Archivi del mese: giugno 2015

Modello “on a chip” di barriera placentare

[Lee JS, Romero R, Han YM, Kim HC, Kim CJ, Hong JS, Huh D. Placenta-on-a-chip: a novel platform to study the biology of the human placenta. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2015 Jun 15:1-9.]

Full Text: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/full/10.3109/14767058.2015.1038518

Abstract:

“Objective: Studying the biology of the human placenta represents a major experimental challenge. Although conventional cell culture techniques have been used to study different types of placenta-derived cells, current in vitro models have limitations in recapitulating organ-specific structure and key physiological functions of the placenta. Here we demonstrate that it is possible to leverage microfluidic and microfabrication technologies to develop a microengineered biomimetic model that replicates the architecture and function of the placenta.

Materials and methods: A “Placenta-on-a-Chip” microdevice was created by using a set of soft elastomer-based microfabrication techniques known as soft lithography. This microsystem consisted of two polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic channels separated by a thin extracellular matrix (ECM) membrane. To reproduce the placental barrier in this model, human trophoblasts (JEG-3) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were seeded onto the opposite sides of the ECM membrane and cultured under dynamic flow conditions to form confluent epithelial and endothelial layers in close apposition. We tested the physiological function of the microengineered placental barrier by measuring glucose transport across the trophoblast-endothelial interface over time. The permeability of the barrier study was analyzed and compared to that obtained from acellular devices and additional control groups that contained epithelial or endothelial layers alone.

Results: Our microfluidic cell culture system provided a tightly controlled fluidic environment conducive to the proliferation and maintenance of JEG-3 trophoblasts and HUVECs on the ECM scaffold. Prolonged culture in this model produced confluent cellular monolayers on the intervening membrane that together formed the placental barrier. This in vivo-like microarchitecture was also critical for creating a physiologically relevant effective barrier to glucose transport. Quantitative investigation of barrier function was conducted by calculating permeability coefficients and metabolic rates in varying conditions of barrier structure. The rates of glucose transport and metabolism were consistent with previously reported in vivo observations.

Conclusion: The “Placenta-on-a-Chip” microdevice described herein provides new opportunities to simulate and analyze critical physiological responses of the placental barrier. This system may be used to address the major limitations of existing placenta model systems and serve to enable research platforms for reproductive biology and medicine.”

Annunci

Modelli di disturbi del neurosviluppo (come i disturbi dello spettro autistico) usando cellule staminali

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[Chailangkarn T, Acab A, Muotri AR. Modeling neurodevelopmental disorders using human neurons. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012 Oct;22(5):785-90.]

Full Text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3587787/

Abstract:

“The cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism spectrum disorders have been studied intensively for decades. The unavailability of live patient neurons for research, however, has represented a major obstacle in the elucidation of the disease etiologies. Recently, the development of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology allows for the generation of human neurons from somatic cells of patients. We review ongoing studies using iPSCs as an approach to model neurodevelopmental disorders, the promise and caveats of this technique and its potential for drug screening. The reproducible findings of relevant phenotypes in Rett syndrome iPSC-derived neurons suggest that iPSC technology offers a novel and unique opportunity for the understanding of and the development of therapeutics for other autism spectrum disorders.

Nel testo:

“Finally, animal models often do not recapitulate complex human diseases, and have been particularly problematic in the case of human neurodevelopmental disease such as autism.

Modello di sviluppo neurale e trattamento della sindrome di Rett usando cellule staminali

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[Marchetto MC, Carromeu C, Acab A, Yu D, Yeo GW, Mu Y, Chen G, Gage FH, Muotri AR. A model for neural development and treatment of Rett syndrome using human induced pluripotent stem cells. Cell. 2010 Nov 12;143(4):527-39.]

Full Text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003590/

Abstract:

“Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex neurodevelopmental diseases in which different combinations of genetic mutations may contribute to the phenotype. Using Rett syndrome (RTT) as an ASD genetic model, we developed a culture system using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from RTT patients’ fibroblasts. RTT patients’ iPSCs are able to undergo X-inactivation and generate functional neurons. Neurons derived from RTT-iPSCs had fewer synapses, reduced spine density, smaller soma size, altered calcium signaling and electrophysiological defects when compared to controls. Our data uncovered early alterations in developing human RTT neurons. Finally, we used RTT neurons to test the effects of drugs in rescuing synaptic defects. Our data provide evidence of an unexplored developmental window, before disease onset, in RTT syndrome where potential therapies could be successfully employed. Our model recapitulates early stages of a human neurodevelopmental disease and represents a promising cellular tool for drug screening, diagnosis and personalized treatment.”

Modello di muscolo umano per valutare la reazione clinica a farmaci e simulare malattie muscolari

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[Madden L, Juhas M, Kraus WE, Truskey GA, Bursac N. Bioengineered human myobundles mimic clinical responses of skeletal muscle to drugs. Elife. 2015 Jan 9;4:e04885.]

Full Text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337710/

Abstract:

Existing in vitro models of human skeletal muscle cannot recapitulate the organization and function of native muscle, limiting their use in physiological and pharmacological studies. Here, we demonstrate engineering of electrically and chemically responsive, contractile human muscle tissues (‘myobundles’) using primary myogenic cells. These biomimetic constructs exhibit aligned architecture, multinucleated and striated myofibers, and a Pax7+cell pool. They contract spontaneously and respond to electrical stimuli with twitch and tetanic contractions. Positive correlation between contractile force and GCaMP6-reported calcium responses enables non-invasive tracking of myobundle function and drug response. During culture, myobundles maintain functional acetylcholine receptors and structurally and functionally mature, evidenced by increased myofiber diameter and improved calcium handling and contractile strength. In response to diversely acting drugs, myobundles undergo dose-dependent hypertrophy or toxic myopathy similar to clinical outcomes. Human myobundles provide an enabling platform for predictive drug and toxicology screening and development of novel therapeutics for muscle-related disorders.