Publications by authors named "Julia Ingruber"

5 Publications

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Characterization of epithelial cells, connective tissue cells and immune cells in human upper airway mucosa by immunofluorescence multichannel image cytometry: a pilot study.

Histochem Cell Biol 2020 Nov 29. Epub 2020 Nov 29.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Epithelial, connective tissue and immune cells contribute in various ways to the pathophysiology of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). However, data of their distribution in upper airway mucosa are sparse. We aimed to provide quantitative, purely informative data on the distribution of these cell lineages and their coexpression patterns, which might help identifying, e.g., cells in the epithelium undergoing through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). For this purpose, we used immunofluorescence multichannel image cytometry (IMIC). We examined fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples (FFPE) of six patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and of three patients without CRS (controls). The direct-conjugated antibodies pancytokeratin, vimentin and CD45/CD18 were used for coexpression analysis in epithelial layer and lamina propria. Image acquisition and analysis were performed with TissueFAXS and StrataQuest, respectively. To distinguish positive from negative expression, a ratio between cell-specific immunostaining intensity and background was developed. Isotype controls were used as negative controls. Per patient, a 4.5-mm tissue area was scanned and a median of 14,875 cells was recognized. The most common cell types were cytokeratin-single-positive (26%), vimentin-single-positive (13%) and CD45/CD18-single-positive with CD45/CD18-vimentin-double-positive cells (29%). In the patients with CRS, CD45/CD18-single-positive cells were 3-6 times higher compared to the control patients. In the epithelial layer, cytokeratin-vimentin-double-positive EMT cells were observed 3-5 times higher in the patients with CRS than in the control patients. This study provided quantitative data for the distribution of crucial cell types in CRS. Future studies may focus on the distribution and coexpression patterns of different immune cells in CRS or even cancer tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00418-020-01945-yDOI Listing
November 2020

HPV-Induced Oropharyngeal Cancer and the Role of the E7 Oncoprotein Detection via Brush Test.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Aug 23;12(9). Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

High risk human papillomavirus (hr-HPV)-associated oropharyngeal cancers (OPCs) are characterized by significantly better therapy responses. In order to implement a de-escalated treatment strategy for this tumor entity, it is highly crucial to accurately distinguish HPV-associated OPCs from non-HPV-associated ones. In this prospective study, 56 patients with histologically confirmed OPC were evaluated. A commercially available sandwich ELISA test system was used for the detection of hr-HPV E7 oncoprotein targeting the genotypes 16, 18 and 45. Results were presented as optical density. Positivity for HPV DNA and p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC) was taken as the reference method. E7 positivity was significantly associated with the reference method ( = 0.048). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value for the E7 oncoptotein was 60.9% (95% CI 38.5 to 80.3%), 66.7% (95% CI 46% to 83.5%), 64.2% (95% CI 49.4 to 77.4%) and 63.01% (95% CI 48.9-75.2%), respectively, for the cutoff provided by the manufacturer. We found a significant association between E7 oncoprotein detection and the currently used combination. We believe that the use of the ELISA based E7 antigen test could be a valuable addition in cases of ambiguous findings and may be used in combination with other techniques to distinguish between HPV-driven and non-HPV-driven OPCs. However, the low sensitivity of the assay coupled with the small sample size in our study may represent a limitation. We recommend that future larger studies elucidate the diagnostic value of the E7 brush test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092388DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7563171PMC
August 2020

H3K27me3 expression and methylation status in histological variants of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours.

J Pathol 2020 10 1;252(2):151-164. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Research Department of Pathology, University College London, London, UK.

Diagnosing MPNST can be challenging, but genetic alterations recently identified in polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) core component genes, EED and SUZ12, resulting in global loss of the histone 3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) epigenetic mark, represent drivers of malignancy and a valuable diagnostic tool. However, the reported loss of H3K27me3 expression ranges from 35% to 84%. We show that advances in molecular pathology now allow many MPNST mimics to be classified confidently. We confirm that MPNSTs harbouring mutations in PRC2 core components are associated with loss of H3K27me3 expression; whole-genome doubling was detected in 68%, and SSTR2 was amplified in 32% of MPNSTs. We demonstrate that loss of H3K27me3 expression occurs overall in 38% of MPNSTs, but is lost in 76% of histologically classical cases, whereas loss was detected in only 23% cases with heterologous elements and 14% where the diagnosis could not be provided on morphology alone. H3K27me3 loss is rarely seen in other high-grade sarcomas and was not found to be associated with an inferior outcome in MPNST. We show that DNA methylation profiling distinguishes MPNST from its histological mimics, was unrelated to anatomical site, and formed two main clusters, MeGroups 4 and 5. MeGroup 4 represents classical MPNSTs lacking H3K27me3 expression in the majority of cases, whereas MeGroup 5 comprises MPNSTs exhibiting non-classical histology and expressing H3K27me3 and cluster with undifferentiated sarcomas. The two MeGroups are distinguished by differentially methylated PRC2-associated genes, the majority of which are hypermethylated in the promoter regions in MeGroup 4, indicating that the PRC2 target genes are not expressed in these tumours. The methylation profiles of MPNSTs with retention of H3K27me3 in MeGroups 4 and 5 are independent of mutations in PRC2 core components and the driver(s) in these groups remain to be identified. Our results open new avenues of investigation. © 2020 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. on behalf of The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5507DOI Listing
October 2020

Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition: A Mechanism that Fuels Cancer Radio/Chemoresistance.

Cells 2020 02 12;9(2). Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) contributes to tumor progression, cancer cell invasion, and therapy resistance. EMT is regulated by transcription factors such as the protein products of the SNAI gene family, which inhibits the expression of epithelial genes. Several signaling pathways, such as TGF-beta1, IL-6, Akt, and Erk1/2, trigger EMT responses. Besides regulatory transcription factors, RNA molecules without protein translation, micro RNAs, and long non-coding RNAs also assist in the initialization of the EMT gene cluster. A challenging novel aspect of EMT research is the investigation of the interplay between tumor microenvironments and EMT. Several microenvironmental factors, including fibroblasts and myofibroblasts, as well as inflammatory, immune, and endothelial cells, induce EMT in tumor cells. EMT tumor cells change their adverse microenvironment into a tumor friendly neighborhood, loaded with stromal regulatory T cells, exhausted CD8 T cells, and M2 (protumor) macrophages. Several EMT inhibitory mechanisms are instrumental in reversing EMT or targeting EMT cells. Currently, these mechanisms are also significant for clinical use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9020428DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7072371PMC
February 2020

Frost Survival Mechanism of Vegetative Buds in Temperate Trees: Deep Supercooling and Extraorgan Freezing vs. Ice Tolerance.

Front Plant Sci 2019 9;10:537. Epub 2019 May 9.

Unit Functional Plant Biology, Department of Botany, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

In temperate climates, overwintering buds of trees are often less cold hardy than adjoining stem tissues or evergreen leaves. However, data are scarce regarding the freezing resistance (FR) of buds and the underlying functional frost survival mechanism that in case of supercooling can restrict the geographic distribution. Twigs of 37 temperate woody species were sampled in midwinter 2016 in the Austrian Inn valley. After assessment of FR, infrared-video-thermography and cryo-microscopy were used to study the freezing pattern in and around overwintering vegetative buds. Only in four species, after controlled ice nucleation in the stem (-1.6 ± 0.9°C) ice was observed to immediately invade the bud. These buds tolerated extracellular ice and were the most freezing resistant (-61.8°C mean LT). In all other species (33), the buds remained supercooled and free of ice, despite a frozen stem. A structural ice barrier prevents ice penetration. Extraorgan ice masses grew in the stem and scales but in 50% of the species between premature supercooled leaves. Two types of supercooled buds were observed: in temporary supercooling buds (14 species) ice spontaneously nucleated at -20.5 ± 4,6°C. This freezing process appeared to be intracellular as it matched the bud killing temperature (-22.8°C mean LT). This response rendered temporarily supercooled buds as least cold hardy. In 19 species, the buds remained persistently supercooled down to below the killing temperature without indication for the cause of damage. Although having a moderate midwinter FR of -31.6°C (LT), some species within this group attained a FR similar to ice tolerant buds. The present study represents the first comprehensive overview of frost survival mechanisms of vegetative buds of temperate trees. Except for four species that were ice tolerant, the majority of buds survive in a supercooled state, remaining free of ice. In 50% of species, extraorgan ice masses harmlessly grew between premature supercooled leaves. Despite exposure to the same environmental demand, midwinter FR of buds varied intra-specifically between -17.0 and -90.0°C. Particularly, species, whose buds are killed after temporary supercooling, have a lower maximum FR, which limits their geographic distribution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00537DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6521125PMC
May 2019