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Int. J. Transl. Med., Volume 1, Issue 2 (September 2021) – 4 articles

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Article
Interleukin-6 Trans-Signaling Mediated Regulation of Paracellular Permeability in Human Retinal Endothelial Cells
Int. J. Transl. Med. 2021, 1(2), 137-153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijtm1020010 - 16 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Long-term hyperglycemia-mediated oxidative stress and inflammation lead to the blood-retinal barrier (BRB) dysfunction and increased vascular permeability associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR). Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is one of the primary mediators of retinal vascular inflammation. IL-6 signaling through its membrane-bound IL-6 receptor is known [...] Read more.
Long-term hyperglycemia-mediated oxidative stress and inflammation lead to the blood-retinal barrier (BRB) dysfunction and increased vascular permeability associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR). Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is one of the primary mediators of retinal vascular inflammation. IL-6 signaling through its membrane-bound IL-6 receptor is known as classical signaling, and through a soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) is known as trans-signaling. Increasing evidence suggests that classical signaling is primarily anti-inflammatory, whereas trans-signaling induces the pro-inflammatory effects of IL-6. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of these two pathways on paracellular permeability and expression of genes involved in inter-endothelial junctions in human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs). IL-6 trans-signaling activation caused significant disruption to paracellular integrity, with increased paracellular permeability, and was associated with significant changes in gene expression related to adherens, tight, and gap junctions. IL-6 classical signaling did not alter paracellular resistance in HRECs and had no distinct effects on gene expression. In conclusion, IL-6 trans-signaling, but not classical signaling, is a major mediator of the increased paracellular permeability characteristic of inner BRB breakdown in diabetic retinopathy. This study also identified potential inter-endothelial junction genes involved in the IL-6 trans-signaling mediated regulation of paracellular permeability in HRECs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetic Retinopathy)
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Article
Crosstalk of Endothelial and Mesenchymal Stromal Cells under Tissue-Related O2
Int. J. Transl. Med. 2021, 1(2), 116-136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijtm1020009 - 07 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are considered a valuable tool for cell therapy. After systemic administration, the outcome of MSCs and endothelial cells (ECs) interactions strongly depend on the local microenvironment and tissue O2 levels in particular. In vitro analysis of EC effects [...] Read more.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are considered a valuable tool for cell therapy. After systemic administration, the outcome of MSCs and endothelial cells (ECs) interactions strongly depend on the local microenvironment and tissue O2 levels in particular. In vitro analysis of EC effects on MSC regenerative potential in co-culture was performed after short-term interaction at “physiological” hypoxia (5% O2) and acute hypoxic stress (0.1% O2). At 5% O2, MSCs retained stromal phenotype and CFU-f numbers, osteogenic RUNX2 was upregulated. A shift in the expression of adhesion molecules, and an increase in transcription/synthesis of IL-6, IL-8 contributed to facilitation of directed migration of MSCs. In the presence of MSCs, manifestations of oxidative stress in ECs were attenuated, and a decrease in adhesion of PBMCs to TNF-α-activated ECs was observed. Under 0.1% O2, reciprocal effects of ECs and MSCs were similar to those at 5% O2. Meanwhile, upregulation of RUNX2 was canceled, IL-6 decreased, and IL-8 significantly increased. “Protective” effects of MSCs on TNF-α-ECs were less pronounced, manifested as NOS3 downregulation and intracellular NO elevation. Therefore, interaction with ECs at “physiological” hypoxia enhanced pro-regenerative capacities of MSCs including migration and anti-inflammatory modulation of ECs. Under acute hypoxic stress, the stimulating effects of ECs on MSCs and the “protective” potential of MSCs towards TNF-α-ECs were attenuated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Angiogenic Field)
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Article
Heparin–Avastin Complexes Show Enhanced VEGF Binding and Inhibition of VEGF-Mediated Cell Migration
Int. J. Transl. Med. 2021, 1(2), 101-115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijtm1020008 - 10 Aug 2021
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Abstract
Bevacizumab (known by the tradename Avastin) is an antibody that binds VEGF and blocks its binding to VEGF receptors on endothelial cells, and is used to treat cancers and other diseases associated with excessive vascular growth. Our previous findings showed enhanced VEGF binding [...] Read more.
Bevacizumab (known by the tradename Avastin) is an antibody that binds VEGF and blocks its binding to VEGF receptors on endothelial cells, and is used to treat cancers and other diseases associated with excessive vascular growth. Our previous findings showed enhanced VEGF binding to Avastin in the presence of heparin, indicating that colocalizing heparin with Avastin could enhance VEGF inhibitory activity. Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine if conjugating Avastin and heparin to one another would lead to enhanced anti-VEGF activity. Avastin was conjugated to either biotin or streptavidin, and biotin–heparin was used to bring the two molecules into close proximity via biotin–streptavidin binding. Radioligand binding assays with 125 I-VEGF and cell migration assays using human umbilical vein endothelial cells were used to evaluate the impact of heparin on Avastin binding and activity. We found that bringing Avastin and heparin together, either on a surface or through streptavidin conjugation of Avastin, led to increased VEGF binding compared to that with each molecule alone. The heparin-mediated increase in VEGF binding was also noted at acidic pH where Avastin showed decreased VEGF binding. Conditions where Avastin and heparin showed enhanced VEGF binding also showed reduced VEGF-induced migration of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. These findings suggest design principles for a modified Avastin-based inhibitor of angiogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Angiogenic Field)
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Article
Regional Differences in Gene Expression of Proliferating Human Choroidal Endothelial Cells
Int. J. Transl. Med. 2021, 1(2), 83-100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijtm1020007 - 01 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Choroidal diseases including inflammation and neovascularization seem to have predilection for different vascular beds. In order to improve our understanding of human macular choroidal angiogenic diseases, we investigate the differences in gene expression between matched human macular and peripheral inner choroidal endothelial cells [...] Read more.
Choroidal diseases including inflammation and neovascularization seem to have predilection for different vascular beds. In order to improve our understanding of human macular choroidal angiogenic diseases, we investigate the differences in gene expression between matched human macular and peripheral inner choroidal endothelial cells (CEC) and matched human macular inner and outer CEC. The gene expression profiles of matched, unpassaged human macular and peripheral inner CEC and matched human unpassaged macular inner and outer CEC were conducted using Affymetrix GeneChip arrays. Selected differences in gene expression were validated by real-time-PCR and immunohistochemistry. No differences in probeset expression were demonstrated between inner CECs compared with peripheral inner CECs. In comparison, there was a difference of 1.6% of probesets when matched, unpassaged proliferating human macular inner CEC and macular outer CEC from the same donors were compared. Macular inner CECs demonstrated up-regulation of probesets involved in nervous system development, growth factors, PLVAP, and collagen XVI, while macular outer CECs demonstrated up-regulation of probesets involved in immune function and intracellular signalling. There was a marked homogeneity of human macular and peripheral inner CECs. This suggests that gene expression differences in inner CECs are not responsible for the site specific selectivity of choroidal neovascularisation. Variability was noted, however, in the gene expression of matched macular inner and outer CECs. This could be explained by the differences in the roles and microenvironments of the inner and outer choroid. Full article
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