Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece

Time filter

Source Type

PubMed | National Technical University of Athens and Academy of Athens BRFAA
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Laboratory animals | Year: 2015

One of the commonly used animal models in fertility, developmental and neurobiological studies is the laboratory rat. The early recognition of rat pregnancy and confirmation of the exact embryonic day are vital. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation of maternal weight at the time of conception to its increase throughout gestation, aiming to develop a mathematical model, which can be used for the determination of the exact day of pregnancy, set the threshold, and monitor pregnancy from the onset. We studied a total of 173 Wistar rats with a mean body weight of 238.22 34.9 g. After 72 h at the males cages, we considered as Day 0 (D0) the day in which a copulatory plug or sperm was found during the vaginal smear examination. After that period the female animals were transferred into their cages, and weight monitoring started 14 days (D14) after D0, until parturition. Based on the statistical analysis, there is a correlation between maternal body weight at D0 and maternal body weight from D14 to D19. Moreover, the average weight gain from D14 to D19 is positively correlated to initial female body weight, while there is no correlation between each pregnant animals weight from D14 to D19 and litter size. A mathematical model was developed as a tool for the verification of the day of pregnancy. In conclusion, continuous monitoring of maternal weight after D14 can be a reliable method for the recognition of pregnancy and determination of the exact gestational day.


Roubelakis M.G.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Roubelakis M.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Bitsika V.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Bitsika V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine | Year: 2011

Human mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs) are considered to be of great promise for use in tissue repair and regenerative medicine. MPCs represent multipotent adherent cells, able to give rise to multiple mesenchymal lineages such as osteoblasts, adipocytes or chondrocytes. Recently, we identified and characterized human second trimester amniotic fluid (AF) as a novel source of MPCs. Herein, we found that early colonies of AF-MPCs consisted of two morphologically distinct adherent cell types, termed as spindle-shaped (SS) and round-shaped (RS). A detailed analysis of these two populations showed that SS-AF-MPCs expressed CD90 antigen in a higher level and exhibited a greater proliferation and differentiation potential. To characterize better the molecular identity of these two populations, we have generated a comparative proteomic map of SS-AF-MPCs and RS-AF-MPCs, identifying 25 differentially expressed proteins and 10 proteins uniquely expressed in RS-AF-MPCs. Furthermore, SS-AF-MPCs exhibited significantly higher migration ability on extracellular matrices, such as fibronectin and lamininin vitro, compared to RS-AF-MPCs and thus we further evaluated SS-AF-MPCs for potential use as therapeutic toolsin vivo. Therefore, we tested whether GFP-lentiviral transduced SS-AF-MPCs retained their stem cell identity, proliferation and differentiation potential. GFP-SS-AF-MPCs were then successfully delivered into immunosuppressed mice, distributed in different tissues and survived longtermin vivo. In summary, these results demonstrated that AF-MPCs consisted of at least two different MPC populations. In addition, SS-AF-MPCs, isolated based on their colony morphology and CD90 expression, represented the only MPC population that can be expanded easily in culture and used as an efficient tool for futurein vivotherapeutic applications. © 2011 The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Taka S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Gazouli M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Politis P.K.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Pappa K.I.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Biology Reports | Year: 2013

Genetic polymorphisms in the human solute carrier family 11 member 1 (SLC11A1) gene predispose to susceptibility to infectious/inflammatory diseases and cancer. Human susceptibility to these diseases exhibits allelic association with a polymorphic regulatory Z-DNA-forming microsatellite of a (GT/AC)n repeat. The carriage of different alleles may influence chromatin remodeling and accessibility by transcription factors. Of particular importance is the binding site for the Activating Protein 1 (AP-1) elements, (ATF-3 and c-Jun), adjacent to the 5′ sequence of the Z-DNA-forming polymorphism. The aim of the study was to characterize the transcriptional mechanisms controlling different alleles of SLC11A1 expression by ATF-3 and c-Jun. Allele 2, [T(GT) 5AC(GT)5AC(GT)10GGCAGA(G)6], and Allele 3, [T(GT)5AC(GT)5AC(GT)9GGCAGA(G) 6], were subcloned into the PGL2Basic vector. Transient transfections of THP-1 cells with the constructs, in the presence or absence of pATF-3 were preformed. Luciferase expression was determined. To document the recruitment of ATF-3 and c-Jun, to the polymorphic promoter alleles in vivo, we performed ChIP assays with transient transfected THP-1 cells treated with or without lipopolyssacharides. Our data documented that ATF-3 suppresses the transcriptional activation of Allele-3, and this suppression is enhanced in the presence of lipopolyssacharides. Our findings suggest that ATF-3 and c-Jun may influence heritable variation in SLC11A1-dependent innate resistance to infection and inflammation both within and between populations. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


PubMed | Academy of Athens BRFAA and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Expert review of proteomics | Year: 2016

The HPV virus accounts for the majority of cervical cancer cases. Although a diagnostic tool (Pap Test) is widely available, cervical cancer incidence still remains high worldwide, and especially in developing countries, attributed to a large extent to suboptimal sensitivities of the Pap test and unavailability of the test in developing countries.Proteomics approaches have been used in order to understand the HPV virus correlation to cervical cancer pathology, as well as to discover putative biomarkers for early cervical cancer diagnosis and drug mode of action. Expert commentary: The present review summarizes the latest in vitro and in vivo proteomic studies for the discovery of putative cervical cancer biomarkers and the evaluation of available drugs and treatments.


Nikitaki Z.,National Technical University of Athens | Michalopoulos I.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Georgakilas A.G.,National Technical University of Athens
Future Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2015

DNA repair (DR) inhibitors are small molecules that interact with DR proteins in order to disrupt their function and induce a 'strike' to the high fidelity of the mammalian DNA repair systems. Many anticancer therapies aim to harm the DNA of the usually highly proliferative cancer cell, causing it to undergo apoptosis. In response to this, cancer cells attempt to fix the induced lesion and reconstitute its genomic integrity, in turn reducing the efficacy of treatment. To overcome this, DR inhibitors suppress DNA repair proteins' function, increasing the potency and tumor killing effect of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In this review, we discuss clinically applied novel inhibitors under translational investigation and we apply bioinformatic tools in order to identify repair proteins implicated in more than two phenomenically distinct DNA repair pathways (e.g., base excision repair and nonhomologous end joining), that is, the concept of 'synthetic lethality'. Our study can aid towards the optimization of this therapeutic strategy and, therefore, maximizing treatment effectiveness like in the case of radiation therapy. © 2015 Future Science Ltd.


Psarras S.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Mavroidis M.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Sanoudou D.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Davos C.H.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | And 4 more authors.
European Heart Journal | Year: 2012

Aims Desmin, the muscle-specific intermediate filament protein, is a major target in dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure in humans and mice. The hallmarks of desmin-deficient (des-/-) mice pathology include pronounced myocardial degeneration, extended fibrosis, and osteopontin (OPN) overexpression. We sought to identify the molecular and cellular events regulating adverse cardiac remodelling in des-/- mice and their potential link to OPN. Methods and resultsIn situ hybridization, histology, and immunostaining demonstrated that inflammatory cells and not cardiomyocytes were the source of OPN. RNA profile comparison revealed that activation of inflammatory pathways, sustained by innate immunity mechanisms, predominated among all changes occurring in degenerating des-/- myocardium. The expression of the most highly up-regulated genes (OPN: 226×, galectin-3: 26×, osteoactivin/Gpnmb/DC-HIL: 160× and metalloprotease-12: 98×) was associated with heart infiltrating macrophages. To evaluate the role of OPN, we generated des-/-OPN-/- mice and compared their cardiac function and remodelling indices with those of des-/-. Osteopontin promoted cardiac dysfunction in this model since des -/-OPN-/- mice showed 53 improvement of left ventricular function, paralleled to an up to 44 reduction in fibrosis. The diminished fibrotic response in the absence of OPN could be partly mediated by a dramatic reduction in myocardial galectin-3 levels, associated with an impaired galectin-3 secretion by OPN-deficient infiltrating macrophages. ConclusionCardiomyocyte death due to desmin deficiency leads to inflammation and subsequent overexpression of a series of remodelling modulators. Among them, OPN seems to be a major regulator of des-/- adverse myocardial remodelling and it functions at least by potentiating galectin-3 up-regulation and secretion. © The Author 2011.


Vakaloglou K.M.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Chountala M.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Zervas C.G.,Academy of Athens BRFAA
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2012

Integrin-linked kinase (ILK), PINCH and parvin constitute the tripartite IPP complex that maintains the integrin-actin link at embryonic muscle attachment sites (MASs) in Drosophila. Here we showed that parvin null mutants in Drosophila exhibit defects in muscle adhesion, similar to ILK and PINCH mutants. Furthermore, the identical muscle phenotype of the triple mutant, which for the first time in any organism removed the entire IPP-complex function, genetically demonstrated that parvin, ILK and PINCH function synergistically. This is consistent with the tight localization of the tripartite complex at sites of integrin adhesion, namely MASs in the developing embryo and focal-contact-like structures in the wing epithelium. Parvin contains tandem unconventional calponin-homology (CH) domains separated by a linker sequence, and a less-well conserved N-terminal region. In vivo structure-function analysis revealed that all the domains are essential for parvin function, whereas recruitment at integrin adhesion sites is mediated by two localization signals: one located within the CH2 domain as previously reported, and a second novel signal within the CH1 domain. Interestingly, this site is masked by the linker region between the two CH domains, suggesting a regulatory mechanism to control parvin localization. Finally, whereas in muscles only ILK controls the stability and localization of both PINCH and parvin, in the wing epithelium the three proteins mutually depend on each other. Thus molecular differences exist in the assembly properties of IPP complex in specific tissues during development, where differential modulation of the integrin connection to the cytoskeleton is required. © 2012.


Zervas C.G.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Psarra E.,Academy of Athens BRFAA | Williams V.,University of Cambridge | Solomon E.,University of Cambridge | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2011

Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is an essential component of a multiprotein complex that links actin to the plasma membrane. Here, we have used a genetic approach to examine the molecular interactions that are essential for the assembly of this ILK-containing complex at Drosophila muscle attachment sites (MASs). We show that, downstream of integrins, talin plays a decisive role in the recruitment of three proteins: ILK, PINCH and paxillin. The accumulation of ILK at MASs appears to follow an amplification mechanism, suggesting that numerous binding sites are generated by minimal levels of the upstream integrin and talin effectors. This property suggests that ILK functions as an essential hub in the assembly of its partner proteins at sites of integrin adhesion. We found that PINCH stability, and its subcellular localization at MASs, depends upon ILK function, but that ILK stability and localization is not dependent upon PINCH. An in vivo structure-function analysis of ILK demonstrated that each ILK domain has sufficient information for its independent recruitment at embryonic MASs, whereas at later developmental stages only the kinase domain was effectively recruited. Our data strengthen the view that the ILK complex is assembled sequentially at sites of integrin adhesion by employing multiple molecular interactions, which collectively stabilize the integrin-actin link. © 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


Simone C.,University of Milan | Ramirez A.,University of Milan | Bucchia M.,University of Milan | Rinchetti P.,University of Milan | And 4 more authors.
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2016

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neurological disease that causes infant mortality; no effective therapies are currently available. SMA is due to homozygous mutations and/or deletions in the survival motor neuron 1 gene and subsequent reduction of the SMN protein, leading to the death of motor neurons. However, there is increasing evidence that in addition to motor neurons, other cell types are contributing to SMA pathology. In this review, we will discuss the involvement of non-motor neuronal cells, located both inside and outside the central nervous system, in disease onset and progression. Even if SMN restoration in motor neurons is needed, it has been shown that optimal phenotypic amelioration in animal models of SMA requires a more widespread SMN correction. It has been demonstrated that non-motor neuronal cells are also involved in disease pathogenesis and could have important therapeutic implications. For these reasons it will be crucial to take this evidence into account for the clinical translation of the novel therapeutic approaches. © 2015 Springer International Publishing.


PubMed | National Technical University of Athens and Academy of Athens BRFAA
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Future medicinal chemistry | Year: 2015

DNA repair (DR) inhibitors are small molecules that interact with DR proteins in order to disrupt their function and induce a strike to the high fidelity of the mammalian DNA repair systems. Many anticancer therapies aim to harm the DNA of the usually highly proliferative cancer cell, causing it to undergo apoptosis. In response to this, cancer cells attempt to fix the induced lesion and reconstitute its genomic integrity, in turn reducing the efficacy of treatment. To overcome this, DR inhibitors suppress DNA repair proteins function, increasing the potency and tumor killing effect of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In this review, we discuss clinically applied novel inhibitors under translational investigation and we apply bioinformatic tools in order to identify repair proteins implicated in more than two phenomenically distinct DNA repair pathways (e.g., base excision repair and nonhomologous end joining), that is, the concept of synthetic lethality. Our study can aid towards the optimization of this therapeutic strategy and, therefore, maximizing treatment effectiveness like in the case of radiation therapy.

Loading Academy of Athens BRFAA collaborators
Loading Academy of Athens BRFAA collaborators