Doctor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017)
Masters, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2014)
Bachelor of Science, University of Toronto (2012)
Stephen Quake, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Brain Endothelial Cells Are Exquisite Sensors of Age-Related Circulatory Cues.
2020; 30 (13): 4418
Brain endothelial cells (BECs) are key constituents of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), protecting the brain from pathogens and restricting access of circulatory factors. Yet, because circulatory proteins have prominent age-related effects on adult neurogenesis, neuroinflammation, and cognitive function in mice, we wondered whether BECs receive and potentially relay signals between the blood and brain. Using single-cell RNA sequencing of hippocampal BECs, we discover that capillary BECs-compared with arterial and venous BECs-undergo the greatest transcriptional changes in normal aging, upregulating innate immunity and oxidative stress response pathways. Short-term infusions of aged plasma into young mice recapitulate key aspects of this aging transcriptome, and remarkably, infusions of young plasma into aged mice exert rejuvenation effects on the capillary transcriptome. Together, these findings suggest that the transcriptional age of BECs is exquisitely sensitive to age-related circulatory cues and pinpoint the BBB itself as a promising therapeutic target to treat brain disease.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.03.012
View details for PubMedID 32234477
- Balance of mechanical forces drives endothelial gap formation and may facilitate cancer and immune-cell extravasation PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY 2019; 15 (5)
Platelet decoys inhibit thrombosis and prevent metastatic tumor formation in preclinical models
SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE
2019; 11 (479)
Platelets are crucial for normal hemostasis; however, their hyperactivation also contributes to many potentially lethal pathologies including myocardial infarction, stroke, and cancer. We hypothesized that modified platelets lacking their aggregation and activation capacity could act as reversible inhibitors of platelet activation cascades. Here, we describe the development of detergent-extracted human modified platelets (platelet decoys) that retained platelet binding functions but were incapable of functional activation and aggregation. Platelet decoys inhibited aggregation and adhesion of platelets on thrombogenic surfaces in vitro, which could be immediately reversed by the addition of normal platelets; in vivo in a rabbit model, pretreatment with platelet decoys inhibited arterial injury-induced thromboembolism. Decoys also interfered with platelet-mediated human breast cancer cell aggregation, and their presence decreased cancer cell arrest and extravasation in a microfluidic human microvasculature on a chip. In a mouse model of metastasis, simultaneous injection of the platelet decoys with tumor cells inhibited metastatic tumor growth. Thus, our results suggest that platelet decoys might represent an effective strategy for obtaining antithrombotic and antimetastatic effects.
View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau5898
View details for Web of Science ID 000458539100005
View details for PubMedID 30760580
Aged blood impairs hippocampal neural precursor activity and activates microglia via brain endothelial cell VCAM1.
An aged circulatory environment can activate microglia, reduce neural precursor cell activity and impair cognition in mice. We hypothesized that brain endothelial cells (BECs) mediate at least some of these effects. We observe that BECs in the aged mouse hippocampus express an inflammatory transcriptional profile with focal upregulation of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1), a protein that facilitates vascular-immune cell interactions. Concomitantly, levels of the shed, soluble form of VCAM1 are prominently increased in the plasma of aged humans and mice, and their plasma is sufficient to increase VCAM1 expression in cultured BECs and the hippocampi of young mice. Systemic administration of anti-VCAM1 antibody or genetic ablation of Vcam1 in BECs counteracts the detrimental effects of plasma from aged individuals on young brains and reverses aging aspects, including microglial reactivity and cognitive deficits, in the brains of aged mice. Together, these findings establish brain endothelial VCAM1 at the blood-brain barrier as a possible target to treat age-related neurodegeneration.
View details for PubMedID 31086348
Single-cell transcriptomics of 20 mouse organs creates a Tabula Muris.
2018; 562 (7727): 367–72
Here we present a compendium of single-cell transcriptomic data from the model organism Mus musculus that comprises more than 100,000 cells from 20 organs and tissues. These data represent a new resource for cell biology, reveal gene expression in poorly characterized cell populations and enable the direct and controlled comparison of gene expression in cell types that are shared between tissues, such as T lymphocytes and endothelial cells from different anatomical locations. Two distinct technical approaches were used for most organs: one approach, microfluidic droplet-based 3'-end counting, enabled the survey of thousands of cells at relatively low coverage, whereas the other, full-length transcript analysis based on fluorescence-activated cell sorting, enabled the characterization of cell types with high sensitivity and coverage. The cumulative data provide the foundation for an atlas of transcriptomic cell biology.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-018-0590-4
View details for PubMedID 30283141