Galectins are a family of carbohydrate-binding proteins that modulate inflammation and immunity. This functional versatility prompted us to perform a histochemical study of their occurrence during wound healing using rat skin as an in vivo model. Wound healing is a dynamic process that exhibits three basic phases: inflammation, proliferation, and maturation. In this study antibodies against keratins-10 and -14, wide-spectrum cytokeratin, vimentin, and fibronectin, and non-cross-reactive antibodies to galectins-1, -2, and -3 were applied to frozen sections of skin specimens two days (inflammatory phase), seven days (proliferation phase), and twenty-one days (maturation phase) after wounding. The presence of binding sites for galectins-1, -2, -3, and -7 as a measure for assessing changes in reactivity was determined using labeled proteins as probes. Our study detected a series of alterations in galectin parameters during the different phases of wound healing. Presence of galectin-1, for example, increased during the early phase of healing, whereas galectin-3 rapidly decreased in newly formed granulation tissue. In addition, nuclear reactivity of epidermal cells for galectin-2 occurred seven days post-trauma. The dynamic regulation of galectins during re-epithelialization intimates a role of these proteins in skin wound healing, most notably for galectin-1 increasing during the early phases and galectin-3 then slightly increasing during later phases of healing. Such changes may identify a potential target for the development of novel drugs to aid in wound repair and patients’ care.
The distribution of amylase in rat parotid glands and von Ebner’s glands was examined using ion etching-immunoscanning electron microscopy, which enables both light and electron microscopic observations of identical semi-thin resin sections immunolabeled with anti-α-amylase and immunogold in association with silver enhancement. At the light microscopic level, most acinar secretory granules (SG) and striated duct secretions of parotid glands were strongly stained dark brown. In von Ebner’s glands, acinar SG and duct secretions were weakly to strongly stained light to dark brown. At the electron microscopic level, labeling was observed as bright gold-silver particles. The labeling intensity of acinar SG of parotid glands was higher than that of von Ebner’s glands. In parotid glands, weak labeling of SG in transitional cells between acini and intercalated ducts, very weak labeling of SG in intercalated ducts, and strong labeling of striated duct secretions were observed. In von Ebner’s glands, the secretions and some SG of interlobular ducts were strongly labeled compared to those of intralobular ducts and SG of acini. Less amylase was synthesized in von Ebner’s acini compared to parotid acini, whereas von Ebner’s ducts may secrete significantly more amylase to modify saliva than parotid ducts.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been studied widely for their potential to differentiate into various lineage cells including neural cells in vitro and in vivo. To investigate the influence of the developing host environment on the integration and morphological and molecular differentiation of MSCs, human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) were transplanted into the developing mouse retina. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing BM-MSCs were transplanted by intraocular injections into mice, ranging in ages from 1 day postnatal (PN) to 10 days PN. The survival dates ranged from 7 days post-transplantation (DPT) to 28DPT, at which time an immunohistochemical analysis was performed on the eyes. The transplanted BM-MSCs survived and showed morphological differentiation into neural cells and some processes within the host retina. Some transplanted cells expressed microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2ab, marker for mature neural cells) or glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP, marker for glial cells) at 5PN 7DPT. In addition, some transplanted cells integrated into the developing retina. The morphological and molecular differentiation and integration within the 5PN 7DPT eye was greater than those of other-aged host eye. The present findings suggest that the age of the host environment can strongly influence the differentiation and integration of BM-MSCs.
This study was designed to examine the autophagy in sino-atrial (SA) nodal cells from the normal adult mouse heart. Autophagy is the cellular process responsible for the degradation and recycling of long-lived and/or damaged cytoplasmic components by lysosomal digestion. In the heart, autophagy is known to occur at a low level under physiological conditions, but to become upregulated when cells are exposed to certain stresses, such as ischemia. We examined whether the basal level of autophagy in SA nodal cells was different from that in ventricular or atrial myocytes. An ultrastructural analysis revealed that the SA nodal cells contained a number of autophagic vacuoles (autophagosomes) with various stages of degradation by lysosomal digestion, whereas the number of those in ventricular or atrial myocytes was either negligible or very small. The immunostaining of autophagosome marker microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) and lysosome marker lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1) indicated that the content of both autophagosomes and lysosomes were much greater in SA nodal cells than in ordinary cardiomyocytes. Our results provide evidence that the autophagy is active in normal SA nodal cells, which is not a stress-activated process but a constitutive event in the mouse heart.
A novel technique using the incorporation of 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) into replicating DNA is described for the analysis of replicating banding patterns of human metaphase chromosomes. Human lymphocytes were synchronized with excess thymidine and treated with EdU during the late S phase of the cell cycle. The incorporated EdU was then detected in metaphase chromosomes using Alexa Fluor® 488 azides, through the 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction of organic azides with the terminal acetylene group of EdU. Chromosomes with incorporated EdU showed a banding pattern similar to G-banding of normal human chromosomes. Imaging by atomic force microscopy (AFM) in liquid conditions showed that the structure of the chromosomes was well preserved even after EdU treatment. Comparison between fluorescence microscopy and AFM images of the same chromosome 1 indicated the presence of ridges and grooves in the chromatid arm, features that have been previously reported in relation to G-banding. These results suggest an intimate relationship between EdU-induced replication bands and G- or R-bands in human chromosomes. This technique is thus useful for analyzing the structure of chromosomes in relation to their banding patterns following DNA replication in the S phase.