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    Periodic Exposure of Keratinocytes to Cold Physical Plasma: An In Vitro Model for Redox-Related Diseases of the Skin
    (London: Hindawi, 2016) Schmidt, Anke; von Woedtke, Thomas; Bekeschus, Sander
    Oxidative stress illustrates an imbalance between radical formation and removal. Frequent redox stress is critically involved in many human pathologies including cancer, psoriasis, and chronic wounds. However, reactive species pursue a dual role being involved in signaling on the one hand and oxidative damage on the other. Using a HaCaT keratinocyte cell culture model, we investigated redox regulation and inflammation to periodic, low-dose oxidative stress after two, six, eight, ten, and twelve weeks. Chronic redox stress was generated by recurrent incubation with cold physical plasma-treated cell culture medium. Using transcriptome microarray technology, we identified both acute ROS-stress responses as well as numerous adaptions after several weeks of redox challenge. We determined a differential expression (2-fold, FDR < 0.01, p < 0.05) of 260 genes that function in inflammation and redox homeostasis, such as cytokines (e.g., IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10), growth factors (e.g., CSF2, FGF, and IGF-2), and antioxidant enzymes (e.g., HMOX, NQO1, GPX, and PRDX). Apoptotic signaling was affected rather modestly, especially in p53 downstream targets (e.g., BCL2, BBC3, and GADD45). Strikingly, the cell-protective heat shock protein HSP27 was strongly upregulated (p < 0.001). These results suggested cellular adaptions to frequent redox stress and may help to better understand the inflammatory responses in redox-related diseases.
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    ROS from Physical Plasmas: Redox Chemistry for Biomedical Therapy
    (London: Hindawi, 2019) Privat-Maldonado, Angela; Schmidt, Anke; Lin, Abraham; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Wende, Kristian; Bogaerts, Annemie; Bekeschus, Sander
    Physical plasmas generate unique mixes of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS or ROS). Only a bit more than a decade ago, these plasmas, operating at body temperature, started to be considered for medical therapy with considerably little mechanistic redox chemistry or biomedical research existing on that topic at that time. Today, a vast body of evidence is available on physical plasma-derived ROS, from their spatiotemporal resolution in the plasma gas phase to sophisticated chemical and biochemical analysis of these species once dissolved in liquids. Data from in silico analysis dissected potential reaction pathways of plasma-derived reactive species with biological membranes, and in vitro and in vivo experiments in cell and animal disease models identified molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic benefits of physical plasmas. In 2013, the first medical plasma systems entered the European market as class IIa devices and have proven to be a valuable resource in dermatology, especially for supporting the healing of chronic wounds. The first results in cancer patients treated with plasma are promising, too. Due to the many potentials of this blooming new field ahead, there is a need to highlight the main concepts distilled from plasma research in chemistry and biology that serve as a mechanistic link between plasma physics (how and which plasma-derived ROS are produced) and therapy (what is the medical benefit). This inevitably puts cellular membranes in focus, as these are the natural interphase between ROS produced by plasmas and translation of their chemical reactivity into distinct biological responses. © 2019 Angela Privat-Maldonado et al.
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    Elevated H2AX Phosphorylation Observed with kINPen Plasma Treatment Is Not Caused by ROS-Mediated DNA Damage but Is the Consequence of Apoptosis
    (London: Hindawi, 2019) Bekeschus, Sander; Schütz, Clarissa S.; Nießner, Felix; Wende, Kristian; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Gelbrich, Nadine; von Woedtke, Thomas; Schmidt, Anke; Stope, Matthias B.
    Phosphorylated histone 2AX (γH2AX) is a long-standing marker for DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) from ionizing radiation in the field of radiobiology. This led to the perception of γH2AX being a general marker of direct DNA damage with the treatment of other agents such as low-dose exogenous ROS that unlikely act on cellular DNA directly. Cold physical plasma confers biomedical effects majorly via release of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS). In vitro, increase of γH2AX has often been observed with plasma treatment, leading to the conclusion that DNA damage is a direct consequence of plasma exposure. However, increase in γH2AX also occurs during apoptosis, which is often observed with plasma treatment as well. Moreover, it must be questioned if plasma-derived ROS can reach into the nucleus and still be reactive enough to damage DNA directly. We investigated γH2AX induction in a lymphocyte cell line upon ROS exposure (plasma, hydrogen peroxide, or hypochlorous acid) or UV-B light. Cytotoxicity and γH2AX induction was abrogated by the use of antioxidants with all types of ROS treatment but not UV radiation. H2AX phosphorylation levels were overall independent of analyzing either all nucleated cells or segmenting γH2AX phosphorylation for each cell cycle phase. SB202190 (p38-MAPK inhibitor) and Z-VAD-FMK (pan-caspase inhibitor) significantly inhibited γH2AX induction upon ROS but not UV treatment. Finally, and despite γH2AX induction, UV but not plasma treatment led to significantly increased micronucleus formation, which is a functional read-out of genotoxic DNA DSBs. We conclude that plasma-mediated and low-ROS γH2AX induction depends on caspase activation and hence is not the cause but consequence of apoptosis induction. Moreover, we could not identify lasting mutagenic effects with plasma treatment despite phosphorylation of H2AX.
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    Plasma Medicine: Applications of Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma in Dermatology
    (London: Hindawi, 2019) Bernhardt, Thoralf; Semmler, Marie Luise; Schäfer, Mirijam; Bekeschus, Sander; Emmert, Steffen; Boeckmann, Lars
    The ability to produce cold plasma at atmospheric pressure conditions was the basis for the rapid growth of plasma-related application areas in biomedicine. Plasma comprises a multitude of active components such as charged particles, electric current, UV radiation, and reactive gas species which can act synergistically. Anti-itch, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, tissue-stimulating, blood flow-enhancing, and proapoptotic effects were demonstrated in in vivo and in vitro experiments, and until now, no resistance of pathogens against plasma treatment was observed. The combination of the different active agents and their broad range of positive effects on various diseases, especially easily accessible skin diseases, renders plasma quite attractive for applications in medicine. For medical applications, two different types of cold plasma appear suitable: indirect (plasma jet) and direct (dielectric barrier discharge-DBD) plasma sources. The DBD device PlasmaDerm® VU-2010 (CINOGY Technologies GmbH), the atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) kINPen® MED (INP Greifswald/neoplas tools GmbH), and the SteriPlas (Adtec Ltd., London, United Kingdom) are CE-certified as a medical product to treat chronic wounds in humans and showed efficacy and a good tolerability. Recently, the use of plasma in cancer research and oncology is of particular interest. Plasma has been shown to induce proapoptotic effects more efficiently in tumor cells compared with the benign counterparts, leads to cellular senescence, and-as shown in vivo-reduces skin tumors. To this end, a world-wide first Leibniz professorship for plasmabiotechnology in dermatology has been introduced to establish a scientific network for the investigation of the efficacy and safety of cold atmospheric plasma in dermatooncology. Hence, plasma medicine especially in dermatology holds great promise. © 2019 Thoralf Bernhardt et al.
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    Cold Physical Plasma Modulates p53 and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Signaling in Keratinocytes
    (London: Hindawi, 2019) Schmidt, Anke; Bekeschus, Sander; Jarick, Katja; Hasse, Sybille; von Woedtke, Thomas; Wende, Kristian
    Small reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) driven signaling plays a significant role in wound healing processes by controlling cell functionality and wound phase transitions. The application of cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAP), a partially ionized gas expelling a variety of ROS and RNS, was shown to be effective in chronic wound management and contrastingly also in malignant diseases. The underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood but redox signaling events are involved. As a central player, the cellular tumor antigen p53 governs regulatory networks controlling proliferation, death, or metabolism, all of which are grossly modulated by anti- and prooxidant signals. Using a human skin cell model, a transient phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of p53, preceded by the phosphorylation of upstream serine- (ATM) and serine/threonine-protein kinase (ATR), was detected after CAP treatment. Results indicate that ATM acts as a direct redox sensor without relevant contribution of phosphorylation of the histone A2X, a marker of DNA damage. Downstream events are the activation of checkpoint kinases Chk1/2 and several mitogen-activated (MAP) kinases. Subsequently, the expression of MAP kinase signaling effectors (e.g., heat shock protein Hsp27), epithelium derived growth factors, and cytokines (Interleukins 6 + 8) was increased. A number of p53 downstream effectors pointed at a decrease of cell growth due to DNA repair processes. In summary, CAP treatment led to an activation of cell repair and defense mechanisms including a modulation of paracrine inflammatory signals emphasizing the role of prooxidant species in CAP-related cell signaling. © 2019 Anke Schmidt et al.