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Cancers, 10
July, 2018

Independent Mechanisms Lead to Genomic Instability in Hodgkin Lymphoma: Microsatellite or Chromosomal Instability , [email protected], .

Cuceu, Corina, Colicchio, Bruno, Jeandidier, Eric, Junker, Steffen, Plassa, François, Shim, Grace, Mika, Justyna, Frenzel, Monika, Al Jawhari, Mustafa, Hempel, William M, O'Brien, Grainne, Lenain, Aude, Morat, Luc, Girinsky, Theodore, Dieterlen, Alain, Polanska, Joanna, Badie, Christophe, Carde, Patrice, M'Kacher, Radhia

: Microsatellite and chromosomal instability have been investigated in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). : We studied seven HL cell lines (five Nodular Sclerosis (NS) and two Mixed Cellularity (MC)) and patient peripheral blood lymphocytes (100 NS-HL and 23 MC-HL). Microsatellite instability (MSI) was assessed by PCR. Chromosomal instability and telomere dysfunction were investigated by FISH. DNA repair mechanisms were studied by transcriptomic and molecular approaches. : In the cell lines, we observed high MSI in L428 (4/5), KMH2, and HDLM2 (3/5), low MSI in L540, L591, and SUP-HD1, and none in L1236. NS-HL cell lines showed telomere shortening, associated with alterations of nuclear shape. Small cells were characterized by telomere loss and deletion, leading to chromosomal fusion, large nucleoplasmic bridges, and breakage/fusion/bridge (B/F/B) cycles, leading to chromosomal instability. The MC-HL cell lines showed substantial heterogeneity of telomere length. Intrachromosmal double strand breaks induced dicentric chromosome formation, high levels of micronucleus formation, and small nucleoplasmic bridges. B/F/B cycles induced complex chromosomal rearrangements. We observed a similar pattern in circulating lymphocytes of NS-HL and MC-HL patients. Transcriptome analysis confirmed the differences in the DNA repair pathways between the NS and MC cell lines. In addition, the NS-HL cell lines were radiosensitive and the MC-cell lines resistant to apoptosis after radiation exposure. : In mononuclear NS-HL cells, loss of telomere integrity may present the first step in the ongoing process of chromosomal instability. Here, we identified, MSI as an additional mechanism for genomic instability in HL.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/cancers10070233

International journal of radiation biology, 94, 664–670
July, 2018

Evaluation of chromosomal aberrations induced by , [email protected], Re-dendrimer nanosystem on B16f1 melanoma cells.

Tassano, Marcos, Oddone, Natalia, Fernández, Marcelo, Porcal, Williams, García, María Fernanda, Martínez-López, Wilner, Benech, Juan Claudio, Cabral, Pablo

To study the rhenium-188 labeling of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) generation 4 (G4) dendrimer and its evaluation on biodistribution and chromosomal aberrations in melanoma cells induced by ionizing radiation as potential treatment agent. Dendrimers were first conjugated with Suc-HYNIC (succinimidyl 6-hydrazinopyridine-3-carboxylic acid hydrochloride). Dendrimer-HYNIC was then incubated with ReO . Biodistribution was performed administrating Re-dendrimer to normal (NM) or melanoma-bearing mice (MBM). Chromosome aberration test was conducted in order to measure treatment capacity of Re-dendrimer in melanoma cells. Radiolabeling yield of dendrimer was approx. 70%. Biodistribution studies in NM showed blood clearance with hepatic and renal depuration. MBM showed a similar pattern of biodistribution with tumor uptake of 6% of injected dose. Aberrant metaphases quantified in control cells were 7%, increasing to 29.5% in cells treated with 15μCi (0.555 MBq) of Re-dendrimer for 24 h. Re-dendrimer can produce double-stranded breaks in DNA induced by ionizing radiation in melanoma cells in vitro.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1080/09553002.2018.1478161

PloS one, 13, e0193213
June, 2018

Impact of 9p deletion and p16, Cyclin D1, and Myc hyperexpression on the outcome of anaplastic oligodendrogliomas.

Michaud, Karine, de Tayrac, Marie, D'Astous, Myreille, Paquet, Claudie, Gould, Peter Vincent, Saikali, Stéphan

To study the presence of 9p deletion and p16, cyclin D1 and Myc expression and their respective diagnostic and prognostic interest in oligodendrogliomas. We analyzed a retrospective series of 40 consecutive anaplastic oligodendrogliomas (OIII) from a single institution and compared them to a control series of 10 low grade oligodendrogliomas (OII). Automated FISH analysis of chromosome 9p status and immunohistochemistry for p16, cyclin D1 and Myc was performed for all cases and correlated with clinical and histological data, event free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS). Chromosome 9p deletion was observed in 55% of OIII (22/40) but not in OII. Deletion was highly correlated to EFS (median = 29 versus 53 months, p<0.0001) and OS (median = 48 versus 83 months, p<0.0001) in both the total cohort and the OIII population. In 9p non-deleted oligodendrogliomas, p16 hyperexpression correlated with a shorter OS (p = 0.02 in OII and p = 0.0001 in OIII) whereas lack of p16 expression was correlated to a shorter EFS and OS in 9p deleted OIII (p = 0.001 and p = 0.0002 respectively). Expression of Cyclin D1 was significantly higher in OIII (median expression 45% versus 14% for OII, p = 0.0006) and was correlated with MIB-1 expression (p<0.0001), vascular proliferation (p = 0.002), tumor necrosis (p = 0.04) and a shorter EFS in the total cohort (p = 0.05). Hyperexpression of Myc was correlated to grade (median expression 27% in OII versus 35% in OIII, p = 0.03), and to a shorter EFS in 9p non-deleted OIII (p = 0.01). Chromosome 9p deletion identifies a subset of OIII with significantly worse prognosis. The combination of 9p status and p16 expression level identifies two distinct OIII populations with divergent prognosis. Hyperexpression of Bcl1 and Myc appears highly linked to anaplasia but the prognostic value is unclear and should be investigated further.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0193213

Annals of diagnostic pathology, 34, 1–12
June, 2018

Review with novel markers facilitates precise categorization of 41 cases of diagnostically challenging, "undifferentiated small round cell tumors". A clinicopathologic, immunophenotypic and molecular analysis.

Machado, Isidro, Yoshida, Akihiko, Morales, María Gema Nieto, Abrahão-Machado, Lucas Faria, Navarro, Samuel, Cruz, Julia, Lavernia, Javier, Parafioriti, Antonina, Picci, Piero, Llombart-Bosch, Antonio

Despite extensive immunohistochemical (IHC) and molecular studies combined with morphologic findings, a group of round/ovoid cell tumors histologically similar to Ewing sarcomas (ES) but lacking EWSR1-rearrangements may remain unclassifiable. We retrospectively analyzed 41 Ewing-like tumors (formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded) previously determined as negative or non-informative for EWSR1-rearrangements by FISH and/or RT-PCR. A new histopathology revision and additional IHC and molecular analyses were carried out in order to investigate whether additional IHC and/or molecular testing in combination with the morphological findings may help in reaching a definitive diagnosis. Almost all the tumors (n=40) involved soft tissue and/or bone and half the patients died of disease. In the archival cases all diagnoses were Ewing sarcoma (ES), Ewing-like sarcoma (ELS), myoepithelial tumor and undifferentiated sarcoma (US). In the new review all the tumors were re-classified as, ES (n=16), Ewing-like tumor with EWSR1 rearrangement and amplification and possible EWSR1-NFATC2 gene fusion (n=1), CIC-rearranged sarcomas or undifferentiated sarcoma, most consistent with CIC-rearranged sarcoma (n=7), sarcoma with BCOR-alteration or undifferentiated sarcoma, consistent with BCOR-associated sarcoma (n=3), neuroblastoma (n=2), unclassifiable neoplasm with neuroblastic differentiation (n=1), malignant rhabdoid tumor (n=2), lymphoblastic lymphoma (n=1), clear cell sarcoma of the gastrointestinal tract (n=1), small cell carcinoma (n=1), sclerosing rhabdomyosarcoma (n=1), desmoplastic small round cell tumor (n=1), malignant peripheral sheath nerve tumor (n=1), poorly-differentiated synovial sarcoma (n=1), Possible gastrointestinal stromal tumor/GIST with predominant round cells (n=1) and possible SMARCA4-deficient-sarcoma (n=1). NKX2.2, ETV4 and BCOR immunoreactivity was observed in all ES, CIC-rearranged sarcomas and sarcomas with BCOR alteration, respectively. CIC-rearrangement by FISH was observed in many of the CIC-rearranged sarcomas. Our analysis of 41 Ewing-like tumors confirms that there may be a significant pathological and IHC overlap among Ewing-like tumors, with prognostic and therapeutic impacts. Additional IHC (NKX2.2, ETV4 and BCOR) and molecular studies including FUS, CIC or BCOR analysis may support the final diagnosis when FISH or RT-PCR fail to detect EWSR1-rearrangements. Any molecular findings should always be interpreted in relation to the specific clinical and pathological context.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2017.11.011

Cancers, 10, e0193213
May, 2018

The Transition between Telomerase and ALT Mechanisms in Hodgkin Lymphoma and Its Predictive Value in Clinical Outcomes.

M'kacher, Radhia, Cuceu, Corina, Al Jawhari, Mustafa, Morat, Luc, Frenzel, Monika, Shim, Grace, Lenain, Aude, Hempel, William M, Junker, Steffen, Girinsky, Theodore, Colicchio, Bruno, Dieterlen, Alain, Heidingsfelder, Leonhard, Borie, Claire, Oudrhiri, Noufissa, Bennaceur-Griscelli, Annelise, Moralès, Olivier, Renaud, Sarah, Van de Wyngaert, Zoé, Jeandidier, Eric, Delhem, Nadira, Carde, Patrice

: We analyzed telomere maintenance mechanisms (TMMs) in lymph node samples from HL patients treated with standard therapy. The TMMs correlated with clinical outcomes of patients. : Lymph node biopsies obtained from 38 HL patients and 24 patients with lymphadenitis were included in this study. Seven HL cell lines were used as in vitro models. Telomerase activity (TA) was assessed by TRAP assay and verified through hTERT immunofluorescence expression; alternative telomere lengthening (ALT) was also assessed, along with EBV status. : Both TA and ALT mechanisms were present in HL lymph nodes. Our findings were reproduced in HL cell lines. The highest levels of TA were expressed in CD30-/CD15- cells. Small cells were identified with ALT and TA. Hodgkin and Reed Sternberg cells contained high levels of PML bodies, but had very low hTERT expression. There was a significant correlation between overall survival ( < 10 ), event-free survival ( < 10 ), and freedom from progression ( < 10 ) and the presence of an ALT profile in lymph nodes of EBV+ patients. : The presence of both types of TMMs in HL lymph nodes and in HL cell lines has not previously been reported. TMMs correlate with the treatment outcome of EBV+ HL patients.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/cancers10060169

Angiogenesis, 11, 44
May, 2018

Improved recovery from limb ischaemia by delivery of an affinity-isolated heparan sulphate.

Poon, Selina, Lu, Xiaohua, Smith, Raymond A A, Ho, Pei, Bhakoo, Kishore, Nurcombe, Victor, Cool, Simon M

Peripheral arterial disease is a major cause of limb loss and its prevalence is increasing worldwide. As most standard-of-care therapies yield only unsatisfactory outcomes, more options are needed. Recent cell- and molecular-based therapies that have aimed to modulate vascular endothelial growth factor-165 (VEGF ) levels have not yet been approved for clinical use due to their uncertain side effects. We have previously reported a heparan sulphate (termed HS7) tuned to avidly bind VEGF . Here, we investigated the ability of HS7 to promote vascular recovery in a murine hindlimb vascular ischaemia model. HS7 stabilised VEGF against thermal and enzyme degradation in vitro, and isolated VEGF from serum via affinity-chromatography. C57BL6 mice subjected to unilateral hindlimb ischaemia injury received daily intramuscular injections of respective treatments (n = 8) and were assessed over 3 weeks by laser Doppler perfusion, magnetic resonance angiography, histology and the regain of function. Mice receiving HS7 showed improved blood reperfusion in the footpad by day 7. In addition, they recovered hindlimb blood volume two- to fourfold faster compared to the saline group; the greatest rate of recovery was observed in the first week. Notably, 17% of HS7-treated animals recovered full hindlimb function by day 7, a number that grew to 58% and 100% by days 14 and 21, respectively. This was in contrast to only 38% in the control animals. These results highlight the potential of purified glycosaminoglycan fractions for clinical use following vascular insult, and confirm the importance of harnessing the activity of endogenous pro-healing factors generated at injury sites.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s10456-018-9622-9

eLife, 7, 3122
May, 2018

Distinct roles of ATM and ATR in the regulation of ARP8 phosphorylation to prevent chromosome translocations.

Sun, Jiying, Shi, Lin, Kinomura, Aiko, Fukuto, Atsuhiko, Horikoshi, Yasunori, Oma, Yukako, Harata, Masahiko, Ikura, Masae, Ikura, Tsuyoshi, Kanaar, Roland, Tashiro, Satoshi

Chromosomal translocations are hallmarks of various types of cancers and leukemias. However, the molecular mechanisms of chromosome translocations remain largely unknown. The ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein, a DNA damage signaling regulator, facilitates DNA repair to prevent chromosome abnormalities. Previously, we showed that ATM deficiency led to the 11q23 chromosome translocation, the most frequent chromosome abnormalities in secondary leukemia. Here, we show that ARP8, a subunit of the INO80 chromatin remodeling complex, is phosphorylated after etoposide treatment. The etoposide-induced phosphorylation of ARP8 is regulated by ATM and ATR, and attenuates its interaction with INO80. The ATM-regulated phosphorylation of ARP8 reduces the excessive loading of INO80 and RAD51 onto the breakpoint cluster region. These findings suggest that the phosphorylation of ARP8, regulated by ATM, plays an important role in maintaining the fidelity of DNA repair to prevent the etoposide-induced 11q23 abnormalities.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.7554/eLife.32222

British journal of pharmacology
March, 2018


Guerrero-Alba, Raquel, Valdez-Morales, Eduardo Emmanuel, Jiménez-Vargas, Nestor Nivardo, Bron, Romke, Poole, Daniel, Reed, David, Castro, Joel, Campaniello, Melissa, Hughes, Patrick A, Brierley, Stuart M, Bunnett, Nigel, Lomax, Alan E, Vanner, Stephen

To better understand opioid signaling in visceral nociceptors, we examined the expression and selective activation of mu (MOR) and delta opioid receptors (DOR) by dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons innervating the mouse colon. DRG neurons projecting to the colon were identified by retrograde tracing. DOR-GFP reporter mice, in situ hybridization, single-cell RT-PCR, and MOR-specific antibodies were used to characterize expression of MOR and DOR. Voltage-gated Ca currents and neuronal excitability were recorded in small diameter nociceptive neurons (capacitance < 30pF) by patch clamp and ex vivo single-unit afferent recordings were obtained from the colon. In situ hybridization of oprm1 expression in Fast Blue-labeled DRG neurons was observed in 61% of neurons. MOR and DOR were expressed by 36-46% of colon DRG neurons, and co-expressed by ~25 % of neurons. MOR and DOR agonists inhibited Ca currents in DRG and these effects were blocked by opioid antagonists. One or both agonists inhibited action potential firing by colonic afferent endings. Incubation of neurons with supernatants from inflamed colon segments inhibited Ca currents and neuronal excitability. The MOR but not the DOR antagonist, inhibited the supernatant effects on Ca currents, whereas both antagonists inhibited their actions on neuronal excitability. A significant number of small diameter colonic nociceptors co-express MOR and DOR and are inhibited by agonists and endogenous opioids in inflamed tissues. Thus, opioids that act at MOR or DOR or their heterodimers may be effective in the treatment of visceral pain.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1111/bph.14222

Nature communications, 9, 1048
March, 2018

Integrative genomic profiling of large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas reveals distinct subtypes of high-grade neuroendocrine lung tumors.

George, Julie, Walter, Vonn, Peifer, Martin, Alexandrov, Ludmil B, Seidel, Danila, Leenders, Frauke, Maas, Lukas, Müller, Christian, Dahmen, Ilona, Delhomme, Tiffany M, Ardin, Maude, Leblay, Noemie, Byrnes, Graham, Sun, Ruping, De Reynies, Aurélien, McLeer-Florin, Anne, Bosco, Graziella, Malchers, Florian, Menon, Roopika, Altmüller, Janine, Becker, Christian, Nürnberg, Peter, Achter, Viktor, Lang, Ulrich, Schneider, Peter M, Bogus, Magdalena, Soloway, Matthew G, Wilkerson, Matthew D, Cun, Yupeng, McKay, James D, Moro-Sibilot, Denis, Brambilla, Christian G, Lantuejoul, Sylvie, Lemaitre, Nicolas, Soltermann, Alex, Weder, Walter, Tischler, Verena, Brustugun, Odd Terje, Lund-Iversen, Marius, Helland, Åslaug, Solberg, Steinar, Ansén, Sascha, Wright, Gavin, Solomon, Benjamin, Roz, Luca, Pastorino, Ugo, Petersen, Iver, Clement, Joachim H, Sänger, Jörg, Wolf, Jürgen, Vingron, Martin, Zander, Thomas, Perner, Sven, Travis, William D, Haas, Stefan A, Olivier, Magali, Foll, Matthieu, Büttner, Reinhard, Hayes, David Neil, Brambilla, Elisabeth, Fernandez-Cuesta, Lynnette, Thomas, Roman K

Pulmonary large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas (LCNECs) have similarities with other lung cancers, but their precise relationship has remained unclear. Here we perform a comprehensive genomic (n = 60) and transcriptomic (n = 69) analysis of 75 LCNECs and identify two molecular subgroups: "type I LCNECs" with bi-allelic TP53 and STK11/KEAP1 alterations (37%), and "type II LCNECs" enriched for bi-allelic inactivation of TP53 and RB1 (42%). Despite sharing genomic alterations with adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, no transcriptional relationship was found; instead LCNECs form distinct transcriptional subgroups with closest similarity to SCLC. While type I LCNECs and SCLCs exhibit a neuroendocrine profile with ASCL1 /DLL3 /NOTCH , type II LCNECs bear TP53 and RB1 alterations and differ from most SCLC tumors with reduced neuroendocrine markers, a pattern of ASCL1 /DLL3 /NOTCH , and an upregulation of immune-related pathways. In conclusion, LCNECs comprise two molecularly defined subgroups, and distinguishing them from SCLC may allow stratified targeted treatment of high-grade neuroendocrine lung tumors.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1038/s41467-018-03099-x

PloS one, 13, e0190970
March, 2018

Doxorubicin-provoked increase of mitotic activity and concomitant drain of G0-pool in therapy-resistant BE(2)-C neuroblastoma.

Hultman, Isabell, Haeggblom, Linnea, Rognmo, Ingvild, Jansson Edqvist, Josefin, Blomberg, Evelina, Ali, Rouknuddin, Phillips, Lottie, Sandstedt, Bengt, Kogner, Per, Shirazi Fard, Shahrzad, Ährlund-Richter, Lars

In this study chemotherapy response in neuroblastoma (NB) was assessed for the first time in a transplantation model comprising non-malignant human embryonic microenvironment of pluripotent stem cell teratoma (PSCT) derived from diploid bona fide hESC. Two NB cell lines with known high-risk phenotypes; the multi-resistant BE(2)-C and the drug sensitive IMR-32, were transplanted to the PSCT model and the tumour growth was exposed to single or repeated treatments with doxorubicin, and thereafter evaluated for cell death, apoptosis, and proliferation. Dose dependent cytotoxic effects were observed, this way corroborating the experimental platform for this type of analysis. Notably, analysis of doxorubicin-resilient BE(2)-C growth in the PSCT model revealed an unexpected 1,5-fold increase in Ki67-index (p<0.05), indicating that non-cycling (G0) cells entered the cell cycle following the doxorubicin exposure. Support for this notion was obtained also in vitro. A pharmacologically relevant dose (1μM) resulted in a marked accumulation of Ki67 positive BE(2)-C cells (p<0.0001), as well as a >3-fold increase in active cell cycle (i.e. cells positive staining for PH3 together with incorporation of EdU) (p<0.01). Considering the clinical challenge for treating high-risk NB, the discovery of a therapy-provoked growth-stimulating effect in the multi-resistant and p53-mutated BE(2)-C cell line, but not in the drug-sensitive p53wt IMR-32 cell line, warrants further studies concerning generality and clinical significance of this new observation.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0190970

Nanoscale, 10, 4320–4331
March, 2018

Super-resolution localization microscopy of radiation-induced histone H2AX-phosphorylation in relation to H3K9-trimethylation in HeLa cells.

Hausmann, Michael, Wagner, Emma, Lee, Jin-Ho, Schrock, Gerrit, Schaufler, Wladimir, Krufczik, Matthias, Papenfuß, Franziska, Port, Matthias, Bestvater, Felix, Scherthan, Harry

Ionizing radiation (IR)-induced damage confers functional and conformational changes to nuclear chromatin associated with DNA single and double strand breaks. This leads to the activation of complex DNA repair machineries that aim to preserve the integrity of the DNA molecule. Since hetero- and euchromatin are differentially accessible to DNA repair pathways, local chromatin re-arrangements and structural changes are among the consequences of an activated DNA damage response. Using super-resolution localization microscopy (SRLM), we investigated the X-ray-induced repositioning of γ-H2AX and histone H3K9me3 heterochromatin marks in the nuclei of HeLa cells. Aliquots of cells exposed to different IR doses (0.5, 1 and 2 Gy) were fixed at certain repair times for SRLM imaging. The number and size of nano-scale γ-H2AX molecule signal clusters detected increased with rising irradiation doses, with the number and size being the highest 0.5 h after irradiation. With growing repair time both the number and size of γ-H2AX nano-clusters decreased. Eight hours after irradiation, the number of clusters reached control levels, in agreement with the disappearance of most IR-induced foci seen by conventional microscopy. SRLM investigation of heterochromatin marks in spatial relation to γ-H2AX clusters showed that on average the heterochromatin density was high in the vicinity of γ-H2AX, which is in agreement with the observation that DSBs seem to relocate to the surface of heterochromatin clusters for DNA repair. The data demonstrate the potential of pointillist images obtained by SRLM for quantitative investigations of chromatin conformation changes and repair-protein recruitment on the nanoscale as measures for a radiation response.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1039/c7nr08145f

Cancer genomics & proteomics, 15, 91–114
March, 2018

Characterization of Camptothecin-induced Genomic Changes in the Camptothecin-resistant T-ALL-derived Cell Line CPT-K5.

Kjeldsen, Eigil, Nielsen, Christine J F, Roy, Amit, Tesauro, Cinzia, Jakobsen, Ann-Katrine, Stougaard, Magnus, Knudsen, Birgitta R

Acquisition of resistance to topoisomerase I (TOP1)-targeting camptothecin (CPT) derivatives is a major clinical problem. Little is known about the underlying chromosomal and genomic mechanisms. We characterized the CPT-K5 cell line expressing mutant CPT-resistant TOP1 and its parental T-cell derived acute lymphoblastic leukemia CPT-sensitive RPMI-8402 cell line by karyotyping and molecular genetic methods, including subtractive oligo-based array comparative genomic hybridization (soaCGH) analysis. Karyotyping revealed that CPT-K5 cells had acquired additional structural aberrations and a reduced modal chromosomal number compared to RPMI-8402. soaCGH analysis identified vast copy number alterations and >200 unbalanced DNA breakpoints distributed unevenly across the chromosomal complement in CPT-K5. In addition, the short tandem repeat alleles were found to be highly different between CPT-K5 and its parental cell line. We identified copy number alterations affecting genes important for maintaining genome integrity and reducing CPT-induced DNA damage. We show for the first time that short tandem repeats are targets for TOP1 cleavage, that can be differentially stimulated by CPT.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.21873/cgp.20068

Journal of clinical microbiology, 56
March, 2018

Automated Interpretation of Blood Culture Gram Stains by Use of a Deep Convolutional Neural Network.

Smith, Kenneth P, Kang, Anthony D, Kirby, James E

Microscopic interpretation of stained smears is one of the most operator-dependent and time-intensive activities in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Here, we investigated application of an automated image acquisition and convolutional neural network (CNN)-based approach for automated Gram stain classification. Using an automated microscopy platform, uncoverslipped slides were scanned with a 40× dry objective, generating images of sufficient resolution for interpretation. We collected 25,488 images from positive blood culture Gram stains prepared during routine clinical workup. These images were used to generate 100,213 crops containing Gram-positive cocci in clusters, Gram-positive cocci in chains/pairs, Gram-negative rods, or background (no cells). These categories were targeted for proof-of-concept development as they are associated with the majority of bloodstream infections. Our CNN model achieved a classification accuracy of 94.9% on a test set of image crops. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis indicated a robust ability to differentiate between categories with an area under the curve of >0.98 for each. After training and validation, we applied the classification algorithm to new images collected from 189 whole slides without human intervention. Sensitivity and specificity were 98.4% and 75.0% for Gram-positive cocci in chains and pairs, 93.2% and 97.2% for Gram-positive cocci in clusters, and 96.3% and 98.1% for Gram-negative rods. Taken together, our data support a proof of concept for a fully automated classification methodology for blood-culture Gram stains. Importantly, the algorithm was highly adept at identifying image crops with organisms and could be used to present prescreened, classified crops to technologists to accelerate smear review. This concept could potentially be extended to all Gram stain interpretive activities in the clinical laboratory.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1128/JCM.01521-17

Frontiers in neuroscience, 12, 55
March, 2018

Safety and Efficacy of Scanning Ultrasound Treatment of Aged APP23 Mice.

Leinenga, Gerhard, Götz, Jürgen

Deposition of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide leads to amyloid plaques that together with tau deposits characterize the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In modeling this pathology, transgenic animals such as the APP23 strain, that expresses a mutant form of the amyloid precursor protein found in familial cases of AD, have been instrumental. In previous studies, we have shown that repeated treatments with ultrasound in a scanning mode (termed scanning ultrasound or SUS) were effective in removing Aβ and restoring memory functions, without the need for a therapeutic agent such as an Aβ antibody. Considering that age is the most important risk factor for AD, we extended this study in which the mice were only 12 months old at the time of treatment by assessing a cohort of 2 year-old mice. Interestingly, at this age, APP23 mice are characterized by cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and the presence of occasional microbleeds. We found that SUS in aged mice that have been exposed to four SUS sessions that were spread out over 8 weeks and analyzed 4 weeks later did not show evidence of increased CAA or microbleeds. Furthermore, amyloid was reduced as assessed by methoxy-XO4 fluorescence. In addition, plaque-associated microglia were more numerous in SUS treated mice. Together this adds to the notion that SUS may be a treatment modality for human neurodegenerative diseases.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3389/fnins.2018.00055

TAG. Theoretical and applied genetics. Theoretische und angewandte Genetik, 131, 389–406
February, 2018

Characterisation of Thinopyrum bessarabicum chromosomes through genome-wide introgressions into wheat.

Grewal, Surbhi, Yang, Caiyun, Edwards, Stella Hubbart, Scholefield, Duncan, Ashling, Stephen, Burridge, Amanda J, King, Ian P, King, Julie

Genome-wide introgressions of Thinopyrum bessarabicum into wheat resulted in 12 recombinant lines. Cytological and molecular techniques allowed mapping of 1150 SNP markers across all seven chromosomes of the J genome. Thinopyrum bessarabicum (2n = 2x = 14, JJ) is an important source for new genetic variation for wheat improvement due to its salinity tolerance and disease resistance. Its practical utilisation in wheat improvement can be facilitated through development of genome-wide introgressions leading to a variety of different wheat-Th . bessarabicum translocation lines. In this study, we report the generation of 12 such wheat-Th . bessarabicum recombinant lines, through two different crossing strategies, which were characterized using sequential single colour and multi-colour genomic in situ hybridization (sc-GISH and mc-GISH), multi-colour fluorescent in situ hybridization (mc-FISH) and single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) DNA markers. We also detected 13 lines containing different Th. bessarabicum chromosome aberrations through sc-GISH. Through a combination of molecular and cytological analysis of all the 25 lines containing Th. bessarabicum recombinants and chromosome aberrations we were able to physically map 1150 SNP markers onto seven Th. bessarabicum J chromosomes which were divided into 36 segmental blocks. Comparative analysis of the physical map of Th. bessarabicum and the wheat genome showed that synteny between the two species is highly conserved at the macro-level and confirmed that Th. bessarabicum contains the 4/5 translocation also present in the A genome of wheat. These wheat-Th . bessarabicum recombinant lines and SNP markers provide a useful genetic resource for wheat improvement with the latter having a wider impact as a tool for detection of introgressions from other Thinopyrum species containing the J or a closely-related genome such as Thinopyrum intermedium (J J J J StSt) and Thinopyrum elongatum (E E ), respectively.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s00122-017-3009-y

Scientific reports, 8, 3122
February, 2018

Phaeophleospora vochysiae Savi & Glienke sp. nov. Isolated from Vochysia divergens Found in the Pantanal, Brazil, Produces Bioactive Secondary Metabolites.

Savi, Daiani C, Shaaban, Khaled A, Gos, Francielly Maria Wilke Ramos, Ponomareva, Larissa V, Thorson, Jon S, Glienke, Chirlei, Rohr, Jürgen

Microorganisms associated with plants are highly diverse and can produce a large number of secondary metabolites, with antimicrobial, anti-parasitic and cytotoxic activities. We are particularly interested in exploring endophytes from medicinal plants found in the Pantanal, a unique and widely unexplored wetland in Brazil. In a bio-prospecting study, strains LGMF1213 and LGMF1215 were isolated as endophytes from Vochysia divergens, and by morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses were characterized as Phaeophleospora vochysiae sp. nov. The chemical assessment of this species reveals three major compounds with high biological activity, cercoscosporin (1), isocercosporin (2) and the new compound 3-(sec-butyl)-6-ethyl-4,5-dihydroxy-2-methoxy-6-methylcyclohex-2-enone (3). Besides the isolation of P. vochysiae as endophyte, the production of cercosporin compounds suggest that under specific conditions this species causes leaf spots, and may turn into a pathogen, since leaf spots are commonly caused by species of Cercospora that produce related compounds. In addition, the new compound 3-(sec-butyl)-6-ethyl-4,5-dihydroxy-2-methoxy-6-methylcyclohex-2-enone showed considerable antimicrobial activity and low cytotoxicity, which needs further exploration.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1038/s41598-018-21400-2

Journal of neurotrauma, 35, 671–680
February, 2018

Erythropoietin Attenuates the Brain Edema Response after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury.

Blixt, Jonas, Gunnarson, Eli, Wanecek, Michael

Erythropoietin (EPO) has neuroprotective effects in multiple central nervous system (CNS) injury models; however EPO's effects on traumatic brain edema are elusive. To explore EPO as an intervention in traumatic brain edema, male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were subjected to blunt, controlled traumatic brain injury (TBI). Animals were randomized to EPO 5000 IU/kg or saline (control group) intraperitoneally within 30 min after trauma and once daily for 4 consecutive days. Brain MRI, immunohistofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative protein analysis were performed at days 1 and 4 post- trauma. EPO significantly prevented the loss of the tight junction protein zona occludens 1 (ZO-1) observed in control animals after trauma. The decrease of ZO-1 in the control group was associated with an immunoglobulin (Ig)G increase in the perilesional parenchyma, indicating blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction and increased permeability. EPO treatment attenuated decrease in apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) after trauma, suggesting a reduction of cytotoxic edema, and reduced the IgG leakage, indicating that EPO contributed to preserve BBB integrity and attenuated vasogenic edema. Animals treated with EPO demonstrated conserved levels of aquaporin 4 (AQP4) protein expression in the perilesional area, whereas control animals showed a reduction of AQP4. We show that post TBI administration of EPO decreases early cytotoxic brain edema and preserves structural and functional properties of the BBB, leading to attenuation of the vasogenic edema response. The data support that the mechanisms involve preservation of the tight junction protein ZO-1 and the water channel AQP4, and indicate that treatment with EPO may have beneficial effects on the brain edema response following TBI.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1089/neu.2017.5015

Scientific reports, 8, 2286
February, 2018

DNA damage in leukocytes after internal ex-vivo irradiation of blood with the α-emitter Ra-223.

Schumann, Sarah, Eberlein, Uta, Muhtadi, Razan, Lassmann, Michael, Scherthan, Harry

Irradiation with high linear energy transfer α-emitters, like the clinically used Ra-223 dichloride, severely damages cells and induces complex DNA damage including closely spaced double-strand breaks (DSBs). As the hematopoietic system is an organ-at-risk for the treatment, knowledge about Ra-223-induced DNA damage in blood leukocytes is highly desirable. Therefore, 36 blood samples from six healthy volunteers were exposed ex-vivo (in solution) to different concentrations of Ra-223. Absorbed doses to the blood were calculated assuming local energy deposition of all α- and β-particles of the decay, ranging from 0 to 142 mGy. γ-H2AX + 53BP1 co-staining and analysis was performed in leukocytes isolated from the irradiated blood samples. For DNA damage quantification, leukocyte samples were screened for occurrence of α-induced DNA damage tracks and small γ-H2AX + 53BP1 DSB foci. This revealed a linear relationship between the frequency of α-induced γ-H2AX damage tracks and the absorbed dose to the blood, while the frequency of small γ-H2AX + 53BP1 DSB foci indicative of β-irradiation was similar to baseline values, being in agreement with a negligible β-contribution (3.7%) to the total absorbed dose to the blood. Our calibration curve will contribute to the biodosimetry of Ra-223-treated patients and early after incorporation of α-emitters.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1038/s41598-018-20364-7

Scientific reports, 8, 1032
January, 2018

The ten-year evolutionary trajectory of a highly recurrent paediatric high grade neuroepithelial tumour with MN1:BEND2 fusion.

Burford, Anna, Mackay, Alan, Popov, Sergey, Vinci, Maria, Carvalho, Diana, Clarke, Matthew, Izquierdo, Elisa, Avery, Aimee, Jacques, Thomas S, Ingram, Wendy J, Moore, Andrew S, Frawley, Kieran, Hassall, Timothy E, Robertson, Thomas, Jones, Chris

Astroblastomas are rare brain tumours which predominate in children and young adults, and have a controversial claim as a distinct entity, with no established WHO grade. Reports suggest a better outcome than high grade gliomas, though they frequently recur. Recently, they have been described to overlap with a newly-discovered group of tumours described as'high grade neuroepithelial tumour with MN1 alteration' (CNS HGNET-MN1), defined by global methylation patterns and strongly associated with gene fusions targeting MN1. We have studied a unique case of astroblastoma arising in a 6 year-old girl, with multiple recurrences over a period of 10 years, with the pathognomonic MN1:BEND2 fusion. Exome sequencing allowed for a phylogenetic reconstruction of tumour evolution, which when integrated with clinical, pathological and radiological data provide for a detailed understanding of disease progression, with initial treatment driving tumour dissemination along four distinct trajectories. Infiltration of distant sites was associated with a later genome doubling, whilst there was evidence of convergent evolution of different lesions acquiring distinct alterations targeting NF-κB. These data represent an unusual opportunity to understand the evolutionary history of a highly recurrent childhood brain tumour, and provide novel therapeutic targets for astroblastoma/CNS HGNET-MN1.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1038/s41598-018-19389-9

Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 59, 561–571
January, 2018

A Novel C-Terminal Mutation in Gsdma3 (C+/H-) Leads to Alopecia and Corneal Inflammatory Response in Mice.

Swirski, Sebastian, Röger, Carsten, Pienkowska-Schelling, Aldona, Ihlenburg, Cynthia, Fischer, Gösta, May, Oliver, Vorm, Mariann, Owczarek-Lipska, Marta, Neidhardt, John

Mutations in the gene encoding Gasdermin A3 (Gsdma3) have been described to cause severe skin phenotypes, including loss of sebaceous glands and alopecia, in mice. We discovered a novel C-terminal mutation in Gsdma3 in a new mouse line and characterized a less frequently reported corneal phenotype, likely caused by degeneration of Meibomian glands of the inner eyelid. We used histologic methods to evaluate the effects of the C+/H- mutation on sebaceous gland and skin morphology as well as Meibomian glands of the inner eyelid and corneal tissue. Chromosomal aberrations were excluded by karyogram analyses. The mutation was identified by Sanger sequencing of candidate genes. Analyses of skin samples from affected mice confirmed the frequently reported phenotypes associated with mutations in Gsdma3: Degeneration of sebaceous glands and complete loss of pelage. Immunologic staining of corneal samples suggested an inflammatory response with signs of neovascularization in half of the affected older mice. While the corneal phenotype was observed at irregular time points, mainly after 6 months, its appearance coincided with a degeneration of Meibomian glands in the eyelids of affected animals. The mutation described herein is associated with inflammation and neovascularization of corneal tissue. Simultaneous degeneration of Meibomian glands in affected animals suggested a change in tear-film composition as the underlying cause for the corneal phenotype. Our data further support that different pathogenic mechanisms underlie some of the reported mutations in Gsdma3.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1167/iovs.17-22658