[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Islets encapsulated in immunoprotective microcapsules are being proposed as an alter-native for insulin therapy for treatment of type 1 diabetes. Many materials for producing microcapsules have been proposed but only alginate does currently qualify as ready for clinical application. However, many different alginate-based capsule systems do exist. A pitfall in the field is that these systems are applied without a targeted strategy with vary-ing degrees of success as a consequence. In the current review, the different properties of alginate-based systems are reviewed in view of future application in humans. The use of allogeneic and xenogeneic islet sources are discussed with acknowledging the differ-ent degrees of immune protection the encapsulation system should supply. Also issues such as oxygen supply and the role of danger associated molecular patterns (DAMPS) in immune activation are being reviewed. A common property of the encapsulation systems is that alginates for medical application should have an extreme high degree of purity and lack pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) to avoid activation of the recipient's immune system. Up to now, non-inflammatory alginates are only produced on a lab-scale and are not yet commercially available. This is a major pitfall on the route to human appli-cation. Also the lack of predictive pre-clinical models is a burden. The principle differences between relevant innate and adaptive immune responses in humans and other species are reviewed. Especially, the extreme differences between the immune system of non-human primates and humans are cumbersome as non-human primates may not be predictive of the immune responses in humans, as opposed to the popular belief of regulatory agen-cies. Current insight is that although the technology is versatile major research efforts are required for identifying the mechanical, immunological, and physico-chemical requirements that alginate-based capsules should meet for successful human application.
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 08/2014; 2(26):1-15.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia is characterized by deficient trophoblast invasion and spiral artery remodeling, a process governed by inflammatory cells. High levels of the danger signal extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) have been found in women with preeclampsia and infusion of ATP in pregnant rats induced preeclampsia-like symptoms such as albuminuria and placental ischemia. We hypothesized that ATP inhibits trophoblast invasion and spiral artery remodeling and affects macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells present in the rat mesometrial triangle.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Changes in the systemic immune response are found in preeclampsia. This may be related to high extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels. The question arose whether ATP could affect immune responses in pregnancy. Previously, we investigated whether ATP affected monocyte activation and subpopulations. Here, we investigated ATP-induced changes in other immune cell populations in pregnant rats, systemically and in the kidney, an affected organ in preeclampsia.
Using flow cytometry or immunohistochemistry, blood and kidney leukocytes were studied in pregnant and non-pregnant rats at different intervals after ATP or saline infusion.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) infusion induced increased peripheral blood non-classical monocytes and decreased T lymphocyte subsets in pregnant rats only, higher glomerular macrophage and T lymphocyte numbers in non-pregnant animals 1 day after infusion, and higher glomerular macrophage numbers in pregnant rats 6 days after infusion.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) infusion in pregnant rats induced a pregnancy-specific inflammatory response. Increased ATP levels could potentially contribute to development of the inflammatory response of preeclampsia.
American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 05/2014; · 3.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dietary fiber intake is associated with lower incidence and mortality from disease, but the underlying mechanisms of these protective effects are unclear. We hypothesized that β2→1-fructan dietary fibers confer protection on intestinal epithelial cell barrier function via Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), and we studied whether β2→1-fructan chain-length differences affect this process. T84 human intestinal epithelial cell monolayers were incubated with 4 β2→1-fructan formulations of different chain-length compositions and were stimulated with the proinflammatory phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) was analyzed by electric cell substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) as a measure for tight junction-mediated barrier function. To confirm TLR2 involvement in barrier modulation by β2→1-fructans, ECIS experiments were repeated using TLR2 blocking antibody. After preincubation of T84 cells with short-chain β2→1-fructans, the decrease in TEER as induced by PMA (62.3 ± 5.2%, P < 0.001) was strongly attenuated (15.2 ± 8.8%, P < 0.01). However, when PMA was applied first, no effect on recovery was observed during addition of the fructans. By blocking TLR2 on the T84 cells, the protective effect of short-chain β2→1-fructans was substantially inhibited. Stimulation of human embryonic kidney human TLR2 reporter cells with β2→1-fructans induced activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), confirming that β2→1-fructans are specific ligands for TLR2. To conclude, β2→1-fructans exert time-dependent and chain length-dependent protective effects on the T84 intestinal epithelial cell barrier mediated via TLR2. These results suggest that TLR2 located on intestinal epithelial cells could be a target of β2→1-fructan-mediated health effects.
Journal of Nutrition 04/2014; · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pregnant individuals of many species, including humans, are more sensitive to various bacteria or their products as compared with non-pregnant individuals. Pregnant individuals also respond differently to different bacteria or their products. Therefore, in the present study, we evaluated whether the increased sensitivity of pregnant women to bacterial products and their heterogeneous response to different bacteria was associated with differences in whole blood cytokine production upon stimulation with bacteria or their products.
Blood samples were taken from healthy pregnant and age-matched non-pregnant women and ex vivo stimulated with bacteria or LPS from Porphyromonas Gingivalis (Pg) or E-coli for 24 hrs. TNFα, IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-12 and IL-10 were measured using a multiplex Luminex system.
We observed a generally lower cytokine production after stimulation with Pg bacteria or it's LPS as compared with E-coli bacteria. However, there was also an effect of pregnancy upon cytokine production: in pregnant women the production of IL-6 upon Pg stimulation was decreased as compared with non-pregnant women. After stimulation with E-coli, the production of IL-12 and TNFα was decreased in pregnant women as compared with non-pregnant women.
Our results showed that cytokine production upon bacterial stimulation of whole blood differed between pregnant and non-pregnant women, showing that the increased sensitivity of pregnant women may be due to differences in cytokine production. Moreover, pregnancy also affected whole blood cytokine production upon Pg or E-coli stimulation differently. Thus, the different responses of pregnant women to different bacteria or their products may result from variations in cytokine production.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86355. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transplantation of microencapsulated cells has been proposed as a cure for many types of endocrine disorders. Alginate-based microcapsules have been used in many of the feasibility studied addressing cure of the endocrine disorders, and different cancer types. Despite years of intensive research it is still not completely understood which factors have to be controlled and documented for achieving adequate mechanical stability. Here we studied the strength and elasticity of microcapsules of different composition with and without cell load. We compared strength (force) versus elasticity (time) required to compress individual microcapsule to 60% deformation. It is demonstrated that the alginate viscosity, the size of the beads, the alginate type, the gelling time, the storage solution and the cell load are dominant factors in determining the final strength of alginate-based microcapsules while the type of gelling ion, the polyamino acid incubation time, the type of polyamino acid and the culturing time determines the elasticity of the alginate-based microcapsules. Our data underpin the essence of documenting the above mentioned factors in studies on encapsulated cells as mechanical stability is an essential factor in the success and failure of encapsulated grafts.
Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 01/2014; · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant brain tumors including glioblastoma are incurable cancers. Over the last years a number of promising novel treatment approaches have been investigated including the application of inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinases and downstream targets, immune-based therapies and anti-angiogenic agents. Unfortunately so far the major clinical trials in glioblastoma patients did not deliver clear clinical benefits. Systemic brain tumor therapy is seriously hampered by poor drug delivery to the brain. Although in glioblastoma, the blood brain barrier is disrupted in the tumor core, the major part of the tumor is largely protected by an intact blood brain barrier. Active cytotoxic compounds encapsulated into liposomes, micelles, and nanoparticles constitute novel treatment options because they can be designed to facilitate entry into the brain parenchyma. In the case of biological therapeutics, encapsulation of therapeutic cells and their implantation into the surgical cavity represents another promising approach. This technology provides long-term release of the active compound at the tumor site and reduces side effects associated with systemic delivery. The proof of principle of encapsulated cell factories has been successfully demonstrated in experimental animal models and should pave the way for clinical application. Here we review the challenges associated with the treatment of brain tumors and the different encapsulation options available for drugs and living cells, with an emphasis on alginate based cell encapsulation technology.
Advanced drug delivery reviews 01/2014; · 11.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Paenibacillus larvae, the causal agent of American Foulbrood disease (AFB), affects honey bee health worldwide. The present study investigates the effect of bodily fluids from honey bee larvae on growth velocity and transcription for this Gram-positive, endospore-forming bacterium. It was observed that larval fluids accelerate the growth and lead to higher bacterial densities during stationary phase. The genome-wide transcriptional response of in vitro cultures of P. larvae to larval fluids was studied by microarray technology. Early responses of P. larvae to larval fluids are characterized by a general down-regulation of oligopeptide and sugar transporter genes, as well as by amino acid and carbohydrate metabolic genes, among others. Late responses are dominated by general down-regulation of sporulation genes and up-regulation of phage-related genes. A theoretical mechanism of carbon catabolite repression is discussed.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e89175. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia is an important complication in pregnancy, characterized by hypertension and proteinuria in the second half of pregnancy. Generalized activation of the inflammatory response is thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia. Monocytes may play a central role in this inflammatory response. Monocytes are short lived cells that mature in the circulation and invade into tissues upon an inflammatory stimulus and develop into macrophages. Macrophages are abundantly present in the endometrium and play a role in implantation and placentation in normal pregnancy. In pre-eclampsia, these macrophages appear to be present in larger numbers and are also activated. In the present review, we focused on the role of monocytes and macrophages in the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Preeclampsia is characterized by deficient trophoblast invasion and spiral artery remodeling, a process governed by inflammatory cells. High levels of the danger signal extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) have been found in women with preeclampsia and infusion of ATP in pregnant rats induced preeclampsia-like symptoms such as albuminuria and placental ischemia. We hypothesized that ATP inhibits trophoblast invasion and spiral artery remodeling and affects macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells present in the rat mesometrial triangle.
Pregnant rats were infused with ATP or saline (control) on day 14 of pregnancy. Rats were sacrificed on day 15, 17 or 20 of pregnancy and placentas with mesometrial triangle were collected. Sections were stained for trophoblast cells, α-smooth muscle actin (spiral artery remodeling), NK cells and various macrophage populations. Expression of various cytokines in the mesometrial triangle was analyzed using real-time RT-PCR.
ATP infusion decreased interstitial trophoblast invasion on day 17 and spiral artery remodeling on day 17 and 20, increased activated tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive macrophages on day 15, decreased NK cells on day 17 and 20, and decreased inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)-positive and CD206-positive macrophages and TNF-α and IL-33 expression at the end of pregnancy (day 20).
Interstitial trophoblast invasion and spiral artery remodeling in the rat mesometrial triangle were decreased by infusion of ATP. These ATP-induced modifications were preceded by an increase in activated TRAP-positive macrophages and coincided with NK cell numbers, suggesting that they are involved.
Trophoblast invasion and spiral artery remodeling may be inhibited by ATP-induced activated macrophages and decreased NK cells in the mesometrial triangle in rat pregnancy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the past two decades, many polymers have been proposed for producing immunoprotective capsules. Examples include the natural polymers alginate, agarose, chitosan, cellulose, collagen, and xanthan and synthetic polymers poly(ethylene glycol), polyvinyl alcohol, polyurethane, poly(ether-sulfone), polypropylene, sodium polystyrene sulfate, and polyacrylate poly(acrylonitrile-sodium methallylsulfonate). The biocompatibility of these polymers is discussed in terms of tissue responses in both the host and matrix to accommodate the functional survival of the cells. Cells should grow and function in the polymer network as adequately as in their natural environment. This is critical when therapeutic cells from scarce cadaveric donors are considered, such as pancreatic islets. Additionally, the cell mass in capsules is discussed from the perspective of emerging new insights into the release of so-called danger-associated molecular pattern molecules by clumps of necrotic therapeutic cells. We conclude that despite two decades of intensive research, drawing conclusions about which polymer is most adequate for clinical application is still difficult. This is because of the lack of documentation on critical information, such as the composition of the polymer, the presence or absence of confounding factors that induce immune responses, toxicity to enveloped cells, and the permeability of the polymer network. Only alginate has been studied extensively and currently qualifies for application. This review also discusses critical issues that are not directly related to polymers and are not discussed in the other reviews in this issue, such as the functional performance of encapsulated cells in vivo. Physiological endocrine responses may indeed not be expected because of the many barriers that the metabolites encounter when traveling from the blood stream to the enveloped cells and back to circulation. However, despite these diffusion barriers, many studies have shown optimal regulation, allowing us to conclude that encapsulated grafts do not always follow nature's course but are still a possible solution for many endocrine disorders for which the minute-to-minute regulation of metabolites is mandatory.
Advanced drug delivery reviews 11/2013; · 11.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alginate-based microcapsules are used for immunoisolation of cells to release therapeutics on a minute-to-minute basis. Unfortunately, alginate-based microcapsules are suffering from varying degrees of success, which is usually attributed to differences in tissue responses. This results in failure of the therapeutic cells. In the present study we show that commercial, crude alginates may contain pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which are recognized by the sensors of the innate immune system. Known sensors are Toll-like receptors (TLRs), NOD receptors, and C-type lectins. By using cell-lines with a non-functional adaptor molecule essential in toll-like receptor signaling, i.e. MyD88, we were able to show that alginates signal mainly via MyD88. This was found for low-G, intermediate-G, and high-G alginates applied in calcium-beads, barium-beads as well as in alginate-PLL-alginate capsules. These alginates did stimulate TLRs 2, 5, 8, and 9 but not TLR4 (LPS receptor). Upon implantation in rats these alginates provoked a strong inflammatory response resulting in fibrosis of the capsules. Analysis demonstrated that commercial alginates contain the PAMPs peptidoglycan, lipoteichoic acid, and flagellin. By applying purification procedures, these PAMPs were largely removed. This was associated with deletion of the inflammatory tissue responses as confirmed by an implantation experiment in rats. Our data also show that alginate itself does not provoke TLR mediated responses. We were able to unravel the sensor mechanism by which contaminants in alginates may provoke inflammatory responses.
Journal of Controlled Release 09/2013; · 7.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24915372
Beneficial effects of inulin-type fructans are discussed in view of studies that applied the oligosaccharides in colon cancer, chronic inflammatory diseases, vaccination efficacy, and prevention of infection and allergy. In the present paper we discuss their immunomodulating effects. It is suggested that immunomodulation is elicited through indirect and direct mechanisms. Indirect mechanisms encompass stimulation of growth and activity of lactic acid bacteria, but can also be caused by fermentation products of these bacteria i.e. short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Evidence for direct effects on the immune system generally remains to be confirmed. It is suggested that inulin-type fructans can be detected by gut dendritic cells (DCs), through receptor ligation of Pathogen Recognition Receptors (PRRs) such as Toll Like Receptors (TLRs), nucleotide oligomerization domain containing proteins (NODs), C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), and galectins, eventually inducing pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. DCs may also exert antigen presenting capacity towards effector cells, such as B cells, T cells, and natural killer (NK) cells locally, or in the spleen. Inulin-type fructans may also ligate PRRs expressed on gut epithelium, which could influence its barrier function. Inulin-type fructans are potent immunomodulating food components that hold many promises for prevention of disease. However, more studies into the mechanisms, dose-effect relations, and structure-function studies are required.
CRC critical reviews in food science and nutrition 08/2013;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Probiotic bacteria harbor effector molecules that confer health benefits, but also adaptation factors that enable them to persist in the gastrointestinal tract of the consumer. To study these adaptation factors, an antibiotic-resistant derivative of the probiotic model organism Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 was repeatedly exposed to the mouse digestive tract by three consecutive rounds of (re)feeding of the longest persisting colonies. This exposure to the murine intestine allowed the isolation of intestine-adapted derivatives of the original strain that displayed prolonged digestive tract residence time. Re-sequencing of the genomes of these adapted derivatives revealed single nucleotide polymorphisms as well as a single nucleotide insertion in comparison with the genome of the original WCFS1 strain. Detailed in silico analysis of the identified genomic modifications pinpointed that alterations in the coding regions of genes encoding cell envelope associated functions and energy metabolism appeared to be beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract survival of L. plantarum WCFS1. This work demonstrates the feasibility of experimental evolution for the enhancement of the gastrointestinal residence time of probiotic strains, while full-genome resequencing of the adapted isolates provided clues towards the bacterial functions involved. Enhanced gastrointestinal residence is industrially relevant because it enhances the efficacy of the delivery of viable probiotics in situ.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell encapsulation has already shown its high potential and holds the promise for future cell therapies to enter the clinics as a large scale treatment option for various types of diseases. The advancement in cell biology towards this goal has to be complemented with functional biomaterials suitable for cell encapsulation. This cannot be achieved without understanding the close correlation between cell performance and properties of microspheres. The ongoing challenges in the field of cell encapsulation require a critical view on techniques and approaches currently utilized to characterize microspheres. This review deals with both principal subjects of microspheres characterization in the cell encapsulation field: physico-chemical characterization and biocompatibility. The up-to-day knowledge is summarized and discussed with the focus to identify missing knowledge and uncertainties, and to propose the mandatory next steps in characterization of microspheres for cell encapsulation. The primary conclusion of this review is that further success in development of microspheres for cell therapies cannot be accomplished without careful selection of characterization techniques, which are employed in conjunction with biological tests.
Advanced drug delivery reviews 07/2013; · 11.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are still many factors to discover to explain the low success rates of islet allografts. In this study we demonstrate that specific subpopulations of alloreactive NK-cells may be involved in failure of islet allografts. By performing allotransplantation in rats (n = 13) we observed peripheral expansion and infiltration of alloreactive Ly49i2⁺ NK cells in the grafts. An effective strategy in rats to enhance the expansion of Ly49i2⁺ NK cells is performing a rat cytomegalovirus infection (n = 6). Cytomegalovirus infection was associated with an early expansion of the Ly49i2⁺ NK cells and accelerated islet graft failure. The Ly49i2⁺ NK are both alloreactive and involved in virus clearance. The expansion of this subpopulation could not be blocked by ciclosporine A immunosuppression. Also alloreactive KLRH1⁺ NK-cells infiltrated the grafts, but non?alloreactive NKR-P1B⁺ cells were not observed in the islet allografts. Perforin staining of the infiltrating NK cells demonstrated the cytotoxic capacity of these cells. Our data suggest a role for this NK subpopulation in rat islet allograft destruction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alginate-based microcapsules are being proposed for treatment of many types of diseases. A major obstacle however in the successes is that these capsules are suffering from large lab-to-lab variations. To make the process more reproducible we propose to cover the surface of alginate-capsules with diblock polymers that can form polymer brushes. In the present study we describe the step-wise considerations for successful application of diblock copolymer of polyethylene glycol and poly-L-lysine on the surface of alginate-beads. Special procedures had to be designed as alginate-beads are hydrophilic and most protocols are designed for hydrophobic biomaterials. The successful attachment of diblock copolymer and the presence of PEG blocks on the surface of the capsules were studied by fluorescence microscopy. Longer time periods, i.e. 30-60 min are required to achieve saturation of the surface. The block lengths influenced the strength of the capsules. Shorter PLL blocks resulted in less stable capsules. Adequate permeability of the capsules was achieved with PEG454 -b-PLL100 diblock copolymers. The capsules were a barrier for immunoglobulin-G. The PEG454 -b-PLL100 capsules have similar mechanical properties as PLL capsules. Minor immune activation of NF-κB in THP-1 monocytes was observed with both PLL and PEG454 -b-PLL100 capsules prepared from purified alginate. Our results show that we can successfully apply block copolymers on the surface of hydrophilic alginate beads without interfering with the physico-chemical properties.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 07/2013; · 2.83 Impact Factor