D J MacPhee

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Are you D J MacPhee?

Claim your profile

Publications (14)47.49 Total impact

  • B G White, D J MacPhee
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The uterine musculature, or myometrium, demonstrates tremendous plasticity during pregnancy under the influences of the endocrine environment and mechanical stresses. Expression of the small stress protein heat shock protein B1 (HspB1) has been reported to increase dramatically during late pregnancy, a period marked by myometrial hypertrophy caused by fetal growth-induced uterine distension. Thus, using unilaterally pregnant rat models and ovariectomized nonpregnant rats with uteri containing laminaria tents to induce uterine distension, we examined the effect of uterine distension on myometrial HspB1 expression. In unilaterally pregnant rats, HspB1 mRNA and Ser(15)-phosphorylated HspB1 (pSer(15) HspB1) protein expression were significantly elevated in distended gravid uterine horns at days 19 and 23 (labor) of gestation compared with nongravid horns. Similarly, pSer(15) HspB1 protein in situ was only readily detectable in the distended horns compared with the nongravid horns at days 19 and 23; however, pSer(15) HspB1 was primarily detectable in situ at day 19 in membrane-associated regions, while it had primarily a cytoplasmic localization in myometrial cells at day 23. HspB1 mRNA and pSer(15) HspB1 protein expression were also markedly increased in ovariectomized nonpregnant rat myometrium distended for 24 h with laminaria tents compared with empty horns. Therefore, uterine distension plays a major role in the stimulation of myometrial HspB1 expression, and increased expression of this small stress protein could be a mechanoadaptive response to the increasing uterine distension that occurs during pregnancy.
    AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 09/2011; 301(5):R1418-26. · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Integrins are transmembrane extracellular matrix (ECM) receptors composed of alpha- and beta-subunits. Integrins can cluster to form focal adhesions and, because there is significant ECM remodelling and focal adhesion turnover in the rat myometrium during late pregnancy, we hypothesised that the expression of alpha(1), alpha(3) and beta(1) integrin subunits in the rat myometrium would be altered at this time to accommodate these processes. Expression of alpha(1) and beta(1) integrin subunit mRNA was significantly increased on Days 6-23 of pregnancy compared with non-pregnant (NP) and postpartum (PP) time points (P < 0.05). In contrast, alpha(3) integrin subunit mRNA expression was significantly increased on Days 14, 21 and 22 compared with NP, Day 10, 1 day PP and 4 days PP (P < 0.05). A relative gene expression study revealed that, of the integrins studied, the expression of beta(1) integrin mRNA was highest in pregnant rat myometrium. The alpha(1), alpha(3) and beta(1) integrin subunit proteins became immunolocalised to myocyte membranes in situ by late pregnancy and labour in both myometrial muscle layers. Increased alpha(1), alpha(3) and beta(1) integrin gene expression during gestation and the specific detection of these subunits in myocyte membranes during late pregnancy and labour may contribute to the cell-ECM interactions required for the development of a mechanical syncytium.
    Reproduction Fertility and Development 01/2010; 22(4):718-32. · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • Daniel J MacPhee
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The need for a technique that could allow the determination of antigen specificity of antisera led to the development of a method that allowed the production of a replica of proteins, which had been separated electrophoretically on polyacrylamide gels, on to a nitrocellulose membrane. This method was coined Western blotting and is very useful to study the presence, relative abundance, relative molecular mass, post-translational modification, and interaction of specific proteins. As a result it is utilized routinely in many fields of scientific research such as chemistry, biology and biomedical sciences. This review serves to touch on some of the methodological conditions that should be considered to improve Western blot analysis, particularly as a guide for graduate students but also scientists who wish to continue adapting this now fundamental research tool.
    Journal of pharmacological and toxicological methods 12/2009; 61(2):171-7. · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the fusion pathway of trophoblast differentiation, stem villous cytotrophoblast cells proliferate and daughter cells differentiate and fuse with existing syncytiotrophoblast to maintain the multi-nucleated layer. Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is highly expressed in 1st and 2nd trimester villous cytotrophoblast cells, yet barely detectable in syncytiotrophoblast, thus we examined the potential role of ILK in aiding trophoblast fusion. The temporal/spatial expression and activity of ILK were determined in BeWo cells undergoing syncytialization by immunoblot and immunofluorescence analyses. BeWo cells were also transfected with pEGFP expression vectors containing wildtype or two mutant ILK cDNA constructs. The incidence of cell fusion in transfected cells grown under syncytialization conditions was then scored by the presence or absence of E-cadherin immunostaining. Beta-hCG expression in transfected cells, a marker of syncytiotrophoblast hormonal differentiation, was also similarly assessed. ILK catalytic activity increased and ILK began to increasingly localize to BeWo cell nuclei during syncytialization in correlation with increased pAkt and Snail protein expression. Syncytialization was also significantly elevated (p < 0.05) in BeWo cells expressing constitutively active (ca)-ILK vs cells containing empty vector or dn-ILK. Furthermore, cytoplasmic Beta-hCG expression markedly increased (p < 0.05) in cells expressing wt- and ca-ILK. ILK-facilitated syncytialization is dependent, at least in part, on ILK catalytic activity while hormonal differentiation appears dependent on both ILK-associated protein interactions and catalytic activity. This study demonstrates that ILK plays a novel role in BeWo syncytialization and differentiation, perhaps through an ILK-Akt-Snail pathway, and implicates ILK in the same process in villous cytotrophoblasts in vivo.
    Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 01/2009; 7:51. · 2.14 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The syncytiotrophoblast of the human placenta arises from fusion of stem cells called cytotrophoblasts. The molecular mechanisms associated with cell fusion and syncytiation of cytotrophoblastic cells remain largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the morphological and electrical properties of BeWo cells, a human choriocarcinoma-derived trophoblast cell model, with several features of the human cytotrophoblast. Cultured cells tended to cluster, but only fused into small, multinucleated syncytia in the presence of cAMP (72 h). The morphological features of both the actin and microtubular cytoskeletons indicated that within 72 h of constant exposure to cAMP, intracellular cortical actin cytoskeleton disappeared, which was the most prominent inducing factor of multi-nucleation. The presence of the cation channel protein, polycystin-2 (PC2), a TRP-type cation channel, associated with placental ion transport in term human syncytiotrophoblast, co-localised with acetylated tubulin in midbodies, but was found non-functional under any conditions. Different electrical phenotypes were observed among control BeWo cells, where only 26% (8 of 31 cells) displayed a voltage-dependent outwardly rectifying conductance. Most quiescent BeWo cells had, however, a low, slightly outwardly rectifying basal whole cell conductance. Acute exposure to intracellular cAMP (<15 min) increased the whole cell conductance by 122%, from 0.72 nS/cell to 1.60 nS/cell, and eliminated the voltage-regulated conductance. The encompassed evidence indicates that the early events in BeWo cell fusion and syncytiation occur by cAMP-associated changes in ionic conductance but not morphological changes associated to chronic exposure to the second messenger. This suggests a tight regulation, and important contribution of cation conductances in cytotrophoblastic cells prior to syncytiation.
    Placenta 06/2008; 29(6):492-502. · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The adaptive growth of the uterus during pregnancy is a critical event that involves increased synthesis of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and dynamic remodeling of smooth muscle cell (SMC)-ECM interactions. We have previously found a dramatic increase in the expression of the mRNAs that encode fibronectin (FN) and its alpha5-integrin receptor (ITGA5) in pregnant rat myometrium near to term. Since the myometrium at term is exposed to considerable mechanical stretching of the uterine wall by the growing fetus(es), the objective of the present study was to examine its role in the regulation of FN and ITGA5 expression at late gestation and during labor. Using myometrial tissues from unilaterally pregnant rats, we investigated the temporal changes in Itga5 gene expression in gravid and empty uterine horns by Northern blotting and real-time PCR, in combination with immunoblotting and immunofluorescence analyses of the temporal/spatial distributions of the FN and ITGA5 proteins. In addition, we studied the effects of early progesterone (P4) withdrawal on Itga5 mRNA levels and ITGA5 protein detection. At all time-points examined, the Itga5 mRNA levels were increased in the gravid uterine horn, compared to the empty horn (P < 0.05). Immunoblot analysis confirmed higher ITGA5 and FN protein levels in the myometrium, associated with gravidity (P < 0.05). Immunodetection of ITGA5 was consistently high in the longitudinal muscle layer, increased with gestational age in the circular muscle layer of the gravid horn, and remained low in the empty horn. ITGA5 and FN immunostaining in the gravid horn exhibited a continuous layer of variable thickness associated directly with the surfaces of individual SMCs. In contrast to the effects of stretch, P4 does not appear to regulate ITGA5 expression. We speculate that the reinforcement of the FN-ITGA5 interaction: 1) contributes to myometrial hypertrophy and remodeling during late pregnancy; and 2) facilitates force transduction during the contractions of labor by anchoring hypertrophied SMCs to the uterine ECM.
    Biology of Reproduction 11/2007; 77(5):880-8. · 4.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    B E Cross, H M O'Dea, D J MacPhee
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The underlying mechanisms regulating uterine contractions during labour are still poorly understood. Heat shock protein 20 (HSP20) is known to be present at high levels in smooth muscle and implicated in muscle relaxation, but HSP20 expression in the myometrium is completely undetermined. Since HSP20 has been implicated in smooth muscle relaxation, we hypothesized that HSP20 would be highly expressed in the rat myometrium during early and mid-pregnancy when the myometrium is relatively quiescent. Northern blot analysis particularly demonstrated that HSP20 mRNA detection was significantly decreased from day (d) 22 of pregnancy to 1-day post-partum (PP) compared with d6 (P < 0.05). HSP20 mRNA detection was also significantly decreased from d22 to d23 of gestation compared with non-pregnant (NP) samples. Immunoblot analysis showed that detection of HSP20 was significantly decreased at d23 compared with d12 and d15 (P < 0.05). HSP20 detection also significantly decreased at PP compared with d15 (P < 0.05). Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated that after d15, plasma membrane-associated localization of HSP20 decreased markedly in both circular and longitudinal muscle layers. In addition, HSP20 was detectable near cell membranes at much higher levels in the longitudinal muscle layer of progesterone-treated pregnant rats (delayed labour) at all gestational time points examined, compared with controls. Our results demonstrate that HSP20 mRNA and protein are highly expressed during early and mid-pregnancy and then the expression markedly decreases during late pregnancy and labour. The observed patterns of HSP20 expression are consistent with a potential role for HSP20 in facilitating myometrium quiescence during early and mid-pregnancy.
    Reproduction (Cambridge, England) 04/2007; 133(4):807-17. · 3.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Jenn M Croke, Luke R G Pike, Daniel J MacPhee
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Myometrial growth and remodeling of the cytoskeleton and focal adhesions during late pregnancy may be critical aspects of myometrial activation and thus labour. Yet our understanding of these aspects is inhibited by the paucity of information concerning the components of focal adhesions in the myometrium. The focal adhesion protein hydrogen peroxide-inducible clone-5 (Hic-5) has recently been found in mononuclear smooth muscle but was not examined in the myometrium during pregnancy. Thus, the goal of this study was to characterize Hic-5 mRNA and protein expression in the rat myometrium during pregnancy and labour. Rat myometrium samples were obtained from non-pregnant animals, pregnant animals on days (d) 6, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23 (active labour) and 1 day postpartum (PP). In addition, myometrium samples were collected from rats within a progesterone-delayed labour paradigm. Hic-5 mRNA expression was analyzed by Northern blot analysis while Hic-5 protein expression was examined by immunoblot and immunofluorescence analysis. Hic-5 mRNA expression on d15, d19 and d21 was found to be significantly elevated compared to d6 and d12 of pregnancy and expression on d23 was significantly elevated over d6 (p < 0.05). Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated that detection of Hic-5 protein in the circular muscle layer appeared to increase from d17 onwards, except PP, and Hic-5 was detectable in the cell cytoplasm and more continuously associated with myometrial cell membranes. In the longitudinal muscle layer Hic-5 was readily detectable by d15 and thereafter and primarily associated at myometrial cell membranes. Co-immunofluorescence analysis of potential Hic-5 and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) association in situ demonstrated a limited level of co-localization on d19, d23 and PP in the circular muscle layer while in the longitudinal muscle layer Hic-5 and FAK were readily co-localized at myometrial cell membranes. Hic-5 is highly expressed in the rat myometrium during late pregnancy and labour and co-localizes with FAK in situ. Our results are consistent with a potential role for Hic-5 in focal adhesion remodeling in the rat myometrium during late pregnancy.
    Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 01/2007; 5:22. · 2.14 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The placenta represents a critically important fetal-maternal interaction. Trophoblast migration and invasion into the uterine wall is a precisely controlled process and aberrations in these processes are implicated in diseases such as preeclampsia. Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a multifunctional, cytoplasmic, serine/threonine kinase that has been implicated in regulating processes such as cell proliferation, survival, migration, and invasion; yet the temporal and spatial pattern of expression of ILK in human chorionic villi and its role in early human placental development are completely unknown. We hypothesized that ILK would be expressed in trophoblast subtypes of human chorionic villi during early placental development and that it would regulate trophoblast migration. Immunoblot analysis revealed that ILK protein was highly detectable in placental tissue samples throughout gestation. In floating branches of chorionic villi, from 6 to 15 wk of gestation immunofluorescence analysis of ILK expression in placental tissue sections demonstrated that ILK was highly detectable in the cytoplasm and membranes of villous cytotrophoblast cells and in stromal mesenchyme, whereas it was barely detectable in the syncytiotrophoblast layer. In anchoring branches of villi, ILK was highly localized to plasma membranes of extravillous trophoblast cells. Transient expression of dominant negative E359K-ILK in the villous explant-derived trophoblast cell line HTR8-SVneo dramatically reduced migration into wounds compared to cells expressing wild-type ILK or empty vector. Therefore, our work has demonstrated that ILK is highly expressed in trophoblast subtypes of human chorionic villi during the first trimester of pregnancy and is a likely mediator of trophoblast migration during this period of development.
    Biology of Reproduction 06/2006; 74(5):959-68. · 4.03 Impact Factor
  • S J Williams, B G White, D J MacPhee
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The underlying mechanisms controlling uterine contractions during labor are still poorly understood. Integrins are heterodimeric, transmembrane receptors composed of alpha and beta subunits that can be found in focal adhesions. Because these structures play an important role in the regulation of smooth muscle contractility and cell adhesion, we hypothesized that alpha5 integrin mRNA (Itga5) and protein (ITGA5) expression would be induced in the rat myometrium during late pregnancy and labor. Itga5 mRNA expression was significantly increased (P < 0.05) from Day 17 to labor, noticeably decreasing 1 day postpartum (PP). Immunoblot analysis illustrated a continual increase in ITGA5 levels during pregnancy, labor, and PP, with levels reaching significance at labor (P < 0.05). Analysis of ITGA5 expression by immunocytochemistry demonstrated that it is primarily localized to myometrial cell membranes in the longitudinal muscle layer of the myometrium from before pregnancy to Day 6, and in both the longitudinal and circular muscle layers from Day 15 to PP. Treatment of late-pregnant rats with progesterone blocked labor and resulted in sustained expression of Itga5 mRNA expression to Day 24. In addition, immunocytochemistry experiments showed ITGA5 was detectable at higher levels in cell membranes of both myometrial layers in progesterone-treated animals on Days 23 and 24, compared with vehicle controls. We propose that ITGA5, with its sole known partner, ITGB1, may be important in promoting cellular cohesion during late pregnancy. This process may aid the development of a mechanical syncytium for efficient force transduction during the sustained, coordinated, and powerful contractions of labor.
    Biology of Reproduction 05/2005; 72(5):1114-24. · 4.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The underlying mechanisms that regulate uterine contractions during labour are still poorly understood. A candidate regulatory protein is heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27). It belongs to the small heat shock protein family and can regulate actin cytoskeleton dynamics, act as a chaperone, and may regulate contractile protein activation. As a result, we hypothesized that Hsp27 expression would be highly induced during late pregnancy and labour. Hsp27 mRNA expression was significantly elevated (P <0.05) on days 17 to 22 of gestation. In addition, immunoblot analysis demonstrated that detection of total Hsp27 increased (P <0.05) between day 21 and 1 day post-partum (PP) inclusive. Since phosphorylation of Hsp27 has been reported to be a prerequisite for smooth muscle contraction, we examined the temporal and spatial expression of Ser-15 phosphorylated Hsp27. Immunoblot analysis showed that the detection of Ser-15 phosphorylated Hsp27 significantly increased (P <0.05) between days 19 and 23 (active labour) inclusive, in parallel with detection of total Hsp27. Immunocytochemical analysis of Ser-15 phosphorylated Hsp27 expression in situ demonstrated that phosphorylated Hsp27 in circular muscle became detectable in peri-nuclear and membrane regions on days 19 to 22, but was primarily restricted to the cytoplasm on days 23 to PP. In contrast, phosphorylated Hsp27 in longitudinal muscle was primarily detected in myocyte membranes on days 15 to 22, and then also became detectable in the cytoplasm of myocytes on days 23 and PP. Our results demonstrate that Hsp27 expression is highly upregulated during late pregnancy and labour and suggest that Hsp27 is a potential candidate contraction-associated protein.
    Reproduction (Cambridge, England) 02/2005; 129(1):115-26. · 3.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Trophoblast differentiation during the first trimester of pregnancy involves cell proliferation and invasion and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Reports have indicated that, in a variety of cell types, processes such as proliferation, invasion, and ECM remodeling require the turnover of focal adhesions mediated by a cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase named focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Therefore, in the present study we examined the expression and spatial localization of FAK during early human placental development. Immunocytochemical and immunoblot analysis showed that FAK and a focal adhesion-associated protein named paxillin were highly expressed between the 5th and 8th weeks of gestation, specifically in villous cytotrophoblast and extravillous trophoblast (EVT) cells. Activated FAK, phosphorylated on Tyr-397, colocalized with alpha5 integrin and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2) expression in EVT cells within a previously characterized intermediate, invasive-restrained region. FAK and paxillin expression dramatically decreased after 10 to 12 weeks of gestation coincident with increasing pO(2) levels. Exposure of human villous explants of 5 to 8 weeks to a 3% O(2) environment resulted in increased trophoblast outgrowth, cell proliferation, and detection of alpha5 integrin and MMP2, as well as increased activation of FAK in EVT cells compared with explants grown in a 20% O(2) environment. To determine whether FAK was a key requisite for trophoblast differentiation, villous explants of 5 weeks gestation were grown in Matrigel in a 3% O(2) environment and incubated with 20-mer antisense FAK oligonucleotides. A dramatic reduction of trophoblast outgrowth was observed in antisense-treated explants compared with missense and control cultures, and, in addition, cell proliferation and MMP2 activity in antisense-treated explants were dramatically reduced. These data suggest that FAK is a key kinase involved in early trophoblast cell differentiation and plays a role in regulating cell proliferation and motility during early placental development.
    Laboratory Investigation 12/2001; 81(11):1469-83. · 3.96 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A polyclonal antibody was raised against amino acids 7-18 in the first extracellular loop of rat prostaglandin F (FP) receptor to monitor expression and localization in pregnant rat myometrium at Gestational Days 16, 18, 20, 21, 21.5, 22 (delivery), and 23 (1-day postpartum; n = 5 per group). The antibody recognized a protein of approximately 43 kDa on Western blot analysis in both membrane (soluble and nonsoluble) and cytosolic fractions of myometrium on each day of gestation. Expression of FP protein increased significantly (P < 0.05) during late gestation in both soluble membrane and cytosolic fractions, being significantly greater at Day 21.5 than at Day 20 of gestation in the soluble membrane fraction and in the cytosolic fraction of tissues collected during labor compared with those obtained before labor. The total concentration of FP receptor in the membrane (soluble plus nonsoluble) remained high throughout late gestation and fell significantly (P < 0.05) in the postpartum period. The FP receptor in the soluble membrane fraction (compared to the total membrane FP receptor) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in late gestation than earlier, whereas the ratio of FP protein in cytosolic to that in the total membrane was significantly (P < 0.05) higher on Day 23 than earlier in gestation, suggesting a dynamic movement of FP with advancing gestational age. Immunoreactive FP receptor localized to circular and longitudinal smooth muscle at all gestational ages, but changes in intracellular localization were observed in late gestation with a staining pattern similar to alpha-actin, suggesting an association with myofibrils. Our study suggests an increase in FP-receptor protein in myometrium with advancing gestation and a marked elevation at term. This supports a role for uterine FP receptors in mediation of uterine contractility at term.
    Biology of Reproduction 10/2001; 65(4):1029-37. · 4.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    D J Macphee, S J Lye
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The dramatic increase in uterine growth during late pregnancy and the generation of labor contractions require dynamic remodeling of myometrial smooth muscle-ECM interactions. In many tissues, such interactions are provided by focal adhesions; however, there are no data as to the expression of focal adhesion proteins or of focal adhesion signaling in the myometrium. In this study, we show that tyrosine phosphorylation of myometrial FAK (FAK-P-Tyr) and of its downstream substrate, paxillin, exhibited a >10-fold increase during late pregnancy (days 15-22 of pregnancy) with each exhibiting a dramatic fall in P-Tyr on day 23 in association with the onset of labor. These changes in FAK-P-Tyr were paralleled by changes in FAK enzyme activity. Activated ERK1 and ERK2 expression remained relatively unchanged from day 15 to day 23, but decreased markedly 1 day post partum. Treatment of late pregnant rats with progesterone prevented the fall in FAK-P-Tyr/enzyme activity on day 23, and also blocked the onset of labor. These data suggest that progesterone (which decreases at term) modulates myometrial FAK activity/focal adhesion signaling and that these changes may underlie the tremendous remodeling that must occur in order for this muscle to develop optimal contractile activity during labor.
    Endocrinology 01/2000; 141(1):274-83. · 4.72 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

130 Citations
1 Download
724 Views
47.49 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2011
    • Memorial University of Newfoundland
      • • Division of BioMedical Sciences
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
  • 2000–2001
    • Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada