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

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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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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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Date Created
  • 2013-12-04