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1.
Front Bioeng Biotechnol ; 10: 845360, 2022.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35237587

The liver is the most important metabolic hub of endo and xenobiotic compounds. Pre-clinical studies using rodents to evaluate the toxicity of new drugs and cosmetics may produce inconclusive results for predicting clinical outcomes in humans, moreover being banned in the European Union. Human liver modeling using primary hepatocytes presents low reproducibility due to batch-to-batch variability, while iPSC-derived hepatocytes in monolayer cultures (2D) show reduced cellular functionality. Here we review the current status of the two most robust in vitro approaches in improving hepatocyte phenotype and metabolism while mimicking the hepatic physiological microenvironment: organoids and liver-on-chip. Both technologies are reviewed in design and manufacturing techniques, following cellular composition and functionality. Furthermore, drug screening and liver diseases modeling efficiencies are summarized. Finally, organoid and liver-on-chip technologies are compared regarding advantages and limitations, aiming to guide the selection of appropriate models for translational research and the development of such technologies.

2.
J Bras Pneumol ; 47(4): e20200452, 2021.
Article En, Pt | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34378644

OBJECTIVE: The shortage of viable lungs is still a major obstacle for transplantation. Trauma victims who represent potential lung donors commonly present hypovolemic shock leading to pulmonary inflammation and deterioration and rejection after transplantation. Seeking to improve lung graft, new approaches to donor treatment have been tested. This study focuses on treatment with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or soluble factors produced by MSCs (FS-MSC) using a rat model for lung donors after hemorrhagic shock. METHODS: Forty-eight rats were divided into four groups: Sham (n=12), animals without induction of hypovolemic shock; Shock (n=12), animals submitted to hypovolemic shock (mean arterial pressure 40 mmHg); MSC (n=12), animals submitted to hypovolemic shock and treated with MSCs, and FS (n=12), animals submitted to hypovolemic shock and treated with FS-MSC. The animals were subjected to a 50-minute hypovolemic shock (40 mmHg) procedure. The treated animals were monitored for 115 minutes. We performed histopathology of lung tissue and quantification of inflammatory markers (TNF-α, IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-10, iCAM and vCAM) in lung tissue and peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs). RESULTS: Hemorrhagic shock resulted in higher PBLs and neutrophil infiltrate in the lungs. FS animals had lower neutrophil density comparing with Shock and MSC animals (p<0.001). No differences in the cytokine levels in lung tissue were observed between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: The lungs of rats submitted to hemorrhagic shock and treated with FS-MSC showed reduced inflammation indicated in a decrease in lung neutrophil infiltrate.


OBJETIVO: A escassez de pulmões viáveis ainda é um grande obstáculo para o transplante. As vítimas de trauma, que constituem potenciais doadores de pulmão, comumente apresentam choque hipovolêmico que acarreta inflamação e deterioração pulmonar e rejeição após o transplante. Buscando melhorar o enxerto pulmonar, testaram-se novas abordagens ao tratamento do doador. Este estudo foca o tratamento com células-tronco mesenquimais (CTMs) ou fatores solúveis produzidos pelas CTMs (FS-CTMs), usando um modelo com ratos para doadores de pulmão após choque hemorrágico. MÉTODOS: Quarenta e oito ratos foram divididos em quatro grupos: Controle (n=12), animais sem indução de choque hipovolêmico; Choque (n=12), animais submetidos a choque hipovolêmico (pressão arterial média de 40 mmHg); CTM (n=12), animais submetidos a choque hipovolêmico e tratados com CTMs; e FS (n=12), animais submetidos a choque hipovolêmico e tratados com FS-CTMs. Os animais foram submetidos a um procedimento de choque hipovolêmico (40 mmHg) com 50 minutos de duração. Os animais tratados foram monitorados por 115 minutos. Realizamos análise histopatológica do tecido pulmonar e quantificação dos marcadores inflamatórios (TNF-α, IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-10, iCAM e vCAM) no tecido pulmonar e leucócitos no sangue periférico (LSPs). RESULTADOS: O choque hemorrágico resultou em taxas mais altas de LSPs e infiltrado de neutrófilos nos pulmões. Os animais do grupo FS apresentaram menor densidade de neutrófilos em comparação com os animais dos grupos Choque e CTM (p<0,001). Não foram observadas diferenças entre os grupos quanto aos níveis de citocinas no tecido pulmonar. CONCLUSÃO: Os pulmões dos ratos submetidos a choque hemorrágico e tratados com FS-CTM apresentaram inflamação reduzida indicada por uma diminuição do infiltrado de neutrófilos nos pulmões.


Lung Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells , Shock, Hemorrhagic , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Inflammation , Lung , Rats , Shock, Hemorrhagic/therapy
3.
Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol ; 45(3): 101684, 2021 May.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33852955

BACKGROUND: Hepatoblastoma (HB) is a rare embryonal liver tumor of children. Although intrinsic biological differences between tumors can affect prognosis, few groups have studied these differences. Given the recent increased attention to epigenetic mechanisms in the genesis and progression of these tumors, we aimed to classify HB samples according to the stages of liver development and DNA methylation machinery. BASIC PROCEDURES: We evaluated the expression of 24 genes associated with DNA methylation and stages of hepatocyte differentiation and global DNA methylation. Using bioinformatics tools and expression data, we propose a stratification model for HB. MAIN FINDINGS: Tumors clustered into three groups that presented specific gene expression profiles of the panel of DNA methylation enzymes and hepatocyte differentiation markers. In addition to reinforcing these embryonal tumors' molecular heterogeneity, we propose that a panel of 13 genes can stratify HBs (TET1, TET2, TET3, DNMT1, DNMT3A, UHRF1, ALB, CYP3A4, TDO2, UGT1A1, AFP, HNF4A, and FOXA2). DNA methylation machinery participates in the characterization of HBs, directly reflected in diverse DNA methylation content. The data suggested that a subset of HBs were similar to differentiated livers, with upregulation of mature hepatocyte markers, decreased expression of DNA methylation enzymes, and higher global methylation levels; these findings might predict worse outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: HBs are heterogeneous tumors. Despite using a small cohort of 21 HB samples, our findings reinforce that DNA methylation is a robust biomarker for this tumor type.


Hepatoblastoma , Liver Neoplasms , CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins , DNA Methylation , Epigenesis, Genetic , Hepatoblastoma/genetics , Humans , Liver Neoplasms/genetics , Mixed Function Oxygenases , Prognosis , Proto-Oncogene Proteins , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
4.
Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl ; 121: 111862, 2021 Feb.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33579511

Liver transplantation from compatible donors has been the main therapy available for patients with irreversible hepatic injuries. Due to the increasing shortage of organs suitable for transplantation, tissue engineering technologies are important alternatives or surrogate approaches for the future of human organ transplantations. New bioengineering tools have been designed to produce decellularized organs (i.e. scaffolds) which could be recellularized with human cells. Specifically, there is an unmet need for developing reproducible protocols for inducing better cellular spreading in decellularized liver scaffolds. The aim of the present work was to investigate the possibility to improve liver scaffold recellularization by pre-coating decellularized tissue scaffolds with HepG2-conditioned medium (CM). Furthermore, we evaluated the capability of commercial human liver cells (HepG2) to adhere to several types of extracellular matrices (ECM) as well as CM components. Wistar rat livers were decellularized and analyzed by histology, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), immunohistochemistry and residual DNA-content analysis. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)-derived mesenchymal cells (hiMSCs), and human commercial hepatic (HepG2) and endothelial (HAEC) cells were used for liver scaffold recellularization with or without CM pre-coating. Recellularization occurred for up to 5 weeks. Hepatic tissues and CM were analyzed by proteomic assays. We show that integrity and anatomical organization of the hepatic ECM were maintained after decellularization, and proteomic analysis suggested that pre-coating with CM enriched the decellularized liver ECM. Pre-coating with HepG2-CM highly improved liver recellularization and revealed the positive effects of liver ECM and CM components association.


Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells , Proteomics , Animals , Culture Media, Conditioned/pharmacology , Extracellular Matrix , Humans , Liver , Rats , Rats, Wistar , Tissue Engineering , Tissue Scaffolds
5.
Curr Neuropharmacol ; 19(6): 813-831, 2021.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32933463

Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurologic disorder in the world, affecting 1-2% of the population. Besides, 30% of epilepsy patients are drug-resistant. Genomic mutations seem to play a key role in its etiology and knowledge of strong effect mutations in protein structures might improve prediction and the development of efficacious drugs to treat epilepsy. Several genetic association studies have been undertaken to examine the effect of a range of candidate genes for resistance. Although, few studies have explored the effect of the mutations into protein structure and biophysics in the epilepsy field. Much work remains to be done, but the plans made for exciting developments will hold therapeutic potential for patients with drug-resistance. In summary, we provide a critical review of the perspectives for the development of individualized medicine for epilepsy based on genetic polymorphisms/mutations in light of core elements such as transcriptomics, structural biology, disease model, pharmacogenomics and pharmacokinetics in a manner to improve the success of trial designs of antiepileptic drugs.


Epilepsy , Precision Medicine , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Epilepsy/drug therapy , Epilepsy/genetics , Humans , Mutation/genetics , Pharmacogenetics
6.
Mol Psychiatry ; 26(7): 3558-3571, 2021 07.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32839513

A homozygous mutation in the inositol monophosphatase 1 (IMPA1) gene was recently identified in nine individuals with severe intellectual disability (ID) and disruptive behavior. These individuals belong to the same family from Northeastern Brazil, which has 28 consanguineous marriages and 59 genotyped family members. IMPA1 is responsible for the generation of free inositol from de novo biosynthesis and recycling from inositol polyphosphates and participates in the phosphatidylinositol signaling pathway. To understand the role of IMPA1 deficiency in ID, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients and neurotypical controls and differentiated these into hippocampal dentate gyrus-like neurons and astrocytes. IMPA1-deficient neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs) revealed substantial deficits in proliferation and neurogenic potential. At low passage NPCs (P1 to P3), we observed cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, progressive change to a glial morphology and reduction in neuronal differentiation. These observations were validated by rescuing the phenotype with myo-inositol supplemented media during differentiation of patient-derived iPSCs into neurons and by the reduction of neurogenic potential in control NPCs-expressing shIMPA1. Transcriptome analysis showed that NPCs and neurons derived from ID patients have extensive deregulation of gene expression affecting pathways necessary for neurogenesis and upregulation of gliogenic genes. IMPA1 deficiency did not affect cell cycle progression or survival in iPSCs and glial progenitor cells or astrocyte differentiation. Therefore, this study shows that the IMPA1 mutation specifically affects NPC survival and neuronal differentiation.


Intellectual Disability , Neurogenesis , Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases , Cell Differentiation/genetics , Humans , Intellectual Disability/genetics , Mutation , Neurogenesis/genetics , Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases/genetics
7.
J. bras. pneumol ; 47(4): e20200452, 2021. graf
Article Pt | LILACS | ID: biblio-1286955

RESUMO Objetivo A escassez de pulmões viáveis ainda é um grande obstáculo para o transplante. As vítimas de trauma, que constituem potenciais doadores de pulmão, comumente apresentam choque hipovolêmico que acarreta inflamação e deterioração pulmonar e rejeição após o transplante. Buscando melhorar o enxerto pulmonar, testaram-se novas abordagens ao tratamento do doador. Este estudo foca o tratamento com células-tronco mesenquimais (CTMs) ou fatores solúveis produzidos pelas CTMs (FS-CTMs), usando um modelo com ratos para doadores de pulmão após choque hemorrágico. Métodos Quarenta e oito ratos foram divididos em quatro grupos: Controle (n=12), animais sem indução de choque hipovolêmico; Choque (n=12), animais submetidos a choque hipovolêmico (pressão arterial média de 40 mmHg); CTM (n=12), animais submetidos a choque hipovolêmico e tratados com CTMs; e FS (n=12), animais submetidos a choque hipovolêmico e tratados com FS-CTMs. Os animais foram submetidos a um procedimento de choque hipovolêmico (40 mmHg) com 50 minutos de duração. Os animais tratados foram monitorados por 115 minutos. Realizamos análise histopatológica do tecido pulmonar e quantificação dos marcadores inflamatórios (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, iCAM e vCAM) no tecido pulmonar e leucócitos no sangue periférico (LSPs). Resultados O choque hemorrágico resultou em taxas mais altas de LSPs e infiltrado de neutrófilos nos pulmões. Os animais do grupo FS apresentaram menor densidade de neutrófilos em comparação com os animais dos grupos Choque e CTM (p<0,001). Não foram observadas diferenças entre os grupos quanto aos níveis de citocinas no tecido pulmonar. Conclusão Os pulmões dos ratos submetidos a choque hemorrágico e tratados com FS-CTM apresentaram inflamação reduzida indicada por uma diminuição do infiltrado de neutrófilos nos pulmões.


ABSTRACT Objective The shortage of viable lungs is still a major obstacle for transplantation. Trauma victims who represent potential lung donors commonly present hypovolemic shock leading to pulmonary inflammation and deterioration and rejection after transplantation. Seeking to improve lung graft, new approaches to donor treatment have been tested. This study focuses on treatment with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or soluble factors produced by MSCs (FS-MSC) using a rat model for lung donors after hemorrhagic shock. Methods Forty-eight rats were divided into four groups: Sham (n=12), animals without induction of hypovolemic shock; Shock (n=12), animals submitted to hypovolemic shock (mean arterial pressure 40 mmHg); MSC (n=12), animals submitted to hypovolemic shock and treated with MSCs, and FS (n=12), animals submitted to hypovolemic shock and treated with FS-MSC. The animals were subjected to a 50-minute hypovolemic shock (40 mmHg) procedure. The treated animals were monitored for 115 minutes. We performed histopathology of lung tissue and quantification of inflammatory markers (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, iCAM and vCAM) in lung tissue and peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs). Results Hemorrhagic shock resulted in higher PBLs and neutrophil infiltrate in the lungs. FS animals had lower neutrophil density comparing with Shock and MSC animals (p<0.001). No differences in the cytokine levels in lung tissue were observed between the groups. Conclusions The lungs of rats submitted to hemorrhagic shock and treated with FS-MSC showed reduced inflammation indicated in a decrease in lung neutrophil infiltrate.


Animals , Rats , Shock, Hemorrhagic/therapy , Lung Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells , Disease Models, Animal , Inflammation , Lung
8.
Tumour Biol ; 42(12): 1010428320977124, 2020 Dec.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33256542

Hepatoblastomas exhibit the lowest mutational burden among pediatric tumors. We previously showed that epigenetic disruption is crucial for hepatoblastoma carcinogenesis. Our data revealed hypermethylation of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase, a highly expressed gene in adipocytes and hepatocytes. The expression pattern and the role of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase in pediatric liver tumors have not yet been explored, and this study aimed to evaluate the effect of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase hypermethylation in hepatoblastomas. We evaluated 45 hepatoblastomas and 26 non-tumoral liver samples. We examined in hepatoblastomas if the observed nicotinamide N-methyltransferase promoter hypermethylation could lead to dysregulation of expression by measuring mRNA and protein levels by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot assays. The potential impact of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase changes was evaluated on the metabolic profile by high-resolution magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Significant nicotinamide N-methyltransferase downregulation was revealed in hepatoblastomas, with two orders of magnitude lower nicotinamide N-methyltransferase expression in tumor samples and hepatoblastoma cell lines than in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. A specific TSS1500 CpG site (cg02094283) of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase was hypermethylated in tumors, with an inverse correlation between its methylation level and nicotinamide N-methyltransferase expression. A marked global reduction of the nicotinamide N-methyltransferase protein was validated in tumors, with strong correlation between gene and protein expression. Of note, higher nicotinamide N-methyltransferase expression was statistically associated with late hepatoblastoma diagnosis, a known clinical variable of worse prognosis. In addition, untargeted metabolomics analysis detected aberrant lipid metabolism in hepatoblastomas. Data presented here showed the first evidence that nicotinamide N-methyltransferase reduction occurs in hepatoblastomas, providing further support that the nicotinamide N-methyltransferase downregulation is a wide phenomenon in liver cancer. Furthermore, this study unraveled the role of DNA methylation in the regulation of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase expression in hepatoblastomas, in addition to evaluate the potential effect of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase reduction in the metabolism of these tumors. These preliminary findings also suggested that nicotinamide N-methyltransferase level may be a potential prognostic biomarker for hepatoblastoma.


DNA Methylation , Down-Regulation , Hepatoblastoma/genetics , Liver Neoplasms/genetics , Nicotinamide N-Methyltransferase/genetics , Promoter Regions, Genetic/genetics , Adolescent , Cell Line, Tumor , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic , Hep G2 Cells , Hepatoblastoma/metabolism , Hepatoblastoma/pathology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Liver/metabolism , Liver/pathology , Liver Neoplasms/metabolism , Liver Neoplasms/pathology , Male , Metabolomics/methods , Nicotinamide N-Methyltransferase/metabolism
9.
SAGE Open Med ; 8: 2050312120966456, 2020.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33149912

OBJECTIVES: To establish a straightforward single-cell passaging cultivation method that enables high-quality maintenance of human induced pluripotent stem cells without the appearance of karyotypic abnormalities or loss of pluripotency. METHODS: Cells were kept in culture for over 50 passages, following a structured chronogram of passage and monitoring cell growth by population doubling time calculation and cell confluence. Standard procedures for human induced pluripotent stem cells monitoring as embryonic body formation, karyotyping and pluripotency markers expression were evaluated in order to assess the cellular state in long-term culture. Cells that underwent these tests were then subjected to differentiation into keratinocytes, cardiomyocytes and definitive endoderm to evaluate its differentiation capacity. RESULTS: Human induced pluripotent stem cells clones maintained its pluripotent capability as well as chromosomal integrity and were able to generate derivatives from the three germ layers at high passages by embryoid body formation and high-efficient direct differentiation into keratinocytes, cardiomyocytes and definitive endoderm. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the routine of human induced pluripotent stem cells single-cell passaging as a reliable procedure even after long-term cultivation, providing healthy human induced pluripotent stem cells to be used in drug discovery, toxicity, and disease modeling as well as for therapeutic approaches.

10.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 14(8): e0008424, 2020 08.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32745093

Zika virus (ZIKV) causes congenital Zika syndrome (CZS), which is characterized by fetal demise, microcephaly and other abnormalities. ZIKV in the pregnant woman circulation must cross the placental barrier that includes fetal endothelial cells and trophoblasts, in order to reach the fetus. CZS occurs in ~1-40% of cases of pregnant women infected by ZIKV, suggesting that mothers' infection by ZIKV during pregnancy is not deterministic for CZS phenotype in the fetus. Therefore, other susceptibility factors might be involved, including the host genetic background. We have previously shown that in three pairs of dizygotic twins discordant for CZS, neural progenitor cells (NPCs) from the CZS-affected twins presented differential in vitro ZIKV susceptibility compared with NPCs from the non-affected. Here, we analyzed human-induced-pluripotent-stem-cell-derived (hiPSC-derived) trophoblasts from these twins and compared by RNA-Seq the trophoblasts from CZS-affected and non-affected twins. Following in vitro exposure to a Brazilian ZIKV strain (ZIKVBR), trophoblasts from CZS-affected twins were significantly more susceptible to ZIKVBR infection when compared with trophoblasts from the non-affected. Transcriptome profiling revealed no differences in gene expression levels of ZIKV candidate attachment factors, IFN receptors and IFN in the trophoblasts, either before or after ZIKVBR infection. Most importantly, ZIKVBR infection caused, only in the trophoblasts from CZS-affected twins, the downregulation of genes related to extracellular matrix organization and to leukocyte activation, which are important for trophoblast adhesion and immune response activation. In addition, only trophoblasts from non-affected twins secreted significantly increased amounts of chemokines RANTES/CCL5 and IP10 after infection with ZIKVBR. Overall, our results showed that trophoblasts from non-affected twins have the ability to more efficiently activate genes that are known to play important roles in cell adhesion and in triggering the immune response to ZIKV infection in the placenta, and this may contribute to predict protection from ZIKV dissemination into fetuses' tissues.


Gene Expression , Trophoblasts/metabolism , Twins, Dizygotic , Zika Virus Infection/congenital , Chemokines/metabolism , Extracellular Matrix , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells , Infant , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/genetics , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Trophoblasts/virology , Zika Virus , Zika Virus Infection/genetics
11.
Stem Cell Reports ; 15(3): 776-788, 2020 09 08.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32857981

Neural crest cells (NCCs) contribute to several tissues during embryonic development. NCC formation depends on activation of tightly regulated molecular programs at the neural plate border (NPB) region, which initiate NCC specification and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Although several approaches to investigate NCCs have been devised, these early events of NCC formation remain largely unknown in humans, and currently available cellular models have not investigated EMT. Here, we report that the E6 neural induction protocol converts human induced pluripotent stem cells into NPB-like cells (NBCs), from which NCCs can be efficiently derived. NBC-to-NCC induction recapitulates gene expression dynamics associated with NCC specification and EMT, including downregulation of NPB factors and upregulation of NCC specifiers, coupled with other EMT-associated cell-state changes, such as cadherin modulation and activation of TWIST1 and other EMT inducers. This strategy will be useful in future basic or translational research focusing on these early steps of NCC formation.


Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition , Neural Crest/cytology , Neural Plate/cytology , Cell Line , Humans , Multipotent Stem Cells/cytology , Twist-Related Protein 1/metabolism , Up-Regulation
12.
Hum Mol Genet ; 29(9): 1465-1475, 2020 06 03.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32280986

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 8 (ALS8) is an autosomal dominant form of ALS, which is caused by pathogenic variants in the VAPB gene. Here we investigated five ALS8 patients, classified as 'severe' and 'mild' from a gigantic Brazilian kindred, carrying the same VAPB mutation but displaying different clinical courses. Copy number variation and whole exome sequencing analyses in such individuals ruled out previously described genetic modifiers of pathogenicity. After deriving induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for each patient (N = 5) and controls (N = 3), motor neurons were differentiated, and high-throughput RNA-Seq gene expression measurements were performed. Functional cell death and oxidative metabolism assays were also carried out in patients' iPSC-derived motor neurons. The degree of cell death and mitochondrial oxidative metabolism were similar in iPSC-derived motor neurons from mild patients and controls and were distinct from those of severe patients. Similar findings were obtained when RNA-Seq from such cells was performed. Overall, 43 genes were upregulated and 66 downregulated in the two mild ALS8 patients when compared with severe ALS8 individuals and controls. Interestingly, significantly enriched pathways found among differentially expressed genes, such as protein translation and protein targeting to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), are known to be associated with neurodegenerative processes. Taken together, the mitigating mechanisms here presented appear to maintain motor neuron survival by keeping translational activity and protein targeting to the ER in such cells. As ALS8 physiopathology has been associated with proteostasis mechanisms in ER-mitochondria contact sites, such differentially expressed genes appear to relate to the bypass of VAPB deficiency.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/genetics , Mitochondria/genetics , Nerve Degeneration/genetics , Vesicular Transport Proteins/genetics , Aged , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/metabolism , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/pathology , Cell Differentiation/genetics , Endoplasmic Reticulum/genetics , Female , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Mitochondria/metabolism , Motor Neurons/metabolism , Motor Neurons/pathology , Nerve Degeneration/pathology , Oxidative Stress/genetics , RNA-Seq , Vesicular Transport Proteins/deficiency
13.
Mol Ther ; 28(5): 1276-1286, 2020 05 06.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32220305

Malignant brain tumors are among the most aggressive cancers with poor prognosis and no effective treatment. Recently, we reported the oncolytic potential of Zika virus infecting and destroying the human central nervous system (CNS) tumors in vitro and in immunodeficient mice model. However, translating this approach to humans requires pre-clinical trials in another immunocompetent animal model. Here, we analyzed the safety of Brazilian Zika virus (ZIKVBR) intrathecal injections in three dogs bearing spontaneous CNS tumors aiming an anti-tumoral therapy. We further assessed some aspects of the innate immune and inflammatory response that triggers the anti-tumoral response observed during the ZIKVBR administration in vivo and in vitro. For the first time, we showed that there were no negative clinical side effects following ZIKVBR CNS injections in dogs, confirming the safety of the procedure. Furthermore, the intrathecal ZIKVBR injections reduced tumor size in immunocompetent dogs bearing spontaneous intracranial tumors, improved their neurological clinical symptoms significantly, and extended their survival by inducing the destruction specifically of tumor cells, sparing normal neurons, and activating an immune response. These results open new perspectives for upcoming virotherapy using ZIKV to destroy and induce an anti-tumoral immune response in CNS tumors for which there are currently no effective treatments.


Brain Neoplasms/complications , Brain Neoplasms/therapy , Oncolytic Virotherapy/methods , Patient Safety , Tumor Burden , Zika Virus Infection/complications , Zika Virus/immunology , Animals , Brain Neoplasms/immunology , Brain Neoplasms/pathology , Cell Line, Tumor , Coculture Techniques , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Dogs , Immunity , Injections, Spinal , Male , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/virology , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/virology , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/virology , Treatment Outcome
14.
Hum. Mol. Genet. ; 29(9): 1465–1475, 2020.
Article En | SES-SP, SESSP-IBPROD, SES-SP | ID: but-ib17603

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis type 8 (ALS8) is an autosomal dominant form of ALS, which is caused by pathogenic variants in the VAPB gene. Here we investigated five ALS8 patients, classified as ‘severe’ and ‘mild’ from a gigantic Brazilian kindred, carrying the same VAPB mutation but displaying different clinical courses. Copy Number Variation (CNV) and Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) analyses in such individuals ruled out previously described genetic modifiers of pathogenicity. After deriving induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for each patient (N=5) and controls (N=3), motor neurons were differentiated, and high-throughput RNA-Seq gene expression measurements were performed. Functional cell death and oxidative metabolism assays were also carried out in patients’ iPSC-derived motor neurons. The degree of cell death and mitochondrial oxidative metabolism were similar in iPSC-derived motor neurons from mild patients and controls, and were distinct from those of severe patients. Similar findings were obtained when RNA-Seq from such cells was performed. Overall, 43 genes were upregulated and 66 downregulated in the two mild ALS8 patients when compared with severe ALS8 individuals and controls. Interestingly, significantly enriched pathways found among differentially expressed genes, such as protein translation and protein targeting to endoplasmic reticulum (ER), are known to be associated with neurodegenerative processes. Taken together, the mitigating mechanisms here presented appear to maintain motor neuron survival by keeping translational activity and protein targeting to ER in such cells. As ALS8 physiopathology has been associated with proteostasis mechanisms in ER–mitochondria contact sites, such differentially expressed genes appear to relate to the bypass of VAPB deficiency.

15.
Mol. Ther. ; 28(5)2020.
Article En | SES-SP, SESSP-IBPROD, SES-SP | ID: but-ib17570

Malignant brain tumors are among the most aggressive cancers with poor prognosis and no effective treatment. Recently, we reported the oncolytic potential of Zika virus infecting and destroying the human central nervous system (CNS) tumors in vitro and in immunodeficient mice model. However, translating this approach to humans requires pre-clinical trials in another immunocompetent animal model. Here, we analyzed the safety of Brazilian Zika virus (ZIKVBR) intrathecal injections in three dogs bearing spontaneous CNS tumors aiming an anti-tumoral therapy. We further assessed some aspects of the innate immune and inflammatory response that triggers the anti-tumoral response observed during the ZIKVBR administration in vivo and in vitro. For the first time, we showed that there were no negative clinical side effects following ZIKVBR CNS injections in dogs, confirming the safety of the procedure. Furthermore, the intrathecal ZIKVBR injections reduced tumor size in immunocompetent dogs bearing spontaneous intracranial tumors, improved their neurological clinical symptoms significantly, and extended their survival by inducing the destruction specifically of tumor cells, sparing normal neurons, and activating an immune response. These results open new perspectives for upcoming virotherapy using ZIKV to destroy and induce an anti-tumoral immune response in CNS tumors for which there are currently no effective treatments.

16.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis, v. 14, n. 8, e0008424, ago. 2020
Article En | SES-SP, SESSP-IBPROD, SES-SP | ID: bud-3123

Zika virus (ZIKV) causes congenital Zika syndrome (CZS), which is characterized by fetal demise, microcephaly and other abnormalities. ZIKV in the pregnant woman circulation must cross the placental barrier that includes fetal endothelial cells and trophoblasts, in order to reach the fetus. CZS occurs in ~1–40% of cases of pregnant women infected by ZIKV, suggesting that mothers’ infection by ZIKV during pregnancy is not deterministic for CZS phenotype in the fetus. Therefore, other susceptibility factors might be involved, including the host genetic background. We have previously shown that in three pairs of dizygotic twins discordant for CZS, neural progenitor cells (NPCs) from the CZS-affected twins presented differential in vitro ZIKV susceptibility compared with NPCs from the non-affected. Here, we analyzed human-induced-pluripotent-stem-cell-derived (hiPSC-derived) trophoblasts from these twins and compared by RNA-Seq the trophoblasts from CZS-affected and non-affected twins. Following in vitro exposure to a Brazilian ZIKV strain (ZIKVBR), trophoblasts from CZS-affected twins were significantly more susceptible to ZIKVBR infection when compared with trophoblasts from the non-affected. Transcriptome profiling revealed no differences in gene expression levels of ZIKV candidate attachment factors, IFN receptors and IFN in the trophoblasts, either before or after ZIKVBR infection. Most importantly, ZIKVBR infection caused, only in the trophoblasts from CZS-affected twins, the downregulation of genes related to extracellular matrix organization and to leukocyte activation, which are important for trophoblast adhesion and immune response activation. In addition, only trophoblasts from non-affected twins secreted significantly increased amounts of chemokines RANTES/CCL5 and IP10 after infection with ZIKVBR. Overall, our results showed that trophoblasts from non-affected twins have the ability to more efficiently activate genes that are known to play important roles in cell adhesion and in triggering the immune response to ZIKV infection in the placenta, and this may contribute to predict protection from ZIKV dissemination into fetuses’ tissues.

17.
Hum Mol Genet, v. 29, n. 9, p. 1465-1475, abr. 2020
Article En | SES-SP, SESSP-IBPROD, SES-SP | ID: bud-3007

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis type 8 (ALS8) is an autosomal dominant form of ALS, which is caused by pathogenic variants in the VAPB gene. Here we investigated five ALS8 patients, classified as ‘severe’ and ‘mild’ from a gigantic Brazilian kindred, carrying the same VAPB mutation but displaying different clinical courses. Copy Number Variation (CNV) and Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) analyses in such individuals ruled out previously described genetic modifiers of pathogenicity. After deriving induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for each patient (N=5) and controls (N=3), motor neurons were differentiated, and high-throughput RNA-Seq gene expression measurements were performed. Functional cell death and oxidative metabolism assays were also carried out in patients’ iPSC-derived motor neurons. The degree of cell death and mitochondrial oxidative metabolism were similar in iPSC-derived motor neurons from mild patients and controls, and were distinct from those of severe patients. Similar findings were obtained when RNA-Seq from such cells was performed. Overall, 43 genes were upregulated and 66 downregulated in the two mild ALS8 patients when compared with severe ALS8 individuals and controls. Interestingly, significantly enriched pathways found among differentially expressed genes, such as protein translation and protein targeting to endoplasmic reticulum (ER), are known to be associated with neurodegenerative processes. Taken together, the mitigating mechanisms here presented appear to maintain motor neuron survival by keeping translational activity and protein targeting to ER in such cells. As ALS8 physiopathology has been associated with proteostasis mechanisms in ER–mitochondria contact sites, such differentially expressed genes appear to relate to the bypass of VAPB deficiency.

18.
Mol Ther, v. 28, n. 5, mai. 2020
Article En | SES-SP, SESSP-IBPROD, SES-SP | ID: bud-2990

Malignant brain tumors are among the most aggressive cancers with poor prognosis and no effective treatment. Recently, we reported the oncolytic potential of Zika virus infecting and destroying the human central nervous system (CNS) tumors in vitro and in immunodeficient mice model. However, translating this approach to humans requires pre-clinical trials in another immunocompetent animal model. Here, we analyzed the safety of Brazilian Zika virus (ZIKVBR) intrathecal injections in three dogs bearing spontaneous CNS tumors aiming an anti-tumoral therapy. We further assessed some aspects of the innate immune and inflammatory response that triggers the anti-tumoral response observed during the ZIKVBR administration in vivo and in vitro. For the first time, we showed that there were no negative clinical side effects following ZIKVBR CNS injections in dogs, confirming the safety of the procedure. Furthermore, the intrathecal ZIKVBR injections reduced tumor size in immunocompetent dogs bearing spontaneous intracranial tumors, improved their neurological clinical symptoms significantly, and extended their survival by inducing the destruction specifically of tumor cells, sparing normal neurons, and activating an immune response. These results open new perspectives for upcoming virotherapy using ZIKV to destroy and induce an anti-tumoral immune response in CNS tumors for which there are currently no effective treatments.

19.
Biofabrication ; 12(1): 015010, 2019 11 27.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31577996

The liver is responsible for many metabolic, endocrine and exocrine functions. Approximately 2 million deaths per year are associated with liver failure. Modern 3D bioprinting technologies allied with autologous induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS)-derived grafts could represent a relevant tissue engineering approach to treat end stage liver disease patients. However, protocols that accurately recapitulates liver's epithelial parenchyma through bioprinting are still underdeveloped. Here we evaluated the impacts of using single cell dispersion (i.e. obtained from conventional bidimensional differentiation) of iPS-derived parenchymal (i.e. hepatocyte-like cells) versus using iPS-derived hepatocyte-like cells spheroids (i.e. three-dimensional cell culture), both in combination with non-parenchymal cells (e.g. mesenchymal and endothelial cells), into final liver tissue functionality. Single cell constructs showed reduced cell survival and hepatic function and unbalanced protein/amino acid metabolism when compared to spheroid printed constructs after 18 days in culture. In addition, single cell printed constructs revealed epithelial-mesenchymal transition, resulting in rapid loss of hepatocyte phenotype. These results indicates the advantage of using spheroid-based bioprinting, contributing to improve current liver bioprinting technology towards future regenerative medicine applications and liver physiology and disease modeling.


Bioprinting , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Liver/cytology , Spheroids, Cellular/cytology , Bioprinting/instrumentation , Bioprinting/methods , Cell Differentiation , Cell Proliferation , Cell Survival , Female , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Liver/metabolism , Male , Printing, Three-Dimensional , Spheroids, Cellular/metabolism , Tissue Engineering
20.
Stem Cell Res Ther ; 10(1): 258, 2019 08 15.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31416480

BACKGROUND: Liver organoid technology holds great promises to be used in large-scale population-based drug screening and in future regenerative medicine strategies. Recently, some studies reported robust protocols for generating isogenic liver organoids using liver parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) or using isogenic adult primary non-parenchymal cells. However, the use of whole iPS-derived cells could represent great challenges for a translational perspective. METHODS: Here, we evaluated the influence of isogenic versus heterogenic non-parenchymal cells, using iPS-derived or adult primary cell lines, in the liver organoid development. We tested four groups comprised of all different combinations of non-parenchymal cells for the liver functionality in vitro. Gene expression and protein secretion of important hepatic function markers were evaluated. Additionally, liver development-associated signaling pathways were tested. Finally, organoid label-free proteomic analysis and non-parenchymal cell secretome were performed in all groups at day 12. RESULTS: We show that liver organoids generated using primary mesenchymal stromal cells and iPS-derived endothelial cells expressed and produced significantly more albumin and showed increased expression of CYP1A1, CYP1A2, and TDO2 while presented reduced TGF-ß and Wnt signaling activity. Proteomics analysis revealed that major shifts in protein expression induced by this specific combination of non-parenchymal cells are related to integrin profile and TGF-ß/Wnt signaling activity. CONCLUSION: Aiming the translation of this technology bench-to-bedside, this work highlights the role of important developmental pathways that are modulated by non-parenchymal cells enhancing the liver organoid maturation.


Gene Expression Regulation , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Liver/growth & development , Organoids/growth & development , Transforming Growth Factor beta/metabolism , Wnt Proteins/metabolism , Adult , Cell Differentiation , Endothelial Cells/cytology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Female , Humans , Liver/metabolism , Male , Organoids/metabolism , Parenchymal Tissue/growth & development , Parenchymal Tissue/metabolism , Proteome/analysis , Young Adult
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