In recent years, studying the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in many pathological inflammatory conditions has become a very active research area. Although the role of MDSCs in cancer is relatively well established, their role in non-cancerous pathological conditions remains in its infancy resulting in much confusion. Our objectives in this review are to address some recent advances in MDSC research in order to minimize such confusion and to provide an insight into their function in the context of other diseases. The following topics will be specifically focused upon: (1) definition and characterization of MDSCs; (2) whether all MDSC populations consist of immature cells; (3) technical issues in MDSC isolation, estimation and characterization; (4) the origin of MDSCs and their anatomical distribution in health and disease; (5) mediators of MDSC expansion and accumulation; (6) factors that determine the expansion of one MDSC population over the other; (7) the Yin and Yang roles of MDSCs. Moreover, the functions of MDSCs will be addressed throughout the text.

Oocyte cryopreservation is widely used for clinical and social reasons. Previous studies have demonstrated that conventional slow-freezing cryopreservation procedures, but not storage time, can alter the gene expression profiles of frozen oocytes. Whether vitrification procedures and the related frozen storage durations have any effects on the transcriptomes of human metaphase II oocytes remain unknown. Four women (30–32 years old) who had undergone IVF treatment were recruited for this study. RNA-Seq profiles of 3 fresh oocytes and 13 surviving vitrified-thawed oocytes (3, 3, 4, and 3 oocytes were cryostored for 1, 2, 3, and 12 months) were analyzed at a single-cell resolution. A total of 1987 genes were differentially expressed in the 13 vitrified-thawed oocytes. However, no differentially expressed genes were found between any two groups among the 1-, 2-, 3-, and 12-month storage groups. Further analysis revealed that the aberrant genes in the vitrified oocytes were closely related to oogenesis and development. Our findings indicated that the effects of vitrification on the transcriptomes of mature human oocytes are induced by the procedure itself, suggesting that long-term cryostorage of human oocytes is safe.

Ying Huo ,   Peng Yuan   et al.
Cellular mechanics, a major regulating factor of cellular architecture and biological functions, responds to intrinsic stresses and extrinsic forces exerted by other cells and the extracellular matrix in the microenvironment. Cellular mechanics also acts as a fundamental mediator in complicated immune responses, such as cell migration, immune cell activation, and pathogen clearance. The principle of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and its three running modes are introduced for the mechanical characterization of living cells. The peak force tapping mode provides the most delicate and desirable virtues to collect high-resolution images of morphology and force curves. For a concrete description of AFM capabilities, three AFM applications are discussed. These applications include the dynamic progress of a neutrophil-extracellular-trap release by neutrophils, the immunological functions of macrophages, and the membrane pore formation mediated by perforin, streptolysin O, gasdermin D, or membrane attack complex.

Jiping Li ,   Yuying Liu   et al.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect worldwide. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been implicated in many diseases. However, their involvement in CHD is not well understood. This study aimed to investigate the role of dysregulated lncRNAs in CHD. We used Gene Expression Omnibus data mining, bioinformatics analysis, and analysis of clinical tissue samples and observed that the novel lncRNA SAP30-2:1 with unknown function was significantly downregulated in damaged cardiac tissues from patients with CHD. Knockdown of lncRNA SAP30-2:1 inhibited the proliferation of human embryonic kidney and AC16 cells and decreased the expression of heart and neural crest derivatives expressed 2 (HAND2). Moreover, lncRNA SAP30-2:1 was associated with HAND2 by RNA immunoprecipitation. Overall, these results suggest that lncRNA SAP30-2:1 may be involved in heart development through affecting cell proliferation via targeting HAND2 and may thus represent a novel therapeutic target for CHD.

Jing Ma ,   Shiyu Chen   et al.

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