Displaying publications 21 - 40 of 44 in total

  1. Farhana A, Koh AE, Tong JB, Alsrhani A, Kumar Subbiah S, Mok PL
    Molecules, 2021 Sep 06;26(17).
    PMID: 34500845 DOI: 10.3390/molecules26175414
    Molecular crosstalk between the cellular epigenome and genome converge as a synergistic driver of oncogenic transformations. Besides other pathways, epigenetic regulatory circuits exert their effect towards cancer progression through the induction of DNA repair deficiencies. We explored this mechanism using a camptothecin encapsulated in β-cyclodextrin-EDTA-Fe3O4 nanoparticles (CPT-CEF)-treated HT29 cells model. We previously demonstrated that CPT-CEF treatment of HT29 cells effectively induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, stalling cancer progression. A comparative transcriptome analysis of CPT-CEF-treated versus untreated HT29 cells indicated that genes controlling mismatch repair, base excision repair, and homologues recombination were downregulated in these cancer cells. Our study demonstrated that treatment with CPT-CEF alleviated this repression. We observed that CPT-CEF exerts its effect by possibly affecting the DNA repair mechanism through epigenetic modulation involving genes of HMGB1, APEX1, and POLE3. Hence, we propose that CPT-CEF could be a DNA repair modulator that harnesses the cell's epigenomic plasticity to amend DNA repair deficiencies in cancer cells.
  2. Farhana A, Koh AE, Kothandan S, Alsrhani A, Mok PL, Subbiah SK
    Int J Mol Sci, 2021 Nov 13;22(22).
    PMID: 34830168 DOI: 10.3390/ijms222212286
    Cancer cells are able to proliferate in an unregulated manner. There are several mechanisms involved that propel such neoplastic transformations. One of these processes involves bypassing cell death through changes in gene expression and, consequently, cell growth. This involves a complex epigenetic interaction within the cell, which drives it towards oncogenic transformations. These epigenetic events augment cellular growth by potentially altering chromatin structures and influencing key gene expressions. Therapeutic mechanisms have been developed to combat this by taking advantage of the underlying oncogenic mechanisms through chemical modulation. Camptothecin (CPT) is an example of this type of drug. It is a selective topoisomerase I inhibitor that is effective against many cancers, such as colorectal cancer. Previously, we successfully formulated a magnetic nanocarrier-conjugated CPT with β-cyclodextrin and iron NPs (Fe3O4) cross-linked using EDTA (CPT-CEF). Compared to CPT alone, it boasts higher efficacy due to its selective targeting and increased solubility. In this study, we treated HT29 colon cancer cells with CPT-CEF and attempted to investigate the cytotoxic effects of the formulation through an epigenetic perspective. By using RNA-Seq, several differentially expressed genes were obtained (p < 0.05). Enrichr was then used for the over-representation analysis, and the genes were compared to the epigenetic roadmap and histone modification database. The results showed that the DEGs had a high correlation with epigenetic modifications involving histone H3 acetylation. Furthermore, a subset of these genes was shown to be associated with the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which is highly upregulated in a large number of cancer cells. These genes could be investigated as downstream therapeutic targets against the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells. Further interaction analysis of the identified genes with the key genes of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in colorectal cancer identified the direct interactors and a few transcription regulators. Further analysis in cBioPortal confirmed their genetic alterations and their distribution across patient samples. Thus, the findings of this study reveal that colorectal cancer could be reversed by treatment with the CPT-CEF nanoparticle-conjugated nanocarrier through an epigenetic mechanism.
  3. Shirley Ding SL, Leow SN, Munisvaradass R, Koh EH, Bastion ML, Then KY, et al.
    Eye (Lond), 2016 Oct;30(10):1293-1309.
    PMID: 27285322 DOI: 10.1038/eye.2016.94
    Erythropoietin (EPO) is a glycoprotein hormone conventionally thought to be responsible only in producing red blood cells in our body. However, with the discovery of the presence of EPO and EPO receptors in the retinal layers, the EPO seems to have physiological roles in the eye. In this review, we revisit the role of EPO in the eye. We look into the biological role of EPO in the development of the eye and the physiologic roles that it has. Apart from that, we seek to understand the mechanisms and pathways of EPO that contributes to the therapeutic and pathological conditions of the various ocular disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, optic neuritis, and retinal detachment. With these understandings, we discuss the clinical applications of EPO for treatment of ocular disorders, modes of administration, EPO formulations, current clinical trials, and its future directions.
  4. Sivan PP, Syed S, Mok PL, Higuchi A, Murugan K, Alarfaj AA, et al.
    Stem Cells Int, 2016;2016:8304879.
    PMID: 27293447 DOI: 10.1155/2016/8304879
    Sustenance of visual function is the ultimate focus of ophthalmologists. Failure of complete recovery of visual function and complications that follow conventional treatments have shifted search to a new form of therapy using stem cells. Stem cell progenitors play a major role in replenishing degenerated cells despite being present in low quantity and quiescence in our body. Unlike other tissues and cells, regeneration of new optic cells responsible for visual function is rarely observed. Understanding the transcription factors and genes responsible for optic cells development will assist scientists in formulating a strategy to activate and direct stem cells renewal and differentiation. We review the processes of human eye development and address the strategies that have been exploited in an effort to regain visual function in the preclinical and clinical state. The update of clinical findings of patients receiving stem cell treatment is also presented.
  5. Ali Khan MS, Ahmed N, Misbah, Arifuddin M, Zakaria ZA, Al-Sanea MM, et al.
    Food Chem Toxicol, 2018 May;115:523-531.
    PMID: 29555329 DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.03.021
    In view of the report on anti-nociceptive activity of Leathery Murdah, Terminalia coriacea {Roxb.} Wight & Arn. (Combretaceae) leaves, the present study was conducted to isolate the active constituents and identify the underlying mechanisms. The methanolic extract of T. coriacea leaves (TCLME) at doses 125, 250 and 500 mg/kg orally, was subjected to various in-vivo assays in acetic acid induced writhing and formalin induced paw-licking tests with aspirin (100 mg/kg) and morphine (5 mg/kg) as reference drugs. Three flavonoids, rutin, robinin and gossypetin 3-glucuronide 8-glucoside were isolated and characterized from TCLME for the first time. The extract showed significant (p 
  6. Samrot AV, Sean TC, Bhavya KS, Sahithya CS, Chan-Drasekaran S, Palanisamy R, et al.
    Pathogens, 2021 Feb 01;10(2).
    PMID: 33535649 DOI: 10.3390/pathogens10020145
    Leptospirosis is a perplexing conundrum for many. In the existing literature, the pathophysiological mechanisms pertaining to leptospirosis is still not understood in full. Considered as a neglected tropical zoonotic disease, leptospirosis is culminating as a serious problem worldwide, seemingly existing as co-infections with various other unrelated diseases, including dengue and malaria. Misdiagnosis is also common as non-specific symptoms are documented extensively in the literature. This can easily lead to death, as the severe form of leptospirosis (Weil's disease) manifests as a complex of systemic complications, especially renal failure. The virulence of Leptospira sp. is usually attributed to the outer membrane proteins, including LipL32. With an armament of virulence factors at their disposal, their ability to easily adhere, invade and replicate within cells calls for a swift refinement in research progress to establish their exact pathophysiological framework. As an effort to reconstitute the current knowledge on leptospirosis, the basis of leptospiral infection, including its risk factors, classification, morphology, transmission, pathogenesis, co-infections and clinical manifestations are highlighted in this review. The various diagnostic techniques are also outlined with emphasis on their respective pros and cons.
  7. Teh SW, Koh AE, Tong JB, Wu X, Samrot AV, Rampal S, et al.
    Front Cell Dev Biol, 2021;9:634131.
    PMID: 34490233 DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2021.634131
    Bone fractures have a high degree of severity. This is usually a result of the physical trauma of diseases that affect bone tissues, such as osteoporosis. Due to its highly vascular nature, the bone is in a constant state of remodeling. Although those of younger ages possess bones with high regenerative potential, the impact of a disrupted vasculature can severely affect the recovery process and cause osteonecrosis. This is commonly seen in the neck of femur, scaphoid, and talus bone. In recent years, mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy has been used to aid in the regeneration of afflicted bone. However, the cut-off in blood supply due to bone fractures can lead to hypoxia-induced changes in engrafted MSCs. Researchers have designed several oxygen-generating biomaterials and yielded varying degrees of success in enhancing tissue salvage and preserving cellular metabolism under ischemia. These can be utilized to further improve stem cell therapy for bone repair. In this review, we touch on the pathophysiology of these bone fractures and review the application of oxygen-generating biomaterials to further enhance MSC-mediated repair of fractures in the three aforementioned parts of the bone.
  8. Mok PL, Anandasayanam ANK, Oscar David HM, Tong J, Farhana A, Khan MSA, et al.
    PLoS One, 2021;16(4):e0250552.
    PMID: 33914777 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250552
    Multiple matrix metalloproteinases have significant roles in tissue organization during lung development, and repair. Imbalance of proteinases may lead to chronic inflammation, changes in tissue structure, and are also highly associated to cancer development. The role of MMP20 is not well studied in lung organogenesis, however, it was previously shown to be present at high level in lung adenocarcinoma. The current study aimed to identify the functional properties of MMP20 on cell proliferation and motility in a lung adenocarcinoma in vitro cell model, and relate the interaction of MMP20 with other molecular signalling pathways in the lung cells after gaining tumoral properties. In this study, two different single guide RNA (sgRNAs) that specifically targeted on MMP20 sites were transfected into human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells by using CRISPR-Cas method. Following that, the changes of PI3-K, survivin, and MAP-K mRNA gene expression were determined by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). The occurrence of cell death was also examined by Acridine Orange/Propidium Iodide double staining. Meanwhile, the motility of the transfected cells was evaluated by wound healing assay. All the data were compared with non-transfected cells as a control group. Our results demonstrated that the transfection of the individual sgRNAs significantly disrupted the proliferation of the A549 cell line through suppression in the gene expression of PI3-K, survivin, and MAP-K. When compared to non-transfected cells, both experimental cell groups showed reduction in the migration rate, as reflected by the wider gaps in the wound healing assay. The current study provided preliminary evidence that MMP20 could have regulatory role on stemness and proliferative genes in the lung tissues and affect the cell motility. It also supports the notion that targeting MMP20 could be a potential treatment mode for halting cancer progression.
  9. Teh SW, Mok PL, Abd Rashid M, Bastion MC, Ibrahim N, Higuchi A, et al.
    Int J Mol Sci, 2018 Feb 13;19(2).
    PMID: 29438279 DOI: 10.3390/ijms19020558
    Ocular microbial infection has emerged as a major public health crisis during the past two decades. A variety of causative agents can cause ocular microbial infections; which are characterized by persistent and destructive inflammation of the ocular tissue; progressive visual disturbance; and may result in loss of visual function in patients if early and effective treatments are not received. The conventional therapeutic approaches to treat vision impairment and blindness resulting from microbial infections involve antimicrobial therapy to eliminate the offending pathogens or in severe cases; by surgical methods and retinal prosthesis replacing of the infected area. In cases where there is concurrent inflammation, once infection is controlled, anti-inflammatory agents are indicated to reduce ocular damage from inflammation which ensues. Despite advances in medical research; progress in the control of ocular microbial infections remains slow. The varying level of ocular tissue recovery in individuals and the incomplete visual functional restoration indicate the chief limitations of current strategies. The development of a more extensive therapy is needed to help in healing to regain vision in patients. Stem cells are multipotent stromal cells that can give rise to a vast variety of cell types following proper differentiation protocol. Stem cell therapy shows promise in reducing inflammation and repairing tissue damage on the eye caused by microbial infections by its ability to modulate immune response and promote tissue regeneration. This article reviews a selected list of common infectious agents affecting the eye; which include fungi; viruses; parasites and bacteria with the aim of discussing the current antimicrobial treatments and the associated therapeutic challenges. We also provide recent updates of the advances in stem cells studies on sepsis therapy as a suggestion of optimum treatment regime for ocular microbial infections.
  10. Leow SN, Luu CD, Hairul Nizam MH, Mok PL, Ruhaslizan R, Wong HS, et al.
    PLoS One, 2015;10(6):e0128973.
    PMID: 26107378 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128973
    To investigate the safety and efficacy of subretinal injection of human Wharton's Jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hWJ-MSCs) on retinal structure and function in Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats.
  11. Satar NA, Fakiruddin KS, Lim MN, Mok PL, Zakaria N, Fakharuzi NA, et al.
    Oncol Rep, 2018 Aug;40(2):669-681.
    PMID: 29845263 DOI: 10.3892/or.2018.6461
    Through the specific identification and direct targeting of cancer stem cells (CSCs), it is believed that a better treatment efficacy of cancer may be achieved. Hence, the present study aimed to identify a CSC subpopulation from adenocarcinoma cells (A549) as a model of non‑small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Ιnitially, we sorted two subpopulations known as the triple‑positive (EpCAM+/CD166+/CD44+) and triple‑negative (EpCAM-/CD166-/CD44-) subpopulation using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Sorted cells were subsequently evaluated for proliferation and chemotherapy-resistance using a viability assay and were further characterized for their clonal heterogeneity, self-renewal characteristics, cellular migration, alkaline dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity and the expression of stemness-related genes. According to our findings the triple‑positive subpopulation revealed significantly higher (P<0.01) proliferation activity, exhibited better clonogenicity, was mostly comprised of holoclones and had markedly bigger (P<0.001) spheroid formation indicating a better self-renewal capacity. A relatively higher resistance to both 5‑fluouracil and cisplatin with 80% expression of ALDH was observed in the triple‑positive subpopulation, compared to only 67% detected in the triple‑negative subpopulation indicated that high ALDH activity contributed to greater chemotherapy-resistance characteristics. Higher percentage of migrated cells was observed in the triple‑positive subpopulation with 56% cellular migration being detected, compared to only 19% in the triple‑negative subpopulation on day 2. This was similarly observed on day 3 in the triple‑positive subpopulation with 36% higher cellular migration compared to the triple‑negative subpopulation. Consistently, elevated levels of the stem cell genes such as REX1 and SSEA4 were also found in the triple‑positive subpopulation indicating that the subpopulation displayed a strong characteristic of pluripotency. In conclusion, our study revealed that the triple‑positive subpopulation demonstrated similar characteristics to CSCs compared to the triple‑negative subpopulation. It also confirmed the feasibility of using the triple‑positive (EpCAM+/CD166+/CD44+) marker as a novel candidate marker that may lead to the development of novel therapies targeting CSCs of NSCLC.
  12. Lam C, Alsaeedi HA, Koh AE, Harun MHN, Hwei ANM, Mok PL, et al.
    Tissue Eng Regen Med, 2021 02;18(1):143-154.
    PMID: 33415670 DOI: 10.1007/s13770-020-00312-1
    BACKGROUND: Different methods have been used to inject stem cells into the eye for research. We previously explored the intravitreal route. Here, we investigate the efficacy of intravenous and subretinal-transplanted human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) in rescuing the photoreceptors of a sodium iodate-induced retinal degeneration model.

    METHODS: Three groups of Sprague Dawley rats were used: intervention, vehicle group and negative control groups (n = 6 in each). Intravenous injection of 60 mg/kg sodium iodate (day 0) induced retinal degeneration. On day 4 post-injection of sodium iodate, the rats in the intervention group received intravenous DPSC and subretinal DPSC in the right eye; rats in the vehicle group received subretinal Hank's balance salt solution and intravenous normal saline; while negative control group received nothing. Electroretinogram (ERG) was performed to assess the retinal function at day 0 (baseline), day 4, day 11, day 18, day 26, and day 32. By the end of the study at day 32, the rats were euthanized, and both their enucleated eyes were sent for histology.

    RESULTS: No significant difference in maximal ERG a-wave (p = 0.107) and b-wave, (p = 0.153) amplitude was seen amongst the experimental groups. However, photopic 30 Hz flicker amplitude of the study eye showed significant differences in the 3 groups (p = 0.032). Within the intervention group, there was an improvement in 30 Hz flicker ERG response of all 6 treated right eyes, which was injected with subretinal DPSC; while the 30 Hz flicker ERG of the non-treated left eyes remained flat. Histology showed improved outer nuclear layer thickness in intervention group; however, findings were not significant compared to the negative and vehicle groups.

    CONCLUSION: Combination of subretinal and intravenous injection of DPSCs may have potential to rescue cone function from a NaIO3-induced retinal injury model.

  13. Al-Sanea MM, Ali Khan MS, Abdelazem AZ, Lee SH, Mok PL, Gamal M, et al.
    Molecules, 2018 Jan 31;23(2).
    PMID: 29385071 DOI: 10.3390/molecules23020297
    A new series of 1-phenyl-3-(4-(pyridin-3-yl)phenyl)urea derivatives were synthesized and subjected to in vitro antiproliferative screening against National Cancer Institute (NCI)-60 human cancer cell lines of nine different cancer types. Fourteen compounds 5a-n were synthesized with three different solvent exposure moieties (4-hydroxylmethylpiperidinyl and trimethoxyphenyloxy and 4-hydroxyethylpiperazine) attached to the core structure. Substituents with different π and σ values were added on the terminal phenyl group. Compounds 5a-e with a 4-hydroxymethylpiperidine moiety showed broad-spectrum antiproliferative activity with higher mean percentage inhibition values over the 60-cell line panel at 10 µM concentration. Compound 5a elicited lethal rather than inhibition effects on SK-MEL-5 melanoma cell line, 786-0, A498, RXF 393 renal cancer cell lines, and MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cell line. Two compounds, 5a and 5d showed promising mean growth inhibitions and thus were further tested at five-dose mode to determine median inhibitory concentration (IC50) values. The data revealed that urea compounds 5a and 5d are the most active derivatives, with significant efficacies and superior potencies than paclitaxel in 21 different cancer cell lines belonging particularly to renal cancer and melanoma cell lines. Moreover, 5a and 5d had superior potencies than gefitinib in 38 and 34 cancer cell lines, respectively, particularly colon cancer, breast cancer and melanoma cell lines.
  14. Danjuma L, Mok PL, Higuchi A, Hamat RA, Teh SW, Koh AE, et al.
    Regen Ther, 2018 Dec;9:100-110.
    PMID: 30525080 DOI: 10.1016/j.reth.2018.09.001
    Introduction: Anti-tuberculosis agent rifampicin is extensively used for its effectiveness. Possible complications of tuberculosis and prolonged rifampicin treatment include kidney damage; these conditions can lead to reduced efficiency of the affected kidney and consequently to other diseases. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) can be used in conjunction with rifampicin to avert kidney damage; because of its regenerative and differentiating potentials into kidney cells. This research was designed to assess the modulatory and regenerative potentials of MSCs in averting kidney damage due to rifampicin-induced kidney toxicity in Wistar rats and their progenies. BMMSCs used in this research were characterized according to the guidelines of International Society for Cellular Therapy.

    Methods: The rats (male and female) were divided into three experimental groups, as follows: Group 1: control rats (4 males & 4 females); Group 2: rats treated with rifampicin only (4 males & 4 females); and Group 3: rats treated with rifampicin plus MSCs (4 males & 4 females). Therapeutic doses of rifampicin (9 mg/kg/day for 3-months) and MSCs infusions (twice/month for 3-months) were administered orally and intravenously respectively. At the end of the three months, the animals were bred together to determine if the effects would carry over to the next generation. Following breeding, the rats were sacrificed to harvest serum for biochemical analysis and the kidneys were also harvested for histological analysis and quantification of the glomeruli size, for the adult rats and their progenies.

    Results: The results showed some level of alterations in the biochemical indicators and histopathological damage in the rats that received rifampicin treatment alone, while the control and stem cells treated group showed apparently normal to nearly normal levels of both bio-indicators and normal histological architecture.

    Conclusions: Intravenous administration of MSCs yielded sensible development, as seen from biochemical indicators, histology and the quantitative cell analysis, hence implying the modulatory and regenerative properties of MSCs.

  15. Cui YC, Qiu YS, Wu Q, Bu G, Peli A, Teh SW, et al.
    Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 2021 May;246(10):1177-1183.
    PMID: 33535809 DOI: 10.1177/1535370220985468
    Osteoblasts play an important role in bone regeneration and repair. The hypoxia condition in bone occurs when bone undergoes fracture, and this will trigger a series of biochemical and mechanical changes to enable bone repair. Hence, it is interesting to observe the metabolites and metabolism changes when osteoblasts are exposed to hypoxic condition. This study has looked into the response of human osteoblast hFOB 1.19 under normoxic and hypoxic conditions by observing the cell growth and utilization of metabolites via Phenotype MicroArrays™ under these two different oxygen concentrations. The cell growth of hFOB 1.19 under hypoxic condition showed better growth compared to hFOB 1.19 under normal condition. In this study, osteoblast used glycolysis as the main pathway to produce energy as hFOB 1.19 in both hypoxic and normoxic conditions showed cell growth in well containing dextrin, glycogen, maltotriose, D-maltose, D-glucose-6-phospate, D-glucose, D-mannose, D-Turanose, D-fructose-6-phosphate, D-galactose, uridine, adenosine, inosine and α-keto-glutaric acid. In hypoxia, the cells have utilized additional metabolites such as α-D-glucose-1-phosphate and D-fructose, indicating possible activation of glycogen synthesis and glycogenolysis to metabolize α-D-glucose-1-phosphate. Meanwhile, during normoxia, D-L-α-glycerol phosphate was used, and this implies that the osteoblast may use glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle and oxidative phosphorylation to metabolize glycerol-3-phosphate.
  16. Mok PL, Leow SN, Koh AE, Mohd Nizam HH, Ding SL, Luu C, et al.
    Int J Mol Sci, 2017 Feb 08;18(2).
    PMID: 28208719 DOI: 10.3390/ijms18020345
    Mesenchymal stem cells are widely used in many pre-clinical and clinical settings. Despite advances in molecular technology; the migration and homing activities of these cells in in vivo systems are not well understood. Labelling mesenchymal stem cells with gold nanoparticles has no cytotoxic effect and may offer suitable indications for stem cell tracking. Here, we report a simple protocol to label mesenchymal stem cells using 80 nm gold nanoparticles. Once the cells and particles were incubated together for 24 h, the labelled products were injected into the rat subretinal layer. Micro-computed tomography was then conducted on the 15th and 30th day post-injection to track the movement of these cells, as visualized by an area of hyperdensity from the coronal section images of the rat head. In addition, we confirmed the cellular uptake of the gold nanoparticles by the mesenchymal stem cells using transmission electron microscopy. As opposed to other methods, the current protocol provides a simple, less labour-intensive and more efficient labelling mechanism for real-time cell tracking. Finally, we discuss the potential manipulations of gold nanoparticles in stem cells for cell replacement and cancer therapy in ocular disorders or diseases.
  17. Alsaeedi HA, Lam C, Koh AE, Teh SW, Mok PL, Higuchi A, et al.
    J. Photochem. Photobiol. B, Biol., 2020 Jan;203:111727.
    PMID: 31862637 DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2019.111727
    Blindness and vision impairment are caused by irremediable retinal degeneration in affected individuals worldwide. Cell therapy for a retinal replacement can potentially rescue their vision, specifically for those who lost the light sensing photoreceptors in the eye. As such, well-characterized retinal cells are required for the replacement purposes. Stem cell-based therapy in photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium transplantation is well received, however, the drawbacks of retinal transplantation is the limited clinical protocols development, insufficient number of transplanted cells for recovery, the selection of potential stem cell sources that can be differentiated into the target cells, and the ability of cells to migrate to the host tissue. Dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) belong to a subset of mesenchymal stem cells, and are recently being studied due to its high capability of differentiating into cells of the neuronal lineage. In this review, we look into the potential uses of DPSC in treating retinal degeneration, and also the current data supporting its application.
  18. Koh AE, Alsaeedi HA, Rashid MBA, Lam C, Harun MHN, Saleh MFBM, et al.
    J. Photochem. Photobiol. B, Biol., 2019 Jul;196:111514.
    PMID: 31154277 DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2019.111514
    Retinal disorders account for a large proportion of ocular disorders that can lead to visual impairment or blindness, and yet our limited knowledge in the pathogenesis and choice of appropriate animal models for new treatment modalities may contribute to ineffective therapies. Although genetic in vivo models are favored, the variable expressivity and penetrance of these heterogeneous disorders can cause difficulties in assessing potential treatments against retinal degeneration. Hence, an attractive alternative is to develop a chemically-induced model that is both cost-friendly and standardizable. Sodium iodate is an oxidative chemical that is used to simulate late stage retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. In this study, retinal degeneration was induced through systemic administration of sodium iodate (NaIO3) at varying doses up to 80 mg/kg in Sprague-Dawley rats. An analysis on the visual response of the rats by electroretinography (ERG) showed a decrease in photoreceptor function with NaIO3 administration at a dose of 40 mg/kg or greater. The results correlated with the TUNEL assay, which revealed signs of DNA damage throughout the retina. Histomorphological analysis also revealed extensive structural lesions throughout the outer retina and parts of the inner retina. Our results provided a detailed view of NaIO3-induced retinal degeneration, and showed that the administration of 40 mg/kg NaIO3 was sufficient to generate disturbances in retinal function. The pathological findings in this model reveal a degenerating retina, and can be further utilized to develop effective therapies for RPE, photoreceptor, and bipolar cell regeneration.
  19. Koh AE, Alsaeedi HA, Rashid MBA, Lam C, Harun MHN, Ng MH, et al.
    Front Cell Dev Biol, 2021;9:652017.
    PMID: 33987180 DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2021.652017
    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are highly regarded as a potential treatment for retinal degenerative disorders like retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. However, donor cell heterogeneity and inconsistent protocols for transplantation have led to varied outcomes in clinical trials. We previously showed that genetically-modifying MSCs to express erythropoietin (MSCEPO) improved its regenerative capabilities in vitro. Hence, in this study, we sought to prove its potential in vivo by transplanting MSCsEPO in a rat retinal degeneration model and analyzing its retinal transcriptome using RNA-Seq. Firstly, MSCsEPO were cultured and expanded before being intravitreally transplanted into the sodium iodate-induced model. After the procedure, electroretinography (ERG) was performed bi-weekly for 30 days. Histological analyses were performed after the ERG assessment. The retina was then harvested for RNA extraction. After mRNA-enrichment and library preparation, paired-end RNA-Seq was performed. Salmon and DESeq2 were used to process the output files. The generated dataset was then analyzed using over-representation (ORA), functional enrichment (GSEA), and pathway topology analysis tools (SPIA) to identify enrichment of key pathways in the experimental groups. The results showed that the MSCEPO-treated group had detectable ERG waves (P <0.05), which were indicative of successful phototransduction. The stem cells were also successfully detected by immunohistochemistry 30 days after intravitreal transplantation. An initial over-representation analysis revealed a snapshot of immune-related pathways in all the groups but was mainly overexpressed in the MSC group. A subsequent GSEA and SPIA analysis later revealed enrichment in a large number of biological processes including phototransduction, regeneration, and cell death (P adj <0.05). Based on these pathways, a set of pro-survival gene expressions were extracted and tabulated. This study provided an in-depth transcriptomic analysis on the MSCEPO-treated retinal degeneration model as well as a profile of pro-survival genes that can be used as candidates for further genetic enhancement studies on stem cells.
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