Henning Ulrich

University of São Paulo, San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Publications (149)381.96 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aptamers compete with antibodies in many applications, in which high-affinity and specificity ligands are needed. In this regard, fluorescence-tagged aptamers have gained applications in flow and imaging cytometry for detecting cells expressing distinct antigens. Here we present prospective methods, as a starting point, for using these high-affinity ligands for cytometry applications.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2016
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    ABSTRACT: Background One of the challenging problems of current radio-chemotherapy is recurrence and metastasis of cancer cells that survive initial treatment. We propose that one of the unwanted effects of radiochemotherapy is the release from damaged (“leaky”) cells of nucleotides such as ATP and UTP that exert pro-metastatic functions and can directly stimulate chemotaxis of cancer cells. Methods To address this problem in a model of human lung cancer (LC), we employed several complementary in vitro and in vivo approaches to demonstrate the role of extracellular nucleotides (EXNs) in LC cell line metastasis and tumor progression. We measured concentrations of EXNs in several organs before and after radiochemotherapy. The purinergic receptor agonists and antagonists, inhibiting all or selected subtypes of receptors, were employed in in vitro and in vivo pro-metastatic assays. Results We found that EXNs accumulate in several organs in response to radiochemotherapy, and RT-PCR analysis revealed that most of the P1 and P2 receptor subtypes are expressed in human LC cells. EXNs were found to induce chemotaxis and adhesion of LC cells, and an autocrine loop was identified that promotes the proliferation of LC cells. Most importantly, metastasis of these cells could be inhibited in immunodeficient mice in the presence of specific small molecule inhibitors of purinergic receptors. Conclusions Based on this result, EXNs are novel pro-metastatic factors released particularly during radiochemotherapy, and inhibition of their pro-metastatic effects via purinergic signaling could become an important part of anti-metastatic treatment. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12943-015-0469-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Molecular Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: The most aggressive subtype of brain tumors is glioma WHO grade IV, the glioblastoma (GBM). The present work aims to elucidate the role of kinin receptors in interactions between GBM cells and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). The GBM cell line U87-MG was stably transfected to express dsRed protein, single cell cloned, expanded, and cultured with MSC, both in the direct co-cultures (DC) and indirect co-cultures (IC) at equal cell number ratio for 72 h. Up- and down-regulation of matrix metalloproteases (MMP)-9 expression in U87-MG and MSC cells, respectively, in direct co-culture points to possible MSC participation in tumor invasion. MMP9 expression is in line with significantly increased expression of kinin B1 (B1R) and B2 receptor (B2R) in U87-MG cells and their decreased levels in MSC, as confirmed by quantitative assessment using flow cytometric analysis. Similarly, in indirect cultures (IC), lacking the contact between GBM and MSC cells, an increase of B1 and B2 receptor expression was again noted in U87-MG cells, and no significant changes in kinin receptors in MSC was observed. Functionality of kinin-B1 and B2 receptors was evidenced by stimulation of intracellular calcium fluxes by their respective agonists, des-Arg9-bradykinin (DBK) and bradykinin (BK). Moreover, BK showed a feedback control on kinin receptor expression in mono-cultures, direct and indirect co-cultures. The treatment with BK resulted in down-regulation of B1 and B2 receptors in MSC, with simultaneous up-regulation of these receptors in U87-MG cells, suggesting that functions of BK in information flow between these cells is important for tumor progression and invasion. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Cytometry Part A
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73 (ecto-5'-NT) participates in extracellular ATP catabolism by converting adenosine monophosphate (AMP) into adenosine. This enzyme affects the progression and invasiveness of different tumors. Furthermore, the expression of ecto-5'-NT has also been suggested as a favorable prognostic marker, attributing to this enzyme contradictory functions in cancer. Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common brain tumor of the cerebellum and affects mainly children. Materials and methods: The effects of ecto-5'-NT overexpression on human MB tumor growth were studied in an in vivo model. Balb/c immunodeficient (nude) 6 to 14-week-old mice were used for dorsal subcutaneous xenograph tumor implant. Tumor development was evaluated by pathophysiological analysis. In addition, the expression patterns of adenosine receptors were verified. Results: The human MB cell line D283, transfected with ecto-5'-NT (D283hCD73), revealed reduced tumor growth compared to the original cell line transfected with an empty vector. D283hCD73 generated tumors with a reduced proliferative index, lower vascularization, the presence of differentiated cells and increased active caspase-3 expression. Prominent A1 adenosine receptor expression rates were detected in MB cells overexpressing ecto-5'-NT. Conclusion: This work suggests that ecto-5'-NT promotes reduced tumor growth to reduce cell proliferation and vascularization, promote higher differentiation rates and initiate apoptosis, supposedly by accumulating adenosine, which then acts through A1 adenosine receptors. Therefore, ecto-5'-NT might be considered an important prognostic marker, being associated with good prognosis and used as a potential target for therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · PLoS ONE
  • Ágatha Oliveira · Peter Illes · Henning Ulrich
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    ABSTRACT: ATP (adenosine 5'-triphosphate), one of the most ancient neurotransmitters, exerts essential functions in the brain, including neurotransmission and modulation of synaptic activity. Moreover, this nucleotide has been attributed with trophic properties and experimental evidence points to the participation of ATP-activated P2X and P2Y purinergic receptors in embryonic brain development as well as in adult neurogenesis for maintenance of normal brain functions and neuroregeneration upon brain injury. We discuss here the available data on purinergic P2 receptor expression and function during brain development and in the neurogenic zones of the adult brain, as well as the insights based on the use of in vitro stem cell cultures. While several P2 receptor subtypes were shown to be expressed during in vitro and in vivo neurogenesis, specific functions have been proposed for P2Y1, P2Y2 metabotropic as well as P2X2 ionotropic receptors to promote neurogenesis. Further, the P2X7 receptor is suggested to function in the maintenance of pools of neural stem and progenitor cells through induction of proliferation or cell death, depending on the microenvironment. Pathophysiological actions have been proposed for this receptor in worsening damage in brain disease. The P2X7 receptor and possibly additional P2 receptor subtypes have been implicated in pathophysiology of neurological diseases including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. New strategies in cell therapy could involve modulation of purinergic signaling, either in the achievement of more effective protocols to obtain viable and homogeneous cell populations or in the process of functional engraftment of transplanted cells into the damaged brain.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Neuropharmacology
  • Henning Ulrich

    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Cytometry Part A
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    ABSTRACT: Cell proliferation is orchestrated through diverse proteins related to calcium (Ca(2+)) signaling inside the cell. Cellular Ca(2+) influx occurs first by various mechanisms at the plasma membrane, is then followed by absorption of Ca(2+) ions by mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum, and, finally, there is a connection of calcium stores to the nucleus. Experimental evidence indicates that the fluctuation of Ca(2+) from the endoplasmic reticulum provides a pivotal and physiological role for cell proliferation. Ca(2+) depletion in the endoplasmatic reticulum triggers Ca(2+) influx across the plasma membrane in an phenomenon called store-operated calcium entries (SOCE). SOCE is activated through a complex interplay between a Ca(2+) sensor, denominated STIM, localized in the endoplasmic reticulum and a Ca(2+) channel at the cell membrane, denominated Orai. The interplay between STIM and Orai proteins with cell membrane receptors and their role in cell proliferation are discussed in this review. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Cellular Signalling
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    ABSTRACT: The kinins bradykinin and des-arg(9) -bradykinin cleaved from kininogen precursors by kallikreins exert their biological actions by stimulating kinin-B2 and B1 receptors, respectively. In vitro models of neural differentiation such as P19 embryonal carcinoma cells and neural progenitor cells have suggested the involvement of B2 receptors in neural differentiation and phenotype determination; however, the involvement of B1 receptors in these processes has not been established. Here, we show that B1 and B2 receptors are differentially expressed in mouse embryonic E14Tg2A stem cells undergoing neural differentiation. Proliferation and differentiation assays, performed in the presence of receptor subtype-selective agonists and antagonists, revealed that B1 receptor activity is required for the proliferation of embryonic and differentiating cells as well as for neuronal maturation at later stages of differentiation, while the B2 receptor acts on neural phenotype choice, promoting neurogenesis over gliogenesis. Besides the elucidation of bradykinin functions in an in vitro model reflecting early embryogenesis and neurogenesis, this study contributes to the understanding of B1 receptor functions in this process. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Cytometry Part A
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    ABSTRACT: Purinergic receptors belong to the most ancient neurotransmitter system. While their relevance in neurotransmission is well characterized, it has become clear that they have many other cellular functions. During development, they participate in regulation of proliferation and differentiation of stem cells. Here, we used rat embryonic telencephalon neurosphere cultures to detect purinergic P2 receptor subtype expression and possible synergistic actions of these receptors with NGF. Neurospheres proliferate in the presence of EGF and FGF-2; however, upon depletion of these growth factors, they migrate and differentiate into neurons and glial phenotypes. Expression patterns of P2X and P2Y receptors changed along neural differentiation. Gene expression of P2X2-7 and P2Y1,2,4,6,12,14 receptors was confirmed in undifferentiated and neural-differentiated neurospheres, with an up-regulation of P2X2 and P2X6 subtypes, together with a down-regulation of P2X4, P2X7 and P2Y subtypes upon induction to differentiation. BrdU-labeling and subsequent flow cytometry analysis was used to measure cell proliferation, which was increased by chronic exposure to NGF and increasing concentrations of ATP, in line with the expression levels of PCNA. Furthermore, a synergistic effect on proliferation was observed in conditions of co-incubation with ATP and NGF. While ATP and NGF independently promoted neural migration, no inter-relation between these factors was detected for this cellular process. As conclusion, an unknown synergism of ATP and NGF in proliferation is described. Future efforts may elucidate the underlying mechanisms of the interrelationship of ATP and NGF during neurogenesis.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Neurochemical Research
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    ABSTRACT: Hybrid scaffolds made of xanthan and magnetite nanoparticles (XCA/mag) were prepared by dipping xanthan membranes (XCA) into dispersions of magnetic nanoparticles for different periods of time. The resulting hybrid scaffolds presented magnetization values ranging from 0.25 emu g(-1) to 1.80 emu g(-1) at 70 kOe and corresponding iron contents ranging from 0.25% to 2.3%, respectively. They were applied as matrices for in vitro embryoid body adhesion and neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem cells; for comparison, neat XCA and commercial plastic plates were also used. Adhesion rates were more pronounced when cells were seeded on XCA/mag than on neat XCA or plastic dishes; however, proliferation levels were independent from those of the scaffold type. Embryonic stem cells showed similar differentiation rates on XCA/mag scaffolds with magnetization of 0.25 and 0.60 emu g(-1), but did not survive on scaffolds with 1.80 emu g(-1). Differentiation rates, expressed as the number of neurons obtained on the chosen scaffolds, were the largest on neat XCA, which has a high density of negative charge, and were smallest on the commercial plastic dishes. The local magnetic field inherent of magnetite particles present on the surface of XCA/mag facilitates synapse formation, because synaptophysin expression and electrical transmission were increased when compared to the other scaffolds used. We conclude that XCA/mag and XCA hydrogels are scaffolds with distinguishable performance for adhesion and differentiation of ESCs into neurons.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Biomedical Materials
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    ABSTRACT: One of the challenging problems of current radio-chemotherapy is recurrence and metastasis of cancer cells that survive initial treatment. We propose that one of the unwanted effects of radiochemotherapy is the release from damaged (“leaky”) cells of nucleotides such as ATP and UTP that exert pro-metastatic functions and can directly stimulate chemotaxis of cancer cells. To address this problem in a model of human lung cancer (LC), we employed several complementary in vitro and in vivo approaches to demonstrate the role of extracellular nucleotides (EXNs) in LC cell line metastasis and tumor progression. We measured concentrations of EXNs in several organs before and after radiochemotherapy. The purinergic receptor agonists and antagonists, inhibiting all or selected subtypes of receptors, were employed in in vitro and in vivo pro-metastatic assays. We found that EXNs accumulate in several organs in response to radiochemotherapy, and RT-PCR analysis revealed that most of the P1 and P2 receptor subtypes are expressed in human LC cells. EXNs were found to induce chemotaxis and adhesion of LC cells, and an autocrine loop was identified that promotes the proliferation of LC cells. Most importantly, metastasis of these cells could be inhibited in immunodeficient mice in the presence of specific small molecule inhibitors of purinergic receptors. Based on this result, EXNs are novel pro-metastatic factors released particularly during radiochemotherapy, and inhibition of their pro-metastatic effects via purinergic signaling could become an important part of anti-metastatic treatment.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Cancer Research
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jul 2015
  • Mateja Delač · Helena Motaln · Henning Ulrich · Tamara T Lah
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    ABSTRACT: Aptamers are short single-stranded nucleic acids (RNA or ssDNA), identified by an in vitro selection process, denominated SELEX, from a partially random oligonucleotide library. They bind to a molecular target, a protein or other complex macromolecular structures of interest with high affinity and specificity, comparable to those of antibodies. Recently, aptamer selection protocols were developed for targeting living cells, including tumors. Chemical modifications of the aptamers and modalities of their detection and delivery systems are already available with high selectivity and targeting ability for the desired cancer cell type, making them promising for diagnosis and therapy. Glioblastoma multiformae represents the most malignant and fatal stage of glioma, and is also the most frequent brain tumor. Glioblastoma-specific aptamers were developed by either targeting the whole cell surface or known glioma biomarkers. These aptamers may gain importance for imaging, tumor cell isolation from biopsies and drug delivery. In biomedical imaging techniques, aptamers coupled with radionuclide or fluorescent labels, bioconjugates and nanoparticles offer an advanced, noninvasive manner for defining the glioblastoma tissue border. Though single modality aptamer imaging probes have some limitations, these are overcome by the use of multimodal probes. Due to selectivity and chemical characteristics, aptamers can be coupled to functionalized nanoparticles and loaded with a drug, appeared promising for in vivo targeting of glioblastoma. Finally, aptamers are effective mediators for gene silencing when coupled to small interfering RNA and a viral vector, thus providing a novel tool with enhanced targeting capability in drug delivery, designed for tailored treatment of glioblastoma patients. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Cytometry Part A
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    ABSTRACT: Neural stem cells proliferate and differentiate into neurons and glial cells, being responsible for embryonic and postnatal development of the central nervous system (CNS) as well as for regeneration in the adult brain. These cells also play a key role in maintaining the physiological integrity of the CNS in face of injury or disease. The previous study has demonstrated that bradykinin (BK) treatment simultaneously induces neuronal enrichment (indicating that BK contributes to neurogenesis) and reduced proliferation rates during in vitro differentiation of rat embryonic telencephalon neural precursor cells (NPCs). Here, we provide a mechanism for the unresolved question whether (i) the low rate of proliferation is owed to enhanced neurogenesis or, conversely, (ii) the alteration of the population ratio could result from low proliferation of NPCs and glial cells. In agreement with the previous study, BK promoted neuron-specific β3-tubulin and MAP2 expression in differentiating embryonic mouse neurospheres, whereas glial protein expression and global proliferation rates decreased. Furthermore, BK augmented the global frequency of cells in G0 -phase of cell cycle after differentiation. Heterogeneous cell populations were observed at this stage, including neurons that always remaining a quiescent state (G0 -phase). It is noteworthy that BK did not interfere with proliferation of any particular cell type, evidenced by coimmunostaining for nestin, β3-tubulin, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU). Thus, we conclude that neuronal enrichment is owing only to the fostering of neurogenesis, and that the low proliferation rate on the seventh day of differentiation is a consequence and not the cause of BK-induced neuronal enrichment. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Cytometry Part A
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    ABSTRACT: Phototaxis in flagellated zoospores of the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii depends on a novel photosensor BeGC1 comprised by a type I (microbial) rhodopsin fused to a guanylyl cyclase catalytic domain that produces the conserved second messenger cGMP. The rapid and transient increase in cGMP levels during zoospore exposure to green light was shown to be necessary for phototaxis and dependent on both, rhodopsin function and guanylyl cyclase activity. Noteworthy, BeGC1 was localized to the zoospore eyespot apparatus, consistent with its role in the phototactic response. A putative cyclic nucleotide gated channel (BeCNG1) was also identified in the genome of the fungus and implicated in flagellar beating via the action of a specific inhibitor (L-cis-diltiazem) that compromised zoospore motility. Here we show that B.emersonii expresses a K(+) channel that is activated by cGMP. The use of specific channel inhibitors confirmed the activation of the channel by cGMP and its K(+) selectivity. These characteristics are consistent with the function of an ion channel encoded by the BeCNG1 gene. Other blastocladiomycete fungi, such as Allomyces macrogynus and Catenaria anguillulae, possess genes encoding a similar K(+) channel, as well as the rhodopsin-guanylyl cyclase fusion protein, while both of these genes are absent in non-flagellated fungi. The presence of these genes as a pair seems to be exclusive of blastocladiomycete fungi. Taken together, these data demonstrate that B. emersonii cGMP-activated K(+) channel is involved in the control of zoospore motility, most probably participating in the cGMP-signaling pathway for the phototactic response of the fungus. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Eukaryotic Cell
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    ABSTRACT: The central and peripheral nervous system is built by a network of many different neuronal phenotypes together with glial and other supporting cells. The repertoire of expressed receptors and secreted neurotransmitters and neuromodulators are unique for each single neuron leading to intracellular signaling cascades, many of them involving intracellular calcium signaling. Here we suggest the use of calcium signaling analysis upon specific agonist application to reliably identify neuronal phenotypes, being important not only for basic science, but also providing a reliable tool for functional characterization of cells prior to transplantation. Calcium imaging provides various cellular information including signaling amplitudes, cell localization, duration, and frequency. Microfluorimetry reveals a signal summarizing the entire population, and its use is indicated for high-throughput screening purposes.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
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    Dataset: bi101789y
    Arquimedes Cheffer · Henning Ulrich

    Full-text · Dataset · Jun 2015
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    Dataset: bi101789y
    Arquimedes Cheffer · Henning Ulrich

    Full-text · Dataset · Jun 2015
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    Dataset: bi101789y
    Arquimedes Cheffer · Henning Ulrich

    Full-text · Dataset · Jun 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, microvesicles and apoptotic bodies, participate in intercellular communication, and particularly, in paracrine and endocrine signalling. The EVs and their specific contents have been considered hallmarks of different diseases. It has been recently discovered that EVs can co-transport nucleic acids such as DNAs, ribosomal RNAs, circular RNAs (circRNAs), long noncoding RNAs (lnRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs are important regulators of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level, although they may also play other roles. Recent evidence supports the hypothesis that miRNAs can activate Toll-like receptors (TLRs) under certain circumstances. TLRs belong to a multigene family of immune system receptors and have been recently described in the nervous system. In the immune system, TLRs are important for the recognition of the invading microorganisms, whereas in the nervous system, they recognise endogenous ligands released by undifferentiated or necrotic/injured cells. In the neuronal disease field, TLRs activity has been associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), stroke, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Herein, we reviewed the current knowledge of the relationship between miRNA release by EVs and the inflammation signalling triggered by TLRs in neighbouring cells or during long-distance cell-to-cell communication. We highlight novel aspects of this communication mechanism, offering a valuable insight into such pathways in health and disease.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Molecular Neurobiology

Publication Stats

2k Citations
381.96 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003-2015
    • University of São Paulo
      • Department of Biochemistry (IQ)
      San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2014
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
      • Center for Membrane Biology
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2001
    • University of Leipzig
      • Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine (TRM)
      Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
  • 1998-2001
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
      Ithaca, New York, United States
  • 1996
    • University of Hamburg
      • Center for Molecular Neurobiology (ZMNH)
      Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany