Nicolae Simionescu Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology
Recent publications
The improved drug delivery systems (DDS) are needed for the targeted delivery of their therapeutic cargo (biologically active protein/peptide molecules, nucleic acids, vaccines, etc.) to diseased cells. Thus, we aimed to develop magnetite nanoparticles (Fe3O4), stabilized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and decorated (surface-functionalized) with folic acid (FA) (Fe3O4@[email protected]) to ensure targeted internalization in cells expressing the folic acid receptors (FR). The Fe3O4@[email protected] nanoparticles were synthesized by co-precipitation in a one-pot methodology. Curcumin (Curc), a polyphenol with anti-tumoral activity, was loaded on the nanoparticles, and FA-targeted (Fe3O4@[email protected]@Curc) and non-targeted (Fe3O4@[email protected]) systems were obtained. The internalization of Fe3O4@[email protected]@Curc and Fe3O4@[email protected] nanoparticles was determined in two tumor cell lines, the FR-positive MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cell line and A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cell line, expressing a low level of FR. The results showed that MCF-7 cells internalize FA-functionalized nanoparticles to a greater extent than non-targeted ones and also than A549 cells. The competitive studies performed in the presence of FA in excess suggested that internalization is an FR-dependent process. The increased internalization of Fe3O4@[email protected]@Curc nanoparticles in MCF-7 cells is correlated with increased cytotoxicity in this cell line compared to A549 cells. In conclusion, the FA-functionalized magnetic systems can ensure a better internalization of the nanoparticles and can be used to deliver various therapeutic agents, both in cancer treatment and also in the treatment of other inflammation-associated diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, osteoarthritis, Crohn's disease or atherosclerosis.
Glioblastoma (GB) is the most aggressive and recurrent form of brain cancer in adults. We hypothesized that the identification of biomarkers such as certain microRNAs (miRNAs) and the circulating microvesicles (MVs) that transport them could be key to establishing GB progression, recurrence and therapeutic response. For this purpose, circulating MVs were isolated from the plasma of GB patients (before and after surgery) and of healthy subjects and characterized by flow cytometry. OpenArray profiling and the individual quantification of selected miRNAs in plasma and MVs was performed, followed by target genes’ prediction and in silico survival analysis. It was found that MVs’ parameters (number, EGFRvIII and EpCAM) decreased after the surgical resection of GB tumors, but the inter-patient variability was high. The expression of miR-106b-5p, miR-486-3p, miR-766-3p and miR-30d-5p in GB patients’ MVs was restored to control-like levels after surgery: miR-106b-5p, miR-486-3p and miR-766-3p were upregulated, while miR-30d-5p levels were downregulated after surgical resection. MiR-625-5p was only identified in MVs isolated from GB patients before surgery and was not detected in plasma. Target prediction and pathway analysis showed that the selected miRNAs regulate genes involved in cancer pathways, including glioma. In conclusion, miR-625-5p shows potential as a biomarker for GB regression or recurrence, but further in-depth studies are needed.
Apolipoprotein A-II (apoA-II) is the second most abundant apolipoprotein in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles, playing an important role in lipid metabolism. Human and murine apoA-II proteins have dissimilar properties, partially because human apoA-II is dimeric whereas the murine homolog is a monomer, suggesting that the role of apoA-II may be quite different in humans and mice. As a component of HDL, apoA-II influences lipid metabolism, being directly or indirectly involved in vascular diseases. Clinical and epidemiological studies resulted in conflicting findings regarding the proatherogenic or atheroprotective role of apoA-II. Human apoA-II deficiency has little influence on lipoprotein levels with no obvious clinical consequences, while murine apoA-II deficiency causes HDL deficit in mice. In humans, an increased plasma apoA-II concentration causes hypertriglyceridemia and lowers HDL levels. This dyslipidemia leads to glucose intolerance, and the ensuing high blood glucose enhances apoA-II transcription, generating a vicious circle that may cause type 2 diabetes (T2D). ApoA-II is also used as a biomarker in various diseases, such as pancreatic cancer. Herein, we provide a review of the most recent findings regarding the roles of apoA-II and its functions in various physiological processes and disease states, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, amyloidosis, hepatitis, insulin resistance, obesity, and T2D.
Background Cardiovascular diseases are still the main cause of death worldwide. Our aim was to analyse the link between miR-223-3p levels, dysfunctional HDL and the age of patients with carotid artery stenosis (CAS).Methods and resultsThirty-two CAS patients enrolled for endarterectomy were divided in 2 groups: aged over 65 years (n = 19) and under 65 years (n = 13). Plasma samples and atherosclerotic plaques from the carotid artery were collected from all patients. Plaque levels of miR-223-3p and its primary transcript (pri-miR-223) were assessed, together with Drosha, Dicer, apolipoprotein (apo)A-I, apoE and myeloperoxidase (MPO) gene expression. In the plasma and plaques, miR-223-3p expression levels were significantly increased in CAS patients over 65 years. Positive correlations between plaque miR-223-3p and pri-miR-223 levels with Drosha, apoA-I and MPO expression were observed. Significantly increased miR-223-3p levels in the plasma of CAS patients over 65 years were measured. Significant correlations between plasma miR-223-3p levels and HDL-related proteins were determined. The variance of plasma miR-223-3p levels was predicted significantly by the multiple regression models using either age, clinical variables, blood lipids or oxidative and inflammatory parameters. Receiver operator characteristic analysis revealed that plasma miR-223-3p levels and HDL-related proteins (MPO activity/apoA-I ratio, MPO specific activity) were correlated with advanced age.Conclusions Taken together, these data suggest that plasma levels of miR-223-3p are independently associated with ageing in CAS patients and that, correlated with parameters associated with dysfunctional HDL, could predict the aggravation of CAS in elderly patients.
Background: Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is an anti-atherosclerotic protein associated with almost all plasma lipoproteins. Fullerenol (Full-OH) contains the fullerene hydrophobic cage and several hydroxyl groups that could be derivatized to covalently bind various molecules. Herein, we aimed to produce fullerenol-based nanoparticles carrying apoE3 (Full-apoE) and test their anti-atherosclerotic effects. Methods: Full-apoE nanoparticles were obtained from Full-OH activated to reactive cyanide ester fullerenol derivative that was further reacted with apoE protein. To test their effect, the nanoparticles were administered to apoE-deficient mice for 24 h or 3 weeks. ApoE part of the nanoparticles was determined by Western Blot and quantified by ELISA. Atherosclerotic plaque size was evaluated after Oil Red O staining and the gene expression was determined by Real-Time PCR. Results: Full-apoE nanoparticles were detected mainly in the liver, and to a lesser extent in the kidney, lung, and brain. In the plasma of the Full-apoE-treated mice, apoE was found associated with very-low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins. Treatment for 3 weeks with Full-apoE nanoparticles decreased plasma cholesterol levels, increased the expression of apolipoprotein A-I, ABCA1 transporter, scavenger receptor-B1, and sortilin, and reduced the evolution of the atheromatous plaques in the atherosclerotic mice. Conclusions: In experimental atherosclerosis, the administration of Full-apoE nanoparticles limits the evolution of the atheromatous plaques by decreasing the plasma cholesterol level and increasing the expression of major proteins involved in lipid metabolism. Thus, they represent a novel promising strategy for atherosclerosis therapy.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small anuclear vesicles, delimited by a lipid bilayer, released by almost all cell types, carrying functionally active biological molecules that can be transferred to the neighbouring or distant cells, inducing phenotypical and functional changes, relevant in various physio-pathological conditions. The microRNAs are the most significant active components transported by EVs, with crucial role in intercellular communication and significant effects on recipient cells. They may also server as novel valuable biomarkers for the diagnosis of metabolic disorders. Moreover, EVs are supposed to mediate type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk and its progress. The T2DM development is preceded by prediabetes, a state that is associated with early forms of nephropathy and neuropathy, chronic kidney disease, diabetic retinopathy, and increased risk of macrovascular disease. Although the interest of scientists was focused not only on the pathogenesis of diabetes, but also on the early diagnosis, little is known about EVs-incorporated microRNA involvement in prediabetes state and its microvascular and macrovascular complications. Here, we survey the biogenesis, classification, content, biological functions and the most popular primary isolation methods of EVs, review the EVs—associated microRNA profiling connexion with early stages of diabetes and discuss the role of EVs containing specific microRNAs in prediabetes complications.
A wide variety of metal-based compounds have been obtained and studied for their antitumor activity since the intensely used cytostatic drugs (e.g., cisplatin) failed to accomplish their expected pharmacological properties. Thus, we aimed to develop a new vanadium-based drug and assess its antitumor properties using the human hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cell line. The compound was synthesized from vanadyl sulfate, DL-valine, and o-vanillin and was spectrally and structurally characterized (UV-Vis, IR, CD, and single-crystal/powder-XRD). Compound stability in biological media, cell uptake, and the interaction with albumin were assessed. The mechanisms of its antitumor activity were determined compared to cisplatin by performing cytotoxicity, oxidative and mitochondrial status, DNA fragmentation, β-Tubulin synthesis investigation, and cell cycle studies. Herein, we developed a macrocyclic tetranuclear oxidovanadium(V) compound, [(VVO)(L)(CH3O)]4, having coordinated four Schiff base (H2L) ligands, 3-methoxysalicylidenvaline. We showed that [(VVO)(L)(CH3O)]4: (i) has pH-dependent stability in biological media, (ii) binds to albumin in a dose-dependent manner, (iii) is taken up by cells in a time-dependent way, (iv) has a higher capacity to induce cell death compared to cisplatin (IC50 = 6 μM vs. 10 μM), by altering the oxidative and mitochondrial status in HepG2 cells. Unlike cisplatin, which blocks the cell cycle in the S-phase, the new vanadium-based compound arrests it in S and G2/M-phase, whereas no differences in the induction of DNA fragmentation and reduction of β-Tubulin synthesis between the two were determined. Thus, the [(VVO)(L)(CH3O)]4 antitumor mechanism involved corroboration between the generation of oxidative species, mitochondrial dysfunction, degradation of DNA, cell cycle arrest in the S and G2/M-phase, and β-Tubulin synthesis reduction. Our studies demonstrate the potent antitumor activity of [(VVO)(L)(CH3O)]4 and propose it as an attractive candidate for anticancer therapy.
The number and function of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are reduced in diabetes, contributing to deteriorated vascular repair and the occurrence of cardiovascular complications. Here, we present the results of treating early diabetic dyslipidemic mice or dyslipidemic with disease-matched EPCs modified to overexpress VLA4 (VLA4-EPCs) as compared with the treatment of EPCs transfected with GFP (GFP-EPCs) as well as EPCs from healthy animals. Organ imaging of injected PKH26-stained cells showed little pulmonary first-pass effects and distribution in highly vascularized organs, with splenic removal from circulation, mostly in non-diabetic animals. Plasma measurements showed pronounced dyslipidemia in all animals and glycaemia indicative of diabetes in streptozotocin-injected animals. Echocardiographic measurements performed 3 days after the treatment showed significantly improved aortic valve function in animals treated with VLA4-overexpressing EPCs compared with GFP-EPCs, and similar results in the groups treated with healthy EPCs and VLA4-EPCs. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed active inflammation and remodelling in all groups but different profiles, with higher MMP9 and lower P-selectin levels in GFP-EPCs, treated animals. In conclusion, our experiments show that genetically modified allogeneic EPCs might be a safe treatment option, with bioavailability in the desired target compartments and the ability to preserve aortic valve function in dyslipidemia and diabetes.
We herein analyzed all available protein–protein interfaces of the immune complexes from the Protein Data Bank whose antigens belong to pathogens or cancers that are modulated by fever in mammalian hosts. We also included, for comparison, protein interfaces from immune complexes that are not significantly modulated by the fever response. We highlight the distribution of amino acids at these viral, bacterial, protozoan and cancer epitopes, and at their corresponding paratopes that belong strictly to monoclonal antibodies. We identify the “hotspots”, i.e. residues that are highly connected at such interfaces, and assess the structural, kinetic and thermodynamic parameters responsible for complex formation. We argue for an evolutionary pressure for the types of residues at these protein interfaces that may explain the role of fever as a selective force for optimizing antibody binding to antigens.
Prognosis after myocardial infarction (MI) varies greatly depending on the extent of damaged area and the management of biological processes during recovery. Reportedly, the inhibition of the pro-inflammatory S100A9 reduces myocardial damage after MI. We hypothesize that a S100A9 blockade induces changes of major signaling pathways implicated in post-MI healing. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics and gene analyses of infarcted mice left ventricle were performed. The S100A9 blocker (ABR-23890) was given for 3 days after coronary ligation. At 3 and 7 days post-MI, ventricle samples were analyzed versus control and Sham-operated mice. Blockade of S100A9 modulated the expressed proteins involved in five biological processes: leukocyte cell–cell adhesion, regulation of the muscle cell apoptotic process, regulation of the intrinsic apoptotic signaling pathway, sarcomere organization and cardiac muscle hypertrophy. The blocker induced regulation of 36 proteins interacting with or targeted by the cellular tumor antigen p53, prevented myocardial compensatory hypertrophy, and reduced cardiac markers of post-ischemic stress. The blockade effect was prominent at day 7 post-MI when the quantitative features of the ventricle proteome were closer to controls. Blockade of S100A9 restores key biological processes altered post-MI. These processes could be valuable new pharmacological targets for the treatment of ischemic heart. Mass spectrometry data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD033683.
The generation of vesicles is a constitutive attribute of mitochondria inherited from bacterial ancestors. The physiological conditions and mild oxidative stress promote oxidation and dysfunction of certain proteins and lipids within the mitochondrial membranes; these constituents are subsequently packed as small mitochondrial‐derived vesicles (MDVs) (70–150 nm in diameter) and are transported intracellularly to lysosomes and peroxisomes to be degraded. In this way, MDVs remove the damaged mitochondrial components, preserve mitochondrial structural and functional integrity and restore homeostasis. An outline of the current knowledge on MDVs seems to be necessary for understanding the potential impact of this research area in cellular (patho)physiology. The present synopsis is an attempt towards the accomplishment of this demand, highlighting also the still unclear issues related to MDVs. Here, we discuss (i) MDVs budding and generation (molecules and mechanisms), (ii) the distinct cargoes packed and transported by MDVs, (iii) the MDVs trafficking pathways and (iv) the biological role of MDVs, from quality controllers to the involvement in organellar crosstalk, mitochondrial antigen presentation and peroxisome de novo biogenesis. These complex roles uncover also mitochondria integration into the cellular environment. As the therapeutic exploitation of MDVs is currently limited, future insights into MDVs cell biology are expected to direct to novel diagnostic tools and treatments.
The cellular internalization of drug carriers occurs via different endocytic pathways that ultimately involve the endosomes and the lysosomes, organelles where the pH value drops to 6.0 and 5.0, respectively. We aimed to design and characterize pH/temperature-responsive carriers for the effective delivery of the anti-tumoral drug doxorubicin. To this purpose, poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-vinylimidazole) was synthesized as an attractive pH/temperature-sensitive copolymer. Microspheres made of this copolymer, loaded with doxorubicin (MS-DXR), disintegrate in monodisperse nanospheres (NS-DXR) under conditions similar to that found in the bloodstream (pH = 7.4, temperature of 36 °C) releasing a small amount of payload. However, in environments that simulate the endosomal and lysosomal conditions, nanospheres solubilize, releasing the entire amount of drug. We followed the NS-DXR internalization using two cancer cell lines, hepatic carcinoma HepG2 cells and lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells. The data showed that NS-DXR are internalized to a greater extent by HepG2 cells than A549 cells, and this correlated with increased cytotoxicity induced by NS-DXR in HepG2 cells compared with A549 cells. Moreover, NS-DXR particles do not cause hemolysis and erythrocytes aggregation. Administered in vivo, NS-DXR localized in the liver and kidneys of mice, and the loading of DXR into NS resulted in the reduced renal clearance of DXR. In conclusion, the newly developed poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-vinyl imidazole) particles are biocompatible and may be introduced as carriers for doxorubicin to hepatic tumors.
Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is a progressive inflammatory disorder characterized by extracellular matrix remodeling and valvular interstitial cells (VIC) osteodifferentiation leading to valve leaflets calcification and impairment movement. Runx2, the master transcription factor involved in VIC osteodifferentiation, modulates the expression of other osteogenic molecules. Previously, we have demonstrated that the osteoblastic phenotypic shift of cultured VIC is impeded by Runx2 silencing using fullerene (C60)-polyethyleneimine (PEI)/short hairpin (sh)RNA-Runx2 (shRunx2) polyplexes. Since the use of polyplexes for in vivo delivery is limited by their instability in the plasma and the non-specific tissue interactions, we designed and obtained targeted, lipid-enveloped polyplexes (lipopolyplexes) suitable for (1) systemic administration and (2) targeted delivery of shRunx2 to osteoblast-differentiated VIC (oVIC). Vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 expressed on the surface of oVIC was used as a target, and a peptide with high affinity for VCAM-1 was coupled to the surface of lipopolyplexes encapsulating C60-PEI/shRunx2 (V-LPP/shRunx2). We report here that V-LPP/shRunx2 lipopolyplexes are cyto- and hemo-compatible and specifically taken up by oVIC. These lipopolyplexes are functional as they downregulate the Runx2 gene and protein expression, and their uptake leads to a significant decrease in the expression of osteogenic molecules (OSP, BSP, BMP-2). These results identify V-LPP/shRunx2 as a new, appropriately directed vehicle that could be instrumental in developing novel strategies for blocking the progression of CAVD using a targeted nanomedicine approach.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is a key regulator of calcium, phosphate and vitamin D metabolism. Although it has been reported that aortic valve calcification was positively associated with PTH, the pathophysiological mechanisms and the direct effects of PTH on human valvular cells remain unclear. Here we investigated if PTH induces human valvular endothelial cells (VEC) dysfunction that in turn could impact the switch of valvular interstitial cells (VIC) to an osteoblastic phenotype. Human VEC exposed to PTH were analyzed by qPCR, western blot, Seahorse, ELISA and immunofluorescence. Our results showed that exposure of VEC to PTH affects VEC metabolism and functions, modifications that were accompanied by the activation of p38MAPK and ERK1/2 signaling pathways and by an increased expression of osteogenic molecules (BMP-2, BSP, osteocalcin and Runx2). The impact of dysfunctional VEC on VIC was investigated by exposure of VIC to VEC secretome, and the results showed that VIC upregulate molecules associated with osteogenesis (BMP-2/4, osteocalcin and TGF-β1) and downregulate collagen I and III. In summary, our data show that PTH induces VEC dysfunction, which further stimulates VIC to differentiate into a pro-osteogenic pathological phenotype related to the calcification process. These findings shed light on the mechanisms by which PTH participates in valve calcification pathology and suggests that PTH and the treatment of hyperparathyroidism represent a therapeutic strategy to reduce valvular calcification.
Atherosclerosis is a progressive, chronic inflammatory disease of the large arteries caused by the constant accumulation of cholesterol, followed by endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation. We hypothesized that delivery of extracellular vesicles (EVs), recognized for their potential as therapeutic targets and tools, could restore vascular function in atherosclerosis. We explored by comparison the potential beneficial effects of EVs from subcutaneous adipose tissue stem cells (EVs (ADSCs)) or bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (EVs (MSCs)) on the consequences of atherogenic diet on vascular health. Also, the influences of siRNA-targeting Smad2/3 (Smad2/3siRNA) on endothelial dysfunction and its key molecular players were analyzed. For this study, an animal model of atherosclerosis (HH) was transplanted with EVs (ADSCs) or EVs (MSCs) transfected or not with Smad2/3siRNA. For controls, healthy or HH animals were used. The results indicated that by comparison with the HH group, the treatment with EVs(ADSCs) or EVs(MSCs) alone or in combination with Smad2/3siRNA of HH animals induced a significant decrease in the main plasma parameters and a noticeable improvement in the structure and function of the thoracic aorta and carotid artery along with a decrease in the selected molecular and cellular targets mediating their changes in atherosclerosis: 1) a decrease in expression of structural and inflammatory markers COL1A1, α-SMA, Cx43, VCAM-1, and MMP-2; 2) a slight infiltration of total/M1 macrophages and T-cells; 3) a reduced level of cytosolic ROS production; 4) a significant diminution in plasma concentrations of TGF-β1 and Ang II proteins; 5) significant structural and functional improvements (thinning of the arterial wall, increase of the inner diameter, enhanced distensibility, diminished VTI and Vel, and augmented contractile and relaxation responses); 6) a reduced protein expression profile of Smad2/3, ATF-2, and NF-kBp50/p65 and a significant decrease in the expression levels of miR-21, miR-29a, miR-192, miR-200b, miR-210, and miR-146a. We can conclude that 1) stem cell-derived EV therapies, especially the EVs (ADSCs) led to regression of structural and functional changes in the vascular wall and of key orchestrator expression in the atherosclerosis-induced endothelial dysfunction; 2) transfection of EVs with Smad2/3siRNA amplified the ability of EVs(ADSCs) or EVs(MSCs) to regress the inflammation-mediated atherosclerotic process.
Non-apoptotic regulated cell death (ferroptosis and necroptosis) leads to the release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which initiate and perpetuate a non-infectious inflammatory response. We hypothesize that DAMPs and non-apoptotic regulated cell death are critical players of atherosclerotic plaque progression with inadequate response to lipid-lowering treatment. We aimed to uncover the silent mechanisms that govern the existing residual risk of cardiovascular-related mortality in experimental atherosclerosis. Proteomic and genomic approaches were applied on the ascending aorta of hyperlipidemic rabbits and controls with and without lipid-lowering treatment. The hyperlipidemic animals, which presented numerous heterogeneous atherosclerotic lesions, exhibited high concentrations of serum lipids and increased lipid peroxidation oxidative stress markers. The analyses revealed the significant upregulation of DAMPs and proteins implicated in ferroptosis and necroptosis by hyperlipidemia. Some of them did not respond to lipid-lowering treatment. Dysregulation of five proteins involved in non-apoptotic regulated cell death proteins (VDAC1, VDAC3, FTL, TF and PCBP1) and nine associated DAMPs (HSP90AA1, HSP90AB1, ANXA1, LGALS3, HSP90B1, S100A11, FN, CALR, H3-3A) was not corrected by the treatment. These proteins could play a key role in the atherosclerotic silent evolution and may possess an unexplored therapeutic potential. Mass spectrometry data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD026379.
Funding Acknowledgements Type of funding sources: Public grant(s) – EU funding. Main funding source(s): UEFISCDI Background. Left ventricular (LV) remodeling after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is an important predictor of heart failure (HF). Systemic inflammatory response in the acute phase of AMI is of particular interest, while the relation to the remodeling process is still under debate. New imaging techniques derived from speckle tracking echocardiography (STE), such as myocardial work (MW), are attractive tools since they can detect myocardial remodeling before decrease of global LVEF. However, there is insufficient data regarding MW in AMI patients, and its relation to the inflammatory process. Methods. We assessed 57 patients (53 ± 9 years, 45 men, 64% smokers, 59% hypertensive, 54% with type 2 diabetes) with AMI, by clinical, 2D echo, and STE. Biomarkers panel was evaluated within the first 24 hours from admission: hsTpI and CRP. A second visit with clinical and echo assessment was performed at 6-8 weeks from the baseline visit. Exclusion criteria were unstable patients, non-sinus rhythm, significant valvular disease (>grade 2), other significant pathologies leading to decreased life expectancy, and low quality 2DE. At both visits, global longitudinal stain (GLS) and MW by 2DSTE were measured, on top of conventional echo parameters: global work index (GWI), global constructive work (GCW), global wasted work (GWW), global work efficiency (GWE) (Figure 1: upper panel - an example of a patient with increase of GWE from baseline to visit 2 ; lower panel - an example of a patient with decrease of the GWE from baseline to visit 2). Results. At baseline, myocardial necrosis by hsTpI significantly corelated with GLS (r = 0.44, p = 0.001) and MW (GWI: r=-0.44, p = 0.001; GCW: r=-0.40, p = 0.002), but not with LVEF. However, systemic inflammation by CRP did not correlate with LVEF or any of the STE parameters. Interestingly, systemic inflammation by CRP significantly correlated with changes of MW between the two visits: for GWE r=-0.53, p < 0.001; and for GWW r = 0.48, p < 0.001 (Figure 2). A CRP level >28 mg/l was able to predict decrease of GWE from baseline to visit 2. Conclusions. Magnitude of necrosis, expressed by hsTpI, corelates only with GLS and MW parameters, but not with LVEF. CRP level in the acute phase of AMI correlates with myocardial work changes, as an early marker of negative LV remodeling. Abstract Figure 1 Abstract Figure 2
Fish collagen is reported with an increased bioavailability as compared to other sources, the extraction being performed on secondary sources as skin, bones, scales, or fins resulted after fish processing. The aim of the present study was to obtain biocompatible collagen hydrolysates from waste Cyprinus carpio skin, the main aquaculture species in Romania using an inexpensive and “green” neutral hydrolysis process. Neutral hydrolysis of pretreated fish skins performed for 6 h at a temperature of 135 °C and a pressure of 315 kPa produced collagen hydrolysates in 24.6–35.5% yields depending on the adopted pretreatment procedure. The extensive characterization of hydrolysate samples revealed a high purity degree (98% protein content, undetected ash content, pH value in the range 6–7), also confirmed by the absence of undesired aggregates in the characteristic fibril structure as determined by electronic microscopy. A specific collagen hydrolysate random coil structure and the absence of triple helix was determined by FTIR analysis and sustained by CD spectroscopy and X-Ray diffraction. The biocompatibility assessment for the obtained fish collagen hydrolysates revealed no cytotoxic effect on Human keratinocytes, with an 80% cell viability, superior as compared to conventional bovine collagen hydrolysate. Neutral hydrolysis of waste Cyprinus carpio skin yielded collagen hydrolysates with determined characteristics and biocompatibility superior to bovine collagen, suitable for application in foods, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry. Graphic Abstract
Deregulation of microRNA (miRNA) profile has been reportedly linked to the aging process, which is a dominant risk factor for many pathologies. Among the miRNAs with documented roles in aging-related cardiac diseases, miR-18a, -21a, -22, and -29a were mainly associated with hypertrophy and/or fibrosis; however, their relationship to aging was not fully addressed before. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the variations in the expression levels of these miRNAs in the aging process. To this aim, multiple organs were harvested from young (2–3-months-old), old (16–18-months-old), and very old (24–25-months-old) mice, and the abundance of the miRNAs was evaluated by quantitative real-time (RT)-PCR. Our studies demonstrated that miR-21a, miR-22, and miR-29a were upregulated in the aged heart. Among them, miR-29a was highly expressed in many other organs, i.e., the brain, the skeletal muscle, the pancreas, and the kidney, and its expression was further upregulated during the natural aging process. Western blot, immunofluorescence, and xCELLigence analyses concurrently indicated that overexpression of miR-29a in the muscle cells decreased the collagen levels as well as cell migration and proliferation. Computational prediction analysis and overexpression studies identified SERPINH1, a specific chaperone of procollagens, as a potential miR-29a target. Corroborating to this, significantly downregulated SERPINH1 levels were found in the skeletal muscle, the heart, the brain, the kidney, and the pancreas harvested from very old animals, thereby indicating the role of the miR-29a-SERPINH1 axis in the aging process. In vitro analysis of miR-29a effects on fibroblast and cardiac muscle cells pointed toward a protective role of miR-29a on aging-related fibrosis, by reducing cell migration and proliferation. In conclusion, our study indicates an adaptive increase of miR-29 in the natural aging process and suggests its role as a transcriptional repressor of SERPINH1, with a potential therapeutic value against adverse matrix remodeling and aging-associated tissue fibrosis.
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75 members
Mihai Bogdan Preda
  • Department of Regenerative Medicine
Adriana Georgescu
  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology Department
Anca Gafencu
  • Gene regulation and molecular therapies
Elena Butoi
  • Biopathology and Therapy of Inflammation
8, B.P. Hasdeu Street, 050568, Bucharest, Romania
Head of institution
Acad. Maya Simionescu