Guided migration of neural stem cells derived from human embryonic stem cells by an electric field.
ABSTRACT: Small direct current (DC) electric fields (EFs) guide neurite growth and migration of rodent neural stem cells (NSCs). However, this could be species dependent. Therefore, it is critical to investigate how human NSCs (hNSCs) respond to EF before any possible clinical attempt. Aiming to characterize the EF-stimulated and guided migration of hNSCs, we derived hNSCs from a well-established human embryonic stem cell line H9. Small applied DC EFs, as low as 16 mV/mm, induced significant directional migration toward the cathode. Reversal of the field polarity reversed migration of hNSCs. The galvanotactic/electrotactic response was both time and voltage dependent. The migration directedness and distance to the cathode increased with the increase of field strength. (Rho-kinase) inhibitor Y27632 is used to enhance viability of stem cells and has previously been reported to inhibit EF-guided directional migration in induced pluripotent stem cells and neurons. However, its presence did not significantly affect the directionality of hNSC migration in an EF. Cytokine receptor [C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4)] is important for chemotaxis of NSCs in the brain. The blockage of CXCR4 did not affect the electrotaxis of hNSCs. We conclude that hNSCs respond to a small EF by directional migration. Applied EFs could potentially be further exploited to guide hNSCs to injured sites in the central nervous system to improve the outcome of various diseases.
Project description:Spinal cord injury or diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, can cause the loss of motor neurons and therefore results in the paralysis of muscles. Stem cells may improve functional recovery by promoting endogenous regeneration, or by directly replacing neurons. Effective directional migration of grafted neural cells to reconstruct functional connections is crucial in the process. Steady direct current electric fields (EFs) play an important role in the development of the central nervous system. A strong biological effect of EFs is the induction of directional cell migration. In this study, we investigated the guided migration of embryonic stem cell (ESC) derived presumptive motor neurons in an applied EF. The dissociated mouse ESC derived presumptive motor neurons or embryoid bodies were subjected to EFs stimulation and the cell migration was studied. We found that the migration of neural precursors from embryoid bodies was toward cathode pole of applied EFs. Single motor neurons migrated to the cathode of the EFs and reversal of EFs poles reversed their migration direction. The directedness and displacement of cathodal migration became more significant when the field strength was increased from 50 mV/mm to 100 mV/mm. EFs stimulation did not influence the cell migration velocity. Our work suggests that EFs may serve as a guidance cue to direct grafted cell migration in vivo.
Project description:Sensing of an electric field (EF) by cells-galvanotaxis-is important in wound healing , development , cell division, nerve growth, and angiogenesis . Different cell types migrate in opposite directions in EFs , and the same cell can switch the directionality depending on conditions . A tug-of-war mechanism between multiple signaling pathways  can direct Dictyostelium cells to either cathode or anode. Mechanics of motility is simplest in fish keratocytes, so we turned to keratocytes to investigate their migration in EFs. Keratocytes sense electric fields and migrate to the cathode [7, 8]. Keratocyte fragments [9, 10] are the simplest motile units. Cell fragments from leukocytes are able to respond to chemotactic signals , but whether cell fragments are galvanotactic was unknown. We found that keratocyte fragments are the smallest motile electric field-sensing unit: they migrate to the anode, in the opposite direction of whole cells. Myosin II was essential for the direction sensing of fragments but not for parental cells, while PI3 kinase was essential for the direction sensing of whole cells but not for fragments. Thus, two signal transduction pathways, one depending on PI3K, another on myosin, compete to orient motile cells in the electric field. Galvanotaxis is not due to EF force and does not depend on cell or fragment size. We propose a "compass" model according to which protrusive and contractile actomyosin networks self-polarize to the front and rear of the motile cell, respectively, and the electric signal orients both networks toward cathode with different strengths.
Project description:Naturally-occurring, endogenous electric fields (EFs) have been detected at skin wounds, damaged tissue sites and vasculature. Applied EFs guide migration of many types of cells, including endothelial cells to migrate directionally. Homing of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) to an injury site is important for repair of vasculature and also for angiogenesis. However, it has not been reported whether EPCs respond to applied EFs. Aiming to explore the possibility to use electric stimulation to regulate the progenitor cells and angiogenesis, we tested the effects of direct-current (DC) EFs on EPCs. We first used immunofluorescence to confirm the expression of endothelial progenitor markers in three lines of EPCs. We then cultured the progenitor cells in EFs. Using time-lapse video microscopy, we demonstrated that an applied DC EF directs migration of the EPCs toward the cathode. The progenitor cells also align and elongate in an EF. Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor signaling completely abolished the EF-induced directional migration of the progenitor cells. We conclude that EFs are an effective signal that guides EPC migration through VEGF receptor signaling in vitro. Applied EFs may be used to control behaviors of EPCs in tissue engineering, in homing of EPCs to wounds and to an injury site in the vasculature.
Project description:A major road-block in stem cell therapy is the poor homing and integration of transplanted stem cells with the targeted host tissue. Human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells are considered an excellent alternative to embryonic stem (ES) cells and we tested the feasibility of using small, physiological electric fields (EFs) to guide hiPS cells to their target. Applied EFs stimulated and guided migration of cultured hiPS cells toward the anode, with a stimulation threshold of <30 mV/mm; in three-dimensional (3D) culture hiPS cells remained stationary, whereas in an applied EF they migrated directionally. This is of significance as the therapeutic use of hiPS cells occurs in a 3D environment. EF exposure did not alter expression of the pluripotency markers SSEA-4 and Oct-4 in hiPS cells. We compared EF-directed migration (galvanotaxis) of hiPS cells and hES cells and found that hiPS cells showed greater sensitivity and directedness than those of hES cells in an EF, while hES cells migrated toward cathode. Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibition, a method to aid expansion and survival of stem cells, significantly increased the motility, but reduced directionality of iPS cells in an EF by 70-80%. Thus, our study has revealed that physiological EF is an effective guidance cue for the migration of hiPS cells in either 2D or 3D environments and that will occur in a ROCK-dependent manner. Our current finding may lead to techniques for applying EFs in vivo to guide migration of transplanted stem cells.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>The purpose of this study was to characterize the ability of applied electrical fields (EFs) to direct retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon growth as well as to assess whether Rho GTPases play a role in translating electrical cues to directional cues.<h4>Methods</h4>Full-thickness, early postnatal mouse retina was cultured in electrotaxis chambers and exposed to EFs of varying strengths (50-200 mV/mm). The direction of RGC axon growth was quantified from time-lapsed videos. The rate of axon growth and responsiveness to changes in EF polarity were also assessed. The effect of toxin B, a broad-spectrum inhibitor of Rho GTPase signaling, and Z62954982, a selective inhibitor of Rac1, on EF-directed growth was determined.<h4>Results</h4>In the absence of an EF, RGC axons demonstrated indiscriminate directional growth from the explant edge. Retinal cultures exposed to an EF of 100 and 200 mV/mm showed markedly asymmetric growth, with 74.2% and 81.2% of axons oriented toward the cathode, respectively (P < 0.001). RGC axons responded to acute changes in EF polarity by redirecting their growth toward the "new" cathode. This galvanotropic effect was partially neutralized by toxin B and Rac1 inhibitor Z62954982.<h4>Conclusions</h4>RGC axons exhibit cathode-directed growth in the presence of an EF. This effect is mediated in part by the Rho GTPase signaling cascade.
Project description:Migration of cancer cells leads to the invasion of distant organs by primary tumors. Further, endogenous electric fields (EFs) in the tumor microenvironment direct the migration of lung cancer cells by a process referred to as electrotaxis - although the precise mechanism remains unclear. Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is a multifunctional scaffolding protein that is associated with directional cell migration and lung cancer invasion; however, its precise role in lung cancer electrotaxis is unknown. In the present study, we first detected outward electric currents on the tumor body surface in lung cancer xenografts using a highly-sensitive vibrating probe. Next, we found that highly-metastatic H1650-M3 cells migrated directionally to the cathode. In addition, reversal of the EF polarity reversed the direction of migration. Mechanistically, EFs activated Cav-1 and the downstream signaling molecule STAT3. RNA interference of Cav-1 reduced directional cell migration, which was accompanied by dampened STAT3 activation. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of STAT3 significantly reduced the electrotactic response, while rescue of STAT3 activation in Cav-1 knock-down cells restored electrotaxis. Taken together, these results suggest that endogenous EFs in the tumor micro-environment might play an important role in lung cancer metastasis by guiding cell migration through a Cav-1/STAT3-mediated signaling pathway.
Project description:A transplanted stem cell's engagement with a pathologic niche is the first step in its restoring homeostasis to that site. Inflammatory chemokines are constitutively produced in such a niche; their binding to receptors on the stem cell helps direct that cell's "pathotropism." Neural stem cells (NSCs), which express CXCR4, migrate to sites of CNS injury or degeneration in part because astrocytes and vasculature produce the inflammatory chemokine CXCL12. Binding of CXCL12 to CXCR4 (a G protein-coupled receptor, GPCR) triggers repair processes within the NSC. Although a tool directing NSCs to where needed has been long-sought, one would not inject this chemokine in vivo because undesirable inflammation also follows CXCL12-CXCR4 coupling. Alternatively, we chemically "mutated" CXCL12, creating a CXCR4 agonist that contained a strong pure binding motif linked to a signaling motif devoid of sequences responsible for synthetic functions. This synthetic dual-moity CXCR4 agonist not only elicited more extensive and persistent human NSC migration and distribution than did native CXCL 12, but induced no host inflammation (or other adverse effects); rather, there was predominantly reparative gene expression. When co-administered with transplanted human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived hNSCs in a mouse model of a prototypical neurodegenerative disease, the agonist enhanced migration, dissemination, and integration of donor-derived cells into the diseased cerebral cortex (including as electrophysiologically-active cortical neurons) where their secreted cross-corrective enzyme mediated a therapeutic impact unachieved by cells alone. Such a "designer" cytokine receptor-agonist peptide illustrates that treatments can be controlled and optimized by exploiting fundamental stem cell properties (e.g., "inflammo-attraction").
Project description:Ion flow from intact tissue into epithelial wound sites results in lateral electric currents that may represent a major driver of wound healing cell migration. Use of applied electric fields (EF) to promote wound healing is the basis of Medicare-approved electric stimulation therapy. This study investigated the roles for EFs in wound re-epithelialization, using the Pax6(+/-) mouse model of the human ocular surface abnormality aniridic keratopathy (in which wound healing and corneal epithelial cell migration are disrupted). Both wild-type (WT) and Pax6(+/-) corneal epithelial cells showed increased migration speeds in response to applied EFs in vitro. However, only Pax6(+/+) cells demonstrated consistent directional galvanotaxis towards the cathode, with activation of pSrc signaling, polarized to the leading edges of cells. In vivo, the epithelial wound site normally represents a cathode, but 43% of Pax6(+/-) corneas exhibited reversed endogenous wound-induced currents (the wound was an anode). These corneas healed at the same rate as WT. Surprisingly, epithelial migration did not correlate with direction or magnitude of endogenous currents for WT or mutant corneas. Furthermore, during healing in vivo, no polarization of pSrc was observed. We found little evidence that Src-dependent mechanisms of cell migration, observed in response to applied EFs in vitro, normally exist in vivo. It is concluded that endogenous EFs do not drive long-term directionality of sustained healing migration in this mouse corneal epithelial model. Ion flow from wounds may nevertheless represent an important component of wound signaling initiation.
Project description:Many bacterial pathogens hijack macrophages to egress from the port of entry to the lymphatic drainage and/or bloodstream, causing dissemination of life-threatening infections. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we report that Salmonella infection generates directional electric fields (EFs) in the follicle-associated epithelium of mouse cecum. In vitro application of an EF, mimicking the infection-generated electric field (IGEF), induces directional migration of primary mouse macrophages to the anode, which is reversed to the cathode upon Salmonella infection. This infection-dependent directional switch is independent of the Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1) type III secretion system. The switch is accompanied by a reduction of sialic acids on glycosylated surface components during phagocytosis of bacteria, which is absent in macrophages challenged by microspheres. Moreover, enzymatic cleavage of terminally exposed sialic acids reduces macrophage surface negativity and severely impairs directional migration of macrophages in response to an EF. Based on these findings, we propose that macrophages are attracted to the site of infection by a combination of chemotaxis and galvanotaxis; after phagocytosis of bacteria, surface electrical properties of the macrophage change, and galvanotaxis directs the cells away from the site of infection.
Project description:Proper control of cell migration is critically important in many biologic processes, such as wound healing, immune surveillance, and development. Much progress has been made in the initiation of cell migration; however, little is known about termination and sometimes directional reversal. During active cell migration, as in wound healing, development, and immune surveillance, the integrin expression profile undergoes drastic changes. Here, we uncovered the extensive regulatory and even opposing roles of integrins in directional cell migration in electric fields (EFs), a potentially important endogenous guidance mechanism. We established cell lines that stably express specific integrins and determined their responses to applied EFs with a high throughput screen. Expression of specific integrins drove cells to migrate to the cathode or to the anode or to lose migration direction. Cells expressing ?M?2, ?1, ?2, ?IIb?3, and ?5 migrated to the cathode, whereas cells expressing ?3, ?6, and ?9 migrated to the anode. Cells expressing ?4, ?V, and ?6?4 lost directional electrotaxis. Manipulation of ?9 molecules, one of the molecular directional switches, suggested that the intracellular domain is critical for the directional reversal. These data revealed an unreported role for integrins in controlling stop, go, and reversal activity of directional migration of mammalian cells in EFs, which might ensure that cells reach their final destination with well-controlled speed and direction.-Zhu, K., Takada, Y., Nakajima, K., Sun, Y., Jiang, J., Zhang, Y., Zeng, Q., Takada, Y., Zhao, M. Expression of integrins to control migration direction of electrotaxis.