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1.  Impact of Mannose-Binding Lectin Deficiency on Radiocontrast-Induced Renal Dysfunction 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:962695.
Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is the third leading cause of acute renal failure in hospitalized patients. Endothelial dysfunction, renal medullary ischemia, and tubular toxicity are regarded as the most important factors in the pathogenesis of CIN. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a pattern recognition protein of the lectin pathway of complement, has been found to aggravate and mediate tissue damage during experimental renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury which was alleviated by inhibition with C1 inhibitor, a potent MBL, and lectin pathway inhibitor. In this paper, we highlight the potential role of MBL in the pathogenesis of human CIN. In experimental I/R models, MBL was previously found to induce tubular cell death independent of the complement system. In addition, after binding to vascular endothelial cells, MBL and its associated serine proteases were able to trigger a proinflammatory reaction and contribute to endothelial dysfunction. In humans, urinary MBL was increased after administration of contrast media and in individuals with CIN. Moreover, individuals with normal/high MBL levels were at increased risk to develop radiocontrast-induced renal dysfunction. Hence, MBL and the lectin pathway seem to be a promising target given that a licensed, powerful, human recombinant inhibitor exits to be added to the scarce armamentarium currently available for prophylaxis of CIN.
PMCID: PMC3872394  PMID: 24386641
2.  Deficiency of functional mannose-binding lectin is not associated with infections in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus 
Infection imposes a serious burden on patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The increased infection rate in SLE patients has been attributed in part to defects of immune defence. Recently, the lectin pathway of complement activation has also been suggested to play a role in the occurrence of infections in SLE. In previous studies, SLE patients homozygous for mannose-binding lectin (MBL) variant alleles were at an increased risk of acquiring serious infections in comparison with patients who were heterozygous or homozygous for the normal allele. This association suggests a correlation between functional MBL level and occurrence of infections in SLE patients. We therefore investigated the biological activity of MBL and its relationship with the occurrence of infections in patients with SLE. Demographic and clinical data were collected in 103 patients with SLE. Functional MBL serum levels and MBL-induced C4 deposition were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using mannan as coat and an MBL- or C4b-specific monoclonal antibody. The complete MBL-dependent pathway activity was determined by using an assay that measures the complete MBL pathway activity in serum, starting with binding of MBL to mannan, and was detected with a specific monoclonal antibody against C5b-9. Charts were systematically reviewed to obtain information on documented infections since diagnosis of SLE. Major infections were defined as infections requiring hospital admission and intravenous administration of antibiotics. In total, 115 infections since diagnosis of lupus, including 42 major infections, were documented in the 103 SLE patients (mean age 41 ± 13 years, mean disease duration 7 ± 4 years). The percentage of SLE patients with severe MBL deficiency was similar to that in 100 healthy controls: 13% versus 14%, respectively. Although deposition of C4 to mannan and MBL pathway activity were reduced in 21% and 43% of 103 SLE patients, respectively, neither functional MBL serum levels nor MBL pathway activity was associated with infections or major infections in regression analyses. In conclusion, SLE patients frequently suffer from infections, but deficiency of functional MBL does not confer additional risk.
PMCID: PMC1794530  PMID: 17166254
3.  Genetically-Defined Deficiency of Mannose-Binding Lectin Is Associated with Protection after Experimental Stroke in Mice and Outcome in Human Stroke 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(2):e8433.
The complement system is a major effector of innate immunity that has been involved in stroke brain damage. Complement activation occurs through the classical, alternative and lectin pathways. The latter is initiated by mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and MBL-associated serine proteases (MASPs). Here we investigated whether the lectin pathway contributes to stroke outcome in mice and humans.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion in MBL-null mice induced smaller infarctions, better functional outcome, and diminished C3 deposition and neutrophil infiltration than in wild-type mice. Accordingly, reconstitution of MBL-null mice with recombinant human MBL (rhMBL) enhanced brain damage. In order to investigate the clinical relevance of these experimental observations, a study of MBL2 and MASP-2 gene polymorphism rendering the lectin pathway dysfunctional was performed in 135 stroke patients. In logistic regression adjusted for age, gender and initial stroke severity, unfavourable outcome at 3 months was associated with MBL-sufficient genotype (OR 10.85, p = 0.008) and circulating MBL levels (OR 1.29, p = 0.04). Individuals carrying MBL-low genotypes (17.8%) had lower C3, C4, and CRP levels, and the proinflammatory cytokine profile was attenuated versus MBL-sufficient genotypes.
In conclusion, genetically defined MBL-deficiency is associated with a better outcome after acute stroke in mice and humans.
PMCID: PMC2815773  PMID: 20140243
4.  Mannose Binding Lectin Is Required for Alphavirus-Induced Arthritis/Myositis 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(3):e1002586.
Mosquito-borne alphaviruses such as chikungunya virus and Ross River virus (RRV) are emerging pathogens capable of causing large-scale epidemics of virus-induced arthritis and myositis. The pathology of RRV-induced disease in both humans and mice is associated with induction of the host inflammatory response within the muscle and joints, and prior studies have demonstrated that the host complement system contributes to development of disease. In this study, we have used a mouse model of RRV-induced disease to identify and characterize which complement activation pathways mediate disease progression after infection, and we have identified the mannose binding lectin (MBL) pathway, but not the classical or alternative complement activation pathways, as essential for development of RRV-induced disease. MBL deposition was enhanced in RRV infected muscle tissue from wild type mice and RRV infected MBL deficient mice exhibited reduced disease, tissue damage, and complement deposition compared to wild-type mice. In contrast, mice deficient for key components of the classical or alternative complement activation pathways still developed severe RRV-induced disease. Further characterization of MBL deficient mice demonstrated that similar to C3−/− mice, viral replication and inflammatory cell recruitment were equivalent to wild type animals, suggesting that RRV-mediated induction of complement dependent immune pathology is largely MBL dependent. Consistent with these findings, human patients diagnosed with RRV disease had elevated serum MBL levels compared to healthy controls, and MBL levels in the serum and synovial fluid correlated with severity of disease. These findings demonstrate a role for MBL in promoting RRV-induced disease in both mice and humans and suggest that the MBL pathway of complement activation may be an effective target for therapeutic intervention for humans suffering from RRV-induced arthritis and myositis.
Author Summary
Arthritogenic alphaviruses such as Ross River virus (RRV) and chikungunya virus are transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and cause epidemics of debilitating infectious arthritis and myositis in various areas around the world. Studies in humans and mice indicate that the host inflammatory response is critical for development of RRV-induced arthritis and myositis, and the host complement system, a component of the host inflammatory response, plays an essential role in the development of RRV-induced disease through activation of complement receptor 3 (CR3)-bearing inflammatory cells. Of the three main complement activation pathways, only the lectin pathway activated by mannose binding lectin (MBL) was essential for RRV-induced complement activation, tissue destruction, and disease. Furthermore, we found that levels of MBL were elevated in human patients suffering from RRV-induced polyarthritis and MBL levels correlated with disease severity. Taken together, our data implicates a role for MBL in mediating RRV-induced disease in both humans and mice, and suggests that therapeutic targeting of MBL may be an effective strategy for disease treatment in humans.
PMCID: PMC3310795  PMID: 22457620
5.  Expression of mannose binding lectin in HIV-1-infected brain: implications for HIV-related neuronal damage and neuroAIDS 
Mannose binding lectin (MBL) activates complement pathway that leads to pathogen opsonization and phagocytosis. MBL deficiency is linked to HIV transmission and disease progression. We sought to determine the role of MBL in HIV encephalitis (HIVE) by evaluating its presence and distribution in the HIV-1-infected brain and by assessing its association with monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) expression. This retrospective study utilized archived post-mortem brain tissues obtained from 35 individuals enrolled in a longitudinal study as part of the California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network. MBL, MCP-1 and brain cell markers in post-mortem brain tissues with or without HIVE were evaluated using immunocytochemistry, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, and western blots. MBL was expressed in neurons, astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes of the frontal cortex of the HIV-1-infected brain. Overall, there were 30% to 40% more MBL-positive brain cells in HIVE vs non-HIVE cases (P = 0.01, paired t-test). Specifically, there was an increased MBL expression in the neuronal axons of HIVE cases. Also, western blots showed 3- to 4-fold higher levels of 78 kD MBL trimers in HIVE vs non-HIVE cases. This MBL-HIVE link was further confirmed by MBL associated higher MCP-1 expression in HIVE vs non-HIVE cases. HIV negative healthy individuals and normal or the gp120 transgenic mice did not show any differential MBL expression. Increased MBL expression in the major brain cell types, specifically in the neuronal axons of HIVE brain, and MBL associated higher MCP-1 expression in HIVE suggest that MBL could cause neuroinflammation and neuronal injury through MBL complement activation pathway.
PMCID: PMC3156486  PMID: 21852898
mannose binding lectin; HIV encephalitis; complement activation; neuroinflammation; neuroAIDS; MCP-1
6.  Mannose-Binding Lectin Deficiency Is Associated with Myocardial Infarction: The HUNT2 Study in Norway 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e42113.
Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and ficolins activate the complement cascade, which is involved in atherogenesis. Based on a pilot study, we hypothesized that functional polymorphisms in the MBL gene (MBL2) leading to dysfunctional protein are related to development of myocardial infarction (MI). The aim of the present study was to study polymorphisms in MBL2 and ficolin genes in relation to the risk of MI.
Methods and Results
Using the population-based HUNT Study in Norway, 57133 persons were followed up for a first-time MI from 1995–1997 until the end of 2008. The 370 youngest MI patients were matched by age (range 29–62 years) and gender to 370 controls. A younger population was selected because disease in this group might be less dependent on non-genetic risk factors. The study size was based on power calculation. Polymorphisms in MBL2 and in the genes of ficolin-1, ficolin-2 and ficolin-3 were genotyped by pyrosequencing and related to the risk of MI, estimated as odds ratios (OR). Functional haplotypes were analyzed and stringent alpha levels of significance were set by permutation testing. Variant MBL2 haplotypes causing MBL deficiency were associated with a two-fold higher risk of MI (OR 2.04, 95%CI 1.29–3.24). Adjustments for conventional cardiovascular risk factors did not substantially influence the association. The ficolins were not associated with MI risk.
In a young to middle aged and relatively healthy Caucasian population, MBL2 variants related to functional MBL deficiency were associated with a doubling of the risk for MI, independent of conventional risk factors. This supports that MBL deficiency may lead to increased atherosclerosis or development of vulnerable plaques.
PMCID: PMC3407165  PMID: 22848725
7.  Oxidative Stress Decreases Functional Airway Mannose Binding Lectin in COPD 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98571.
We have previously established that a defect in the ability of alveolar macrophages (AM) to phagocytose apoptotic cells (efferocytosis) and pathogens is a potential therapeutic target in COPD. We further showed that levels of mannose binding lectin (MBL; required for effective macrophage phagocytic function) were reduced in the airways but not circulation of COPD patients. We hypothesized that increased oxidative stress in the airway could be a cause for such disturbances. We therefore studied the effects of oxidation on the structure of the MBL molecule and its functional interactions with macrophages. Oligomeric structure of plasma derived MBL (pdMBL) before and after oxidation (oxMBL) with 2,2′-azobis(2-methylpropionamidine)dihydrochroride (AAPH) was investigated by blue native PAGE. Macrophage function in the presence of pd/oxMBL was assessed by measuring efferocytosis, phagocytosis of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) and expression of macrophage scavenger receptors. Oxidation disrupted higher order MBL oligomers. This was associated with changed macrophage function evident by a significantly reduced capacity to phagocytose apoptotic cells and NTHi in the presence of oxMBL vs pdMBL (eg, NTHi by 55.9 and 27.0% respectively). Interestingly, oxidation of MBL significantly reduced macrophage phagocytic ability to below control levels. Flow cytometry and immunofluorescence revealed a significant increase in expression of macrophage scavenger receptor (SRA1) in the presence of pdMBL that was abrogated in the presence of oxMBL. We show the pulmonary macrophage dysfunction in COPD may at least partially result from an oxidative stress-induced effect on MBL, and identify a further potential therapeutic strategy for this debilitating disease.
PMCID: PMC4047017  PMID: 24901869
8.  Lack of the pattern recognition molecule mannose-binding lectin increases susceptibility to influenza A virus infection 
BMC Immunology  2010;11:64.
Mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a pattern recognition innate immune molecule, inhibits influenza A virus infection in vitro. MBL deficiency due to gene polymorphism in humans has been associated with infection susceptibility. These clinical observations were confirmed by animal model studies, in which mice genetically lacking MBL were susceptible to certain pathogens, including herpes simplex virus 2.
We demonstrate that MBL is present in the lung of naïve healthy wild type (WT) mice and that MBL null mice are more susceptible to IAV infection. Administration of recombinant human MBL (rhMBL) reverses the infection phenotype, confirming that the infection susceptibility is MBL-mediated. The anti-viral mechanisms of MBL include activation of the lectin complement pathway and coagulation, requiring serum factors. White blood cells (WBCs) in the lung increase in WT mice compared with MBL null mice on day 1 post-infection. In contrast, apoptotic macrophages (MΦs) are two-fold higher in the lung of MBL null mice compared with WT mice. Furthermore, MBL deficient macrophages appear to be susceptible to apoptosis in vitro. Lastly, soluble factors, which are associated with lung injury, are increased in the lungs of MBL null mice during IAV infection. These results suggest that MBL plays a key role against IAV infection.
MBL plays a key role in clearing IAV and maintaining lung homeostasis. In addition, our findings also suggest that MBL deficiency maybe a risk factor in IAV infection and MBL may be a useful adjunctive therapy for IAV infection.
PMCID: PMC3022599  PMID: 21182784
9.  Potential role of the lectin pathway of complement in the pathogenesis and disease manifestations of systemic sclerosis: a case-control and cohort study 
Repetitive episodes of ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) are a cardinal feature of the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc), which precedes tissue fibrosis. The complement system is a key mediator of tissue damage after I/R, primarily by activation of the lectin pathway. This study investigated whether serum levels and polymorphisms of mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and ficolin-2 (FCN2), two pattern recognition receptors of the lectin pathway, are associated with the predisposition to and clinical features of SSc.
A case-control study was undertaken involving 90 patients with SSc from a single SSc outpatient clinic and 90 age- and sex-matched blood donors. MBL and FCN2 levels and polymorphisms were measured in both groups, and in cases correlated with clinical data.
MBL levels and genotypes were equally distributed in cases and controls while there were some significant differences in FCN2 polymorphisms. Median MBL levels were higher in SSc cases with diffuse disease compared with controls (2.6 versus 1.0 μg/ml, P <0.001).
In cases, higher MBL levels were associated with the presence of clinical findings associated with vascular dysfunction and local tissue damage (digital ulcers, calcinosis and pitting). Moreover, MBL levels were associated with fibrotic disease manifestations as evidenced by the presence of diffuse disease (median 2.6 versus 0.8 μg/ml, P = 0.002), the modified Rodnan skin score (r = 0.39, P <0.001), and interstitial lung disease as measured by forced vital capacity (r = −0.33, P = 0.001). Importantly, MBL levels also correlated with the Scleroderma Health Assessment Questionnaire scores (r = 0.33, P = 0.002). The results for FCN2 levels were less striking. Phenotypic MBL results were largely confirmed by analysis of MBL polymorphisms. MBL levels were not associated with the presence of autoantibodies or hypocomplementaemia.
Overall, predisposition to SSc was not influenced by the lectin pathway of complement in our matched case-control study. However, our preliminary data suggest that MBL, and to a lesser extent FCN2, may modulate disease manifestations of SSc, particularly in diffuse cutaneous disease.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0480-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4264552  PMID: 25403109
10.  Mannose-binding lectin deficiency is associated with early onset of polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: a cohort study 
Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is an innate immune protein. The aim of our study was to determine whether genetically determined MBL deficiency is associated with susceptibility to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and whether MBL2 genotypes are associated with JRA severity.
In a retrospective cohort study of 218 patients with polyarthritis (n = 67) and oligoarthritis (n = 151), clinical and laboratory disease variables were obtained by clinical examination and chart reviews. Healthy Caucasian adults (n = 194) served as control individuals. MBL2 gene mutations were determined by Taqman analysis to identify genotypes with high, medium and low expression of MBL. Functional MBL plasma concentrations were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Associations between clinical and laboratory variables and MBL2 genotypes were determined by Kruskal-Wallis and χ2 tests.
MBL2 genotype frequencies were similar in polyarthritis and oligoarthritis patients as compared with control individuals. MBL plasma concentrations were associated with the high, medium and low MBL genotype expression groups (P < 0.01). In polyarthritis patients, the presence of low-expressing (deficient) MBL2 genotypes was associated with early age at onset of disease (P = 0.03). In oligoarthritis patients, patients with low-expressing MBL2 genotypes were more often in remission (81%) than patients in the medium (54%) and high (56%) genotype groups (P = 0.02). The remaining clinical and laboratory variables, such as arthritis severity index, presence of radiographic erosions and antinuclear antibody positivity, were not associated with MBL2 genotypes.
Genetically determined MBL deficiency does not increase susceptibility to JRA, but MBL deficiency is associated with a younger age at onset of juvenile polyarthritis. On the other hand, MBL-deficient children with juvenile oligoarthritis are more often in remission. Therefore, MBL appears to play a dual role in JRA.
PMCID: PMC2453777  PMID: 18334024
11.  Mannose-Binding Lectin Inhibits Monocyte Proliferation through Transforming Growth Factor-β1 and p38 Signaling Pathways 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e72505.
Mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a plasma C-type lectin, plays an important role in innate immunity. However, the interaction, and the consequences of it, between MBL and the immune system remain ill defined. We have investigated the contributing mechanisms and effects of MBL on the proliferation of human monocytes. At lower concentrations (≤4 μg/ml) MBL was shown to partially enhance monocyte proliferation. By contrast, at higher concentrations (8–20 μg/ml) of MBL, cell proliferation was markedly attenuated. MBL-induced growth inhibition was associated with G0/G1 arrest, down-regulation of cyclin D1/D3, cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) 2/Cdk4 and up-regulation of the Cdk inhibitory protein Cip1/p21. Additionally, MBL induced apoptosis, and did so through caspase-3 activation and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Moreover, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 levels increased in the supernatants of MBL-stimulated monocyte cultures. We also found that MBL-dependent inhibition of monocyte proliferation could be reversed by the TGF-β receptor antagonist SB-431542, or by anti-TGF-β1 antibody, or by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitors specific for p38 (SB203580), but not ERK (U0126) or JNK (SP600125). Thus, at high concentrations, MBL can affect the immune system by inhibiting monocyte proliferation, which suggests that MBL may exhibit anti-inflammatory effects.
PMCID: PMC3765169  PMID: 24039775
12.  The MBL2 ‘LYQA Secretor’ Haplotype Is an Independent Predictor of Postoperative Myocardial Infarction in Whites Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery 
Circulation  2007;116(11 Suppl):I106-I112.
Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is an important component of innate immunity and activator of the lectin complement pathway. Within the MBL2 gene are seven 5′ “secretor” haplotypes that code for altered serum MBL levels and complement activation. However, recent evidence suggests that 3′ MBL2 haplotypes may also modify MBL function and circulating levels. Because MBL and the lectin complement pathway have been implicated in cardiovascular injury, we investigated whether MBL2 haplotypes are independently associated with an increased risk of postoperative myocardial infarction (PMI) in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Methods and Results
Genotyping of 18 polymorphic sites within the MBL2 gene was performed in a prospective, longitudinal multi-institutional study of 978 patients undergoing primary coronary artery bypass graft-only surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass between August 2001 and May 2005. After adjustment for multiple comparisons by permutation testing, multivariate, stepwise logistic regression, including a score test, was performed controlling for patient demographics, preoperative risk factors, medications, and intraoperative variables to determine if MBL2 secretor haplotypes are independent predictors of PMI in whites undergoing primary coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Neither the 5′ nor 3′ MBL2 haplotypes alone were associated with an increased incidence of PMI. However, the incidence of PMI in whites (n=843) expressing the combined MBL2 5′ LYQA secretor haplotype (CGTCGG) and 3′ haplotype (CGGGT) was significantly higher than in whites not expressing the haplotype (38% versus 10%; P<0.007). Moreover, the combined MBL2 LYQA secretor haplotype was an independent predictor of PMI in whites after primary coronary artery bypass graft surgery after adjustment for other covariates (P<0.02; adjusted OR: 3.97; 95% CI: 1.30 to 12.07). The combined MBL2 LYQA secretor haplotype in whites was also an independent predictor of postoperative CKMB levels exceeding 60 ng/mL (P<0.02; adjusted OR: 4.48; 95% CI: 1.95 to 16.80). Inclusion of the combined MBL2 LYQA secretor haplotype improved prediction models for PMI based on traditional risk factors alone (C-statistic 0.715 versus 0.705).
The combined MBL2 LYQA secretor haplotype is a novel independent predictor of PMI and may aid in preoperative risk stratification of whites undergoing primary coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
PMCID: PMC3000829  PMID: 17846289
genetics; myocardial infarction; immunology; inflammation; surgery
13.  Comparison of Carvedilol and Metoprolol for Preventing Contrast-Induced Nephropathy after Coronary Angiography 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2015;5(3):199-207.
Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is one of the most common causes of hospital-acquired acute renal failure. Oxidative stress and vasoconstriction might play key roles in its pathogenesis. In a few experimental models, antioxidant properties of carvedilol have been documented. The aim of this study was to analyze and compare the effects of carvedilol and metoprolol on the development of CIN in patients undergoing coronary angiography.
One hundred patients currently taking metoprolol and 100 patients currently taking carvedilol were enrolled into the study. Venous blood samples were obtained before and 48 h after contrast administration. Cystatin C and malondialdehyde values were examined and compared. CIN was defined as a creatinine increase of at least 25% or 0.5 mg/dl from the baseline value.
Seven patients in the carvedilol group (7%) and 22 patients in the metoprolol group (22%) developed CIN (p = 0.003). In the metoprolol group, the median cystatin C concentration increased significantly from 978 to 1,086 ng/ml (p = 0.001) 48 h after radiocontrast administration. In the carvedilol group, the median cystatin C concentration did not change significantly (1,143 vs. 1,068 ng/ml; p = 0.94). In the metoprolol group, the mean malondialdehyde concentration increased significantly from 7.09 ± 1.48 to 8.38 ± 2.6 nmol/l (p < 0.001). In the carvedilol group, the mean serum malondialdehyde concentration did not change significantly (7.44 ± 1.21 vs. 7.56 ± 1.11 nmol/l; p = 0.59).
When compared to metoprolol, carvedilol might decrease oxidative stress and subsequent development of CIN.
PMCID: PMC4478321  PMID: 26195972
Contrast-induced nephropathy; Metoprolol; Carvedilol; Cystatin C; Malondialdehyde
14.  High levels of mannose-binding lectin are associated with lower pulse wave velocity in uraemic patients 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:162.
Uraemia is associated with a highly increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) has been shown to be involved in cardiovascular pathophysiology and a protective effect of MBL is suggested. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a potential impact of MBL on vascular parameters in uraemic patients.
A cohort of 98 patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) awaiting kidney transplantation had pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index (AIX) examined by tonometry and endothelial dependent flow-mediated (FMD) and endothelial independent nitroglycerin-induced (NID) dilatory capacities of the brachial artery measured by ultrasound. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed and serum levels of MBL were measured using Luminex xMAP bead array technology.
The cohort was divided in two groups according to MBL-concentration below or above the median concentration. These groups were comparable regarding age, BMI, and duration of ESRD. PWV was significantly lower in the group with high MBL levels compared to the group with low MBL levels and trends toward better AIX and higher insulin sensitivity (ISI) was also seen in the group with high MBL levels. No difference was seen in FMD and NID.
High levels of MBL are associated with lower PWV and the use of antihypertensive drugs in a cohort of patients with ESRD awaiting kidney transplantation suggesting a beneficial role of high levels of MBL on arterial stiffness in uraemia.
PMCID: PMC4197330  PMID: 25281004
Arterial stiffness; Augmentation index; Endothelial function; Glucose intolerance; Mannose-binding lectin
15.  Mannose-Binding Lectin Deficiency Is Associated With Smaller Infarction Size and Favorable Outcome in Ischemic Stroke Patients 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21338.
The Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) pathway of complement plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury after experimental ischemic stroke. As comparable data in human ischemic stroke are limited, we investigated in more detail the association of MBL deficiency with infarction volume and functional outcome in a large cohort of patients receiving intravenous thrombolysis or conservative treatment.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In a post hoc analysis of a prospective cohort study, admission MBL concentrations were determined in 353 consecutive patients with an acute ischemic stroke of whom 287 and 66 patients received conservative and thrombolytic treatment, respectively. Stroke severity, infarction volume, and functional outcome were studied in relation to MBL concentrations at presentation to the emergency department. MBL levels on admission were not influenced by the time from symptom onset to presentation (p = 0.53). In the conservative treatment group patients with mild strokes at presentation, small infarction volumes or favorable outcomes after three months demonstrated 1.5 to 2.6-fold lower median MBL levels (p = 0.025, p = 0.0027 and p = 0.046, respectively) compared to patients with more severe strokes. Moreover, MBL deficient patients (<100 ng/ml) were subject to a considerably decreased risk of an unfavorable outcome three months after ischemic stroke (adjusted odds ratio 0.38, p<0.05) and showed smaller lesion volumes (mean size 0.6 vs. 18.4 ml, p = 0.0025). In contrast, no association of MBL concentration with infarction volume or functional outcome was found in the thrombolysis group. However, the small sample size limits the significance of this observation.
MBL deficiency is associated with smaller cerebral infarcts and favorable outcome in patients receiving conservative treatment. Our data suggest an important role of the lectin pathway in the pathophysiology of cerebral I/R injury and might pave the way for new therapeutic interventions.
PMCID: PMC3119675  PMID: 21712986
16.  Serum Mannose-Binding Lectin Concentration, but Not Genotype, Is Associated With Clostridium difficile Infection Recurrence: A Prospective Cohort Study 
Low mannose-binding lectin concentration, but not genotype, was associated with disease recurrence in a large prospective cohort of patients with Clostridium difficile infection.
Background. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) plays a key role in the activation of the lectin-complement pathway of innate immunity, and its deficiency has been linked with several acute infections. However, its role in predisposing to, or modulating disease severity in, Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has not been investigated.
Methods. We prospectively recruited 308 CDI case patients and 145 control patients with antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). CDI outcome measures were disease severity, duration of symptoms, 30-day mortality, and 90-day recurrence. Serum concentrations of MBL were determined using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay transferred to an electrochemiluminescence–based platform. MBL2 polymorphisms were typed using a combination of pyrosequencing and TaqMan genotyping assays.
Results. The frequency of the MBL2 genetic variants was similar to that reported in other white populations. MBL serum concentrations in CDI and AAD subjects were determined by MBL2 exonic variants B, C, and D and the haplotypes (LYPB, LYQC, and HYPD). There was no difference in either MBL concentrations or genotypes between cases and controls. MBL concentration, but not genotype, was a determinant of CDI recurrence (odds ratios, 3.18 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.40–7.24] and 2.61 [95% CI, 1.35–5.04] at the <50 ng/mL and <100 ng/mL cutoff points, respectively; P < .001). However, neither MBL concentration nor MBL2 genotype was linked with the other CDI outcomes.
Conclusions. Serum MBL concentration did not differentiate between CDI cases and AAD controls, but among CDI cases, MBL concentration, but not genotype, was associated with CDI recurrence, indicating that MBL acts as a modulator of disease, rather than a predisposing factor.
PMCID: PMC4207421  PMID: 25170052
Clostridium difficile; CDI; MBL; disease recurrence
17.  Mannose-Binding Lectin Deficiency Facilitates Abdominal Candida Infections in Patients with Secondary Peritonitis▿  
Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency due to variations in the MBL gene is associated with increased susceptibility to infections. In this study, the association between MBL deficiency and the occurrence of abdominal yeast infection (AYI) in peritonitis patients was examined. Eighty-eight patients with secondary peritonitis requiring emergency laparotomy were included. MBL genotype (wild type [WT] versus patients with variant genotypes), MBL plasma concentrations, and Candida risk factors were examined in patients with and those without AYI (positive abdominal yeast cultures during [re]laparotomy). A variant MBL genotype was found in 53% of patients with AYI and 38% of those without AYI (P = 0.18). A significantly higher proportion of variant patients had an AYI during early peritonitis (during first laparotomy) than WT patients (39% versus 16%, respectively; P = 0.012). Patients with AYI had lower MBL levels than did patients without AYI (0.16 μg/ml [0.0 to 0.65 μg/ml] versus 0.65 μg/ml (0.19 to 1.95 μg/ml); P = 0.007). Intensity of colonization (odds ratio [OR], 1.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0 to 1.1), MBL plasma concentrations of <0.5 μg/ml (OR, 4.5; 95% CI, 1.2 to 16.3), and numbers of relaparotomies (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0 to 2.8) were independently associated with AYI. In summary, deficient MBL plasma levels were independently associated with the development of AYI in patients with secondary peritonitis and seemed to facilitate early infection.
PMCID: PMC2223851  PMID: 17978009
18.  Influence of mannose-binding lectin genotypes and serostatus in allo-SCT: analysis of 131 recipients and donors 
Bone Marrow Transplantation  2009;45(1):13-19.
Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency is determined by MBL gene polymorphisms and associated with an increased infection risk.
To clarify the role of MBL in allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) 131 recipients/donors were analysed. MBL-genotypes were determined by PCR and heteroduplex analyses, MBL-serum levels by ELISA, MBL oligomers by Western blotting.
MBL-levels <400ng/ml were associated with increased susceptibility to fungal pneumonia (7/12 vs. 35/111; p=0.04, adjusted p=0.002), HSV/VZV (7/12 vs. 26/111; p=0.03), CMV-reactivation and acute graft-versus-host-disease. Donor genotypes had no influence. Pre-SCT MBL-levels corresponded to recipients’ genotypes (p<0.001), changed significantly post-SCT, but were not influenced by donors’ genotypes. MBL oligomer profiles were similar pre-/post-SCT. Cultured CD34+ cells were not found to synthesize MBL.
Low MBL-levels pre-transplant predisposed patients to sepsis, fungal and viral infection. Donors’ MBL genotypes did not influence infection rates. Prospective studies should clarify the importance of MBL as prelude for MBL-replacement after SCT.
PMCID: PMC2884030  PMID: 19430499
Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Disease Susceptibility; Female; Genotype; Graft vs Host Disease; etiology; genetics; Humans; Male; Mannose-Binding Lectin; blood; genetics; Middle Aged; Mycoses; etiology; Phenotype; Prospective Studies; Retrospective Studies; Sepsis; etiology; Stem Cell Transplantation; adverse effects; mortality; Tissue Donors; Transplantation, Homologous; Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) protein; MBL variants; sepsis; infection; allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT)
19.  The Contribution of Mannose Binding Lectin to Reperfusion Injury after Ischemic Stroke 
After complement system (CS) activation, the sequential production of complement products increases cell injury and death through opsonophagocytosis, cytolysis, adaptive, and inflammatory cell responses. These responses potentiate cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury after ischemic stroke and reperfusion. Activation of the CS via mannose binding lectin (MBL)-initiated lectin pathway is known to increase tissue damage in response to IR in muscle, myocardium and intestine tissue. In contrast, the contribution of this pathway to cerebral IR injury, a neutrophil-mediated event, is less clear. Therefore, we investigated the potential protective role of MBL deficiency in neutrophil-mediated cerebral injury after IR. Using an intraluminal filament method, neutrophil activation and cerebral injury were compared between MBL-deficient and wild type C57Bl/6 mice subjected to 60 minutes of MCA ischemia and reperfusion. Systemic neutrophil activation was not decreased in MBL-deficient animals after IR. In MBL-deficient animals, cerebral injury was significantly decreased only in the striatum (p < 0.05). Despite MBL deficiency, C3 depositions were evident in the injured hemisphere during reperfusion. These results indicate that while MBL deficiency results in a modest protection of a sub-cortical brain region during IR, redundant complement pathway activation may overwhelm further beneficial effects of MBL deficiency during reperfusion.
PMCID: PMC3512100  PMID: 21208161
Complement; ischemia; mannose binding lectin; neutrophil; reperfusion; stroke
20.  Association between Low Levels of Mannan-Binding Lectin and Markers of Autoimmune Thyroid Disease in Pregnancy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81755.
Functional deficiency of mannan-binding lectin (MBL) has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. Adverse events during pregnancy have also been described in women with autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD), and thyroid hormones have been shown to influence serum levels of MBL. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyse the impact of MBL-deficiency on the outcome of pregnancy in relation to the presence of AITD. Almost one year after delivery, we assessed serum MBL levels and MBL2-genotypes in 212 women positively screened for AITD in pregnancy. In 103 of these women, we could also measure MBL levels in frozen serum samples from the 9-12th gestational week, obtaining 96 pairs of MBL values (pregnancy vs. follow-up). As controls, 80 sera of pregnant women screened negatively for AITD were used. MBL2-genotyping was performed using multiplex PCR. Women with thyroid dysfunction and/or thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) had lower MBL levels during pregnancy than controls, (3275 vs. 5000 ng/ml, p<0.05). The lowest levels were found in women with elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in the absence of TPOAb (2207 ng/ml; p<0.01 as compared to controls). MBL2 genotype distribution did not differ between subgroups. At a median follow-up period of 17 months (range: 3–78 months) after delivery, median MBL level had decreased further to 1923 ng/ml (p<0.0001) without significant changes in TSH. In an explorative survey, functional MBL-deficiency was neither linked to a history of spontaneous abortion, nor other obstetric complications, severe infections throughout life/pregnancy or antibiotics use in pregnancy. In conclusion, hypothyroidism during pregnancy is associated with decreased MBL levels, and the levels decreased further after delivery.
PMCID: PMC3858249  PMID: 24339961
21.  The Neuroprotective Effect of Genetic Mannose-binding Lectin Deficiency is not Sustained in the Sub-acute Phase of Stroke 
Translational stroke research  2011;2(4):588-599.
The complement cascade is a critical mediator of the inflammatory response following cerebral ischemia. Recent work has demonstrated that genetic-deficiency of Mannose-binding lectin(MBL) ameliorates reperfusion injury and improves outcome in the acute phase of stroke. The present study sought to further delineate the pathogenic role of MBL in stroke and to examine whether the neuroprotection associated with MBL-deficiency is sustained beyond the acute phase. We hypothesized that genetic MBL deficiency would suppress complement activation and ameliorate reperfusion injury in the acute phase, but that persistent inhibition of complement into the sub-acute phase would serve to abrogate this neuroprotective effect.
The time-course and localization of post-ischemic cerebral MBL and C3 deposition were characterized using both Western-blot and immunohistochemistry. MBL-a/c null(MBL-KO) mice subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion(MCAO) were then employed to investigate the histologic injury and functional outcome associated with genetic MBL deletion at both 24 hours and 7 days.
MBL-a/c rapidly deposit on ischemic endothelium and trigger downstream complement activation in the acute phase. Genetic deficiency of MBL abrogates C3 cleavage as well as the sub-acute accumulation of mononuclear cells in the ischemic region. Although MBL-KO mice demonstrate significantly improved outcome at 24 hours, the neuroprotective effect associated with genetic MBL deletion is not sustained.
Development of a successful anti-complement neuroprotective strategy will require carefully-tailored inhibition coupled with a greater understanding of the functional effects of complement activation during later phases of stroke recovery.
PMCID: PMC3324305  PMID: 22505955
Complement; Stroke; Neuroprotection; Inflammation; Mannose-binding Lectin
22.  Significance of Mannose-Binding Lectin Deficiency and Nucleotide-Binding Oligomerization Domain 2 Polymorphisms in Staphylococcus aureus Bloodstream Infections: A Case-Control Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e76218.
Pathways coordinated by innate pattern recognition receptors like mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) are among the first immune responses to Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bloodstream infections (BSI) in animal models, but human data are limited. Here, we investigated the role of MBL deficiency and NOD2 mutations in the predisposition to and severity of S. aureus BSI.
Patients and Methods
A matched case-control study was undertaken involving 70 patients with S. aureus BSI and 70 age- and sex-matched hospitalized controls. MBL levels, MBL2 and NOD2 polymorphisms were analyzed.
After adjusting for potential confounders, MBL deficiency (<0.5 µg/ml) was found less frequently in cases than controls (26 vs. 41%, OR 0.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.20-0.95, p=0.04) as were low producing MBL genotypes (11 vs. 23%, OR 0.2, 95% CI 0.08-0.75, p=0.01), whereas NOD2 polymorphisms were similarly distributed. Cases with NOD2 polymorphisms had less organ dysfunction as shown by a lower SOFA score (median 2.5 vs. 4.5, p=0.02), whereas only severe MBL deficiency (<0.1 µg/ml) was associated with life-threatening S. aureus BSI (OR 5.6, 95% CI 1.25-24.85, p=0.02).
Contrary to animal model data, our study suggests MBL deficiency may confer protection against acquiring S. aureus BSI. NOD2 mutations were less frequently associated with multi-organ dysfunction. Further human studies of the innate immune response in S. aureus BSI are needed to identify suitable host targets in sepsis treatment.
PMCID: PMC3785435  PMID: 24086711
23.  Role of Mannose-Binding Lectin Deficiency in HIV-1 and Schistosoma Infections in a Rural Adult Population in Zimbabwe 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0122659.
Polymorphism in the MBL2 gene lead to MBL deficiency, which has been shown to increase susceptibility to various bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. We assessed role of MBL deficiency in HIV-1 and schistosoma infections in Zimbabwean adults enrolled in the Mupfure Schistosomiasis and HIV Cohort (MUSH Cohort).
HIV-1, S. haematobium and S. mansoni infections were determined at baseline. Plasma MBL concentration was measured by ELISA and MBL2 genotypes determined by PCR. We calculated and compared the proportions of plasma MBL deficiency, MBL2 structural variant alleles B (codon 54A>G), C (codon 57A>G), and D (codon 52T>C) as well as MBL2 promoter variants -550(H/L), -221(X/Y) and +4(P/Q) between HIV-1 and schistosoma co-infection and control groups using Chi Square test.
We assessed 379 adults, 80% females, median age (IQR) 30 (17–41) years. HIV-1, S. haematobium and S. mansoni prevalence were 26%, 43% and 18% respectively in the MUSH baseline survey. Median (IQR) plasma MBL concentration was 800μg/L (192-1936μg/L). Prevalence of plasma MBL deficiency was 18% with high frequency of the C (codon 57G>A) mutant allele (20%). There was no significant difference in median plasma MBL levels between HIV negative (912μg/L) and HIV positive (688μg/L), p = 0.066. However plasma MBL levels at the assay detection limit of 20μg/L were more frequent among the HIV-1 infected (p = 0.007). S. haematobium and S. mansoni infected participants had significantly higher MBL levels than uninfected. All MBL2 variants were not associated with HIV-1 infection but promoter variants LY and LL were significantly associated with S. haematobium infection.
Our data indicate high prevalence of MBL deficiency, no evidence of association between MBL deficiency and HIV-1 infection. However, lower plasma MBL levels were protective against both S. haematobium and S. mansoni infections and MBL2 promoter and variants LY and LL increased susceptibility to S. haematobium infection.
PMCID: PMC4382150  PMID: 25830474
24.  Increased plasma mannose binding lectin levels are associated with bronchiolitis obliterans after lung transplantation 
Respiratory Research  2012;13(1):56.
Long-term lung allograft survival is limited by bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). Mannose binding lectin (MBL) belongs to the innate immune system, participates in complement activation, and may predispose to graft rejection. We investigated mannose binding (MBL) during cold ischemia and in tissue samples from explanted lungs with BOS, and assessed MBL and complement proteins in plasma post-lung transplantation relative to BOS staging.
MBL was detected by immunohistochemistry lung tissue at the time of cold ischemia and in samples with BOS. MBL was assayed in the peripheral blood of 66 lung transplant patients transplanted between 1990–2007.
MBL localized to vasculature and basement membrane during cold ischemia and BOS. Patients further out post-lung transplant > 5 years (n = 33), had significantly lower levels of MBL in the blood compared to lung transplant patients < 5 years with BOS Op-3 (n = 17), 1738 ± 250 ng/ml vs 3198 ± 370 ng/ml, p = 0.027, and similar levels to lung transplant patients < 5 years with BOS 0 (n = 16), 1738 ± 250 ng/ml vs 1808 ± 345 ng/ml. MBL levels in all BOS 0 (n = 30) vs. all BOS Op-3 (n = 36) were 1378 ± 275 ng/ml vs. 2578 ± 390 ng/ml, p = 0.001, respectively. C3 plasma levels in BOS 0 (n = 30) vs. BOS Op-3 (n = 36) were 101 ± 19.8 mg/ml vs. 114 ± 25.2 mg/ml, p = 0.024, respectively.
MBL localizes within the lung during graft ischemia and BOS, higher levels of plasma MBL are associated with BOS Op-3 and < 5 years post-transplant, and higher level of plasma complement protein C3 was associated with BOS Op-3 clinical status. MBL may serve as a biomarker for poorer outcome post-lung transplantation.
PMCID: PMC3441326  PMID: 22762710
Mannose binding lectin; Lung transplantation; Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome
25.  Association of Levels of Mannose-Binding Lectin and the MBL2 Gene with Type 2 Diabetes and Diabetic Nephropathy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83059.
To investigate the association of Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and the MBL2 gene with type 2 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy and the influence of MBL2 polymorphisms on serum MBL levels.
The study population included 675 type 2 diabetic patients with or without nephropathy and 855 normoglycemic controls. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of rs1800450, rs1800451, and rs11003125 of the MBL2 gene were determined by the Multiplex Snapshot method. Serum MBL levels were measured by enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay.
Rs1800450 and rs11003125 SNPs demonstrated strong linkage disequilibrium in the study population (r2 = 0.97). The haplotypes constructed from the G allele of rs1800450 and the C allele of rs11003125 increased the risk for type 2 diabetes (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.1–1.4, P = 0.01). For rs1800450, GG and GA genotypes were associated with type 2 diabetes (P = 0.02, 0.01, respectively). For rs11003125, the GC genotype frequency was significantly different between patients and controls (18.1% vs. 24.9%, P = 0.001). Analyses of genotypes and allele frequency distributions among patients with normal UAE, microalbuminuria, and macroalbuminuria showed that there was no obvious evidence of association between the MBL2 gene and diabetic nephropathy. Subjects with the GG genotype of rs1800450 and the CC genotype of rs11003125 had much higher serum MBL levels.
The rs1800450 and rs11003125 SNPs of the MBL2 gene have strong linkage disequilibrium and are associated with type 2 diabetes in the North Chinese Han population. No association was observed between the MBL2 gene and diabetic nephropathy. Subjects with the GG genotype of rs1800450 and the CC genotype of rs11003125 had much higher serum MBL levels. An association between elevated serum MBL and diabetic nephropathy was also observed.
PMCID: PMC3869742  PMID: 24376633

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