Cellular senescence is a state of stable cell cycle arrest under which cells remain metabolically active, but no longer divide and do not respond to growth-promoting stimuli. Senescence is triggered by a variety of cellular stressors. These include environmental factors like ionizing radiation or exposure to chemotherapeutic drugs, oxidative stress, DNA damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, and oncogene activation. This process provides a defense mechanism to maintain tissue homeostasis through the sequestration of damaged cells. Senescent cells influence a number of physiological and pathological processes from cancer to diabetes and aging. Accordingly, understanding why senescence contributes to these conditions may lead to the development of pro- and anti-senescence therapies to treat a range of diseases.
Topics: Cell Biology
Although coronaviruses have long circulated throughout human populations, the study of these viruses has intensified over the last two decades, due to the rise of novel coronaviruses that have greatly impacted human health. The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2003, Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, and the recent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019, has emphasized the importance of understanding the fundamental mechanisms by which these viruses cause disease.
Have you ever wondered how people are able to develop immunity to specific diseases? This important question has been the focus of many critical medical and immunological research endeavors. The answer is that it’s all due to the cells and antibodies of the adaptive immune system.
Multiplex immunohistochemistry (mIHC) and multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) are widely used to identify and localize different cell types within tissue samples. But choosing the right technique depends on the aims of the study and the tools available. A recent publication highlights the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to mIHC/mIF and explains how these methods differ1.
Recombinant antibodies offer several key advantages compared to traditional antibodies. These include superior lot-to-lot consistency, continuous supply, and amenability to antibody engineering. As such, recombinant antibodies are seeing increased use for scientific research, especially as a means of addressing the ongoing reproducibility crisis.
Changes in cellular health in response to exogenous stimuli can provide keen insight into the biological mechanisms that govern the relationship between cells and their environment and can dramatically influence the interpretation of experimental results. These reasons underscore why it is important to understand cytotoxicity and to employ assays to measure its impact.
Topics: Cell Biology
Apoptosis is a highly regulated form of programmed cell death that occurs in multicellular organisms during development, throughout the lifespan, and in response to cellular stress. Nuclear condensation, cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, and DNA fragmentation are characteristic features of the cellular disassembly that occurs during this form of cell death. A family of proteolytic enzymes, called caspases, serves as the central regulators of apoptosis, and their activity, in turn, is balanced by myriad additional pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins. The dysregulation of apoptosis occurs in and contributes to the pathology of several disease states, including autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Therefore, understanding how and why apoptosis influences these biological processes may lead to advances in therapies to treat and benefit human health.
Topics: Cell Biology
When it comes to mouse tissue samples, not all loading control proteins are expressed equally. For example, there are relatively low amounts of β-actin in mouse heart and relatively low amounts of GAPDH in mouse small intestine. Plus, under certain experimental conditions, the protein levels of some loading control proteins can be affected. β-actin mRNA levels, for instance, can change with insulin treatments in some tissues. It is important to do research in advance and determine what the best loading control is for your sample type and experiment.
During the pandemic, supply shortages took many of us by surprise. Who would have thought items as diverse as webcams and toilet paper would become nearly impossible to buy?
Toll-like receptors (TLR) are transmembrane receptors that play a critical role in innate immune responses. The name derives from the homology to the Drosophila Toll gene; unlike adaptive immunity which evolved in the vertebrate lineage, innate immunity exists (and is conserved) in invertebrate branches.