Cell Biology


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 1504 Views Aug 20, 2022

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening, high mortality pulmonary condition characterized by acute lung injury (ALI) resulting in diffuse alveolar damage. Despite progress regarding the understanding of ARDS pathophysiology, there are presently no effective pharmacotherapies. Due to the complexity and multiorgan involvement typically associated with ARDS, animal models remain the most commonly used research tool for investigating potential new therapies. Experimental models of ALI/ARDS use different methods of injury to acutely induce lung damage in both small and large animals. These models have historically played an important role in the development of new clinical interventions, such as fluid therapy and the use of supportive mechanical ventilation (MV). However, failures in recent clinical trials have highlighted the potential inadequacy of small animal models due to major anatomical and physiological differences, as well as technical challenges associated with the use of clinical co-interventions [e.g., MV and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)]. Thus, there is a need for larger animal models of ALI/ARDS, to allow the incorporation of clinically relevant measurements and co-interventions, hopefully leading to improved rates of clinical translation. However, one of the main challenges in using large animal models of preclinical research is that fewer species-specific experimental tools and metrics are available for evaluating the extent of lung injury, as compared to rodent models. One of the most relevant indicators of ALI in all animal models is evidence of histological tissue damage, and while histological scoring systems exist for small animal models, these cannot frequently be readily applied to large animal models. Histological injury in these models differs due to the type and severity of the injury being modeled. Additionally, the incorporation of other clinical support devices such as MV and ECMO in large animal models can lead to further lung damage and appearance of features absent in the small animal models. Therefore, semi-quantitative histological scoring systems designed to evaluate tissue-level injury in large animal models of ALI/ARDS are needed. Here we describe a semi-quantitative scoring system to evaluate histological injury using a previously established porcine model of ALI via intratracheal and intravascular lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration. Additionally, and owing to the higher number of samples generated from large animal models, we worked to implement a more sustainable and greener histopathological workflow throughout the entire process.

0 Q&A 1376 Views May 20, 2022

Autoreactive T cells in autoantibody-mediated autoimmune diseases can be divided into two major subsets: (i) follicular T helper cells (Tfh) that provide T cell help in germinal centers (GC) and (ii) effector T (Teff) cells that immigrate into peripheral tissue sites such as the skin and mediate local inflammation. To study the sequence of events leading to the loss of tolerance in autoantibody-mediated autoimmune diseases it is required to investigate both T cell subsets simultaneously. This approach is hampered mainly because the appearance of skin inflammation in mouse models is a random process, which makes it difficult to define the location of inflammation at the right time point. To overcome this problem, we developed a scratching technique for ear skins that leads to the establishment of chronic autoimmune wounds in the mouse model for the pemphigoid-like disease epidermolysis bullosa acquisita. By defining the exact place where the skin wounds should form, this protocol enables a detailed analysis of skin-immigrating Teff cells. Of note, this protocol induces GC in draining lymph nodes in parallel so that Tfh cells in GC can be investigated concurrently. This protocol is not restricted to T cells and can be used for any other skin-immigrating inflammatory cells.

1 Q&A 3996 Views Mar 20, 2020
Bone formation occurs during embryogenesis, skeletal growth and during the process of skeletal renewal throughout life. In the process of bone formation, osteoblasts lay down a collagen-containing matrix, termed osteoid, which is gradually hardened by incorporation of mineral crystals. Although osteoblasts can be induced to differentiate and to deposit mineral in culture, this system does not always provide results that reflect the ability of agents to stimulate bone formation in vivo. This protocol describes a rapid and reliable method for testing local administration of agents on bone formation in vivo. In this method, mice are injected with the agent of question for 5 successive days. Fluorochrome labels are injected prior to, and after agents used for testing, and samples are collected and analysed by undecalcified bone histology and histomorphometry. This provides a robust method for assessing the ability of agents to stimulate bone formation, and if a short-term modification is used, can also be used for testing gene responses in bone to the same stimuli.
0 Q&A 9996 Views Jul 5, 2019
Skin wound healing is a complex process involving different events such as blood coagulation, inflammation, new blood vessels formation, and extracellular matrix deposition. These events can be observed by using histology techniques. However, the lack of the standardization of such parameters impacts on the reproducibility of results. Here, we describe a protocol to perform macroscopic and microscopic analyses of the events that occur during skin wound healing using the experimental model of excisional wounds in rats.

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