[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Preexisting aortic disease can worsen during pregnancy as physiologic hemodynamic changes evolve. At a large academic institution, a patient with a remote history of vasculitis presented with a second trimester pregnancy with increasing aortic dilatation and aortic insufficiency. Extensive obstetric discussions encompassed maternal cardiac risks from continuing the pregnancy and fetal risks from maternal cardiac intervention. This patient desired termination of pregnancy to avoid further complications and to expedite surgical aortic repair.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Embryonic hematopoiesis starts via the generation of primitive red blood cells (RBCs) that satisfy the embryo's immediate oxygen needs. Although primitive RBCs were thought to retain their nuclei, recent studies have shown that primitive RBCs in mice enucleate in the fetal liver. It has been unknown whether human primitive RBCs enucleate, and what hematopoietic site might support this process. Our data indicate that the terminal maturation and enucleation of human primitive RBCs occurs in first trimester placental villi. Extravascular ζ-globin(+) primitive erythroid cells were found in placental villi between 5-7 weeks of development, at which time the frequency of enucleated RBCs was higher in the villous stroma than in circulation. RBC enucleation was further evidenced by the presence of primitive reticulocytes and pyrenocytes (ejected RBC nuclei) in the placenta. Extravascular RBCs were found to associate with placental macrophages, which contained ingested nuclei. Clonogenic macrophage progenitors of fetal origin were present in the chorionic plate of the placenta before the onset of fetoplacental circulation, after which macrophages had migrated to the villi. These findings indicate that placental macrophages may assist the enucleation process of primitive RBCs in placental villi, implying an unexpectedly broad role for the placenta in embryonic hematopoiesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Inhibiting the expression of the HIV-1 coreceptor CCR5 holds great promise for controlling HIV-1 infection in patients. Here we report stable knockdown of human CCR5 by a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) in a humanized bone marrow/liver/thymus (BLT) mouse model. We delivered a potent shRNA against CCR5 into human fetal liver-derived CD34(+) hematopoietic progenitor/stem cells (HPSCs) by lentiviral vector transduction. We transplanted vector-transduced HPSCs solidified with Matrigel and a thymus segment under the mouse kidney capsule. Vector-transduced autologous CD34(+) cells were subsequently injected in the irradiated mouse, intended to create systemic reconstitution. CCR5 expression was down-regulated in human T cells and monocytes/macrophages in systemic lymphoid tissues, including gut-associated lymphoid tissue, the major site of HIV-1 replication. The shRNA-mediated CCR5 knockdown had no apparent adverse effects on T-cell development as assessed by polyclonal T-cell receptor Vbeta family development and naive/memory T-cell differentiation. CCR5 knockdown in the secondary transplanted mice suggested the potential of long-term hematopoietic reconstitution by the shRNA-transduced HPSCs. CCR5 tropic HIV-1 infection was effectively inhibited in mouse-derived human splenocytes ex vivo. These results demonstrate that lentiviral vector delivery of shRNA into human HPSCs could stably down-regulate CCR5 in systemic lymphoid organs in vivo.