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Ignjatovic N.L.,Serbian Academy of Science and Arts | Ajdukovic Z.R.,University of Sfax | Savic V.P.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Uskokovic D.P.,Serbian Academy of Science and Arts
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials | Year: 2010

In this article, synthesis and application of calcium phosphate/poly-DL- lactide-co-glycolide (CP/PLGA) composite biomaterial in particulate form, in which each CP granule/particle is coated with PLGA, are described. Two types of the particulate material having different particle sizes were synthesized: one with an average particle diameter between 150 and 250 μm (micron-sized particles, MPs) and the other with an average particle diameter smaller than 50 nm (nanoparticles, NPs). A comparative in vivo analysis was done by reconstructing defects in osteoporotic alveolar bones using both composites. The material, CP granules/particles covered with polymer, was characterized using X-ray structural analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Changes in reparatory functions of tissues affected by osteoporosis were examined in mice in vivo, using these two kinds of composite materials, with and without autologous plasma. Having defined the target segment, histomorphometric parameters - bone area fraction, area, and mean density - were determined. The best results in the regeneration and recuperation of alveolar bone damaged by osteoporosis were achieved with the implantation of a mixture of nanoparticulate CP/PLGA composite and autologous plasma. After the implantation of microparticulate CP/PLGA, in the form of granules, mixed with autologous plasma, into an artificial defect in alveolar bone, new bone formation was also observed, although its formation rate was slower. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Diez A.,University of Salamanca | Diez A.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Suazo V.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Suazo V.,University of Salamanca | And 4 more authors.
Psychological Medicine | Year: 2013

Brain activity is less organized in patients with schizophrenia than in healthy controls (HC). Noise power (scalp-recorded electroencephalographic activity unlocked to stimuli) may be of use for studying this disorganization. Method Fifty-four patients with schizophrenia (29 minimally treated and 25 stable treated), 23 first-degree relatives and 27 HC underwent clinical and cognitive assessments and an electroencephalographic recording during an oddball P300 paradigm to calculate noise power magnitude in the gamma band. We used a principal component analysis (PCA) to determine the factor structure of gamma noise power values across electrodes and the clinical and cognitive correlates of the resulting factors. Results The PCA revealed three noise power factors, roughly corresponding to the default mode network (DMN), frontal and occipital regions respectively. Patients showed higher gamma noise power loadings in the first factor when compared to HC and first-degree relatives. In the patients, frontal gamma noise factor scores related significantly and inversely to working memory and problem-solving performance. There were no associations with symptoms. Conclusions There is an elevated gamma activity unrelated to task processing over regions coherent with the DMN topography in patients with schizophrenia. The same type of gamma activity over frontal regions is inversely related to performance in tasks with high involvement in these frontal areas. The idea of gamma noise as a possible biological marker for schizophrenia seems promising. Gamma noise might be of use in the study of underlying neurophysiological mechanisms involved in this disease. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.


Moh C.,Case Western Reserve University | Kubiak J.Z.,University of Rennes 1 | Bajic V.P.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Zhu X.,Case Western Reserve University | And 2 more authors.
Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation | Year: 2011

The cell cycle consists of four main phases: G1, S, G 2, and M. Most cells undergo these cycles up to 40-60 times in their life. However, neurons remain in a nondividing, nonreplicating phase, G 0. Neurons initiate but do not complete cell division, eventually entering apoptosis. Research has suggested that like cancer, Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves dysfunction in neuronal cell cycle reentry, leading to the development of the two-hit hypothesis of AD. The first hit is abnormal cell cycle reentry, which typically results in neuronal apoptosis and prevention of AD. However, with the second hit of chronic oxidative damage preventing apoptosis, neurons gain "immortality" analogous to tumor cells. Once both of these hits are activated, AD can develop and produce senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles throughout brain tissue. In this review, we propose a mechanism for neuronal cell cycle reentry and the development of AD. © 2011 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


De Jong J.L.O.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Davidson A.J.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Wang Y.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Wang Y.,Institute of Biomedical Research | And 5 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2010

Hematopoietic development during embryogenesis involves the interaction of extrinsic signaling pathways coupled to an intrinsic cell fate that is regulated by cell-specific transcription factors. Retinoic acid (RA) has been linked to stem cell self-renewal in adults and also participates in yolk sac blood island formation. Here, we demonstrate that RA decreases gata1 expression and blocks primitive hematopoiesis in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos, while increasing expression of the vascular marker, fli1. Treatment with an inhibitor of RA biosynthesis or a retinoic acid receptor antagonist increases gata1+ erythroid progenitors in the posterior mesoderm of wild-type embryos and anemic cdx4-/- mutants, indicating a link between the cdx-hox signaling pathway and RA. Overexpression of scl, a DNA binding protein necessary for hematopoietic development, rescues the block of hematopoiesis induced by RA. We show that these effects of RA and RA pathway inhibitors are conserved during primitive hematopoiesis in murine yolk sac explant cultures and embryonic stem cell assays. Taken together, these data indicate that RA inhibits the commitment of mesodermal cells to hematopoietic fates, functioning downstream of cdx4 and upstream of scl. Our studies establish a new connection between RA and scl during development that may participate in stem cell self-renewal and hematopoietic differentiation. © 2010 by The American Society of Hematology.


O'Donnell V.B.,University of Cardiff | Murphy R.C.,University of Colorado at Denver | Watson S.P.,Institute of Biomedical Research
Circulation Research | Year: 2014

Lipids are diverse families of biomolecules that perform essential structural and signaling roles in platelets. Their formation and metabolism are tightly controlled by enzymes and signal transduction pathways, and their dysregulation leads to significant defects in platelet function and disease. Platelet activation is associated with significant changes to membrane lipids, and formation of diverse bioactive lipids plays essential roles in hemostasis. In recent years, new generation mass spectrometry analysis of lipids (termed lipidomics) has begun to alter our understanding of how these molecules participate in key cellular processes. Although the application of lipidomics to platelet biology is still in its infancy, seminal earlier studies have shaped our knowledge of how lipids regulate key aspects of platelet biology, including aggregation, shape change, coagulation, and degranulation, as well as how lipids generated by platelets influence other cells, such as leukocytes and the vascular wall, and thus how they regulate hemostasis, vascular integrity, and inflammation, as well as contribute to pathologies, including arterial/deep vein thrombosis and atherosclerosis. This review will provide a brief historical perspective on the characterization of lipids in platelets, then an overview of the new generation lipidomic approaches, their recent application to platelet biology, and future perspectives for research in this area. The major platelet-regulatory lipid families, their formation, metabolism, and their role in health and disease, will be summarized.


Vianna P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bauer M.E.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Dornfeld D.,Nossa Senhora Conceicao Hospital | Chies J.A.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Medical Hypotheses | Year: 2011

Psychological stress may affect up to 18% of all pregnant women, altering the function of both neuroendocrine and immune systems. Distress conditions may directly change the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, leading to increased cortisol levels and associated changes in cellular immunity. Psychological events such as high stress levels, anxiety or depression may directly or indirectly affect pregnancy and may thus lead to pre-eclampsia (PE). Here, we suggest that distress conditions during pregnancy may lead the development of PE by enhancing in vivo cortisol levels. High cortisol levels are associated with hypertension and endothelial dysfunction, features often observed in patients with PE. Lymphocytes from patients with high cortisol levels may have a reduced sensitivity to the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX). Stress-related steroid resistance may disrupt the HPA axis, leading to post-natal detrimental effects such as increased allostatic load, increased pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and even depression in the offspring. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Mejias M.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Garcia-Pras E.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Gallego J.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Mendez R.,University Pompeu Fabra | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2010

Background & Aims: Splenomegaly is a frequent hallmark of portal hypertension that, in some cases, can be very prominent and cause symptoms like abdominal pain, splenic infarction, and cytopenia. This study characterizes the pathogenetic mechanisms leading to spleen enlargement in portal hypertensive rats and focuses on mTOR pathway as a potential modulator of splenomegaly in portal hypertension. Methods: Characterization of splenomegaly was performed by histological, hematological, immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses in rats with portal hypertension induced by portal vein ligation, and compared with sham-operated animals. The contribution of the mTOR signaling pathway to splenomegaly was determined in rats with fully developed portal hypertension and control rats by treatment with rapamycin or vehicle. Results: Our results illustrate that splenomegaly in portal hypertensive rats arises as a consequence of the interplay of several factors, including not only spleen congestion, as traditionally thought, but also enlargement and hyperactivation of the splenic lymphoid tissue, as well as increased angiogenesis and fibrogenesis. Since mTOR signaling plays a central role in immunological processes, angiogenesis and fibrogenesis, we next determined the involvement of mTOR in splenomegaly. Interestingly, mTOR signaling was overactivated in the spleen of portal hypertensive rats, and mTOR blockade by rapamycin profoundly ameliorated splenomegaly, causing a 44% decrease in spleen size. This effect was most likely accounted for the inhibitory action of rapamycin on lymphocyte proliferation, neovascularization and fibrosis. Conclusions: These findings shed light on the pathogenesis of splenomegaly in portal hypertension, and identify mTOR signaling as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in this disease. © 2010 European Association for the Study of the Liver.


Senis Y.A.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Mazharian A.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Mori J.,Institute of Biomedical Research
Blood | Year: 2014

Src family kinases (SFKs) play a central role in mediating the rapid response of platelets to vascular injury. They transmit activation signals from a diverse repertoire of platelet surface receptors, including the integrin αIIbβ3, the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif-containing collagen receptor complex GPVI-FcR g-chain, and the von Willebrand factor receptor complex GPIb-IX-V, which are essential for thrombus growth and stability. Ligand-mediated clustering of these receptors triggers an increase in SFK activity and downstream tyrosine phos-phorylation of enzymes, adaptors, and cytoskeletal proteins that collectively propagate the signal and coordinate platelet activation. Agrowing bodyofevidence has established that SFKs also contribute to Gq- and Gi-coupled receptor signaling that synergizes with primary activation signals to maximally activate platelets and render them prothrombotic. Interestingly, SFKs concomitantly activate inhibitory pathways that limit platelet activation and thrombus size. In this review, we discuss past discoveries that laid the foundation for this fundamental area of platelet signal transduction, recent progress in our understanding of the distinct and overlapping functions of SFKs in platelets, and new avenues ofresearch into mechanisms of SFK regulation. We also highlight the thrombotic and hemostatic consequences of targeting platelet SFKs. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.


Weston C.J.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Adams D.H.,Institute of Biomedical Research
Journal of Neural Transmission | Year: 2011

The liver is constantly exposed to antigens present in the blood and to particulate antigens delivered from the gut. To maintain effective levels of immune surveillance and yet tolerate food antigens, the hepatic environment has become highly specialised. A low flow environment exists within the hepatic sinusoids that not only facilitates the exchange of toxins and nutrients within the liver parenchyma, but also provides an ideal niche for the recruitment of leukocytes. One such adhesion molecule involved in this process, the vascular adhesion protein-1 (VAP-1), is unusual in the context of the leukocyte adhesion cascade in that it is both an adhesion molecule and a primary amine oxidase. In this review, we examine the biological functions of VAP-1 and examine what role this molecule might play in the establishment and progression of chronic liver disease. © Springer-Verlag 2011.


Dietrich U.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Durr R.,Institute of Biomedical Research | Koch J.,Institute of Biomedical Research
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Year: 2013

Peptides are ideally suited to mimic natural ligands and thereby function in an antagonistic or agonistic way. Furthermore they are able to physiologically disrupt functional complexes due to their small size and specific binding properties. Proteins form homo- or heteromeric (macro)molecular complexes and intricate networks by interacting with small molecules, peptides, nucleic acids or other proteins. On average, five interaction partners have been estimated for any given cellular protein, illustrating the complexity of the formed 'interactomes' and the impact of their investigation. Many protein-protein interactions are mediated by hot-spots, which comprise only a small part of the large binding interface but account for 80% of the binding energy. Thus, these hot spots provide an 'Achilles heel' for pharmaceutical interventions aiming at the disruption of functional protein-protein complexes. Methods to select peptides for defined target structures include display technologies on phages, ribosomes or yeast, and the yeast-two-hybrid system. Once selected, these peptides can be optimized for their binding affinity using peptide arrays. Stabilization of biologically unstable peptides is achieved by the introduction of non-natural amino acids to form so-called peptidomimetics that are resistant to cellular proteases. Moreover, lipocalins and peptide aptamers represent scaffolded binding structures with unique binding characteristics and enhanced stability. In case of extracellular targets, like cell surface receptors or pathogens in patients' plasma, peptide inhibitors have direct access. Addressing intracellular targets with peptides is more difficult since short hydrophilic peptides generally do not cross plasma membranes on their own. However, intracellular uptake of peptides can be achieved by coupling to carrier systems like liposomes or nanoparticles or upon fusion to a protein transduction domain. Alternatively, peptides may be expressed within cells after transduction with viral vectors in a gene therapy setting. This review will summarize the broad potential of peptides as drugs, with special emphasis on peptides which inhibit protein-protein interactions. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

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