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Boneschansker L.,Harvard University | Boneschansker L.,Transplant Research Program | Inoue Y.,Harvard University | Inoue Y.,Mayo Medical School | And 2 more authors.
Integrative Biology (United Kingdom) | Year: 2016

Capillary plexuses are commonly regarded as reliable networks for blood flow and robust oxygen delivery to hypoxia sensitive tissues. They have high levels of redundancy to assure adequate blood supply when one or more of the capillaries in the network are blocked by a clot. However, despite having extensive capillary plexuses, many vital organs are often subject to secondary organ injury in patients with severe inflammation. Recent studies have suggested that neutrophils play a role in this pathology, even though their precise contribution remains elusive. Here we investigate the effect of chromatin fibres released from overly-activated neutrophils (neutrophil extracellular traps, NETs) on the flow of blood through microfluidic networks of channels replicating geometrical features of capillary plexuses. In an in vitro setting, we show that NETs can decouple the traffic of red blood cells from that of plasma in microfluidic networks. The effect is astonishingly disproportionate, with NETs from less than 200 neutrophils resulting in more than half of a 0.6 mm2 microfluidic network to become void of red blood cell traffic. Importantly, the NETs are able to perturb the blood flow in capillary networks despite the presence of anti-coagulants. If verified to occur in vivo, this finding could represent a novel mechanism for tissue hypoxia and secondary organ injury during severe inflammation in patients already receiving antithrombotic and anticoagulant therapies. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

The maintenance of normal tissue homeostasis and the prevention of chronic inflammatory disease are dependent on the active process of inflammation resolution. In endothelial cells (ECs), proinflammation results from the activation of intracellular signaling responses and/or the inhibition of endogenous regulatory/pro-resolution signaling networks that, to date, are poorly defined. In this study, we find that DEP domain containing mTOR interacting protein (DEPTOR) is expressed in different microvascular ECs in vitro and in vivo, and using a small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown approach, we find that it regulates mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, and signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 activation in part through independent mechanisms. Moreover, using limited gene arrays, we observed that DEPTOR regulates EC activation including mRNA expression of the T-cell chemoattractant chemokines CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11, CX3CL1, CCL5, and CCL20 and the adhesion molecules intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (P < .05). DEPTOR siRNA-transfected ECs also bound increased numbers of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (P < .005) and CD3+ T cells (P < .005) in adhesion assays in vitro and had increased migration and angiogenic responses in spheroid sprouting (P < .01) and wound healing (P < .01) assays. Collectively, these findings define DEPTOR as a critical upstream regulator of EC activation responses and suggest that it plays an important role in endogenous mechanisms of anti-inflammation and pro-resolution. Source

Daly K.P.,Transplant Research Program | Daly K.P.,Harvard University
Cardiology in the Young | Year: 2015

Heart transplantation offers excellent survival benefit to children with end-stage heart failure. With its success, the number of potential recipients continues to exceed the number of available donors. Developing strategies to safely increase donor utilisation is crucial to decreasing wait-list mortality. A new paediatric heart allocation policy is set to be implemented with the goal of prioritising the most urgent listed candidates. Owing to excellent outcomes of ABO-incompatible heart transplantation, the sickest infants will soon receive priority for heart offers irrespective of blood group. Allosensitisation poses unique challenges within the paediatric population; ongoing multi-centre studies are poised to refine our understanding of key risk factors and optimal treatment strategies. Biomarkers for acute cellular rejection, such as donor-specific cell-free DNA, and cardiac allograft vasculopathy, such as VEGF-A, may lead to a decreased need for invasive screening. Ultimately, well-designed and executed randomised control trials of post-transplant immunosuppression are required to improve long-term outcomes after paediatric heart transplantation. © Cambridge University Press 2015. Source

Boneschansker L.,Transplant Research Program | Boneschansker L.,Harvard University | Yan J.,Harvard University | Wong E.,Harvard University | And 3 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

Leukocyte migration into tissues is characteristic of inflammation. It is usually measured in vitro as the average displacement of populations of cells towards a chemokine gradient, not acknowledging other patterns of cell migration. Here, we designed and validated a microfluidic migration platform to simultaneously analyse four qualitative migration patterns: chemoattraction, -repulsion, -kinesis and -inhibition, using single-cell quantitative metrics of direction, speed, persistence and fraction of cells responding. We find that established chemokines, complement component 5a and IL-8 induce chemoattraction and repulsion in equal proportions, resulting in the dispersal of cells. These migration signatures are characterized by high persistence and speed and are independent of the chemokine dose or receptor expression. Furthermore, we find that twice as many T lymphocytes migrate away than towards stromal cell-derived factor 1 and their directional migration patterns are not persistent. Overall, our platform helps discover migratory signature responses and uncovers an avenue for precise characterization of leukocyte migration and therapeutic modulators. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

Venugopal S.K.,Transplant Research Program | Jiang J.,University of California at Davis | Kim T.-H.,Transplant Research Program | Kim T.-H.,Ewha Womans University | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology | Year: 2010

Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC) results in their proliferation and in the secretion of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, which leads to hepatic fibrosis. microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to regulate various cell functions, such as proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Hence, we have analyzed the miRNAs that were differentially expressed in HSC isolated from sham-operated and bile duct-ligated rats. Expression of two miRNAs, miRNA-150 and miRNA-194, was reduced in HSC isolated from fibrotic rats compared with sham-operated animals. These two miRNAs were overexpressed in LX-2 cells, and their ability to inhibit cell proliferation, the expression of smooth muscle α-actin (SMA), a marker for activation, and collagen type I, a marker for ECM secretion, was determined. Overexpression of these two miRNAs resulted in a significant inhibition of proliferation (P < 0.05) and reduced SMA and collagen I levels compared with either untreated cells or nonspecific miRNA-expressing cells. Next, the protein targets of these two miRNAs were found using bioinformatics approaches. C-myb was found to be a target for miRNA-150, and rac 1 was found to be one of the targets for miRNA-194. Therefore, we studied the expression of these two proteins by overexpressing these two miRNAs in LX-2 cells and found that overexpression of miRNA-150 and miRNA-194 resulted in a significant inhibition of c-myb and rac 1 expression, respectively. We conclude that both miRNA-150 and miRNA-194 inhibit HSC activation and ECM production, at least in part, via inhibition of c-myb and rac 1 expression. Copyright © 2010 the American Physiological Society. Source

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