[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Although major concerns exist regarding the potential consequences of human exposure to nanoparticles (NP), no human toxicological data is currently available. To address this issue, we took welders, who present various adverse respiratory outcomes, as a model population of occupational exposure to NP.The aim of this study was to evaluate if welding fume-issued NP could be responsible, at least partially, in the lung alterations observed in welders.
A combination of imaging and material science techniques including ((scanning) transmission electron microscopy ((S)TEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), and X-ray microfluorescence (μXRF)), was used to characterize NP content in lung tissue from 21 welders and 21 matched control patients. Representative NP were synthesized, and their effects on macrophage inflammatory secretome and migration were evaluated, together with the effect of this macrophage inflammatory secretome on human lung primary fibroblasts differentiation.
Welding-related NP (Fe, Mn, Cr oxides essentially) were identified in lung tissue sections from welders, in macrophages present in the alveolar lumen and in fibrous regions. In vitro macrophage exposure to representative NP (Fe2O3, Fe3O4, MnFe2O4 and CrOOH) induced the production of a pro-inflammatory secretome (increased production of CXCL-8, IL-1ß, TNF-α, CCL-2, -3, -4, and to a lesser extent IL-6, CCL-7 and -22), and all but Fe3O4 NP induce an increased migration of macrophages (Boyden chamber). There was no effect of NP-exposed macrophage secretome on human primary lung fibroblasts differentiation.
Altogether, the data reported here strongly suggest that welding-related NP could be responsible, at least in part, for the pulmonary inflammation observed in welders. These results provide therefore the first evidence of a link between human exposure to NP and long-term pulmonary effects.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Particle and Fibre Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When exceptionally preserved, hairs, wools, the skin stratum corneum and avian feathers can provide a wealth of archaeological and paleontological information. Long-term preservation of their information potential lies in the taphonomy (long-term behaviour laws) of keratin-based fibres and films. Here, we study the microscopic properties of archaeological hairs from the mediaeval burial of Marie de Bretagne (15th c., Orléans, France) preserved in a temperate environment, using complementary laboratory and synchrotron-based analytical instruments. We show that (a) the fibrillar keratin content of hair is exceptionally well preserved yet with limited degradation of the hair outer cortex in some hair strands, (b) exceptional preservation is attributed to the diffusion of copper and lead in the hair, (c) a posteriori examination led to the discovery of fragments of copper-based artefacts. We propose a possible scenario that led to the preservation of these tissues and discuss the archaeological interpretation of the microtaphonomy of these bioarchaeological remains.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Archaeological Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mechanics is now recognized as crucial in cell function. To date, the mechanical properties of cells have been inferred from experiments which investigate the roles of actin and microtubules ignoring the intermediate filaments (IFs) contribution. Here, we analyse myoblasts behaviour in the context of myofibrillar myopathy resulting from p.D399Y desmin mutation which disorganizes the desmin IF network in muscle cells. We compare the response of myoblasts expressing either mutated or wild-type desmin to cyclic stretch. Cells are cultivated on supports submitted to periodic uniaxial stretch of 20% elongation amplitude and 0.3 Hz frequency. We show that during stretching cycles, cells expressing mutated desmin reduce their mean amplitude both for the elongation and spreading area compared to those expressing wild-type desmin. Even more unexpected, the reorientation angles are altered in the presence of p.D399Y desmin. Yet, at rest, the whole set of those parameters are similar for the two cell populations. Thus, we demonstrate that IFs affect the mechanical properties and the dynamics of cell reorientation. Since these processes are known due to actin cytoskeleton, these results suggest the IFs implication in mechanics signal transduction. Further studies may lead to better understanding of their contribution to this process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IPANEMA, a research platform devoted to ancient and historical materials (archaeology, cultural heritage, palaeontology and past environments), is currently being set up at the synchrotron facility SOLEIL (Saint-Aubin, France; SOLEIL opened to users in January 2008). The new platform is open to French, European and international users. The activities of the platform are centred on two main fields: increased support to synchrotron projects on ancient materials and methodological research. The IPANEMA team currently occupies temporary premises at SOLEIL, but the platform comprises construction of a new building that will comply with conservation and environmental standards and of a hard X-ray imaging beamline today in its conceptual design phase, named PUMA. Since 2008, the team has supported synchrotron works at SOLEIL and at European synchrotron facilities on a range of topics including pigment degradation in paintings, composition of musical instrument varnishes, and provenancing of medieval archaeological ferrous artefacts. Once the platform is fully operational, user support will primarily take place within medium-term research projects for `hosted' scientists, PhDs and post-docs. IPANEMA methodological research is focused on advanced two-dimensional/three-dimensional imaging and spectroscopy and statistical image analysis, both optimized for ancient materials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyloidoses are increasingly recognized as a major public health concern in Western countries. All amyloidoses share common morphological, structural, and tinctorial properties. These consist of staining by specific dyes, a fibrillar aspect in electron microscopy and a typical cross-β folding in x-ray diffraction patterns. Most studies that aim at deciphering the amyloid structure rely on fibers generated in vitro or extracted from tissues using protocols that may modify their intrinsic structure. Therefore, the fine details of the in situ architecture of the deposits remain unknown. Here, we present to our knowledge the first data obtained on ex vivo human renal tissue sections using x-ray microdiffraction. The typical cross-β features from fixed paraffin-embedded samples are similar to those formed in vitro or extracted from tissues. Moreover, the fiber orientation maps obtained across glomerular sections reveal an intrinsic texture that is correlated with the glomerulus morphology. These results are of the highest importance to understanding the formation of amyloid deposits and are thus expected to trigger new incentives for tissue investigation. Moreover, the access to intrinsic structural parameters such as fiber size and orientation using synchrotron x-ray microdiffraction, could provide valuable information concerning in situ mechanisms and deposit formation with potential benefits for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A characteristic feature of the dense phases formed by fiber-shaped molecules is their organization into parallel rods packed in a hexagonal or pseudo-hexagonal lateral network. This is typically the case for the collagen triple helices inside fibrils, as confirmed by recent X-ray diffraction experiments carried out on highly crystallized fibers obtained by immersing the freshly extracted fibers in a salt-controlled medium. However such diffraction patterns also generally exhibit additional features in the form of diffuse scattering, which is a clear signature of a low degree of lateral ordering. Only few studies have analyzed and modeled the lateral packing of collagen triple helices when the structure is disordered. Some authors have used the concept of short-range order but this approach does not contain any echo of a hexagonal order. In this study, we use an analytical expression derived from the paracrystal model which retains the hexagonal symmetry information and leads to a good agreement with the experimental data in the medium-angle region. This method is quite sensitive to the degree of disorder and to the inter-object distance. One clear result is that the shift in peak positions, generally attributed to variations in intermolecular distances, can also arise from a change in the degree of ordering without any significant modification of the distances. This underlines the importance of evaluating the degree of ordering before attributing a shift in peak position to a change in the unit-cell. This method is generic and can be applied to any system composed of rod-shaped molecules.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Journal of Structural Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to characterize the effect of TIEG1 on the molecular structure of collagen within tail tendon fibers using 3-mo-old female C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) and TIEG1 KO mice. Synchrotron X-ray microdiffraction experiments were carried out on single tendon fibers extracted from the WT and TIEG1 KO dorsal tail tendon. The fibers were scanned in the radial direction, and X-ray patterns were obtained. From these patterns, the meridional direction was analyzed through X-ray intensity profile. In addition, collagen content was investigated using hydroxyproline assays, and qualitative real-time PCR experiments were performed on RNA isolated from fibroblasts to examine specific gene expression changes. The results showed different X-ray diffraction patterns between WT and TIEG1 KO tendon fibers, indicating a disorganization of the collagen structure for the TIEG1 KO compared with WT mice. Furthermore, the analyses of the X-ray intensity profiles exhibited a higher (23 A) period of collagen for the TIEG1 KO compared with the WT mice. The results of the hydroxyproline assays revealed a significant decrease in the TIEG1 KO compared with WT mice, leading to a decrease in the total amount of collagen present within the TIEG1 KO tendons. Moreover, qualitative real-time PCR results showed differences in the expression profiles of specific genes known to play important roles in tendon fiber development. These data further elucidate the role of TIEG1 on tendon structure and could explain the previous defects in the structure-function relationship found for TIEG1 KO tendon fibers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: X-rays interact strongly with biological organisms. Synchrotron radiation sources deliver very intense X-ray photon fluxes within micro- or submicro cross-section beams, resulting in doses larger than the MGy. The relevance of synchrotron radiation analyses of biological materials is therefore questionable since such doses, million times higher than the ones used in radiotherapy, can cause huge damages in tissues, with regard to not only DNA, but also proteic and lipid organizations. Very few data concerning the effect of very high X-ray doses in tissues are available in the literature. We present here an analysis of the structural phenomena which occur when the model tissue of human hair is irradiated by a synchrotron X-ray micro-beam. The choice of hair is supported by its hierarchical and partially ordered keratin structure which can be analysed inside the tissue by X-ray diffraction. To assess the damages caused by hard X-ray micro-beams (1 microm(2) cross-section), short exposure time scattering SAXS/WAXS patterns have been recorded at beamline ID13 (ESRF) after various irradiation times. Various modifications of the scattering patterns are observed, they provide fine insight of the radiation damages at various hierarchical levels and also unexpectedly provide information about the stability of the various hierarchical structural levels. It appears that the molecular level, i.e. the alpha helices which are stabilized by hydrogen bonds and the alpha-helical coiled coils which are stabilized by hydrophobic interactions, is more sensitive to radiation than the supramolecular architecture of the keratin filament and the filament packing within the keratin associated proteins matrix, which is stabilized by disulphide bonds.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Journal of Structural Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: X-ray fluorescence microscopy (microXRF) is applied for the first time to study macrophages exposed to unpurified and purified single-walled (SW) and multiwalled (MW) carbon nanotubes (CNT). Investigating chemical elemental distributions allows one to (i) image nanotube localization within a cell and (ii) detect chemical modification of the cell after CNT internalization. An excess of calcium is detected for cells exposed to unpurified SWCNT and MWCNT and related toxicological assays are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterogeneity, complexity, diversity, scarcity are the keywords that best characterise cultural heritage materials. To gain a better understanding of these complex materials, to try to limit the degradation of objects, works and monuments, heritage laboratories have more and more recourse to microbeam methods. Among the available sources, synchrotrons give access to spectroscopy and structural methods with matchless performances compared to laboratory setups, in particular to image the properties of materials at a micrometer or even nanometer scale. The development of synchrotron techniques is therefore of particular significance for the whole field of heritage material science.