in the separate, pre-mitotic S-phase of eukaryotic cells. A parsimonious hypothesis was tested that the two anti-parallel strands of each chromatid DNA helix were first segregated as ssDNA-containing complexes into sister nuclei then copied to recreate a dsDNA genome. Metakaryotic nuclei that were treated during amitosis with RNase A and stained with acridine orange or fluorescent antibody to ssDNA revealed large amounts of ssDNA. Without RNase treatment metakaryotic nuclei in amitosis stained strongly with an antibody complex specific to dsRNA/DNA. Images of amitotic figures co-stained with dsRNA/DNA antibody and DAPI indicated that the entire interphase dsDNA genome (B-form helices) was transformed into two dsRNA/DNA genomes (A-form helices) that were segregated in the daughter cell nuclei then retransformed into dsDNA. As this process segregates DNA strands of opposite polarity in sister cells it hypothetically offers a sequential switching mechanism within the diverging stem cell lineages of development.
A rapid and efficient method for primary culture of human adipose-derived stem cells
Adipose tissue contains some populations, adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) which can differentiate into adipogenic, chondrogenic, osteogenic, myogenic, and endothelial cells. Furthermore, adipose tissue can be easily obtained in large quantities through a simple liposuction. ADSCs are thought to be an alternate source of autologous adult stem cells for cell-based therapy. However, it is time-consuming and inefficient to harvest ADSCs by using a traditional collagenase-digestion method. To meet the demand of large quantities of ADSCs in the basic and applied research of regenerative medicine, we developed a rapid and efficient method for isolation and culture of primary ADSCs. The results indicated that the ADSCs obtained with our method possessed strong abilities of proliferation and colony formation in vitro, and could keep low level of cell senescence with stable population doubling during long-term culture in vitro. Furthermore, these harvested ADSCs were capable to differentiate into osteogenic and adipogenic lineages in the specific induction medium. In addition, the results of flow cytometry analysis indicated that these ADSCs could positively express multiple CD markers, such as CD44, CD105, CD29, CD90, and CD13, and hardly expressed CD31, CD34, CD45, and CD106, which was homologous to the mesenchymal stem cells. Therefore, the ADSCs isolated with our method are consistent with previously reported characteristics of the ADSCs. This new method that we established in this study is an efficient tool to isolate and culture the stem cells from adipose tissue.
Adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells on RGD nanopatterns of varied nanospacings
The present report is an extension of our preceding publication in Biomaterials (2013) entitled “Effect of RGD nanospacing on differentiation of stem cells.” Cell-adhesive peptide arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) was nanopatterned on a non-fouling poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogel, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from rat bone marrow were cultured on the patterned surfaces at nanospacings from 37 to 124 nm. Cell adhesion parameters such as spreading areas varied with RGD nanospacings significantly. The differences were well observed at both the first and eighth days, which confirmed the persistence of this nanospacing effect on our nanopatterns. The proliferation rate also varied with the nanospacings. Osteogenic and adipogenic inductions were undertaken, and a significant influence of RGD nanospacing on stem cell differentiation was found. The effect on differentiation cannot be simply interpreted by differences in cell adhesion and proliferation. We further calculated the fractions of single, coupled, and multiple cells on those nanopatterns, and ruled out the possibility that the extent of cell-cell contact determined the different differentiation fractions. Accordingly, we reinforced the idea that RGD nanospacing might directly influence stem cell differentiation.