P38 MAPK inhibition prevents polybrene-induced senescence of human mesenchymal stem cells during viral transduction.
ABSTRACT: The unique capacity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to migrate to the sites of damage, following intravenous transplantation, along with their proliferation and differentiation abilities make them promising candidates for MSC-based gene therapy. This therapeutic approach requires high efficacy delivery of stable transgenes to ensure their adequate expression in MSCs. One of the methods to deliver transgenes is via the viral transduction of MSCs. However, due to low transduction efficiency of MSCs, various polications are used to promote the association of viral particles with membranes of target cells. Among these polications polybrene is the most widely used one. Unfortunately, viral infection in presence of polybrene was shown to negatively affect proliferation rate of stem cells. The molecular mechanism underlying this effect is not yet uncovered. Therefore, the present study aimed to elucidate the mechanism of this phenomenon as well as to develop an effective approach to overcome the negative impact of polybrene on the properties of human endometrium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMESCs) during lentiviral infection. We found that the negative effect on proliferation observed during the viral infection in presence of polybrene is mediated by the polycation itself. Furthermore, we revealed that the treatment with polybrene alone led to the p38 MAPK-dependent premature senescence of hMESCs. These findings allowed us to develop an effective strategy to attenuate the negative polybrene impact on the hMESCs properties during lentiviral infection by inhibiting the activity of p38 MAPK. Importantly, the proposed approach did not attenuate the transduction efficiency of hMESCs, yet prevented polybrene-induced senescence and thereby restored the proliferation of the infected cells. These results provide the plausible means to reduce side effects of polybrene during the viral infection of primary cells, particularly MSCs.
Project description:Optimization of critical factors affects transduction efficiency and is able to reduce reagent consumption. The present study aimed to determine the optimum transduction conditions of small hairpin (sh)RNA against peroxiredoxin 4 (PRDX4) in the HepG2 cell line. Cell viability assays were conducted based on serum condition, incubation time, polybrene concentration and antibiotic dose selection. Non-targeting control shRNA was transduced into HepG2 cells in a 5-fold serial dilution, and colonies positive for green fluorescent protein were counted using ImageJ software. Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were performed to validate PRDX4 expression. The optimum cell density for transduction was 5.0×103 cells/well in 96-well plates to achieve 40 to 50% confluency the following day. The transduction media consisted of 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) and 12 µg/ml polybrene, and was used to dilute lentiviral particles at a functional titer of 4.9×105 TU/ml for multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 20, 15 and 10, for 24 h of incubation. Selection with 7 µg/ml puromycin was performed in transduced cells. shRNA 3 was revealed to inhibit PRDX4 mRNA and protein expression. In conclusion, PRDX4 was successfully silenced in 5.0×103 HepG2 cells cultured with 10% FBS and 12 µg/ml polybrene, at a 4.9×105 TU/ml functional titer for MOI of 20, 15 and 10.
Project description:Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are currently being evaluated as a cell-based therapy for tissue injury and degenerative diseases. Recently, several methods have been suggested to further enhance the therapeutic functions of MSCs, including genetic modifications with tissue- and/or disease-specific genes. The objective of this study was to examine the efficiency and stability of transduction using an adenoviral vector in human MSCs. Additionally, we aimed to assess the effects of transduction on the proliferation and multipotency of MSCs. The results indicate that MSCs can be transduced by adenoviruses in vitro, but high viral titers are necessary to achieve high efficiency. In addition, transduction at a higher multiplicity of infection (MOI) was associated with attenuated proliferation and senescence-like morphology. Furthermore, transduced MSCs showed a diminished capacity for adipogenic differentiation while retaining their potential to differentiate into osteocytes and chondrocytes. This work could contribute significantly to clinical trials of MSCs modified with therapeutic genes.
Project description:Integrating viruses represent robust tools for cellular reprogramming; however, the presence of viral transgenes in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is deleterious because it holds the risk of insertional mutagenesis leading to malignant transformation. Here, we combine the robustness of lentiviral reprogramming with the efficacy of Cre recombinase protein transduction to derive iPSCs devoid of transgenes. By genome-wide analysis and targeted differentiation towards the cardiomyocyte lineage, we show that transgene-free iPSCs are superior to iPSCs before Cre transduction. Our study provides a simple, rapid and robust protocol for the generation of clinical-grade iPSCs suitable for disease modeling, tissue engineering and cell replacement therapies.
Project description:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into osteogenic, adipogenic, chondrogenic, myocardial, or neural lineages when exposed to specific stimuli, making them attractive for tissue repair and regeneration. We have used reporter gene-based imaging technology to track MSC transplantation or implantation in vivo. However, the effects of lentiviral transduction with the fluc-mrfp-ttk triple-fusion vector on the transcriptional profiles of MSCs remain unknown. In this study, gene expression differences between wild-type and transduced hMSCs were evaluated using an oligonucleotide human microarray. Significance Analysis of Microarray identified differential genes with high accuracy; RT-PCR validated the microarray results. Annotation analysis showed that transduced hMSCs upregulated cell differentiation and antiapoptosis genes while downregulating cell cycle, proliferation genes. Despite transcriptional changes associated with bone and cartilage remodeling, their random pattern indicates no systematic change of crucial genes that are associated with osteogenic, adipogenic, or chondrogenic differentiation. This correlates with the experimental results that lentiviral transduction did not cause the transduced MSCs to lose their basic stem cell identity as demonstrated by osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic differentiation assays with both transduced and wild-type MSCs, although a certain degree of alterations occurred. Histological analysis demonstrated osteogenic differentiation in MSC-loaded ceramic cubes in vivo. In conclusion, transduction of reporter genes into MSCs preserved the basic properties of stem cells while enabling noninvasive imaging in living animals to study the biodistribution and other biological activities of the cells.
Project description:Integration-deficient lentiviral vectors (IDLVs) are promising gene delivery tools that retain the high transduction efficiency of standard lentiviral vectors, yet fail to integrate as proviruses and are instead converted into episomal circles. These episomes are metabolically stable and support long-term expression of transgenes in non-dividing cells, exhibiting a decreased risk of insertional mutagenesis. We have embarked on an extensive study to compare the transduction efficiency of IDLVs pseudotyped with different envelopes (vesicular stomatitis, Rabies, Mokola and Ross River viral envelopes) and self-complementary adeno-associated viral vectors, serotype-9 (scAAV-9) in spinal cord tissues after intraspinal injection of mouse embryos (E16). Our results indicate that IDLVs can transduce motor neurons (MNs) at extremely high efficiency regardless of the envelope pseudotype while scAAV9 mediates gene delivery to ~40% of spinal cord motor neurons, with other non-neuronal cells also transduced. Long-term expression studies revealed stable gene expression at 7months post-injection. Taken together, the results of this study indicate that IDLVs may be efficient tools for in utero cord transduction in therapeutic strategies such as for treatment of inherited early childhood neurodegenerative diseases.
Project description:The immunomodulatory and self-renewable features of human adipose mesenchymal stem cells (hAD-MSCs) mark their importance in regenerative medicine. Interleukin 23 (IL- 23) as a proinflammatory cytokine suppresses T regulatory cells (Treg) and promotes the response of T helper 17 (Th17) and T helper 1 (Th1) cells. This pathway starts inflammation and immunosuppression in several autoimmune diseases. The current study for producing recombinant IL- 23 decoy receptor (RIL- 23R) using hAD-MSCs as a good candidate for ex vivo cell-based gene therapy purposes reducing inflammation in autoimmune diseases. hAD-MSCs was isolated from lipoaspirate and then characterized by differentiation. RIL- 23R was designed and cloned into a pCDH-813A- 1 lentiviral vector. The transduction of hAD-MSCs was performed at MOI (multiplicity of infection) = 50 with pCDH- EFI α- RIL- 23R- PGK copGFP. Expressions of RIL- 23R and octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT- 4) were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (real time-PCR). Self-renewing properties were assayed with OCT- 4. Bioactivity of the designed RIL- 23R was evaluated by IL- 17 and IL- 10 expression of mouse splenocytes. Cell differentiation confirmed the true isolation of hAD-MSCs from lipoaspirate. Restriction of the enzyme digestion and sequencing verified the successful cloning of RIL- 23R in the CD813A-1 lentiviral vector. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) positive transduction rate was up to 90%, and real-time PCR showed the expression level of RIL-23R. Oct-4 had a similar expression pattern with nontransduced hAD-MSCs and transduced hAD-MSCs/ RIL-23R indicating that lentiviral vector did not affect hAD-MSCs characteristics. Downregulation of IL-17 and upregulation of IL-10 showed the correct activity of the engineered hAD-MSCs. The results showed that the transduced hAD-MSCs/ RIL- 23R, expressing IL-23 decoy receptor, can give a useful approach for a basic research on cell-based gene therapy for autoimmune disorders.
Project description:BACKGROUND:T helper 17 cells (Th17)/regulatory T cells (Treg), as subtypes of CD4+ T cells, play an important role in the inflammatory response of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). However, there is still a lack of effective methods to regulate the differentiation balance of Th17/Treg. It was proven that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could regulate the differentiation of CD4+ T cells, but the mechanism is still unclear. TGF?1, a paracrine cytokine of MSCs, could also regulate the differentiation of Th17/Treg but is lowly expressed in MSCs. Therefore, mouse MSCs (mMSCs) overexpressing TGF?1 were constructed by lentivirus transduction and intratracheally transplanted into LPS-induced ARDS mice in our study. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of mMSCs overexpressing TGF?1 on inflammation and immunoregulation by impacting the Th17/Treg balance in LPS-induced ARDS mice. METHODS:mMSCs overexpressing TGF?1 were constructed using lentiviral vectors. Then, mouse bone-marrow-derived MSCs (mBM-MSC) and mBM-MSC-TGF?1 (mBM-MSC overexpressing TGF?1) were transplanted intratracheally into ARDS mice induced by lipopolysaccharide. At 3 and 7 days after transplantation, the mice were sacrificed, and the homing of the mMSCs was assayed by ex vivo optical imaging. The relative numbers of Th17 and Treg in the lungs and spleens of mice were detected by FCM. IL-17A and IL-10 levels in the lungs of mice were analysed by western blot. Permeability and inflammatory cytokines were evaluated by analysing the protein concentration of BALF using ELISA. Histopathology of the lungs was assessed by haematoxylin and eosin staining and lung injury scoring. Alveolar lung fibrosis was assessed by Masson's trichrome staining and Ashcroft scoring. The mortality of ARDS mice was followed until 7?days after transplantation. RESULTS:The transduction efficiencies mediated by the lentiviral vectors ranged from 82.3 to 88.6%. Overexpressing TGF?1 inhibited the proliferation of mMSCs during days 5-7 (p?<?0.05) but had no effect on mMSC differentiation or migration (p?>?0.05). Compared to that in the LPS?+?mBM-MSC-NC group mice, engraftment of mMSCs overexpressing TGF?1 led to much more differentiation of T cells into Th17 or Treg (p?<?0.05), improved permeability of injured lungs (p?<?0.05) and ameliorative histopathology of lung tissue in ARDS mice (p?<?0.05). Moreover, IL-17A content was also decreased while IL-10 content was increased in the LPS?+?mBM-MSC-TGF?1 group compared with those in the LPS?+?mBM-MSC-NC group (p?<?0.05). Finally, mMSCs overexpressing TGF?1 did not aggravate lung fibrosis in ARDS mice (p?>?0.05). CONCLUSION:MSCs overexpressing TGF?1 could regulate lung inflammation and attenuate lung injuries by modulating the imbalance of Th17/Treg in the lungs of ARDS mice.
Project description:shRNA lentiviral vectors are extensively used for gene knockdowns in mammalian cells, and non-target shRNAs typically are considered the proper experimental control for general changes caused by RNAi. However, the effects of non-target lentivirus controls on the modulation of cell signaling pathways remain largely unknown. In this study, we evaluated the effect of control lentiviral transduction on oxytocin receptor (OXTR) expression through the ERK/MAPK pathway in mouse and human skeletal muscle cells, on myogenic activity, and in vivo on mouse muscle regeneration. Furthermore, we mined published data for the influence of viral infections on OXTR levels in human populations and found that unrelated viral pathologies have a common consequence: diminished levels of OXTR.We examined the change in OXTR mRNA expression upon transduction with control and Smad3-targeting viral vectors through real time RT-PCR and Western blotting, and confirmed with immunofluorescence. Changes in Smad3 and OXTR expression were examined both in vitro with mouse and human myoblasts and in vivo in mouse satellite cells. The general effects of viral infections on OXTR downregulation in humans were also examined by analyzing published Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets. The change in myoblast myogenic activity caused by the viral transduction (the percent of Pax7?+?Ki67+ cells) was examined by immunofluorescence.Results shown in this work establish that lentiviral control vectors significantly downregulate OXTR expression at mRNA and protein levels and diminish key downstream effectors of OXTR, ERK signaling, reducing the myogenic proliferation of infected cells. This effect is evolutionarily conserved between mouse and human myogenic cells, and it manifests in satellite cells after control lentiviral transduction of mice in vivo. Furthermore, an examination of published datasets uncovered similar OXTR downregulation in humans that are afflicted with different viral infections. Additionally, cells transduced with Smad3-targeting shRNA downregulate OXTR even more than cells transduced with control viruses.Our work suggests that experimental cohorts transduced with control viruses may not behave the same as un-transduced cells and animals, specifically that control viral vectors significantly change the intensity of key cell-signaling pathways, such as OXTR/ERK. Our results further demonstrate that lentiviral transduction significantly decreases myogenic proliferation and suggest that viral infections in general may play a role in decreasing muscle health and regeneration, a decline in metabolic health, and a lower sense of well-being, as these rely on effective OXTR signaling. Additionally, our data suggest pathway crosstalk between TGF-?/pSmad3 and OXTR, implying that sustained attenuation of the TGF-?/pSmad3 pathway will reduce pro-regenerative OXTR/pERK signaling.
Project description:The ability to deliver transgenes into the human genome using viral vectors is a major enabler of the gene-modified cell therapy field. However, the control of viral transduction is difficult and can lead to product heterogeneity, impacting efficacy and safety, as well as increasing the risk of batch failure during manufacturing. To address this, we generated a novel analytical method to measure vector copy distribution at the single-cell level in a gene-modified, lentiviral-based immunotherapy model. As the limited amount of genomic DNA in a single cell hinders reliable quantification, we implemented a preamplification strategy on selected lentiviral and human gene targets in isolated live single cells, followed by quantification of amplified material by droplet digital PCR. Using a bespoke probability framework based on Bayesian statistics, we show that we can estimate vector copy number (VCN) integers with maximum likelihood scores. Notably, single-cell data are consistent with population analysis and also provide an overall measurement of transduction efficiency by discriminating transduced (VCN ? 1) from nontransduced (VCN = 0) cells. The ability to characterize cell-to-cell variability provides a powerful high-resolution approach for product characterization, which could ultimately allow improved control over product quality and safety.
Project description:The use of neurotrophic factors as therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative diseases is considered as an approach aimed at restoring and maintaining neuronal function in the peripheral and central nervous system. Since the neuroprotective effect is depending on chronic delivery of the neurotrophic factors a sustained application, e.g., via cell-based delivery is necessary. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were lentivirally modified to overexpress brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and to express fluorescent marker genes for easy visualization. Since genetically modified cells should be site-specifically retained (e.g., by encapsulation) in the patients to avoid adverse effects the cells were additionally differentiated to chondrocytes to hypothetically improve their vitality and survival in a delivery matrix. Different polycations for lentiviral transduction were investigated for their efficiency. The success of differentiation was determined by analysis of chondrocyte marker genes and the neuroprotective effect of BDNF-overexpressing cells was exemplarily investigated on neurons of the peripheral auditory system. The genetically modified hMSCs overexpressed BDNF from under 1 to 125 ng ml-1 day-1 depending on the donor and transfection method. Using protamine sulfate the transfection efficacy was superior compared to the use of polybrene. The BDNF secreted by the MSCs was significantly neuroprotective in comparison to the relevant controls even though the produced mean concentrations were lower than the effective concentrations for recombinant industrially produced proteins described in literature. The presented system of BDNF-overexpressing hMSCs is neuroprotective and is therefore considered as a promising method for sustained delivery of proteins in therapeutically relevant amounts to degenerating neuronal structures.