News

7. 12. 2020 |

A team of authors with a significant number of colleagues from Center for Translational Medicine FNUSA-ICRC has published an article in the official journal of the American Heart Association entitled "Multiscale analysis of ECM remodeling in the failing heart." Circulation Research covers research on all aspects of the cardiovascular system and its Impact Factor is 14.5.

The study by the first author Ana Rubina Perestrelo, led by Giancarlo Forte, was created in international collaboration with other entities. "Thanks to the cooperation with the Center for Cardiovascular and Transplant Surgery in Brno, we obtained heart tissue samples from patients undergoing heart transplantation," said Giancarlo Forte. The authors collaborated with the University of Porto and the CEITEC research center on a unique 3D map of changes that occur in the human heart during pathological conditions. A computational model for the identification of a protein involved in the remodeling of a diseased ECM has been developed in collaboration with the Italian University of Calabria and the University Campus Bio Medico in Rome.

The authors dealt with so far little-studied pathological process in the human heart, which was studied in more detail only in mice. These are changes in the extracellular matrix, ie in the scaffold structure, which ultimately lead to the failure of the whole organ. The results of this study, which generated the first ever 3D map of changes that occur in the human heart during end-stage pathological conditions (eg, ischemic and dilated cardiomyopathy), are potentially of interest to scientists who are interested in studying the molecular basis of heart disease. "They also provide a number of new data sets for experimental cardiologists who are willing to design innovative treatments for these conditions," said Giancarlo Forte.

The research has been funded by OP VVV project CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000492 (MAGNET).

The paper is available here:

Description of the picture: 
Representative microscopic images of human healthy (CTL) and pathological heart. DCM: dilated cardiomyopathy, IHD (ischemic heart disease). Red colour identifies the healthy muscle, which is substituted by non-contractile fibrotic tissue in pathological heart (blue). 

4. 12. 2020 |

The seventh issue of the Brno Stroke Meeting took place in the online environment. Members of the Cerebrovascular Research Team of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) met by videoconference with representatives of partner organizations and companies involved in joint research projects in the field of stroke.

More than forty participants took part in the presentation of the results in the 2020 year as well as the plans for the year 2021, not only from the Czech Republic, but also from Poland and Canada. The introduction of seven new members of the FNUSA-ICRC Cerebrovascular Research Team was followed by a presentation by the team leader, Professor Robert Mikulík. In it, he described the development and use of existing infrastructures within the research program and emphasized its fully translational nature.

Other significant results achieved this year include the launch of two new projects - STROCZECH (network of stroke centers for the implementation of academic clinical trials) and IRIS-TEPUS (implementation research to improve the care of patients with stroke) or newly established cooperation, not only in the Czech Republic. Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, National Center of Cybersecurity and the Danish Aalberg University will thus take part in the fight against stroke. Thanks to information from the press conference of the Stroke Brno project, cooperation with the Senzoor start-up also began.

During the videoconference more research projects were introduced – INBIO projects, MUDr. Aleš Hejčl presented the results in the field of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of brain aneurysms. There were also talks about plans for the future, which underline the importance of cooperation between the institutions of the Stroke Brno cluster. Much will also depend on how many grants can be obtained, if all were successful, the FNUSA-ICRC Cerebrovascular Research Team would receive more than 50 million crowns. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

20. 11. 2020 |

Stroke affects one in four people, visitors of the virtual event. „We will deal with a stroke“ now know how to prevent it. Three thousand spectators joined the fight against the stroke through mobile devices and computers from their homes. The awareness-raising event organized annually by the Cerebrovascular Research Program of FNUSA-ICRC on World Stroke Day has thus taken on a new dimension.

In twelve videos divided into 3 panels, viewers, for example, learned how to recognize a stroke and how to respond to it correctly. They learned magic formula of Dr. Volny to reduce the risk of stroke, consisting of a healthy diet, exercise, smoking cessation, and consistent medication. They experienced the course of the stroke from the point of view of the intervening doctor and peered into the patient's brain. Research nurse Alexandra Brabcova revealed how to check the condition of the brain and how to measure pressure correctly. Those interested competed for original prizes and found out how to get involved in raising awareness through the fun challenge Act FAST. In the online chat, neurologist Jan Vinklarek and a former patient were interviewed, and in the end they had a stand up scene from Science Slam performed by Jan Bobek alias Mobster Death.

The main organizer, Hana Marsalkova, commented on the response to the seventh year of the awareness event. “Dealing with the awareness in a crowded online space was a challenge for our Cerebrovascular team. However, right now it is important to care about health and the advice provided by the experts to the audience also serves as a prevention for dozens of other diseases. We were really pleased with the great interest of the public - viewers watched an incredible 9,000 minutes of our content, which motivates us further. "

The program broadcast on the Facebook pages of the HOBIT Project, which is implemented by the Cerebrovascular Research Team, is also praised by Martin Kaleta, winner of the knowledge competition: “I liked that it was said clearly and patients. I liked to look into the problem first hand and see it from their perspective. Every morning, I stretch my body in front of the online school and try to think more about reducing sugars and fatty foods. I want to be here for a hundred years! ”

According to available statistics, the event managed to reach spectators not only in the South Moravian Region, but also in Prague, South Bohemia or, unexpectedly, in faraway Morocco. The greatest success of the entire program with almost four thousand views was recorded in the first panel, in which the audience was guided by prof. Robert Mikulik on the way of a patient with CMP and outlined the examination from the doctor's point of view. On the occasion of World Stroke Day, Prof. Mikulik, head of the stroke center and the Stroke Research Program, was a guest of Good Morning on Czech Television on October 29. In his introduction, he drew the attention of viewers, among other things, to the pitfalls of the current lifestyle leading to a worldwide increase in stroke in the population under 20 years of age. "To have enough exercise, at least five times a week for 20 minutes, not to eat in excess of animal fats and not to underestimate high blood pressure and cholesterol," these are, according to prof. Mikulik, essential advice that not only CT viewers should take to heart. he also presented the HOBIT project, which has been educating children and the general public about stroke for a long time. ”

Did you miss the broadcast? Don't despair, access to the videos is still possible on the FB / HOBIT project page and you can also find selected videos on YouTube channel.


12. 11. 2020 |

Laboratory oncology translational research group FNUSA-ICRC (LOTR) focuses primarily on pediatric oncology and its goal is to bring new knowledge in the field of tumor biology into practice. The team led by prof. RNDr. Renata Veselska, Ph.D., M.Sc. and works closely with clinical oncologists and pathologists so that laboratory research can be used as soon as possible to create new ways to treat patients. "We focus mainly on detailed molecular characterization of a particular tumor, which is crucial in terms of identifying targets for so-called precision therapy, and we also deal with tumor stem cells, which play a key role in the mechanisms of tumorigenesis," said prof. Veselska. LOTR has several publications in prestigious magazines, some of which we will take a closer look at.

Very important knowledge about the biological properties of rhabdomyosarcoma, a tumor that typically affects children´s muscle tissue, was published by a team of authors from the Laboratory of Tumor Biology MU and the LOTR research team led by RNDr. Jan Skoda, Ph.D. and prof. Veselska in the magazine Cancers, which ranks among the 25% of the best in the Oncology category. The authors described a new approach to the study of the molecular characteristics of highly aggressive rhabdomyosarcoma cells, ie the so-called tumor stem cells mentioned above. These cells are often resistant to anti-tumor therapy and are responsible for tumor regrowth and metastasis. Under laboratory conditions, tumor stem cells are characterized in that they are the only one of all cells in the tumor mass capable of initiating tumor formation and growth. This was used by the authors of a published study and showed that during the repeated injection of rhabdomyosarcoma cells into mice, the proportion of tumor stem cells increases in individual samples. They were the first to provide evidence that rhabdomyosarcoma tumor stem cells occur in a highly plastic state, showing signs of epithelial and mesenchymal cells, which could explain their ability to respond to changes in the microenvironment or to resist anti-tumor therapy.
The article can be found here: https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010196

Another publication, published in the international journal Cells, showed a very unusual and as yet unknown localization of the NANOG protein within the cell. This protein is known as a transcription factor important, for example, for the proper function of stem cells, and its presence is therefore typical of the cell nucleus. Authors led by dr. Skoda and prof. Veselska described an unusual localization of the NANOG protein within the centrosome, a structure that is significantly involved in many physiological processes in the cell, including cell division. The results of the study clearly showed that NANOG is found in the centrosomes of cells of various origins, from embryonic stem cells and fibroblasts to many types of tumor cells. "It is also completely new to know that the presence of NANOG protein within the centrosome changes in individual phases of the cell cycle," added Mgr. Erika Mikulenkova, the first author of the article, who points out the possible, as yet undescribed role of the NANOG protein in the process of centrosome duplication, which is very important in terms of understanding the functions of the transcription factor NANOG in the cell.
The article can be found here: https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9030692

The development of resistance in cancer is one of the most common reasons for failure of their treatment and relapse. A review article has been published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences on the problem of the use of low molecular weight tyrosine kinase inhibitors in anticancer therapy. Under the leadership of prof. Veselska, the authors of the work focused on a summary of existing knowledge about the interactions of tyrosine kinase inhibitors with membrane transporters - "pumps", which are able to remove drugs from tumor cells. The article provided a new perspective on the potential clinical use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors, some of which could be unconventionally used to block the activity of membrane transporters responsible for resistance. "Based on the synthesis of previous studies, we also outlined various treatment strategies that could lead to overcoming drug resistance and improve the success of cancer treatment by appropriate combination of a tyrosine kinase inhibitor with conventional cytostatics or other targeted drugs," described Mgr. Maria Krchniakova, the first author of this work.
The article can be found here: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21093157

5. 11. 2020 |

The International Journal of Molecular Sciences has published the work of a team of authors from the Center for Tissue and Cell Engineering (CTEF) of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno. In the publication, authors dr. Lenka Tesarova, Klara Jaresova, dr. Pavel Šimara and doc. Irena Koutná presented the umbilical cord as a suitable source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for immunosuppressive clinical applications.

MSCs are a unique tool in somatic cell therapies due to their ability to promote tissue regeneration and suppress the immune system. Compared to bone marrow and adipose tissue, umbilical cord MSCs showed the best expansion potential, while the cells retained their immunosuppressive properties. In addition, these umbilical cord MSCs have been able to utilize the addition of fibroblast growth factor to the expansion medium, which further increases cell yield. In a relatively short time, it is thus possible to obtain a sufficient number of cells for the treatment of graft-versus-host disease or autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma and others. The findings obtained from this study will be used in the manufacture of an investigational medicinal product for advanced therapies in CTEF clean rooms.

The research was supported by the European Regional Development Fund - project CZECRIN_4 PATIENTS (reg. No. CZ.02.1.01 / 0.0 / 0.0 / 16_013 / 0001826).

The article can be found here: https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/15/5366

dr. Lenka Tesarova

foto Sviglerova Jitka

3. 11. 2020 |

Sepsis and septic shock are among the most common complications in intensive care units. The WHO identifies sepsis as one of the major global health problems. During research coordinated by Dr. Jan Frič, PhD., the team of authors focused on elucidating the dynamics of the occurrence of individual subpopulations of monocytes in patients with septic shock. The results were published by the research team in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in an article entitled "Differences in monocyte subsets associated with short-term survival in patients with septic shock.

This project, in which the Cellular and Molecular Immunoregulation (CMI) Research group from the Center for Translational Medicine participated, together with the Intensive Care Research (INC) Research group and colleagues from the Department of Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation at the St. Anne's University Hospital Brno and Faculty of Medicine MU, confirms the excellent connection between the clinical and research part of the St. Anne's University Hospital Brno. FNUSA-ICRC received funding for this research from grants from the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic (AZV) and the European Union (ENOCH and MAGNET).

Monocytes are activated in the very early stages of the development of septic shock - on the order of hours, so they can be considered as the first sensors of developing septic shock. The incidence of individual monocyte subpopulations is associated with the prediction of survival in patients with septic shock. It is this specific profile of monocyte subpopulations that can be observed in patients within the first hours of their admission to the ICU. These data could be used to identify at-risk patients who do not respond to conventional treatment, but could benefit from specific tailor-made treatment.

You can find the article here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32949213/, or via QR code.
 

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