Background: Perioperative neurocognitive disorders (PNDs) occur commonly in older patients after anesthesia and surgery. Treating astrocytes with general anesthetic drugs stimulates the release of soluble factors that increase the cell-surface expression and function of GABAA receptors in neurons. Such crosstalk may contribute to PNDs; however, the receptor targets in astrocytes for anesthetic drugs have not been identified. GABAA receptors, which are the major targets of general anesthetic drugs in neurons, are also expressed in astrocytes, raising the possibility that these drugs act on GABAA receptors in astrocytes to trigger the release of soluble factors. To date, no study has directly examined the sensitivity of GABAA receptors in astrocytes to general anesthetic drugs that are frequently used in clinical practice. Thus, the goal of this study was to determine whether the function of GABAA receptors in astrocytes was modulated by the intravenous anesthetic etomidate and the inhaled anesthetic sevoflurane.Methods: Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were performed in astrocytes in the stratum radiatum of the CA1 region of hippocampal slices isolated from C57BL/6 male mice. Astrocytes were identified by their morphologic and electrophysiologic properties. Focal puff application of GABA (300 μM) was applied with a Picospritzer system to evoke GABA responses. Currents were studied before and during the application of the non-competitive GABAA receptor antagonist picrotoxin (0.5 mM), or etomidate (100 μM) or sevoflurane (532 μM).Results: GABA consistently evoked inward currents that were inhibited by picrotoxin. Etomidate increased the amplitude of the peak current by 35.0 ± 24.4% and prolonged the decay time by 27.2 ± 24.3% (n = 7, P < 0.05). Sevoflurane prolonged current decay by 28.3 ± 23.1% (n = 7, P < 0.05) but did not alter the peak amplitude. Etomidate and sevoflurane increased charge transfer (area) by 71.2 ± 45.9% and 51.8 ± 48.9% (n = 7, P < 0.05), respectively.Conclusion: The function of astrocytic GABAA receptors in the hippocampus was increased by etomidate and sevoflurane. Future studies will determine whether these general anesthetic drugs act on astrocytic GABAA receptors to stimulate the release of soluble factors that may contribute to PNDs.
Bone formation involves a complex crosstalk between endothelial cells (EC) and osteodifferentiating stem cells. This functional interplay is greatly mediated by the paracrine and autocrine action of soluble factors released at the vasculature-bone interface. This study elucidates the molecular and functional responses triggered by this intimate interaction. In this study, we showed that human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC) induced the expression of pro-angiogenic factors in stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) and sustain their osteo-differentiation at the same time. In contrast, osteodifferentiating SHED increased EC recruitment and promoted the formation of complex vascular networks. Moreover, HMEC enhanced anaerobic glycolysis in proliferating SHED without compromising their ability to undergo the oxidative metabolic shift required for adequate osteo-differentiation. Taken together, these findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanism underlying the synergistic cooperation between EC and stem cells during bone tissue renewal.
When healthy neurons are exposed to toxins or physiological insults such as ischemia, apoptosis is often initiated. Once underway, this mechanistically-well described process was thought to routinely run its course with the disintegration of the cell and phagocytosis of the debris. Within the last decade, the consistency of this process has been questioned. It is now known that some damaged cells can recover, i.e., they avoid death; this restoration process is referred to as anastasis. The reestablishment of a healthy cell phenotype is highly energy-requiring, so optimally functioning mitochondria are obviously beneficial during the regenerative process. Some healthy mitochondria that end up in regenerating cells are transferred there by adjacent healthier cells through tunneling nanotubes. Tunneling nanotubes generally form under stressful conditions when these micron-size tubules link adjacent cells. These tubules transfer soluble factors and organelles, including mitochondria, between the connected cells. When damaged cells receive high APT-producing mitochondria via this means, they support the ability of the cells to recover. Two recent comprehensive publications show that melatonin aids the transfer of mitochondria through nanotubes that connect neurons thereby likely assisting the recovery of the damaged recipient cell. Thus, melatonin not only protects normal neurons from damage by neutralizing the agents that initiate apoptosis, e.g., free radicals, etc., but also reverses this process once it is underway.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are also called nurse-like cells (NLC), and confer survival signals through the release of soluble factors and cellular contacts. While in most patient samples the presence of NLC in co-cultures guarantees high viability of leukemic cells in vitro, in some cases this protective effect is absent. These macrophages are characterized by an “M1-like phenotype”. We show here that their reprogramming towards an M2-like phenotype (tumor-supportive) with IL-10 leads to an increase in leukemic cell survival. Inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF, are also able to depolarize M2-type protective NLC (decreasing CLL cell viability), an effect which is countered by IL-10 or blocking antibodies. Interestingly, both IL-10 and TNF are implied in the pathophysiology of CLL and their elevated level is associated with bad prognosis. We propose that the molecular balance between these two cytokines in CLL niches plays an important role in the maintenance of the protective phenotype of NLCs, and therefore in the survival of CLL cells.
Dendritic cells (DC) are heterogeneous cell populations essential for both inducing immunity and maintaining immune tolerance. Chronic inflammatory contexts, such as found in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), severely affect the distribution and the function of DC, contributing to defective tolerance and fueling inflammation. In RA, the synovial fluid of patients is enriched by a subset of DC that derive from monocytes (Mo-DC), which promote deleterious Th17 responses. The characterization of environmental factors in the joint that impact on the development and the fate of human Mo-DC is therefore of great importance in RA. When monocytes leave the blood and infiltrate inflamed synovial tissues, the process of differentiation into Mo-DC can be influenced by interactions with soluble factors such as cytokines, local acidosis and dysregulated synoviocytes. Other molecular factors, such as the citrullination process, can also enhance osteoclast differentiation from Mo-DC, favoring bone damages in RA. Conversely, biotherapies used to control inflammation in RA, modulate also the process of monocyte differentiation into DC. The identification of the environmental mediators that control the differentiation of Mo-DC, as well as the underlying molecular signaling pathways, could constitute a major breakthrough for the development of new therapies in RA.
The microbiome, the collection of microbial species at a site or compartment, has been an underappreciated realm of human health up until the last decade. Mounting evidence suggests the microbiome has a critical role in regulating the female genital tract (FGT) mucosa’s function as a barrier against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pathogens. In this review, we provide the most recent experimental systems and studies for analyzing the interplay between the microbiome and host cells and soluble factors with an influence on barrier function. Key components, such as microbial diversity, soluble factors secreted by host and microbe, as well as host immune system, all contribute to both the physical and immunologic aspects of the FGT mucosal barrier. Current gaps in what is known about the effects of the microbiome on FGT mucosal barrier function are compared and contrasted with the literature of the gut and respiratory mucosa. This review article presents evidence supporting that the vaginal microbiome, directly and indirectly, contributes to how well the FGT protects against infection.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) engineering for T cells and natural killer cells (NK) are now under clinical evaluation for the treatment of hematologic cancers. Although encouraging clinical results have been reported for hematologic diseases, pre-clinical studies in solid tumors have failed to prove the same effectiveness. Thus, there is a growing interest of the scientific community to find other immune cell candidate to express CAR for the treatment of solid tumors and other diseases. Mononuclear phagocytes may be the most adapted group of cells with potential to overcome the dense barrier imposed by solid tumors. In addition, intrinsic features of these cells, such as migration, phagocytic capability, release of soluble factors and adaptive immunity activation, could be further explored along with gene therapy approaches. Here, we discuss the elements that constitute the tumor microenvironment, the features and advantages of these cell subtypes and the latest studies using CAR-myeloid immune cells in solid tumor models.
The pattern recognition receptors, complement system, inflammasomes, antimicrobial peptides, and cytokines are innate immunity soluble factors. They sense, either directly or indirectly, the potential threats and produce inflammation and cellular death. High interest in their modulation has emerged lately, acknowledging they are involved in many cutaneous inflammatory, infectious, and neoplastic disorders. We extensively reviewed the implication of soluble factors in skin innate immunity. Furthermore, we showed which molecules target these factors, how these molecules work, and how they have been used in dermatological practice. Cytokine inhibitors have paved the way to a new era in treating moderate to severe psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells can secrete trophic factors, including extracellular vesicles (EVs), instructing the stromal leukemic niche. Here, we introduce a scalable workflow for purification of immunomodulatory AML-EVs to compare their phenotype and function to the parental AML cells and their secreted soluble factors. AML cell lines HL-60, KG-1, OCI-AML3, and MOLM-14 released EVs with a peak diameter of approximately 80 nm in serum-free particle-reduced medium. We enriched EVs >100x using tangential flow filtration (TFF) and separated AML-derived soluble factors and cells in parallel. EVs were characterized by electron microscopy, immunoblotting, and flow cytometry, confirming the double-membrane morphology, purity and identity. AML-EVs showed significant enrichment of immune response and leukemia-related pathways in tandem mass-tag proteomics and a significant dose-dependent inhibition of T cell proliferation, which was not observed with AML cells or their soluble factors. Furthermore, AML-EVs dose-dependently reduced NK cell lysis of third-party K-562 leukemia targets. This emphasizes the peculiar role of AML-EVs in leukemia immune escape and indicates novel EV-based targets for therapeutic interventions.