Hanan G. El-Baz


2 Implementation of Cord- Blood Derived Stem Cells in the Regeneration of Two Experimental Models: Carbon Tetrachloride and S. Mansoni Induced Liver Fibrosis

Authors: Manal M. Kame, Hanan G. El-Baz, Zeinab A. Demerdash, Salwa M. Hassan, Faten M. Salah, Wafaa Mansour, Olfat Hammam


Cord blood (CB) derived Unrestricted Somatic Stem Cells (USSCs) with their multipotentiality hold great promise in liver regeneration. This work aims at evaluation of the therapeutic potentiality of USSCs in two experimental models of chronic liver injury induced either by S. mansoni infection in balb/c mice or CCL4 injection in hamsters. Isolation, propagation, and characterization of USSCs from CB samples were performed. USSCs were induced to differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes and hepatocyte-like cells. Cells of the third passage were transplanted in two models of liver fibrosis: (1) Twenty hamsters were induced to liver fibrosis by repeated i. p. injection of 100 μl CCl4 /hamster for 8 weeks. This model was designed as; 10 hamsters with liver fibrosis and treated with i.h. injection of 3x106 USSCs (USSCs transplanted group), 10 hamsters with liver fibrosis (pathological control group), and 10 hamsters with healthy livers (normal control group). (2) Murine chronics S.mansoni model: twenty mice were induced to liver fibrosis with S. mansoni ceracariae (60 cercariae/ mouse) using the tail immersion method and left for 12 weeks. This model was designed as; 10 mice with liver fibrosis were transplanted with i. v. injection of 1×106 USCCs (USSCs transplanted group). Other 2 groups were designed as in hamsters model. Animals were sacrificed 12 weeks after USSCs transplantation, and their liver sections were examined for detection of human hepatocyte-like cells by immunohistochemistry staining. Moreover, liver sections were examined for fibrosis level, and fibrotic indices were calculated. Sera of sacrificed animals were tested for liver functions. CB USSCs, with fibroblast-like morphology, expressed high levels of CD44, CD90, CD73 and CD105 and were negative for CD34, CD45, and HLA-DR. USSCs showed high expression of transcripts for Oct4 and Sox2 and were in vitro differentiated into osteoblasts, adipocytes. In both animal models, in vitro induced hepatocyte-like cells were confirmed by cytoplasmic expression of glycogen, alpha-fetoprotein, and cytokeratin18. Livers of USSCs transplanted group showed engraftment with human hepatocyte-like cells as proved by cytoplasmic expression of human alpha-fetoprotein, cytokeratin18, and OV6. In addition, livers of this group showed less fibrosis than the pathological control group. Liver functions in the form of serum AST & ALT level and serum total bilirubin level were significantly lowered in USSCs transplanted group than pathological control group (p < 0.001). Moreover, the fibrotic index was significantly lower (p< 0.001) in USSCs transplanted group than pathological control group. In addition liver sections, of i. v. injection of 1×106 USCCs of mice, stained with either H&E or sirius red showed diminished granuloma size and a relative decrease in hepatic fibrosis. Our experimental liver fibrosis models transplanted with CB-USSCs showed liver engraftment with human hepatocyte-like cells as well as signs of liver regeneration in the form of improvement in liver function assays and fibrosis level. These data provide hope that human CB- derived USSCs are introduced as multipotent stem cells with great potentiality in regenerative medicine & strengthens the concept of cellular therapy for the treatment of liver fibrosis.

Keywords: Stem Cells, Transplantation, Liver Fibrosis, Cord Blood

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1 Nano-Immunoassay for Diagnosis of Active Schistosomal Infection

Authors: Manal M. Kame, Hanan G. El-Baz, Zeinab A.Demerdash, Engy M. Abd El-Moneem, Mohamed A. Hendawy, Ibrahim R. Bayoumi


There is a constant need to improve the performance of current diagnostic assays of schistosomiasis as well as develop innovative testing strategies to meet new testing challenges. This study aims at increasing the diagnostic efficiency of monoclonal antibody (MAb)-based antigen detection assays through gold nanoparticles conjugated with specific anti-Schistosoma mansoni monoclonal antibodies. In this study, several hybidoma cell lines secreting MAbs against adult worm tegumental Schistosoma antigen (AWTA) were produced at Immunology Department of Theodor Bilharz Research Institute and preserved in liquid nitrogen. One MAb (6D/6F) was chosen for this study due to its high reactivity to schistosome antigens with highest optical density (OD) values. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were functionalized and conjugated with MAb (6D/6F). The study was conducted on serum samples of 116 subjects: 71 patients with S. mansoni eggs in their stool samples group (gp 1), 25 with other parasites (gp2) and 20 negative healthy controls (gp3). Patients in gp1 were further subdivided according to egg count in their stool samples into Light infection {≤ 50 egg per gram(epg) (n= 17)}, moderate {51-100 epg (n= 33)} and severe infection {>100 epg(n= 21)}. Sandwich ELISA was performed using (AuNPs -MAb) for detection of circulating schistosomal antigen (CSA) levels in serum samples of all groups and the results were compared with that after using MAb/ sandwich ELISA system. Results Gold- MAb/ ELISA system reached a lower detection limit of 10 ng/ml compared to 85 ng/ml on using MAb/ ELISA and the optimal concentrations of AuNPs -MAb were found to be 12 folds less than that of MAb/ ELISA system for detection of CSA. The sensitivity and specificity of sandwich ELISA for detection of CSA levels using AuNPs -MAb were 100% & 97.8 % respectively compared to 87.3% &93.38% respectively on using MAb/ ELISA system. It was found that CSA was detected in 9 out of 71 S.mansoni infected patients on using AuNPs - MAb/ ELISA system and was not detected by MAb/ ELISA system. All those patients (9) was found to have an egg count below 50 epg feces (patients with light infections). ROC curve analyses revealed that sandwich ELISA using gold-MAb was an excellent diagnostic investigator that could differentiate Schistosoma patients from healthy controls, on the other hand it revealed that sandwich ELISA using MAb was not accurate enough as it could not recognize nine out of 71 patients with light infections. Conclusion Our data demonstrated that: Loading gold nanoparticles with MAb (6D/6F) increases the sensitivity and specificity of sandwich ELISA for detection of CSA, thus active (early) and light infections could be easily detected. Moreover this binding will decrease the amount of MAb consumed in the assay and lower the coast. The significant positive correlation that was detected between ova count (intensity of infection) and OD reading in sandwich ELISA using gold- MAb enables its use to detect the severity of infections and follow up patients after treatment for monitoring of cure.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, Monoclonal Antibodies, Schistosomiasis, Gold, ELISA

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