Tim Schneider

Selective EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) Deletion in Myeloid Cells Limits

To determine the consequences of specific inhibition of EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) in myeloid cells in atherosclerosis development.

Selective EGF-Receptor Inhibition in CD4 T Cells Induces Anergy and Limits Atherosclerosis.

Several epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors have been successfully developed for the treatment of cancer, limiting tumor growth and metastasis. EGFR is also expressed by leukocytes, but little is known about its role in the modulation of the immune response.

Dual PD1/LAG3 immune checkpoint blockade limits tumor development in a murine model of chronic

A novel role for myeloid endothelin-B receptors in hypertension.

Hypertension is common. Recent data suggest that macrophages (Mφ) contribute to, and protect from, hypertension. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is the most potent endogenous vasoconstrictor with additional pro-inflammatory properties. We investigated the role of the ET system in experimental and clinical hypertension by modifying Mφ number and phenotype.

Purification of Leukemia-Derived Exosomes to Study Microenvironment Modulation.

Exosomes are membrane-enclosed vesicles released by different cell types into the extracellular space. As mediators of intercellular communication, they are involved in multiple physiological processes, but they are also associated with the pathogenesis of human malignancies including leukemia. Isolation of exosomes enables the characterization of their role in microenvironment modulation as well as their participation in disease pathology. A variety of strategies and techniques exists to purify exosomes from many biological fluids (e.g., blood, urine, and saliva). Here, we describe the efficient production of large quantities of exosomes from leukemic cell lines by using CELLine bioreactors based on two-compartment technology, as well as their isolation and purification by combining differential centrifugation and ultracentrifugation through a density gradient (17% OptiPrep cushion). Thus, exosomes are appropriately prepared for characterization by western blotting to detect exosome markers or imaging flow cytometry (ImageStream), and for downstream analyses such as the internalization in microenvironmental cells by confocal imaging or flow cytometry, methods which are also described in this chapter.

The tetraspanin CD9 controls migration and proliferation of parietal epithelial cells and

The mechanisms driving the development of extracapillary lesions in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and crescentic glomerulonephritis (CGN) remain poorly understood. A key question is how parietal epithelial cells (PECs) invade glomerular capillaries, thereby promoting injury and kidney failure. Here we show that expression of the tetraspanin CD9 increases markedly in PECs in mouse models of CGN and FSGS, and in kidneys from individuals diagnosed with these diseases. Cd9 gene targeting in PECs prevents glomerular damage in CGN and FSGS mouse models. Mechanistically, CD9 deficiency prevents the oriented migration of PECs into the glomerular tuft and their acquisition of CD44 and β1 integrin expression. These findings highlight a critical role for de novo expression of CD9 as a common pathogenic switch driving the PEC phenotype in CGN and FSGS, while offering a potential therapeutic avenue to treat these conditions.

Intra-Cardiac Release of Extracellular Vesicles Shapes Inflammation Following Myocardial

A rapid and massive influx of inflammatory cells occurs into ischemic area after myocardial infarction (MI), resulting in local release of cytokines and growth factors. Yet, the mechanisms regulating their production are not fully explored. The release of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the interstitial space curbs important biological functions, including inflammation, and influences the development of cardiovascular diseases. To date, there is no evidence for in situ release of cardiac EVs after MI.

Actin Cytoskeleton Remodeling Drives Breast Cancer Cell Escape from Natural Killer-Mediated

Elucidation of the underlying molecular mechanisms of immune evasion in cancer is critical for the development of immunotherapies aimed to restore and stimulate effective antitumor immunity. Here, we evaluate the role of the actin cytoskeleton in breast cancer cell resistance to cytotoxic natural killer (NK) cells. A significant fraction of breast cancer cells responded to NK-cell attack via a surprisingly rapid and massive accumulation of F-actin near the immunologic synapse, a process we termed “actin response.” Live-cell imaging provided direct evidence that the actin response is associated with tumor cell resistance to NK-cell-mediated cell death. High-throughput imaging flow cytometry analyses showed that breast cancer cell lines highly resistant to NK cells were significantly enriched in actin response-competent cells as compared with susceptible cell lines. The actin response was not associated with a defect in NK-cell activation but correlated with reduced intracellular levels of the cytotoxic protease granzyme B and a lower rate of apoptosis in target cells. Inhibition of the actin response by knocking down CDC42 or N-WASP led to a significant increase in granzyme B levels in target cells and was sufficient to convert resistant breast cancer cell lines into a highly susceptible phenotype. The actin response and its protective effects were fully recapitulated using donor-derived primary NK cells as effector cells. Together, these findings establish the pivotal role of actin remodeling in breast cancer cell resistance to NK-cell-mediated killing. These findings establish the pivotal role of the actin cytoskeleton in driving breast cancer cell resistance to natural killer cells, a subset of cytotoxic lymphocytes with important roles in innate antitumor immunity. .

Treprostinil treatment decreases circulating platelet microvesicles and their procoagulant activity

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) results from pulmonary vascular disease and may eventually lead to right heart failure and death. Vasodilator therapy has greatly improved PAH prognosis. Circulating microvesicles are considered as surrogate markers of endothelial and hematopoietic cell activation.

Human Endothelial Colony Forming Cells Express Intracellular CD133 that Modulates their

Stem cells at the origin of endothelial progenitor cells and in particular endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) subtype have been largely supposed to be positive for the CD133 antigen, even though no clear correlation has been established between its expression and function in ECFCs. We postulated that CD133 in ECFCs might be expressed intracellularly, and could participate to vasculogenic properties. ECFCs extracted from cord blood were used either fresh (n = 4) or frozen (n = 4), at culture days <30, to investigate the intracellular presence of CD133 by flow cytometry and confocal analysis. Comparison with HUVEC and HAEC mature endothelial cells was carried out. Then, CD133 was silenced in ECFCs using specific siRNA (siCD133-ECFCs) or scramble siRNA (siCtrl-ECFCs). siCD133-ECFCs (n = 12), siCtrl-ECFCs (n = 12) or PBS (n = 12) were injected in a hind-limb ischemia nude mouse model and vascularization was quantified at day 14 with H&E staining and immunohistochemistry for CD31. Results of flow cytometry and confocal microscopy evidenced the positivity of CD133 in ECFCs after permeabilization compared with not permeabilized ECFCs (p < 0.001) and mature endothelial cells (p < 0.03). In the model of mouse hind-limb ischemia, silencing of CD133 in ECFCs significantly abolished post-ischemic revascularization induced by siCtrl-ECFCs; indeed, a significant reduction in cutaneous blood flows (p = 0.03), capillary density (CD31) (p = 0.01) and myofiber regeneration (p = 0.04) was observed. Also, a significant necrosis (p = 0.02) was observed in mice receiving siCD133-ECFCs compared to those treated with siCtrl-ECFCs. In conclusion, our work describes for the first time the intracellular expression of the stemness marker CD133 in ECFCs. This feature could resume the discrepancies found in the literature concerning CD133 positivity and ontogeny in endothelial progenitors.

Co-injection of mesenchymal stem cells with endothelial progenitor cells accelerates muscle

Endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) are progenitor cells committed to endothelial lineages and have robust vasculogenic properties. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been described to support ECFC-mediated angiogenic processes in various matrices. However, MSC-ECFC interactions in hind limb ischemia (HLI) are largely unknown. Here we examined whether co-administration of ECFCs and MSCs bolsters vasculogenic activity in nude mice with HLI. In addition, as we have previously shown that endoglin is a key adhesion molecule, we evaluated its involvement in ECFC/MSC interaction. Foot perfusion increased on day 7 after ECFC injection and was even better at 14 days. Co-administration of MSCs significantly increased vessel density and foot perfusion on day 7 but the differences were no longer significant at day 14. Analysis of mouse and human CD31, and in situ hybridization of the human ALU sequence, showed enhanced capillary density in ECFC+MSC mice. When ECFCs were silenced for endoglin, coinjection with MSCs led to lower vessel density and foot perfusion at both 7 and 14 days (p<0.001). Endoglin silencing in ECFCs did not affect MSC differentiation into perivascular cells or other mesenchymal lineages. Endoglin silencing markedly inhibited ECFC adhesion to MSCs. Thus, MSCs, when combined with ECFCs, accelerate muscle recovery in a mouse model of hind limb ischemia, through an endoglin-dependent mechanism.

Egfl7 Represses the Vasculogenic Potential of Human Endothelial Progenitor Cells.

Egfl7 (VE-statin) is a secreted protein mostly specific to the endothelial lineage during development and in the adult and which expression is enhanced during angiogenesis. Egfl7 involvement in human postnatal vasculogenesis remains unresolved yet. Our aim was to assess Egfl7 expression in several angiogenic cell types originating from human bone marrow, peripheral blood, or cord blood. We found that only endothelial colony forming cells (ECFC), which are currently considered as the genuine endothelial precursor cells, expressed large amounts of Egfl7. In order to assess its potential roles in ECFC, Egfl7 was repressed in ECFC by RNA interference and ECFC angiogenic capacities were tested in vitro and in vivo. Cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration were significantly improved when Egfl7 was repressed in ECFC in vitro, whereas miR-126-3p levels remained unchanged. In vivo, repression of Egfl7 in ECFC significantly improved post-ischemic revascularization in a model of mouse hind-limb ischemia. In conclusion, ECFC are the sole postnatal angiogenic cells which express large amounts of Egfl7 and whose angiogenic properties are repressed by this factor. Thus, Egfl7 inhibition may be considered as a therapeutic option to improve ECFC-mediated postnatal vasculogenesis and to optimize in vitro ECFC expansion in order to develop an optimized cell therapy approach.

Targeting autophagy inhibits melanoma growth by enhancing NK cells infiltration in a CCL5-dependent

While blocking tumor growth by targeting autophagy is well established, its role on the infiltration of natural killer (NK) cells into tumors remains unknown. Here, we investigate the impact of targeting autophagy gene Beclin1 () on the infiltration of NK cells into melanomas. We show that, in addition to inhibiting tumor growth, targeting increased the infiltration of functional NK cells into melanoma tumors. We provide evidence that driving NK cells to the tumor bed relied on the ability of autophagy-defective tumors to transcriptionally overexpress the chemokine gene Such infiltration and tumor regression were abrogated by silencing CCL5 in BECN1-defective tumors. Mechanistically, we show that the up-regulated expression of CCL5 occurred through the activation of its transcription factor c-Jun by a mechanism involving the impairment of phosphatase PP2A catalytic activity and the subsequent activation of JNK. Similar to , targeting other autophagy genes, such as , /, or inhibiting autophagy pharmacologically by chloroquine, also induced the expression of in melanoma cells. Clinically, a positive correlation between CCL5 and NK cell marker NKp46 expression was found in melanoma patients, and a high expression level of CCL5 was correlated with a significant improvement of melanoma patients’ survival. We believe that this study highlights the impact of targeting autophagy on the tumor infiltration by NK cells and its benefit as a novel therapeutic approach to improve NK-based immunotherapy.

Endothelial Microparticles are Associated to Pathogenesis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating disease characterized by obliteration of alveolar architecture, resulting in declining lung function and ultimately death. Pathogenic mechanisms remain unclear but involve a concomitant accumulation of scar tissue together with myofibroblasts activation. Microparticles (MPs) have been investigated in several human lung diseases as possible pathogenic elements, prognosis markers and therapeutic targets. We postulated that levels and cellular origins of circulating MPs might serve as biomarkers in IPF patients and/or as active players of fibrogenesis. Flow cytometry analysis showed a higher level of Annexin-V positive endothelial and platelet MPs in 41 IPF patients compared to 22 healthy volunteers. Moreover, in IPF patients with a low diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DL<40%), endothelial MPs (EMPs) were found significantly higher compared to those with DL>40% (p = 0.02). We then used EMPs isolated from endothelial progenitor cells (ECFCs) extracted from IPF patients or controls to modulate normal human lung fibroblast (NHLF) properties. We showed that EMPs did not modify proliferation, collagen deposition and myofibroblast transdifferentiation. However, EMPs from IPF patients stimulated migration capacity of NHLF. We hypothesized that this effect could result from EMPs fibrinolytic properties and found indeed higher plasminogen activation potential in total circulating MPs and ECFCs derived MPs issued from IPF patients compared to those isolated from healthy controls MPs. Our study showed that IPF is associated with an increased level of EMPs in the most severe patients, highlighting an active process of endothelial activation in the latter. Endothelial microparticles might contribute to the lung fibroblast invasion mediated, at least in part, by a fibrinolytic activity.

Very Small Embryonic-like Stem Cells Are Mobilized in Human Peripheral Blood during Hypoxemic COPD

Very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) are major pluripotent stem cells involved in vascular and tissue regeneration and constitute a recruitable pool of stem/progenitor cells with putative instrumental role in organ repair. Here, we hypothesized that VSELs might be mobilized from the bone marrow (BM) to peripheral blood (PB) in patients with hypoxic lung disease or pulmonary hypertension (PH). The objective of the present study was then to investigate the changes in VSELs number in peripheral blood of patients with hypoxic lung disease and PH. We enrolled 26 patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) with or without hypoxemia, 13 patients with PH and 20 controls without any respiratory or cardiovascular diseases. In PH patients, VSELs levels have been determined during right heart catheterization in pulmonary blood and PB. For this purpose, mononuclear cells were separated by density gradient and VSELs have been quantified by using a multiparametric flow cytometry approach. The number of PB-VSELs in hypoxic COPD patients was significantly increased compared with non-hypoxic COPD patients or controls (p = 0.0055). In patients with PH, we did not find any difference in VSELs numbers between arterial pulmonary blood and venous PB (p = 0.93). However, we found an increase in VSELs in the peripheral blood of patients with PH (p = 0.03). In conclusion, we unraveled that circulating VSELs were increased in peripheral blood of patients with hypoxic COPD or with PH. Thus, VSELs may serve as a reservoir of pluripotent stem cells that can be recruited into PB and may play an important role in promoting lung repair.

Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell-loaded fibrin patches act as a reservoir of paracrine

The combination of mesenchymal stem cells and tissue-engineered fibrin patches improves the therapeutic efficacy of stem cells. In vivo cardiac magnetic resonance (4.7 Tesla) and ex vivo high-spatial resolution CMR were used to track the fate of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (BMSC) delivered on an epicardial scaffold and more specifically assess their potential intramyocardial migration. Fifty-seven nude rats underwent permanent coronary artery ligation. Two months later, those with a left ventricular ejection fraction ≤55% were randomly allocated to receive a patch loaded with human BMSC (BMSC-P, n = 10), a patch loaded with BMSCs labelled with iron oxide nanoparticles (BMSC*-P, n = 12), an acellular patch (A-P, n = 8) or to serve as sham-operated animals (SHAM, n = 7). BMSC secretion of cytokines and growth factors was evaluated with flow-cytometry. Cardiac functional parameters of cell-treated groups (BMSC*-P and BMSC-P) yielded significantly better outcomes than the SHAM group (p = 0.044 and p = 0.026, respectively, for ejection fraction). Angiogenesis was higher in the cell-patch than in control groups (e.g. BMSC*P vs. SHAM: p = 0.007). No BMSCs were identified into the myocardium on cardiac magnetic resonance or histological sections, although persisting BMSCs were identified on the epicardial surface 21 days post-transplantation in 10% of rats hearts (Lamin A/C and CD90 positive). Cytokine and growth factor profiling demonstrated an increase in their release by cells seeded in patches. The absence of stem cell migration into the myocardium and the persistence of stem cells on the epicardial surface suggest that fibrin patches are likely to act predominantly as reservoirs of paracrine factors. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Optimisation of imaging flow cytometry for the analysis of single extracellular vesicles by using

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) mediate targeted cellular interactions in normal and pathophysiological conditions and are increasingly recognised as potential biomarkers, therapeutic agents and drug delivery vehicles. Based on their size and biogenesis, EVs are classified as exosomes, microvesicles and apoptotic bodies. Due to overlapping size ranges and the lack of specific markers, these classes cannot yet be distinguished experimentally. Currently, it is a major challenge in the field to define robust and sensitive technological platforms being suitable to resolve EV heterogeneity, especially for small EVs (sEVs) with diameters below 200 nm, i.e. smaller microvesicles and exosomes. Most conventional flow cytometers are not suitable for the detection of particles being smaller than 300 nm, and the poor availability of defined reference materials hampers the validation of sEV analysis protocols. Following initial reports that imaging flow cytometry (IFCM) can be used for the characterisation of larger EVs, we aimed to investigate its usability for the characterisation of sEVs. This study set out to identify optimal sample preparation and instrument settings that would demonstrate the utility of this technology for the detection of single sEVs. By using CD63eGFP-labelled sEVs as a biological reference material, we were able to define and optimise IFCM acquisition and analysis parameters on an Amnis ImageStreamX MkII instrument for the detection of single sEVs. In addition, using antibody-labelling approaches, we show that IFCM facilitates robust detection of different EV and sEV subpopulations in isolated EVs, as well as unprocessed EV-containing samples. Our results indicate that fluorescently labelled sEVs as biological reference material are highly useful for the optimisation of fluorescence-based methods for sEV analysis. Finally, we propose that IFCM will help to significantly increase our ability to assess EV heterogeneity in a rigorous and reproducible manner, and facilitate the identification of specific subsets of sEVs as useful biomarkers in various diseases.

Human very Small Embryonic-like Cells Support Vascular Maturation and Therapeutic Revascularization

Very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) are major pluripotent stem cells defined as cells of small size being Lineage- negative, CD133-positive, and CD45-negative. We previously described that human bone marrow VSELs were able to differentiate into endothelial cells and promoted post-ischemic revascularization in mice with surgically induced critical limb ischemia. In the present work, we isolated bone marrow VSELs from patients with critical limb ischemia and studied their ability to support endothelial progenitor cells therapeutic capacity and revascularization potential. Sorted bone marrow VSELs cultured in angiogenic media were co-injected with endothelial progenitor cells and have been show to trigger post-ischemic revascularization in immunodeficient mice, and support vessel formation in vivo in Matrigel implants better than human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. In conclusion, VSELs are a potential new source of therapeutic cells that may give rise to cells of the endothelial and perivascular lineage in humans. VSELs are the first real vasculogenic stem cells able to differentiate in endothelial and perivascular lineage in human adult described from now. Thus, because VSELs presence have been proposed in adult tissues, we think that VSELs are CD45 negative stem cells able to give rise to vascular regeneration in human tissues and vessels.

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