Matching Items (16)

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Spaceflight modulates gene expression in the whole blood of astronauts

Description

Astronauts are exposed to a unique combination of stressors during spaceflight, which leads to alterations in their physiology and potentially increases their susceptibility to disease, including infectious diseases. To evaluate

Astronauts are exposed to a unique combination of stressors during spaceflight, which leads to alterations in their physiology and potentially increases their susceptibility to disease, including infectious diseases. To evaluate the potential impact of the spaceflight environment on the regulation of molecular pathways mediating cellular stress responses, we performed a first-of-its-kind pilot study to assess spaceflight-related gene-expression changes in the whole blood of astronauts. Using an array comprised of 234 well-characterized stress-response genes, we profiled transcriptomic changes in six astronauts (four men and two women) from blood preserved before and immediately following the spaceflight. Differentially regulated transcripts included those important for DNA repair, oxidative stress, and protein folding/degradation, including HSP90AB1, HSP27, GPX1, XRCC1, BAG-1, HHR23A, FAP48, and C-FOS. No gender-specific differences or relationship to number of missions flown was observed. This study provides a first assessment of transcriptomic changes occurring in the whole blood of astronauts in response to spaceflight.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12-08

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Three-dimensional organotypic co-culture model of intestinal epithelial cells and macrophages to study Salmonella enterica colonization patterns

Description

Three-dimensional models of human intestinal epithelium mimic the differentiated form and function of parental tissues often not exhibited by two-dimensional monolayers and respond to Salmonella in key ways that reflect

Three-dimensional models of human intestinal epithelium mimic the differentiated form and function of parental tissues often not exhibited by two-dimensional monolayers and respond to Salmonella in key ways that reflect in vivo infections. To further enhance the physiological relevance of three-dimensional models to more closely approximate in vivo intestinal microenvironments encountered by Salmonella, we developed and validated a novel three-dimensional co-culture infection model of colonic epithelial cells and macrophages using the NASA Rotating Wall Vessel bioreactor. First, U937 cells were activated upon collagen-coated scaffolds. HT-29 epithelial cells were then added and the three-dimensional model was cultured in the bioreactor until optimal differentiation was reached, as assessed by immunohistochemical profiling and bead uptake assays. The new co-culture model exhibited in vivo-like structural and phenotypic characteristics, including three-dimensional architecture, apical-basolateral polarity, well-formed tight/adherens junctions, mucin, multiple epithelial cell types, and functional macrophages. Phagocytic activity of macrophages was confirmed by uptake of inert, bacteria-sized beads. Contribution of macrophages to infection was assessed by colonization studies of Salmonella pathovars with different host adaptations and disease phenotypes (Typhimurium ST19 strain SL1344 and ST313 strain D23580; Typhi Ty2). In addition, Salmonella were cultured aerobically or microaerobically, recapitulating environments encountered prior to and during intestinal infection, respectively. All Salmonella strains exhibited decreased colonization in co-culture (HT-29-U937) relative to epithelial (HT-29) models, indicating antimicrobial function of macrophages. Interestingly, D23580 exhibited enhanced replication/survival in both models following invasion. Pathovar-specific differences in colonization and intracellular co-localization patterns were observed. These findings emphasize the power of incorporating a series of related three-dimensional models within a study to identify microenvironmental factors important for regulating infection.

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Date Created
  • 2017-02-28

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Recellularization of Decellularized Lung Scaffolds Is Enhanced by Dynamic Suspension Culture

Description

Strategies are needed to improve repopulation of decellularized lung scaffolds with stromal and functional epithelial cells. We demonstrate that decellularized mouse lungs recellularized in a dynamic low fluid shear suspension

Strategies are needed to improve repopulation of decellularized lung scaffolds with stromal and functional epithelial cells. We demonstrate that decellularized mouse lungs recellularized in a dynamic low fluid shear suspension bioreactor, termed the rotating wall vessel (RWV), contained more cells with decreased apoptosis, increased proliferation and enhanced levels of total RNA compared to static recellularization conditions. These results were observed with two relevant mouse cell types: bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (MSCs) and alveolar type II cells (C10). In addition, MSCs cultured in decellularized lungs under static but not bioreactor conditions formed multilayered aggregates. Gene expression and immunohistochemical analyses suggested differentiation of MSCs into collagen I-producing fibroblast-like cells in the bioreactor, indicating enhanced potential for remodeling of the decellularized scaffold matrix. In conclusion, dynamic suspension culture is promising for enhancing repopulation of decellularized lungs, and could contribute to remodeling the extracellular matrix of the scaffolds with subsequent effects on differentiation and functionality of inoculated cells.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05-11

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Characterization of the Invasive, Multidrug Resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella Strain D23580 in a Murine Model of Infection

Description

A distinct pathovar of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, ST313, has emerged in sub-Saharan Africa as a major cause of fatal bacteremia in young children and HIV-infected adults. D23580, a multidrug

A distinct pathovar of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, ST313, has emerged in sub-Saharan Africa as a major cause of fatal bacteremia in young children and HIV-infected adults. D23580, a multidrug resistant clinical isolate of ST313, was previously shown to have undergone genome reduction in a manner that resembles that of the more human-restricted pathogen, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. It has since been shown through tissue distribution studies that D23580 is able to establish an invasive infection in chickens. However, it remains unclear whether ST313 can cause lethal disease in a non-human host following a natural course of infection. Herein we report that D23580 causes lethal and invasive disease in a murine model of infection following peroral challenge. The LD[subscript 50] of D23580 in female BALB/c mice was 4.7 x 10[superscript 5] CFU. Tissue distribution studies performed 3 and 5 days post-infection confirmed that D23580 was able to more rapidly colonize the spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes and gall bladder in mice when compared to the well-characterized S. Typhimurium strain SL1344. D23580 exhibited enhanced resistance to acid stress relative to SL1344, which may lend towards increased capability to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract as well as during its intracellular lifecycle. Interestingly, D23580 also displayed higher swimming motility relative to SL1344, S. Typhi strain Ty2, and the ST313 strain A130. Biochemical tests revealed that D23580 shares many similar metabolic features with SL1344, with several notable differences in the Voges-Proskauer and catalase tests, as well alterations in melibiose, and inositol utilization. These results represent the first full duration infection study using an ST313 strain following the entire natural course of disease progression, and serve as a benchmark for ongoing and future studies into the pathogenesis of D23580.

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Date Created
  • 2015-06-19

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Spaceflight Enhances Cell Aggregation and Random Budding in Candida albicans

Description

This study presents the first global transcriptional profiling and phenotypic characterization of the major human opportunistic fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, grown in spaceflight conditions. Microarray analysis revealed that C. albicans

This study presents the first global transcriptional profiling and phenotypic characterization of the major human opportunistic fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, grown in spaceflight conditions. Microarray analysis revealed that C. albicans subjected to short-term spaceflight culture differentially regulated 452 genes compared to synchronous ground controls, which represented 8.3% of the analyzed ORFs. Spaceflight-cultured C. albicans–induced genes involved in cell aggregation (similar to flocculation), which was validated by microscopic and flow cytometry analysis. We also observed enhanced random budding of spaceflight-cultured cells as opposed to bipolar budding patterns for ground samples, in accordance with the gene expression data. Furthermore, genes involved in antifungal agent and stress resistance were differentially regulated in spaceflight, including induction of ABC transporters and members of the major facilitator family, downregulation of ergosterol-encoding genes, and upregulation of genes involved in oxidative stress resistance. Finally, downregulation of genes involved in actin cytoskeleton was observed. Interestingly, the transcriptional regulator Cap1 and over 30% of the Cap1 regulon was differentially expressed in spaceflight-cultured C. albicans. A potential role for Cap1 in the spaceflight response of C. albicans is suggested, as this regulator is involved in random budding, cell aggregation, and oxidative stress resistance; all related to observed spaceflight-associated changes of C. albicans. While culture of C. albicans in microgravity potentiates a global change in gene expression that could induce a virulence-related phenotype, no increased virulence in a murine intraperitoneal (i.p.) infection model was observed under the conditions of this study. Collectively, our data represent an important basis for the assessment of the risk that commensal flora could play during human spaceflight missions. Furthermore, since the low fluid-shear environment of microgravity is relevant to physical forces encountered by pathogens during the infection process, insights gained from this study could identify novel infectious disease mechanisms, with downstream benefits for the general public.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12-04

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Physiological fluid shear alters the virulence potential of invasive multidrug-resistant non-typhoidal Salmonella Typhimurium D23580

Description

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains belonging to sequence type ST313 are a major cause of fatal bacteremia among HIV-infected adults and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike “classical” non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS),

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains belonging to sequence type ST313 are a major cause of fatal bacteremia among HIV-infected adults and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike “classical” non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS), gastroenteritis is often absent during ST313 infections and isolates are most commonly recovered from blood, rather than from stool. This is consistent with observations in animals, in which ST313 strains displayed lower levels of intestinal colonization and higher recovery from deeper tissues relative to classic NTS isolates. A better understanding of the key environmental factors regulating these systemic infections is urgently needed. Our previous studies using dynamic Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactor technology demonstrated that physiological levels of fluid shear regulate virulence, gene expression, and stress response profiles of classic S. Typhimurium. Here we provide the first demonstration that fluid shear alters the virulence potential and pathogenesis-related stress responses of ST313 strain D23580 in a manner that differs from classic NTS.

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Date Created
  • 2016-06-09

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Characterization of the physiological fluid shear response of the foodborne pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis

Description

Spaceflight and spaceflight analogue culture enhance the virulence and pathogenesis-related stress resistance of the foodborne pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). This is an alarming finding as it suggests

Spaceflight and spaceflight analogue culture enhance the virulence and pathogenesis-related stress resistance of the foodborne pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). This is an alarming finding as it suggests that astronauts may have an increased risk of infection during spaceflight. This risk is further exacerbated as multiple studies indicate that spaceflight negatively impacts aspects of the immune system. In order to ensure astronaut safety during long term missions, it is important to study the phenotypic effects of the microgravity environment on a range of medically important microbial pathogens that might be encountered by the crew. This ground-based study uses the NASA-engineered Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactor as a spaceflight analogue culture system to grow bacteria under low fluid shear forces relative to those encountered in microgravity, and interestingly, in the intestinal tract during infection. The culture environment in the RWV is commonly referred to as low shear modeled microgravity (LSMMG). In this study, we characterized the stationary phase stress response of the enteric pathogen, Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis), to LSMMG culture. We showed that LSMMG enhanced the resistance of stationary phase cultures of S. Enteritidis to acid and thermal stressors, which differed from the LSSMG stationary phase response of the closely related pathovar, S. Typhimurium. Interestingly, LSMMG increased the ability of both S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium to adhere to, invade into, and survive within an in vitro 3-D intestinal co-culture model containing immune cells. Our results indicate that LSMMG regulates pathogenesis-related characteristics of S. Enteritidis in ways that may present an increased health risk to astronauts during spaceflight missions.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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The Effects of Low Shear Modeled Microgravity Culture on Burkholderia cepacia complex

Description

Clean water for drinking, food preparation, and bathing is essential for astronaut health and safety during long duration habitation of the International Space Station (ISS), including future missions to Mars.

Clean water for drinking, food preparation, and bathing is essential for astronaut health and safety during long duration habitation of the International Space Station (ISS), including future missions to Mars. Despite stringent water treatment and recycling efforts on the ISS, it is impossible to completely prevent microbial contamination of onboard water supplies. In this work, we used a spaceflight analogue culture system to better understand how the microgravity environment can influence the pathogenesis-related characteristics of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), an opportunistic pathogen previously recovered from the ISS water system. The results of the present study suggest that there may be important differences in how this pathogen can respond and adapt to spaceflight and other low fluid shear environments encountered during their natural life cycles. Future studies are aimed at understanding the underlying mechanisms responsible for these phenotypes.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Evaluation of Microorganisms Cultured from Injured and Repressed Tissue Regeneration Sites in Endangered Giant Aquatic Ozark Hellbender Salamanders

Description

Investigation into the causes underlying the rapid, global amphibian decline provides critical insight into the effects of changing ecosystems. Hypothesized and confirmed links between amphibian declines, disease, and environmental changes

Investigation into the causes underlying the rapid, global amphibian decline provides critical insight into the effects of changing ecosystems. Hypothesized and confirmed links between amphibian declines, disease, and environmental changes are increasingly represented in published literature. However, there are few long-term amphibian studies that include data on population size, abnormality/injury rates, disease, and habitat variables to adequately assess changes through time. We cultured and identified microorganisms isolated from abnormal/injured and repressed tissue regeneration sites of the endangered Ozark Hellbender, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi, to discover potential causative agents responsible for their significant decline in health and population. This organism and our study site were chosen because the population and habitat of C. a. bishopi have been intensively studied from 1969–2009, and the abnormality/injury rate and apparent lack of regeneration were established. Although many bacterial and fungal isolates recovered were common environmental organisms, several opportunistic pathogens were identified in association with only the injured tissues of C.a. bishopi. Bacterial isolates included Aeromonas hydrophila, a known amphibian pathogen, Granulicetella adiacens, Gordonai terrae, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Aerococcus viridans, Streptococcus pneumoniae and a variety of Pseudomonads, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, P. stutzeri, and P. alcaligenes. Fungal isolates included species in the genera Penicillium, Acremonium, Cladosporium, Curvularia, Fusarium, Streptomycetes, and the Class Hyphomycetes. Many of the opportunistic pathogens identified are known to form biofilms. Lack of isolation of the same organism from all wounds suggests that the etiological agent responsible for the damage to C. a. bishopi may not be a single organism. To our knowledge, this is the first study to profile the external microbial consortia cultured from a Cryptobranchid salamander. The incidence of abnormalities/injury and retarded regeneration in C. a. bishopi may have many contributing factors including disease and habitat degradation. Results from this study may provide insight into other amphibian population declines.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011-12-19

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Development and evaluation of selective and differential media for polymicrobial communities from the International Space Station potable water system

Description

The International Space Station (ISS) utilizes recycled water for consumption, cleaning and air humidity control. The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) have been rigorously tested at the NASA

The International Space Station (ISS) utilizes recycled water for consumption, cleaning and air humidity control. The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) have been rigorously tested at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Despite the advanced engineering of the water recovery system, bacterial biofilms have been recovered from this potable water source. Microbial contamination of potable water poses a potential threat to crew members onboard the ISS. Because astronauts have been found to have compromised immune systems, bacterial strains that would not typically be considered a danger must be carefully studied to better understand the mechanisms enabling their survival, including polymicrobial interactions. The need for a more thorough understanding of the effect of spaceflight environment on polymicrobial interactions and potential impact on crew health and vehicle integrity is heightened since 1) several potential pathogens have been isolated from the ISS potable water system, 2) spaceflight has been shown to induce unexpected alterations in microbial responses, and 3) emergent phenotypes are often observed when multiple bacterial species are co- cultured together, as compared to pure cultures of single species. In order to address these concerns, suitable growth media are required that will not only support the isolation of these microbes but also the ability to distinguish between them when grown as mixed cultures. In this study, selective and/or differential media were developed for bacterial isolates collected from the ISS potable water supply. In addition to facilitating discrimination between bacteria, the ideal media for each strain was intended to have a 100% recovery rate compared to traditional R2A media. Antibiotic and reagent susceptibility and resistance tests were conducted for the purpose of developing each individual medium. To study a wide range of targets, 12 antibiotics were selected from seven major classes, including penicillin, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, glycopeptides/lipoglycopeptides, macrolides/lincosamides/streptogramins, tetracyclines, in addition to seven unclassified antibiotics and three reagents. Once developed, medium efficacy was determined by means of growth curve experiments. The development of these media is a critical step for further research into the mechanisms utilized by these strains to survive the harsh conditions of the ISS water system. Furthermore, with an understanding of the complex nature of these polymicrobial communities, specific contamination targeting and control can be conducted to reduce the risk to crew members. Understanding these microbial species and their susceptibilities has potential application for future NASA human explorations, including those to Mars.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-12