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SourceAvailable from: Keith R Bambery[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) micro-spectroscopy is an emerging technique for the biochemical analysis of tissues and cellular materials. It provides objective information on the holistic biochemistry of a cell or tissue sample and has been applied in many areas of medical research. However, it has become apparent that how the tissue is handled prior to FTIR micro-spectroscopic imaging requires special consideration, particularly with regards to methods for preservation of the samples. We have performed FTIR micro-spectroscopy on rodent heart and liver tissue sections (two spectroscopically very different biological tissues) that were prepared by desiccation drying, ethanol substitution and formalin fixation and have compared the resulting spectra with that of fully hydrated freshly excised tissues. We have systematically examined the spectra for any biochemical changes to the native state of the tissue caused by the three methods of preparation and have detected changes in infrared (IR) absorption band intensities and peak positions. In particular, the position and profile of the amide I, key in assigning protein secondary structure, changes depending on preparation method and the lipid absorptions lose intensity drastically when these tissues are hydrated with ethanol. Indeed, we demonstrate that preserving samples through desiccation drying, ethanol substitution or formalin fixation significantly alters the biochemical information detected using spectroscopic methods when compared to spectra of fresh hydrated tissue. It is therefore imperative to consider tissue preparative effects when preparing, measuring, and analyzing samples using FTIR spectroscopy.PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0116491. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116491
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that peripheral blood monocytes can be converted in vitro to a stem cell-like cell termed PCMO as evidenced by the re-expression of pluripotency-associated genes, transient proliferation, and the ability to adopt the phenotype of hepatocytes and insulin-producing cells upon tissue-specific differentiation. However, the regulatory interactions between cultured cells governing pluripotency and mitotic activity have remained elusive. Here we asked whether activin(s) and TGF-β(s), are involved in PCMO generation. De novo proliferation of PCMO was higher under adherent vs. suspended culture conditions as revealed by the appearance of a subset of Ki67-positive monocytes and correlated with down-regulation of p21WAF1 beyond day 2 of culture. Realtime-PCR analysis showed that PCMO express ActRIIA, ALK4, TβRII, ALK5 as well as TGF-β1 and the βA subunit of activin. Interestingly, expression of ActRIIA and ALK4, and activin A levels in the culture supernatants increased until day 4 of culture, while levels of total and active TGF-β1 strongly declined. PCMO responded to both growth factors in an autocrine fashion with intracellular signaling as evidenced by a rise in the levels of phospho-Smad2 and a drop in those of phospho-Smad3. Stimulation of PCMO with recombinant activins (A, B, AB) and TGF-β1 induced phosphorylation of Smad2 but not Smad3. Inhibition of autocrine activin signaling by either SB431542 or follistatin reduced both Smad2 activation and Oct4A/Nanog upregulation. Inhibition of autocrine TGF-β signaling by either SB431542 or anti-TGF-β antibody reduced Smad3 activation and strongly increased the number of Ki67-positive cells. Furthermore, anti-TGF-β antibody moderately enhanced Oct4A/Nanog expression. Our data show that during PCMO generation pluripotency marker expression is controlled positively by activin/Smad2 and negatively by TGF-β/Smad3 signaling, while relief from growth inhibition is primarily the result of reduced TGF-β/Smad3, and to a lesser extent, activin/Smad2 signaling.PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0118097. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0118097
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ABSTRACT: Despite the recent advances on fine taxonomic discrimination in microorganisms, namely using molecular biology tools, some groups remain particularly problematic. Fine taxonomy of green algae, a widely distributed group in freshwater ecosystems, remains a challenge, especially for coccoid forms. In this paper, we propose the use of the Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy as part of a polyphasic approach to identify and classify coccoid green microalgae (mainly order Sphaeropleales), using triplicated axenic cultures. The attenuated total reflectance (ATR) technique was tested to reproducibility of IR spectra of the biological material, a primary requirement to achieve good discrimination of microalgal strains. Spectral window selection was also tested, in conjunction with the first derivative treatment of spectra, to determine which regions of the spectrum provided better separation and clustering of strains. The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), analysis of similarities (ANOSIM) and hierarchical clusters (HCA), demonstrated a correct discrimination and classification of closely related strains of chlorophycean coccoid microalgae, with respect to currently accepted classifications. FTIR-ATR was highly reproducible, and provided an excellent discrimination at the strain level. The best separation was achieved by analyzing the spectral windows of 1500-1200 cm-1 and 900-675 cm-1, which differs from those used in previously studies for the discrimination of broad algal groups, and excluding spectral regions related to storage compounds, which were found to give poor discrimination. Furthermore, hierarchical cluster analyses have positioned the strains tested into clades correctly, reproducing their taxonomic orders and families. This study demonstrates that FTIR-ATR has great potential to complement classical approaches for fine taxonomy of coccoid green microalgae, though a careful spectrum region selection is needed.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e114458. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0114458
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