Browsing by Subject "Astrocyte"

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  • Itokazu, Yutaka; Tajima, Nobuyoshi; Kerosuo, Laura; Somerharju, Pentti; Sariola, Hannu; Yu, Robert K.; Kakela, Reijo (2016)
    The central nervous system (CNS) harbors multiple glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expressing cell types. In addition to the most abundant cell type of the CNS, the astrocytes, various stem cells and progenitor cells also contain GFAP+ populations. Here, in order to distinguish between two types of GFAP expressing cells with or without the expression of the A2B5 antigens, we performed lipidomic analyses on A2B5+/GFAP+ and A2B5-/GFAP+ cells from rat spinal cord. First, A2B5+/GFAP- progenitors were exposed to the leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) or bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) to induce their differentiation to A2B5+/GFAP+ cells or A2B5-/GFAP+ astrocytes, respectively. The cells were then analyzed for changes in their phospholipid, sphingolipid or acyl chain profiles by mass spectrometry and gas chromatography. Compared to A2B5+/GFAP- progenitors, A2B5-/GFAP+ astrocytes contained higher amounts of ether phospholipids (especially the species containing arachidonic acid) and sphingomyelin, which may indicate characteristics of cellular differentiation and inability for multipotency. In comparison, principal component analyses revealed that the lipid composition of A2B5+/GFAP+ cells retained many of the characteristics of A2B5+/GFAP- progenitors, but their lipid profile was different from that of A2B5-/GFAP+ astrocytes. Thus, our study demonstrated that two GFAP+ cell populations have distinct lipid profiles with the A2B5+/GFAP+ cells sharing a phospholipid profile with progenitors rather than astrocytes. The progenitor cells may require regulated low levels of lipids known to mediate signaling functions in differentiated cells, and the precursor lipid profiles may serve as one measure of the differentiation capacity of a cell population.
  • Rantataro, Samuel; Parkkinen, Ilmari; Pande, Ishan; Domanskyi, Andrii; Airavaara, Mikko; Peltola, Emilia; Laurila, Tomi (2022)
    Vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNFs) are promising material candidates for neural biosensors due to their ability to detect neurotransmitters in physiological concentrations. However, the expected high rigidity of CNFs could induce mechanical mismatch with the brain tissue, eliciting formation of a glial scar around the electrode and thus loss of functionality. We have evaluated mechanical biocompatibility of VACNFs by growing nickel-catalyzed carbon nanofibers of different lengths and inter-fiber distances. Long nanofibers with large inter-fiber distance prevented maturation of focal adhesions, thus constraining cells from obtaining a highly spread morphology that is observed when astrocytes are being contacted with stiff materials commonly used in neural implants. A silicon nanopillar array with 500 nm inter-pillar distance was used to reveal that this inhibition of focal adhesion maturation occurs due to the surface nanoscale geometry, more precisely the inter-fiber distance. Live cell atomic force microscopy was used to confirm astrocytes being significantly softer on the long Ni-CNFs compared to other surfaces, including a soft gelatin hydrogel. We also observed hippocampal neurons to mature and form synaptic contacts when being cultured on both long and short carbon nanofibers, without having to use any adhesive proteins or a glial monoculture, indicating high cytocompatibility of the material also with neuronal population. In contrast, neurons cultured on a planar tetrahedral amorphous carbon sample showed immature neurites and indications of early-stage apoptosis. Our results demonstrate that mechanical biocompatibility of biomaterials is greatly affected by their nanoscale surface geometry, which provides means for controlling how the materials and their mechanical properties are perceived by the cells.
  • Kettunen, Pinja; Lesnikova, Angelina; Räsänen, Noora; Ojha, Ravi; Palmunen, Leena; Laakso, Markku; Lehtonen, Sarka; Kuusisto, Johanna; Pietiläinen, Olli; Saber, Saber H.; Joensuu, Merja; Vapalahti, Olli P.; Koistinaho, Jari; Rolova, Taisia; Balistreri, Giuseppe (2023)
    2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In addition to respiratory illness, COVID-19 patients exhibit neurological symptoms lasting from weeks to months (long COVID). It is unclear whether these neurological manifestations are due to an infection of brain cells. We found that a small fraction of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons, but not astrocytes, were naturally susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Based on the inhibitory effect of blocking antibodies, the infection seemed to depend on the receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), despite very low levels of its expression in neurons. The presence of double-stranded RNA in the cytoplasm (the hallmark of viral replication), abundant synthesis of viral late genes localized throughout infected cells, and an increase in the level of viral RNA in the culture medium (viral release) within the first 48 h of infection suggested that the infection was productive. Productive entry of SARS-CoV-2 requires the fusion of the viral and cellular membranes, which results in the delivery of the viral genome into the cytoplasm of the target cell. The fusion is triggered by proteolytic cleavage of the viral surface spike protein, which can occur at the plasma membrane or from endosomes or lysosomes. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infection of human neurons was insensitive to nafamostat and camostat, which inhibit cellular serine proteases, including transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2). Inhibition of cathepsin L also did not significantly block infection. In contrast, the neuronal infection was blocked by apilimod, an inhibitor of phosphatidyl-inositol 5 kinase (PIK5K), which regulates early to late endosome maturation.IMPORTANCE COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Millions of patients display neurological symptoms, including headache, impairment of memory, seizures, and encephalopathy, as well as anatomical abnormalities, such as changes in brain morphology. SARS-CoV-2 infection of the human brain has been documented, but it is unclear whether the observed neurological symptoms are linked to direct brain infection. The mechanism of virus entry into neurons has also not been characterized. Here, we investigated SARS-CoV-2 infection by using a human iPSC-derived neural cell model and found that a small fraction of cortical-like neurons was naturally susceptible to infection. The productive infection was ACE2 dependent and TMPRSS2 independent. We also found that the virus used the late endosomal and lysosomal pathway for cell entry and that the infection could be blocked by apilimod, an inhibitor of cellular PIK5K.