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3D printing enables the creation of scaffolds with precisely controlled morphometric properties for multiple tissue types, including musculoskeletal tissues such as cartilage and bone. Computed tomography (CT) imaging has been combined with 3D printing to fabricate anatomically scaled patient-specific scaffolds for bone regeneration. However, anatomically scaled scaffolds typically lack sufficient resolution to recapitulate the <100 micrometer-scale trabecular architecture essential for investigating the cellular response to the morphometric properties of bone. In this study, it is hypothesized that the architecture of trabecular bone regulates osteoblast differentiation and mineralization. To test this hypothesis, human bone-templated 3D constructs are fabricated via a new micro-CT/3D inkjet printing process. It is shown that this process reproducibly fabricates bone-templated constructs that recapitulate the anatomic site-specific morphometric properties of trabecular bone. A significant correlation is observed between the structure model index (a morphometric parameter related to surface curvature) and the degree of mineralization of human mesenchymal stem cells, with more concave surfaces promoting more extensive osteoblast differentiation and mineralization compared to predominately convex surfaces. These findings highlight the significant effects of trabecular architecture on osteoblast function.
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Ewing sarcomas are rare mesenchymal-derived bone and soft tissue tumors in children. Afflicted children with distant metastases have poor survival despite aggressive therapeutics. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in epithelial carcinomas is associated with loss of E-cadherin and resistance to apoptosis. ML327 is a novel small molecule that we have previously shown to reverse epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition features in both epithelial and neural crest-derived cancers. Herein, we sought to evaluate the effects of ML327 on mesenchymal-derived Ewing sarcoma cells, hypothesizing that ML327 initiates growth arrest and sensitizes to TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand. ML327 induced protein expression changes, increased E-cadherin and decreased vimentin, consistent with partial induction of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition in multiple Ewing Sarcoma cell lines (SK-N-MC, TC71, and ES-5838). Induction of epithelial features was associated with apoptosis, as demonstrated by PARP and Caspase 3 cleavage by immunoblotting. Cell cycle analysis validated these findings by marked induction of the subG cell population. In vitro combination treatment with TRAIL demonstrated additive induction of apoptotic markers. Taken together, these findings establish a rationale for further in vivo trials of ML327 in cells of mesenchymal origin both alone and in combination with TRAIL.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) hold great promise for regenerative medicine due to their multipotent differentiation capacity and immunomodulatory capabilities. Substantial research has elucidated mechanisms by which extracellular cues regulate hMSC fate decisions, but considerably less work has addressed how material properties can be leveraged to maintain undifferentiated stem cells. Here, we show that synthetic culture substrates designed to exhibit moderate cell-repellency promote high stemness and low oxidative stress-two indicators of naïve, healthy stem cells-in commercial and patient-derived hMSCs. Furthermore, the material-mediated effect on cell behavior can be tuned by altering the molar percentage (mol %) and/or chain length of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), the repellant block linked to hydrophobic poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) in the copolymer backbone. Nano- and angstrom-scale characterization of the cell-material interface reveals that PEG interrupts the adhesive PCL domains in a chain-length-dependent manner; this prevents hMSCs from forming mature focal adhesions and subsequently promotes cell-cell adhesions that require connexin-43. This study is the first to demonstrate that intrinsic properties of synthetic materials can be tuned to regulate the stemness and redox capacity of hMSCs and provides new insight for designing highly scalable, programmable culture platforms for clinical translation.
Pulmonary vascular disease is characterized by remodeling and loss of microvessels and is typically attributed to pathological responses in vascular endothelium or abnormal smooth muscle cell phenotypes. We have challenged this understanding by defining an adult pulmonary mesenchymal progenitor cell (MPC) that regulates both microvascular function and angiogenesis. The current understanding of adult MPCs and their roles in homeostasis versus disease has been limited by a lack of genetic markers with which to lineage label multipotent mesenchyme and trace the differentiation of these MPCs into vascular lineages. Here, we have shown that lineage-labeled lung MPCs expressing the ATP-binding cassette protein ABCG2 (ABCG2+) are pericyte progenitors that participate in microvascular homeostasis as well as adaptive angiogenesis. Activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, either autonomously or downstream of decreased BMP receptor signaling, enhanced ABCG2+ MPC proliferation but suppressed MPC differentiation into a functional pericyte lineage. Thus, enhanced Wnt/β-catenin signaling in ABCG2+ MPCs drives a phenotype of persistent microvascular dysfunction, abnormal angiogenesis, and subsequent exacerbation of bleomycin-induced fibrosis. ABCG2+ MPCs may, therefore, account in part for the aberrant microvessel function and remodeling that are associated with chronic lung diseases.
Cell therapies suffer from poor survival post-transplant due to placement into hostile implant sites characterized by host immune response and innate production of high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We hypothesized that cellular encapsulation within an injectable, antioxidant hydrogel would improve viability of cells exposed to high oxidative stress. To test this hypothesis, we applied a dual thermo- and ROS-responsive hydrogel comprising the ABC triblock polymer poly[(propylene sulfide)-block-(N,N-dimethyl acrylamide)-block-(N-isopropylacrylamide)] (PPS-b-PDMA-b-PNIPAAM, PDN). The PPS chemistry reacts irreversibly with ROS such as hydrogen peroxide (HO), imparting inherent antioxidant properties to the system. Here, PDN hydrogels were successfully integrated with type 1 collagen to form ROS-protective, composite hydrogels amenable to spreading and growth of adherent cell types such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). It was also shown that, using a control hydrogel substituting nonreactive polycaprolactone in place of PPS, the ROS-reactive PPS chemistry is directly responsible for PDN hydrogel cytoprotection of both MSCs and insulin-producing β-cell pseudo-islets against HO toxicity. In sum, these results establish the potential of cytoprotective, thermogelling PDN biomaterials for injectable delivery of cell therapies.
Various stem cells have been explored for the purpose of cardiac repair. However, any individual stem cell population has not been considered as the ideal source. Recently, trophoblast stem cells (TSCs), a newly described stem cell type, have demonstrated extensive plasticity. The present study evaluated the therapeutic effect of TSCs transplantation for heart regeneration in a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI) and made a direct comparison with the most commonly used mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Transplantation of TSCs and MSCs led to a remarkably improved cardiac function in contrast with the PBS control, but only the TSCs exhibited the potential of differentiation into cardiomyocytes in vivo. In addition, a significantly high proliferation level of both transplanted stem cells and resident cardiomyocytes was observed in the TSCs group. These findings primary revealed the therapeutic potential of TSCs in transplantation therapy for MI.
Fracture nonunion is a major complication of bone fracture regeneration and repair. The molecular mechanisms that result in fracture nonunion appearance are not fully determined. We hypothesized that fracture nonunion results from the failure of hypoxia and hematoma, the primary signals in response to bone injury, to trigger Bmp2 expression by mesenchymal progenitor cells (MSCs). Using a model of nonstabilized fracture healing in transgenic 5'Bmp2BAC mice we determined that Bmp2 expression appears in close association with hypoxic tissue and hematoma during the early phases of fracture healing. In addition, BMP2 expression is induced when human periosteum explants are exposed to hypoxia ex vivo. Transient interference of hypoxia signaling in vivo with PX-12, a thioredoxin inhibitor, results in reduced Bmp2 expression, impaired fracture callus formation and atrophic-like nonunion by a HIF-1α independent mechanism. In isolated human periosteum-derived MSCs, BMP2 expression could be induced with the addition of platelets concentrate lysate but not with hypoxia treatment, confirming HIF-1α-independent BMP2 expression. Interestingly, in isolated human periosteum-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells, inhibition of BMP2 expression by PX-12 is accomplished only under hypoxic conditions seemingly through dis-regulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. In conclusion, we provide evidence of a molecular mechanism of hypoxia-dependent BMP2 expression in MSCs where interference with ROS homeostasis specifies fracture nonunion-like appearance in vivo through inhibition of Bmp2 expression. Stem Cells 2016;34:2342-2353.
© 2016 AlphaMed Press.
Electrospun microfibers are attractive for the engineering of oriented tissues because they present instructive topographic and mechanical cues to cells. However, high-density microfiber networks are too cell-impermeable for most tissue applications. Alternatively, the distribution of sparse microfibers within a three-dimensional hydrogel could present instructive cues to guide cell organization while not inhibiting cell behavior. In this study, thin (∼5 fibers thick) layers of aligned microfibers (0.7 μm) were embedded within collagen hydrogels containing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), cultured for up to 14 days, and assayed for expression of ligament markers and imaged for cell organization. These microfibers were generated through the electrospinning of polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(ester-urethane) (PEUR), or a 75/25 PEUR/PCL blend to produce microfiber networks with elastic moduli of 31, 15, and 5.6 MPa, respectively. MSCs in composites containing 5.6 MPa fibers exhibited increased expression of the ligament marker scleraxis and the contractile phenotype marker α-smooth muscle actin versus the stiffer fiber composites. Additionally, cells within the 5.6 MPa microfiber composites were more oriented compared to cells within the 15 and 31 MPa microfiber composites. Together, these data indicate that the mechanical properties of microfiber/collagen composites can be tuned for the engineering of ligament and other target tissues. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 104A: 1894-1901, 2016.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
To discover mechanisms that mediate plasticity in mammary cells, we characterized signaling networks that are present in the mammary stem cells responsible for fetal and adult mammary development. These analyses identified a signaling axis between FGF signaling and the transcription factor Sox10. Here, we show that Sox10 is specifically expressed in mammary cells exhibiting the highest levels of stem/progenitor activity. This includes fetal and adult mammary cells in vivo and mammary organoids in vitro. Sox10 is functionally relevant, as its deletion reduces stem/progenitor competence whereas its overexpression increases stem/progenitor activity. Intriguingly, we also show that Sox10 overexpression causes mammary cells to undergo a mesenchymal transition. Consistent with these findings, Sox10 is preferentially expressed in stem- and mesenchymal-like breast cancers. These results demonstrate a signaling mechanism through which stem and mesenchymal states are acquired in mammary cells and suggest therapeutic avenues in breast cancers for which targeted therapies are currently unavailable.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Infectious complications of musculoskeletal trauma are an important factor contributing to patient morbidity. Biofilm-dispersive bone grafts augmented with D-amino acids (D-AAs) prevent biofilm formation in vitro and in vivo, but the effects of D-AAs on osteocompatibility and new bone formation have not been investigated.
QUESTIONS/PURPOSES - We asked: (1) Do D-AAs hinder osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation in vitro? (2) Does local delivery of D-AAs from low-viscosity bone grafts inhibit new bone formation in a large-animal model?
METHODS - Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S aureus clinical isolates, mouse bone marrow stromal cells, and osteoclast precursor cells were treated with an equal mass (1:1:1) mixture of D-Pro:D-Met:D-Phe. The effects of the D-AA dose on biofilm inhibition (n = 4), biofilm dispersion (n = 4), and bone marrow stromal cell proliferation (n = 3) were quantitatively measured by crystal violet staining. Osteoblast differentiation was quantitatively assessed by alkaline phosphatase staining, von Kossa staining, and quantitative reverse transcription for the osteogenic factors a1Col1 and Ocn (n = 3). Osteoclast differentiation was quantitatively measured by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining (n = 3). Bone grafts augmented with 0 or 200 mmol/L D-AAs were injected in ovine femoral condyle defects in four sheep. New bone formation was evaluated by μCT and histology 4 months later. An a priori power analysis indicated that a sample size of four would detect a 7.5% difference of bone volume/total volume between groups assuming a mean and SD of 30% and 5%, respectively, with a power of 80% and an alpha level of 0.05 using a two-tailed t-test between the means of two independent samples.
RESULTS - Bone marrow stromal cell proliferation, osteoblast differentiation, and osteoclast differentiation were inhibited at D-AAs concentrations of 27 mmol/L or greater in a dose-responsive manner in vitro (p < 0.05). In methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant S aureus clinical isolates, D-AAs inhibited biofilm formation at concentrations of 13.5 mmol/L or greater in vitro (p < 0.05). Local delivery of D-AAs from low-viscosity grafts did not inhibit new bone formation in a large-animal model pilot study (0 mmol/L D-AAs: bone volume/total volume = 26.9% ± 4.1%; 200 mmol/L D-AAs: bone volume/total volume = 28.3% ± 15.4%; mean difference with 95% CI = -1.4; p = 0.13).
CONCLUSIONS - D-AAs inhibit biofilm formation, bone marrow stromal cell proliferation, osteoblast differentiation, and osteoclast differentiation in vitro in a dose-responsive manner. Local delivery of D-AAs from bone grafts did not inhibit new bone formation in vivo at clinically relevant doses.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE - Local delivery of D-AAs is an effective antibiofilm strategy that does not appear to inhibit bone repair. Longitudinal studies investigating bacterial burden, bone formation, and bone remodeling in contaminated defects as a function of D-AA dose are required to further support the use of D-AAs in the clinical management of infected open fractures.