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Barcelona, Spain

Garcia-Garcera M.,Institute Of Biologia Evolutiva Csic Upf | Garcia-Garcera M.,University of Valencia | Coscolla M.,Institute Of Biologia Evolutiva Csic Upf | Coscolla M.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2012

Host-commensal relationships in the skin are a complex system governed by variables related to the host, the bacteria and the environment. A disruption of this system may lead to new steady states, which, in turn, may lead to disease. We have studied one such disruption by characterizing the skin microbiota in healthy and immunodepressed (ID) mice. A detailed anatomopathological study failed to reveal any difference between the skin of healthy and ID mice. We sequenced the 16S rDNA V1-V2 gene region to saturation in 10 healthy and 10 ID 8 week-old mice, and found than all of the healthy and two of the ID mice had bacterial communities that were similar in composition to that of human skin, although, presumably because of the uniform raising conditions, less interindividual variation was found in mice. However, eight ID mice showed microbiota dominated by Staphylococcus epidermidis. Quantitative PCR amplification of 16S rDNA gene and of the Staphylococcus-specific TstaG region confirmed the previous results and indicated that the quantitative levels of Staphylococcus were similar in both groups while the total number of 16S copies was greater in the healthy mice. Thus, it is possible that, under long-term immunodeficiency, which removes the acquired but not the native immune system, S. epidermidis may inhibit the growth of other bacteria but does not cause a pathogenic state. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Batlle R.,Programa de Recerca en Cancer | Alba-Castellon L.,Programa de Recerca en Cancer | Loubat-Casanovas J.,Programa de Recerca en Cancer | Armenteros E.,Programa de Recerca en Cancer | And 10 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2013

The Snail1 transcriptional repressor plays a key role in triggering epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Although Snail1 is widely expressed in early development, in adult animals it is limited to a subset of mesenchymal cells where it has a largely unknown function. Using a mouse model with inducible depletion of Snail1, here we demonstrate that Snail1 is required to maintain mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). This effect is associated to the responsiveness to transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 that shows a strong Snail1 dependence. Snail1 depletion in conditional knockout adult animals causes a significant decrease in the number of bone marrow-derived MSCs. In culture, Snail1-deficient MSCs prematurely differentiate to osteoblasts or adipocytes and, in contrast to controls, are resistant to the TGF-β1-induced differentiation block. These results demonstrate a new role for Snail1 in TGF-β response and MSC maintenance. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Barbieri F.,University of Genoa | Wurth R.,University of Genoa | Thellung S.,University of Genoa | Daga A.,Laboratory of Translational Oncology | And 2 more authors.
Experimental Cell Research | Year: 2012

Current carcinogenesis theory states that only a small subset of tumor cells, the cancer stem cells or tumor initiating cells (TICs), are responsible for tumor formation and progression. Human breast cancer-initiating cells have been identified as CD44-expressing cells, which retain tumorigenic activity and display stem cell-like properties. Spontaneous feline mammary carcinoma (FMC) is an aggressive cancer, which shows biological similarities to the human tumor counterpart. We report the isolation and phenotypic characterization of FMC-derived stem/progenitor cells, showing in vitro self-renewal, long-lasting proliferation and in vivo tumorigenicity. Twenty-one FMC samples were collected, histologically classified and characterized for the expression of Ki67, EGFR, ER-α and CD44, by immunohistochemistry. By culture in stem cell permissive conditions, we isolated, from 13 FMCs, a CD44-positive subpopulation able to survive and proliferate in vitro as mammospheres of different sizes and morphologies. When injected in NOD/SCID mice, FMC stem-like cells initiate tumors, generating cell heterogeneity and recapitulating the original histotype. In serum-containing medium, spheroid cells showed differentiation properties as shown by morphological changes, the loss of CD44 expression and tumorigenic potential. These data show that stem-defined culture of FMC enriches for TICs and validate the use of these cells as a suitable model for comparative oncology studies of mammary biology and testing therapeutic strategies aimed at eradicating TICs. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Abengozar M.A.,Proteomics Unit | De Frutos S.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Ferreiro S.,Animal Facility | Soriano J.,Confocal Microscopy Unit | And 8 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2012

Membrane-anchored ephrinB2 and its receptor EphB4 are involved in the formation of blood and lymphatic vessels in normal and pathologic conditions. Eph/ ephrin activation requires cell-cell interactions and leads to bidirectional signaling pathways in both ligand- and receptorexpressing cells. To investigate the functional consequences of blocking ephrinB2 activity, 2 highly specific human single-chain Fv (scFv) Ab fragments against ephrinB2 were generated and characterized. Both Ab fragments suppressed endothelial cell migration and tube formation in vitro in response to VEGF and provoked abnormal cell motility and actin cytoskeleton alterations in isolated endothelial cells. As only one of them (B11) competed for binding of ephrinB2 to EphB4, these data suggest an EphB-receptor-independent blocking mechanism. Anti-ephrinB2 therapy reduced VEGF-induced neovascularization in a mouse Matrigel plug assay. Moreover, systemic administration of ephrinB2- blocking Abs caused a drastic reduction in the number of blood and lymphatic vessels in xenografted mice and a concomitant reduction in tumor growth. Our results show for the first time that specific Ab-based ephrinB2 targeting may represent an effective therapeutic strategy to be used as an alternative or in combination with existing antiangiogenic drugs for treating patients with cancer and other angiogenesis-related diseases. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.


Bianchi G.,Laboratory of Oncology | Vuerich M.,University of Ferrara | Pellegatti P.,University of Ferrara | Pellegatti P.,Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Microbiology | And 7 more authors.
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2014

Tumor microenvironment of solid tumors is characterized by a strikingly high concentration of adenosine and ATP. Physiological significance of this biochemical feature is unknown, but it has been suggested that it may affect infiltrating immune cell responses and tumor progression. There is increasing awareness that many of the effects of extracellular ATP on tumor and inflammatory cells are mediated by the P2X7 receptor (P2X7R). Aim of this study was to investigate whether: (i) extracellular ATP is a component of neuroblastoma (NB) microenvironment, (ii) myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) express functional P2X7R and (iii) the ATP/P2X7R axis modulates MDSC functions. Our results show that extracellular ATP was detected in NB microenvironment in amounts that increased in parallel with tumor progression. The percentage of CD11b+/Gr-1+ cells was higher in NB-bearing mice compared with healthy animals. Within the CD11b/Gr-1+ population, monocytic MDSCs (M-MDSCs) produced higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), arginase-1 (ARG-1), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and stimulated more potently in vivo tumor growth, as compared with granulocytic MDSCs (G-MDSCs). P2X7R of M-MDSCs was localized at the plasma membrane, coupled to increased functionality, upregulation of ARG-1, TGF-β1 and ROS. Quite surprisingly, the P2X7R in primary MDSCs as well as in the MSC-1 and MSC-2 lines was uncoupled from cytotoxicity. This study describes a novel scenario in which MDSC immunosuppressive functions are modulated by the ATP-enriched tumor microenvironment. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

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