Project description:Our goal is to in vitro expand mouse hepatocytes and human cirrhotic liver hepatocytes. Under the extreme culture condition, mouse hepatocytes proliferated and de-diffrentiated into progenitor cell like cells, moreover, the progenitor like cells could re-differentiate into hepatocytes in vivo. On the other hand, huamn cirrhotic liver cells could also expand and retain the probability of differentiate in vivo. Overall design: To find the relationship between hepatocytes and hepatocyte derived progenitor cells in vitro. We used TGF-beta, BMP and Hedgehog inhibitors to expand bothe mouse normal hepatocytes and human cirrhotic liver epithelial cells.
Project description:Stem cells are permanent residents of tissues and thought to be targets of cancer initiation. The frequent, and often early, upregulation of the FOXM1 transcription factor in the majority of human cancers suggests that it may participate in the initiation of human tumorigenesis. However, this hypothesis has not been tested. Herein, we show that targeting the ectopic expression of FOXM1 to the highly clonogenic cells of primary human keratinocytes with stem/progenitor cell properties, but not to differentiating cells, caused clonal expansion in vitro. We show, using a functional three-dimensional organotypic epithelial tissue regeneration system, that ectopic FOXM1 expression perturbed epithelial differentiation generating a hyperproliferative phenotype reminiscent of that seen in human epithelial hyperplasia. Furthermore, transcriptional expression analysis of a panel of 28 epithelial differentiation-specific genes reveals a role for FOXM1 in the suppression of epithelial differentiation. This study provides the first evidence that FOXM1 participates in an early oncogenic pathway that predisposes cells to tumorigenesis by expanding the stem/progenitor compartment and deregulating subsequent keratinocyte terminal differentiation. This finding reveals an important window of susceptibility to oncogenic signals in epithelial stem/progenitor cells prior to differentiation, and may provide a significant benefit to the design of cancer therapeutic interventions that target oncogenesis at its earliest incipient stage.
Project description:Organ formation and regeneration require epithelial progenitor expansion to engineer, maintain, and repair the branched tissue architecture. Identifying the mechanisms that control progenitor expansion will inform therapeutic organ (re)generation. Here, we discover that combined KIT and fibroblast growth factor receptor 2b (FGFR2b) signaling specifically increases distal progenitor expansion during salivary gland organogenesis. FGFR2b signaling upregulates the epithelial KIT pathway so that combined KIT/FGFR2b signaling, via separate AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, amplifies FGFR2b-dependent transcription. Combined KIT/FGFR2b signaling selectively expands the number of KIT+K14+SOX10+ distal progenitors, and a genetic loss of KIT signaling depletes the distal progenitors but also unexpectedly depletes the K5+ proximal progenitors. This occurs because the distal progenitors produce neurotrophic factors that support gland innervation, which maintains the proximal progenitors. Furthermore, a rare population of KIT+FGFR2b+ cells is present in adult glands, in which KIT signaling also regulates epithelial-neuronal communication during homeostasis. Our findings provide a framework to direct regeneration of branched epithelial organs.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>In alcoholic hepatitis (AH), development of targeted therapies is crucial and requires improved knowledge of cellular and molecular drivers in liver dysfunction. The unique opportunity of using explanted livers from patients with AH having undergone salvage liver transplantation allowed to perform more in-depth molecular translational studies.<h4>Design</h4>We studied liver explants from patients with AH submitted to salvage transplantation (n=16), from patients with alcoholic cirrhosis without AH (n=12) and fragments of normal livers (n=16). Hepatic cytokine content was quantified. Hepatocyte function and proliferation and the presence of hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) were evaluated by immunohistochemistry, western blot or quantitative PCR. Mitochondrial morphology was evaluated by electron microscopy.<h4>Results</h4>Livers from patients with AH showed decreased cytokine levels involved in liver regeneration (tumour necrosis factor ? and interleukin-6), as well as a virtual absence of markers of hepatocyte proliferation compared with alcoholic cirrhosis and normal livers. Electron microscopy revealed obvious mitochondrial abnormalities in AH hepatocytes. Importantly, livers from patients with AH showed substantial accumulation of HPCs that, unexpectedly, differentiate only into biliary cells. AH livers predominantly express laminin (extracellular matrix protein favouring cholangiocyte differentiation); consequently, HPC expansion is inefficient at yielding mature hepatocytes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>AH not responding to medical therapy is associated with lack of expression of cytokines involved in liver regeneration and profound mitochondrial damage along with lack of proliferative hepatocytes. Expansion of HPCs is inefficient to yield mature hepatocytes. Manoeuvres aimed at promoting differentiation of HPCs into mature hepatocytes should be tested in AH.
Project description:Our previous study suggested that DJ-1 has a critical role in initiating an inflammatory response, but its role in the liver progenitor cell (LPC) expansion, a process highly dependent on the inflammatory niche, remains elusive. The objective of this study is to determine the role of DJ-1 in LPC expansion. The correlation of DJ-1 expression with LPC markers was examined in the liver of patients with hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus (HBV and HCV, respectively) infection, primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), respectively. The role of DJ-1 in LPC expansion and the formation of LPC-associated fibrosis and inflammation was examined in a 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC) diet-induced liver injury murine model. We also determined the ability of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in recruiting macrophages in DJ-1 knockout (KO) mice. The expression levels of DJ-1 were upregulated in the liver of HBV, HCV, PBC and PSC patients and DDC-fed mice. Additionally, DJ-1 expression was positively correlated with LPC proliferation in patients with liver injury and mice with DDC exposure. DJ-1 has no direct effect on LPC proliferation. Reduced activation of HSCs and collagen deposition were observed in DJ-1 KO mice. Furthermore, infiltrated CD11b(+)Gr-1(low) macrophages and pro-inflammatory factors (IL-6, TNF-?) were attenuated in DJ-1 KO mice. Mechanistically, we found that HSCs isolated from DJ-1 KO mice had decreased secretion of macrophage-mobilizing chemokines, such as CCL2 and CX3CL1, resulting in impaired macrophage infiltration. DJ-1 positively correlates with LPC expansion during liver injury. DJ-1 deficiency negatively regulates LPC proliferation by impairing the formation of LPC-associated fibrosis and inflammatory niches.
Project description:Neural stem and progenitor cells typically exhibit a density-dependent survival and expansion, such that critical densities are required below which clonogenic progenitors are lost. This suggests that short-range autocrine factors may be critical for progenitor cell maintenance. We report here that purines drive the expansion of ventricular zone neural stem and progenitor cells, and that purine receptor activation is required for progenitor cells to be maintained as such. Neural progenitors expressed P2Y purinergic receptors and mobilized intracellular calcium in response to agonist. Receptor antagonists suppressed proliferation and permitted differentiation into neurons and glia in vitro, while subsequent removal of purinergic inhibition restored progenitor cell expansion. Real-time bioluminescence imaging of extracellular ATP revealed that the source of extracellular nucleotides are the progenitor cells themselves, which appear to release ATP in episodic burst events. Enzyme histochemistry of the adult rat brain for ectonucleotidase activity revealed that NTDPase, which acts to degrade active ATP and thereby clears it from areas of active purinergic transmission, was selectively localized to the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus, regions in which neuronal differentiation proceeds from the progenitor cell pool. These data suggest that purine nucleotides act as proliferation signals for neural progenitor cells, and thereby serve as negative regulators of terminal neuronal differentiation. As a result, progenitor cell-derived neurogenesis is thus associated with regions of both active purinergic signaling and modulation thereof.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-associated mortality is increasing at an alarming rate, and there is a readily identifiable cohort of at-risk patients with cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and diabetes. These patients are candidates for chemoprevention. Metformin is an attractive agent for chemoprevention because it is inexpensive, has a favorable safety profile, and is well tolerated over long time periods.The authors studied the efficacy of metformin as a prevention agent in a clinically relevant rat model of HCC, in which tumors develop in the setting of chronic inflammation and cirrhosis. Repeated injections of diethylnitrosamine were used to induce sequential cirrhosis and HCC, and metformin was administered at the first signs of either fibrosis or cirrhosis.Prolonged metformin exposure was safe and was associated with decreases in fibrotic and inflammatory markers, especially when administered early at the first signs of fibrosis. In addition, early metformin treatment led to a 44% decrease in HCC incidence, whereas tumor burden was unchanged when metformin was administered at the first signs of cirrhosis. It is noteworthy that activation of the hepatic progenitor/stem cell compartment was first observed at the onset of cirrhosis; therefore, only early metformin treatment suppressed receptor for advanced glycation end products and inhibited the activation of hepatic progenitor cells.The current results are the first to demonstrate an effect on progenitor/stem cells in the setting of chemoprevention and provide further rationale to explore metformin as an early intervention in clinical trials of patients with chronic liver disease at high risk for HCC.
Project description:Muscle cell therapy and tissue engineering require large numbers of functional muscle precursor/progenitor cells (MPCs), making the in vitro expansion of MPCs a critical step for these applications. The cells must maintain their myogenic properties upon robust expansion, especially for cellular therapy applications, in order to achieve efficacious treatment. A major obstacle associated with MPCs expansion is the loss of "stemness," or regenerative capacity, of freshly isolated cells, presumably due to the absence of the native cellular niches. In the current study, we developed an in vitro system that allowed for long-term culture and massive expansion of murine MPCs (mMPCs) with the preservation of myogenic regeneration capabilities. Long term in vitro expanded mMPC expressed the myogenic stem cell markers Pax3 and Pax7 and formed spontaneously contracting myotubes. Furthermore, expanded mMPC injected into the tibialis anterior muscle of nude mice engrafted and formed myofibers. Collectively, the method developed in this study can be potentially adapted for the expansion of human MPCs to high enough numbers for treatment of muscle injuries in human patients.
Project description:The exquisite control of growth factor function by heparan sulfate (HS) is dictated by tremendous structural heterogeneity of sulfated modifications. How specific HS structures control growth factor-dependent progenitor expansion during organogenesis is unknown. We isolated KIT+ progenitors from fetal salivary glands during a stage of rapid progenitor expansion and profiled HS biosynthetic enzyme expression. Enzymes generating a specific type of 3-O-sulfated-HS (3-O-HS) are enriched, and fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF10)/FGF receptor 2b (FGFR2b) signaling directly regulates their expression. Bioengineered 3-O-HS binds FGFR2b and stabilizes FGF10/FGFR2b complexes in a receptor- and growth factor-specific manner. Rapid autocrine feedback increases 3-O-HS, KIT, and progenitor expansion. Knockdown of multiple Hs3st isoforms limits fetal progenitor expansion but is rescued with bioengineered 3-O-HS, which also increases adult progenitor expansion. Altering specific 3-O-sulfated epitopes provides a mechanism to rapidly respond to FGFR2b signaling and control progenitor expansion. 3-O-HS may expand KIT+ progenitors in vitro for regenerative therapy.