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Endoparasitoid species devoid of symbiotic viruses inject secretions derived from their reproductive glands into their hosts during parasitism in order to avoid various immune responses of their hosts. Pimpla turionellae L. (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) is an endoparasitoid that lacks polydnaviruses, and its venom has previously been shown to paralyze the host Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and suppress its immune reactions to ensure the egg survival. The present study demonstrates that another female-injected factor calyx fluid extracted from the P. turionellae ovary is also responsible for the suppression of G. mellonella immunity. The total hemocyte counts of G. mellonella decrease after treatment with calyx fluid in a concentration-dependent manner. Significant reductions in cell viability are also observed at all calyx fluid doses both in vivo and in vitro. The analyses of the beads injected into the insects as encapsulation targets revealed that the number of encapsulated beads reduced significantly compared to controls post-calyx fluid injection. The injection of the highest calyx fluid dose (1 female equivalent calyx) is sufficient to completely inhibit the strong encapsulation and melanization reactions of the last instar larvae 24 h post-injection. These results demonstrate that P. turionellae calyx fluid is required to regulate host immunity for successful parasitization.
An in vitro spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) culture can serve as an effective technique to study spermatogenesis and treatment for male infertility. In this research, we compared the effect of a three-dimensional alginate hydrogel with Sertoli cells in a 3D culture and co-cultured Sertoli cells. After harvest of SSCs from neonatal mice testes, the SSCs were divided into two groups: SSCs on a 3D alginate hydrogel with Sertoli cells and a co-culture of SSCs with Sertoli cells for 1 month. The samples were evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assays and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) tracing, haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) staining after transplantation into an azoospermic testis mouse. The 3D group showed rapid cell proliferation and numerous colonies compared with the co-culture group. Molecular assessment showed significantly increased integrin alpha-6, integrin beta-1, Nanog, Plzf, Thy-1, Oct4 and Bcl2 expression levels in the 3D group and decreased expression levels of P53, Fas, and Bax. BrdU tracing, and H&E and PAS staining results indicated that the hydrogel alginate improved spermatogenesis after transplantation in vivo. This finding suggested that cultivation of SSCs on alginate hydrogel with Sertoli cells in a 3D culture can lead to efficient proliferation and maintenance of SSC stemness and enhance the efficiency of SSC transplantation.
Many studies have focused on the optimization of the composition of embryo culture medium; however, there are few studies involving the effect of a culture medium changing procedure on the preimplantation development of embryos. In this study, three groups were designed: a non-renewal group, a renewal group and a half-renewal group. The levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), apoptotic index, blastocyst ratio and blastocyst total cell number were analyzed in each group. The results showed that the ROS level and the apoptotic index of blastocyst in the non-renewal group were significantly higher than in the renewal group and the half-renewal group (P < 0.05). The blastocyst ratio and blastocyst total cell number were significantly higher in the half-renewal group than that in non-renewal group and the renewal group (P < 0.05). These results demonstrated that the procedure of changing the culture medium influenced ROS level, apoptotic index, blastocyst ratio and total cell number of blastocysts. In addition, the result suggested that changing the culture medium may lead to a loss of important regulatory factors for embryos, while not changing the culture medium may lead to the accumulation of toxic substances. Half-renewal can alleviate the defects of both no renewal and renewal, and benefit embryo development. This study will be of high value as a reference for the optimization of embryo culture in vitro, and is very significant for assisted reproduction.
Rhabdomyoma is the most common cardiac tumour in children. It is usually associated with tuberous sclerosis complex caused by mutations in TSC-1 or TSC-2 genes. This tumour typically regresses by unknown mechanisms; however, it may cause inflow or outflow obstruction that necessitates urgent surgery. Here we investigate the clinical features and the genetic analysis of patients with tuberous sclerosis complex presenting with large rhabdomyoma tumours. We also investigate the potential role of autophagy and apoptosis in the pathogenesis of this tumour.
All the patients with cardiac rhabdomyoma referred to Aswan Heart Centre from 2010 to 2018 were included in this study. Sanger sequencing was performed for coding exons and the flanking intronic regions of TSC1 and TSC2 genes. Histopathological evaluation, immunohistochemistry, and western blotting were performed with P62, LC3b, caspase3, and caspase7, to evaluate autophagic and apoptotic signaling.
Five patients were included and had the clinical features of tuberous sclerosis complex. Three patients, who were having obstructive tumours, were found to have pathogenic mutations in TSC-2. The expression of two autophagic markers, P62 and LC3b, and two apoptotic markers, caspase3 and caspase7, were increased in the tumour cells compared to normal surrounding myocardial tissue.
All the patients with rhabdomyoma were diagnosed to have tuberous sclerosis complex. The patients who had pathogenic mutations in the TSC-2 gene had a severe disease form necessitating urgent intervention. We also demonstrate the potential role of autophagy and apoptosis as a possible mechanism for tumourigenesis and regression. Future studies will help in designing personalised treatment for cardiac rhabdomyoma.
More than 20,000 patients have participated in clinical trials of more than 100 neuroprotective therapies, but no study has provided convincing evidence of benefit. Several improvements to the rigor of preclinical agent qualification have been identified to increase the likelihood of success in human clinical trials: stringent randomization and blinding techniques to mitigate observer bias; assessment in in time periods achievable in the clinical setting; testing in older animals with comorbidities; and robust and reproducible benefit magnitudes. Human clinical trials should start agents hyperacutely, in the first minutes and hours after onset, when treatment effect would be maximal; target enrolment of patients likely to have transient rather than permanent ischaemic exposure; and use factorial and platform trial designs that would permit efficient testing of combinations of agents able to block multiple ischaemic injury-mediating pathways concurrently, including both anti-necrotic and anti-apoptotic interventions. For agents that allow cells to endure ischaemic stress, human trial delivery approaches include: prehospital initiation; initiation immediately upon brain imaging in patients destined for endovascular intervention; and initiation at outside hospitals in patients undergoing transfer to a neurothrombectomy center. For agents that mitigate reperfusion injury, treatment start before or concurrent with reperfusion, including intra-arterial administration via catheter immediately after endovascular thrombectomy, should be pursued.
Nutrition in early life has a long-term influence on later health. In order to the explore effects of in ovo feeding (IOF) of vitamin C on splenic development, splenic metabolism and apoptosis were detected in embryo, adult chickens and in vitro. A total of 360 fertile eggs were selected and randomly assigned to control (CON) and vitamin C (VC) groups which were injected with saline and vitamin C on embryonic day 11, respectively. Functional enrichment of differentially expressed genes by transcriptome on embryonic day 19 suggested that purine nucleotide metabolism might be a potential pathway for the IOF of vitamin C to regulate spleen development. Additionally, the IOF of vitamin C significantly increased splenic vitamin C content on post-hatch day 21. Meanwhile, the splenic expression of adenosine deaminase, serine/threonine kinase 1 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen was down-regulated, whereas the expression of cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 9 was up-regulated in the VC group. On post-hatch day 42, the IOF of vitamin C significantly down-regulated the splenic expression of B-cell lymphoma 2 and increased the mRNA level of cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 9. The IOF of vitamin C could regulate the expression of genes related to adenylate metabolism and increased the apoptosis rate in vitro, which is consistent with the result in vivo. In conclusion, the IOF of vitamin C regulated splenic development and maturation by affecting purine nucleotide metabolism pathway and promoting apoptosis.
Mammary tissue (MT) turnover is characterized by programed cell death and remodeling which might be affected by both feeding level and animal species. Thus, twenty-four dairy goats and the same number of sheep were assigned to three homogenous sub-groups per animal species and fed the same diet in quantities which met 70% (FL70), 100% (FL100) and 130% (FL130) of their daily energy and crude protein requirements. Individual MT samples were taken by biopsy from the animals on the 30th and 60th experimental day. The results showed, in the first sampling time, a significant reduction in the mRNA abundance for selected genes involved in programed cell death in both FL 70 fed goats (STAT3 and BECN1) and sheep (CASPASE8 and BECN1) compared with the respective FL100 groups. The FL130, in comparison with the FL100, caused a significant increase in transcripts accumulation of STAT3 gene in both sampling times and CASPASE8 gene in the second sampling time in goat MT, while the opposite happened for the mRNA expression of CASPASE8 and BECN1 genes in sheep MT, but only in the first sampling time. Moreover, a significant up regulation in the mRNA levels of MMP2 gene in MT of FL130 fed sheep was observed. The FL130, in comparison with the FL70, caused an enhancement in the mRNA expression levels of BECN1, CASPASE8, BAX and STAT3 genes in goat MT only. It was also shown that apoptosis and autophagy can be affected simultaneously by the feeding level. Overfeeding affects MT programed cell death and remodeling by a completely different way in goats than sheep. In conclusion, feeding level and animal species have strong effects on both MT programed cell death (apoptosis and autophagy) and remodeling but the molecular mechanisms need further investigation.
We evaluated whether early-life protein restriction alters structural parameters that affect β-cell mass on the 15th day and 20th day of gestation in control pregnant (CP), control non-pregnant (CNP), low-protein pregnant (LPP) and low-protein non-pregnant (LPNP) rats from the fetal to the adult life stage as well as in protein-restricted rats that recovered after weaning (recovered pregnant (RP) and recovered non-pregnant). On the 15th day of gestation, the CNP group had a higher proportion of smaller islets, whereas the CP group exhibited a higher proportion of islets larger than the median. The β-cell mass was lower in the low-protein group than that in the recovered and control groups. Gestation increased the β-cell mass, β-cell proliferation frequency and neogenesis frequency independently of the nutritional status. The apoptosis frequency was increased in the recovered groups compared with that in the other groups. On the 20th day of gestation, a higher proportion of islets smaller than the median was observed in the non-pregnant groups, whereas a higher proportion of islets larger than the median was observed in the RP, LPP and CP groups. β-Cell mass was lower in the low-protein group than that in the recovered and control groups, regardless of the physiological status. The β-cell proliferation frequency was lower, whereas the apoptosis rate was higher in recovered rats compared with those in the low-protein and control rats. Thus, protein malnutrition early in life did not alter the mass of β-cells, especially in the first two-thirds of gestation, despite the increase in apoptosis.
There is strong evidence that foods containing dietary fibre protect against colorectal cancer, resulting at least in part from its anti-proliferative properties. This study aimed to investigate the effects of supplementation with two non-digestible carbohydrates, resistant starch (RS) and polydextrose (PD), on crypt cell proliferative state (CCPS) in the macroscopically normal rectal mucosa of healthy individuals. We also investigated relationships between expression of regulators of apoptosis and of the cell cycle on markers of CCPS. Seventy-five healthy participants were supplemented with RS and/or PD or placebo for 50 d in a 2 × 2 factorial design in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (the Dietary Intervention, Stem cells and Colorectal Cancer (DISC) Study). CCPS was assessed, and the expression of regulators of the cell cycle and of apoptosis was measured by quantitative PCR in rectal mucosal biopsies. SCFA concentrations were quantified in faecal samples collected pre- and post-intervention. Supplementation with RS increased the total number of mitotic cells within the crypt by 60 % (P = 0·001) compared with placebo. This effect was limited to older participants (aged ≥50 years). No other differences were observed for the treatments with PD or RS as compared with their respective controls. PD did not influence any of the measured variables. RS, however, increased cell proliferation in the crypts of the macroscopically-normal rectum of older adults. Our findings suggest that the effects of RS on CCPS are not only dose, type of RS and health status-specific but are also influenced by age.
Neurotoxocariasis (NT) is a serious condition that has been linked to reduced cognitive function, behavioural alterations and neurodegenerative diseases. Unfortunately, the available drugs to treat toxocariasis are limited with unsatisfactory results, because of the initiation of treatment at late chronic stages after the occurrence of tissue damage and scars. Therefore, searching for a new therapy for this important disease is an urgent necessity. In this context, cytotherapy is a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of many diseases and tissue damages through the introduction of new cells into the damaged sites. They exert therapeutic effects by their capability of renewal, differentiation into specialized cells, and being powerful immunomodulators. The most popular cell type utilized in cytotherapy is the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) type. In the current study, the efficacy of MSCs alone or combined with albendazole was evaluated against chronic brain insults induced by Toxocara canis infection in an experimental mouse model. Interestingly, MSCs combined with albendazole demonstrated a healing effect on brain inflammation, gliosis, apoptosis and significantly reduced brain damage biomarkers (S100B and GFAP) and T. canis DNA. Thus, MSCs would be protective against the development of subsequent neurodegenerative diseases with chronic NT.
Schistosoma mansoni is the most common species causing schistosomiasis. It has a complex life cycle involving a vertebrate definitive host and a snail intermediate host of the genus Biomphalaria. Each stage encounters a plethora of environmental stresses specially heat stress. Another sort of stress arises from repeated exposure of the parasite to praziquantel (PZQ), the only drug used for treatment, which leads to the development of resistance in the fields and the labs. Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is found in different developmental stages of S. mansoni. It is immunogenic and regulate cercarial invasion besides its chaperone function. In the Biomphalaria/S. mansoni interaction, epigenetic modulations of the Hsp70 gene underscore the susceptibility phenotype of the snail. Hsp70 is up-regulated in adult S. mansoni with decreased sensitivity to PZQ. This could be due to the induction of oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress, induction of apoptosis, exposure to the stressful drug pressure and increase influx of calcium ions. Up-regulation of Hsp70 might help the worm to survive the schistosomicidal effect of the drug mainly by dealing with misfolded proteins, inhibition of apoptosis, induction of autophagy, up-regulation of the P-glycoprotein transporter and attenuation of the signalling from G protein coupled receptors.
Connexin 43 (CX43) is a component of gap junctions. The lack of functional CX43 induces oxidative stress, autophagy, and apoptosis in somatic cells. However, the role of CX43 in the early development of porcine embryos is still unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of CX43, and its underlying molecular mechanisms, on the developmental competence of early porcine embryos. We performed CX43 knockdown by microinjecting dsRNA into parthenogenetically activated porcine parthenotes. The blastocyst development rate and the total number of cells in the blastocysts were significantly reduced by CX43 knockdown. Results from FITC-dextran assays showed that CX43 knockdown significantly increased membrane permeability. ZO-1 protein was obliterated in CX43 knockdown blastocysts. Mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production were significantly reduced following CX43 knockdown. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were significantly increased in the CX43 knockdown group compared to those in control embryos. Moreover, CX43 knockdown induced autophagy and apoptosis. Our findings indicate that CX43 is essential for the development and preimplantation of porcine embryos and maintains mitochondrial function, cell junction structure, and cell homeostasis by regulating membrane permeability, ROS generation, autophagy, and apoptosis in early embryos.
Studies have indicated that psychological stress impairs human fertility and that various stressors can induce apoptosis of testicular cells. However, the mechanisms by which psychological stress on males reduces semen quality and stressors induce apoptosis in testicular cells are largely unclear. Using a psychological (restraint) stress mouse model, we tested whether male psychological stress triggers apoptosis of spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α signalling. Wild-type or TNF-α−/− male mice were restrained for 48 h before examination for apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) in spermatozoa, epididymis, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. The results showed that male restraint significantly decreased fertilization rate and mitochondrial membrane potential, while increasing levels of malondialdehyde, active caspase-3, TNF-α and TNFR1 in spermatozoa. Male restraint also increased apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNFR1 in caudae epididymides, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. Sperm quality was also significantly impaired when spermatozoa were recovered 35 days after male restraint. The restraint-induced damage to spermatozoa, epididymis and seminiferous tubules was significantly ameliorated in TNF-α−/− mice. Furthermore, incubation with soluble TNF-α significantly reduced sperm motility and fertilizing potential. Taken together, the results demonstrated that male psychological stress induces apoptosis in spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating the TNF-α system and that the stress-induced apoptosis in spermatogenic cells can be translated into impaired quality in future spermatozoa.
This chapter, provides an overview on the concerns centered on neurotoxicity from anesthetics in children following the FDA warning from 2016 and 2017. The authors provide a background for both clinical and basic science evidence on the effects of commonly used anesthetics on neural development. After review of the landmark studies in both animals and humans, the chapter provides suggestions for reducing exposure as well as addressing parental concerns.
Activated pERK1/2 and pAKT are key players in supporting cell survival and proliferation pathways. Translocation of pERK1/2 into the nucleus, where it interacts with transcription factors and DNA itself, is instrumental in exerting an anti-apoptotic effect. In this study, pAKT levels, pERK1/2 nuclear localization and DNA fragmentation index (DFI) in cumulus cells of single cumulus–oocyte complexes of patients undergoing in vitro fertilization programmes were evaluated and correlated with the clinical outcome of the related embryos. For a positive clinical outcome of blastocyst development, pERK1/2 nuclear localization and DFI value had a significant inverse relationship, whereas the former and the intracellular accumulation of pAKT had a significant direct relationship. This relationship was not observed for the negative clinical outcome of the arrested embryos. Moreover, intracellular accumulation of pAKT and DFI value had a significant inverse relationship in all samples examined. The obtained data suggest that the intranuclear relocation of pERK1/2, along with an enhanced intracellular accumulation of pAKT, may exert a survival effect and increase cell viability, therefore providing a novel marker tool to choose the best oocyte to be fertilized and submitted to an intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycle.
Several microscopy methods have been developed to assess the morphological changes in cells in the investigations of the mode of cell death in response to a stimulus. Our recent finding on the treatment of the IC50 concentration (26.67 μg/mL) of Polyalthia longifolia leaf extract indicated the induction of apoptotic cell death via the regulation of miRNA in HeLa cells. Hence, the current study was conducted to validate the function of these downregulated microRNAs in P. longifolia-treated HeLa cells using microscopic approaches. These include scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), and acridine orange/propidium iodide (AO/PI)-based fluorescent microscopy techniques by observing the morphological alterations to cells after transfection with mimic miRNA. Interestingly, the morphological changes observed in this study demonstrated the apoptotic hallmarks, for instance, cell blebbing, cell shrinkage, cytoplasmic and nuclear condensation, vacuolization, cytoplasmic extrusion, and the formation of apoptotic bodies, which proved the role of dysregulated miRNAs in apoptotic HeLa cell death after treatment with the P. longifolia leaf extract. Conclusively, the current study proved the crucial role of downregulated miR-484 and miR-221-5p in the induction of apoptotic cell death in P. longifolia-treated HeLa cells using three approaches—SEM, TEM, and AO/PI-based fluorescent microscope.
The present study investigated if the presence of encircling granulosa cells protected against di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)-induced oxidative stress in rat oocytes cultured in vitro. Denuded oocytes and cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were treated with or without various doses of DEHP (0.0, 25.0, 50.0, 100, 200, 400 and 800 μM) in vitro. Morphological apoptotic changes, levels of oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential, and expression levels of apoptotic markers (Bcl2, Bax, cytochrome c) were analyzed. Our results showed that DEHP induced morphological apoptotic changes in a dose-dependent manner in denuded oocytes cultured in vitro. The effective dose of DEHP (400 µg) significantly (P>0.05) increased oxidative stress by elevating ROS levels and the mitochondrial membrane potential with higher mRNA expression and protein levels of apoptotic markers (Bax, cytochrome c). Encircling granulosa cells protected oocytes from DEHP-induced morphological changes, increased oxidative stress and ROS levels, as well as increased expression of apoptotic markers. Taken together our data suggested that encircling granulosa cells protected oocytes against DEHP-induced apoptosis and that the presence of granulosa cells could act positively towards the survival of oocytes under in vitro culture conditions and may be helpful during assisted reproductive technique programmes.
The present work aims to explore the mechanism of action of C-cinnamoyl glycoside as an antifilarial agent against the bovine filarial nematode Setaria cervi. Both apoptosis and autophagy programmed cell death pathways play a significant role in parasitic death. The generation of reactive oxygen species, alteration of the level of antioxidant components and disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential may be the causative factors that drive the parasitic death. Monitoring of autophagic flux via the formation of autophagosome and autophagolysosome was detected via CYTO ID dye. The expression profiling of both apoptotic and autophagic marker proteins strongly support the initial findings of these two cell death processes. The increased interaction of pro-autophagic protein Beclin1 with BCL-2 may promote apoptotic pathway by suppressing anti-apoptotic protein BCL-2 from its function. This in turn partially restrains the autophagic pathway by engaging Beclin1 in the complex. But overall positive increment in autophagic flux was observed. Dynamic interaction and regulative balance of these two critical cellular pathways play a decisive role in controlling disease pathogenesis. Therefore, the present experimental work may prosper the chance for C-cinnamoyl glycosides to become a potential antifilarial therapeutic in the upcoming day after detail in vivo study and proper clinical trial.
Cryptorchidism, characterized by the presence of one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) undescended testes, is a common male urogenital defect. Cryptorchidism can lead to male infertility, testicular cancer being the most extreme clinical symptom, as well as psychological issues of the inflicted individual. Despite this, both knowledge about the aetiology of cryptorchidism and the mechanism for cryptorchidism-induced male infertility remain limited. In this present study, by using an artificial cryptorchid mouse model, we investigated the effects of surgery-induced cryptorchidism on spermatogenic cells and seminiferous epithelial cycles. We found that surgery-induced cryptorchidism led to a reduced testicular weight, aberrant seminiferous epithelial cycles and impaired spermatogenesis characterized by degenerating spermatogenic cells. We also observed multinucleated giant cells after surgery-induced cryptorchidism. Transmission electron microscopy, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) and western blot assays demonstrated cryptorchidism-induced apoptosis of spermatogenic cells. Moreover, we identified the occurrence of autophagy in germ cells after surgery-induced cryptorchidism. Interestingly, apoptosis and autophagy were synchronous, suggestive of their synergetic roles in promoting germ cell death. Our results provide novel insights into the cryptorchidism-induced male infertility, thereby contributing to the development of male contraceptive strategies as well as treatment options for male infertility caused by cryptorchidism.
An experimental Taenia crassiceps mouse model was used to assess the role of Taenia solium metacestode factor (Fac) in human neurocysticercosis. Intraperitoneal infection with T. crassiceps metacestodes or subcutaneous inoculation with a T. crassiceps metacestode factor (Fac) produced significant impairment of performance (learning) in the Barnes maze and induced bilateral hippocampal sclerosis in mice. Several staining techniques revealed important cell dispersion, extensive apoptosis and cell loss in the dentate gyrus, hilus and CA1-CA3 regions of both hippocampi, as well as intense deterioration of the adjacent cortex. An outstanding disruption of its histoarchitecture in the surrounding tissue of all these regions and apoptosis of the endothelial cells were also observed.