Penn Dental Medicine

Established in 1878, Penn Dental Medicine is among the oldest university-affiliated dental schools in the nation. The school's mission is to transform global oral health and well-being through exceptional clinical care, innovation, education, and research.

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  • Publication
    Phagocytosis-Dependent Ketogenesis in Retinal Pigment Epithelium
    (2017-05-12) Reyes-Reveles, Juan; Dhingra, Anuradha; Alexander, Desiree; Bragin, Alvina; Philp, Nancy J.; Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen
    Daily, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) ingests a bolus of lipid and protein in the form of phagocytized photoreceptor outer segments (OS). The RPE, like the liver, expresses enzymes required for fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis. This suggests that these pathways play a role in the disposal of lipids from ingested OS, as well as providing a mechanism for recycling metabolic intermediates back to the outer retina. In this study, we examined whether OS phagocytosis was linked to ketogenesis. We found increased levels of β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HB) in the apical medium following ingestion of OS by human fetal RPE and ARPE19 cells cultured on Transwell inserts. No increase in ketogenesis was observed following ingestion of oxidized OS or latex beads. Our studies further defined the connection between OS phagocytosis and ketogenesis in wild-type mice and mice with defects in phagosome maturation using a mouse RPE explant model. In explant studies, the levels of β-HB released were temporally correlated with OS phagocytic burst after light onset. In the Mreg−/− mouse where phagosome maturation is delayed, there was a temporal shift in the release of β-HB. An even more pronounced shift in maximal β-HB production was observed in the Abca4−/− RPE, in which loss of the ATP-binding cassette A4 transporter results in defective phagosome processing and accumulation of lipid debris. These studies suggest that FAO and ketogenesis are key to supporting the metabolism of the RPE and preventing the accumulation of lipids that lead to oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • Publication
    Localization of Caveolin-1 and C-Src in Mature and Differentiating Photoreceptors: Raft Proteins Co-Distribute with Rhodopsin During Development
    (2011-12-01) Berta, Ágnes I.; Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen; Magyar, Attila; Szél, Ágoston; Kiss, Anna L.
    Numerous biochemical and morphological studies have provided insight into the distribution pattern of caveolin-1 and the presence of membrane rafts in the vertebrate retina. To date however, studies have not addressed the localization profile of raft specific proteins during development. Therefore the purpose of our studies was to follow the localization pattern of caveolin-1, phospho-caveolin-1 and c-src in the developing retina and compare it to that observed in adults. Specific antibodies were used to visualize the distribution of caveolin-1, c-src, a kinase phosphorylating caveolin-1, and phospho-caveolin-1. The labeling pattern of this scaffolded complex was compared to those of rhodopsin and rhodopsin kinase. Samples were analyzed at various time points during postnatal development and compared to adult retinas. The immunocytochemical studies were complemented with immunoblots and immunoprecipitation studies. In the mature retina caveolin-1 and c-src localized mainly to the cell body and IS of photoreceptors, with only very weakly labeled OS. In contrast, phospho-caveolin-1 was only detectable in the OS of photoreceptors. During development we followed the expression and distribution profile of these proteins in a temporal sequence with special attention to the period when OS formation is most robust. Double labeling immunocytochemistry and immunoprecipitation showed rhodopsin to colocalize and co-immunoprecipitate with caveolin-1 and c-src. Individual punctate structures between the outer limiting membrane and the outer plexiform layer were seen at P10 to be labeled by both rhodopsin and caveolin-1 as well as by rhodopsin and c-src, respectively. These studies suggest that membrane raft specific proteins are co-distributed during development, thereby pointing to a role for such complexes in OS formation. In addition, the presence of small punctate structures containing caveolin-1, c-src and rhodopsin raise the possibility that these proteins may transport together to OS during development and that caveolin-1 exists predominantly in a phosphorylated form in the OS. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
  • Publication
    Diabetes Aggravates Periodontitis by Limiting Repair Through Enhanced Inflammation
    (2012-04-01) Pacios, S.; Kang, J.; Galicia, J.; Gluck, K.; Hamel, P.; Ovaydi-Mandel, A.; Petrov, S.; Alawi, F.; Graves, D. T.
    Periodontitis is the most common lytic bone disease and one of the first clinical manifestations of diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of periodontitis. The aim of the present study was to examine mechanisms by which diabetes aggravates periodontitis. Ligature-induced periodontitis was examined in Goto-Kakizaki rats with type 2 diabetes. A tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-specificinhibitor, pegsunercept, was applied to diabetic rats after the onset of periodontal disease. Interferon-γ (IFN-γ), TNF-α, interleukin-1 β (IL-1β), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFβ-1), bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2), and BMP-6 were measured by real-time RT-PCR, and histological sections were examined for leukocyte infiltration and several parameters related to bone resorption and formation. Inflammation was prolonged in diabetic rats and was reversed by the TNF inhibitor, which reduced cytokine mRNA levels, leukocyte infiltration, and osteoclasts. In contrast, new bone and osteoid formation and osteoblast numbers were increased significantly vs. untreated diabetic animals. TNF inhibition in diabetic animals also reduced apoptosis, increased proliferation of bone-lining cells, and increased mRNA levels of FGF-2, TGFβ-1, BMP-2, and BMP-6. Thus, diabetes prolongs inflammation and osteoclastogenesis in periodontitis and through TNF limits the normal reparative process by negatively modulating factors that regulate bone. © FASEB.
  • Publication
    Expression of Fungal Cutinase and Swollenin in Tobacco Chloroplasts Reveals Novel Enzyme Functions and/or Substrates
    (2013-02-25) Verma, Dheeraj; Jin, Shuangxia; Kanagaraj, Anderson; Singh, Nameirakpam D.; Daniel, Jaiyanth; Kolattukudy, Pappachan E.; Miller, Michael; Daniell, Henry
    In order to produce low-cost biomass hydrolyzing enzymes, transplastomic lines were generated that expressed cutinase or swollenin within chloroplasts. While swollenin expressing plants were homoplasmic, cutinase transplastomic lines remained heteroplasmic. Both transplastomic lines showed interesting modifications in their phenotype, chloroplast structure, and functions. Ultrastructural analysis of chloroplasts from cutinase- and swollenin-expressing plants did not show typical lens shape and granal stacks. But, their thylakoid membranes showed unique scroll like structures and chloroplast envelope displayed protrusions, stretching into the cytoplasm. Unusual honeycomb structures typically observed in etioplasts were observed in mature chloroplasts expressing swollenin. Treatment of cotton fiber with chloroplast-derived swollenin showed enlarged segments and the intertwined inner fibers were irreversibly unwound and fully opened up due to expansin activity of swollenin, causing disruption of hydrogen bonds in cellulose fibers. Cutinase transplastomic plants showed esterase and lipase activity, while swollenin transplastomic lines lacked such enzyme activities. Higher plants contain two major galactolipids, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), in their chloroplast thylakoid membranes that play distinct roles in their structural organization. Surprisingly, purified cutinase effectively hydrolyzed DGDG to MGDG, showing alpha galactosidase activity. Such hydrolysis resulted in unstacking of granal thylakoids in chloroplasts and other structural changes. These results demonstrate DGDG as novel substrate and function for cutinase. Both MGDG and DGDG were reduced up to 47.7% and 39.7% in cutinase and 68.5% and 67.5% in swollenin expressing plants. Novel properties and functions of both enzymes reported here for the first time should lead to better understanding and enhanced biomass hydrolysis.
  • Publication
    Novel Endodontic Disinfection Approach Using Nanotechnology
    (2016-08-09) Bukhari, Sarah; Karabucak, Bekir; Koo, Hyun
    The aim of this in vitro investigation was to use a recently developed Enterococcus faecalis infection model using root canal for evaluating iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (NP) with biomimetic (catalytic) properties as a new antimicrobial endodontic treatment. We compared iron oxide NP bioactivity with currently used chemical modalities using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as analytical tools. We hypothesized that iron oxide NP with enzyme-like (peroxidase) activity catalyzes H2O2 to promote bacterial killing within dentinal tubules (DT) via in situ production of free radicals. We further hypothesized that the NP is more effective than the conventional treatments (irrigants) used in the clinical endodontic practice. Because iron oxides can be used as food additives, and iron oxide NP formulations are low-cost and FDA-approved for human use, it could be a safe and feasible approach to potentiate the effects of a commonly used antiseptic.
  • Publication
    Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin induces cytosol acidification in LFA-1 expressing immune cells
    (2016-02-01) Balashova, N.; Dhingra, A.; Boesze-Battaglia, K.; Lally, E. T.
    Studies have suggested that Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin (LtxA) kills human lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1; CD11a/CD18)-bearing immune cells through a lysosomal-mediated mechanism. Lysosomes are membrane-bound cellular organelles that contain an array of acid hydrolases that are capable of breaking down biomolecules. The lysosomal membrane bilayer confines the pH-sensitive enzymes within an optimal acidic (pH 4.8) environment thereby protecting the slightly basic cytosol (pH 6.8-7.5). In the current study, we have probed the effect of LtxA-induced cytolysis on lysosomal integrity in two different K562 erythroleukemia cell lines. K562-puro/LFA-1 cells were stably transfected with CD11a and CD18 cDNA to express LFA-1 on the cell surface while K562-puro, which does not express LFA-1, served as a control. Following treatment with 100 ng ml-1 LtxA cells were analyzed by live cell imaging in conjunction with time-lapse confocal microscopy and by flow cytometry. Using a pH-sensitive indicator (pHrodo®) we demonstrated that the toxin causes a decrease in the intracellular pH in K562-puro/LFA-1 cells that is noticeable within the first 15 min of treatment. This process correlated with the disappearance of lysosomes in the cytosol as determined by both acridine orange and LysoTracker® Red DND-99 staining. These changes were not observed in K562-puro cells or when heat inactivated toxin was added to K562-puro/LFA-1. Our results suggest that LtxA induces lysosomal damage, cytosol acidification, which is followed by cell death in K562-puro/LFA-1 cells. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
  • Publication
    Dyskerin Expression Correlates with Active Proliferation Independently of Telomerase
    (2011-07-01) Alawi, Faizan; Lin, Ping; Ziober, Barry; Patel, Reena
    Background Dyskerin, which is an important component of the telomerase complex and is needed for normal telomerase activity, is frequently overexpressed in neoplasia. Dyskerin also plays an essential role in ribosome biogenesis. Since protein synthesis increases during tumorigenesis, this led us to hypothesize that dyskerin expression would be upregulated independently of the cell immortalization mechanism. Methods Dyskerin and telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) expression were examined in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) and patient-matched controls, and in a panel of telomerase-positive and telomerase-negative cells. Antisense inhibition of TERT was used to test the effects of downregulation of telomerase on dyskerin expression. Results Dyskerin was frequently overexpressed in OSCC and in immortalized and transformed keratinocytes relative to primary cells, independently of TERT and telomerase activity. Instead, dyskerin expression strongly correlated with cell proliferation rates. Conclusions The role of dyskerin in tumorigenesis does not correlate with its function within the telomerase complex.
  • Publication
    Ameloblastoma: Current Etiopathological Concepts and Management
    (2018-04-01) Effiom, O. A.; Ogundana, O. M.; Akinshipo, A. O.; Akintoye, S. O.
    Ameloblastoma is a benign odontogenic tumor of epithelial origin. It is locally aggressive with unlimited growth capacity and has a high potential for malignant transformation as well as metastasis. Ameloblastoma has no established preventive measures although majority of patients are between ages 30 and 60 years. Molecular and genetic factors that promote oncogenic transformation of odontogenic epithelium to ameloblastoma are strongly linked to dysregulation of multiple genes associated with mitogen-activated protein kinase, sonic hedgehog, and WNT/β-catenin signaling pathways. Treatment of ameloblastoma is focused on surgical resection with a wide margin of normal tissue because of its high propensity for locoregional invasion; but this is often associated with significant patient morbidity. The relatively high recurrence rate of ameloblastoma is influenced by the type of molecular etiological factors, the management approach, and how early the patient presents for treatment. It is expected that further elucidation of molecular factors that orchestrate pathogenesis and recurrence of ameloblastoma will lead to new diagnostic markers and targeted drug therapies for ameloblastoma. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Publication
    Interplay Between Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Lymphocytes Implications for Immunotherapy and Tissue Regeneration
    (2012-11-01) Wang, L.; Zhao, Y.; Shi, Songtao
    In addition to their potential for replacing damaged and diseased tissues by differentiating into tissue-specific cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been found to interact closely with immune cells, such as lymphocytes. In this review, we will discuss current research regarding the immunomodulatory properties of MSCs and the effects of lymphocytes on MSCs. We will suggest how these findings could be translated to potential clinical treatment. MSCs can regulate immune response by inducing activated T-cell apoptosis through the FAS ligand (FASL)/FAS-mediated death pathway via cell-cell contact, leading to up-regulation of regulatory T-cells (Tregs), which ultimately results in immune tolerance. Conversely, lymphocytes can impair survival and osteogenic differentiation of implanted MSCs by secreting the pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-γ and TNF-α and/or through the FASL/FAS-mediated death pathway, thereby negatively affecting MSC-mediated tissue regeneration. One novel strategy to improve MSC-based tissue engineering involves the reduction of IFN-γ and TNF-α concentration by systemic infusion of Tregs or local application of aspirin. Further understanding of the mechanisms underlying the interplay between lymphocytes and MSCs may be helpful in the development of promising approaches to improve cell-based regenerative medicine and immune therapies.