Publications by authors named "Roman Schimmer"

3 Publications

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MCL1 Is Required for Maintenance of Intestinal Homeostasis and Prevention of Carcinogenesis in Mice.

Gastroenterology 2020 07 14;159(1):183-199. Epub 2020 Mar 14.

Institute of Molecular Cancer Research, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background & Aims: Intestinal epithelial homeostasis depends on a tightly regulated balance between intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) death and proliferation. While the disruption of several IEC death regulating factors result in intestinal inflammation, the loss of the anti-apoptotic BCL2 family members BCL2 and BCL2L1 has no effect on intestinal homeostasis in mice. We investigated the functions of the antiapoptotic protein MCL1, another member of the BCL2 family, in intestinal homeostasis in mice.

Methods: We generated mice with IEC-specific disruption of Mcl1 (Mcl1 mice) or tamoxifen-inducible IEC-specific disruption of Mcl1 (i-Mcl1 mice); these mice and mice with full-length Mcl1 (controls) were raised under normal or germ-free conditions. Mice were analyzed by endoscopy and for intestinal epithelial barrier permeability. Intestinal tissues were analyzed by histology, in situ hybridization, proliferation assays, and immunoblots. Levels of calprotectin, a marker of intestinal inflammation, were measured in intestinal tissues and feces.

Results: Mcl1 mice spontaneously developed apoptotic enterocolopathy, characterized by increased IEC apoptosis, hyperproliferative crypts, epithelial barrier dysfunction, and chronic inflammation. Loss of MCL1 retained intestinal crypts in a hyperproliferated state and prevented the differentiation of intestinal stem cells. Proliferation of intestinal stem cells in MCL1-deficient mice required WNT signaling and was associated with DNA damage accumulation. By 1 year of age, Mcl1 mice developed intestinal tumors with morphologic and genetic features of human adenomas and carcinomas. Germ-free housing of Mcl1 mice reduced markers of microbiota-induced intestinal inflammation but not tumor development.

Conclusion: The antiapoptotic protein MCL1, a member of the BCL2 family, is required for maintenance of intestinal homeostasis and prevention of carcinogenesis in mice. Loss of MCL1 results in development of intestinal carcinomas, even under germ-free conditions, and therefore does not involve microbe-induced chronic inflammation. Mcl1 mice might be used to study apoptotic enterocolopathy and inflammatory bowel diseases.
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July 2020

Hypoxia of the growing liver accelerates regeneration.

Surgery 2017 03 16;161(3):666-679. Epub 2016 Jul 16.

Institute of Physiology, Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland; Institute of Anesthesiology, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland; Department of Anesthesiology, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Background: After portal vein ligation of 1 side of the liver, the other side regenerates at a slow rate. This slow growth may be accelerated to rapid growth by adding a transection between the 2 sides, i.e., performing portal vein ligation and parenchymal transection. We found that in patients undergoing portal vein ligation and parenchymal transection, portal vein hyperflow in the regenerating liver causes a significant reduction of arterial flow due to the hepatic arterial buffer response. We postulated that the reduction of arterial flow induces hypoxia in the regenerating liver and used a rat model to assess hypoxia and its impact on kinetic growth.

Methods: A rat model of rapid (portal vein ligation and parenchymal transection) and slow regeneration (portal vein ligation) was established. Portal vein flow and pressure data were collected. Liver regeneration was assessed in rats using computed tomography, proliferation with Ki-67, and hypoxia with pimonidazole and HIF-1α staining.

Results: The rat model confirmed acceleration of regeneration in portal vein ligation and parenchymal transection as well as the portal vein hyperflow seen in patients. Additionally, tissue hypoxia was observed after portal vein ligation and parenchymal transection, while little hypoxia staining was detected after portal vein ligation. To determine if hypoxia is a consequence or an inciting stimulus of rapid liver regeneration, we used a prolyl-hydroxylase blocker to activate hypoxia signaling pathways in the slow model. This clearly accelerated slow to rapid liver regeneration. Inversely, abrogation of hypoxia led to a blunting of rapid growth to slow growth. The topical application of prolyl-hydroxylase inhibitors on livers in rats induced spontaneous areas of regeneration.

Conclusion: This study shows that pharmacologically induced hypoxic signaling accelerates liver regeneration similar to portal vein ligation and parenchymal transection. Hypoxia is likely an accelerator of liver regeneration. Also, prolyl-hydroxylase inhibitors may be used to enhance liver regeneration pharmaceutically.
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March 2017