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Cells, Volume 10, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 279 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The transcription factor SOX2 is important for brain development. Neural stem cell (NSC) maintenance is defective in Sox2-deleted (Sox2-del) brain-derived NSC in vitro, and differentiation to neurons is severely impaired. The Fos gene is strongly downregulated in Sox2-del NSC. Fos overexpression by lentiviral transduction rescues NSC long-term maintenance and enables NSCs to differentiate into immature neurons expressing beta-tubulin III; furthermore, cells co-expressing beta-tubulin III and GFAP appear, pointing to an incompletely differentiated mixed progenitor. Many neuronal genes are downregulated already in Sox2-del NSC. CUT&RUN chromatin analysis of FOS, JUN and SOX2 binding shows that many SOX2-bound neuronal genes are also bound by FOS and JUN (AP1 complex), at promoters or enhancers, pointing to a neuronal differentiation gene regulatory network jointly driven by SOX2 and AP1. [...] Read more.
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Review
Role of Transglutaminase 2 in Cell Death, Survival, and Fibrosis
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1842; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071842 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 664
Abstract
Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a ubiquitously expressed enzyme catalyzing the crosslinking between Gln and Lys residues and involved in various pathophysiological events. Besides this crosslinking activity, TG2 functions as a deamidase, GTPase, isopeptidase, adapter/scaffold, protein disulfide isomerase, and kinase. It also plays a [...] Read more.
Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a ubiquitously expressed enzyme catalyzing the crosslinking between Gln and Lys residues and involved in various pathophysiological events. Besides this crosslinking activity, TG2 functions as a deamidase, GTPase, isopeptidase, adapter/scaffold, protein disulfide isomerase, and kinase. It also plays a role in the regulation of hypusination and serotonylation. Through these activities, TG2 is involved in cell growth, differentiation, cell death, inflammation, tissue repair, and fibrosis. Depending on the cell type and stimulus, TG2 changes its subcellular localization and biological activity, leading to cell death or survival. In normal unstressed cells, intracellular TG2 exhibits a GTP-bound closed conformation, exerting prosurvival functions. However, upon cell stimulation with Ca2+ or other factors, TG2 adopts a Ca2+-bound open conformation, demonstrating a transamidase activity involved in cell death or survival. These functional discrepancies of TG2 open form might be caused by its multifunctional nature, the existence of splicing variants, the cell type and stimulus, and the genetic backgrounds and variations of the mouse models used. TG2 is also involved in the phagocytosis of dead cells by macrophages and in fibrosis during tissue repair. Here, we summarize and discuss the multifunctional and controversial roles of TG2, focusing on cell death/survival and fibrosis. Full article
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Article
Indonesia-Based Study of the Clinical and Cost-Saving Benefits of Subcutaneous Allergen Immunotherapy for Children with Allergic Rhinitis in Private Practice
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1841; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071841 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 490
Abstract
Background: Until now, the cost of allergy treatment in the insured public health care system and the non-insured self-financing private health care system in Indonesia has not been well documented and published, as well as the cost of allergy treatment with subcutaneous immunotherapy. [...] Read more.
Background: Until now, the cost of allergy treatment in the insured public health care system and the non-insured self-financing private health care system in Indonesia has not been well documented and published, as well as the cost of allergy treatment with subcutaneous immunotherapy. Objective: To evaluate the clinical and cost benefits of allergic rhinitis treatment in children with subcutaneous immunotherapy in a non-insured self-financing private health care system. Methods: A retrospective cohort study conducted from 2015 until 2020 that compared the clinical improvement and health care costs over 18 months in newly diagnosed AR children who received SCIT versus matched AR control subjects who did not receive SCIT, with each group consisting of 1098 subjects. Results: A decrease in sp-HDM-IgE level (kU/mL) from 20.5 + 8.75 kU/mL to 12.1 + 3.07 kU/mL was observed in the SCIT group. To reduce the symptom score of allergic rhinitis by 1.0 with SCIT, it costs IDR 21,753,062.7 per child, and for non-SCIT, it costs IDR 104,147,878.0 per child. Meanwhile, to reduce the medication score (MS) by 1.0 with SCIT, it costs IDR 17,024,138.8, while with non-SCIT, it costs IDR 104,147,878.0. Meanwhile, to lower combination symptoms and medication score (CSMS) by 1.0, with SCIT, it costs IDR 9,550,126.6, while with non-SCIT, it costs IDR 52,073,938.9. Conclusions: In conclusion, this first Indonesia-based study demonstrates substantial health care cost savings associated with SCIT for children with AR in an uninsured private health care system and provides strong evidence for the clinical benefits and cost-savings benefits of AR treatment in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Immunotherapy of Allergic Diseases)
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Article
Transcriptomic Profile Reveals Deregulation of Hearing-Loss Related Genes in Vestibular Schwannoma Cells Following Electromagnetic Field Exposure
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1840; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071840 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Hearing loss (HL) is the most common sensory disorder in the world population. One common cause of HL is the presence of vestibular schwannoma (VS), a benign tumor of the VIII cranial nerve, arising from Schwann cell (SC) transformation. In the last decade, [...] Read more.
Hearing loss (HL) is the most common sensory disorder in the world population. One common cause of HL is the presence of vestibular schwannoma (VS), a benign tumor of the VIII cranial nerve, arising from Schwann cell (SC) transformation. In the last decade, the increasing incidence of VS has been correlated to electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure, which might be considered a pathogenic cause of VS development and HL. Here, we explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the biologic changes of human SCs and/or their oncogenic transformation following EMF exposure. Through NGS technology and RNA-Seq transcriptomic analysis, we investigated the genomic profile and the differential display of HL-related genes after chronic EMF. We found that chronic EMF exposure modified the cell proliferation, in parallel with intracellular signaling and metabolic pathways changes, mostly related to translation and mitochondrial activities. Importantly, the expression of HL-related genes such as NEFL, TPRN, OTOGL, GJB2, and REST appeared to be deregulated in chronic EMF exposure. In conclusion, we suggest that, at a preclinical stage, EMF exposure might promote the transformation of VS cells and contribute to HL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Cells of the Nervous System)
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Article
BNIP3-Dependent Mitophagy via PGC1α Promotes Cartilage Degradation
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1839; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071839 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 640
Abstract
Since mitochondria are suggested to be important regulators in maintaining cartilage homeostasis, turnover of mitochondria through mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial degradation may play an important role in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). Here, we found that mitochondrial dysfunction is closely associated with OA [...] Read more.
Since mitochondria are suggested to be important regulators in maintaining cartilage homeostasis, turnover of mitochondria through mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial degradation may play an important role in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). Here, we found that mitochondrial dysfunction is closely associated with OA pathogenesis and identified the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma co-activator 1-alpha (PGC1α) as a potent regulator. The expression level of PGC1α was significantly decreased under OA conditions, and knockdown of PGC1α dramatically elevated the cartilage degradation by upregulating cartilage degrading enzymes and apoptotic cell death. Interestingly, the knockdown of PGC1α activated the parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (PRKN)-independent selective mitochondria autophagy (mitophagy) pathway through the upregulation of BCL2 and adenovirus E1B 19-kDa-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3). The overexpression of BNIP3 stimulated mitophagy and cartilage degradation by upregulating cartilage-degrading enzymes and chondrocyte death. We identified microRNA (miR)-126-5p as an upstream regulator for PGC1α and confirmed the direct binding between miR-126-5p and 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of PGC1α. An in vivo OA mouse model induced by the destabilization of medial meniscus (DMM) surgery, and the delivery of antago-miR-126 via intra-articular injection significantly decreased cartilage degradation. In sum, the loss of PGC1α in chondrocytes due to upregulation of miR-126-5p during OA pathogenesis resulted in the activation of PRKN-independent mitophagy through the upregulation of BNIP3 and stimulated cartilage degradation and apoptotic death of chondrocytes. Therefore, the regulation of PGC1α:BNIP3 mitophagy axis could be of therapeutic benefit to cartilage-degrading diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crosstalk of Autophagy and Apoptosis)
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Communication
Transcriptomic Hallmarks of Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1838; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071838 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is associated with a broad array of life-threatening medical conditions including myocardial infarct, cerebral stroke, and organ transplant. Although the pathobiology and clinical manifestations of IRI are well reviewed by previous publications, IRI-related transcriptomic alterations are less studied. This [...] Read more.
Ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is associated with a broad array of life-threatening medical conditions including myocardial infarct, cerebral stroke, and organ transplant. Although the pathobiology and clinical manifestations of IRI are well reviewed by previous publications, IRI-related transcriptomic alterations are less studied. This study aimed to reveal a transcriptomic hallmark for IRI by using the RNA-sequencing data provided by several studies on non-human preclinical experimental models. In this regard, we focused on the transcriptional responses of IRI in an acute time-point up to 48 h. We compiled a list of highly reported genes in the current literature that are affected in the context of IRI. We conducted Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses and found many of the up-regulated genes to be involved in cell survival, cell surface signaling, response to oxidative stress, and inflammatory response, while down-regulated genes were predominantly involved in ion transport. Furthermore, by GO analysis, we found that multiple inflammatory and stress response processes were affected after IRI. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) signaling pathways were also highlighted in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analysis. In the last section, we discuss the treatment approaches and their efficacy for IRI by comparing RNA sequencing data from therapeutic interventions with the results of our cross-comparison of differentially expressed genes and pathways across IRI. Full article
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Systematic Review
Cryopreservation of Human Adipose Tissues and Adipose-Derived Stem Cells with DMSO and/or Trehalose: A Systematic Review
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1837; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071837 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
Adipose tissue senescence is implicated as a major player in obesity- and ageing-related disorders. There is a growing body of research studying relevant mechanisms in age-related diseases, as well as the use of adipose-derived stem cells in regenerative medicine. The cell banking of [...] Read more.
Adipose tissue senescence is implicated as a major player in obesity- and ageing-related disorders. There is a growing body of research studying relevant mechanisms in age-related diseases, as well as the use of adipose-derived stem cells in regenerative medicine. The cell banking of tissue by utilising cryopreservation would allow for much greater flexibility of use. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is the most commonly used cryopreservative agent but is toxic to cells. Trehalose is a sugar synthesised by lower organisms to withstand extreme cold and drought that has been trialled as a cryopreservative agent. To examine the efficacy of trehalose in the cryopreservation of human adipose tissue, we conducted a systematic review of studies that used trehalose for the cryopreservation of human adipose tissues and adipose-derived stem cells. Thirteen articles, including fourteen studies, were included in the final review. All seven studies that examined DMSO and trehalose showed that they could be combined effectively to cryopreserve adipocytes. Although studies that compared nonpermeable trehalose with DMSO found trehalose to be inferior, studies that devised methods to deliver nonpermeable trehalose into the cell found it comparable to DMSO. Trehalose is only comparable to DMSO when methods are devised to introduce it into the cell. There is some evidence to support using trehalose instead of using no cryopreservative agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammaging: The Immunology of Aging)
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Review
The Influence of Virus Infection on Microglia and Accelerated Brain Aging
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1836; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071836 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 638
Abstract
Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system contributing substantially to health and disease. There is increasing evidence that inflammatory microglia may induce or accelerate brain aging, by interfering with physiological repair and remodeling processes. Many viral infections affect the [...] Read more.
Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system contributing substantially to health and disease. There is increasing evidence that inflammatory microglia may induce or accelerate brain aging, by interfering with physiological repair and remodeling processes. Many viral infections affect the brain and interfere with microglia functions, including human immune deficiency virus, flaviviruses, SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and human herpes viruses. Especially chronic viral infections causing low-grade neuroinflammation may contribute to brain aging. This review elucidates the potential role of various neurotropic viruses in microglia-driven neurocognitive deficiencies and possibly accelerated brain aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microglia in Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases)
Article
Cortactin Contributes to Activity-Dependent Modulation of Spine Actin Dynamics and Spatial Memory Formation
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1835; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071835 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 481
Abstract
Postsynaptic structures on excitatory neurons, dendritic spines, are actin-rich. It is well known that actin-binding proteins regulate actin dynamics and by this means orchestrate structural plasticity during the development of the brain, as well as synaptic plasticity mediating learning and memory processes. The [...] Read more.
Postsynaptic structures on excitatory neurons, dendritic spines, are actin-rich. It is well known that actin-binding proteins regulate actin dynamics and by this means orchestrate structural plasticity during the development of the brain, as well as synaptic plasticity mediating learning and memory processes. The actin-binding protein cortactin is localized to pre- and postsynaptic structures and translocates in a stimulus-dependent manner between spines and the dendritic compartment, thereby indicating a crucial role for synaptic plasticity and neuronal function. While it is known that cortactin directly binds F-actin, the Arp2/3 complex important for actin nucleation and branching as well as other factors involved in synaptic plasticity processes, its precise role in modulating actin remodeling in neurons needs to be deciphered. In this study, we characterized the general neuronal function of cortactin in knockout mice. Interestingly, we found that the loss of cortactin leads to deficits in hippocampus-dependent spatial memory formation. This impairment is correlated with a prominent dysregulation of functional and structural plasticity. Additional evidence shows impaired long-term potentiation in cortactin knockout mice together with a complete absence of structural spine plasticity. These phenotypes might at least in part be explained by alterations in the activity-dependent modulation of synaptic actin in cortactin-deficient neurons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics)
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Article
Skin under Strain: From Epithelial Model Tissues to Adult Epithelia
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1834; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071834 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 558
Abstract
Formation of a barrier capable of protecting tissue from external damage, chemical factors, and pathogens is one of the main functions of the epidermis. Furthermore, upon development and during aging, mechanoprotective epidermal functions change dramatically. However, comparative studies between embryonic and adult skin [...] Read more.
Formation of a barrier capable of protecting tissue from external damage, chemical factors, and pathogens is one of the main functions of the epidermis. Furthermore, upon development and during aging, mechanoprotective epidermal functions change dramatically. However, comparative studies between embryonic and adult skin in comparison to skin equivalents are still scarce which is especially due to the lack of appropriate measurement systems with sufficient accuracy and long-term tissue compatibility. Our studies fill this gap by developing a combined bioreactor and tensile testing machine for biomechanical analysis of living epithelia. Based on this tissue stretcher, our data clearly show that viscoelastic and plastic deformation behavior of embryonic and adult skin differ significantly. Tissue responses to static strain compared to cyclic strain also show a clear dependence on differentiation stage. Multilayered unkeratinized epidermis equivalents, on the other hand, respond very similar to mechanical stretch as adult tissue. This mechanical similarity is even more evident after a single cycle of mechanical preconditioning. Our studies therefore suggest that skin equivalents are well suited model systems to analyze cellular interactions of epidermal cells in natural tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epithelial Cell Mechanics: From Physiology to Pathology)
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Review
CD36 Signal Transduction in Metabolic Diseases: Novel Insights and Therapeutic Targeting
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1833; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071833 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 638
Abstract
The cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36) is a scavenger receptor present on various types of cells and has multiple biological functions that may be important in inflammation and in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases, including diabetes. Here, we consider recent insights into how [...] Read more.
The cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36) is a scavenger receptor present on various types of cells and has multiple biological functions that may be important in inflammation and in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases, including diabetes. Here, we consider recent insights into how the CD36 response becomes deregulated under metabolic conditions, as well as the therapeutic benefits of CD36 inhibition, which may provide clues for developing strategies aimed at the treatment or prevention of diabetes associated with metabolic diseases. To facilitate this process further, it is important to pinpoint regulatory mechanisms that are relevant under physiological and pathological conditions. In particular, understanding the mechanisms involved in dictating specific CD36 downstream cellular outcomes will aid in the discovery of potent compounds that target specific CD36 downstream signaling cascades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Diabetes)
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Article
The FibromiR miR-214-3p Is Upregulated in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Promotes Differentiation of Human Fibro-Adipogenic Muscle Progenitors
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1832; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071832 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 797
Abstract
Fibrosis is a deleterious invasion of tissues associated with many pathological conditions, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) for which no cure is at present available for its prevention or its treatment. Fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) are resident cells in the human skeletal muscle [...] Read more.
Fibrosis is a deleterious invasion of tissues associated with many pathological conditions, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) for which no cure is at present available for its prevention or its treatment. Fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) are resident cells in the human skeletal muscle and can differentiate into myofibroblasts, which represent the key cell population responsible for fibrosis. In this study, we delineated the pool of microRNAs (miRNAs) that are specifically modulated by TGFβ1 in FAPs versus myogenic progenitors (MPs) by a global miRNome analysis. A subset of candidates, including several “FibromiRs”, was found differentially expressed between FAPs and MPs and was also deregulated in DMD versus healthy biopsies. Among them, the expression of the TGFβ1-induced miR-199a~214 cluster was strongly correlated with the fibrotic score in DMD biopsies. Loss-of-function experiments in FAPs indicated that a miR-214-3p inhibitor efficiently blocked expression of fibrogenic markers in both basal conditions and following TGFβ1 stimulation. We found that FGFR1 is a functional target of miR-214-3p, preventing the signaling of the anti-fibrotic FGF2 pathway during FAP fibrogenesis. Overall, our work demonstrates that the « FibromiR » miR-214-3p is a key activator of FAP fibrogenesis by modulating the FGF2/FGFR1/TGFβ axis, opening new avenues for the treatment of DMD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stem Cells)
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Review
The RHO Family GTPases: Mechanisms of Regulation and Signaling
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1831; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071831 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Much progress has been made toward deciphering RHO GTPase functions, and many studies have convincingly demonstrated that altered signal transduction through RHO GTPases is a recurring theme in the progression of human malignancies. It seems that 20 canonical RHO GTPases are likely regulated [...] Read more.
Much progress has been made toward deciphering RHO GTPase functions, and many studies have convincingly demonstrated that altered signal transduction through RHO GTPases is a recurring theme in the progression of human malignancies. It seems that 20 canonical RHO GTPases are likely regulated by three GDIs, 85 GEFs, and 66 GAPs, and eventually interact with >70 downstream effectors. A recurring theme is the challenge in understanding the molecular determinants of the specificity of these four classes of interacting proteins that, irrespective of their functions, bind to common sites on the surface of RHO GTPases. Identified and structurally verified hotspots as functional determinants specific to RHO GTPase regulation by GDIs, GEFs, and GAPs as well as signaling through effectors are presented, and challenges and future perspectives are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation and Function of Small GTPases 2.0)
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Review
Cellular Mechanisms of FGF-Stimulated Tissue Repair
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1830; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071830 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 551
Abstract
Growth factors belonging to the FGF family play important roles in tissue and organ repair after trauma. In this review, I discuss the regulation by FGFs of the aspects of cellular behavior important for reparative processes. In particular, I focus on the FGF-dependent [...] Read more.
Growth factors belonging to the FGF family play important roles in tissue and organ repair after trauma. In this review, I discuss the regulation by FGFs of the aspects of cellular behavior important for reparative processes. In particular, I focus on the FGF-dependent regulation of cell proliferation, cell stemness, de-differentiation, inflammation, angiogenesis, cell senescence, cell death, and the production of proteases. In addition, I review the available literature on the enhancement of FGF expression and secretion in damaged tissues resulting in the increased FGF supply required for tissue repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fibroblast Growth Factors: Pathophysiology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Examining the Role of the Noradrenergic Locus Coeruleus for Predicting Attention and Brain Maintenance in Healthy Old Age and Disease: An MRI Structural Study for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1829; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071829 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 854
Abstract
The noradrenergic theory of Cognitive Reserve (Robertson, 2013–2014) postulates that the upregulation of the locus coeruleus—noradrenergic system (LC–NA) originating in the brainstem might facilitate cortical networks involved in attention, and protracted activation of this system throughout the lifespan may enhance cognitive stimulation contributing [...] Read more.
The noradrenergic theory of Cognitive Reserve (Robertson, 2013–2014) postulates that the upregulation of the locus coeruleus—noradrenergic system (LC–NA) originating in the brainstem might facilitate cortical networks involved in attention, and protracted activation of this system throughout the lifespan may enhance cognitive stimulation contributing to reserve. To test the above-mentioned theory, a study was conducted on a sample of 686 participants (395 controls, 156 mild cognitive impairment, 135 Alzheimer’s disease) investigating the relationship between LC volume, attentional performance and a biological index of brain maintenance (BrainPAD—an objective measure, which compares an individual’s structural brain health, reflected by their voxel-wise grey matter density, to the state typically expected at that individual’s age). Further analyses were carried out on reserve indices including education and occupational attainment. Volumetric variation across groups was also explored along with gender differences. Control analyses on the serotoninergic (5-HT), dopaminergic (DA) and cholinergic (Ach) systems were contrasted with the noradrenergic (NA) hypothesis. The antithetic relationships were also tested across the neuromodulatory subcortical systems. Results supported by Bayesian modelling showed that LC volume disproportionately predicted higher attentional performance as well as biological brain maintenance across the three groups. These findings lend support to the role of the noradrenergic system as a key mediator underpinning the neuropsychology of reserve, and they suggest that early prevention strategies focused on the noradrenergic system (e.g., cognitive-attentive training, physical exercise, pharmacological and dietary interventions) may yield important clinical benefits to mitigate cognitive impairment with age and disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Old is Our Brain and Why Does it Age?)
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Article
The Phosphatidylserine Receptor TIM-1 Enhances Authentic Chikungunya Virus Cell Entry
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1828; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071828 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a re-emerging, mosquito-transmitted, enveloped positive stranded RNA virus. Chikungunya fever is characterized by acute and chronic debilitating arthritis. Although multiple host factors have been shown to enhance CHIKV infection, the molecular mechanisms of cell entry and entry factors remain [...] Read more.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a re-emerging, mosquito-transmitted, enveloped positive stranded RNA virus. Chikungunya fever is characterized by acute and chronic debilitating arthritis. Although multiple host factors have been shown to enhance CHIKV infection, the molecular mechanisms of cell entry and entry factors remain poorly understood. The phosphatidylserine-dependent receptors, T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 1 (TIM-1) and Axl receptor tyrosine kinase (Axl), are transmembrane proteins that can serve as entry factors for enveloped viruses. Previous studies used pseudoviruses to delineate the role of TIM-1 and Axl in CHIKV entry. Conversely, here, we use the authentic CHIKV and cells ectopically expressing TIM-1 or Axl and demonstrate a role for TIM-1 in CHIKV infection. To further characterize TIM-1-dependent CHIKV infection, we generated cells expressing domain mutants of TIM-1. We show that point mutations in the phosphatidylserine binding site of TIM-1 lead to reduced cell binding, entry, and infection of CHIKV. Ectopic expression of TIM-1 renders immortalized keratinocytes permissive to CHIKV, whereas silencing of endogenously expressed TIM-1 in human hepatoma cells reduces CHIKV infection. Altogether, our findings indicate that, unlike Axl, TIM-1 readily promotes the productive entry of authentic CHIKV into target cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus — Host Cell Interactions)
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Review
Mitotherapy: Unraveling a Promising Treatment for Disorders of the Central Nervous System and Other Systemic Conditions
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1827; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071827 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1156
Abstract
Mitochondria are key players of aerobic respiration and the production of adenosine triphosphate and constitute the energetic core of eukaryotic cells. Furthermore, cells rely upon mitochondria homeostasis, the disruption of which is reported in pathological processes such as liver hepatotoxicity, cancer, muscular dystrophy, [...] Read more.
Mitochondria are key players of aerobic respiration and the production of adenosine triphosphate and constitute the energetic core of eukaryotic cells. Furthermore, cells rely upon mitochondria homeostasis, the disruption of which is reported in pathological processes such as liver hepatotoxicity, cancer, muscular dystrophy, chronic inflammation, as well as in neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, ischemia and glaucoma. In addition to the well-known spontaneous cell-to-cell transfer of mitochondria, a therapeutic potential of the transplant of isolated, metabolically active mitochondria has been demonstrated in several in vitro and in vivo experimental models of disease. This review explores the striking outcomes achieved by mitotherapy thus far, and the most relevant underlying data regarding isolated mitochondria transplantation, including mechanisms of mitochondria intake, the balance between administration and therapy effectiveness, the relevance of mitochondrial source and purity and the mechanisms by which mitotherapy is gaining ground as a promising therapeutic approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondria in Acute and Chronic Neurodegeneration)
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Article
Association between Markers of Synovial Inflammation, Matrix Turnover and Symptoms in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Cross-Sectional Study
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1826; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071826 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 486
Abstract
To investigate the association between markers of synovial inflammation and matrix turnover (MRI-based and serum biomarkers) and knee symptoms in established knee osteoarthritis (KOA). This cross-sectional study utilised data from a randomised, multicentre placebo-controlled trial (UK-VIDEO) of vitamin D therapy in symptomatic KOA. [...] Read more.
To investigate the association between markers of synovial inflammation and matrix turnover (MRI-based and serum biomarkers) and knee symptoms in established knee osteoarthritis (KOA). This cross-sectional study utilised data from a randomised, multicentre placebo-controlled trial (UK-VIDEO) of vitamin D therapy in symptomatic KOA. Data on serum biomarkers, type III collagen degradation (C3M), metabolite of C-reactive protein (CRPM) and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), were available at baseline whilst contrast-enhanced (CE) MRI data were acquired in a subsample at baseline and annually. Knee symptoms were assessed using WOMAC at all visits. We examined the cross-sectional association between knee symptoms and three MRI-based and three serum markers of synovitis and matrix turnover, respectively. A total of 447 participants were included in the serum and 136 participants in the MRI analyses. MRI-defined medial perimeniscal synovitis was positively associated with knee pain and, suprapatellar and medial perimeniscal synovitis with knee function in multivariate analysis. We observed a statistically significant, negative association between a higher concentration of serum C3M and CRPM and knee pain, respectively. Furthermore, the highest CRPM quartile was negatively associated with knee function. Our findings suggest that, in established painful radiographic KOA, MRI-defined medial perimeniscal and suprapatellar synovitis were positively associated with knee symptoms. Serum-based C3M and CRPM markers were negatively associated with knee symptoms. Pain fluctuations are common in KOA and a better understanding of the relationship between markers of synovitis and matrix turnover and knee symptoms would facilitate a more accurate assessment of temporal changes in disease progression. Full article
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Article
Sex-Specific Differences in Autophagic Responses to Experimental Ischemic Stroke
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1825; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071825 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Ischemic stroke triggers a series of complex pathophysiological processes including autophagy. Differential activation of autophagy occurs in neurons derived from males versus females after stressors such as nutrient deprivation. Whether autophagy displays sexual dimorphism after ischemic stroke is unknown. We used a cerebral [...] Read more.
Ischemic stroke triggers a series of complex pathophysiological processes including autophagy. Differential activation of autophagy occurs in neurons derived from males versus females after stressors such as nutrient deprivation. Whether autophagy displays sexual dimorphism after ischemic stroke is unknown. We used a cerebral ischemia mouse model (middle cerebral artery occlusion, MCAO) to evaluate the effects of inhibiting autophagy in ischemic brain pathology. We observed that inhibiting autophagy reduced infarct volume in males and ovariectomized females. However, autophagy inhibition enhanced infarct size in females and in ovariectomized females supplemented with estrogen compared to control mice. We also observed that males had increased levels of Beclin1 and LC3 and decreased levels of pULK1 and p62 at 24 h, while females had decreased levels of Beclin1 and increased levels of ATG7. Furthermore, the levels of autophagy markers were increased under basal conditions and after oxygen and glucose deprivation in male neurons compared with female neurons in vitro. E2 supplementation significantly inhibited autophagy only in male neurons, and was beneficial for cell survival only in female neurons. This study shows that autophagy in the ischemic brain differs between the sexes, and that autophagy regulators have different effects in a sex-dependent manner in neurons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Cells—Advances in Autophagy)
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Review
Fibrosis, the Bad Actor in Cardiorenal Syndromes: Mechanisms Involved
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1824; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071824 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Cardiorenal syndrome is a term that defines the complex bidirectional nature of the interaction between cardiac and renal disease. It is well established that patients with kidney disease have higher incidence of cardiovascular comorbidities and that renal dysfunction is a significant threat to [...] Read more.
Cardiorenal syndrome is a term that defines the complex bidirectional nature of the interaction between cardiac and renal disease. It is well established that patients with kidney disease have higher incidence of cardiovascular comorbidities and that renal dysfunction is a significant threat to the prognosis of patients with cardiac disease. Fibrosis is a common characteristic of organ injury progression that has been proposed not only as a marker but also as an important driver of the pathophysiology of cardiorenal syndromes. Due to the relevance of fibrosis, its study might give insight into the mechanisms and targets that could potentially be modulated to prevent fibrosis development. The aim of this review was to summarize some of the pathophysiological pathways involved in the fibrotic damage seen in cardiorenal syndromes, such as inflammation, oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress, which are known to be triggers and mediators of fibrosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Signalling in the Cardiovascular System)
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Article
Cytokine-Mediated Regulation of ARG1 in Macrophages and Its Impact on the Control of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Infection
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1823; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071823 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Arginase 1 (ARG1) is a cytosolic enzyme that cleaves L-arginine, the substrate of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and thereby impairs the control of various intracellular pathogens. Herein, we investigated the role of ARG1 during infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S [...] Read more.
Arginase 1 (ARG1) is a cytosolic enzyme that cleaves L-arginine, the substrate of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and thereby impairs the control of various intracellular pathogens. Herein, we investigated the role of ARG1 during infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S.tm). To study the impact of ARG1 on Salmonella infections in vitro, bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) from C57BL/6N wild-type, ARG1-deficient Tie2Cre+/−ARG1fl/fl and NRAMPG169 C57BL/6N mice were infected with S.tm. In wild-type BMDM, ARG1 was induced by S.tm and further upregulated by the addition of interleukin (IL)-4, whereas interferon-γ had an inhibitory effect. Deletion of ARG1 did not result in a reduction in bacterial numbers. In vivo, Arg1 mRNA was upregulated in the spleen, but not in the liver of C57BL/6N mice following intraperitoneal S.tm infection. The genetic deletion of ARG1 (Tie2Cre+/−ARG1fl/fl) or its pharmacological inhibition with CB-1158 neither affected the numbers of S.tm in spleen, liver and blood nor the expression of host response genes such as iNOS, IL-6 or tumour necrosis factor (TNF). Furthermore, ARG1 was dispensable for pathogen control irrespective of the presence or absence of the phagolysosomal natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 1 (NRAMP1). Thus, unlike the detrimental function of ARG1 seen during infections with other intraphagosomal microorganisms, ARG1 did not support bacterial survival in systemic salmonellosis, indicating differential roles of arginine metabolism for host immune response and microbe persistence depending on the type of pathogen. Full article
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Review
A Narrative Review on the Role of AMPK on De Novo Lipogenesis in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Evidence from Human Studies
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1822; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071822 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 651
Abstract
5′AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is known as metabolic sensor in mammalian cells that becomes activated by an increasing adenosine monophosphate (AMP)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio. The heterotrimeric AMPK protein comprises three subunits, each of which has multiple phosphorylation sites, playing an important role in [...] Read more.
5′AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is known as metabolic sensor in mammalian cells that becomes activated by an increasing adenosine monophosphate (AMP)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio. The heterotrimeric AMPK protein comprises three subunits, each of which has multiple phosphorylation sites, playing an important role in the regulation of essential molecular pathways. By phosphorylation of downstream proteins and modulation of gene transcription AMPK functions as a master switch of energy homeostasis in tissues with high metabolic turnover, such as the liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue. Regulation of AMPK under conditions of chronic caloric oversupply emerged as substantial research target to get deeper insight into the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Evidence supporting the role of AMPK in NAFLD is mainly derived from preclinical cell culture and animal studies. Dysbalanced de novo lipogenesis has been identified as one of the key processes in NAFLD pathogenesis. Thus, the scope of this review is to provide an integrative overview of evidence, in particular from clinical studies and human samples, on the role of AMPK in the regulation of primarily de novo lipogenesis in human NAFLD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in AMPK Research: Basic and Translational Aspects)
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Article
Plasma Metabolome Profiling Identifies Metabolic Subtypes of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1821; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071821 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 688
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest cancers. Developing biomarkers for early detection and chemotherapeutic response prediction is crucial to improve the dismal prognosis of PDAC patients. However, molecular cancer signatures based on transcriptome analysis do not reflect intratumoral heterogeneity. To [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest cancers. Developing biomarkers for early detection and chemotherapeutic response prediction is crucial to improve the dismal prognosis of PDAC patients. However, molecular cancer signatures based on transcriptome analysis do not reflect intratumoral heterogeneity. To explore a more accurate stratification of PDAC phenotypes in an easily accessible matrix, plasma metabolome analysis using MxP® Global Profiling and MxP® Lipidomics was performed in 361 PDAC patients. We identified three metabolic PDAC subtypes associated with distinct complex lipid patterns. Subtype 1 was associated with reduced ceramide levels and a strong enrichment of triacylglycerols. Subtype 2 demonstrated increased abundance of ceramides, sphingomyelin and other complex sphingolipids, whereas subtype 3 showed decreased levels of sphingolipid metabolites in plasma. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed that sphingolipid-related pathways differ most among subtypes. Weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA) implied PDAC subtypes differed in their metabolic programs. Interestingly, a reduced expression among related pathway genes in tumor tissue was associated with the lowest survival rate. However, our metabolic PDAC subtypes did not show any correlation to the described molecular PDAC subtypes. Our findings pave the way for further studies investigating sphingolipids metabolisms in PDAC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome Dynamics in Pancreatic Cancer Biology and Therapy)
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Article
Distinctive Prognostic Value and Cellular Functions of Osteopontin Splice Variants in Human Gastric Cancer
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1820; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071820 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 495
Abstract
Background: Osteopontin (OPN) splice variants are identified as predictors of tumour progression and therapeutic resistance in certain types of solid tumours. However, their roles in gastric cancer (GC) remain poorly characterized. The current study sought to assess the prognostic value of the three [...] Read more.
Background: Osteopontin (OPN) splice variants are identified as predictors of tumour progression and therapeutic resistance in certain types of solid tumours. However, their roles in gastric cancer (GC) remain poorly characterized. The current study sought to assess the prognostic value of the three OPN splice variants (namely OPN-a, OPN-b, and OPN-c) in gastric cancer and their potential functions within gastric cancer cells. Methods: RNA extraction and reverse transcription were performed using our clinical cohort of gastric carcinomas and matched normal tissues (n = 324 matched pairs). Transcript levels were determined using real-time quantitative PCR. Three OPN splice variants overexpressed cell lines were created from the gastric cancer cell line HGC-27. Subsequently, biological functions, including cell growth, adhesion, migration, and invasion, were studied. The potential effects of OPN isoforms on cisplatin and 5-Fu were evaluated by detecting cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in the HGC-27-derived cell lines. Results: Compared with normal tissues, the expression levels of three splice variants were all elevated in gastric cancer tissues in an order of OPN-a > OPN-b > OPN-c. The OPN-a level significantly increased with increasing TNM staging and worse clinical outcome. There appeared to be a downregulation for OPN-c in increasing lymph node status (p < 0.05), increasing TNM staging, and poor differentiation. High levels of OPN-a and OPN-b were correlated with short overall survival and disease-free survival of gastric cancer patients. However, the low expression of OPN-c was significantly associated with a poor prognosis. Functional analyses further showed that ectopic expression of OPN-c suppressed in vitro proliferation, adhesiveness, migration, and invasion properties of HGC-27 cells, while the opposite role was seen for OPN-a. Cellular ROS detection indicated that OPN-a and OPN-c significantly promoted ROS production after treatment with 5-Fu comparing to OPN-vector, while only OPN-a markedly induced ROS production after treatment with cisplatin. Conclusion: Our results suggest that OPN splice variants have distinguished potential to predict the prognosis of gastric cancer. Three OPN variants exert distinctive functions in gastric cancer cells. Focusing on specific OPN isoforms could be a novel direction for developing diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in gastric cancer. Full article
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Article
New Data on Organization and Spatial Localization of B-Chromosomes in Cell Nuclei of the Yellow-Necked Mouse Apodemus flavicollis
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1819; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071819 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 444
Abstract
The gene composition, function and evolution of B-chromosomes (Bs) have been actively discussed in recent years. However, the additional genomic elements are still enigmatic. One of Bs mysteries is their spatial organization in the interphase nucleus. It is known that heterochromatic compartments are [...] Read more.
The gene composition, function and evolution of B-chromosomes (Bs) have been actively discussed in recent years. However, the additional genomic elements are still enigmatic. One of Bs mysteries is their spatial organization in the interphase nucleus. It is known that heterochromatic compartments are not randomly localized in a nucleus. The purpose of this work was to study the organization and three-dimensional spatial arrangement of Bs in the interphase nucleus. Using microdissection of Bs and autosome centromeric heterochromatic regions of the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) we obtained DNA probes for further two-dimensional (2D)- and three-dimensional (3D)- fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) studies. Simultaneous in situ hybridization of obtained here B-specific DNA probes and autosomal C-positive pericentromeric region-specific probes further corroborated the previously stated hypothesis about the pseudoautosomal origin of the additional chromosomes of this species. Analysis of the spatial organization of the Bs demonstrated the peripheral location of B-specific chromatin within the interphase nucleus and feasible contact with the nuclear envelope (similarly to pericentromeric regions of autosomes and sex chromosomes). It is assumed that such interaction is essential for the regulation of nuclear architecture. It also points out that Bs may follow the same mechanism as sex chromosomes to avoid a meiotic checkpoint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Nuclear Organization and Function)
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Review
Role of Multifunctional Cytoskeletal Filaments in Coronaviridae Infections: Therapeutic Opportunities for COVID-19 in a Nutshell
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1818; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071818 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 577
Abstract
A novel coronavirus discovered in 2019 is a new strain of the Coronaviridae family (CoVs) that had not been previously identified in humans. It is known as SARS-CoV-2 for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2, whilst COVID-19 is the name of the disease [...] Read more.
A novel coronavirus discovered in 2019 is a new strain of the Coronaviridae family (CoVs) that had not been previously identified in humans. It is known as SARS-CoV-2 for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2, whilst COVID-19 is the name of the disease associated with the virus. SARS-CoV-2 emerged over one year ago and still haunts the human community throughout the world, causing both healthcare and socioeconomic problems. SARS-CoV-2 is spreading with many uncertainties about treatment and prevention: the data available are limited and there are few randomized controlled trial data on the efficacy of antiviral or immunomodulatory agents. SARS-CoV-2 and its mutants are considered as unique within the Coronaviridae family insofar as they spread rapidly and can have severe effects on health. Although the scientific world has been succeeding in developing vaccines and medicines to combat COVID-19, the appearance and the spread of new, more aggressive mutants are posing extra problems for treatment. Nevertheless, our understanding of pandemics is increasing significantly due to this outbreak and is leading to the development of many different pharmacological, immunological and other treatments. This Review focuses on a subset of COVID-19 research, primarily the cytoskeleton-related physiological and pathological processes in which coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 are intimately involved. The discovery of the exact mechanisms of the subversion of host cells by SARS-CoV-2 is critical to the validation of specific drug targets and effective treatments. Full article
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Review
Interplay between Neutrophils, NETs and T-Cells in SARS-CoV-2 Infection—A Missing Piece of the Puzzle in the COVID-19 Pathogenesis?
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1817; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071817 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Since the end of 2019, a new, dangerous virus has caused the deaths of more than 3 million people. Efforts to fight the disease remain multifaceted and include prophylactic strategies (vaccines), the development of antiviral drugs targeting replication, and the mitigation of the [...] Read more.
Since the end of 2019, a new, dangerous virus has caused the deaths of more than 3 million people. Efforts to fight the disease remain multifaceted and include prophylactic strategies (vaccines), the development of antiviral drugs targeting replication, and the mitigation of the damage associated with exacerbated immune responses (e.g., interleukin-6-receptor inhibitors). However, numerous uncertainties remain, making it difficult to lower the mortality rate, especially among critically ill patients. While looking for a new means of understanding the pathomechanisms of the disease, we asked a question—is our immunity key to resolving these uncertainties? In this review, we attempt to answer this question, and summarize, interpret, and discuss the available knowledge concerning the interplay between neutrophils, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), and T-cells in COVID-19. These are considered to be the first line of defense against pathogens and, thus, we chose to emphasize their role in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although immunologic alterations are the subject of constant research, they are poorly understood and often underestimated. This review provides background information for the expansion of research on the novel, immunity-oriented approach to diagnostic and treatment possibilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Immunology and COVID-19)
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Article
Sustained Systemic Levels of IL-6 Impinge Early Muscle Growth and Induce Muscle Atrophy and Wasting in Adulthood
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1816; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071816 - 18 Jul 2021
Viewed by 804
Abstract
IL-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine that can exert different and opposite effects. The muscle-induced and transient expression of IL-6 can act in an autocrine or paracrine manner, stimulating anabolic pathways associated with muscle growth, myogenesis, and with regulation of energy metabolism. In contrast, [...] Read more.
IL-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine that can exert different and opposite effects. The muscle-induced and transient expression of IL-6 can act in an autocrine or paracrine manner, stimulating anabolic pathways associated with muscle growth, myogenesis, and with regulation of energy metabolism. In contrast, under pathologic conditions, including muscular dystrophy, cancer associated cachexia, aging, chronic inflammatory diseases, and other pathologies, the plasma levels of IL-6 significantly increase, promoting muscle wasting. Nevertheless, the specific physio-pathological role exerted by IL-6 in the maintenance of differentiated phenotype remains to be addressed. The purpose of this study was to define the role of increased plasma levels of IL-6 on muscle homeostasis and the mechanisms contributing to muscle loss. Here, we reported that increased plasma levels of IL-6 promote alteration in muscle growth at early stage of postnatal life and induce muscle wasting by triggering a shift of the slow-twitch fibers toward a more sensitive fast fiber phenotype. These findings unveil a role for IL-6 as a potential biomarker of stunted growth and skeletal muscle wasting. Full article
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Brief Report
Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors in Patients with Hereditary Podocytopathies, Alport Syndrome, and FSGS: A Case Series to Better Plan a Large-Scale Study
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1815; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071815 - 18 Jul 2021
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Hereditary diseases of the glomerular filtration barrier are characterized by a more vulnerable glomerular basement membrane and dysfunctional podocytes. Recent clinical trials have demonstrated the nephroprotective effect of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) in chronic kidney disease (CKD). SGLT2-mediated afferent arteriole vasoconstriction is hypothesized [...] Read more.
Hereditary diseases of the glomerular filtration barrier are characterized by a more vulnerable glomerular basement membrane and dysfunctional podocytes. Recent clinical trials have demonstrated the nephroprotective effect of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) in chronic kidney disease (CKD). SGLT2-mediated afferent arteriole vasoconstriction is hypothesized to correct the hemodynamic overload of the glomerular filtration barrier in hereditary podocytopathies. To test this hypothesis, we report data in a case series of patients with Alport syndrome and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) with respect of the early effect of SGLT2i on the kidney function. Mean duration of treatment was 4.5 (±2.9) months. Mean serum creatinine before and after SGLT-2i initiation was 1.46 (±0.42) and 1.58 (±0.55) mg/dL, respectively, with a median estimated glomerular filtration rate of 64 (±27) before and 64 (±32) mL/min/1.73 m2 after initiation of SGLT2i. Mean urinary albumin-creatinine ratio in mg/g creatinine before SGLT-2i initiation was 1827 (±1560) and decreased by almost 40% to 1127 (±854) after SGLT2i initiation. To our knowledge, this is the first case series on the effect and safety of SGLT2i in patients with hereditary podocytopathies. Specific large-scale trials in podocytopathies are needed to confirm our findings in this population with a tremendous unmet medical need for more effective, early on, and safe nephroprotective therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Aspects for Understanding Podocytopathies)
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Article
SARS-CoV-2 Cellular Entry Is Independent of the ACE2 Cytoplasmic Domain Signaling
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1814; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071814 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-1 and -2 initiate virus infection by binding of their spike glycoprotein with the cell-surface receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and enter into the host cells mainly via the clathrin-mediated endocytosis pathway. However, the internalization process [...] Read more.
Recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-1 and -2 initiate virus infection by binding of their spike glycoprotein with the cell-surface receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and enter into the host cells mainly via the clathrin-mediated endocytosis pathway. However, the internalization process post attachment with the receptor is not clear for both SARS-CoV-1 and -2. Understanding the cellular factor/s or pathways used by these CoVs for internalization might provide insights into viral pathogenesis, transmission, and development of novel therapeutics. Here, we demonstrated that the cytoplasmic tail of ACE2 is not essential for the entry of SARS-CoV-1 and -2 by using bioinformatics, mutational, confocal imaging, and pseudotyped SARS-CoVs infection studies. ACE2 cytoplasmic domain (cytACE2) contains a conserved internalization motif and eight putative phosphorylation sites. Complete cytoplasmic domain deleted ACE2 (∆cytACE2) was properly synthesized and presented on the surface of HEK293T and BHK21 cells like wtACE2. The SARS-CoVs S1 or RBD of spike protein binds and colocalizes with the receptors followed by internalization into the host cells. Moreover, pseudotyped SARS-CoVs entered into wtACE2- and ∆cytACE2-transfected cells but not into dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4)-expressing cells. Their entry was significantly inhibited by treatment with dynasore, a dynamin inhibitor, and NH4Cl, an endosomal acidification inhibitor. Furthermore, SARS-CoV antibodies and the soluble form of ACE2-treated pseudotyped SARS-CoVs were unable to enter the wtACE2 and ∆cytACE2-expressing cells. Altogether, our data show that ACE2 cytoplasmic domain signaling is not essential for the entry of SARS-CoV-1 and -2 and that SARS-CoVs entry might be mediated via known/unknown host factor/s. Full article
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Article
Protective Response in Experimental Paracoccidioidomycosis Elicited by Extracellular Vesicles Containing Antigens of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis
Cells 2021, 10(7), 1813; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cells10071813 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a systemic disease caused by Paracoccidioides spp. PCM is endemic in Latin America and most cases are registered in Brazil. This mycosis affects mainly the lungs, but can also spread to other tissues and organs, including the liver. Several approaches [...] Read more.
Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a systemic disease caused by Paracoccidioides spp. PCM is endemic in Latin America and most cases are registered in Brazil. This mycosis affects mainly the lungs, but can also spread to other tissues and organs, including the liver. Several approaches have been investigated to improve treatment effectiveness and protection against the disease. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are good antigen delivery vehicles. The present work aims to investigate the use of EVs derived from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis as an immunization tool in a murine model of PCM. For this, male C57BL/6 were immunized with two doses of EVs plus adjuvant and then infected with P. brasiliensis. EV immunization induced IgM and IgG in vivo and cytokine production by splenocytes ex vivo. Further, immunization with EVs had a positive effect on mice infected with P. brasiliensis, as it induced activated T lymphocytes and NKT cell mobilization to the infected lungs, improved production of proinflammatory cytokines and the histopathological profile, and reduced fungal burden. Therefore, the present study shows a new role for P. brasiliensis EVs in the presence of adjuvant as modulators of the host immune system, suggesting their utility as immunizing agents. Full article
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