Microvesicles (MVs) have previously been shown to exert profibrinolytic capacity, which is increased in patients with septic shock (SS) with a favorable outcome. We therefore hypothesized that the plasmin generation capacity (PGC) could confer to MVs a protective effect supported by their capacity to lyse a thrombus, and we investigated the mechanisms involved. Using a MV-PGC kinetic assay, ELISA and flow cytometry, we found that granulocyte MVs (Gran-MVs) from SS patients display a heterogeneous PGC profile driven by the uPA (urokinase)/uPAR system. In vitro, these MVs lyse a thrombus according to their MV-PGC levels in a uPA/uPAR-dependent manner, as shown in a fluorescent clot lysis test and a lysis front retraction assay. Fibrinolytic activators conveyed by MVs contribute to approximately 30% of the plasma plasminogenolytic capacity of SS patients. In a murine model of SS, the injection of high PGC Gran-MVs significantly improved mouse survival and reduced the number of thrombi in vital organs. This was associated with a modification of the mouse coagulation and fibrinolysis properties toward a more fibrinolytic profile. Interestingly, mouse survival was not improved when soluble uPA was injected. Finally, using a multiplex array on plasma from SS patients, we found that neutrophil elastase correlates with the effect of high-PGC-capacity plasma and modulates the Gran-MV plasmin generation capacity by cleaving uPA-PAI-1 complexes. In conclusion, we show that high PGC level displayed by Gran-MVs reduce thrombus formation and improve survival conferring to Gran-MVs a protective role in a murine model of sepsis.
RNA interference (RNAi) molecules have tremendous potential for cancer therapy but are limited by insufficient potency after intravenous (IV) administration. We previously found that polymer complexes (polyplexes) formed between 3′-cholesterol-modified siRNA (Chol-siRNA) or DsiRNA (Chol-DsiRNA) and the cationic diblock copolymer PLL-PEG[5K] greatly increase RNAi potency against stably expressed LUC mRNA in primary syngeneic murine breast tumors after daily IV dosing. Chol-DsiRNA polyplexes, however, maintain LUC mRNA suppression for ~48 h longer after the final dose than Chol-siRNA polyplexes, which suggests that they are the better candidate formulation. Here, we directly compared the activities of Chol-siRNA polyplexes and Chol-DsiRNA polyplexes in primary murine 4T1 breast tumors against STAT3, a therapeutically relevant target gene that is overexpressed in many solid tumors, including breast cancer. We found that Chol-siSTAT3 polyplexes suppressed STAT3 mRNA in 4T1 tumors with similar potency (half-maximal ED50 0.3 mg/kg) and kinetics (over 96 h) as Chol-DsiSTAT3 polyplexes, but with slightly lower activity against total Stat3 protein (29% vs. 42% suppression) and tumor growth (11.5% vs. 8.6% rate-based T/C ratio) after repeated IV administration of equimolar, tumor-saturating doses every other day. Thus, both Chol-siRNA polyplexes and Chol-DsiRNA polyplexes may be suitable clinical candidates for the RNAi therapy of breast cancer and other solid tumors.
Endometriosis is a prevalent gynecologic condition associated with pelvic pain and infertility characterized by the implantation and growth of endometrial tissue displaced into the pelvis via retrograde menstruation. The mouse is a molecularly well-annotated and cost-efficient species for modeling human disease in the therapeutic discovery pipeline. However, as a non-menstrual species with a closed tubo-ovarian junction, the mouse poses inherent challenges as a preclinical model for endometriosis research. Over the past three decades, numerous murine models of endometriosis have been described with varying degrees of fidelity in recapitulating the essential pathophysiologic features of the human disease. We conducted a search of the peer-reviewed literature to identify publications describing preclinical research using a murine model of endometriosis. Each model was reviewed according to a panel of ideal model parameters founded on the current understanding of endometriosis pathophysiology. Evaluated parameters included method of transplantation, cycle phase and type of tissue transplanted, recipient immune/ovarian status, iterative schedule of transplantation, and option for longitudinal lesion assessment. Though challenges remain, more recent models have incorporated innovative technical approaches such as in vivo fluorescence imaging and novel hormonal preparations to overcome the unique challenges posed by murine anatomy and physiology. These models offer significant advantages in lesion development and readout toward a high-fidelity mouse model for translational research in endometriosis.
Alternative therapies for cancer treatment have been developed using bioactive compounds such as betulinic acid (BA). The objective of this study was to investigate the bioactivity of BA in its free form and compare it with its nano-encapsulated form under a skin carcinogenesis protocol in a genetically modified murine model. K14E6 and FVB mice were divided into four groups to be treated with free BA and with betulinic acid nanoemulsion (BANE). Lecithin enriched with medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) was employed as an emulsifier to prepare the nanoemulsions with a mean droplet size of 40 nm. Skin tumors were induced by exposure to DMBA and TPA directly to the transgenic mice. Tumor development was completely inhibited by BANE and by 70% with free BA. This was validated by histological sections and the gene expression of the Cdk4 and Casp8 genes.
Chronic prostatitis/Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a condition that affects a large number of men and has unknown etiology. We have previously demonstrated the presence of elevated levels of mast cell tryptase in expressed prostatic secretions (EPS) of CP/CPPS patients. In a murine model of CP/CPPS, we showed tryptase and its cognate receptor PAR2 as critical to the development of pelvic pain and lower urinary tract symptoms. Here, we extend these observations to demonstrate that an isoform of tryptase called delta (δ)-tryptase, is elevated in the EPS of patients with CP/CPPS and is correlated with pelvic pain symptoms. Using an Escherichia coli (CP1) -induced murine model of CP/CPPS, we demonstrated a differential response in C57BL/6J and NOD/ShiLtJ mice, with C57BL6/J mice being resistant to an increase in pelvic tactile allodynia, despite having equivalent levels of activated mast cells in the prostate. Activated tryptase+ve mast cells were observed to be in closer apposition to PGP9.5+ve nerve fibers in the prostate stroma of NOD/ShiLtJ in comparison to C57BL/6J mice. The mouse ortholog of δ-tryptase, mouse mast cell protease 7 (mMCP7) has been reported to be unexpressed in C57BL/6J mice. We confirmed the absence of mMCP7 in the prostates of C57BL/6J and its presence in NOD/ShiLtJ mice. To evaluate a role for mMCP7 in the differential allodynia responses, we performed direct intra-urethral instillations of mMCP7 and the beta (β)-tryptase isoform ortholog, mMCP6 in the CP1-infection model. mMCP7, but not mMCP6 was able to induce an acute pelvic allodynia response in C57BL/6J mice. In-vitro studies with mMCP7 on cultured mast cells as well as dissociated primary neurons demonstrated the ability to induce differential activation of pain and inflammation associated molecules compared to mMCP6. We conclude that mMCP7, and possibility its human ortholog δ-tryptase, may play an important role in mediating the development of pelvic tactile allodynia in the mouse model of pelvic pain and in patients with CP/CPPS.