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Optimizing Recombinant Protein Production for Domain Antibodies: Proof-of-Concept

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Recent studies in traumatic brain injury (TBI) have found a temporal window where therapeutics on the nanometer scale can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the parenchyma. Developing protein-based therapeutics is attractive for a number of reasons, yet, the production

Recent studies in traumatic brain injury (TBI) have found a temporal window where therapeutics on the nanometer scale can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the parenchyma. Developing protein-based therapeutics is attractive for a number of reasons, yet, the production pipeline for high yield and consistent bioactive recombinant proteins remains a major obstacle. Previous studies for recombinant protein production has utilized gram-negative hosts such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) due to its well-established genetics and fast growth for recombinant protein production. However, using gram-negative hosts require lysis that calls for additional optimization and also introduces endotoxins and proteases that contribute to protein degradation. This project directly addressed this issue and evaluated the potential to use a gram-positive host such as Brevibacillus choshinensis (Brevi) which does not require lysis as the proteins are expressed directly into the supernatant. This host was utilized to produce variants of Stock 11 (S11) protein as a proof-of-concept towards this methodology. Variants of S11 were synthesized using different restriction enzymes which will alter the location of protein tags that may affect production or purification. Factors such as incubation time, incubation temperature, and media were optimized for each variant of S11 using a robust design of experiments. All variants of S11 were grown using optimized parameters prior to purification via affinity chromatography. Results showed the efficiency of using Brevi as a potential host for domain antibody production in the Stabenfeldt lab. Future aims will focus on troubleshooting the purification process to optimize the protein production pipeline.

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2019-05

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Time-Lapse Visualization of Microglia Cell Processes using Fluorescent Miniature (Miniscope) Imaging

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In the United States, an estimated 2 million cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in more than 50,000 deaths occur every year. TBI induces an immediate primary injury resulting in local or diffuse cell death in the brain. Then

In the United States, an estimated 2 million cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in more than 50,000 deaths occur every year. TBI induces an immediate primary injury resulting in local or diffuse cell death in the brain. Then a secondary injury occurs through neuroinflammation from immune cells in response to primary injury. Microglia, the resident immune cell of the central nervous system, play a critical role in neuroinflammation following TBI. Microglia make up 10% of all cells in the nervous system and are the fastest moving cells in the brain, scanning the entire parenchyma every several hours. Microglia have roles in both the healthy and injured brain. In the healthy brain, microglia can produce neuroprotective factors, clear cellular debris, and organize neurorestorative processes to recover from TBI. However, microglia mediated neuroinflammation during secondary injury produces pro-inflammatory and cytotoxic mediators contributing to neuronal dysfunction, inhibition of CNS repair, and cell death. Furthermore, neuroinflammation is a prominent feature in many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease, of which include overactive microglia function. Microglia cell morphology, activation, and response to TBI is poorly understood. Currently, imaging microglia can only be performed while the animal is stationary and under anesthesia. The Miniscope technology allows for real-time visualization of microglia in awake behaving animals. The Miniscope is a miniature fluorescent microscope that can be implanted over a craniectomy to image microglia. Currently, the goals of Miniscope imaging are to improve image quality and develop time-lapse imaging capabilities. There were five main sub-projects that focused on these goals including surgical nose cone design, surgical holder design, improved GRIN lens setup, improved magnification through achromatic lenses, and time-lapse imaging hardware development. Completing these goals would allow for the visualization of microglia function in the healthy and injured brain, elucidating important immune functions that could provide new strategies for treating brain diseases.

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2019-05

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Practical therapies for diffuse traumatic brain injury in the mouse: translational considerations

Description

Approximately 2.8 million Americans seek medical care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Of this population, the majority are sufferers of diffuse TBI, or concussion. It is unknown how many more individuals decline to seek medical care following mild

Approximately 2.8 million Americans seek medical care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Of this population, the majority are sufferers of diffuse TBI, or concussion. It is unknown how many more individuals decline to seek medical care following mild TBI. This likely sizeable population of un- or self-treated individuals combined with a lack of definitive biomarkers or objective post-injury diagnostics creates a unique need for practical therapies among diffuse TBI sufferers. Practical therapies stand to decrease the burden of TBI among those who would otherwise not seek treatment or do not meet clinical diagnostic criteria upon examination. For this unique treatment niche, practical therapies for TBI are defined as having one or more of the following qualities: common availability, easy administration, excellent safety profile, and cost-effectiveness. This dissertation identifies and critically examines the efficacy of four classes of practical treatments in improving rodent outcome from experimental diffuse traumatic brain injury.

Over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics, omega-3 fatty acids, specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs), and remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) were administered before or following midline fluid percussion injury. Behavioral, histological, and molecular analyses were used to assess treatment effects on functional outcome and secondary injury progression. Acute administration of common OTC analgesics had little effect on post-injury outcome in mice. Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) prior to or following diffuse TBI significantly reduced injury-induced sensory sensitivity and markers of neuroinflammation with no effect on spatial learning. Intraperitoneal administration of omega-3 fatty acid-derived SPM resolvin E1 significantly increased post-injury sleep and suppressed microglial activation. Aspirin-triggered (AT) resolvin D1 administration improved both motor and cognitive outcome following diffuse TBI. RIC treatment in mice demonstrated little effect on functional outcome from diffuse TBI. Untargeted proteomic analysis of plasma samples from RIC-treated mice was used to identify candidate molecular correlates of RIC. Identification of these candidates represents a vital first step in elucidating the neuroprotective mechanisms underlying RIC. The overall findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, SPM administration, and RIC may serve as effective practical therapies to reduce the somatic, cognitive, and neurological burden of diffuse TBI felt by millions of Americans.

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2017

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Multi-parametric MRI Study of Brain Insults (Traumatic Brain Injury and Brain Tumor) in Animal Models

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The objective of this small animal pre-clinical research project was to study quantitatively the long-term micro- and macro- structural brain changes employing multiparametric MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) techniques. Two separate projects make up the basis of this thesis. The first

The objective of this small animal pre-clinical research project was to study quantitatively the long-term micro- and macro- structural brain changes employing multiparametric MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) techniques. Two separate projects make up the basis of this thesis. The first part focuses on obtaining prognostic information at early stages in the case of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in rat animal model using imaging data acquired at 24-hours and 7-days post injury. The obtained parametric T2 and diffusion values from DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging) showed significant deviations in the signal intensities from the control and were potentially useful as an early indicator of the severity of post-traumatic injury damage. DTI was especially critical in distinguishing between the cytotoxic and vasogenic edema and in identification of injury regions resolving to normal control values by day-7. These results indicate the potential of quantitative MRI as a clinical marker in predicting prognosis following TBI. The second part of this thesis focuses on studying the effect of novel therapeutic strategies employing dendritic cell (DC) based vaccinations in mice glioma model. The treatment cohorts included comparing a single dose of Azacytidine drug vs. mice getting three doses of drug per week. Another cohort was used as an untreated control group. The MRI results did not show any significant changes in between the two treated cohorts with no reduction in tumor volumes compared to the control group. The future studies would be focused on issues regarding the optimal dose for the application of DC vaccine. Together, the quantitative MRI plays an important role in the prognosis and diagnosis of the above mentioned pathologies, providing essential information about the anatomical location, micro-structural tissue environment, lesion volume and treatment response.

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Date Created
2014

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Investigating the Relationship Between Traumatic Brain Injury Cortical Lesion Area and TDP-43 Pathologies

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an injury to the head that disrupts normal brain function. TBI has been described as a disease process that can lead to an increased risk for developing chronic neurodegenerative diseases, like frontotemporal lobar

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an injury to the head that disrupts normal brain function. TBI has been described as a disease process that can lead to an increased risk for developing chronic neurodegenerative diseases, like frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A pathological hallmark of FTLD and a hallmark of ALS is the nuclear mislocalization of TAR DNA Binding Protein 43 (TDP-43). This project aims to explore neurodegenerative effects of TBI on cortical lesion area using immunohistochemical markers of TDP-43 proteinopathies. We analyzed the total percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization. We found that the percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization was significantly higher in cortical tissue following TBI when compared to the age-matched control brains. The cortical lesion area was analyzed for each injured brain sample, with respect to days post-injury (DPI), and it was found that there were no statistically significant differences between cortical lesion areas across time points. The percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization was analyzed for each cortical tissue sample, with respect to cortical lesion area, and it was found that there were no statistically significant differences between the percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization, with respect to cortical lesion area. In conclusion, we found no correlation between the percent of cortical NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization with respect to the size of the cortical lesion area.

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2022-05