In a previous post dedicated to Quantitative arrays (Quantibody), I introduced our L-Series aimed at a broad one shot profiling of up to 1000 markers at once. This relative quantitation technology allows you to perform a first screen of your samples of interest versus a control, before you go on to targeted profiling using either pathway specific arrays, or a custom array including the targets of interest identified with the initial L-series screen. [Read more…]
The JAK/STAT pathway is an important signalling process for numerous cytokines and growth factors.
Its activation is essential to many processes such as hematopoiesis, immune development, growth, adipogenesis, mammary gland development… [Read more…]
Today, our spotlight is set on eye diseases. A recent publication by Nassar et al. depicts the importance of serum cytokines as biomarkers for age-related macular degeneration. Serum samples from 30 age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients and 15 age-matched controls were examined for 16 inflammatory cytokines using multiplex ELISA. Patients were divided into three subgroups (improvement/no change/deterioration during anti-VEGF treatment) by OCT and funduscopy, and correlated to the cytokine levels.
It was seen that elevation of IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, and IL-17 in the serum of AMD patients supports the hypothesis of AMD as an inflammatory disease. Patients with high IL-17 and TNF-α serum levels were more likely to have a favourable course under VEGF therapy, allowing to use these cytokines both as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.
Another process where cytokines seem to play a role is Dry Eye Disease (DED). The main problem for analysis of cytokines in this case is that the ideal sample are tears… and in dry eye disease, obtaining high volumes of tears is quite challenging. So, for studies on cohorts of patients, oftentimes we have to work with tear samples volumes of maximum 1 or 2 microlitres.
The multiplex ELISA technology used in Nassar’s study has also been validated for its use in tears, using modified buffers. There are also tools allowing to perform a broader profiling (up to 40 by cytokines) in limited amounts of tear samples.
It is important to check that whatever tool we choose, it has been validated with tears, and especially, with small amounts!
Are you studying biomarkers on tears, or does your research on biomarkers make you cry?
Feel free to leave your comment!
Following our post on tumour microenvironment and glioblastoma, we will focus today on ameloblastomas.
Ameloblastomas are benign tumours that occur in the jawbone, and invade bone. This type of tumour is treated by surgery and can cause various problems, including changes in facial countenance and mastication disorders.
Ameloblastomas have abundant tumor stroma, including fibroblasts and immune cells. Cell-to-cell interactions in ameloblastoma have not been fully investigated yet. A recent publication by Fuchigami et al. has investigated the soluble factors (i.e. secretome) involved in the formation and progression of ameloblastoma.
Using the Q-plex technology in a human ameloblastoma cell line (AM-3), as well as human fibroblasts (HFF-2) and primary-culture fibroblasts from human ameloblastoma tissues, they analysed the effect of ameloblastoma-associated cell-to-cell communications. Q-plex was used to study the cytokine secretion, namely IL-1alpha, IL-6, IL-8. Fuchigami et al. conclude that ameloblastoma cells and stromal fibroblasts behave interactively via these cytokines to create a tumour microenvironment (TME) that leads to the extension of this type of tumours.
Would you like to know more about the Q-plex technology? We recently organised a webinar on this technology. Contact us if you want to receive a link with the recorded version or the PDF with the presentation!
The trend lately is to add “omics” to most of the research projects. Genomics, Proteomics, Metabolomics…there is no end. The latest trend seems to do “sexomics” studies. Meaning to study the differences in response to treatment, disease progression, etc, based on the sex of the animal model or the patients.
For years now, most of the studies took this variability into account, more or less formally or more or less obviously. In a recent publication, Allen et al. have studied the different effects in male and female mice for early postnatal exposure to ultrafine particulate matter air pollution. [Read more…]