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Evron A.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Evron A.,University of Sfax | Goldman S.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Shalev E.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Shalev E.,University of Sfax
International Journal of Stem Cells | Year: 2011

Background and Objectives: The common applied culture medium in which human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) maintain their stem cell characteristics contains fetal calf serum (FCS) and thus is not compatible with possible future clinical applications due to the danger of animal derived pathogens. To overcome this problem, we replaced FCS with serum substitute supplement, a serum substitute used in the in vitro fertilization for embryo development, in the common applied culture medium and cultured hAECs in this substitute serum medium (SSM). Methods and Results: Purity validation and characterization of freshly isolated and cultured hAECs was assessed through the expression of stem cell specific markers by RT-PCR (gene expression), by immunofluorescence staining and FACS (protein expression). Furthermore, karyotype was performed at passage four in order to exclude possible chromosome anomalies in hAECs cultured in SSM. The differentiation potential of hAECs into the cardiomyogenic lineage was tested through cardiac Troponin T expression by immunohistochemistry. hAECs cultured in SSM maintained expression of all the major pluripotent genes Sox-2, Oct-4 and Nanog as well as the expression of the embryonic stem cell specific surface antigens SSEA-4, SSEA-3 and TRA-1-60 over four passages. Using cardiac differentiation medium containing 10% serum substitute supplement, hAECs differentiated into cardiac troponin T expressing cells. Conclusions: We can conclude that, hAECs maintain their stem cell characteristics when cultured in SSM for up to 4 passages. This makes possible future clinical applications of these cells more feasible.


Evron A.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Evron A.,University of Sfax | Goldman S.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Shalev E.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Shalev E.,University of Sfax
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology | Year: 2012

Background: Human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) maintain the plasticity of pregastrulation embryonic cells, having the potential to differentiate into all three germ layers. The potential of these cells to differentiate into cells expressing germ cell specific markers has never been described before. Methods: In the present study, hAECs were cultured in medium containing serum substitute supplement (SSS). Gene and protein expression of germ cell and oocyte specific markers was assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunofluorescence staining and flow activated cell sorter analysis (FACS) in hAECs at different time points during the differentiation into cells expressing germ cell specific markers. Results: When cultured with SSS, already at passage 1, hAECs start to express the germ cell specific genes C-KIT, DAZL, VASA and ZP3 and at passage 5 large round cells, resembling oocytes, appeared. The cells express the germ cell specific marker DAZL, the oocyte specific markers GDF9 and ZP3 and the meiosis specific markers DMC1 and SCP3 at the protein level. Conclusions: From our preliminary results we can conclude that hAECs have the potential to differentiate into cells expressing germ cell specific markers. © 2012 Evron et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Evron A.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Evron A.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Goldman S.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Shalev E.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Shalev E.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Human Reproduction | Year: 2011

Background Successful implantation requires a receptive endometrium. We hypothesized that effects of endometrial stromal cells (ESC) on epithelial cell receptivity and trophoblastendometrium interaction are menstrual cycle dependent. Methods An endometrial in vitro 3D co-culture model of primary human ESC with the endometrial epithelial cell line (RL95-2) was constructed. Co-cultures were prepared using primary ESC from biopsies taken before the window of implantation (ESCbw) and during the window of implantation (ESCw), on cycle days 1017 and 1923, respectively. RL95-2 served as a constant parameter upon which the influence of ESC from different phases of the cycle was investigated. proMMP-2 (MMP, matrix metalloproteinase) and proMMP-9 secretion was tested in response to progesterone. Progesterone receptor B (PR-B) and plexin B1 protein expression and mRNA levels were investigated using immunofluorescence and RTPCR, respectively. Results Progesterone increased proMMP-2 secretion in primary ESCbw (P 0.0046) but decreased proMMP-2 and proMMP-9 secretion in ESCw (P < 0.0005). In the presence of ESCbw, JAR spheroid attachment rate to overlying RL95-2 cells was decreased (P < 0.0001), whereas in the presence of ESCw, attachment rate was unchanged. Progesterone treatment restored epithelial cell receptivity in co-culture with ESCbw (P 0.00004). A correlation between spheroid attachment rate and plexin B1 mRNA level was observed (P 0.01). PR-B protein and mRNA level were influenced by the interplay between RL95-2 and stromal cells. Conclusion The effects of human primary ESC on epithelial cell receptivity and trophoblastendometrium interaction depended upon whether the ESC were taken before or during the window of implantation. © 2010 The Author.


PubMed | Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of stem cells | Year: 2013

The common applied culture medium in which human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) maintain their stem cell characteristics contains fetal calf serum (FCS) and thus is not compatible with possible future clinical applications due to the danger of animal derived pathogens. To overcome this problem, we replaced FCS with serum substitute supplement, a serum substitute used in the in vitro fertilization for embryo development, in the common applied culture medium and cultured hAECs in this substitute serum medium (SSM).Purity validation and characterization of freshly isolated and cultured hAECs was assessed through the expression of stem cell specific markers by RT-PCR (gene expression), by immunofluorescence staining and FACS (protein expression). Furthermore, karyotype was performed at passage four in order to exclude possible chromosome anomalies in hAECs cultured in SSM. The differentiation potential of hAECs into the cardiomyogenic lineage was tested through cardiac Troponin T expression by immunohistochemistry. hAECs cultured in SSM maintained expression of all the major pluripotent genes Sox-2, Oct-4 and Nanog as well as the expression of the embryonic stem cell specific surface antigens SSEA-4, SSEA-3 and TRA-1-60 over four passages. Using cardiac differentiation medium containing 10% serum substitute supplement, hAECs differentiated into cardiac troponin T expressing cells.We can conclude that, hAECs maintain their stem cell characteristics when cultured in SSM for up to 4 passages. This makes possible future clinical applications of these cells more feasible.


PubMed | Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science
Type: | Journal: Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E | Year: 2010

To study the expression of Plexin-B1, Glycodelin, and MMP7 during the menstrual cycle in the endometrium and in the fallopian tube.The research included women undergoing hysterectomy, tubal sterilization or salpingo-oophoerectomy. Total RNA from endometrial and fallopian tube tissues was extracted using a total RNA isolation kit. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was performed to examine mRNA relative expression.Plexin-B1 expression in the endometrium was significantly higher on days 19 - 23 compared to days 12 - 14 (1.166 +/- 0.42 versus 0.523 +/- 0.299), P < 0.005. In the fallopian tube the level of plexin-B1 did not change significantly throughout the menstrual cycle. Glycodelin expression was significantly higher on days 19 - 23 compared with days 12-14, both in the endometrium (0.819 +/- 0.564 versus 0.072 +/- 0.343, P < 0.05) and the fallopian tube (0.796 +/- 0.196 versus 0.329 +/- 0.398, P < 0.05). Although the level of MMP7 secretion was the highest in the secretory phase the difference from the proliferative phase did not reach statistical significance, neither in the endometrium nor in the fallopian tube. This could result from a lack of power.In the endometrium, both Glycodelin and Plexin-B1 are exhibiting a cyclic pattern suggesting a possible steroid regulation and a role in endometrial receptivity.


PubMed | Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science
Type: | Journal: Acta biomaterialia | Year: 2015

We perform bulge tests on live fetal membrane (FM) tissues that simulate the mechanical conditions prior to contractions. Experimental results reveal an irreversible mechanical behavior that appears during loading and is significantly different than the mechanical behavior that appears during unloading or in subsequent loading cycles. The irreversible behavior results in a residual strain that does not recover upon unloading and remains the same for at least 1h after the FM is unloaded. Surprisingly, the irreversible behavior demonstrates a linear stress-strain relation. We introduce a new model for the mechanical response of collagen tissues, which accounts for the irreversible deformation and provides predictions in agreement with our experimental results. The basic assumption of the model is that the constitutive stress-strain relationship of individual elements that compose the collagen fibers has a plateau segment during which an irreversible transformation/deformation occurs. Fittings of calculated and measured stress-strain curves reveal a well-defined single-value property of collagenous tissues, which is related to the threshold strain th for irreversible transformation. Further discussion of several physio-mechanical processes that can induce irreversible behavior indicate that the most probable process, which is in agreement with our results for th, is a phase transformation of collagen molecules from an -helix to a -sheet structure. A phase transformation is a manifestation of a significant change in the molecular structure of the collagen tissues that can alter connections with surrounding molecules and may lead to critical biological changes, e.g., an initiation of labor.This study is driven by the hypothesis that pre-contraction mechanical stretch of the fetal membrane (FM) can lead to a change in the microstructure of the FM, which in turn induces a critical biological (hormonal) change that leads to the initiation of labor. We present mechanical characterizations of live FM tissues that reveal a significant irreversible process and a new model for the mechanical response of collagen tissues, which accounts for this process. Fittings of calculated and measured results reveal a well-defined single-value property of collagenous tissues, which is related to the threshold strain for irreversible transformation. Further discussion indicates that the irreversible deformation is induced by a phase transformation of collagen molecules that can lead to critical biological changes.


Marom Y.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Goldman S.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Shalev E.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Shalev E.,Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science | Shilo D.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Acta Biomaterialia | Year: 2016

We perform bulge tests on live fetal membrane (FM) tissues that simulate the mechanical conditions prior to contractions. Experimental results reveal an irreversible mechanical behavior that appears during loading and is significantly different than the mechanical behavior that appears during unloading or in subsequent loading cycles. The irreversible behavior results in a residual strain that does not recover upon unloading and remains the same for at least 1 h after the FM is unloaded. Surprisingly, the irreversible behavior demonstrates a linear stress-strain relation. We introduce a new model for the mechanical response of collagen tissues, which accounts for the irreversible deformation and provides predictions in agreement with our experimental results. The basic assumption of the model is that the constitutive stress-strain relationship of individual elements that compose the collagen fibers has a plateau segment during which an irreversible transformation/deformation occurs. Fittings of calculated and measured stress-strain curves reveal a well-defined single-value property of collagenous tissues, which is related to the threshold strain εth for irreversible transformation. Further discussion of several physio-mechanical processes that can induce irreversible behavior indicate that the most probable process, which is in agreement with our results for εth, is a phase transformation of collagen molecules from an α-helix to a β-sheet structure. A phase transformation is a manifestation of a significant change in the molecular structure of the collagen tissues that can alter connections with surrounding molecules and may lead to critical biological changes, e.g., an initiation of labor. Statement of Significance This study is driven by the hypothesis that pre-contraction mechanical stretch of the fetal membrane (FM) can lead to a change in the microstructure of the FM, which in turn induces a critical biological (hormonal) change that leads to the initiation of labor. We present mechanical characterizations of live FM tissues that reveal a significant irreversible process and a new model for the mechanical response of collagen tissues, which accounts for this process. Fittings of calculated and measured results reveal a well-defined single-value property of collagenous tissues, which is related to the threshold strain for irreversible transformation. Further discussion indicates that the irreversible deformation is induced by a phase transformation of collagen molecules that can lead to critical biological changes. © 2015 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Laboratory for Research in Reproductive science
Type: | Journal: Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E | Year: 2013

Human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) maintain the plasticity of pregastrulation embryonic cells, having the potential to differentiate into all three germ layers. The potential of these cells to differentiate into cells expressing germ cell specific markers has never been described before.In the present study, hAECs were cultured in medium containing serum substitute supplement (SSS). Gene and protein expression of germ cell and oocyte specific markers was assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunofluorescence staining and flow activated cell sorter analysis (FACS) in hAECs at different time points during the differentiation into cells expressing germ cell specific markers.When cultured with SSS, already at passage 1, hAECs start to express the germ cell specific genes C-KIT, DAZL, VASA and ZP3 and at passage 5 large round cells, resembling oocytes, appeared. The cells express the germ cell specific marker DAZL, the oocyte specific markers GDF9 and ZP3 and the meiosis specific markers DMC1 and SCP3 at the protein level.From our preliminary results we can conclude that hAECs have the potential to differentiate into cells expressing germ cell specific markers.

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