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1.  Mucosal Tolerance to a Combination of ApoB and HSP60 Peptides Controls Plaque Progression and Stabilizes Vulnerable Plaque in Apobtm2SgyLdlrtm1Her/J Mice 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58364.
Oral tolerance to auto antigens reduces the development of atherosclerosis in mouse models. However, the effect of immune tolerance to multiple self antigenic peptides in plaque progression and stabilization is not known. We studied the protective effect of mucosal tolerance to peptides from apolipoprotein B (ApoB; 661–680) and heat shock protein 60 (HSP60; 153–163), in combination with diet, in the prevention of atherosclerotic lesion progression and plaque stabilization in ApoBtm25gyLDLrtm1Her mice. We found that oral administration of five doses of a combination of ApoB and HSP60 peptides (20 µg/mice/dose) induced tolerance to both the peptides and reduced early plaque development by 39.9% better than the individual peptides (ApoB = 28.7%;HSP60 = 26.8%)(P<0.001). Oral tolerance to combination of peptides along with diet modification arrested plaque progression by 37.6% which was associated with increases in T-regulatory cell and transforming growth factor-β expression in the plaque and peripheral circulation. Reduced macrophage infiltration and tumor necrosis factor-α expression in the plaque was also observed. Tolerance with continued hypercholesterolemia resulted in 60.8% reduction in necrotic core area suggesting plaque stabilization, which was supported by reduction in apoptosis and increased efferocytosis demonstrated by greater expression of receptor tyrosine kinase Mer (MerTK) in the plaque. Tolerance to the two peptides also reduced the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9, tissue factor, calprotectin, and increased its collagen content. Our study suggests that oral tolerance to ApoB and HSP60 peptide combination induces CD4+ CTLA4+ Tregs and CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Tregs secreting TGF-β, which inhibit pathogenic T cell response to both peptides thus reducing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and provides evidence for plaque stabilization in ApoBtm25gyLDLrtm1Her mice.
PMCID: PMC3594317  PMID: 23505495
2.  Immune Response to Lipoproteins in Atherosclerosis 
Cholesterol  2012;2012:571846.
Atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease, is characterized by chronic inflammation and altered immune response. Cholesterol is a well-known risk factor associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases. Elevated serum cholesterol is unique because it can lead to development of atherosclerosis in animals and humans even in the absence of other risk factors. Modifications of low-density lipoproteins mediated by oxidation, enzymatic degradation, and aggregation result in changes in their function and activate both innate and adaptive immune system. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) has been identified as one of the most important autoantigens in atherosclerosis. This escape from self-tolerance is dependent on the formation of oxidized phospholipids. The emerging understanding of the importance of immune responses against oxidized LDL in atherosclerosis has focused attention on the possibility of development of novel therapy for atherosclerosis. This review provides an overview of immune response to lipoproteins and the fascinating possibility of developing an immunomodulatory therapy for atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3432325  PMID: 22957222
3.  Pathogen burden, cytomegalovirus infection and inflammatory markers in the risk of premature coronary artery disease in individuals of Indian origin 
Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs at an earlier age in South Asians compared with other ethnic groups. Infection and inflammation show a positive association with the disease.
To investigate the association of infection and inflammatory markers with premature CAD in the Indian Atherosclerosis Research Study population.
Antibody titres for Chlamydia pneumoniae, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Helicobacter pylori, herpes simplex virus and levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), fibrinogen and secretory phospholipase A2, were measured in 866 individuals (433 CAD patients and matched controls). All individuals were followed-up for recurrent cardiac events for four years. ANOVA was used to study the association of infection and inflammation with CAD.
The present study found that the odds of CAD occurrence was 2.42 (95% CI 1.26 to 4.64; P<0.008), with all four infections and increased in the presence of hsCRP (OR 4.67 [95% CI 1.43 to 15.25]); P=0.011). Only anti-CMV antibody levels were a significant risk factor for CAD occurrence (OR 2.23 [95% CI 1.20 to 4.15]; P=0.011) and recurrent cardiac events (OR 1.94 [95% CI 0.85 to 4.45]; P=0.015). Mean values of the inflammatory biomarkers IL-6 (P=0.035), fibrinogen (P=0.014), hsCRP (P=0.010) and secretory phospholipase A2 (P=0.002) increased with CMV antibody levels. Incorporating hsCRP and IL-6 in the risk prediction models significantly increased the OR to 2.56 (95% CI 1.16 to 5.63; P=0.019) with a c statistic of 0.826.
Pathogen burden, especially CMV infection in combination with inflammatory markers, is a significant predictor of CAD risk in the young Indian population.
PMCID: PMC3395457  PMID: 22826649
Coronary artery disease; C-reactive protein; Cytomegalovirus; Inflammatory markers; Pathogen burden
4.  The Anti-Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Quinolone WCK 771 Has Potent Activity against Sequentially Selected Mutants, Has a Narrow Mutant Selection Window against Quinolone-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Preferentially Targets DNA Gyrase▿ †  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2006;50(11):3568-3579.
WCK 771 is a broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone with enhanced activity against quinolone-resistant staphylococci. To understand the impact of the target-level interactions of WCK 771 on its antistaphylococcal pharmacodynamic properties, we determined the MICs for genetically defined mutants and studied the mutant prevention concentrations (MPCs), the frequency of mutation, and the cidality against the wild type and double mutants. There was a twofold increase in the MICs of WCK 771 for single gyrA mutants, indicating that DNA gyrase is its primary target. All first- and second-step mutants selected by WCK 771 revealed gyrA and grlA mutations, respectively. The MICs of WCK 771 and clinafloxacin were found to be superior to those of other quinolones against strains with double and triple mutations. WCK 771 was also cidal for high-density double mutants at low concentrations. WCK 771 and clinafloxacin showed narrow mutant selection windows compared to those of the other quinolones. Against a panel of 50 high-level quinolone-resistant clinical isolates of staphylococci (ciprofloxacin MIC ≥ 16 μg/ml), the WCK 771 MPCs were ≤2 μg/ml for 68% of the strains and ≤4 μg/ml for 28% of the strains. Our results demonstrate that gyrA is the primary target of WCK 771 and that it has pharmacodynamic properties remarkably different from those of quinolones with dual targets (garenoxacin and moxifloxacin) and topoisomerase IV-specific quinolones (trovafloxacin). WCK 771 displayed an activity profile comparable to that of clinafloxacin, a dual-acting quinolone with a high affinity to DNA gyrase. Overall, the findings signify the key role of DNA gyrase in determining the optimal antistaphylococcal features of quinolones.
PMCID: PMC1635177  PMID: 16940059

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