- Mechanisms of Blood–Brain Barrier Dysfunction in Traumatic Brain InjuryCash, Alison; Theus, Michelle H. (MDPI, 2020-05-08)Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) account for the majority of injury-related deaths in the United States with roughly two million TBIs occurring annually. Due to the spectrum of severity and heterogeneity in TBIs, investigation into the secondary injury is necessary in order to formulate an effective treatment. A mechanical consequence of trauma involves dysregulation of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) which contributes to secondary injury and exposure of peripheral components to the brain parenchyma. Recent studies have shed light on the mechanisms of BBB breakdown in TBI including novel intracellular signaling and cell–cell interactions within the BBB niche. The current review provides an overview of the BBB, novel detection methods for disruption, and the cellular and molecular mechanisms implicated in regulating its stability following TBI.
- Molecular Phenotyping and Genomic Characterization of a Novel Neuroactive Bacterium Strain, Lactobacillus murinus HU-1Lebovitz, Yeonwoo; Theus, Michelle H. (2019-10-04)
- Optimizing growth factor induction of tenogenesis in three-dimensional culture of mesenchymal stem cellsRajpar, Ibtesam; Barrett, Jennifer G. (Sage, 2019-04-16)Adult tissue stem cells have shown promise for the treatment of debilitating tendon injuries. However, few comparisons of stem cells from different tissue sources have been made to determine the optimum stem cell source for treating tendon. Moreover, it is likely that the application of tenogenic growth factors will improve tendon stem cell treatments further, and a comprehensive comparison of a number of growth factors is needed. Thus far, different types of stem cells cannot be evaluated in a high-throughput manner. To this end, we have developed an approach to culture mesenchymal stem cells isolated from bone marrow in collagen type I hydrogels with tenogenic growth factors using economical, commercially available supplies. To optimize growth factors for this assay, FGF-2, TGF-β1, IGF-1, and/or BMP-12 were tested singly and in novel combinations of (1) BMP-12 and IGF-1, (2) TGF-β1 and IGF-1, and/or (3) BMP-12 and FGF-2 over 10 days. Our data suggest that BMP-12 supplementation alone results in the strongest expression of tendon marker genes, controlled contractility of constructs, a higher degree of cell alignment, and tendon-like tissue morphology. This easy-to-use benchtop assay can be used to screen novel sources of stem cells and cell lines for tissue engineering and tendon healing applications.
- Divergent age-dependent peripheral immune transcriptomic profile following traumatic brain injuryHazy, Amanda; Bochicchio, Lauren; Oliver, Andrea; Xie, Eric; Geng, Shuo; Brickler, Thomas; Xie, Hehuang David; Li, Liwu; Allen, Irving C.; Theus, Michelle H. (Springer Nature, 2019-06-12)The peripheral immune system is a major regulator of the pathophysiology associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI). While age-at-injury influences recovery from TBI, the differential effects on the peripheral immune response remain unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of TBI on gene expression changes in murine whole blood using RNAseq analysis, gene ontology and network topology-based key driver analysis. Genome-wide comparison of CCI-injured peripheral whole blood showed a significant increase in genes involved in proteolysis and oxidative-reduction processes in juvenile compared to adult. Conversely, a greater number of genes, involved in migration, cytokine-mediated signaling and adhesion, were found reduced in CCI-injured juvenile compared to CCI-injured adult immune cells. Key driver analysis also identified G-protein coupled and novel pattern recognition receptor (PRR), P2RY10, as a central regulator of these genes. Lastly, we found Dectin-1, a c-type lectin PRR to be reduced at the protein level in both naive neutrophils and on infiltrating immune cells in the CCI-injured juvenile cortex. These findings demonstrate a distinct peripheral inflammatory profile in juvenile mice, which may impact the injury and repair response to brain trauma.