Publications by authors named "Tatjana Bordukalo-Niksic"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Iron overload in aging mice induces exocrine pancreatic injury and fibrosis due to acinar cell loss.

Int J Mol Med 2021 Apr 2;47(4):1-8. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Laboratory for Mineralized Tissues, Center for Translational and Clinical Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, HR‑10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

The relationship between hemochromatosis and diabetes has been well established, as excessive iron deposition has been reported to result in impaired function of the endocrine and exocrine pancreas. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to analyze the effects of iron accumulation on the pancreata and glucose homeostasis in a bone morphogenetic protein 6‑knockout () mouse model of hemochromatosis. The sera and pancreatic tissues of wild‑type (WT) and mice (age, 3 and 10 months) were subjected to biochemical and histological analyses. In addition, F‑fluorodeoxyglucose biodistribution was evaluated in the liver, muscle, heart, kidney and adipose tissue of both animal groups. The results demonstrated that 3‑month‑old mice exhibited iron accumulation preferentially in the exocrine pancreas, with no signs of pancreatic injury or fibrosis. No changes were observed in the glucose metabolism, as pancreatic islet diameter, insulin and glucagon secretion, blood glucose levels and glucose uptake in the liver, muscle and adipose tissue remained comparable with those in the WT mice. Aging mice presented with progressive iron deposits in the exocrine pancreas, leading to pancreatic degeneration and injury that was characterized by acinar atrophy, fibrosis and the infiltration of inflammatory cells. However, the aging mice exhibited unaltered blood glucose levels and islet structure, normal insulin secretion and moderately increased α‑cell mass compared with those in the age‑matched WT mice. Additionally, iron overload and pancreatic damage were not observed in the aging WT mice. These results supported a pathogenic role of iron overload in aging mice leading to iron‑induced exocrine pancreatic deficiency, whereas the endocrine pancreas retained normal function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2021.4893DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7910010PMC
April 2021

A novel autologous bone graft substitute comprised of rhBMP6 blood coagulum as carrier tested in a randomized and controlled Phase I trial in patients with distal radial fractures.

Bone 2020 11 27;140:115551. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Laboratory for Mineralized Tissues, Centre for Translational and Clinical Research, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Salata 11, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. Electronic address:

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are known to induce new bone formation in vivo but treating trabecular bone defects with a BMP based therapeutic remains controversial. Here, we evaluated the safety and efficacy of a novel Autologous Bone Graft Substitute (ABGS) comprised of recombinant human BMP6 (rhBMP6) dispersed within an autologous blood coagulum (ABC) as a physiological natural carrier in patients with a closed distal radial fracture (DRF). We enrolled 32 patients in a randomized, standard of care (SoC) and placebo (PBO) controlled, double-blinded Phase I First in Human (FiH) clinical trial. ABGS was prepared from peripheral blood as 250 μg rhBMP6/mL ABC or PBO (1 mL ABC containing excipients only) and was administered dorsally via a syringe injection into the fracture site following closed fracture fixation with 3 Kirschner wires. Patients carried an immobilization for 5 weeks and were followed-up for 0 to 26 weeks by clinical examination, safety, serial radiographic analyses and CT. During the 13 weeks follow-up and at 26 weeks post study there were no serious adverse reactions recorded. The results showed that there were no detectable anti-rhBMP6 antibodies in the blood of any of the 32 patients at 13- and 26-weeks following treatment. Pharmacokinetic analyses of plasma from patients treated with ABGS showed no detectable rhBMP6 at any time point within the first 24 h following administration. The CT image and radiographic analyses score from patients treated with AGBS showed significantly accelerated bone healing as compared to PBO and SoC at 5 and 9 weeks (with high effect sizes and P = 0.027), while at week 13 all patients had similar healing outcomes. In conclusion, we show that intraosseous administration of ABGS (250 μg rhBMP6/mL ABC) into the distal radial fracture site demonstrated a good tolerability with no serious adverse reactions as well as early accelerated trabecular bone healing as compared to control PBO and SoC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2020.115551DOI Listing
November 2020

Recombinant Human BMP6 Applied Within Autologous Blood Coagulum Accelerates Bone Healing: Randomized Controlled Trial in High Tibial Osteotomy Patients.

J Bone Miner Res 2020 10 2;35(10):1893-1903. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are potent osteogenic proteins that induce new bone formation in vivo. However, their effect on bone healing in the trabecular bone surfaces remains challenging. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of recombinant human BMP6 (rhBMP6) applied within an autologous blood coagulum (ABC) in a surgically created wedge defect of the proximal tibia in patients undergoing high tibial osteotomy (HTO) for varus deformity and medial osteoarthritis of the knee. We enrolled 20 HTO patients in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded phase I/II clinical trial. RhBMP6/ABC (1.0 mg/10 mL ABC prepared from peripheral blood) or placebo (10 mL ABC containing excipients) was administered into the tibial wedge defects. Patients were followed for 0 to 24 months by clinical examination (safety) and computed tomography (CT) and serial radiographic analyses (efficacy). The results show that there were no detectable anti-rhBMP6 antibodies in the blood of any of the 20 patients at 14 weeks after implantation. During the 24 months of follow-up, there were no serious adverse reactions recorded. The CT scans from defects of patients treated with rhBMP6/ABC showed an accelerated bone healing compared with placebo at 9 weeks (47.8 ± 24.1 versus 22.2 ± 12.3 mg/cm ; p = 0.008) and at 14 weeks (89.7 ± 29.1 versus 53.6 ± 21.9 mg/cm ; p = 0.006) follow-up. Radiographic analyses at weeks 6 and 24 and months 12 and 24 suggested the advanced bone formation and remodeling in rhBMP6/ABC-treated patients. In conclusion, we show that rhBMP6/ABC at a dose of 100 μg/mL accelerated bone healing in patients undergoing HTO without serious adverse events and with a good tolerability compared with placebo alone. Overall, for the first time, a BMP-based osteogenic implant was examined against a placebo for bone healing efficacy in the trabecular bone surface, using an objective bone mineral density measurement system. © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.4107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7689741PMC
October 2020

Autologous blood coagulum containing rhBMP6 induces new bone formation to promote anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) and posterolateral lumbar fusion (PLF) of spine in sheep.

Bone 2020 09 22;138:115448. Epub 2020 May 22.

Laboratory for Mineralized Tissues, Center for Translational and Clinical Research, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. Electronic address:

In the present study, we evaluated an autologous bone graft substitute (ABGS) composed of recombinant human BMP6 (rhBMP6) dispersed within autologous blood coagulum (ABC) used as a physiological carrier for new bone formation in spine fusion sheep models. The application of ABGS included cervical cage for use in the anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), while for the posterolateral lumbar fusion (PLF) sheep model allograft devitalized bone particles (ALLO) were applied with and without use of instrumentation. In the ALIF model, ABGS (rhBMP6/ABC/cage) implants fused significantly when placed in between the L4-L5 vertebrae as compared to control (ABC/cage) which appears to have a fibrocartilaginous gap, as examined by histology and micro CT analysis at 16 weeks following surgery. In the PLF model, ABGS implants with or without ALLO showed a complete fusion when placed ectopically in the gutter bilaterally between two decorticated L4-L5 transverse processes at a success rate of 88% without instrumentation and at 80% with instrumentation; however the bone volume was 50% lower in the instrumentation group than without, as examined by histology, radiographs, micro CT analyses and biomechanical testing at 27 weeks following surgery. The newly formed bone was uniform within ABGS implants resulting in a biomechanically competent and histologically qualified fusion with an optimum dose in the range of 100 μg rhBMP6 per mL ABC, while in the implants that contained ALLO, the mineralized bone particles were substituted by the newly formed remodeling bone via creeping substitution. These findings demonstrate for the first time that ABGS (rhBMP6/ABC) without and with ALLO particles induced a robust bone formation with a successful fusion in sheep models of ALIF and PLF, and that autologous blood coagulum (ABC) can serve as a preferred physiological native carrier to induce new bone at low doses of rhBMP6 and to achieve a successful spinal fusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2020.115448DOI Listing
September 2020

Autologous blood coagulum is a physiological carrier for BMP6 to induce new bone formation and promote posterolateral lumbar spine fusion in rabbits.

J Tissue Eng Regen Med 2020 01 10;14(1):147-159. Epub 2019 Nov 10.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

In the present study, we describe autologous blood coagulum (ABC) as a physiological carrier for BMP6 to induce new bone formation. Recombinant human BMP6 (rhBMP6), dispersed within ABC and formed as an autologous bone graft substitute (ABGS), was evaluated either with or without allograft bone particles (ALLO) in rat subcutaneous implants and in a posterolateral lumbar fusion (PLF) model in rabbits. ABGS induced endochondral bone differentiation in rat subcutaneous implants. Coating ALLO by ABC significantly decreased the formation of multinucleated foreign body giant cells (FBGCs) in implants, as compared with ALLO alone. However, addition of rhBMP6 to ABC/ALLO induced a robust endochondral bone formation with little or no FBGCs in the implant. In rabbit PLF model, ABGS induced new bone formation uniformly within the implant resulting in a complete fusion when placed between two lumbar transverse processes in the posterolateral gutter with an optimum dose of 100-μg rhBMP6 per ml of ABC. ABGS containing ALLO also resulted in a fusion where the ALLO was replaced by the newly formed bone via creeping substitution. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that rhBMP6, with ABC as a carrier, induced a robust bone formation with a complete spinal fusion in a rabbit PLF model. RhBMP6 was effective at low doses with ABC serving as a physiological substratum providing a permissive environment by protecting against foreign body reaction elicited by ALLO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/term.2981DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7027565PMC
January 2020

Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein 6 Delivered Within Autologous Blood Coagulum Restores Critical Size Segmental Defects of Ulna in Rabbits.

JBMR Plus 2019 May 5;3(5):e10085. Epub 2018 Nov 5.

Laboratory for Mineralized Tissues School of Medicine University of Zagreb Zagreb Croatia.

BMP2 and BMP7, which use bovine Achilles tendon-derived absorbable collagen sponge and bovine bone collagen as scaffold, respectively, have been approved as bone graft substitutes for orthopedic and dental indications. Here, we describe an osteoinductive autologous bone graft substitute (ABGS) that contains recombinant human BMP6 (rhBMP6) dispersed within autologous blood coagulum (ABC) scaffold. The ABGS is created as an injectable or implantable coagulum gel with rhBMP6 binding tightly to plasma proteins within fibrin meshwork, as examined by dot-blot assays, and is released slowly as an intact protein over 6 to 8 days, as assessed by ELISA. The biological activity of ABGS was examined in vivo in rats () and rabbits (). In a rat subcutaneous implant assay, ABGS induced endochondral bone formation, as observed by histology and micro-CT analyses. In the rabbit ulna segmental defect model, a reproducible and robust bone formation with complete bridging and restoration of the defect was observed, which is dose dependent, as determined by radiographs, micro-CT, and histological analyses. In ABGS, ABC scaffold provides a permissive environment for bone induction and contributes to the use of lower doses of rhBMP6 compared with BMP7 in bovine bone collagen as scaffold. The newly formed bone undergoes remodeling and establishes cortices uniformly that is restricted to implant site by bridging with host bone. In summary, ABC carrier containing rhBMP6 may serve as an osteoinductive autologous bone graft substitute for several orthopedic applications that include delayed and nonunion fractures, anterior and posterior lumbar interbody fusion, trauma, and nonunions associated with neurofibromatosis type I.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbm4.10085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6524675PMC
May 2019

A novel role of bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6) in glucose homeostasis.

Acta Diabetol 2019 Mar 11;56(3):365-371. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Laboratory of Mineralized Tissues, Center for Translational and Clinical Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Salata 11, Zagreb, Croatia.

Aims: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are involved in the development and homeostasis of multiple organs and tissues. There has been a significant focus on understanding the role of BMPs in pancreatic β-cell dysfunction associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Our objective was to investigate the relationship between BMP6 and glucose homeostasis.

Methods: Ob/ob mice were treated with BMP6 for 6 days and analyzed for insulin release, body weight, lipid parameters and glucose tolerance. Quantitative real-time PCR, chromatin immunoprecipitation and glucose output assays were used to assess BMP6 effect on gluconeogenesis in rat hepatoma H4IIE cells. Specificity of BMP6 receptors was characterized by the utilization of various receptor Fc fusion proteins in luciferase reporter gene and glucose output assays in INS1 and H4IIE cells.

Results: Treatment of ob/ob mice with BMP6 for 6 days resulted in a reduction of circulating glucose and lipid levels, followed by a significantly elevated plasma insulin level in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, BMP6 improved the glucose excursion during an oral glucose tolerance test, lowering the total glycemic response by 21%. In rat H4IIE hepatoma cells, BMP6 inhibited gluconeogenesis and glucose output via downregulation the PepCK expression. Moreover, BMP6 inhibited glucose production regardless of the presence of cAMP, antagonizing its glycogenolytic effect. BMP6 acted on pancreatic and liver cells utilizing Alk3, Alk6 and ActRIIA serine/threonine kinase receptors.

Conclusions: Collectively, we demonstrate that BMP6 improves glycaemia in T2D mice and regulates glucose metabolism in hepatocytes representing an exciting prospect for future treatments of diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00592-018-1265-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6394697PMC
March 2019

Systemic inhibition of BMP1-3 decreases progression of CCl-induced liver fibrosis in rats.

Growth Factors 2017 12 27;35(6):201-215. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

a Laboratory for Mineralized Tissues, Center for Translational and Clinical Research, School of Medicine , University of Zagreb, Scientific Center of Excellence for Reproductive and Regenerative Medicine , Zagreb , Croatia.

Liver fibrosis is a progressive pathological process resulting in an accumulation of excess extracellular matrix proteins. We discovered that bone morphogenetic protein 1-3 (BMP1-3), an isoform of the metalloproteinase Bmp1 gene, circulates in the plasma of healthy volunteers and its neutralization decreases the progression of chronic kidney disease in 5/6 nephrectomized rats. Here, we investigated the potential role of BMP1-3 in a chronic liver disease. Rats with carbon tetrachloride (CCl)-induced liver fibrosis were treated with monoclonal anti-BMP1-3 antibodies. Treatment with anti-BMP1-3 antibodies dose-dependently lowered the amount of collagen type I, downregulated the expression of Tgfb1, Itgb6, Col1a1, and Acta2 and upregulated the expression of Ctgf, Itgb1, and Dcn. Mehanistically, BMP1-3 inhibition decreased the plasma levels of transforming growth factor beta 1(TGFβ1) by prevention of its activation and lowered the prodecorin production further suppressing the TGFβ1 profibrotic effect. Our results suggest that BMP1-3 inhibitors have significant potential for decreasing the progression of fibrosis in liver cirrhosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08977194.2018.1428966DOI Listing
December 2017

Constitutively Elevated Blood Serotonin Is Associated with Bone Loss and Type 2 Diabetes in Rats.

PLoS One 2016 23;11(2):e0150102. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

Laboratory of Mineralized Tissues, Center for Translational and Clinical Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

Reduced peripheral serotonin (5HT) in mice lacking tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH1), the rate limiting enzyme for 5HT synthesis, was reported to be anabolic to the skeleton. However, in other studies TPH1 deletion either had no bone effect or an age dependent inhibition of osteoclastic bone resorption. The role of 5HT in bone therefore remains poorly understood. To address this issue, we used selective breeding to create rat sublines with constitutively high (high-5HT) and low (low-5HT) platelet 5HT level (PSL) and platelet 5HT uptake (PSU). High-5HT rats had decreased bone volume due to increased bone turnover characterized by increased bone formation and mineral apposition rate, increased osteoclast number and serum C-telopeptide level. Daily oral administration of the TPH1 inhibitor (LX1032) for 6 weeks reduced PSL and increased the trabecular bone volume and trabecular number of the spine and femur in high-5HT rats. High-5HT animals also developed a type 2 diabetes (T2D) phenotype with increased: plasma insulin, glucose, hemoglobin A1c, body weight, visceral fat, β-cell pancreatic islets size, serum cholesterol, and decreased muscle strength. Serum calcium accretion mediated by parathyroid hormone slightly increased, whereas treatment with 1,25(OH)2D3 decreased PSL. Insulin reduction was paralleled by a drop in PSL in high-5HT rats. In vitro, insulin and 5HT synergistically up-regulated osteoblast differentiation isolated from high-5HT rats, whereas TPH1 inhibition decreased the number of bone marrow-derived osteoclasts. These results suggest that constitutively elevated PSL is associated with bone loss and T2D via a homeostatic interplay between the peripheral 5HT, bone and insulin.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0150102PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4764355PMC
July 2016

Exogenous BMP7 corrects plasma iron overload and bone loss in Bmp6-/- mice.

Int Orthop 2015 Jan 11;39(1):161-72. Epub 2014 Oct 11.

Center for Translational and Clinical Research, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Salata 11, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia,

Purpose: Iron overload accelerates bone loss in mice lacking the bone morphogenetic protein 6 (Bmp6) gene, which is the key endogenous regulator of hepcidin, iron homeostasis gene. We investigated involvement of other BMPs in preventing haemochromatosis and subsequent osteopenia in Bmp6-/- mice.

Methods: Iron-treated wild-type (WT) and Bmp6-/- mice were analysed for hepcidin messenger RNA (mRNA) and tissue and blood BMP levels by quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), immunohistochemistry, Western blot, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and proximity extension assay. BMPs labeled with technetium-99m were used in pharmacokinetic studies.

Results: In WT mice, 4 h following iron challenge, liver Bmp6 and hepcidin expression were increased, while expression of other Bmps was not affected. In parallel, we provided the first evidence that BMP6 circulates in WT mice and that iron increased the BMP6 serum level and the specific liver uptake of (99m)Tc-BMP6. In Bmp6-/- mice, iron challenge led to blunted activation of liver Smad signaling and hepcidin expression with a delay of 24 h, associated with increased Bmp5 and Bmp7 expression and increased Bmp2, 4, 5 and 9 expression in the duodenum. Liver Bmp7 expression and increased circulating BMP9 eventually contributed to the late hepcidin response. This was further supported by exogenous BMP7 therapy resulting in an effective hepcidin expression followed by a rapid normalisation of plasma iron values and restored osteopenia in Bmp6-/- mice.

Conclusion: In Bmp6-/- mice, iron activated endogenous compensatory mechanisms of other BMPs that were not sufficient for preventing hemochromatosis and bone loss. Administration of exogenous BMP7 was effective in correcting the plasma iron level and bone loss, indicating that BMP6 is an essential but not exclusive in vivo regulator of iron homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00264-014-2550-4DOI Listing
January 2015

Systemically available bone morphogenetic protein two and seven affect bone metabolism.

Int Orthop 2014 Sep 17;38(9):1979-85. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

Laboratory for Mineralized Tissues, Center for Translational and Clinical Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Šalata 11, Zagreb, 10000, HR, Croatia.

Purpose: Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 and -7 are used in patients with long-bone fractures, nonunions and spinal fusions. It is unknown whether their potential systemic bioavailability following local bone administration might affect skeletal metabolism. To answer this question, we examined effects of systemically administered BMP-2 and -7 on bone in a newly developed rat model with a low level of calciotropic hormones.

Methods: Removal of thyroid and parathyroid glands (TPTx) in rats resulted in a decreased level of calciotropic hormones and subsequent bone loss assessed by micro computed tomography (micro-CT) and measurement of serum bone formation and resorption markers, including osteocalcin, C-telopeptide, osteoprotegerin and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand. Results were complemented with in vitro studies on osteoblast and osteoclast activity by both BMP-2 and -7. The doses used were calculated from published pharmacodynamic studies and bioavailability results from preclinical BMP-2 and -7 studies.

Results: TPTx resulted in bone loss, which was restored by systemic administration of 10-70 μg/kg of BMP-2 and 10-250 μg/kg of BMP-7. BMP-2 showed a higher capacity for enhancing trabecular microarchitecture, whereas BMP-7 augmented trabecular thickness. In vitro experiments revealed that BMP-2 and -7 when uncoupled increased the number and activity of both osteoblasts and osteoclasts.

Conclusions: Surprisingly, both BMP-2 and -7 showed an increased bone volume in an in vivo environment of low calciotropic hormones. Locally administered BMP-2 and -7 from bone devices might become partially available in circulation but will not mediate systemic bone loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00264-014-2425-8DOI Listing
September 2014

The clinical use of bone morphogenetic proteins revisited: a novel biocompatible carrier device OSTEOGROW for bone healing.

Int Orthop 2014 Mar 19;38(3):635-47. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

Laboratory for Mineralized Tissues, Center for Translational and Clinical Research, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Salata 11, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia,

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to revise the clinical use of commercial BMP2 (Infuse) and BMP7 (Osigraft) based bone devices and explore the mechanism of action and efficacy of low BMP6 doses in a novel whole blood biocompatible device OSTEOGROW.

Methods: Complications from the clinical use of BMP2 and BMP7 have been systemically reviewed in light of their role in bone remodeling. BMP6 function has been assessed in Bmp6-/- mice by μCT and skeletal histology, and has also been examined in mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and osteoclasts. Safety and efficacy of OSTEOGROW have been assessed in rats and rabbits.

Results: Clinical use issues of BMP2 and BMP7 have been ascribed to the limited understanding of their role in bone remodeling at the time of device development for clinical trials. BMP2 and BMP7 in bone devices significantly promote bone resorption leading to osteolysis at the endosteal surfaces, while in parallel stimulating exuberant bone formation in surrounding tissues. Unbound BMP2 and BMP7 in bone devices precipitate on the bovine collagen and cause inflammation and swelling. OSTEOGROW required small amounts of BMP6, applied in a biocompatible blood coagulum carrier, for stimulating differentiation of MSCs and accelerated healing of critical size bone defects in animals, without bone resorption and inflammation. BMP6 decreased the number of osteoclasts derived from HSC, while BMP2 and BMP7 increased their number.

Conclusions: Current issues and challenges with commercial bone devices may be resolved by using novel BMP6 biocompatible device OSTEOGROW, which will be clinically tested in metaphyseal bone fractures, compartments where BMP2 and BMP7 have not been effective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00264-013-2201-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936094PMC
March 2014

Combination of polymorphic variants in serotonin transporter and monoamine oxidase-A genes may influence the risk for early-onset alcoholism.

Psychiatry Res 2012 Dec 23;200(2-3):1041-3. Epub 2012 May 23.

Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Molecular Biology, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Bijenicka 54, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

The combinatory effect of polymorphisms in serotonin transporter and monoamine oxidase-A genes on the aetiopathogenesis of alcoholism was investigated in a sample of 714 individuals. Increased frequency of subjects having three 'suspected' genotypes (5-HTTLPR-LL, STin2-1010 and MAO-A 3-repeat allele) was found among type-2 alcoholic patients (P=0.0189). Results highlight serotonergic/genetic contribution to early-onset alcoholism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2012.04.031DOI Listing
December 2012

Serotonin level and serotonin uptake in human platelets: a variable interrelation under marked physiological influences.

Clin Chim Acta 2011 Jan 3;412(3-4):299-304. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

Croatian Institute of Transfusion Medicine, Petrova 3, HR-10 000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Background: Although it is known that platelet serotonin level (PSL) depends directly on platelet serotonin uptake (PSU) through the plasma membrane, reports on their interrelation are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to systematically explore the relationship between these two platelet serotonin parameters in large human population.

Methods: PSL and full-kinetics of PSU were determined on 318 blood donors (276 males, 42 females; 20-67 years).

Results: The overall correlation coefficient between PSL and maximal velocity of PSU was highly significant but unexpectedly low (r=0.269). Further analyses revealed lack of correlation among females, and variable association among males, depending on the subject age and season of measurements. Highly significant correlations were observed in spring-winter, while association was absent during summer-autumn. Lowering of PSL-PSU correlation with increased age was also demonstrated, showing modest interrelation among younger men and no interrelation in older population. By multiple regression analyses season was identified as the only independent predictor of PSL-PSU relationship.

Conclusions: The results show prominent influence of biological (sex, age) and, especially, environmental (seasons) physiology on the intraindividual relationship between PSL and PSU. Although serotonin transporter activity plays an important role in determining PSL, the observed correlations indicate that other factors may predominate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2010.10.024DOI Listing
January 2011

Serotonin level and serotonin uptake in human platelets: a variable interrelation under marked physiological influences.

Clin Chim Acta 2011 Jan 3;412(3-4):299-304. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

Croatian Institute of Transfusion Medicine, Petrova 3, HR-10 000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Background: Although it is known that platelet serotonin level (PSL) depends directly on platelet serotonin uptake (PSU) through the plasma membrane, reports on their interrelation are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to systematically explore the relationship between these two platelet serotonin parameters in large human population.

Methods: PSL and full-kinetics of PSU were determined on 318 blood donors (276 males, 42 females; 20-67 years).

Results: The overall correlation coefficient between PSL and maximal velocity of PSU was highly significant but unexpectedly low (r=0.269). Further analyses revealed lack of correlation among females, and variable association among males, depending on the subject age and season of measurements. Highly significant correlations were observed in spring-winter, while association was absent during summer-autumn. Lowering of PSL-PSU correlation with increased age was also demonstrated, showing modest interrelation among younger men and no interrelation in older population. By multiple regression analyses season was identified as the only independent predictor of PSL-PSU relationship.

Conclusions: The results show prominent influence of biological (sex, age) and, especially, environmental (seasons) physiology on the intraindividual relationship between PSL and PSU. Although serotonin transporter activity plays an important role in determining PSL, the observed correlations indicate that other factors may predominate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2010.10.024DOI Listing
January 2011

Platelet serotonin transporter (5HTt): physiological influences on kinetic characteristics in a large human population.

Platelets 2010 ;21(6):429-38

University Hospital for Tumors, Ilica 197, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

The present study had two goals: first, to give a detailed description of a reliable method for full kinetic analysis of serotonin transporter (5HTt) on the membrane of human platelets, and second, as a main issue, to report on physiological influences on kinetic characteristics of this transmembrane transport on a large population of healthy individuals. Full kinetic analyses of platelet serotonin uptake were performed on 334 blood donors of both sexes by the use of 14C-radioisotopic method, which was first optimized according to assumptions of enzyme kinetic analyses, with regard to platelet concentration, duration of uptake, concentration of substrate as well as important technical parameters (underpressure of filtration, blanks, incubating temperature, etc). Kinetic parameters of platelet serotonin uptake in the whole population were for V(max): 142 +/- 25.3 pmol 5HT/10(8) platelets/minute and for K(m): 0.404 +/- 0.089 microM 5HT. Besides the report on kinetic values of 5HT transporter protein, we have also described major physiological influences on the mentioned parameters, V(max), K(m) and their derivative, V(max)/K(m) (transporter efficiency): range and frequency distribution of normal values, intraindividual stability over time, lack of age influence, gender dependence and seasonal variations. The report on kinetic values and main physiological influences on platelet serotonin transport kinetics, obtained by the use of thoroughly reassessed methodology, and on by far the largest human population studied until now, offers a reliable frame of reference for pathophysiological studies of this parameter in various clinical fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/09537104.2010.487582DOI Listing
January 2011

5HT-1A receptors and anxiety-like behaviours: studies in rats with constitutionally upregulated/downregulated serotonin transporter.

Behav Brain Res 2010 Dec 8;213(2):238-45. Epub 2010 May 8.

Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Molecular Biology, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Bijenicka 54, Zagreb, Croatia.

Altered activity of brain serotonergic (5HT) system has been implicated in a wide range of behaviours and behavioural disorders, including anxiety. Functioning of 5HT-1A receptor has been suggested as a modulator of emotional balance in both, normal and pathological forms of anxiety. Here, we studied serotonergic modulation of anxiety-like behaviour using a genetic rat model with constitutional differences in 5HT homeostasis, named Wistar-Zagreb 5HT (WZ-5HT) rats. The model, consisting of high-5HT and low-5HT sublines, was developed by selective breeding of animals for extreme activities of peripheral (platelet) 5HT transporter, but selection process had affected also central 5HT homeostasis, as evidenced from neurochemical and behavioural studies. Anxiety-like behaviour in WZ-5HT rats was evaluated by two commonly used paradigms: open field and elevated-plus maze. The involvement of 5HT-1A receptors in behavioural response was assessed by measuring mRNA expression in cell bodies (raphe nuclei) and projection regions (frontal cortex, hippocampus) by use of RT-PCR and in situ hybridization, and by measuring functionality of cortical 5HT-1A receptors by use of [(3)H]8-OH-DPAT radioligand binding. Animals from the high-5HT subline exhibit increased anxiety-like behaviour and decreased exploratory activity when exposed to novel environment. No measurable differences in constitutional (baseline) functionality or expression of 5HT-1A receptors between sublines were found. The results support contribution of increased serotonergic functioning to the anxiety-like behaviour. They also validate the high-5HT subline of WZ-5HT rats as a potential model to study mechanisms of anxiety, especially of its nonpathological form, while the low-5HT subline may be useful to model sensation seeking phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2010.05.002DOI Listing
December 2010

Epilepsy and serotonin (5HT): variations of 5HT-related genes in temporal lobe epilepsy.

Neurosci Lett 2010 Jun 29;478(1):29-31. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Molecular Biology, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Bijenicka cesta 54, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Several lines of evidence point to the role of serotonin (5HT) neurotransmission in the epileptogenesis. The present preliminary study investigated possible association of the temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with the polymorphisms in several 5HT-related genes, including serotonin transporter (5HTT), monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) and serotonin receptors 5HT-1A, 5HT-1B and 5HT-2C. All participants (101 TLE patients and 170 healthy controls) were unrelated individuals of Croatian origin. 5HT-1B allele 861G was found to be slightly overrepresented in the patient group (p=0.0385). No significant differences between groups were observed for the other tested polymorphisms. Within the limitations imposed by the size of our sample, negative findings suggest that the respective loci do not make considerable contribution to the etiopathogenesis of TLE. Further examination of 5HT-1B gene, which yielded positive result at a trend level, is possibly warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2010.04.060DOI Listing
June 2010

Hyperserotonemia in autism: activity of 5HT-associated platelet proteins.

J Neural Transm (Vienna) 2009 Apr 17;116(4):493-501. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, 10 000, Zagreb, Croatia.

Disturbances in serotonin (5HT) neurotransmission have been indicated as biological substrates in several neuropsychiatric disorders including autism. Blood 5HT concentrations, elevated in about one-third of autistic subjects, are regulated through the action of peripheral 5HT-associated proteins. We have measured the activity of two platelet 5HT-associated proteins: 5HT transporter (5HTT) and monoamine oxidase B (MAOB), and indirectly studied the activity of 5HT(2A) receptor (5HT(2A)r) in 15 hyperserotonemic (HS) and 17 normoserotonemic (NS) autistic subjects, and 15 healthy controls (C). While mean velocities of 5HTT kinetics did not significantly differ among the groups, significant elevation in the mean velocity of MAOB kinetics was observed in NS subjects and was even more pronounced in HS subjects in comparison to controls. Also, a decrease in adenosine 5'-diphosphate-induced platelet aggregation of borderline significance was observed in NS subjects, compared to C subjects. The results suggest a possibility of upregulation of monoaminergic synthesis/degradation and, probably consequential, downregulation of 5HT(2A)r in autistic subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00702-009-0192-2DOI Listing
April 2009

Expression of 5HT-1A and 5HT-1B receptor genes in brains of Wistar-Zagreb 5HT rats.

Coll Antropol 2008 Jan;32 Suppl 1:37-41

Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Molecular Biology, Ruder Bosković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia.

By selective breeding, two sublines of rats with high or low activity of platelet serotonin (5HT) transporter (5HTt) have been developed (Wistar-Zagreb 5HT rats). Previous studies demonstrated significant differences between the sublines in the expression of platelet 5HTt at the level of both, mRNA and protein. Pharmacological studies showed marked alterations in brain 5HTt function, indicating differences in central serotonin homeostasis, although analysis of regional brain 5HTt gene expression did not show analogous differences. In this study, we searched for possible changes in the expression of the two central 5HT receptor subtypes: 5HT-1A and 5HT-1B, both participating in the regulation of brain 5HT transmission. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR, with three different housekeeping genes as internal standards, showed no differences in the levels of 5HT-receptor expression between the sublines. Results suggest that constitutional alteration of 5HT homeostasis, induced by selective breeding for the extremes of platelet 5HTt activity, did not cause measurable changes in the expression of central 5HT-1A (hippocampus) and 5HT-1B (striatum) receptors in the mentioned rat sublines under physiological conditions.
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January 2008

Rats with constitutionally upregulated/downregulated platelet 5HT transporter: differences in anxiety-related behavior.

Behav Brain Res 2005 Dec 1;165(2):271-7. Epub 2005 Sep 1.

Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Molecular Biology, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Bijenicka 54, HR-10 000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5HT) plays important roles in both embryonic development as a mediator of neurogenesis and in the mature brain as a neurotransmitter. Disturbances in serotonergic transmission have been indicated in several psychiatric disorders. In the search for the biological substrates of psychiatric diseases, studies using animal models represent complementary approaches to studies on human subjects. Wistar-Zagreb 5HT rats, with constitutionally upregulated/downregulated platelet 5HT transporter (termed high- and low-5HT rats, respectively), have been developed in our laboratory as a model for studying various aspects of 5HT function. In this work, we have searched for potential behavioral differences between Wistar-Zagreb 5HT rat sublines in three anxiety paradigms: hole-board, zero-maze, and social interaction test. In all three tests, significant differences in behavior between Wistar-Zagreb 5HT sublines have been observed, indicating higher levels of anxiety-related behavior in high-5HT rats. In the social interaction test, high-5HT animals spent less time in active contact with conspecifics and displayed a narrower spectrum of social behaviors than their low-5HT counterparts, while in the zero-maze and hole-board tasks, they showed a lower level of exploratory activity (head dips and nose pokes) in comparison to low-5HT rats. On the other hand, thigmotactic behavior (the percentage of time spent in open quadrants of zero-maze and the percentage of central holes visited in hole-board) did not differ between the sublines. The results suggest that as a result of selection process, a specific component of anxiety-related behavior (i.e. exploratory activity directed towards a novel environment and conspecifics) has been affected in Wistar-Zagreb 5HT rats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2005.07.008DOI Listing
December 2005

Serotonin transporter kinetics in rats selected for extreme values of platelet serotonin level.

Life Sci 2005 Jun 19;77(4):452-61. Epub 2005 Feb 19.

Laboratory for Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Bijenicka 54, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

By selective breeding of Wistar rats for the extreme values of platelet serotonin (5HT) level (PSL), we have developed earlier two sublines of animals differing markedly in this parameter. Further studies, performed on the protein and mRNA levels, revealed platelet serotonin transporter (5HTt) as parameter underlying mentioned differences in PSL between sublines. In this work, we have performed full-kinetic analysis of platelet serotonin uptake (PSU) in animals from the genetically selected sublines. The results demonstrated marked differences in maximal velocity (V(max)) of the 5HT transporter, as contrasted to the lack of any difference in the Michaelis constant (K(m)). High correlation between PSL and V(max) of PSU was demonstrated, revealing that the number of membrane 5HT transporter sites is under genetic control and responsible for marked differences in PSL between high- and low-5HT sublines. These results enabled further selective breeding of animals for the extremes of V(max) of platelet 5HT transporter, and so the development of more specific model "Wistar-Zagreb 5HT rats".
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2005.01.007DOI Listing
June 2005

Expression of brain and platelet serotonin transporters in sublines of rats with constitutionally altered serotonin homeostasis.

Neurosci Lett 2004 Oct;369(1):44-9

Laboratory for Neurochemistry and Molecular Neurobiology, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Bijenicka 54, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

By selective breeding, two sublines of rats, termed Wistar-Zagreb 5HT rats, with constitutionally high or low values of platelet serotonin (5HT) level and activity of platelet serotonin transporter (5HTt) have been developed. Previous studies demonstrated significant differences between the sublines in the expression of platelet 5HTt at the level of both mRNA and protein. Neurochemical and behavioural studies demonstrated differences in functional activity of brain 5HTt indicating that, similarly to platelets, differences in mRNA level might be expected in brains of selected animals. In this work, semi-quantitative RT-PCR method for measuring the 5HTt expression in rat tissues was described and then used to quantify the 5HTt mRNA in brains and platelets of animals from high-5HT and low-5HT sublines. Three different housekeeping genes: GAPDH, beta-actin and cyclophylin B, were used as internal standards to normalise 5HTt signals. Significant differences in platelet 5HTt mRNA between the sublines were confirmed, as contrasted to only a tendency toward higher 5HTt mRNA levels in midbrain of animals from the high-5HT subline. Results indicate differences in transcriptional regulation of central and peripheral 5HT transporters, suggesting that homeostatic control in the brain counteract more efficiently the selection pressure than in the periphery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2004.07.039DOI Listing
October 2004