Saturday, July 30, 2011

TRPV1 and Diabetic Neuropathy

Thermal hyperalgesia is a common sympton of Diabetic Periperal Neuropathy (DPN). It is one of most difficult types of pain to treat. The development of tolerance, inadequate relief and potential toxicity of classical antinociceptives warrant the investigation of the newer agents to relieve this pain.

The elevated expression of Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) suspected as a transmitter of this pain. Dr. Louis Premkumar and his team at SIU have recently published results that further demonstrate the role of TRPV1: Mahendra Bishnoi, Christine A Bosgraaf, Mruvil Abooj, Linlin Zhong, Louis S Premkumar. Streptozotocin-Induced Early Thermal Hyperalgesia is independent of Glycemic State of Rats: Role of Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1(TRPV1) and inflammatory mediators. Molecular Pain 2011, 7:52 doi:10.1186/1744-8069-7-52. Published: 27 July 2011.

Figure 4. Altered TRPV1 staining in spinal cord dorsal horn of STZ-treated rats. A. Representative images of TRPV1 staining from a vehicle-treated, STZ-HG and STZNG rats. An enlarged segment has also been shown. B. Average gray values/10,000 μm2 area of TRPV1 staining in dorsal horn was significantly increased (p<0.05) in both STZ-HG and STZ-NG rats as compared to vehicle-treated rats. Asterisk (*) represents p < 0.05. Scale bar is 200 μm and 50 μm for upper and lower panels, respectively.

Conclusions: From these results, it is concluded that TRPV1 is an integral component of initiating and maintaining inflammatory thermal hyperalgesia, which can be alleviated by intrathecal administration of RTX. Further, the results suggest that enhanced expression and inflammation-induced sensitization of TRPV1 at the spinal cord may play a role in central sensitization in STZ-induced neuropathy.

Therapies that downregulate or silence TRPV1 expression could be the key to better treatments for the Thermal Algesia cause by diabetes. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Potent and Cost Effective Cell Based Assays

I have had many conversations with basic and drug discovery researchers on improving cell based assays. Here's the wish list:
  • More potent cells/media
  • More accurate analytic tools-quatititative and reproducible results
  • Ability to use cells and tools in high throughput/high content screening.
  • Cost effectiveness
This wish list is front and center in determining the cells/media and related tools we add to Neuromics' offerings. We are pleased to announce the addition of our Hemogenix's Bioluminomics™ In-Vitro Cell Assays, MSCGro™ Mesenchymal Stem Cell Media and Umbilical Cord Blood derived hMesenchymal Stem Cells.

These provide quantitation, not subjectivity. It includes assay calibration and standardization. It means assay validation. It produces results you can trust and rely on. It means innovation and flexibility. It is advanced technology that is fast to learn, easy to use and above all, cost effective.

Assays options:
Available Cells:
Primary Neurons and Astrocytes-Primary human, rat and mouse neurons and astrocytes
STEMEZTM Human Neural Progenitor Neuron Discovery Kits-Derived from H9 (WA09) ECSs-Consistent, Easy to Use & Cost Effective
Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs-hMSCs derived from pancreas and umbilical cord blood
Mammalian Cell Lines

STEMEZ(TM) hN2 Human Neurons Culture Media
MSCGro™ Mesenchymal Stem Cell Media

I will continue to post customer input and related data on Neuromics' Cell Based Assay Tools.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Differential healing properties of human ACL and MCL Stem Cells

Autologous Stem Cell therapies for human injury and disease are gaining momentum. Understanding the properties of Stem Cell Colonies that have potential for these therapies is key to optimizing treatments. This study provides knowledge on the properties and their impact on future therapies for anterior cruciate ligament (hACL) and medial collateral ligament (hMCL) of the knee joint.
Jianying Zhang, Tiffany Pan, Hee-Jeong Im, Freddie H Fu and James HC Wang. Differential properties of human ACL and MCL stem cells may be responsible for their differential healing capacity. Differential properties of human ACL and MCL stem cells may be responsible for their differential healing capacity. BMC Medicine 2011, 9:68doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-68.

Background: The (hACL) and medial collateral ligament (hMCL) of the knee joint are frequently injured, especially in athletic settings. It has been known that, while injuries to the MCL typically heal with conservative treatment, ACL injuries usually do not heal. As adult stem cells repair injured tissues through proliferation and differentiation, we hypothesized that the hACL and hMCL contain stem cells exhibiting unique properties that could be responsible for the differential healing capacity of the two ligaments.

Methods: To test the above hypothesis, we derived ligament stem cells from normal hACL and hMCL samples from the same adult donors using tissue culture techniques and characterized their properties using immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR, and flow cytometry.

Images:The expression of stem cell markers in hACL-SCs and hMCL-SCs. At passage 5, hACL-SCs had already become highly elongated in confluent culture, a typical fibroblast phenotype (A). In contrast, even at passage 13, confluent hMCL-SCs remained cobblestone-like (B). Moreover, hACL-SCs no longer expressed nucleostemin (C) or SSEA-4 (E) at passages > 5, whereas hMCL-SCs expressed both stem cell markers at passage 13 (D, F). Note, however, that hMCL-SCs at this high passage exhibited a lesser degree of nucleostemin expression compared to the cells at passage 1 (see Figure 3). The results shown here were obtained from a male donor of 27 years oldTo test the above hypothesis, we derived ligament stem cells from normal hACL and hMCL samples from the same adult donors using tissue culture techniques and characterized their properties using immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR, and flow cytometry.

Results: We found that both hACL stem cells (hACL-SCs) and hMCL stem cells (hMCL-SCs) formed colonies in culture and expressed stem cell markers nucleostemin and stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA-4). Moreover, both hACL-SCs and hMCL-SCs expressed CD surface markers for mesenchymal stem cells, including CD44 and CD90, but not those markers for vascular cells, CD31, CD34, CD45, and CD146. However, hACL-SCs differed from hMCL-SCs in that the size and number of hACL-SC colonies in culture were much smaller and grew more slowly than hMCL-SC colonies. Moreover, fewer hACL-SCs in cell colonies expressed stem cell markers STRO-1 and octamer-binding transcription factor-4 (Oct-4) than hMCL-SCs. Finally, hACL-SCs had less multi-differentiation potential than hMCL-SCs, evidenced by differing extents of adipogenesis, chondrogenesis, and osteogenesis in the respective induction media.
Conclusions: This study shows for the first time that hACL-SCs are intrinsically different from hMCL-SCs. We suggest that the differences in their properties contribute to the known disparity in healing capabilities between the two ligaments.
I will be posting more on autologous stem cell therapies research.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Understanding Rett Syndrome Pathologies

Dr Jeffrey Neul and his team at Baylor Medical College have been studying the root causes of pathologies associated with Rett Syndrome.

This disease is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2), a transcriptional regulator. In addition to cognitive, communication, and motor problems, affected individuals have abnormalities in autonomic function and respiratory control. Sufferers often die young due to these abnormalities.

They found that MeCP2 is necessary within the brainstem and spinal cord for normal lifespan, normal control of heart rate, and respiratory response to hypoxia. Here's the exciting news: restoration of MeCP2 in a subset of the cells in this same region is sufficient to rescue abnormal heart rate and abnormal respiratory response to hypoxia. Furthermore, restoring MeCP2 function in neural centers critical for autonomic and respiratory function alleviates the lethality associated with loss of MeCP2: Christopher S. Ward, E. Melissa Arvidel, Teng-Wei Huang, Jong Yoo, Jeffrey L. Noebels, and Jeffrey L. Neul. MeCP2 Is Critical within HoxB1-Derived Tissues of Mice for Normal Lifespan. The Journal of Neuroscience, 13 July 2011, 31(28): 10359-10370; doi: 10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.0057-11.2011

I will be keeping my finger of the pulse of Dr. Neul and team's research. It could be one of the keys that unlocks the door to creating theapies for Rhett Syndrome. This would be good news for sufferers and their loved ones. There is hope.

We would also like to thank the authors for referencing use of our goat polyclonal Islet-1 antibody.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Guinea Pig P2X3 Update-Good News

I have had to say to many customers, "our guinea pig P2x3 is on backorder". The increasing number of pubs referencing this antibody only amped demand.

We tried and tried to re-make it. The result was none of the bleeds we tested had a signal strong enough to release the antibody. We had a customer suggest re-testing several of the more promising bleeds. Thank you! We have good news on results and we are offering for 50% off. This is to acknowledge the investment required for TSA and Guinea Pig Biotinylated Antibody.

Here're the recent pubs I referenced:

Gabriela Castañeda-Corral, Héctor I. Rocha-González, Beatriz Godínez-Chaparro, Juan Miguel Jiménez-Andrade and Vinicio Granados-Soto. Role of the spinal Na+/H+ exchanger in formalin-induced nociception. Neuroscience Letters. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2011.06.048....SP (guinea pig; 1:500; Cat# GP14110; Neuromics), CGRP (goat, 1:500; Cat# Ab36001; Abcam) and P2X3 receptor (guinea pig: 1:10,000; Cat# GP10108; Neuromics)...
Anna M.W. Taylora and Alfredo Ribeiro-da-Silva. GDNF levels in the lower lip skin in a rat model of trigeminal neuropathic pain: Implications for nonpeptidergic fiber reinnervation and parasympathetic sprouting. PAIN Volume 152, Issue 7, July 2011, Pages 1502-1510. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2011.02.035.
...Sections were then incubated for 48h at 4°C with a guinea pig polyclonal anti-P2X3 (1:25,000; Neuromics, Edina, MN)...