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  • In vitro Evaluation of ASCs and HUVECs Co-cultures in 3D Biodegradable Hydrogels on Neurite Outgrowth and Vascular Organization.
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    In vitro Evaluation of ASCs and HUVECs Co-cultures in 3D Biodegradable Hydrogels on Neurite Outgrowth and Vascular Organization.

    Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020;8:489

    Authors: Rocha LA, Gomes ED, Afonso JL, Granja S, Baltazar F, Silva NA, Shoichet MS, Sousa RA, Learmonth DA, Salgado AJ

    Abstract
    Vascular disruption following spinal cord injury (SCI) decisively contributes to the poor functional recovery prognosis facing patients with the condition. Using a previously developed gellan gum hydrogel to which the adhesion motif GRGDS was grafted (GG-GRGDS), this work aimed to understand the ability of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) to impact vascular organization of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and how this in turn affects neurite outgrowth of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) explants. Our data shows that culturing these cells together lead to a synergistic effect as showed by increased stimulation of neuritogenesis on DRG. Importantly, HUVECs were only able to assemble into vascular-like structures when cultured in the presence of ASCs, which shows the capacity of these cells in reorganizing the vascular milieu. Analysis of selected neuroregulatory molecules showed that the co-culture upregulated the secretion of several neurotrophic factors. On the other hand, ASCs, and ASCs + HUVECs presented a similar profile regarding the presence of angiotrophic molecules herein analyzed. Finally, the implantation of GG-GRGDS hydrogels encapsulating ASCs in the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) lead to increases in vascular recruitment toward the hydrogels in comparison to GG-GRGDS alone. This indicates that the combination of ASCs with GG-GRGDS hydrogels could promote re-vascularization in trauma-related injuries in the central nervous system and thus control disease progression and induce functional recovery.

    PMID: 32612997 [PubMed]



  • Is returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic stressful? A study on immediate mental health status and psychoneuroimmunity prevention measures of Chinese workforce.
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    Is returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic stressful? A study on immediate mental health status and psychoneuroimmunity prevention measures of Chinese workforce.

    Brain Behav Immun. 2020 07;87:84-92

    Authors: Tan W, Hao F, McIntyre RS, Jiang L, Jiang X, Zhang L, Zhao X, Zou Y, Hu Y, Luo X, Zhang Z, Lai A, Ho R, Tran B, Ho C, Tam W

    Abstract
    This study aimed to quantify the immediate psychological effects and psychoneuroimmunity prevention measures of a workforce returning to work during the COVID-19 epidemic. Workforce returning to work was invited to complete an online questionnaire regarding their attitude toward the COVID-19 epidemic and return-to-work along with psychological parameters including the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale- 21 (DASS-21) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). Psychoneuroimmunity prevention measures include precautions at personal and organization levels. From 673 valid questionnaires, we found that 10.8% of respondents met the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning to work. The respondents reported a low prevalence of anxiety (3.8%), depression (3.7%), stress (1.5%) and insomnia (2.3%). There were no significant differences in the severity of psychiatric symptoms between workers/technicians and executives/managers. >95% reported psychoneuroimmunity prevention measures including good ventilation in the workplace and wore a face mask as protective. Factors that were associated with the severity of psychiatric symptoms in the workforce were marital status, presence of physical symptom, poor physical health and viewing return to work as a health hazard (p < 0.05). In contrast, personal psychoneuroimmunity prevention measures including hand hygiene and wearing face masks as well as organizational measures including significant improvement of workplace hygiene and concerns from the company were associated with less severe psychiatric symptoms (p < 0.05). Contrary to expectations, returning to work had not caused a high level of psychiatric symptoms in the workforce. The low prevalence of psychiatric symptoms could be due to confidence instilled by psychoneuroimmunity prevention measures before the resumption of work. Our findings would provide information for other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    PMID: 32335200 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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