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Clayton South, Australia

Kaitu'u-Lino T.J.,Monash Institute of Medical Research
Biology of reproduction | Year: 2012

The human endometrium is incredibly dynamic, undergoing monthly cycles of growth and regression during a woman's reproductive life. Endometrial repair at the cessation of menstruation is critical for reestablishment of a functional endometrium receptive for embryo implantation; however, little is understood about the mechanisms behind this rapid and highly efficient process. This study utilized a functional mouse model of endometrial breakdown and repair to assess changes in endometrial vasculature that accompany these dynamic processes. Given that adult endometrial stem/progenitor cells identified in human and mouse endometrium are likely contributors to the remarkable regenerative capacity of endometrium, we also assessed label-retaining cells (LRC) as candidate stromal stem/progenitor cells and examined their relationship with endometrial vasculature. Newborn mouse pups were pulse-labeled with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and chased for 5 wk before decidualization, endometrial breakdown, and repair were induced by hormonal manipulation. Mean vessel density did not change significantly throughout breakdown and repair; however, significantly elevated endothelial cell proliferation was observed in decidual tissue. Stromal LRC were identified throughout breakdown and repair, with significantly fewer observed during endometrial repair than before decidualization. A significantly higher percentage of LRC were associated with vasculature during repair than before decidualization, and a proportion were undergoing proliferation, indicative of their functional capacity. This study is the first to examine the endometrial vasculature and candidate stromal stem/progenitor cells in a functional mouse model of endometrial breakdown and repair and provides functional evidence suggesting that perivascular LRC may contribute to endometrial stromal expansion during the extensive remodeling associated with this process.

Funder J.W.,Monash Institute of Medical Research
Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases | Year: 2010

Aldosterone is currently thought to exert its physiologic effects by activating epithelial mineralocorticoid receptors, and its pathologic effects on the cardiovascular system via mineralocorticoid receptors in the heart and blood vessels. Recent studies have extended this understanding to include a reevaluation of the roles of aldosterone and mineralocorticoid receptor activation in blood pressure control; the rapid, nongenomic effects of aldosterone; the role of cortisol as a mineralocorticoid receptor agonist under conditions of redox change/tissue damage/reactive oxygen species generation; the growing consensus that primary aldosteronism accounts for approximately 10% of all essential hypertension; recent new insights into the cardioprotective role of spironolactone; and the development of third- and fourth-generation mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists for use in cardiovascular and other inflammatory disease. These findings on aldosterone action and mineralocorticoid receptor blockade are analyzed in the context of the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. © 2010.

St John J.C.,Monash Institute of Medical Research
Acta neuropathologica communications | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes key proteins of the electron transfer chain (ETC), which produces ATP through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and is essential for cells to perform specialised functions. Tumor-initiating cells use aerobic glycolysis, a combination of glycolysis and low levels of OXPHOS, to promote rapid cell proliferation and tumor growth. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressively malignant brain tumor and mitochondria have been proposed to play a vital role in GBM tumorigenesis.RESULTS: Using next generation sequencing and high resolution melt analysis, we identified a large number of mtDNA variants within coding and non-coding regions of GBM cell lines and predicted their disease-causing potential through in silico modeling. The frequency of variants was greatest in the D-loop and origin of light strand replication in non-coding regions. ND6 was the most susceptible coding gene to mutation whilst ND4 had the highest frequency of mutation. Both genes encode subunits of complex I of the ETC. These variants were not detected in unaffected brain samples and many have not been previously reported. Depletion of HSR-GBM1 cells to varying degrees of their mtDNA followed by transplantation into immunedeficient mice resulted in the repopulation of the same variants during tumorigenesis. Likewise, de novo variants identified in other GBM cell lines were also incorporated. Nevertheless, ND4 and ND6 were still the most affected genes. We confirmed the presence of these variants in high grade gliomas.CONCLUSIONS: These novel variants contribute to GBM by rendering the ETC. partially dysfunctional. This restricts metabolism to anaerobic glycolysis and promotes cell proliferation.

St. John J.,Monash Institute of Medical Research
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2014

Background Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is important for energy production as it encodes some of the key genes of electron transfer chain, where the majority of cellular energy is generated through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). MtDNA replication is mediated by nuclear DNA-encoded proteins or enzymes, which translocate to the mitochondria, and is strictly regulated throughout development. It starts with approximately 200 copies in each primordial germ cell and these copies undergo expansion and restriction events at various stages of development. Scope of review I describe the patterns of mtDNA replication at key stages of development. I explain that it is essential to regulate mtDNA copy number and to establish the mtDNA set point in order that the mature, specialised cell acquires the appropriate numbers of mtDNA copy to generate sufficient adenosine triphosphate (ATP) through OXPHOS to undertake its specialised function. I discuss how these processes are dependent on the controlled expression of the nuclear-encoded mtDNA-specific replication factors and that this can be modulated by mtDNA haplotypes. I discuss how these events are altered by certain assisted reproductive technologies, some of which have been proposed to prevent the transmission of mutant mtDNA and others to overcome infertility. Furthermore, some of these technologies are predisposed to transmitting two or more populations of mtDNA, which can be extremely harmful. Major conclusions The failure to regulate mtDNA replication and mtDNA transmission during development is disadvantageous. General significance Manipulation of oocytes and embryos can lead to significant implications for the maternal-only transmission of mtDNA. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Frontiers of mitochondrial research. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Funder J.W.,Monash Institute of Medical Research
Science | Year: 2011

Adrenal gland tumor growth and increased aldosterone production are linked to mutations in a potassium channel.

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