The heterogeneity of individual cells in a tissue has been well characterized, largely using ex vivo approaches that do not permit longitudinal assessments of the same tissue over long periods of time. We demonstrate a potentially novel application of adaptive optics fluorescence microscopy to visualize and track the in situ mosaicism of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells directly in the human eye. After a short, dynamic period during which RPE cells take up i.v.-administered indocyanine green (ICG) dye, we observed a remarkably stable heterogeneity in the fluorescent pattern that gradually disappeared over a period of days. This pattern could be robustly reproduced with a new injection and follow-up imaging in the same eye out to at least 12 months, which enabled longitudinal tracking of RPE cells. Investigation of ICG uptake in primary human RPE cells and in a mouse model of ICG uptake alongside human imaging corroborated our findings that the observed mosaicism is an intrinsic property of the RPE tissue. We demonstrate a potentially novel application of fluorescence microscopy to detect subclinical changes to the RPE, a technical advance that has direct implications for improving our understanding of diseases such as oculocutaneous albinism, late-onset retinal degeneration, and Bietti crystalline dystrophy.
HaeWon Jung, Jianfei Liu, Tao Liu, Aman George, Margery G. Smelkinson, Sarah Cohen, Ruchi Sharma, Owen Schwartz, Arvydas Maminishkis, Kapil Bharti, Catherine Cukras, Laryssa A. Huryn, Brian P. Brooks, Robert Fariss, Johnny Tam
In clinical breast cancer intervention, selection of the optimal treatment protocol based on predictive biomarkers remains an elusive goal. Here, we present a modeling tool to predict the likelihood of breast cancer response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy using patient specific tumor vasculature biomarkers. A semi-automated analysis was implemented and performed on 3990 histological images from 48 patients, with 10–208 images analyzed for each patient. We applied a histology-based model to resected primary breast cancer tumors (n = 30), and then evaluated a cohort of patients (n = 18) undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy, collecting pre- and post-treatment pathology specimens and MRI data. We found that core biopsy samples can be used with acceptable accuracy (r = 0.76) to determine histological parameters representative of the whole tissue region. Analysis of model histology parameters obtained from tumor vasculature measurements, specifically diffusion distance divided by radius of drug source (L/rb) and blood volume fraction (BVF), provides a statistically significant separation of patients obtaining a pathologic complete response (pCR) from those that do not (Student’s t-test; P < 0.05). With this model, it is feasible to evaluate primary breast tumor vasculature biomarkers in a patient specific manner, thereby allowing a precision approach to breast cancer treatment.
Terisse A. Brocato, Ursa Brown-Glaberman, Zhihui Wang, Reed G. Selwyn, Colin M. Wilson, Edward F. Wyckoff, Lesley C. Lomo, Jennifer L. Saline, Anupama Hooda-Nehra, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, C. Jeffrey Brinker, Vittorio Cristini
Current clinical methods for the evaluation of lymphatic vessel function, crucial for early diagnosis and evaluation of treatment-response of several pathological conditions, in particular of post-surgical lymphedema, are based on complex and mainly qualitative imaging techniques. To address this unmet medical need, we established a simple strategy for the painless and quantitative assessment of cutaneous lymphatic function. We prepared a lymphatic-specific tracer formulation, consisting of the clinically approved near-infrared fluorescent dye, indocyanine green, and the solubilizing surfactant Kolliphor HS15. The tracer is non-invasively delivered to the dermal layer of the skin using MicronJet600TM hollow microneedles, and the fluorescence signal decay at the injection site is measured over time using a custom-made, portable detection device. The decay rate of fluorescence signal in the skin was used as a direct measure of lymphatic vessel drainage function. With this new method, we could quantify impaired lymphatic clearance in transgenic mice lacking dermal lymphatics and distinguish distinct lymphatic clearance patterns in pigs in different body locations and under manual stimulus. Overall, this method has the potential for becoming a non-invasive and quantitative clinical “office-test” for lymphatic function assessment.
Anna K. Polomska, Steven T. Proulx, Davide Brambilla, Daniel Fehr, Mathias Bonmarin, Simon Brändli, Mirko Meboldt, Christian Steuer, Tsvetina Vasileva, Nils Reinke, Jean-Christophe Leroux, Michael Detmar
In utero hypoxia is a major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality and predisposes to adult cardiovascular disease. No therapies exist to correct fetal hypoxia. In a new ex utero fetal support system, we tested the hypothesis that hypoxemic support of the fetus impairs myocardial development, whereas normoxic support allows normal myocardial development. Preterm fetal lambs were connected via umbilical vessels to a low-resistance oxygenator and placed in a sterile-fluid environment. Control normoxic fetuses received normal fetal oxygenation, and hypoxemic fetuses received subphysiologic oxygenation. Fetuses with normal in utero development served as normal controls. Hypoxemic fetuses exhibited decreased maximum cardiac output in both ventricles, diastolic function, myocyte and myocyte nuclear size, and increased myocardial capillary density versus control normoxic fetuses. There were no differences between control normoxic fetuses in the fetal support system and normal in utero controls. Chronic fetal hypoxemia resulted in significant abnormalities in myocyte architecture and myocardial capillary density as well as systolic and diastolic cardiac function, whereas control fetuses showed no differences. This ex utero fetal support system has potential to become a significant research tool and novel therapy to correct fetal hypoxia.
Kendall M. Lawrence, Samson Hennessy-Strahs, Patrick E. McGovern, Ali Y. Mejaddam, Avery C. Rossidis, Heron D. Baumgarten, Esha Bansal, Maryann Villeda, Jiancheng Han, Zhongshan Gou, Sheng Zhao, Jack Rychik, William H. Peranteau, Marcus G. Davey, Alan W. Flake, J. William Gaynor, Carlo R. Bartoli
The analysis and validation of flow cytometry–based biomarkers in clinical studies are limited by the lack of standardized protocols that are reproducible across multiple centers and suitable for use with either unfractionated blood or cryopreserved PBMCs. Here we report the development of a platform that standardizes a set of flow cytometry panels across multiple centers, with high reproducibility in blood or PBMCs from either healthy subjects or patients 100 days after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Inter-center comparisons of replicate samples showed low variation, with interindividual variation exceeding inter-center variation for most populations (coefficients of variability <20% and interclass correlation coefficients >0.75). Exceptions included low-abundance populations defined by markers with indistinct expression boundaries (e.g., plasmablasts, monocyte subsets) or populations defined by markers sensitive to cryopreservation, such as CD62L and CD45RA. Automated gating pipelines were developed and validated on an independent data set, revealing high Spearman’s correlations (rs >0.9) with manual analyses. This workflow, which includes pre-formatted antibody cocktails, standardized protocols for acquisition, and validated automated analysis pipelines, can be readily implemented in multicenter clinical trials. This approach facilitates the collection of robust immune phenotyping data and comparison of data from independent studies.
Sabine Ivison, Mehrnoush Malek, Rosa V. Garcia, Raewyn Broady, Anne Halpin, Manon Richaud, Rollin F. Brant, Szu-I Wang, Mathieu Goupil, Qingdong Guan, Peter Ashton, Jason Warren, Amr Rajab, Simon Urschel, Deepali Kumar, Mathias Streitz, Birgit Sawitzki, Stephan Schlickeiser, Janetta J. Bijl, Donna A. Wall, Jean-Sebastien Delisle, Lori J. West, Ryan R. Brinkman, Megan K. Levings
Asthma is one of the most common immunological diseases and is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), mucus overproduction, and airway eosinophilia. Although mouse models have provided insight into the mechanisms by which type-2 cytokines induce asthmatic airway inflammation, differences between the rodent and human immune systems hamper efforts to improve understanding of human allergic diseases. In this study, we aim to establish a preclinical animal model of asthmatic airway inflammation using humanized IL-3/GM-CSF or IL-3/GM-CSF/IL-5 Tg NOD/Shi-scid-IL2rγnull (NOG) mice and investigate the roles of human type-2 immune responses in the asthmatic mice. Several important characteristics of asthma — such as AHR, goblet cell hyperplasia, T cell infiltration, IL-13 production, and periostin secretion — were induced in IL-3/GM-CSF Tg mice by intratracheally administered human IL-33. In addition to these characteristics, human eosinophilic inflammation was observed in IL-3/GM-CSF/IL-5 Tg mice. The asthmatic mechanisms of the humanized mice were driven by activation of human Th2 and mast cells by IL-33 stimulation. Furthermore, treatment of the humanized mice with an anti–human IL-13 antibody significantly suppressed these characteristics. Therefore, the humanized mice may enhance our understanding of the pathophysiology of allergic disorders and facilitate the preclinical development of new therapeutics for IL-33–mediated type-2 inflammation in asthma.
Ryoji Ito, Shuichiro Maruoka, Kaori Soda, Ikumi Katano, Kenji Kawai, Mika Yagoto, Asami Hanazawa, Takeshi Takahashi, Tomoyuki Ogura, Motohito Goto, Riichi Takahashi, Shota Toyoshima, Yoshimichi Okayama, Kenji Izuhara, Yasuhiro Gon, Shu Hashimoto, Mamoru Ito, Satoshi Nunomura
Despite the initial promise of immunotherapy for CNS disease, multiple recent clinical trials have failed. This may be due in part to characteristically low penetration of antibodies to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brain parenchyma, resulting in poor target engagement. We here utilized transcranial macroscopic imaging to noninvasively evaluate in vivo delivery pathways of CSF fluorescent tracers. Tracers in CSF proved to be distributed through a brain-wide network of periarterial spaces, previously denoted as the glymphatic system. CSF tracer entry was enhanced approximately 3-fold by increasing plasma osmolality without disruption of the blood-brain barrier. Further, plasma hyperosmolality overrode the inhibition of glymphatic transport that characterizes the awake state and reversed glymphatic suppression in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Plasma hyperosmolality enhanced the delivery of an amyloid-β (Aβ) antibody, obtaining a 5-fold increase in antibody binding to Aβ plaques. Thus, manipulation of glymphatic activity may represent a novel strategy for improving penetration of therapeutic antibodies to the CNS.
Benjamin A. Plog, Humberto Mestre, Genaro E. Olveda, Amanda M. Sweeney, H. Mark Kenney, Alexander Cove, Kosha Y. Dholakia, Jeffrey Tithof, Thomas D. Nevins, Iben Lundgaard, Ting Du, Douglas H. Kelley, Maiken Nedergaard
Molecular mechanisms that control leukocyte migration across the vascular endothelium (transendothelial migration; TEndoM) have been extensively characterized in vivo, but details of leukocyte transepithelial migration (TEpM) and its dysregulation (a pathologic feature of many mucosal diseases) are missing due to the lack of suitable animal models. Here, we describe a murine model that utilizes a vascularized proximal colonic segment (pcLoop) and enables quantitative studies of leukocyte trafficking across colonic epithelium. Consistent with previous in vitro studies, intraluminal injection of antibodies against integrin CD11b/CD18 reduced recruitment of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) into the lumen of pcLoops, and it increased subepithelial accumulation of PMN. We extended studies using the pcLoop to determine contributions of Junctional Adhesion Molecule-A (JAM-A, or F11R) in PMN TEpM and confirmed that mice with total loss of JAM-A or mice with intestinal epithelial selective loss of JAM-A had increased colonic permeability. Furthermore, there was reduced PMN migration into the colonic lumen that paralleled subepithelial accumulation of PMN in global-KO mice, as well as in intestinal epithelial-targeted JAM-A–deficient mice. These findings highlight a potentially novel role for JAM-A in regulating PMN TEpM in vivo and demonstrate utility of this model for identifying receptors that may be targeted in vivo to reduce pathologic intestinal inflammation.
Sven Flemming, Anny-Claude Luissint, Asma Nusrat, Charles A. Parkos
Otits media (OM) is the most frequent indication for antimicrobial prescription to US children. Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) remains one of the most common pathogens causing OM. Successful eradication of S. pneumoniae in the middle ear can be achieved by adhering to a 7–10 day regimen of oral antibiotics. However, oral drug administration is challenging for parents. Lack of adherence has been associated with treatment failure or early relapse. To overcome this challenge, we used a noninvasive formulation to achieve high transtympanic antibiotic flux and cured S. pneumoniae OM in chinchillas. The formulation consists of a thermosensitive in situ gelling hydrogel, chemical permeation enhancers, and an antibiotic. The direct transport of drugs into the middle ear produced high concentrations of ciprofloxacin (in the range of hundreds of micrograms per milliliter) within the first 24 hours of administration. Drug concentrations above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for S. pneumoniae were sustained throughout the 7-day treatment. S. pneumoniae OM in a chinchilla model was successfully eradicated, without causing tissue toxicity. Transtympanic delivery minimized systemic drug exposure, as evidenced by undetectable levels in blood, measured by high-performance liquid chromatography.
Rong Yang, Vishakha Sabharwal, Nadya Shlykova, Obiajulu S. Okonkwo, Stephen I. Pelton, Daniel S. Kohane
Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) targeting neoantigens can mediate tumor regression in selected patients with metastatic epithelial cancer. However, effectively identifying and harnessing neoantigen-reactive T cells for patient treatment remains a challenge and it is unknown whether current methods to detect neoantigen-reactive T cells are missing potentially clinically relevant neoantigen reactivities. We thus investigated whether the detection of neoantigen-reactive TILs could be enhanced by enriching T cells that express PD-1 and/or T cell activation markers followed by microwell culturing to avoid overgrowth of nonreactive T cells. In 6 patients with metastatic epithelial cancer, this method led to the detection of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells targeting 18 and 1 neoantigens, respectively, compared with 6 and 2 neoantigens recognized by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, respectively, when using our standard TIL fragment screening approach. In 2 patients, no recognition of mutated peptides was observed using our conventional screen, while our high-throughput approach led to the identification of 5 neoantigen-reactive T cell receptors (TCRs) against 5 different mutations from one patient and a highly potent MHC class II–restricted KRASG12V-reactive TCR from a second patient. In addition, in a metastatic tumor sample from a patient with serous ovarian cancer, we isolated 3 MHC class II–restricted TCRs targeting the TP53G245S hot-spot mutation. In conclusion, this approach provides a highly sensitive platform to isolate clinically relevant neoantigen-reactive T cells or their TCRs for cancer treatment.
Rami Yossef, Eric Tran, Drew C. Deniger, Alena Gros, Anna Pasetto, Maria R. Parkhurst, Jared J. Gartner, Todd D. Prickett, Gal Cafri, Paul F. Robbins, Steven A. Rosenberg
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