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From early unicellular organisms that formed in salty water environments to complex organisms that live on land away from water, cells have had to protect a homeostatic internal environment favorable to the biochemical reactions necessary for life. In this chapter, we will outline what steps were necessary to conserve the water within our cells and how mechanisms have evolved to maintain and regulate our cellular and organismal volume. We will first examine whole body water homeostasis and the relationship between kidney function, regulation of blood pressure, and blood filtration in the process of producing urine. We will then discuss how the composition of the lipid-rich bilayer affects its permeability to water and salts, and how the cell uses this differential to drive physiological and biochemical cellular functions. The capacity to maintain cell volume is vital to epithelial transport, neurotransmission, cell cycle, apoptosis, and cell migration. Finally, we will wrap up the chapter by discussing in some detail specific channels, cotransporters, and exchangers that have evolved to facilitate the movement of cations and anions otherwise unable to cross the lipid-rich bilayer and that are involved in maintaining or regulating cell volume.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
WNK kinases, along with their upstream regulators (CUL3/KLHL3) and downstream targets (the SPAK/OSR1 kinases and the cation-Cl cotransporters [CCCs]), comprise a signaling cascade essential for ion homeostasis in the kidney and nervous system. Recent work has furthered our understanding of the WNKs in epithelial transport, cell volume homeostasis, and GABA signaling, and uncovered novel roles for this pathway in immune cell function and cell proliferation.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Two diffusion-based approaches, CG (constant gradient) and FEXI (filtered exchange imaging) methods, have been previously proposed for measuring transcytolemmal water exchange rate constant k, but their accuracy and feasibility have not been comprehensively evaluated and compared. In this work, both computer simulations and cell experiments in vitro were performed to evaluate these two methods. Simulations were done with different cell diameters (5, 10, 20μm), a broad range of k values (0.02-30s) and different SNR's, and simulated k's were directly compared with the ground truth values. Human leukemia K562 cells were cultured and treated with saponin to selectively change cell transmembrane permeability. The agreement between measured k's of both methods was also evaluated. The results suggest that, without noise, the CG method provides reasonably accurate estimation of k especially when it is smaller than 10s, which is in the typical physiological range of many biological tissues. However, although the FEXI method overestimates k even with corrections for the effects of extracellular water fraction, it provides reasonable estimates with practical SNR's and more importantly, the fitted apparent exchange rate AXR showed approximately linear dependence on the ground truth k. In conclusion, either CG or FEXI method provides a sensitive means to characterize the variations in transcytolemmal water exchange rate constant k, although the accuracy and specificity is usually compromised. The non-imaging CG method provides more accurate estimation of k, but limited to large volume-of-interest. Although the accuracy of FEXI is compromised with extracellular volume fraction, it is capable of spatially mapping k in practice.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - A temporal diffusion MRI spectroscopy based approach has been developed to quantify cancer cell size and density in vivo.
METHODS - A novel imaging microstructural parameters using limited spectrally edited diffusion (IMPULSED) method selects a specific limited diffusion spectral window for an accurate quantification of cell sizes ranging from 10 to 20 μm in common solid tumors. In practice, it is achieved by a combination of a single long diffusion time pulsed gradient spin echo (PGSE) and three low-frequency oscillating gradient spin echo (OGSE) acquisitions. To validate our approach, hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunostaining of cell membranes, in concert with whole slide imaging, were used to visualize nuclei and cell boundaries, and hence, enabled accurate estimates of cell size and cellularity.
RESULTS - Based on a two compartment model (incorporating intra- and extracellular spaces), accurate estimates of cell sizes were obtained in vivo for three types of human colon cancers. The IMPULSED-derived apparent cellularities showed a stronger correlation (r = 0.81; P < 0.0001) with histology-derived cellularities than conventional ADCs (r = -0.69; P < 0.03).
CONCLUSION - The IMPULSED approach samples a specific region of temporal diffusion spectra with enhanced sensitivity to length scales of 10-20 μm, and enables measurements of cell sizes and cellularities in solid tumors in vivo. Magn Reson Med 78:156-164, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
© 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
During pregnancy, maternal β-cells undergo compensatory changes, including increased β-cell mass and enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Failure of these adaptations to occur results in gestational diabetes mellitus. The secreted protein connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is critical for normal β-cell development and promotes regeneration after partial β-cell ablation. During embryogenesis, CTGF is expressed in pancreatic ducts, vasculature, and β-cells. In adult pancreas, CTGF is expressed only in the vasculature. Here we show that pregnant mice with global Ctgf haploinsufficiency (Ctgf(LacZ/+)) have an impairment in maternal β-cell proliferation; no difference was observed in virgin Ctgf(LacZ/+) females. Using a conditional CTGF allele, we found that mice with a specific inactivation of CTGF in endocrine cells (Ctgf(ΔEndo)) develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but this is due to a reduction in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion rather than impaired maternal β-cell proliferation. Moreover, virgin Ctgf(ΔEndo) females also display impaired GSIS with glucose intolerance, indicating that underlying β-cell dysfunction precedes the development of gestational diabetes in this animal model. This is the first time a role for CTGF in β-cell function has been reported.
PURPOSE - A novel quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method, namely, temporal diffusion spectroscopy (TDS), was used to detect the response of tumor cells (notably, mitotic arrest) to a specific antimitotic treatment (Nab-paclitaxel) in culture and human ovarian xenografts and evaluated as an early imaging biomarker of tumor responsiveness.
METHODS - TDS measures a series of apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) of tissue water over a range of effective diffusion times, which may correspond to diffusion distances ranging from subcellular to cellular levels (~3-20 μm). By fitting the measured ADC data to a tissue model, parameters reflecting structural properties such as restriction size in solid tumors can be extracted. Two types of human ovarian cell lines (OVCAR-8 as a responder to Nab-paclitaxel and NCI/ADR-RES as a resistant type) were treated with either vehicle (PBS) or Nab-paclitaxel, and treatment responses of both in vitro and in vivo cases were investigated using TDS.
RESULTS - Acute cell size increases induced by Nab-paclitaxel in responding tumors were confirmed by flow cytometry and light microscopy in cell culture. Nab-paclitaxel-induced mitotic arrest in treated tumors/cells was quantified histologically by measuring the mitotic index in vivo using a mitosis-specific marker (anti-phosphohistone H3). Changes in the fitted restriction size, one of the parameters obtained from TDS, were able to detect and quantify increases in tumor cell sizes. All the MR results had a high degree of consistency with other flow, microscopy, and histological data. Moreover, with an appropriate analysis, the Nab-paclitaxel-responsive tumors in vivo could be easily distinguished from all the other vehicle-treated and Nab-paclitaxel-resistant tumors.
CONCLUSION - TDS detects increases in cell sizes associated with antimitotic-therapy-induced mitotic arrest in solid tumors in vivo which occur before changes in tissue cellularity or conventional diffusion MRI metrics. By quantifying changes in cell size, TDS has the potential to improve the specificity of MRI methods in the evaluation of therapeutic response and enable a mechanistic understanding of therapy-induced changes in tumors.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mice carrying a targeted disruption of the prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) E-prostanoid receptor 3 (EP3) gene, Ptger3, were fed a high-fat diet (HFD), or a micronutrient matched control diet, to investigate the effects of disrupted PGE2-EP3 signaling on diabetes in a setting of diet-induced obesity. Although no differences in body weight were seen in mice fed the control diet, when fed a HFD, EP3(-/-) mice gained more weight relative to EP3(+/+) mice. Overall, EP3(-/-) mice had increased epididymal fat mass and adipocyte size; paradoxically, a relative decrease in both epididymal fat pad mass and adipocyte size was observed in the heaviest EP3(-/-) mice. The EP3(-/-) mice had increased macrophage infiltration, TNF-α, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, IL-6 expression, and necrosis in their epididymal fat pads as compared with EP3(+/+) animals. Adipocytes isolated from EP3(+/+) or EP3(-/-) mice were assayed for the effect of PGE2-evoked inhibition of lipolysis. Adipocytes isolated from EP3(-/-) mice lacked PGE2-evoked inhibition of isoproterenol stimulated lipolysis compared with EP3(+/+). EP3(-/-) mice fed HFD had exaggerated ectopic lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle and liver, with evidence of hepatic steatosis. Both blood glucose and plasma insulin levels were similar between genotypes on a control diet, but when fed HFD, EP3(-/-) mice became hyperglycemic and hyperinsulinemic when compared with EP3(+/+) fed HFD, demonstrating a more severe insulin resistance phenotype in EP3(-/-). These results demonstrate that when fed a HFD, EP3(-/-) mice have abnormal lipid distribution, developing excessive ectopic lipid accumulation and associated insulin resistance.
K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporters (KCCs) were originally characterized as regulators of red blood cell (RBC) volume. Since then, four distinct KCCs have been cloned, and their importance for volume regulation has been demonstrated in other cell types. Genetic models of certain KCCs, such as KCC3, and their inhibitory WNK-STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) serine-threonine kinases, have demonstrated the evolutionary necessity of these molecules for nervous system cell volume regulation, structure, and function, and their involvement in neurological disease. The recent characterization of a swelling-activated dephosphorylation mechanism that potently stimulates the KCCs has pinpointed a potentially druggable switch of KCC activity. An improved understanding of WNK/SPAK-mediated KCC cell volume regulation in the nervous system might reveal novel avenues for the treatment of multiple neurological diseases.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - A new approach has been developed to quantify cell sizes and intracellular volume fractions using temporal diffusion spectroscopy with diffusion-weighted acquisitions.
METHODS - Temporal diffusion spectra may be used to characterize tissue microstructure by measuring the effects of restrictions over a range of diffusion times. Oscillating gradients have been used previously to probe variations on cellular and subcellular scales, but their ability to accurately measure cell sizes larger than 10 μm is limited. By combining measurements made using oscillating gradient spin echo (OGSE) and a conventional pulsed gradient spin echo (PGSE) acquisition with a single, relatively long diffusion time, we can accurately quantify cell sizes and intracellular volume fractions.
RESULTS - Based on a two compartment model (incorporating intra- and extracellular spaces), accurate estimates of cell sizes and intracellular volume fractions were obtained in vitro for (i) different cell types with sizes ranging from 10 to 20 μm, (ii) different cell densities, and (iii) before and after anticancer treatment.
CONCLUSION - Hybrid OGSE-PGSE acquisitions sample a larger region of temporal diffusion spectra and can accurately quantify cell sizes over a wide range. Moreover, the maximum gradient strength used was lower than 15 G/cm, suggesting that this approach is translatable to practical MR imaging.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.