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Journal of clinical microbiology, 56

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

Scientific reports, 8, 2286

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

Frontiers in neuroscience, 12, 55

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

Postgraduate medical journal, 94, 398--403

Adenotonsillar microbiome: an update.

Johnston, James Jordan, Douglas, Richard

Pathogenic bacteria associated with the adenoids and tonsils cause much morbidity in the paediatric population. Hyperplasia of the adenoids is associated with otitis media with effusion and hyperplasia of the palatine tonsils is associated with both recurrent tonsillitis and obstructive sleep apnoea. Most current knowledge of the microbiology of the upper airways has been derived from culture-based studies, which usually reflect only a small fraction of the bacteria present on the mucosal surface. Culture-independent molecular surveys based on 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing are now being employed to determine the microbiota on the surface and within the tissue of adenoids and palatine tonsils. This review describes the new techniques applied in determining the microbiome and summarises the results of studies employing these techniques.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1136/postgradmedj-2018-135602

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution

ZW, XY, and yet ZW: Sex chromosome evolution in snakes even more complicated.

Augstenová, Barbora, Johnson Pokorná, Martina, Altmanová, Marie, Frynta, Daniel, Rovatsos, Michail, Kratochvíl, Lukáš

Snakes are historically important in the formulation of several central concepts on the evolution of sex chromosomes. For over 50 years, it was believed that all snakes shared the same ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes, which are homomorphic and poorly differentiated in "basal" snakes such as pythons and boas, while heteromorphic and well differentiated in "advanced" (caenophidian) snakes. Recent molecular studies revealed that differentiated sex chromosomes are indeed shared among all families of caenophidian snakes, but that boas and pythons evolved likely independently male heterogamety (XX/XY sex chromosomes). The historical report of heteromorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes in a boid snake was previously regarded as ambiguous. In the current study, we document heteromorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes in a boid snake. A comparative approach suggests that these heteromorphic sex chromosomes evolved very recently and that they are poorly differentiated at the sequence level. Interestingly, two snake lineages with confirmed male heterogamety possess homomorphic sex chromosomes, but heteromorphic sex chromosomes are present in both snake lineages with female heterogamety. We point out that this phenomenon is more common across squamates. The presence of female heterogamety in non-caenophidian snakes indicates that the evolution of sex chromosomes in this lineage is much more complex than previously thought, making snakes an even better model system for the evolution of sex chromosomes.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1111/evo.13543

Cancers, 10

Establishment and Characterization of a Reliable Xenograft Model of Hodgkin Lymphoma Suitable for the Study of Tumor Origin and the Design of New Therapies.

M'kacher, Radhia, Frenzel, Monika, Al Jawhari, Mustafa, Junker, Steffen, Cuceu, Corina, Morat, Luc, Bauchet, Anne-Laure, Stimmer, Lev, Lenain, Aude, Dechamps, Nathalie, Hempel, William M, Pottier, Geraldine, Heidingsfelder, Leonhard, Laplagne, Eric, Borie, Claire, Oudrhiri, Noufissa, Jouni, Dima, Bennaceur-Griscelli, Annelise, Colicchio, Bruno, Dieterlen, Alain, Girinsky, Theodore, Boisgard, Raphael, Bourhis, Jean, Bosq, Jacques, Mehrling, Thomas, Jeandidier, Eric, Carde, Patrice

To identify the cells responsible for the initiation and maintenance of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) cells, we have characterized a subpopulation of HL cells grown in vitro and in vivo with the aim of establishing a reliable and robust animal model for HL. To validate our model, we challenged the tumor cells in vivo by injecting the alkylating histone-deacetylase inhibitor, EDO-S101, a salvage regimen for HL patients, into xenografted mice. Blood lymphocytes from 50 HL patients and seven HL cell lines were used. Immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and cytogenetics analyses were performed. The in vitro and in vivo effects of EDO-S101 were assessed. We have successfully determined conditions for in vitro amplification and characterization of the HL L428-c subline, containing a higher proportion of CD30-/CD15- cells than the parental L428 cell line. This subline displayed excellent clonogenic potential and reliable reproducibility upon xenografting into immunodeficient NOD-SCID-gamma (-/-)(NSG) mice. Using cell sorting, we demonstrate that CD30-/CD15- subpopulations can gain the phenotype of the L428-c cell line in vitro. Moreover, the human cells recovered from the seventh week after injection of L428-c cells into NSG mice were small cells characterized by a high frequency of CD30-/CD15- cells. Cytogenetic analysis demonstrated that they were diploid and showed high telomere instability and telomerase activity. Accordingly, chromosomal instability emerged, as shown by the formation of dicentric chromosomes, ring chromosomes, and breakage/fusion/bridge cycles. Similarly, high telomerase activity and telomere instability were detected in circulating lymphocytes from HL patients. The beneficial effect of the histone-deacetylase inhibitor EDO-S101 as an anti-tumor drug validated our animal model. Our HL animal model requires only 10³ cells and is characterized by a high survival/toxicity ratio and high reproducibility. Moreover, the cells that engraft in mice are characterized by a high frequency of small CD30-/CD15- cells exhibiting high telomerase activity and telomere dysfunction.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/cancers10110414

International journal of radiation biology, 93, 58--64

The second gamma-H2AX assay inter-comparison exercise carried out in the framework of the European biodosimetry network (RENEB).

Moquet, Jayne, Barnard, Stephen, Staynova, Albena, Lindholm, Carita, Monteiro Gil, Octávia, Martins, Vanda, Rößler, Ute, Vral, Anne, Vandevoorde, Charlot, Wojewódzka, Maria, Rothkamm, Kai

Within the EU RENEB project, seven laboratories have taken part in training and harmonisation activities to strengthen triage gamma-H2AX-based radiation exposure assessment. This has culminated in a second triage biodosimetry exercise. Whole blood and separated lymphocyte samples were homogenously irradiated with (60)Co gamma rays at 0.5, 2.5 (blind samples), 0 and 2 Gy (reference samples). Following post-exposure incubations of 4 and 24 h, 16 samples were shipped on ice packs to each partner. The samples were stained and scored for gamma-H2AX foci, using manual and/or automated fluorescence microscope scoring strategies. Dose estimates were obtained and used to assign triage categories to the samples. Average dose estimates across all the laboratories correlated well with true doses. The most accurate assignment of triage category was achieved by manual scoring of the 4-h blood and lymphocyte samples. Only three samples out of a total of 46 were miscategorized in a way that could have adversely effected the clinical management of a radiation casualty. This inter-comparison exercise has demonstrated that following a recent acute radiation exposure, the gamma-H2AX assay could be a useful triage tool that can be successfully applied across a network of laboratories.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1080/09553002.2016.1207822

PloS one, 12, e0178877

Depletion of ATP and glucose in advanced human atherosclerotic plaques.

Ekstrand, Matias, Widell, Emma, Hammar, Anna, Akyürek, Levent M, Johansson, Martin, Fagerberg, Björn, Bergström, Göran, Levin, Malin C, Fogelstrand, Per, Borén, Jan, Levin, Max

Severe hypoxia develops close to the necrotic core of advanced human atherosclerotic plaques, but the energy metabolic consequences of this hypoxia are not known. In animal models, plaque hypoxia is also associated with depletion of glucose and ATP. ATP depletion may impair healing of plaques and promote necrotic core expansion. To investigate if ATP depletion is present in human plaques, we analyzed the distribution of energy metabolites (ATP, glucose, glycogen and lactate) in intermediate and advanced human plaques. Snap frozen carotid endarterectomies from 6 symptomatic patients were analyzed. Each endarterectomy included a large plaque ranging from the common carotid artery (CCA) to the internal carotid artery (ICA). ATP, glucose, and glycogen concentrations were lower in advanced (ICA) compared to intermediate plaques (CCA), whereas lactate concentrations were higher. The lowest concentrations of ATP, glucose and glycogen were detected in the perinecrotic zone of advanced plaques. Our study demonstrates severe ATP depletion and glucose deficiency in the perinecrotic zone of human advanced atherosclerotic plaques. ATP depletion may impair healing of plaques and promote disease progression.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0178877

International journal of radiation biology, 93, 99--109

Integration of new biological and physical retrospective dosimetry methods into EU emergency response plans - joint RENEB and EURADOS inter-laboratory comparisons.

Ainsbury, Elizabeth, Badie, Christophe, Barnard, Stephen, Manning, Grainne, Moquet, Jayne, Abend, Michael, Antunes, Ana Catarina, Barrios, Lleonard, Bassinet, Celine, Beinke, Christina, Bortolin, Emanuela, Bossin, Lily, Bricknell, Clare, Brzoska, Kamil, Buraczewska, Iwona, Castaño, Carlos Huertas, Čemusová, Zina, Christiansson, Maria, Cordero, Santiago Mateos, Cosler, Guillaume, Monaca, Sara Della, Desangles, François, Discher, Michael, Dominguez, Inmaculada, Doucha-Senf, Sven, Eakins, Jon, Fattibene, Paola, Filippi, Silvia, Frenzel, Monika, Georgieva, Dimka, Gregoire, Eric, Guogyte, Kamile, Hadjidekova, Valeria, Hadjiiska, Ljubomira, Hristova, Rositsa, Karakosta, Maria, Kis, Enikő, Kriehuber, Ralf, Lee, Jungil, Lloyd, David, Lumniczky, Katalin, Lyng, Fiona, Macaeva, Ellina, Majewski, Matthaeus, Vanda Martins, S, McKeever, Stephen W S, Meade, Aidan, Medipally, Dinesh, Meschini, Roberta, M'kacher, Radhia, Gil, Octávia Monteiro, Montero, Alegria, Moreno, Mercedes, Noditi, Mihaela, Oestreicher, Ursula, Oskamp, Dominik, Palitti, Fabrizio, Palma, Valentina, Pantelias, Gabriel, Pateux, Jerome, Patrono, Clarice, Pepe, Gaetano, Port, Matthias, Prieto, María Jesús, Quattrini, Maria Cristina, Quintens, Roel, Ricoul, Michelle, Roy, Laurence, Sabatier, Laure, Sebastià, Natividad, Sholom, Sergey, Sommer, Sylwester, Staynova, Albena, Strunz, Sonja, Terzoudi, Georgia, Testa, Antonella, Trompier, Francois, Valente, Marco, Hoey, Olivier Van, Veronese, Ivan, Wojcik, Andrzej, Woda, Clemens

RENEB, 'Realising the European Network of Biodosimetry and Physical Retrospective Dosimetry,' is a network for research and emergency response mutual assistance in biodosimetry within the EU. Within this extremely active network, a number of new dosimetry methods have recently been proposed or developed. There is a requirement to test and/or validate these candidate techniques and inter-comparison exercises are a well-established method for such validation. The authors present details of inter-comparisons of four such new methods: dicentric chromosome analysis including telomere and centromere staining; the gene expression assay carried out in whole blood; Raman spectroscopy on blood lymphocytes, and detection of radiation-induced thermoluminescent signals in glass screens taken from mobile phones. In general the results show good agreement between the laboratories and methods within the expected levels of uncertainty, and thus demonstrate that there is a lot of potential for each of the candidate techniques. Further work is required before the new methods can be included within the suite of reliable dosimetry methods for use by RENEB partners and others in routine and emergency response scenarios.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1080/09553002.2016.1206233

Scientific reports, 7, 3291

Transmission of Induced Chromosomal Aberrations through Successive Mitotic Divisions in Human Lymphocytes after In Vitro and In Vivo Radiation.

Kaddour, Akram, Colicchio, Bruno, Buron, Diane, El Maalouf, Elie, Laplagne, Eric, Borie, Claire, Ricoul, Michelle, Lenain, Aude, Hempel, William M, Morat, Luc, Al Jawhari, Mustafa, Cuceu, Corina, Heidingsfelder, Leonhard, Jeandidier, Eric, Deschênes, Georges, Dieterlen, Alain, El May, Michèle, Girinsky, Theodore, Bennaceur-Griscelli, Annelise, Carde, Patrice, Sabatier, Laure, M'kacher, Radhia

The mechanisms behind the transmission of chromosomal aberrations (CA) remain unclear, despite a large body of work and major technological advances in chromosome identification. We reevaluated the transmission of CA to second- and third-division cells by telomere and centromere (TC) staining followed by M-FISH. We scored CA in lymphocytes of healthy donors after in vitro irradiation and those of cancer patients treated by radiation therapy more than 12 years before. Our data demonstrate, for the first time, that dicentric chromosomes (DCs) decreased by approximately 50% per division. DCs with two centromeres in close proximity were more efficiently transmitted, representing 70% of persistent DCs in ≥M3 cells. Only 1/3 of acentric chromosomes (ACs), ACs with four telomeres, and interstitial ACs, were paired in M2 cells and associated with specific DCs configurations. In lymphocytes of cancer patients, 82% of detected DCs were characterized by these specific configurations. Our findings demonstrate the high stability of DCs with two centromeres in close proximity during cell division. The frequency of telomere deletion increased during cell cycle progression playing an important role in chromosomal instability. These findings could be exploited in the follow-up of exposed populations.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1038/s41598-017-03198-7

eLife, 6

Epigenetic regulation of lateralized fetal spinal gene expression underlies hemispheric asymmetries.

Ocklenburg, Sebastian, Schmitz, Judith, Moinfar, Zahra, Moser, Dirk, Klose, Rena, Lor, Stephanie, Kunz, Georg, Tegenthoff, Martin, Faustmann, Pedro, Francks, Clyde, Epplen, Jörg T, Kumsta, Robert, Güntürkün, Onur

Lateralization is a fundamental principle of nervous system organization but its molecular determinants are mostly unknown. In humans, asymmetric gene expression in the fetal cortex has been suggested as the molecular basis of handedness. However, human fetuses already show considerable asymmetries in arm movements before the motor cortex is functionally linked to the spinal cord, making it more likely that spinal gene expression asymmetries form the molecular basis of handedness. We analyzed genome-wide mRNA expression and DNA methylation in cervical and anterior thoracal spinal cord segments of five human fetuses and show development-dependent gene expression asymmetries. These gene expression asymmetries were epigenetically regulated by miRNA expression asymmetries in the TGF-β signaling pathway and lateralized methylation of CpG islands. Our findings suggest that molecular mechanisms for epigenetic regulation within the spinal cord constitute the starting point for handedness, implying a fundamental shift in our understanding of the ontogenesis of hemispheric asymmetries in humans.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.7554/eLife.22784

Environmental and molecular mutagenesis

Sesamol ameliorates radiation induced DNA damage in hematopoietic system of whole body γ-irradiated mice.

Kumar, Arun, Choudhary, Sandeep, Adhikari, Jawahar S, Chaudhury, Nabo K

Ionizing radiation exposure is harmful and at high doses can lead to acute hematopoietic radiation syndrome. Therefore, agents that can protect hematopoietic system are important for development of radioprotector. Sesamol is a potential molecule for development of radioprotector due to its strong free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties. In the present study, sesamol was evaluated for its role in DNA damage and repair in hematopoietic system of γ-irradiated CB57BL/6 mice and compared with amifostine. C57BL/6 male mice were administered with sesamol 20 mg/kg (i.p.) followed by 2 Gy whole body irradiation (WBI) at 30 min. Mice were sacrificed at 0.5, 3, 24 h postirradiation; bone marrow, splenocytes, and peripheral blood lymphocytes were isolated to measure DNA damages and repair using alkaline comet,γ-H2AXand micronucleus assays. An increase in % of tail DNA was observed in all organs of WBI mice. Whereas in pre-administered sesamol reduced %DNA in tail (P ≤ 0.05). Sesamol has also reduced formation of radiation induced γ-H2AX foci after 0.5 h in these organs and further lowered to respective control values at 24 h of WBI. Similar reduction of % DNA in tail and γ-H2AX foci were observed with amifostine (P ≤ 0.05). Analysis of mnPCE frequency at 24 h has revealed similar extent of protection by sesamol and amifostine. Interestingly, both sesamol and amifostine, alone and with radiation, also increased the granulocytes count significantly compared to the control (P ≤ 0.05). These findings suggest that sesamol has strong potential to protect hematopoietic system by lowering radiation induced DNA damages and can prevent acute hematopoietic syndrome in mice. Environ. Mol. Mutagen., 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1002/em.22118

Molecular cell

DNA Double-Strand Break Resection Occurs during Non-homologous End Joining in G1 but Is Distinct from Resection during Homologous Recombination.

Biehs, Ronja, Steinlage, Monika, Barton, Olivia, Juhász, Szilvia, Künzel, Julia, Spies, Julian, Shibata, Atsushi, Jeggo, Penny A, Löbrich, Markus

Canonical non-homologous end joining (c-NHEJ) repairs DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in G1 cells with biphasic kinetics. We show that DSBs repaired with slow kinetics, including those localizing to heterochromatic regions or harboring additional lesions at the DSB site, undergo resection prior to repair by c-NHEJ and not alt-NHEJ. Resection-dependent c-NHEJ represents an inducible process during which Plk3 phosphorylates CtIP, mediating its interaction with Brca1 and promoting the initiation of resection. Mre11 exonuclease, EXD2, and Exo1 execute resection, and Artemis endonuclease functions to complete the process. If resection does not commence, then repair can ensue by c-NHEJ, but when executed, Artemis is essential to complete resection-dependent c-NHEJ. Additionally, Mre11 endonuclease activity is dispensable for resection in G1. Thus, resection in G1 differs from the process in G2 that leads to homologous recombination. Resection-dependent c-NHEJ significantly contributes to the formation of deletions and translocations in G1, which represent important initiating events in carcinogenesis.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.molcel.2016.12.016

Animal science journal = Nihon chikusan Gakkaiho, 88, 27--32

Comparative genomic hybridization in detection of DNA changes in canine lymphomas.

Drážovská, Monika, Šiviková, Katarína, Dianovský, Ján, Horňák, Miroslav

In this study, chromosomal imbalances in tumor tissues (lymphomas) and nucleotide changes in tumor suppressor TP53 were studied in a Bernese Mountain dog bitch and a cross breed bitch. Using comparative genomic hybridization, numerous chromosomal rearrangements were detected, which indicated the heterogeneity in tumor growth: in the cross breed bitch, a deletion on the chromosome 9, and duplications on chromosomes 5, 8 and 17 have been found. In the Bernese Mountain Dog bitch, losses on chromosomes 1, 5, 8, 12, 18, 22, 27, 29 and gains on chromosomes 1, 2, 9, 11, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 34, 36, 37 and 38 were identified. With the sequencing of the TP53 gene, one silent mutation, transition A/G at position 138 in exon 5 was detected, without changing the amino acid.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1111/asj.12582

Nature Scientific Reports, 7(9789), 2-10

Comprehensive in situ co-detection of aneuploid circulating endothelial and tumor cells

Peter Ping Lin, Olivier Gires, Daisy Dandan Wang, Linda, Li, Hongxia Wang

Conventional circulating tumor cell (CTC) detection strategies rely on cell surface marker EpCAM and intracellular cytokeratins (CKs) for isolation and identification, respectively. Application of such methods is considerably limited by inherent heterogeneous and dynamic expression or absence of EpCAM and/or CKs in CTCs. Here, we report a novel strategy, integrating antigen-independent subtraction enrichment and immunostaining-FISH (SE-iFISH), to detect a variety of aneuploid circulating rare cells (CRCs), including CTCs and circulating tumor endothelial cells (CECs). Enriched CRCs, maintained at high viability and suitable for primary tumor cell culture, are comprehensively characterized by in situ co-examination of chromosome aneuploidy by FISH and immunostaining of multiple biomarkers displayed in diverse fluorescence channels. We described and quantified for the first time the existence of individual aneuploid CD31+ CECs and co-existence of “fusion clusters” of endothelial-epithelial aneuploid tumor cells among enriched non-hematopoietic CRCs. Hence, SE-iFISH is feasible for efficient co-detection and in situ phenotypic and karyotypic characterization as well as quantification of various CRCs, allowing for their classification into diverse subtypes upon biomarker expression and chromosome ploidy. Enhanced SE-iFISH technology, assisted by the Metafer-iFISH automated CRC imaging system, provides a platform for the analysis of potential contributions of each subtype of CRCs to distinct clinical outcome.

Archives of toxicology

Dose-response relationship of temozolomide, determined by the Pig-a, comet, and micronucleus assay.

Guérard, M, Johnson, G, Dertinger, S, Duran-Pacheco, G, Funk, J, Zeller, A

Temozolomide (TMZ), a monofunctional alkylating agent, was selected as a model compound to determine its quantitative genotoxic dose-response relationship in different tissues (blood, liver, and jejunum) and endpoints [Pig-a-, comet-, and micronucleus assay (MNT)] in male rats. TMZ was administered p.o. over 5 consecutive days (day 1-5), followed by a treatment-free period of 50 days (day 6-56) and a final administration prior to necropsy (day 57-59). TMZ showed a dose-dependent increase in DNA damage in all interrogated endpoints. A statistically significant increase in Pig-a mutant phenotypes was observed on day 44 starting at 7.5 mg/kg/day for mutant reticulocytes (for RET(CD59-)) and at 3.75 mg/kg/day for mutant red blood cells (RBC(CD59-)), respectively. In addition, a statistically significant increase in cytogenetic damage, as measured by micronucleated reticulocytes, was observed starting at 3.75 mg/kg/day on day 3 and 1.5 mg/kg/day on day 59. DNA strand breaks, as detected by the comet assay, showed a dose-dependent and statistically significant increase in liver, blood, and jejunum starting at doses of 3.75, 3.75, and 7.5 mg/kg/day, respectively. The dose-response relationships of the Pig-a, MNT, and comet data were analyzed for possible points of departure (PoD) using the benchmark-dose (BMD) software PROAST with different critical effect sizes (CES) (BMD0.1, BMD0.5, BMD1, and BMD1SD). Overall, PoD values show a high concordance between different tissues and endpoints, underlining the suitability of this experimental design to explore quantitative dose-response relationships in a variety of different tissues and endpoints, while minimizing animal use.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s00204-016-1923-4


RECQ1 helicase is involved in replication stress survival and drug resistance in multiple myeloma.

Viziteu, E, Klein, B, Basbous, J, Lin, Y-L, Hirtz, C, Gourzones, C, Tiers, L, Bruyer, A, Vincent, L, Grandmougin, C, Seckinger, A, Goldschmidt, H, Constantinou, A, Pasero, P, Hose, D, Moreaux, J

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell cancer with poor survival, characterized by the expansion of multiple myeloma cells (MMCs) in the bone marrow. Using a microarray-based genome-wide screen for genes responding to DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) inhibition in MM cells, we identified RECQ1 among the most downregulated genes. RecQ helicases are DNA unwinding enzymes involved in the maintenance of chromosome stability. Here we show that RECQ1 is significantly overexpressed in MMCs compared to normal plasma cells and that increased RECQ1 expression is associated with poor prognosis in three independent cohorts of patients. Interestingly, RECQ1 knockdown inhibits cells growth and induces apoptosis in MMCs. Moreover, RECQ1 depletion promotes the development of DNA double-strand breaks, as evidenced by the formation of 53BP1 foci and the phosphorylation of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and histone variant H2A.X (H2AX). In contrast, RECQ1 overexpression protects MMCs from melphalan and bortezomib cytotoxicity. RECQ1 interacts with PARP1 in MMCs exposed to treatment and RECQ1 depletion sensitizes MMCs to poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor. DNMT inhibitor treatment results in RECQ1 downregulation through miR-203 deregulation in MMC. Altogether, these data suggest that association of DNA damaging agents and/or PARP inhibitors with DNMT inhibitors may represent a therapeutic approach in patients with high RECQ1 expression associated with a poor prognosis.Leukemia advance online publication, 10 March 2017; doi:10.1038/leu.2017.54.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1038/leu.2017.54

International journal of radiation biology, 93, 36--47

RENEB intercomparison exercises analyzing micronuclei (Cytokinesis-block Micronucleus Assay).

Depuydt, Julie, Baeyens, Ans, Barnard, Stephen, Beinke, Christina, Benedek, Anett, Beukes, Philip, Buraczewska, Iwona, Darroudi, Firouz, De Sanctis, Stefania, Dominguez, Inmaculada, Monteiro Gil, Octávia, Hadjidekova, Valeria, Kis, Enikő, Kulka, Ulrike, Lista, Florigio, Lumniczky, Katalin, M'kacher, Radhia, Moquet, Jayne, Obreja, Doina, Oestreicher, Ursula, Pajic, Jelena, Pastor, Nuria, Popova, Ljubomira, Regalbuto, Elisa, Ricoul, Michelle, Sabatier, Laure, Slabbert, Jacobus, Sommer, Sylwester, Testa, Antonella, Thierens, Hubert, Wojcik, Andrzej, Vral, Anne

In the framework of the 'Realizing the European Network of Biodosimetry' (RENEB) project, two intercomparison exercises were conducted to assess the suitability of an optimized version of the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay, and to evaluate the capacity of a large laboratory network performing biodosimetry for radiation emergency triages. Twelve European institutions participated in the first exercise, and four non-RENEB labs were added in the second one. Irradiated blood samples were shipped to participating labs, whose task was to culture these samples and provide a blind dose estimate. Micronucleus analysis was performed by automated, semi-automated and manual procedures. The dose estimates provided by network laboratories were in good agreement with true administered doses. The most accurate estimates were reported for low dose points (≤ 0.94 Gy). For higher dose points (≥ 2.7 Gy) a larger variation in estimates was observed, though in the second exercise the number of acceptable estimates increased satisfactorily. Higher accuracy was achieved with the semi-automated method. The results of the two exercises performed by our network demonstrate that the micronucleus assay is a useful tool for large-scale radiation emergencies, and can be successfully implemented within a large network of laboratories.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1080/09553002.2016.1206231


Low numbers of pre-leukemic fusion genes are frequently present in umbilical cord blood without affecting DNA damage response.

Kosik, Pavol, Skorvaga, Milan, Durdik, Matus, Jakl, Lukas, Nikitina, Ekaterina, Markova, Eva, Kozics, Katarina, Horvathova, Eva, Belyaev, Igor

Despite widely accepted notion that many childhood leukemias are likely developed from hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC) with pre-leukemic fusion genes (PFG) formed in embryonic/fetal development, the data on PFG incidence in newborns are contradictive. To provide a better understanding of a prenatal origin of leukemia, umbilical cord blood from 500 newborns was screened for the presence of the most frequent PFG associated with pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This screening revealed relatively high incidence of ETV6-RUNX1, BCR-ABL1 (p190) and MLL-AF4 at very low frequencies, averaging ~14 copies per 100,000 cells. We assume that most of these PFG might originate relatively late in embryonic/fetal development and will be eliminated later during postnatal development. The obtained results suggested that higher PFG copy numbers originating in specific time windows of the hematopoietic stem cell hierarchy may define a better prognostic tool for the assessment of leukemogenic potential. We have observed no significant effect of low-copy PFG on radiation-induced DNA damage response, accumulation of endogenous DNA double-stranded breaks, and apoptosis in either lymphocytes or HSPC. Imaging flow cytometry showed lower level of γH2AX foci in HSPC in comparison to lymphocytes suggesting better protection of HSPC from DNA damage.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.18632/oncotarget.16211

Appl. Sci., 7, 330

Large-Scale Permanent Slide Imaging and Image Analysis for Diatom Morphometrics

Michael Kloster, Oliver Esper, Gerhard Kauer, Bánk Beszteri

Light microscopy analysis of diatom frustules is widely used in basic and applied research, notably taxonomy, morphometrics, water quality monitoring and paleo-environmental studies. Although there is a need for automation in these applications, various developments in image processing and analysis methodology supporting these tasks have not become widespread in diatom-based analyses. We have addressed this issue by combining our automated diatom image analysis software SHERPA with a commercial slide-scanning microscope. The resulting workflow enables mass-analyses of a broad range of morphometric features from individual frustules mounted on permanent slides. Extensive automation and internal quality control of the results helps to minimize user intervention, but care was taken to allow the user to stay in control of the most critical steps (exact segmentation of valve outlines and selection of objects of interest) using interactive functions for reviewing and revising results. In this contribution, we describe our workflow and give an overview of factors critical for success, ranging from preparation and mounting through slide scanning and autofocus finding to final morphometric data extraction. To demonstrate the usability of our methods we finally provide an example application by analysing Fragilariopsis kerguelensis valves originating from a sediment core, which substantially extends the size range reported in the literature.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390