Thomas Abraham

St. Paul's Hospital, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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Publications (32)88.28 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Tendinopathy is often discovered late because the initial development of tendon pathology is asymptomatic. The aim of this study was to examine the potential role of mast cell involvement in early tendinopathy using a high-intensity uphill running (HIUR) exercise model. Twenty-four male Wistar rats were divided in two groups: running group (n = 12); sedentary control group (n = 12). The running-group was exposed to the HIUR exercise protocol for 7 weeks. The calcaneal tendons of both hind limbs were dissected. The right tendon was used for histologic analysis using Bonar score, immunohistochemistry, and second harmonic generation microscopy (SHGM). The left tendon was used for quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis. An increased tendon cell density in the runners were observed compared to the controls (P = 0.05). Further, the intensity of immunostaining of protein kinase B, P = 0.03; 2.75 ± 0.54 vs 1.17 ± 0.53, was increased in the runners. The Bonar score (P = 0.05), and the number of mast cells (P = 0.02) were significantly higher in the runners compared to the controls. Furthermore, SHGM showed focal collagen disorganization in the runners, and reduced collagen density (P = 0.03). IL-3 mRNA levels were correlated with mast cell number in sedentary animals. The qPCR analysis showed no significant differences between the groups in the other analyzed targets. The current study demonstrates that 7-week HIUR causes structural changes in the calcaneal tendon, and further that these changes are associated with an increased mast cell density.
    Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 07/2013; · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lung is a complex gas exchanger with interfacial area (where the gas exchange takes place) is about the size of a tennis court. Respiratory function is linked to the biomechanical stability of the gas exchange or alveolar regions which directly depends on the spatial distributions of the extracellular matrix fibers such fibrillar collagens and elastin fibers. It is very important to visualize and quantify these fibers at their native and inflated conditions to have correct morphometric information on differences between control and diseased states. This can be only achieved in the ex vivo states by imaging directly frozen lung specimens inflated to total lung capacity. Multiphoton microscopy, which uses ultra-short infrared laser pulses as the excitation source, produces multiphoton excitation fluorescence (MPEF) signals from endogenously fluorescent proteins (e.g. elastin) and induces specific second harmonic generation (SHG) signals from non-centrosymmetric proteins such as fibrillar collagens in fresh human lung tissues [J. Struct. Biol. (2010)171,189-196]. Here we report for the first time 3D image data obtained directly from thick frozen inflated lung specimens (~0.7- 1.0 millimeter thick) visualized at -60°C without prior fixation or staining in healthy and diseased states. Lung specimens donated for transplantation and released for research when no appropriate recipient was identified served as controls, and diseased lung specimens donated for research by patients receiving lung transplantation for very severe COPD (n=4) were prepared as previously described [N. Engl. J. Med. (2011) 201, 1567]. Lung slices evenly spaced between apex and base were examined using multiphoton microscopy while maintained at -60°C using a temperature controlled cold stage with a temperature resolution of 0.1°C. Infrared femto-second laser pulses tuned to 880nm, dry microscopic objectives, and non-de-scanned detectors/spectrophotometer located in the reflection geometry were used for generating the 3D images/spectral information. We found that this novel imaging approach can provide spatially resolved 3D images with spectral specificities from frozen inflated lungs that are sensitive enough to identity the micro-structural details of fibrillar collagens and elastin fibers in alveolar walls in both healthy and diseased tissues.
    Proc SPIE 02/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The structural remodeling of collagens is important in several biological processes including wound healing, tendon repair and adaptation, fibrosis and morphogenesis. Multiphoton microscopy is efficient in the induction of highly specific second harmonic generation (SHG) signal from non-centrosymmetric macromolecules such as fibrillar collagens. Although the detectors in the reflection geometry have been normally employed for capturing the backward scattered SHG considering the wide range of engineered thick tissue applications, there are still questions about the generated 3D collagen structures because of the directional pattern of SHG signals. The present study dealt with an in vitro collagen-fibroblast raft or bioartificial tendon model where the stimulation of fibroblast cells induced lateral orientation of collagen Type I fibers. The SHG signals originating from 3D collagen matrix were captured simultaneously in both forward and backward scattering directions. Our structural analysis indicates that collagen fibers formed in such in vitro model systems are predominantly of uniform sizes and are aligned preferentially in the lateral direction. The criss-cross arrangements of laterally oriented fibers are evident in the initial stages of contraction but eventually those laterally oriented collagen fibers are found to be aligned in parallel to each other as well as to the fibroblasts after an extended period of contraction. Our comprehensive quantitative assessment of simultaneously captured forward and backward 3D SHG image datasets, which includes the SHG signal decay, fiber diameter, cell dimensions, colocalization profiles, the 3D voxel volumes and Fourier analysis, indicates strong correlation of structural features identified in forward and backward directions.
    Journal of Structural Biology 05/2012; 180(1):17-25. · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The structural remodeling of extracellular matrix proteins in peripheral lung region is an important feature in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Multiphoton microscopy is capable of inducing specific second harmonic generation (SHG) signal from non-centrosymmetric structural proteins such as fibrillar collagens. In this study, SHG microscopy was used to examine structural remodeling of the fibrillar collagens in human lungs undergoing emphysematous destruction (n=2). The SHG signals originating from these diseased lung thin sections from base to apex (n=16) were captured simultaneously in both forward and backward directions. We found that the SHG images detected in the forward direction showed well-developed and well-structured thick collagen fibers while the SHG images detected in the backward direction showed striking different morphological features which included the diffused pattern of forward detected structures plus other forms of collagen structures. Comparison of these images with the well-established immunohistochemical staining indicated that the structures detected in the forward direction are primarily the thick collagen type I fibers and the structures identified in the backward direction are diffusive structures of forward detected collagen type I plus collagen type III. In conclusion, we here demonstrate the feasibility of SHG microscopy in differentiating fibrillar collagen subtypes and understanding their remodeling in diseased lung tissues.
    Proceedings of SPIE; 02/2012
  • Cell Death & Disease 10/2011; 2:e215. · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Following tendon injury, cartilage, bone and fat metaplasia are often observed, making the optimization of tenocyte differentiation an important clinical goal. In this study we examined the effect of static and cyclic mechanical loading on the expression of genes which play a role in tenocyte differentiation and function, namely scleraxis (Scx) and Type I collagen (Col1a1), and determined the effect of varying mechanical parameters including (1) static vs dynamic load, (2) increasing strain magnitude, (3) inclusion of 10 s rest periods, and (4) increasing cycle number. Cyclic loading resulted in a greater increase of tenocyte gene expression than static loading over 3 weeks in culture. Increasing strain levels potentiated the induction of tenocyte genes. The insertion of a 10 s rest periods further enhanced tenocyte gene expression, as did increasing repetition numbers. These results suggest that mechanical signaling exerts an important influence on the expression of genes which play a role in determining the tendon phenotype. Further work is required to confirm and extend these findings in primary cells such as resident tendon progenitor/stem cells, in order to provide an improved understanding of biology from which optimized rehabilitation programs can be developed.
    Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions 06/2011; 11(2):124-32. · 2.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether administration of a mast cell inhibitor (sodium cromolyn, SC) would influence tendon repair and extracellular matrix gene expression following acute injury. CD1 mouse patellar tendons were unilaterally injured and mast cell prevalence was determined. The effect of SC injection on tendon hypercellularity, cross-sectional area, collagen organization, and expression of extracellular matrix-related genes was examined. Mast cell prevalence was markedly increased in injured patellar tendons (p = 0.009), especially at 8 weeks post-injury (p = 0.025). SC injection increased collagen organization compared to uninjected animals at 4 weeks and attenuated the development of tendon hypercellularity and tendon thickening post-injury. Expression of CTGF, ADAMTS1, and TIMP3 in injured tendon was reduced in the SC group. SC injections moderated the structural alterations of healing tendon in association with downregulation of several genes associated with tendon fibrosis. This work corroborates previous findings pointing to a role of mast cells in tendon repair.
    Journal of Orthopaedic Research 05/2011; 29(5):678-83. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiphoton microscopy has become a powerful imaging method for minimally invasive evaluation of extracellular matrix (ECM) and cellular structures deep within tissues in their native environments. This technology, which uses ultra-short femto-second laser pulses as the excitation source, is efficient in multiphoton excitation fluorescence (MPEF) of endogenously fluorescent macromolecular systems and induction of highly specific second harmonic generation (SHG) signals from non-centrosymmetric macromolecules such as fibrillar collagens. Both these signals can be captured simultaneously to provide spatially resolved 3D structural organization of ECM as well as cellular morphologies in lung or airway tissue with spectral specificity and sensitivity. These imaging modalities are minimally invasive since structures deep within tissues can be visualized without the need for tissue fixation and/or sectioning. Much of the traditional histological and chemical procedures associated with conventional microscopy methods, which may alter native structure of lung tissue samples, can be circumvented to generate more accurate 3D morphological and fine structural information. In addition to outlining basic principles associated with MPEF and SHG microscopy methods, this review reports potential uses of these high resolution imaging modalities in lung structural imaging. We place special emphasis on imaging 3D structural features of airways, visualizing and quantifying ECM remodeling associated with mouse asthma model as well as the potential uses for multiphoton microscopy in in vitro airway applications.
    Pulmonary Pharmacology &amp Therapeutics 04/2011; 24(5):487-96. · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the expression of Scleraxis in a murine model of patellar tendon injury in which the central third of the patellar tendon was unilaterally injured. The presence of tendon pathology was assessed using dual photon microscopy, conventional histology and microCT. Tendon pathology was also quantified noninvasively over a 12-week period using high-frequency ultrasound and laser Doppler flowmetry. Gene expression (Scx, Tnmd, and Col1a1) was determined at defined end-points (1, 4, 8, and 12 weeks) using qPCR on RNA from individual patellar tendons on injured and uninjured sides. There was significant development of tendon pathology as gauged by ultrasound and laser Doppler over 12 weeks. Injured tendons demonstrated significant histological and microCT evidence of pathological change, and disorganized collagen with reduced density. The expression of Scx and Col1a1 was unchanged at 1 week, significantly upregulated at 4 and 8 weeks, and had returned to baseline by 12 weeks. Tnmd expression was unchanged at 1 week, and significantly increased at 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Patellar tendon injury was associated with marked increases in the expression of Scx, Tnmd, and Col1a1. Our data suggest new roles for Scleraxis in coordinating the response to injury in the pathogenesis of tendon disorders.
    Journal of Orthopaedic Research 02/2011; 29(2):289-96. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-KO) mice have been utilized for decades as a model of atherosclerosis. However, in addition to atherosclerosis, apoE-KO mice develop extensive cutaneous xanthomatosis, accelerated skin aging and frailty when fed a high fat diet. Granzyme B (GrB) is a pro-apoptotic serine protease that has recently been shown to exhibit extracellular proteolytic activity in certain pathologies. In the present study, the role of GrB in skin aging and pathology was assessed using the apoE-KO model of skin aging. Male C57BL/6 wild type and apoE-KO mice were grown for 0, 5, 15 or 30 weeks on either a high fat (21.2% fat, 0.2% cholesterol) or regular chow diet (7% fat). ApoE/GrB double knockout (DKO) mice were also generated and assessed after being fed either diet for 30 weeks. Skin was removed from the mid to lower back and examined for age-related changes such as hair loss, skin thinning and collagen remodeling and disorganization. ApoE-KO mice exhibited signs of frailty, hair graying, hair loss, skin thinning, loss of collagen density and increased skin pathologies featuring collagen remodeling and reduced decorin compared to wild type controls. These phenotypes occurred earlier and were more severe when fed a high fat diet. In addition, we also observed increased GrB expression in proximity to areas of decorin degradation and reduced collagen density in the skin of apoE-KO mice. DKO mice exhibited protection against skin thinning, ECM degradation and loss of dermal collagen density. In summary, our results provide novel insights into the effects of a high fat diet and apoE deficiency on skin aging and pathology and suggest a role for GrB in age-related skin thinning and frailty.
    Experimental gerontology 02/2011; 46(6):489-99. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Granzyme B, a proapoptotic serine protease, is abundant in advanced, unstable atherosclerotic plaques, and it is suggested to contribute to plaque instability by inducing vascular smooth muscle cells apoptosis and by degrading plaque extracellular matrix. Proteinase inhibitor 9, the only known endogenous inhibitor of granzyme B in humans, confers protection against granzyme-B-induced apoptosis. However, the role of proteinase inhibitor 9 in atherosclerotic lesion development has yet to be determined. We hypothesized that atherosclerotic lesions have lower proteinase inhibitor 9 expression levels that will increase their susceptibility to granzyme-B-induced apoptosis. Serial sections of human coronary arteries exhibiting different stages of lesion development were assessed by immunohistochemistry for proteinase inhibitor 9, α-smooth muscle cells actin, granzyme B, CD8, and active caspase-3. Frozen samples were analyzed by Western blot to evaluate total proteinase inhibitor 9 levels. Vascular smooth muscle cells express less proteinase inhibitor 9 as disease severity increases, and a significant difference in proteinase inhibitor 9 expression is observed between medial and intimal smooth muscle cells. High granzyme B levels colocalize with CD8+ cells and foam cells in the shoulder region and necrotic core area of advanced lesions. In advanced lesions, increased expression of activated caspase-3 in intimal SMC was associated with reduced proteinase inhibitor 9 expression in the presence of granzyme B. Reduced proteinase inhibitor 9 expression in human vascular smooth muscle cells is associated with atherosclerotic disease progression and is inversely related to the extent of apoptosis within the intima. Reduced proteinase inhibitor 9 expression may contribute to increased smooth muscle cell susceptibility to granzyme-B-induced apoptosis within the plaque.
    Cardiovascular pathology: the official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology 02/2011; 21(1):28-38. · 1.63 Impact Factor
  • Thomas Abraham, Alex Scott, Jon Carthy, Bruce McManus
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    ABSTRACT: The structural remodeling of collagen is important in several biological processes such as wound healing, tendon repair, fibrosis and developmental morphogenesis. Multiphoton microscopy, which uses ultra-short femto-second laser pulses as an excitation source, is efficient in the multiphoton excitation fluorescence (MPEF) of exogenous fluorescent labels tagged to various cellular macromolecular objects, as well as in the induction of a highly specific second harmonic generation (SHG) signal from non-centrosymmetric macromolecules such as fibrillar collagens. Although the non-descanned detectors in the reflection geometry have normally been employed for capturing the backward scattered SHG as well as the MPEF signals, considering the wide range of engineered thick tissue imaging applications, there are still un-answered questions about the generated 3D collagen structures because of the directional pattern of SHG signals. The present study dealt with an in vitro collagen-fibroblast raft model in which the stimulation of fibroblast cells induced the lateral orientation of collagen molecules. The SHG signals originating from the 3D collagen matrix were captured simultaneously in both forward and backward scattering directions to understand the collagen structural differences and to generate a comprehensive understanding of collagen matrix remodeling.
    Proc SPIE 02/2011;
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    Thomas Abraham, Gloria Fong, Alex Scott
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    ABSTRACT: Tenocytes have been implicated in the development of tendinosis, a chronic condition commonly seen in musculoskeletal overuse syndromes. However, the relation between abnormal tenocyte morphology and early changes in the fibrillar collagen matrix has not been closely examined in vivo. Second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy is a recently developed technique which allows examination of fibrillar collagen structures with a high degree of specificity and resolution. The goal of this study was to examine the potential utility of SHG and multiphoton excitation fluorescence (MPEF) microscopy in understanding the relation between tenocytes and their surrounding collagenous matrix in early tendon overuse lesions. Histological preparations of tendon were prepared from adult male Sprague-Dawley rats subjected to an Achilles tendon loading protocol for 12 weeks (Rat-A-PED), or from sedentary age-matched cage controls. Second harmonic generation and multiphoton excitation fluorescence were performed simultaneously on these tissue sections in at least three different areas. SHG microscopy revealed an association between abnormal tenocyte morphology and morphological changes in the fibrillar collagen matrix of mechanically loaded Achilles tendons. Collagen density and organization was significantly reduced in focal micro-regions of mechanically loaded tendons. These pathological changes occurred specifically in association with altered tenocyte morphology. Normal tendons displayed a regular distribution of fibre bundles, and the average size of these bundles as determined by Gaussian analysis was 0.47 μm ± 0.02. In comparison, fibre bundle measures from tendon regions in the vicinity of abnormal tenocytes could not be quantified due to a reduction in their regularity of distribution and orientation. SHG microscopy allowed high resolution detection of focal tendon abnormalities affecting the fibrillar collagen matrix. With ongoing repetitive loading, these tenocyte-associated focal collagen defects could predispose to the progression of overuse pathology.
    BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 01/2011; 12:26. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Granzyme B (GZMB) is a proapoptotic serine protease that is released by cytotoxic lymphocytes. However, GZMB can also be produced by other cell types and is capable of cleaving extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. GZMB contributes to abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) through an extracellular, perforin-independent mechanism involving ECM cleavage. The murine serine protease inhibitor, Serpina3n (SA3N), is an extracellular inhibitor of GZMB. In the present study, administration of SA3N was assessed using a mouse Angiotensin II-induced AAA model. Mice were injected with SA3N (0-120 μg/kg) before pump implantation. A significant dose-dependent reduction in the frequency of aortic rupture and death was observed in mice that received SA3N treatment compared with controls. Reduced degradation of the proteoglycan decorin was observed while collagen density was increased in the aortas of mice receiving SA3N treatment compared with controls. In vitro studies confirmed that decorin, which regulates collagen spacing and fibrillogenesis, is cleaved by GZMB and that its cleavage can be prevented by SA3N. In conclusion, SA3N inhibits GZMB-mediated decorin degradation leading to enhanced collagen remodelling and reinforcement of the adventitia, thereby reducing the overall rate of rupture and death in a mouse model of AAA.
    Cell Death & Disease 01/2011; 2:e209. · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For translational respiratory research including in the development of clinical diagnostic tools, a minimally invasive imaging method, which can provide both cellular and extracellular structural details with sufficient specificity, sensitivity and spatial resolution, is particularly useful. Multiphoton microscopy causes excitation of endogenously fluorescent macromolecular systems and induces highly specific second harmonic generation signals from non-centrosymmetric macromolecules such as fibrillar collagens. Both these signals can be captured simultaneously to provide spatially resolved 3D structural organization of extracellular matrix as well as the cellular morphologies in their native states. Besides briefly discussing the fundamentals of multiphoton excitation fluorescence and harmonic generation signals and the instrumentation details, this review focuses on the specific applications of these imaging modalities in lung structural imaging, particularly morphological features of alveolar structures, visualizing and quantifying extracellular matrix remodelling accompanying emphysematous destructions as well as the IPF, detecting lung cancers and the potential use in the tissue engineering applications.
    Respirology 11/2010; 16(1):22-33. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling is a critical aspect of cardiac remodeling following myocardial infarction. Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are physiological inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that degrade the ECM proteins. TIMP3 is highly expressed in the heart, and is markedly downregulated in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. We therefore examined the time- and region-dependent role of TIMP3 in the cardiac response to myocardial infarction (MI). TIMP3(-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to MI by ligation of the left anterior descending artery. TIMP3(-/-)-MI mice exhibited a significantly compromised rate of survival compared with WT-MI mice, primarily due to increased left ventricular (LV) rupture, greater infarct expansion, exacerbated LV dilation, and greater systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Second harmonic generation imaging of unfixed and unstained hearts revealed greater collagen disarray and reduced density in the TIMP3(-/-) infarct myocardium compared with the WT group. Gelatinolytic and collagenolytic activities increased in TIMP3(-/-) compared with WT hearts at 1 day post-MI but not at 3 days or 1 wk post-MI. Neutrophil infiltration and inflammatory MMPs were significantly increased in the infarct and peri-infarct regions of TIMP3(-/-)-MI hearts. Treatment of TIMP3(-/-) mice with a broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor (PD-166793) for 2 days before and 2 days after MI markedly improved post-MI infarct expansion, LV rupture incident, LV dilation, and systolic dysfunction in these mice up to 1 wk post-MI. Our data demonstrate that the initial rise in proteolytic activities early post-MI is a triggering factor for subsequent LV adverse remodeling, LV rupture, and dilated cardiomyopathy. Hence, timing of treatments to improve cardiac response to MI may be critical in producing favorable outcome.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 10/2010; 299(4):H1012-23. · 4.01 Impact Factor
  • Thomas Abraham, James Hogg
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    ABSTRACT: The structural reorganization of extracellular matrix (ECM) is an important feature of peripheral lung tissue remodeling in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Ordered ECM macromolecules such as the fibril-forming collagens produce second harmonic generation (SHG) signal without the need for any exogenous label, while ECM macromolecules such as the elastin fibers generate MPEF signal due to their endogenous fluorescence characteristics. Both these signals can be captured simultaneously to provide spatially resolved 3D structural reorganization of ECM matrix. In this study, SHG and MPEF microscopy methods were used to examine structural remodeling of the ECM matrix in human lung alveolar walls undergoing severe emphysematous destruction. Flash frozen lung samples removed from two patients undergoing lung transplantation for severe COPD (n=4) were compared to similar samples from an unused donor lung (n=2) that served as a control. The imaging operations were performed directly on these tissue sections at least three different areas. The generated spatially resolved 3D images showed the distribution of collagen and elastin in the alveolar walls. In the case of the control, we found well ordered alveolar walls with a composite type structure made up of collagen bands and relatively fine elastic fibers. In contrast, lung tissues undergoing emphysematous destruction were highly disorganized with significantly increased alveolar wall thickness compared to the control. We conclude that these non-invasive imaging modalities provide spatially resolved 3D images with spectral specificities that are sensitive enough to identity the ECM structural changes associated with emphysematous destruction.
    Journal of Structural Biology 08/2010; 171(2):189-96. · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myocardial infarction (MI) results in remodeling of the myocardium and the extracellular matrix (ECM). Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are critical regulators of ECM integrity via inhibiting matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). TIMP2 is highly expressed in the heart and is the only TIMP that, in addition to inhibiting MMPs, is required for cell surface activation of pro-MMP2. Hence, it is difficult to predict the function of TIMP2 as protective (MMP-inhibiting) or harmful (MMP-activating) in heart disease. We examined the role of TIMP2 in the cardiac response to MI. MI was induced in 11- to 12-week-old male TIMP2(-/-) and age-matched wild-type mice. Cardiac function was monitored by echocardiography at 1 and 4 weeks post-MI. ECM fibrillar structure was visualized using second harmonic generation and multiphoton imaging of unfixed/unstained hearts. Molecular analyses were performed at 3 days and 1 week post-MI on flash-frozen infarct, periinfarct, and noninfarct tissue. Membrane type 1 (MT1)-MMP levels and activity were measured in membrane protein fractions. TIMP2(-/-)-MI mice exhibited a 25% greater infarct expansion, markedly exacerbated left ventricular dilation (by 12%) and dysfunction (by 30%), and more severe inflammation compared to wild-type MI mice. Adverse ECM remodeling was detected by reduced density and enhanced disarray of fibrillar collagen in TIMP2(-/-)-MI compared to wild-type MI hearts. TIMP2 deficiency completely abrogated MMP2 activation but markedly increased collagenase activity, particularly MT1-MMP activity post-MI. The MMP-inhibitory function of TIMP2 is a key determinant of post-MI myocardial remodeling primarily because of its inhibitory action on MT1-MMP. TIMP2 replenishment in diseased myocardium could provide a potential therapy in reducing or preventing disease progression.
    Circulation Research 03/2010; 106(4):796-808. · 11.86 Impact Factor
  • Thomas Abraham, Sarah E Allan, Megan K Levings
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    ABSTRACT: In the realm of multi-dimensional confocal microscopy, colocalization analysis of fluorescent emission signals has proven to be an invaluable tool for detecting molecular interactions between biological macromolecules at the subcellular level. We show here that image processing operations such as the deconvolution and chromatic corrections play a crucial role in the accurate determination of colocalization between biological macromolecules particularly when the fluorescent signals are faint, and when the fluorescent signals are in the blue and red emission regions. The cellular system presented here describes quantification of an activated forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) transcription factor in three-dimensional (3D) cellular space. 293T cells transfected with a conditionally active form of FOXP3 were stained for anti-FOXP3 conjugated to a fluorescent red dye (Phycoerythrin), and counterstained for DNA (nucleus) with fluorescent blue dye (Hoechst). Due to the broad emission spectra of these dyes, the fluorescent signals were collected only from peak regions and were acquired sequentially. Since the PE signal was weak, a confocal pinhole size of two Airy size was used to collect the 3D image data sets. The raw images supplemented with the spectral data show the preferential association of activated FOXP3 molecules with the nucleus. However, the PE signals were found to be highly diffusive and colocalization quantification from these raw images was not possible. In order to deconvolve the 3D raw image data set, point spread functions (PSFs) of these emissions were measured. From the measured PSF, we found that chromatic shifts between the blue and red colors were quite considerable. Followed by the applications of both the axial and lateral chromatic corrections, colocalization analysis performed on the deconvolved-chromatic corrected-3D image data set showed that 98% of DNA molecules were associated with FOXP3 molecules, whereas only 66% of FOXP3 molecules were colocalized with DNA molecules. In conclusion, our studies clearly demonstrate the importance of PSF measurements, chromatic aberration corrections followed by deconvolution in the accurate determination of transcription factors in the 3D cellular space. The reported imaging and processing methods can be a practical guide for quantitative fluorescence imaging of similar cellular systems and can provide a basis for further development.
    Micron 03/2010; 41(6):633-40. · 1.88 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

293 Citations
88.28 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • St. Paul's Hospital
      Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 2008–2012
    • University of British Columbia - Okanagan
      Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2009–2010
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • Department of Surgery
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada