Publications by authors named "Barbara Klotz"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Gel Casting as an Approach for Tissue Engineering of Multilayered Tubular Structures.

Tissue Eng Part C Methods 2020 03;26(3):190-198

Department of Urology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Several urological structures, such as the male urethra, have a tubular organization consisting of different layers. However, in severe urethral disease, urologists are limited to replacing solely the epithelial layer. In case of severe hypospadias and urethral stricture disease, the underlying supporting structure (the corpus spongiosum) is either absent or fibrotic, causing suboptimal vascularization and therefore increasing the risk of graft failure. Recapitulating the multilayered architecture of the urethra, including supporting structure with tissue engineering, might minimize urethral graft failure. However, current tissue engineering applications for complex multilayered tubular constructs are limited. We describe a gel casting method to tissue engineer multilayered tubular constructs based on fiber-reinforced cell-laden hydrogels. For this, a multichambered polydimethylsiloxane mold was casted with fiber-reinforced hydrogels containing smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and a coculture of endothelial cells and pericytes. The cell-loaded hydrogels were rolled, with the fiber mesh as guidance, into a tubular construct. In the lumen, urothelial cells were seeded and survived for 2 weeks. In the tubular construct, the cells showed good viability and functionality: endothelial cells formed capillary-like structures supported by pericytes and SMCs expressed elastin. With a graft produced by this technique, supported with subepithelial vascularization, urethral reconstructive surgery can be improved. This approach toward tissue engineering of multilayered tubular structures can also be applied to other multilayered tubular structures found in the human body. Impact Statement Recapitulating the multilayered architecture of tubular structures found in the human body might minimize graft failure. Current tissue engineering applications for complex multilayered tubular constructs are limited. Here we describe a gel casting approach based on fiber-reinforced cell-laden hydrogels. A multichambered polydimethylsiloxane mold was casted with cell-loaded, fiber-reinforced hydrogels, with the fiber mesh as guidance, into a tubular construct. A graft produced by this technique can improve reconstructive surgery by providing subepithelial vascularization and thereby can reduce graft failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.TEC.2019.0280DOI Listing
March 2020

A Versatile Biosynthetic Hydrogel Platform for Engineering of Tissue Analogues.

Adv Healthc Mater 2019 10 12;8(19):e1900979. Epub 2019 Aug 12.

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Special Dental Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, 3508 GA, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

For creating functional tissue analogues in tissue engineering, stem cells require very specific 3D microenvironments to thrive and mature. Demanding (stem) cell types that are used nowadays can find such an environment in a heterogeneous protein mixture with the trade name Matrigel. Several variations of synthetic hydrogel platforms composed of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), which are spiked with peptides, have been recently developed and shown equivalence to Matrigel for stem cell differentiation. Here a clinically relevant hydrogel platform, based on PEG and gelatin, which even outperforms Matrigel when targeting 3D prevascularized bone and liver organoid tissue engineering models is presented. The hybrid hydrogel with natural and synthetic components stimulates efficient cell differentiation, superior to Matrigel models. Furthermore, the strength of this hydrogel lies in the option to covalently incorporate unmodified proteins. These results demonstrate how a hybrid hydrogel platform with intermediate biological complexity, when compared to existing biological materials and synthetic PEG-peptide approaches, can efficiently support tissue development from human primary cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201900979DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7116179PMC
October 2019

Expression Signatures of Cisplatin- and Trametinib-Treated Early-Stage Medaka Melanomas.

G3 (Bethesda) 2019 Jul;9(7):2267-2276

Physiological Chemistry, Biocenter, University of Wuerzburg, 97074 Wuerzburg, Germany.

Small aquarium fish models provide useful systems not only for a better understanding of the molecular basis of many human diseases, but also for first-line screening to identify new drug candidates. For testing new chemical substances, current strategies mostly rely on easy to perform and efficient embryonic screens. Cancer, however, is a disease that develops mainly during juvenile and adult stage. Long-term treatment and the challenge to monitor changes in tumor phenotype make testing of large chemical libraries in juvenile and adult animals cost prohibitive. We hypothesized that changes in the gene expression profile should occur early during anti-tumor treatment, and the disease-associated transcriptional change should provide a reliable readout that can be utilized to evaluate drug-induced effects. For the current study, we used a previously established medaka melanoma model. As proof of principle, we showed that exposure of melanoma developing fish to the drugs cisplatin or trametinib, known cancer therapies, for a period of seven days is sufficient to detect treatment-induced changes in gene expression. By examining whole body transcriptome responses we provide a novel route toward gene panels that recapitulate anti-tumor outcomes thus allowing a screening of thousands of drugs using a whole-body vertebrate model. Our results suggest that using disease-associated transcriptional change to screen therapeutic molecules in small fish model is viable and may be applied to pre-clinical research and development stages in new drug discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/g3.119.400051DOI Listing
July 2019

Expression Signatures of Cisplatin- and Trametinib-Treated Early-Stage Medaka Melanomas.

G3 (Bethesda) 2019 07 9;9(7):2267-2276. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Physiological Chemistry, Biocenter, University of Wuerzburg, 97074 Wuerzburg, Germany

Small aquarium fish models provide useful systems not only for a better understanding of the molecular basis of many human diseases, but also for first-line screening to identify new drug candidates. For testing new chemical substances, current strategies mostly rely on easy to perform and efficient embryonic screens. Cancer, however, is a disease that develops mainly during juvenile and adult stage. Long-term treatment and the challenge to monitor changes in tumor phenotype make testing of large chemical libraries in juvenile and adult animals cost prohibitive. We hypothesized that changes in the gene expression profile should occur early during anti-tumor treatment, and the disease-associated transcriptional change should provide a reliable readout that can be utilized to evaluate drug-induced effects. For the current study, we used a previously established medaka melanoma model. As proof of principle, we showed that exposure of melanoma developing fish to the drugs cisplatin or trametinib, known cancer therapies, for a period of seven days is sufficient to detect treatment-induced changes in gene expression. By examining whole body transcriptome responses we provide a novel route toward gene panels that recapitulate anti-tumor outcomes thus allowing a screening of thousands of drugs using a whole-body vertebrate model. Our results suggest that using disease-associated transcriptional change to screen therapeutic molecules in small fish model is viable and may be applied to pre-clinical research and development stages in new drug discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/g3.119.400051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6643878PMC
July 2019

Visible Light Cross-Linking of Gelatin Hydrogels Offers an Enhanced Cell Microenvironment with Improved Light Penetration Depth.

Macromol Biosci 2019 06 26;19(6):e1900098. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

Christchurch Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering (CReaTE) Group, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch, Christchurch, 8011, New Zealand.

In this study, the cyto-compatibility and cellular functionality of cell-laden gelatin-methacryloyl (Gel-MA) hydrogels fabricated using a set of photo-initiators which absorb in 400-450 nm of the visible light range are investigated. Gel-MA hydrogels cross-linked using ruthenium (Ru) and sodium persulfate (SPS), are characterized to have comparable physico-mechanical properties as Gel-MA gels photo-polymerized using more conventionally adopted photo-initiators, such as 1-[4-(2-hydroxyethoxy)-phenyl]-2-hydroxy-2-methyl-1-propan-1-one (Irgacure 2959) and lithium phenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl) phosphinate (LAP). It is demonstrated that the Ru/SPS system has a less adverse effect on the viability and metabolic activity of human articular chondrocytes encapsulated in Gel-MA hydrogels for up to 35 days. Furthermore, cell-laden constructs cross-linked using the Ru/SPS system have significantly higher glycosaminoglycan content and re-differentiation capacity as compared to cells encapsulated using I2959 and LAP. Moreover, the Ru/SPS system offers significantly greater light penetration depth as compared to the I2959 system, allowing thick (10 mm) Gel-MA hydrogels to be fabricated with homogenous cross-linking density throughout the construct. These results demonstrate the considerable advantages of the Ru/SPS system over traditional UV polymerizing systems in terms of clinical relevance and practicability for applications such as cell encapsulation, biofabrication, and in situ cross-linking of injectable hydrogels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mabi.201900098DOI Listing
June 2019

The Austrian UVA-Network.

Photochem Photobiol 2019 09 6;95(5):1258-1266. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Division of Biomedical Physics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

The ultraviolet-A (UVA) part of the solar spectrum at the Earth's surface is an essential environmental factor but continuous long-time monitoring of UVA radiation is rarely done. In Austria, three existing stations of the UV monitoring network have been upgraded with UVA broadband instruments. At each station, one instrument measures global UVA irradiance and-in parallel-a second instrument measures diffuse irradiance. Recent and past measurements are available via a web page. This paper describes the used instruments, calibration and quality assurance and control procedures. Global and diffuse UVA measurements during a period of up to 5 years are presented. Data indicate clear annual courses and an increase of UVA with altitude by 8-9% per 1000 m. In the first half of the year, UVA radiation is higher than in the second half, due to less cloudiness. In Vienna (153 m asl), the mean daily global UVA radiant exposure in summer is almost as high as at Mt. Gerlitzen (1540 m asl), equalizing the altitude effect, due to less cloudiness. However, in winter, the UVA radiant exposure at Mt. Gerlitzen is double as high, as in Vienna.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/php.13111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6852124PMC
September 2019

Application of the Transcriptional Disease Signature (TDSs) to Screen Melanoma-Effective Compounds in a Small Fish Model.

Sci Rep 2019 01 24;9(1):530. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 419 Centennial Hall, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA.

Cell culture and protein target-based compound screening strategies, though broadly utilized in selecting candidate compounds, often fail to eliminate candidate compounds with non-target effects and/or safety concerns until late in the drug developmental process. Phenotype screening using intact research animals is attractive because it can help identify small molecule candidate compounds that have a high probability of proceeding to clinical use. Most FDA approved, first-in-class small molecules were identified from phenotypic screening. However, phenotypic screening using rodent models is labor intensive, low-throughput, and very expensive. As a novel alternative for small molecule screening, we have been developing gene expression disease profiles, termed the Transcriptional Disease Signature (TDS), as readout of small molecule screens for therapeutic molecules. In this concept, compounds that can reverse, or otherwise affect known disease-associated gene expression patterns in whole animals may be rapidly identified for more detailed downstream direct testing of their efficacy and mode of action. To establish proof of concept for this screening strategy, we employed a transgenic strain of a small aquarium fish, medaka (Oryzias latipes), that overexpresses the malignant melanoma driver gene xmrk, a mutant egfr gene, that is driven by a pigment cell-specific mitf promoter. In this model, melanoma develops with 100% penetrance. Using the transgenic medaka malignant melanoma model, we established a screening system that employs the NanoString nCounter platform to quantify gene expression within custom sets of TDS gene targets that we had previously shown to exhibit differential transcription among xmrk-transgenic and wild-type medaka. Compound-modulated gene expression was identified using an internet-accessible custom-built data processing pipeline. The effect of a given drug on the entire TDS profile was estimated by comparing compound-modulated genes in the TDS using an activation Z-score and Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistics. TDS gene probes were designed that target common signaling pathways that include proliferation, development, toxicity, immune function, metabolism and detoxification. These pathways may be utilized to evaluate candidate compounds for potential favorable, or unfavorable, effects on melanoma-associated gene expression. Here we present the logistics of using medaka to screen compounds, as well as, the development of a user-friendly NanoString data analysis pipeline to support feasibility of this novel TDS drug-screening strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-36656-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6345854PMC
January 2019

Gene expression variation and parental allele inheritance in a Xiphophorus interspecies hybridization model.

PLoS Genet 2018 12 26;14(12):e1007875. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

The Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, United States of America.

Understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying segregation of phenotypic variation through successive generations is important for understanding physiological changes and disease risk. Tracing the etiology of variation in gene expression enables identification of genetic interactions, and may uncover molecular mechanisms leading to the phenotypic expression of a trait, especially when utilizing model organisms that have well-defined genetic lineages. There are a plethora of studies that describe relationships between gene expression and genotype, however, the idea that global variations in gene expression are also controlled by genotype remains novel. Despite the identification of loci that control gene expression variation, the global understanding of how genome constitution affects trait variability is unknown. To study this question, we utilized Xiphophorus fish of different, but tractable genetic backgrounds (inbred, F1 interspecies hybrids, and backcross hybrid progeny), and measured each individual's gene expression concurrent with the degrees of inter-individual expression variation. We found, (a) F1 interspecies hybrids exhibited less variability than inbred animals, indicting gene expression variation is not affected by the fraction of heterozygous loci within an individual genome, and (b), that mixing genotypes in backcross populations led to higher levels of gene expression variability, supporting the idea that expression variability is caused by heterogeneity of genotypes of cis or trans loci. In conclusion, heterogeneity of genotype, introduced by inheritance of different alleles, accounts for the largest effects on global phenotypical variability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007875DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6324826PMC
December 2018

Analysis of the putative tumor suppressor gene cdkn2ab in pigment cells and melanoma of Xiphophorus and medaka.

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2019 03 6;32(2):248-258. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

Physiological Chemistry, University of Würzburg, Biozentrum, Würzburg, Germany.

In humans, the CDKN2A locus encodes two transcripts, INK4A and ARF. Inactivation of either one by mutations or epigenetic changes is a frequent signature of malignant melanoma and one of the most relevant entry points for melanomagenesis. To analyze whether cdkn2ab, the fish ortholog of CDKN2A, has a similar function as its human counterpart, we studied its action in fish models for human melanoma. Overexpression of cdkn2ab in a Xiphophorus melanoma cell line led to decreased proliferation and induction of a senescence-like phenotype, indicating a melanoma-suppressive function analogous to mammals. Coexpression of Xiphophorus cdkn2ab in medaka transgenic for the mitfa:xmrk melanoma-inducing gene resulted in full suppression of melanoma development, whereas CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of cdkn2ab resulted in strongly enhanced tumor growth. In summary, this provides the first functional evidence that cdkn2ab acts as a potent tumor suppressor gene in fish melanoma models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pcmr.12729DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6377863PMC
March 2019

Comparison of Xiphophorus and human melanoma transcriptomes reveals conserved pathway interactions.

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2018 07 29;31(4):496-508. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

The Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA.

Comparative analysis of human and animal model melanomas can uncover conserved pathways and genetic changes that are relevant for the biology of cancer cells. Spontaneous melanoma in Xiphophorus interspecies backcross hybrid progeny may be informative in identifying genes and functional pathways that are similarly related to melanoma development in all vertebrates, including humans. To assess functional pathways involved in the Xiphophorus melanoma, we performed gene expression profiling of the melanomas produced in interspecies BC and successive backcross generations (i.e., BC ) of the cross: X. hellerii × [X. maculatus Jp 163 A × X. hellerii]. Using RNA-Seq, we identified genes that are transcriptionally co-expressed with the driver oncogene, xmrk. We determined functional pathways in the fish melanoma that are also present in human melanoma cohorts that may be related to dedifferentiation based on the expression levels of pigmentation genes. Shared pathways between human and Xiphophorus melanomas are related to inflammation, cell migration, cell proliferation, pigmentation, cancer development, and metastasis. Our results suggest xmrk co-expressed genes are associated with dedifferentiation and highlight these signaling pathways as playing important roles in melanomagenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pcmr.12686DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6013346PMC
July 2018

Expression signatures of early-stage and advanced medaka melanomas.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2018 Jun 21;208:20-28. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Physiological Chemistry, Biocenter, University of Wuerzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Wuerzburg, Germany; Comprehensive Cancer Center Mainfranken, University of Wuerzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Wuerzburg, Germany; Hagler Institute for Advanced Study and Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA. Electronic address:

Melanoma is one of the most aggressive tumors with a very low survival rate once metastasized. The incidence of newly detected cases increases every year suggesting the necessity of development and application of innovative treatment strategies. Human melanoma develops from melanocytes localized in the epidermis of the skin to malignant tumors because of deregulated effectors influencing several molecular pathways. Despite many advances in describing the molecular changes accompanying melanoma formation, many critical and clinically relevant molecular features of the transformed pigment cells and the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. To contribute to a better understanding of the molecular processes of melanoma formation, we use a transgenic medaka melanoma model that is well suited for the investigation of melanoma tumor development because fish and human melanocytes are both localized in the epidermis. The purpose of our study was to gain insights into melanoma development from the first steps of tumor formation up to melanoma progression and to identify gene expression patterns that will be useful for monitoring treatment effects in drug screening approaches. Comparing transcriptomes from juvenile fish at the tumor initiating stage with nevi and advanced melanoma of adults, we identified stage specific expression signatures and pathways that are characteristic for the development of medaka melanoma, and are also found in human malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2017.11.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5936653PMC
June 2018

UV Index monitoring in Europe.

Photochem Photobiol Sci 2017 Sep;16(9):1349-1370

University of Veterinary Medicine, Unit of Physiology and Biophysics, Vienna, Austria.

The UV Index was established more than 20 years ago as a tool for sun protection and health care. Shortly after its introduction, UV Index monitoring started in several countries either by newly acquired instruments or by converting measurements from existing instruments into the UV Index. The number of stations and networks has increased over the years. Currently, 160 stations in 25 European countries deliver online values to the public via the Internet. In this paper an overview of these UV Index monitoring sites in Europe is given. The overview includes instruments as well as quality assurance and quality control procedures. Furthermore, some examples are given about how UV Index values are presented to the public. Through these efforts, 57% of the European population is supplied with high quality information, enabling them to adapt behaviour. Although health care, including skin cancer prevention, is cost-effective, a proportion of the European population still doesn't have access to UV Index information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7pp00178aDOI Listing
September 2017

Molecular genetic analysis of the melanoma regulatory locus in Xiphophorus interspecies hybrids.

Mol Carcinog 2017 08 13;56(8):1935-1944. Epub 2017 Apr 13.

The Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.

Development of spontaneous melanoma in Xiphophorus interspecies backcross hybrid progeny, (X. hellerii × [X. maculatus Jp 163 A × X. hellerii]) is due to Mendelian segregation of a oncogene (xmrk) and a molecularly uncharacterized locus, called R(Diff), on LG5. R(Diff) is thought to suppresses the activity of xmrk in healthy X. maculatus Jp 163 A parental species that rarely develop melanoma. To better understand the molecular genetics of R(Diff), we utilized RNA-Seq to study allele-specific gene expression of spontaneous melanoma tumors and corresponding normal skin samples derived from 15 first generation backcross (BC ) hybrids and 13 fifth generation (BC ) hybrids. Allele-specific expression was determined for all genes and assigned to parental allele inheritance for each backcross hybrid individual. Results showed that genes residing in a 5.81 Mbp region on LG5 were exclusively expressed from the X. hellerii alleles in tumor-bearing BC hybrids. This observation indicates this region is consistently homozygous for X. hellerii alleles in tumor bearing animals, and therefore defines this region to be the R(Diff) locus. The R(Diff) locus harbors 164 gene models and includes the previously characterized R(Diff) candidate, cdkn2x. Twenty-one genes in the R(Diff) region show differential expression in the tumor samples compared to normal skin tissue. These results further characterize the R(Diff) locus and suggest tumor suppression may require a multigenic region rather than a single gene variant. Differences in gene expression between tumor and normal skin tissue in this region may indicate interactions among several genes are required for backcross hybrid melanoma development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mc.22651DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5767473PMC
August 2017

Gelatin-Methacryloyl Hydrogels: Towards Biofabrication-Based Tissue Repair.

Trends Biotechnol 2016 05 9;34(5):394-407. Epub 2016 Feb 9.

Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center Utrecht, PO Box 85500, Utrecht, GA, 3508, The Netherlands; Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK.

Research over the past decade on the cell-biomaterial interface has shifted to the third dimension. Besides mimicking the native extracellular environment by 3D cell culture, hydrogels offer the possibility to generate well-defined 3D biofabricated tissue analogs. In this context, gelatin-methacryloyl (gelMA) hydrogels have recently gained increased attention. This interest is sparked by the combination of the inherent bioactivity of gelatin and the physicochemical tailorability of photo-crosslinkable hydrogels. GelMA is a versatile matrix that can be used to engineer tissue analogs ranging from vasculature to cartilage and bone. Convergence of biological and biofabrication approaches is necessary to progress from merely proving cell functionality or construct shape fidelity towards regenerating tissues. GelMA has a critical pioneering role in this process and could be used to accelerate the development of clinically relevant applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tibtech.2016.01.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5937681PMC
May 2016

Uncovering the cellular and molecular changes in tendon stem/progenitor cells attributed to tendon aging and degeneration.

Aging Cell 2013 Dec 22;12(6):988-99. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Department of Surgery, Experimental Surgery and Regenerative Medicine, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Nussbaumstr. 20, 80336, Munich, Germany.

Although the link between altered stem cell properties and tissue aging has been recognized, the molecular and cellular processes of tendon aging have not been elucidated. As tendons contain stem/progenitor cells (TSPC), we investigated whether the molecular and cellular attributes of TSPC alter during tendon aging and degeneration. Comparing TSPC derived from young/healthy (Y-TSPC) and aged/degenerated human Achilles tendon biopsies (A-TSPC), we observed that A-TSPC exhibit a profound self-renewal and clonogenic deficits, while their multipotency was still retained. Senescence analysis showed a premature entry into senescence of the A-TSPC, a finding accompanied by an upregulation of p16(INK4A). To identify age-related molecular factors, we performed microarray and gene ontology analyses. These analyses revealed an intriguing transcriptomal shift in A-TSPC, where the most differentially expressed probesets encode for genes regulating cell adhesion, migration, and actin cytoskeleton. Time-lapse analysis showed that A-TSPC exhibit decelerated motion and delayed wound closure concomitant to a higher actin stress fiber content and a slower turnover of actin filaments. Lastly, based on the expression analyses of microarray candidates, we suggest that dysregulated cell-matrix interactions and the ROCK kinase pathway might be key players in TSPC aging. Taken together, we propose that during tendon aging and degeneration, the TSPC pool is becoming exhausted in terms of size and functional fitness. Thus, our study provides the first fundamental basis for further exploration into the molecular mechanisms behind tendon aging and degeneration as well as for the selection of novel tendon-specific therapeutical targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.12124DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4225469PMC
December 2013

1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 treatment delays cellular aging in human mesenchymal stem cells while maintaining their multipotent capacity.

PLoS One 2012 5;7(1):e29959. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

Orthopedic Center for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3) was reported to induce premature organismal aging in fibroblast growth factor-23 (Fgf23) and klotho deficient mice, which is of main interest as 1,25D3 supplementation of its precursor cholecalciferol is used in basic osteoporosis treatment. We wanted to know if 1,25D3 is able to modulate aging processes on a cellular level in human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC). Effects of 100 nM 1,25D3 on hMSC were analyzed by cell proliferation and apoptosis assay, β-galactosidase staining, VDR and surface marker immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR of 1,25D3-responsive, quiescence- and replicative senescence-associated genes. 1,25D3 treatment significantly inhibited hMSC proliferation and apoptosis after 72 h and delayed the development of replicative senescence in long-term cultures according to β-galactosidase staining and P16 expression. Cell morphology changed from a fibroblast like appearance to broad and rounded shapes. Long term treatment did not induce lineage commitment in terms of osteogenic pathways but maintained their clonogenic capacity, their surface marker characteristics (expression of CD73, CD90, CD105) and their multipotency to develop towards the chondrogenic, adipogenic and osteogenic pathways. In conclusion, 1,25D3 delays replicative senescence in primary hMSC while the pro-aging effects seen in mouse models might mainly be due to elevated systemic phosphate levels, which propagate organismal aging.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029959PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252365PMC
May 2012

Krüppel-like factors KLF2 and 6 and Ki-67 are direct targets of zoledronic acid in MCF-7 cells.

Bone 2012 Mar 7;50(3):723-32. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Orthopedic Center for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Würzburg, Brettreichstrasse 11, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.

Bisphosphonates (BP) are used for the treatment of osteoporosis and bone metastases due to breast and prostate cancer. Recent clinical studies indicated a benefit in survival and tumor relapse with the supportive treatment of breast cancer using zoledronic acid (ZA), thus stimulating the debate about its putative anti-tumor activity in vivo. MCF-7 breast cancer cells were treated for 3 h (pulse treatment) and 72 h (permanent treatment) with ZA, and apoptosis rates and cell viability, defined as ATP content, were determined after 72 h. Permanent and pulse stimulation with ZA inhibited the viability of MCF-7 cells, which could partly be rescued by atorvastatin (Ator) pre-treatment but not by geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) co-treatment. Microarray analysis of ZA treated MCF-7 cells identified genes of the mevalonate pathway as significantly upregulated, which was verified by qPCR. Additionally the putative tumor suppressors krüppel-like factor 2 and 6 (KLF2 and KLF6) were markedly upregulated, while the classical proliferation marker Ki-67 was clearly downregulated. The expression of all three genes was confirmed by qPCR on mRNA level and by immunocytochemistry or Western blot staining. Expression of target genes were also analyzed in other breast (MDA-MB-231, BT-20, ZR75-1, T47D) and prostate (LNCaP, PC3) cancer cell lines by qPCR. ZA responsiveness of KLF2, KLF6 and Ki-67 could be verified in PC3 and T47D cells, KLF6 responsiveness in LNCaP and KLF2 responsiveness in MDA-MB-231 and BT-20 cells. Here we demonstrate in the apoptosis insensitive MCF-7 cell line a remarkable impact of ZA exposure on cell viability and on the regulation of putative tumor suppressors of the KLF family. The molecular mechanism involved might be the accumulation of isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) and ApppI, since we could partly rescue the ZA effect by Ator pre-treatment and GGPP co-treatment. These data should stimulate further research into both the role of the mevalonate pathway and the accumulation of pyrophosphate compounds like ApppI in tumorigenesis and differentiation and their potential apart from the inhibition of mitochondrial ADP/ATP translocase and apoptosis, since such effects might well be responsible for the adjuvant ZA treatment benefit of patients suffering from breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2011.11.025DOI Listing
March 2012