[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic disorders resulting from large rearrangements of the genome remain an important unsolved issue in gene therapy. Chromosome transplantation, defined as the perfect replacement of an endogenous chromosome with a homologous one, has the potential of curing this kind of disorders. Here we report the first successful case of chromosome transplantation by replacement of an endogenous X chromosome carrying a mutation in the Hprt genewith a normal one in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), correcting the genetic defect. The defect was also corrected by replacing the Y chromosome with an X chromosome. Chromosome transplanted clones maintained in vitro and in vivo features of stemness and contributed to chimera formation. Genome integrity was confirmed by cytogenetic and molecular genome analysis. The approach here proposed, with some modifications, might be used to cure various disorders due to other X chromosome aberrations in induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from affected patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 129 mouse strain is commonly used for the generation of genetically engineered mice. Genetic drift or accidental contamination during outcrossing has resulted in several 129 substrains. Comprehensive data on spontaneous age-related pathology exist for the 129S4/SvJae substrain, whereas only limited information is available for other 129 substrains. This longitudinal aging study describes the life span and spontaneous lesions of 44 male and 18 female mice of the 129S6/SvEvTac substrain. Median survival time was 778 and 770 days for males and females, respectively. Tumors of lung and Harderian gland were the most common neoplasms in both sexes. Hepatocellular tumors occurred mainly in males. Hematopoietic tumors were observed at low frequency. Suppurative and ulcerative blepharoconjunctivitis was the most common nonneoplastic condition in both sexes. Corynebacteria (primarily Corynebacterium urealyticum and C. pseudodiphtheriticum) were isolated from animals with blepharoconjunctivitis and in some cases from unaffected mice, although a clear causal association between corynebacterial infections and blepharoconjunctivitis could not be inferred. Polyarteritis occurred only in males and was identified as the most common nonneoplastic contributory cause of death. Eosinophilic crystalline pneumonia occurred in both sexes and was a relevant cause of death or comorbidity. Epithelial hyalinosis at extrapulmonary sites was noted at higher frequency in females. This study contributes important data on the spontaneous age-related pathology of the 129S6/SvEvTac mouse substrain and is a valuable reference for evaluation of the phenotype in genetically engineered mice obtained with this 129 substrain.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Veterinary Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Magnetically responsive maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) nanoparticles (NPs) are the subject of current interest due to their potential use as contrast agents for in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, PET (positron emission tomography) is another non-invasive molecular imaging modality based on nuclear medicine and short-lived positron radionuclides incorporated in various bioprobes. In previous work (Haviv et al 2010 J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132 12519–12521), Massart magnetite (Fe3O4) oxidation using ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN) was explored. The resulting hydrophilic maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) NPs formed a stable aqueous colloid/ferrofluid that disclosed a low level of NP surface doping by Ce3/4+ atoms/cations. In this work, magnetically responsive gallium(III) or various other lanthanide(III) cation-doped maghemite NPs were prepared in different ways which influenced their r2* MRI relaxivities, which were usually strengthened vs those of known FDA approved ferrofluids. In addition, this resulting NP surface chemistry enabled their direct labeling with PET-enabled 68Ga(III) cations (scheme 1) without using any attached chelating organic species/polymer, providing PET-enabled radioactive magnetic NPs towards a novel dual PET/MRI imaging nanoscale agent.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autosomal recessive osteopetrosis is a human bone disease mainly caused by TCIRG1 gene mutations that prevent osteoclasts resorbing activity, recapitulated by the oc/oc mouse model. Bone marrow transplantation is the only available treatment, limited by the need for a matched donor. The use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as an unlimited source of autologous cells to generate gene corrected osteoclasts might represent a powerful alternative. We generated iPSCs from oc/oc mice, corrected the mutation using a BAC carrying the entire Tcirg1 gene locus as a template for homologous recombination, and induced hematopoietic differentiation. Similarly to physiologic fetal hematopoiesis, iPSC-derived CD41(+) cells gradually gave rise to CD45(+) cells, which comprised both mature myeloid cells and high proliferative potential colony-forming cells. Finally, we differentiated the gene corrected iPSC-derived myeloid cells into osteoclasts with rescued bone resorbing activity. These results are promising for a future translation into the human clinical setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori is responsible for gastritis and gastric adenocarcinoma in humans, but the routes of transmission of this bacterium have not been clearly defined. Few studies led to supposing that H. pylori could be transmitted through raw milk, and no one investigated the presence of other Helicobacteraceae in milk. In the current work, the presence of Helicobacteraceae was investigated in the bulk tank milk of dairy cattle herds located in northern Italy both by direct plating onto H. pylori selective medium and by screening PCR for Helicobacteraceae, followed by specific PCRs for H. pylori, Wolinella spp., and “Candidatus Helicobacter bovis.” Three out of 163 bulk milk samples tested positive for Helicobacteraceae, but not for the subsequent PCRs. H. pylori was not isolated in any case. However, given similar growth conditions, Arcobacter butzleri, A. cryaerophilus, and A. skirrowii were recovered. In conclusion, the prevalence of Helicobacteraceae in raw milk was negligible (1.8%), and H. pylori was not identified in any of the positive samples, suggesting that, at least in the farming conditions of the investigated area, bovine milk does not represent a potential source of infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leptospirosis is an important zoonotic disease diffused worldwide, and wildlife species are commonly considered to be important epidemiological carriers. Four-hundred and forty-one serological and 198 renal samples from red deer, roe deer and chamois collected in the Province of Sondrio were analysed using the microscopic agglutination test and histopathologic examination. Positive serological findings were found only in 15 red deer and 19 positive serologic reactions were recorded. The most frequent serovars were Bratislava and Grippotyphosa, followed by Pomona, Hardjo and Copenhagheni. Twenty-two per cent of renal samples from seropositive red deer were affected by mild to moderate multifocal chronic lymphoplasmacytic and fibrosing tubulo-interstitial nephritis, mainly involving the cortical parenchyma. In this study, antibodies to Leptospira spp. were infrequent in wild ruminants, and only red deer seemed to be sensitive to the infection. Given the low presence and the fact that there was no record of Leptospira spp. infections in cattle, sheep, goats and also hunters in area during the study period, wild ruminants in Alpine environments cannot be considered as reservoirs or important sources of Leptospira spp. infection for humans or domestic animals.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Veterinaria italiana
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ringtail is a pathologic condition of laboratory rodents characterized by annular constrictions of the tail. Traditionally, it is classified as an environmental disorder caused by low relative humidity, but other factors (temperature, dietary deficiencies, genetic susceptibility, and caging type) have also been proposed. Twenty litters of mice with ringtail lesions occurred from September 2010 to August 2013 in a facility located in the northern Italy. Mice were maintained under controlled environmental conditions and fed a standard diet. Retrospective analysis of environmental data (relative humidity, temperature) was carried out. Gross, histopathologic, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy examination of tails and limbs was performed. The incidence of ringtail was 0.075% (20/26 800) of all weaned litters over the 3-year period of examination. Temperature and relative humidity remained within accepted limits in all cases except one. We observed annular constrictions in tail, digits of pes, crus, and antebrachium in 116 (100.0%), 47 (40.5%), 11 (9.5%), and 2 (1.7%) of 116 affected mice, respectively. Histologic and ultrastructural examination revealed abnormal keratin desquamation and presence of a keratin ring encircling the tail, causing progressive strangulation of the growing tail with subsequent compression and ulceration of underlying soft tissues, resulting in circulatory changes (edema, hyperemia, thrombosis, hemorrhages), ischemic necrosis, and eventually auto-amputation distal to the constriction. On the basis of our findings, we suggest a disorder of cornification as the primary lesion of ringtail in mice. The cause of these cases, however, remained undetermined, even though traditional etiologic factors (relative humidity, temperature, diet, caging type) were reasonably excluded.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Veterinary Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prosenescence therapy has recently emerged as a novel therapeutic approach for treating cancer. However, this concept is challenged by conflicting evidence showing that the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) of senescent tumor cells can have pro-as well as antitumorigenic effects. Herein, we report that, in Pten-null senescent tumors, activation of the Jak2/Stat3 pathway establishes an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that contributes to tumor growth and chemoresistance. Activation of the Jak2/Stat3 pathway in Pten-null tumors is sustained by the downregulation of the protein tyrosine phosphatase PTPN11/SHP2, providing evidence for the existence of a novel PTEN/SHP2 axis. Importantly, treatment with docetaxel in combination with a JAK2 inhibitor reprograms the SASP and improves the efficacy of docetaxel-induced senescence by triggering a strong antitumor immune response in Pten-null tumors. Altogether, these data demonstrate that immune surveillance of senescent tumor cells can be suppressed in specific genetic backgrounds but also evoked by pharmacological treatments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Iron oxide-containing magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have certain advantages over currently used contrast agents for tumor imaging by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as they offer the possibility of functionalization with ligands and tracers. Functionalized MNPs also may be used for targeted tumor therapy. In the current study nanoparticles (NPs) consisting of recombinant human serum albumin (rHSA) with incorporated hydrophilic (NH4)2Ce(IV)(NO3)6-γ-Fe2O3 particles (CAN maghemite particles) for medical imaging were produced and characterized. For this purpose CAN maghemite particles were incorporated into a rHSA matrix to yield rHSA-NPs. The resulting NPs were analysed by transmission electron microscopy, photon correlation spectroscopy, and atomic absorption. The sizes of the manufactured NP were 170±10nm, and the zeta-potential was -50±3mV. The NPs remained stable when stored after lyophilisation with sucrose 3% [w/v] as a cryoprotector. They showed pro-inflammatory properties without cell and animal toxicity in vivo and were highly contrasting in MRI. In conclusion, this report introduces novel rHSA NP with favourable properties containing iron oxide for detection by MRI.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Controlled Release
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to identify, by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the ability of the blood-pool contrast agent B22956/1 to detect atherosclerotic plaques developing at the brachiocephalic artery of apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-KO) mice and to possibly identify vulnerable atherosclerotic lesions. After high-fat feeding for 8 or 12 weeks, MRIs of brachiocephalic arteries were acquired before and after B22956/1 administration; then vessels were removed and analyzed by histology. B22956/1 injection caused a rapid increase in plaque signal enhancement and plaque to muscle contrast values, which remained stable up to 70 minutes. A linear correlation between signal enhancement and macrophage content was found 10 minutes after B22956/1 injection (p < .01). Signal enhancement and plaque to muscle contrast values correlated with macrophage content 40 minutes after contrast agent administration (p < .01). Finally, 70 minutes after B22956/1 infusion, plaque to muscle contrast significantly correlated with the percentage of stenosis (p < .005). B22956/1 administration to high fat-fed apoE-KO mice resulted in a rapid enhancement of atherosclerotic plaques and in a great ability to rapidly visualize vulnerable plaques, characterized by a high macrophage content. These results suggest that B22956/1 could represent an interesting tool for the identification of atherosclerotic plaques potentially leading to acute cardiovascular events.
No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Molecular Imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain trimming through defined neuroanatomical landmarks is recommended to obtain consistent sections in rat toxicity studies. In this article, we describe a matrix-guided trimming protocol that uses channels to reproduce coronal levels of anatomical landmarks. Both setup phase and validation study were performed on Han Wistar male rats (Crl:WI(Han)), 10-week-old, with bodyweight of 298 ± 29 (SD) g, using a matrix (ASI-Instruments(®), Houston, TX) fitted for brains of rats with 200 to 400 g bodyweight. In the setup phase, we identified eight channels, that is, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 19, and 21, matching the recommended landmarks midway to the optic chiasm, frontal pole, optic chiasm, infundibulum, mamillary bodies, midbrain, middle cerebellum, and posterior cerebellum, respectively. In the validation study, we trimmed the immersion-fixed brains of 60 rats using the selected channels to determine how consistently the channels reproduced anatomical landmarks. Percentage of success (i.e., presence of expected targets for each level) ranged from 89 to 100%. Where 100% success was not achieved, it was noted that the shift in brain trimming was toward the caudal pole. In conclusion, we developed and validated a trimming protocol for the rat brain that allow comparable extensiveness, homology, and relevance of coronal sections as the landmark-guided trimming with the advantage of being quickly learned by technicians.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Toxicologic Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: p53 influences genomic stability, apoptosis, autophagy, response to stress, and DNA damage. New p53-target genes could elucidate mechanisms through which p53 controls cell integrity and response to damage.
DRAGO (drug-activated gene overexpressed, KIAA0247) was characterized by bioinformatics methods as well as by real-time polymerase chain reaction, chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase assays, time-lapse microscopy, and cell viability assays. Transgenic mice (94 p53(-/-) and 107 p53(+/-) mice on a C57BL/6J background) were used to assess DRAGO activity in vivo. Survival analyses were performed using Kaplan-Meier curves and the Mantel-Haenszel test. All statistical tests were two-sided.
We identified DRAGO as a new p53-responsive gene induced upon treatment with DNA-damaging agents. DRAGO is highly conserved, and its ectopic overexpression resulted in growth suppression and cell death. DRAGO(-/-) mice are viable without macroscopic alterations. However, in p53(-/-) or p53(+/-) mice, the deletion of both DRAGO alleles statistically significantly accelerated tumor development and shortened lifespan compared with p53(-/-) or p53(+/-) mice bearing wild-type DRAGO alleles (p53(-/-), DRAGO(-/-) mice: hazard ratio [HR] = 3.25, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.7 to 6.1, P < .001; p53(+/-), DRAGO(-/-) mice: HR = 2.35, 95% CI = 1.3 to 4.0, P < .001; both groups compared with DRAGO(+/+) counterparts). DRAGO mRNA levels were statistically significantly reduced in advanced-stage, compared with early-stage, ovarian tumors, but no mutations were found in several human tumors. We show that DRAGO expression is regulated both at transcriptional-through p53 (and p73) and methylation-dependent control-and post-transcriptional levels by miRNAs.
DRAGO represents a new p53-dependent gene highly regulated in human cells and whose expression cooperates with p53 in tumor suppressor functions.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of the National Cancer Institute