51 research outputs found

    Developmental potential of human haematopoietic stem cells in the NOD/Scid xenotransplantation model.

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    Early reports indicated cell engraftment from bone marrow transplants into non- hematopoietic tissues in mouse to mouse and in human allogeneic bone marrow transplants. To investigate the developmental potential of human stem cells I used xenotransplantation of stem cells purified from cord blood into a mouse model. Human stem cells introduced into the NOD/Scid mouse after partial myeloablation repopulate the bone marrow and contribute to the hematopoietic system of the mouse. Engraftment into the bone marrow was measured by FACS and human genetic material was found in the spleen, skin, lung and liver. Engraftment in the liver was studied with a variety of methods, ranging from PCR based assays to FISH analysis and immunohistochemistry. To allow better identification of human cells transduction with a lentivirus carrying the GFP gene was used. Liver damage has been suggested as one of the factors influencing homing of stem cells to the liver and transdifferentiation of bone marrow cells into hepatocytes. To assess the role of tissue damage a model of severe liver injury induced by CCU was utilised. Two stages of damage might be important in this context, damage during the process of homing, and damage during transdifferentiation both of which were studied. I demonstrate that stem cell homing to the liver is significantly increased upon liver injury. Human albumin and a-anti-trypsin messenger RNA is expressed in the livers of some animals by RT-PCR and large GFP positive hepatocytes and hepatocytes staining with HepPar-1, thought to be specific for human hepatocytes, are present. However, transdifferentiation defined as the emergence of mature human hepatocytes after bone marrow transplantation could not be found. A variety of methods used to determine the genetic identity in GFP positive hepatocytes only identified remnants of the human genome. In addition to small amounts of human DNA the murine Y chromosome and the murine TNFa locus were readily detected in these hepatocytes. I conclude that transdifferentiation of human stem cells to a mature hepatocyte phenotype does not occur in the NOD/Scid model of bone marrow transplantation even after severe CCU induced liver damage. Instead human cells most probably of haematopoietic origin fuse with resident hepatocytes to give rise to mixed heterokaryons expressing some, but not all markers of human hepatocytes. To achieve true transdifferentiation a different, more chronic type of tissue damage, or a better defined stem cell population might be required

    Benchmarking of T cell receptor repertoire profiling methods reveals large systematic biases

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    Monitoring the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire in health and disease can provide key insights into adaptive immune responses, but the accuracy of current TCR sequencing (TCRseq) methods is unclear. In this study, we systematically compared the results of nine commercial and academic TCRseq methods, including six rapid amplification of complementary DNA ends (RACE)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and three multiplex-PCR approaches, when applied to the same T cell sample. We found marked differences in accuracy and intra- and inter-method reproducibility for T cell receptor α (TRA) and T cell receptor β (TRB) TCR chains. Most methods showed a lower ability to capture TRA than TRB diversity. Low RNA input generated non-representative repertoires. Results from the 5' RACE-PCR methods were consistent among themselves but differed from the RNA-based multiplex-PCR results. Using an in silico meta-repertoire generated from 108 replicates, we found that one genomic DNA-based method and two non-unique molecular identifier (UMI) RNA-based methods were more sensitive than UMI methods in detecting rare clonotypes, despite the better clonotype quantification accuracy of the latter

    Host and microbiome features of secondary infections in lethal covid-19

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    Secondary infections contribute significantly to covid-19 mortality but driving factors remain poorly understood. Autopsies of 20 covid-19 cases and 14 controls from the first pandemic wave complemented with microbial cultivation and RNA-seq from lung tissues enabled description of major organ pathologies and specification of secondary infections. Lethal covid-19 segregated into two main death causes with either dominant diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) or secondary pneumonias. The lung microbiome in covid-19 showed a reduced biodiversity and increased prototypical bacterial and fungal pathogens in cases of secondary pneumonias. RNA-seq distinctly mirrored death causes and stratified DAD cases into subgroups with differing cellular compositions identifying myeloid cells, macrophages and complement C1q as strong separating factors suggesting a pathophysiological link. Together with a prominent induction of inhibitory immune-checkpoints our study highlights profound alterations of the lung immunity in covid-19 wherein a reduced antimicrobial defense likely drives development of secondary infections on top of SARS-CoV-2 infection

    Human gene-engineered calreticulin mutant stem cells recapitulate MPN hallmarks and identify targetable vulnerabilities

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    Calreticulin (CALR) mutations present the main oncogenic drivers in JAK2 wildtype (WT) myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), including essential thrombocythemia and myelofibrosis, where mutant (MUT) CALR is increasingly recognized as a suitable mutation-specific drug target. However, our current understanding of its mechanism-of-action is derived from mouse models or immortalized cell lines, where cross-species differences, ectopic over-expression and lack of disease penetrance are hampering translational research. Here, we describe the first human gene-engineered model of CALR MUT MPN using a CRISPR/Cas9 and adeno-associated viral vector-mediated knock-in strategy in primary human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) to establish a reproducible and trackable phenotype in vitro and in xenografted mice. Our humanized model recapitulates many disease hallmarks: thrombopoietin-independent megakaryopoiesis, myeloid-lineage skewing, splenomegaly, bone marrow fibrosis, and expansion of megakaryocyte-primed CD41+ progenitors. Strikingly, introduction of CALR mutations enforced early reprogramming of human HSPCs and the induction of an endoplasmic reticulum stress response. The observed compensatory upregulation of chaperones revealed novel mutation-specific vulnerabilities with preferential sensitivity of CALR mutant cells to inhibition of the BiP chaperone and the proteasome. Overall, our humanized model improves purely murine models and provides a readily usable basis for testing of novel therapeutic strategies in a human setting.Johannes Foßelteder, Gabriel Pabst, Tommaso Sconocchia, Angelika Schlacher, Lisa Auinger, Karl Kashofer, Christine Beham-Schmid, Slave Trajanoski, Claudia Waskow, Wolfgang Schöll, Heinz Sill, Armin Zebisch, Albert Wölfler, Daniel Thomas, and Andreas Reinisc

    Human melanoma brain metastases cell line MUG-Mel1, isolated clones and their detailed characterization

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    Melanoma is a leading cause of high mortality that frequently spreads to the brain and is associated with deterioration in quality and quantity of life. Treatment opportunities have been restricted until now and new therapy options are urgently required. Our focus was to reveal the potential heterogeneity of melanoma brain metastasis. We succeeded to establish a brain melanoma metastasis cell line, namely MUG-Mel1 and two resulting clones D5 and C8 by morphological variety, differences in lipidome, growth behavior, surface, and stem cell markers. Mutation analysis by next-generation sequencing, copy number profiling, and cytogenetics demonstrated the different genetic profile of MUG-Mel1 and clones. Tumorigenicity was unsuccessfully tested in various mouse systems and finally established in a zebra fish model. As innovative treatment option, with high potential to pass the blood-brain barrier a peptide isolated from lactoferricin was studied in potential toxicity. Brain metastases are a major clinical challenge, therefore the development of relevant in vitro and in vivo models derived from brain melanoma metastases provides valuable information about tumor biology and offers great potential to screen for new innovative therapies.Animal science

    Retinal repair by transplantation of photoreceptor precursors

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    Photoreceptor loss causes irreversible blindness in many retinal diseases. Repair of such damage by cell transplantation is one of the most feasible types of central nervous system repair; photoreceptor degeneration initially leaves the inner retinal circuitry intact and new photoreceptors need only make single, short synaptic connections to contribute to the retinotopic map. So far, brain- and retina-derived stem cells transplanted into adult retina have shown little evidence of being able to integrate into the outer nuclear layer and differentiate into new photoreceptors(1-4). Furthermore, there has been no demonstration that transplanted cells form functional synaptic connections with other neurons in the recipient retina or restore visual function. This might be because the mature mammalian retina lacks the ability to accept and incorporate stem cells or to promote photoreceptor differentiation. We hypothesized that committed progenitor or precursor cells at later ontogenetic stages might have a higher probability of success upon transplantation. Here we show that donor cells can integrate into the adult or degenerating retina if they are taken from the developing retina at a time coincident with the peak of rod genesis(5). These transplanted cells integrate, differentiate into rod photoreceptors, form synaptic connections and improve visual function. Furthermore, we use genetically tagged postmitotic rod precursors expressing the transcription factor Nrl (ref. 6) ( neural retina leucine zipper) to show that successfully integrated rod photoreceptors are derived only from immature post-mitotic rod precursors and not from proliferating progenitor or stem cells. These findings define the ontogenetic stage of donor cells for successful rod photoreceptor transplantation.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/62596/1/nature05161.pd

    SYSGENET: a meeting report from a new European network for systems genetics

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    The first scientific meeting of the newly established European SYSGENET network took place at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, April 7-9, 2010. About 50 researchers working in the field of systems genetics using mouse genetic reference populations (GRP) participated in the meeting and exchanged their results, phenotyping approaches, and data analysis tools for studying systems genetics. In addition, the future of GRP resources and phenotyping in Europe was discussed

    Contribution of human hematopoietic stem cells to liver repair

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    Immune-deficient mouse models of liver damage allow examination of human stem cell migration to sites of damage and subsequent contribution to repair and survival. In our studies, in the absence of a selective advantage, transplanted human stem cells from adult sources did not robustly become hepatocytes, although some level of fusion or hepatic differentiation was documented. However, injected stem cells did home to the injured liver tissue and release paracrine factors that hastened endogenous repair and enhanced survival. There were significantly higher levels of survival in mice with a toxic liver insult that had been transplanted with human stem cells but not in those transplanted with committed progenitors. Transplantation of autologous adult stem cells without conditioning is a relatively safe therapy. Adult stem cells are known to secrete bioactive factors that suppress the local immune system, inhibit fibrosis (scar formation) and apoptosis, enhance angiogenesis, and stimulate recruitment, retention, mitosis, and differentiation of tissue-residing stem cells. These paracrine effects are distinct from the direct differentiation of stem cells to repair tissue. In patients at high risk while waiting for a liver transplant, autologous stem cell therapy could be considered, as it could delay the decline in liver function