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      Suitable parameter choice on quantitative morphology of A549 cell in epithelial–mesenchymal transition


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          Evaluation of morphological changes in cells is key for study of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. In the paper, parameters for quantitative evaluation of the changes were explored and two suitable parameters were found, roundness and radius ratio.


          Evaluation of morphological changes in cells is an integral part of study on epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), however, only a few papers reported the changes in quantitative parameters and no article compared different parameters for demanding better parameters. In the study, the purpose was to investigate suitable parameters for quantitative evaluation of EMT morphological changes. A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cell line was selected for the study. Some cells were stimulated by transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) for EMT, and other cells were as control without TGF-β1 stimulation. Subsequently, cells were placed in phase contrast microscope and three arbitrary fields were captured and saved with a personal computer. Using the tools of Photoshop software, some cells in an image were selected, segmented out and exchanged into unique hue, and other part in the image was shifted into another unique hue. The cells were calculated with 29 morphological parameters by Image Pro Plus software. A parameter between cells with or without TGF-β1 stimulation was compared statistically and nine parameters were significantly different between them. Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC curve) of a parameter was described with SPSS software and F-test was used to compare two areas under the curves (AUCs) in Excel. Among them, roundness and radius ratio were the most AUCs and were significant higher than the other parameters. The results provided a new method with quantitative assessment of cell morphology during EMT, and found out two parameters, roundness and radius ratio, as suitable for quantification.

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          TGF-β1 induces human alveolar epithelial to mesenchymal cell transition (EMT)

          Background Fibroblastic foci are characteristic features in lung parenchyma of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). They comprise aggregates of mesenchymal cells which underlie sites of unresolved epithelial injury and are associated with progression of fibrosis. However, the cellular origins of these mesenchymal phenotypes remain unclear. We examined whether the potent fibrogenic cytokine TGF-β1 could induce epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the human alveolar epithelial cell line, A549, and investigated the signaling pathway of TGF-β1-mediated EMT. Methods A549 cells were examined for evidence of EMT after treatment with TGF-β1. EMT was assessed by: morphology under phase-contrast microscopy; Western analysis of cell lysates for expression of mesenchymal phenotypic markers including fibronectin EDA (Fn-EDA), and expression of epithelial phenotypic markers including E-cadherin (E-cad). Markers of fibrogenesis, including collagens and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) were also evaluated by measuring mRNA level using RT-PCR, and protein by immunofluorescence or Western blotting. Signaling pathways for EMT were characterized by Western analysis of cell lysates using monoclonal antibodies to detect phosphorylated Erk1/2 and Smad2 after TGF-β1 treatment in the presence or absence of MEK inhibitors. The role of Smad2 in TGF-β1-mediated EMT was investigated using siRNA. Results The data showed that TGF-β1, but not TNF-α or IL-1β, induced A549 cells with an alveolar epithelial type II cell phenotype to undergo EMT in a time-and concentration-dependent manner. The process of EMT was accompanied by morphological alteration and expression of the fibroblast phenotypic markers Fn-EDA and vimentin, concomitant with a downregulation of the epithelial phenotype marker E-cad. Furthermore, cells that had undergone EMT showed enhanced expression of markers of fibrogenesis including collagens type I and III and CTGF. MMP-2 expression was also evidenced. TGF-β1-induced EMT occurred through phosphorylation of Smad2 and was inhibited by Smad2 gene silencing; MEK inhibitors failed to attenuate either EMT-associated Smad2 phosphorylation or the observed phenotypic changes. Conclusion Our study shows that TGF-β1 induces A549 alveolar epithelial cells to undergo EMT via Smad2 activation. Our data support the concept of EMT in lung epithelial cells, and suggest the need for further studies to investigate the phenomenon.
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            Targeting EMT in cancer: opportunities for pharmacological intervention.

            The spread of cancer cells to distant organs represents a major clinical challenge in the treatment of cancer. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has emerged as a key regulator of metastasis in some cancers by conferring an invasive phenotype. As well as facilitating metastasis, EMT is thought to generate cancer stem cells and contribute to therapy resistance. Therefore, the EMT pathway is of great therapeutic interest in the treatment of cancer and could be targeted either to prevent tumor dissemination in patients at high risk of developing metastatic lesions or to eradicate existing metastatic cancer cells in patients with more advanced disease. In this review, we discuss approaches for the design of EMT-based therapies in cancer, summarize evidence for some of the proposed EMT targets, and review the potential advantages and pitfalls of each approach.
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              Bleomycin induces cellular senescence in alveolar epithelial cells.

              Cellular senescence is a state of irreversible growth arrest. In this paper the authors examined whether bleomycin, an agent that causes pulmonary fibrosis, induces the senescence of alveolar epithelial cells. Type II-like alveolar epithelial (A549) cells or rat primary type II cells were exposed to bleomycin and then evaluated for markers of cellular senescence. Bleomycin was also administered intratracheally in C57BL/6 mice. The authors found that exposure to bleomycin induced cellular senescence in A549 cells and rat primary type II cells. The senescence was characterised by a dose- and time-dependent increase in senescence-associated beta-galactosidase activity, senescence-associated changes in cell morphology, an increase in cell size and lysosomal mass, the overexpression of p21 protein, and irreversible growth arrest. The intratracheal injection of bleomycin in mice induced an increase in senescence-associated beta-galactosidase activity in type II epithelial cells, reaching a maximum at day 7. These results suggest that bleomycin induces a phenotype that is indistinguishable from that of senescence in alveolar epithelial cells. The induction of epithelial senescence by bleomycin may contribute to the pathway of impaired re-epithelialisation leading to pulmonary fibrosis.

                Author and article information

                Biosci Rep
                Biosci. Rep
                Bioscience Reports
                Portland Press Ltd.
                22 April 2015
                11 June 2015
                June 2015
                : 35
                : 3 ( displayID: 3 )
                : e00202
                [* ]Institute of Gerontology, Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Longzihu University Park, Zhengzhou, Henan 450046, China
                []First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou, Henan 450000, China
                []Affiliated Hospital of Henan Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou, Henan 450004, China
                Author notes
                [ 1 ]To whom correspondence should be addressed (email li_js8@ 123456163.com ).
                © 2015 Authors

                This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence 3.0.

                : 12 March 2015
                : 7 April 2015
                : 20 April 2015
                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 23, Pages: 7
                Original Papers
                Original Paper

                Life sciences
                a549 cell,emt,evaluation,morphological parameters
                Life sciences
                a549 cell, emt, evaluation, morphological parameters


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