2023 Vol. 37, No. 3
An emerging concept termed the neurovascular unit (NVU) underlines neurovascular coupling. It has been reported that NVU impairment can result in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Aging is a complex and irreversible process caused by programmed and damage-related factors. Loss of biological functions and increased susceptibility to additional neurodegenerative diseases are major characteristics of aging. In this review, we describe the basics of the NVU and discuss the effect of aging on NVU basics. Furthermore, we summarize the mechanisms that increase NVU susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Finally, we discuss new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and methods of maintaining an intact NVU that may delay or diminish aging.
Although vaccines have been developed, mutations of SARS-CoV-2, especially the dominant B.1.617.2 (delta) and B.1.529 (omicron) strains with more than 30 mutations on their spike protein, have caused a significant decline in prophylaxis, calling for the need for drug improvement. Antibodies are drugs preferentially used in infectious diseases and are easy to get from immunized organisms. The current study combined molecular modeling and single memory B cell sequencing to assess candidate sequences before experiments, providing a strategy for the fabrication of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. A total of 128 sequences were obtained after sequencing 196 memory B cells, and 42 sequences were left after merging extremely similar ones and discarding incomplete ones, followed by homology modeling of the antibody variable region. Thirteen candidate sequences were expressed, of which three were tested positive for receptor binding domain recognition but only one was confirmed as having broad neutralization against several SARS-CoV-2 variants. The current study successfully obtained a SARS-CoV-2 antibody with broad neutralizing abilities and provided a strategy for antibody development in emerging infectious diseases using single memory B cell BCR sequencing and computer assistance in antibody fabrication.
Erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular carcinoma A3 (EphA3) is a member of the largest subfamily of tyrosine kinase receptors—Eph receptors. Previous studies have shown that EphA3 is associated with tissue development. Recently, we have found that the expression of EphA3 is elevated in the hypothalamus of mice with diet-induced obesity (DIO). However, the role of EphA3 in hypothalamic-controlled energy metabolism remains unclear. In the current study, we demonstrated that the deletion of EphA3 in the hypothalamus by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing promotes obesity in male mice with high-fat diet feeding rather than those with normal chow diet feeding. Moreover, the deletion of hypothalamic EphA3 promotes high-fat DIO by increasing food intake and reducing energy expenditure. Knockdown of EphA3 leads to smaller intracellular vesicles in GT1-7 cells. The current study reveals that hypothalamic EphA3 plays important roles in promoting DIO.
To overcome immune tolerance to cancer, the immune system needs to be exposed to a multi-target action intervention. Here, we investigated the activating effect of CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs), mesyl phosphoramidate CpG ODNs, anti-OX40 antibodies, and OX40 RNA aptamers on major populations of immunocompetent cells ex vivo. Comparative analysis of the antitumor effects of in situ vaccination with CpG ODNs and anti-OX40 antibodies, as well as several other combinations, such as mesyl phosphoramidate CpG ODNs and OX40 RNA aptamers, was conducted. Antibodies against programmed death 1 (PD1) checkpoint inhibitors or their corresponding PD1 DNA aptamers were also added to vaccination regimens for analytical purposes. Four scenarios were considered: a weakly immunogenic Krebs-2 carcinoma grafted in CBA mice; a moderately immunogenic Lewis carcinoma grafted in C57Black/6 mice; and an immunogenic A20 B cell lymphoma or an Ehrlich carcinoma grafted in BALB/c mice. Adding anti-PD1 antibodies (CpG+αOX40+αPD1) to in situ vaccinations boosts the antitumor effect. When to be used instead of antibodies, aptamers also possess antitumor activity, although this effect was less pronounced. The strongest effect across all the tumors was observed in highly immunogenic A20 B cell lymphoma and Ehrlich carcinoma.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) play an important role in tumor metastases, which is positively correlated with an increased risk of death. Actin-binding proteins, including cofilin (CFL1), profilin 1 (PFN1), and adenylate cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1), are thought to be involved in tumor cell motility and metastasis, specifically in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, currently, there are no published studies on CFL1, PFN1, and CAP1 in CTCs and leukocytes in HNSCC patients. We assessed serum levels of CFL1, PFN1, and CAP1 and the number of CTCs and leukocytes containing these proteins in blood from 31 HNSCC patients (T1–4N0–2M0). The analysis used flow cytometry and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. We found that CAP1+ CTCs and CAP1+ leukocyte subpopulations were prevalent in these HNSCC patient samples, while the prevalence rates of CFL1+ and PFN1+ CTCs were relatively low. Patients with stage T2–4N1–2M0 had CFL1+ and PFN1+ CTCs with an elevated PFN1 serum level, compared with the T1–3N0M0 group. In summary, the PFN1 serum level and the relative number of PFN1+CD326+ CTCs could be valuable prognostic markers for HNSCC metastases. The current study is the first to obtain data regarding the contents of actin-binding proteins (ABPs) in CTCs, and leukocytes in blood from HNSCC patients. This is also the first to assess the relationship between the number of CTCs subgroups and disease characteristics.