Mechanisms of Human Erythrocytes Volume Stabilization
Functional completeness of erythrocytes depends on high deformability of these cells, that allows them to pass through narrow tissue capillaries. The erythrocytes high deformability is provided due to maintenance of discoid shape with an optimal cell surface area to volume ratio. In its turn this ratio is maintained due to cell volume stabilization at a given cell surface area. In this work, using mathematical simulation, we studied role of Na/K-ATPase, calcium activated potassium channels and adenylate metabolism in human erythrocyte volume stabilization at increase in cell membrane permeability to cations. The simulation took into account a contribution of glycolytic metabolites and adenylates to cytoplasm osmotic pressure. It was shown that the presence in the cell of Na/K-ATPase and two opposite transmembrane gradients of Na+ and K+ ions provide a significantly improved cell volume stabilization at the increase in cell membrane permeability, compared with hypothetical cells, in which the osmotic balance between cell and extracellular compartment is provided due to a gradient of only one ion (Na+). In this case the erythrocyte volume deviates from the optimal value by less than 10% at change in cell membrane permeability from 50 to 200% of its normal value. In this case, however, the intracellular ion concentrations may change significantly (by several times). The adenylate metabolism system can provide an additional regulation of transport ATPases due to regulation of intracellular ATP levels. Under these conditions stabilization of steady-state values of intracellular ion concentrations (ion homeostasis) and of cell volume in the range of cell membrane permeability changes from 50 to 1500% of the normal value. In this case, however, the cell volume and intracellular ion concentrations may significantly deviate from the stabilized values during transitional processes. Simultaneous function of both, ion transport systems and adenylate metabolism allows to provide ion homeostasis and efficient erythrocyte volume stabilization (within 5% deviation from the optimal value) both in steady-state conditions and during transitional processes at increase in cell membrane permeability up to 10-15 times compared with the normal value.
Systems Biology and Physiology Reports in 2021: a yearly report
I am happy to greet all readers, editors, reviewers, staff members and publishers of SBPR on the eve of year 2022. I thank all of you for your efforts in creating this journal and making it work despite all the challenges faced by a new independent journal in the age dominated by huge publishers, research societies and citation systems. Please accept my best wishes for the year 2022 in your professional and personal undertakings!
First year of open-access scientific journal publishing: our mishaps, our expectations, our plans for the bright future
In silico methods have become a versatile and effective tool for the studies of the natural phenomenon at multiple levels. However, unlike such fields as economics and physics, biology and physiology have always been slightly reluctant in acceptance of the novel systemic approaches. Since scientific articles are among the key metrics for the modern scientific society, the number of scientific journals, devoted to some topic, can be a good marker to evaluate the impact of this topic for the society. Indeed, there are esteemed journals, such as PLOS Computational Biology or Journal of Theoretical Biology, but they focus mainly on a common biological phenomenon, while questions of physiology and pathophysiology are often overlooked. On the other hand, the amount of work on computational biology is steadily growing with ~12000 works published in 2010 and ~28000 in 2020 with the keyword “computational model”, according to PubMed. With all this being said and our great experience in the different aspects of the field of computational physiology, our team has decided that it would be a mistake to lose an opportunity to cover this niche. Likewise, we, as a group of fellow scientists, at the end of 2019 decided to create our own venture and to launch our own scientific journal – Systems Biology and Physiology Reports (SBPReports) . This publisher's would be an attempt to underline our first hectic year of the open access scientific publishing.
On calcium fluorophore’s impact in platelet signaling studies
Observation of calcium signaling in platelets - blood cells designed to be involved in stopping bleeding and forming blood clots - is an important part of fundamental research in hemostasis. However, such a study is possible only with the use of calcium fluorophores - small molecules that penetrate the platelet membrane due to their hydrophobic -AM part, which is then hydrolyzed by cytosol esterases. In this work, we consider the phenomenon of inhomogeneous loading of calcium fluorophores into platelets.
We used platelets from healthy adult donors loaded with various fluorescent probes (CalBryte590, DiOC6 (3), Fura Red, Fluo-4 and CellTracker Violet BMQC) and immobilized on antibodies to CD31 in parallel plane flow chambers. Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy was used for observations.
We demonstrated that all studied probes are loaded heterogeneously, with 30% platelets being loaded with a probe 2-6 times higher than the population median value. Using the CalBryte590 probe as an example, we have shown that a decrease in the incubation temperature, the addition of Pluronic 127 to the incubation medium, or membrane cholesterol depletion significantly reduces the heterogeneity of the probe distribution in the population. By looking at platelet activation from the surface, we have shown that the probability of experiencing strong activation, as measured by the intensity of calcium oscillations, correlates with the amount of probe in the platelet.
Thus, we conclude that the type of fluorophore used and the conditions of its loading into platelets can significantly affect the results of experiments on the observation of calcium signaling in platelets.
Immune thrombocytopenia: what can the systems biology and systems physiology offer?
Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an acquired bleeding disorder of autoimmune pathophysiology. The causes of ITP could be related to other pathology (viral, bacterial, or systemic), or ITP could develop without any apparent reason. While the immune system dysregulation mechanisms in ITP were described, its etiology remains unclear. Moreover, all existing treatment approaches are not specific for ITP, and its action is highly patient- specific. Here we describe recent findings in the origins and development of ITP and discuss novel experimental and theoretical approaches to diagnosing ITP and predicting therapy effects.
Hubs and Webs in Platelet Intracellular Signalling
In this issue of Systems Biology and Physiology Reports A.A. Martyanov and M.A. Panteleev suggested a review on platelet intracellular signalling network, which is a second part in the discussion on the molecular relationships between platelet activation and responses . The review contains seven thousands words and two hundred references and yet it is not complete, as there are still unclear parts in platelet signalling, especially in its inhibition [2-4]. In an effort to comprehend the platelet activation pattern, I drew a signalling scheme based on the review and data from other authors [2, 3].
Platelet functional responses and signalling: the molecular relationship. Part 2: receptors.
Small, non-nuclear cells, platelets, are primarily designed to form aggregates when blood vessels are damaged, stopping bleeding. To perform this function, platelets can implement several functional responses induced by various agonists and coordinated by a complex network of intracellular signaling triggered by a dozen of different receptors. This review, the second in a series, describes the known intracellular signaling pathways induced by platelet receptors in response to canonical and rare agonists. Particular focus will be on interaction points and “synergy” of platelet activation pathways and intermediate or “secondary” activation mediators that transmit a signal to functional manifestations.
Overview of the neutralizing antibody and memory B cell response kinetics in SARS-CoV-2 convalescent and/or mRNA vaccinated individuals.
COVID-19 pandemics triggered by the SARS-CoV-2 virus have caused millions of deaths worldwide and have led to expedited developments of various effective vaccines that, if administered, could prevent and/or circumvent the infection and reduce the death toll. Since the start of the pandemics multiple research groups around the world have been involved in the analysis of immune responses of various human cohorts to the SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccines. Now, over 1.5 years later, the scientific community has accumulated extensive data about both the development of an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 following infection, as well as its rate of fading off. Kinetic analysis of the immune response generated by vaccines is also emerging, enabling the possibility of making comparisons and predictions. In this review we will focus on the comparing B cell and antibody immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 infection as opposed to mRNA vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein, which have been utilized to immunize hundreds of millions of people and analyzed in multiple studies.
A minimal mathematical model of neutrophil pseudopodium formation during chemotaxis
The directed movement of neutrophils is provided by the rapid polymerization of actin with the formation of a protrusion growing forward. In our previous work we observed impaired neutrophil movement for patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) compared to healthy donors.
In this work, we set out to explain the impairment of neutrophil chemotaxis in patients by observation and computer modeling of the linear growth rates of the anterior pseudopodia. The neutrophil chemotaxis was observed by means of low-angle fluorescent microscopy in parallel-plate flow chambers. The computational model was constructed as a network-like 2D stochastic polymerization of actin guided by the proximity of cell membrane with branching governed by Arp2/3 and WASP proteins.
The observed linear velocity of neutrophil pseudopodium formation was 0.22 ± 0.04 μm/s for healthy donors and 0.23 ± 0.08 μm/s for WAS patients. The model described the velocity of the pseudopodium formation for healthy donors well. For the description of WAS patients data, a variation of branching velocity (governed by WASP) by an order of magnitude was applied, which did not significantly alter the linear protrusion growth velocity.
We conclude that the proposed mathematical model of neutrophil pseudopodium formation could describe the experimental data well, but the data on overall neutrophil movement could not be explained by the velocities of the pseudopodium growth.
Presence of PI-rich vesicles is required for the PLC ζ activation according to mathematical modeling
Phospholipase C ζ (PLCζ) is an enzyme found in the cytoplasm and acrosome of mammalian spermatozoa. It catalyzes the reaction of phosphatidylinositol-4,5-phosphate hydrolysis into inositol-3-phosphate and diacylglycerol. PLCζ is present in the sperm cell acrosome and cytosol but doesn’t significantly affect its metabolism. However, after the fusion of sperm and egg membranes, its activity increases as it begins to bind membranes of the egg. It is unknown why PLCζ is inactive in spermatozoa or any type of somatic cell.
In this work, the modeling approach explains the reasons for the absence of PLCζ activity in any type of mammalian cells but eggs. A model describing the activity of PLCζ in physiological calcium concentrations was developed. It was shown that the presence of phosphoinositide-rich vesicles is required for the PLC ζ activity in mature mammalian eggs.