Genetically encoded biosensors have become popular and powerful LIVE-cell reporters in recent years (see reference here). These biosensors can be incorporated into a variety of human inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived cell types (such as neurons, glial cells, kidney cells, and cardiomyocytes, just to name a few). Previously, we discussed the biosensors and how they are used in research (here). TempoATP biosensor (image shown above) is a LIVE-cell reporter that tracks intracellular ATP levels in real time (from seconds to hours).
Examples of where mitochondrial ATP productions are important?
#1: Research from neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s) has shown the importance of mitochondria in neuronal survival. In other words, ageing and neurodegeneration depend on mitochondrial health (see reference here).
#2: Cancer research has shown that mitochondrial production of ATP is associated with calcium homeostasis. Furthermore, tumorigenesis depends on ATP production and mitochondrial function (see reference here).
#3: Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are key characteristics found in the ageing human skin (see reference here). Some of the notable phenotypes are: wrinkle formation, hair loss, uneven pigmentation, inflammation, photo-aging, and wound healing impairment (see reference here).
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Cytokine Storms is a complex multicellular inflammatory phenomenon. It is a biological consequence of cytokine overproduction in the human body; it is associated with a variety of infectious and noninfectious diseases. In the most severe cases, it is fatal to the patients.
What is Cytokine Storm?
The word “Cytokine” is derived from Greek words, cell (for cyto) and movement (for kinos or kinin).
“Cytokine Storm” is an overreaction of the human body’s immune system and it can be fatal to the patient. This overreaction is a severe immune reaction where too many pro-inflammatory cytokines are released into the blood in an uncontrolled manner (2).Continue Reading...
At the beginning of the COVID-19 series (here), we mentioned that we will cover COVID-19’s effects on human kidney cells. In our previous post, we focused on lung cells. In this post, we will focus on COVID-19’s attacks on the kidney. This topic was triggered by a recent study that focused on 26 patients’ autopsies (1).
Many patients with kidney diseases are at higher risks for infections. For example, patients on dialysis can have weaker immune systems; patients with kidney transplants have taken immunosuppressive medications. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, clinicians have also become aware of the damaging effects on the kidney (2). According to an article from the Washington Post recently: “almost half the people hospitalized because of COVID-19 have blood or protein in their urine, indicating early damage to their kidneys” (5). Furthermore, early hospital data showed that 14-30% of ICU patients showed kidney dysfunction; some required dialysis or kidney replacement therapy (5).Continue Reading...