The pregnenolone X receptor (PXR), a new member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, was recently demonstrated to mediate glucocorticoid agonist and antagonist activation of a hormone response element spaced by three nucleotides (DR-3) within the rat CYP3A23 promoter. Because many other steroids and xenobiotics can up-regulate CYP3A23 expression, we determined whether some of these other regulators used PXR to activate the CYP3A23 DR-3. Transient cotransfection of LLC-PK1 cells with (CYP3A23)2-tk-CAT and mouse PXR demonstrated that the organochlorine pesticides transnonachlor and chlordane and the nonplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) each induced the CYP3A23 DR-3 element, and this activation required PXR. Additionally, this study found that PXR is activated to induce (CYP3A23)2-tk-CAT by antihormones of several steroid classes including the antimineralocorticoid spironolactone and the antiandrogen cyproterone acetate. These studies reveal that PXR is involved in the induction of CYP3A23 by pharmacologically and structurally distinct steroids and xenobiotics. Moreover, PXR-mediated PCB activation of the (CYP3A23)2-tk-CAT may serve as a rapid assay for effects of nonplanar PCBs.
Thiopurines are effective immunosuppressants and anticancer agents, but intracellular accumulation of their active metabolites (6-thioguanine nucleotides, 6-TGNs) causes dose-limiting hematopoietic toxicity. Thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) deficiency is known to exacerbate thiopurine toxicity. However, many patients are highly sensitive to thiopurines for unknown reasons. We show that Mrp4 is abundant in myeloid progenitors and tested the role of the multidrug-resistance protein 4 (Mrp4), an ATP binding cassette (ATP) transporter of monophosphorylated nucleosides, in this unexplained thiopurine sensitivity. Mrp4-deficient mice experienced Mrp4 gene dosage–dependent toxicity caused by accumulation of 6-TGNs in their myelopoietic cells. Therefore, Mrp4 protects against thiopurine-induced hematopoietic toxicity by actively exporting thiopurine nucleotides. We then identified a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in human MRP4 (rs3765534) that dramatically reduces MRP4 function by impairing its cell membrane localization. This SNP is common (>18%) in the Japanese population and indicates that the increased sensitivity of some Japanese patients to thiopurines may reflect the greater frequency of this MRP4 SNP.
It has been suggested that the number of exception model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) points for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) overestimates mortality risk. Average MELD at transplant, a measure of organ availability, correlates with mortality on an intent-to-treat basis and varies by donation service area (DSA). We analyzed Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data from 2005 to 2010, comparing transplant and death parameters for patients transplanted with HCC exception points to patients without HCC diagnosis (non-HCC), to determine whether the two groups were impacted differentially by DSA organ availability. HCC candidates are transplanted at higher rates than non-HCC candidates and are less likely to die on the waitlist. Overall risk of death trends downward by 1% per MELD point (p = 0.65) for HCC, but increases by 7% for non-HCC patients (p < 0.0001). The difference in the change of mortality with MELD is statistically significant between HCC and non-HCC candidates p < 0.0001. Posttransplant risk of death trends downward by 2% per MELD point (p = 0.28) for HCC patients, but increases by 3% per MELD point in non-HCC patients (p = 0.027), with the difference being statistically significant with p < 0.005. In summary, increasing wait time impacts HCC candidates less than non-HCC candidates and under increased competition for donor organs, HCC candidates’ advantage increases.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; liver transplantation; MELD score; donation service area; organ allocation
To investigate the role of ontogeny in sorafenib metabolism to the equipotent active metabolite sorafenib N-oxide.
Steady-state pharmacokinetic studies of sorafenib and metabolites were performed in thirty children and young adults (17 males; median age, 9.5 years) receiving sorafenib 150 mg/m2 or 200 mg/m2 twice daily. Sorafenib metabolism was evaluated in vitro at 10 µM using a panel of purified human cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. Sorafenib metabolism and CYP3A4 expression was evaluated in 52 human liver samples from donors ≤ 20 years old. The drug-drug interaction potential between sorafenib and azole antifungal agents was evaluated in vitro and in vivo.
No age-related differences in sorafenib apparent oral clearance were observed. Mean sorafenib N-oxide metabolite ratio was 0.27±0.14. In children ≤ 10 years of age, boys had approximately 2-fold higher N-oxide ratios than girls (0.40±0.15 versus 0.22±0.12, P = 0.026). Of the CYPs evaluated, sorafenib was exclusively metabolized to sorafenib N-oxide by CYP3A4. A trend for increased N-oxide formation in boys was observed in liver samples, which correlated with CYP3A4 mRNA expression. Posaconazole and voriconazole potently inhibited sorafenib N-oxide formation in vitro, and reduced sorafenib N-oxide formation in 3 children given sorafenib concurrent with azoles.
We have identified several factors affecting inter-patient variability in sorafenib metabolism to the active N-oxide metabolite including age, sex, and concurrent treatment with azole antifungals. This knowledge may provide important considerations for the clinical use of sorafenib in children and possibly other kinase inhibitors undergoing CYP3A4-mediated metabolism.
sorafenib; ontogeny; metabolism; CYP3A4; UGT1A9; drug-drug interaction
Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are a heterogeneous group of solid tumours of lymphoid cell origin. Three important aspects of lymphocyte development include immunity and inflammation, DNA repair, and programmed cell death. We have used a previously established case-control study of NHL to ask whether genetic variation in genes involved in these three important processes influences risk of this cancer. 118 genes in these three categories were tagged with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which were tested for association with NHL and its subtypes. The main analysis used logistic regression (additive model) to estimate odds ratios in European-ancestry cases and controls. 599 SNPs and 1116 samples (569 cases and 547 controls) passed quality control measures and were included in analyses. Following multiple-testing correction, one SNP in MSH3, a mismatch repair gene, showed an association with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (OR: 1.91; 95% CI: 1.41–2.59; uncorrected p = 0.00003; corrected p = 0.010). This association was not replicated in an independent European-ancestry sample set of 251 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cases and 737 controls, indicating this result was likely a false positive. It is likely that moderate sample size, inter-subtype and other genetic heterogeneity, and small true effect sizes account for the lack of replicable findings.
H2AFX encodes a histone variant involved in signaling sites of DNA damage and recruiting repair factors. Genetic variants in H2AFX may influence risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a heterogeneous group of lymphoid tumors that are characterized by chromosomal translocations. We previously reported that rs2509049, a common variant in the promoter of H2AFX, was associated with risk for NHL in the British Columbia population. Here we report results for 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 100 Kb surrounding H2AFX in an expanded collection of 568 NHL cases and 547 controls. After correction for multiple testing, significant associations were present for mantle cell lymphoma (p=0.007 for rs604714) and all B-cell lymphomas (p=0.046 for rs2509049). Strong linkage disequilibrium in the 5 Kb upstream of H2AFX limited the ability to determine which specific SNP (rs2509049, rs7759, rs8551, rs643788, rs604714, or rs603826), if any, was responsible. There was a significant interaction between sex and rs2509049 in the all B-cell lymphomas group (p=0.002); a sex-stratified analysis revealed that the association was confined to females (p=0.001). Neither the overall nor the female-specific association with rs2509049 was replicated in any of four independent NHL sample sets. Meta-analysis of all five study populations (3,882 B-cell NHL cases and 3,718 controls) supported a weak association with B-cell lymphoma (OR=0.92, 95% CI=0.86-0.99, p=0.034), although this association was not significant after exclusion of the British Columbia data. Further research into the potential sex-specificity of the H2AFX-NHL association may identify a subset of NHL cases that are influenced by genotype at this locus.
Vitamin D, whose levels vary seasonally with sunlight, is activated to 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 that binds the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and transcriptionally regulates intestinal CYP3A4 expression. We genotyped VDR polymorphisms and determined their associations with intestinal CYP3A4 and with midazolam pharmacokinetics, and whether intestinal CYP3A4 levels/activity varied seasonally. The VDR BsmIG>A (rs1544410) polymorphism was significantly associated with CYP3A4 jejunal expression/activity, withCYP3A4 duodenal mRNA, and with midazolam area under the curve (AUC). Intestinal CYP3A4 expression/activity was significantly higher in biopsies with the VDR promoter polymorphisms Cdx2-3731G>A and GATA-1012A>G that increase VDR activation of target genes. Duodenal CYP3A4 mRNA was significantly higher between April and September than between October and March. Midazolam p.o. AUC and oral bioavailability trended higher October through March compared to April through September. These data suggest VDR polymorphisms are predictors of intestinal CYP3A4, and that CYP3A4 intestinal expression varies seasonally - likely related to annual changes in UV sunlight and vitamin D levels.
CYP3A4; vitamin D; VDR; polymorphism; seasonal variation
CYP3A5; CYP3A5*2; CYP3A5*3; CYP3A5*6; CYP3A5*7; pharmacogenomics; rs10264272; rs28365083; rs76293380; rs776746
Antibiotics are overused in children and adolescents with lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). Serum-procalcitonin (PCT) can be used to guide treatment when bacterial infection is suspected. Its role in pediatric LRTI is unclear.
Between 01/2009 and 02/2010 we randomized previously healthy patients 1 month to 18 years old presenting with LRTI to the emergency departments of two pediatric hospitals in Switzerland to receive antibiotics either according to a PCT guidance algorithm established for adult LRTI or standard care clinical guidelines. In intention-to-treat analyses, antibiotic prescribing rate, duration of antibiotic treatment, and number of days with impairment of daily activities within 14 days of randomization were compared between the two groups.
In total 337 children, mean age 3.8 years (range 0.1–18), were included. Antibiotic prescribing rates were not significantly different in PCT guided patients compared to controls (OR 1.26; 95% CI 0.81, 1.95). Mean duration of antibiotic exposure was reduced from 6.3 to 4.5 days under PCT guidance (−1.8 days; 95% CI −3.1, −0.5; P = 0.039) for all LRTI and from 9.1 to 5.7 days for pneumonia (−3.4 days 95% CI −4.9, −1.7; P<0.001). There was no apparent difference in impairment of daily activities between PCT guided and control patients.
PCT guidance reduced antibiotic exposure by reducing the duration of antibiotic treatment, while not affecting the antibiotic prescribing rate. The latter may be explained by the low baseline prescribing rate in Switzerland for pediatric LRTI and the choice of an inappropriately low PCT cut-off level for this population.
Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN17057980 ISRCTN17057980
Oxidative catabolism of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3] is mediated by either CYP24A1 or CYP3A4. In this paper, we tested whether induction of CYP3A4 in the LS180 intestinal cell model enhances clearance of 1α,25(OH)2D3 and blunts its hormonal effect on expression of the apical membrane calcium transport protein, TRPV6. Treatment with the hPXR agonist rifampin significantly increased CYP3A4 mRNA content and catalytic activity, but had no effect on CYP24A1 or TRPV6 mRNA content. Pre-treating cells with rifampin for 48 hrs, prior to a 24 hr 1α,25(OH)2D3 treatment phase, was associated with a subsequent 48% increase in the elimination of 1α,25(OH)2D3 and a 35% reduction of peak TRPV6 mRNA. Introduction of the CYP3A4 inhibitor, 6′,7′-dihydroxybergamottin, an active inhibitor in grapefruit juice, reversed the effects of rifampin on 1α,25(OH)2D3 clearance and TRPV6 expression. Over-expression of hPXR in LS180 cells greatly enhanced the CYP3A4 responsiveness to rifampin pretreatment, and elicited a greater relative suppression of TRPV6 expression and an increase in 1α,25(OH)2D3 disappearance rate, compared to vector expressed cells, following hormone administration. Together, these results suggest that induction of CYP3A4 in the intestinal epithelium by hPXR agonists can result in a greater metabolic clearance of 1α,25(OH)2D3 and reduced effects of the hormone on the intestinal calcium absorption, which may contribute to an increased risk of drug-induced osteomalacia/osteoporosis in patients receiving chronic therapy with potent hPXR agonists. Moreover, ingestion of grapefruit juice in the at-risk patients could potentially prevent this adverse drug effect.
Cytochrome P450 3A4; TRPV6; 1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3; Human pregnane X receptor; Rifampin; Osteomalacia
Cognitive impairment remains frequent in HIV, despite combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). Leading theories implicate peripheral monocyte HIV DNA reservoirs as a mechanism for spread of the virus to the brain. These reservoirs remain present despite cART. The objective of this study was to determine if the level of HIV DNA in CD14+ enriched monocytes predicted cognitive impairment and brain injury.
We enrolled 61 cART-naïve HIV-infected Thais in a prospective study and measured HIV DNA in CD14+ enriched monocyte samples in a blinded fashion. We determined HAND diagnoses by consensus panel and all participants underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure markers of brain injury. Immune activation was measured via cytokines in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
The mean (SD) age was 35 (6.9) years, CD4 T-lymphocyte count was 236 (139) and log10 plasma HIV RNA was 4.8 (0.73). Twenty-eight of 61 met HAND criteria. The log10 CD14+ HIV DNA was associated with HAND in unadjusted and adjusted models (p = 0.001). There was a 14.5 increased odds ratio for HAND per 1 log-value of HIV DNA (10-fold increase in copy number). Plasma CD14+ HIV DNA was associated with plasma and CSF neopterin (p = 0.023) and with MRS markers of neuronal injury (lower N-acetyl aspartate) and glial dysfunction (higher myoinositol) in multiple brain regions.
Reservoir burden of HIV DNA in monocyte-enriched (CD14+) peripheral blood cells increases risk for HAND in treatment-naïve HIV+ subjects and is directly associated with CSF immune activation and both brain injury and glial dysfunction by MRS.
No clinical trials have assessed the effects or cost-effectiveness of health check strategies to detect and manage vascular disease. We used a mathematical model to estimate the cost-effectiveness of several health check strategies in six European countries.
We used country-specific data from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom to generate simulated populations of individuals aged 40–75 eligible for health checks in those countries (e.g. individuals without a previous diagnosis of diabetes, myocardial infarction, stroke, or serious chronic kidney disease). For each country, we used the Archimedes model to compare seven health check strategies consisting of assessments for diabetes, hypertension, lipids, and smoking. For patients diagnosed with vascular disease, treatment was simulated in a standard manner. We calculated the effects of each strategy on the incidence of type 2 diabetes, major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), and microvascular complications in addition to quality of life, costs, and cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY).
Compared with current care, health checks reduced the incidence of MACE (6–17 events prevented per 1000 people screened) and diabetes related microvasular complications (5–11 events prevented per 1000 people screened), and increased QALYs (31–59 discounted QALYs) over 30 years, in all countries. The cost per QALY of offering a health check to all individuals in the study cohort ranged from €14903 (France) to cost saving (Poland). Pre-screening the population and offering health checks only to higher risk individuals lowered the cost per QALY. Pre-screening on the basis of obesity had a cost per QALY of €10200 (France) or less, and pre-screening with a non-invasive risk score was similar.
A vascular disease health check would likely be cost effective at 30 years in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom.
Patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) currently face inacceptable delays in initial treatment, and long, costly hospital stays due to suboptimal initial triage and site-of-care decisions. Accurate ED triage should focus not only on initial treatment priority, but also on prediction of medical risk and nursing needs to improve site-of-care decisions and to simplify early discharge management. Different triage scores have been proposed, such as the Manchester triage system (MTS). Yet, these scores focus only on treatment priority, have suboptimal performance and lack validation in the Swiss health care system. Because the MTS will be introduced into clinical routine at the Kantonsspital Aarau, we propose a large prospective cohort study to optimize initial patient triage. Specifically, the aim of this trial is to derive a three-part triage algorithm to better predict (a) treatment priority; (b) medical risk and thus need for in-hospital treatment; (c) post-acute care needs of patients at the most proximal time point of ED admission.
Prospective, observational, multicenter, multi-national cohort study. We will include all consecutive medical patients seeking ED care into this observational registry. There will be no exclusions except for non-adult and non-medical patients. Vital signs will be recorded and left over blood samples will be stored for later batch analysis of blood markers. Upon ED admission, the post-acute care discharge score (PACD) will be recorded. Attending ED physicians will adjudicate triage priority based on all available results at the time of ED discharge to the medical ward. Patients will be reassessed daily during the hospital course for medical stability and readiness for discharge from the nurses and if involved social workers perspective. To assess outcomes, data from electronic medical records will be used and all patients will be contacted 30 days after hospital admission to assess vital and functional status, re-hospitalization, satisfaction with care and quality of life measures.
We aim to include between 5000 and 7000 patients over one year of recruitment to derive the three-part triage algorithm. The respective main endpoints were defined as (a) initial triage priority (high vs. low priority) adjudicated by the attending ED physician at ED discharge, (b) adverse 30 day outcome (death or intensive care unit admission) within 30 days following ED admission to assess patients risk and thus need for in-hospital treatment and (c) post acute care needs after hospital discharge, defined as transfer of patients to a post-acute care institution, for early recognition and planning of post-acute care needs. Other outcomes are time to first physician contact, time to initiation of adequate medical therapy, time to social worker involvement, length of hospital stay, reasons for discharge delays, patient’s satisfaction with care, overall hospital costs and patients care needs after returning home.
Using a reliable initial triage system for estimating initial treatment priority, need for in-hospital treatment and post-acute care needs is an innovative and persuasive approach for a more targeted and efficient management of medical patients in the ED. The proposed interdisciplinary , multi-national project has unprecedented potential to improve initial triage decisions and optimize resource allocation to the sickest patients from admission to discharge. The algorithms derived in this study will be compared in a later randomized controlled trial against a usual care control group in terms of resource use, length of hospital stay, overall costs and patient’s outcomes in terms of mortality, re-hospitalization, quality of life and satisfaction with care.
Triage; Biomarker; Post-acute care needs; Emergency medicine; Manchester triage system
The essential role played by T cells in anticancer immunity is widely accepted. The immunosuppressive functions of regulatory T cells are central for tumor progression and have been endowed with a robust predictive value. Increasing evidence indicates that also B cells have a crucial part in the regulation of T-cell responses against tumors. Although experiments reporting the production of natural antitumor antibodies and the induction of cytotoxic immune responses have revealed a tumor-protective function for B cells, other findings suggest that B cells may also exert tumor-promoting functions, resulting in a controversial picture. Here, we review recent evidence on the interactions between B and T cells in murine models and cancer patients and their implications for cancer immunology.
antitumor immunity; B cells; regulatory B cells; T cells; Tregs; tumor-specific immune responses
Carbonyl reductase 1 (CBR1) reduces various xenobiotic carbonyl substrates to corresponding alcohol metabolites. Here we demonstrated that benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), a potent pro-carcinogen and predominant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compound in cigarette smoke and air pollutants, upregulates CBR1 gene expression in vitro and in vivo, and that a proximal xenobiotic response elements (XRE) motif (−122XRE) mediates the induction effect of B[a]P. First, we observed 46% and 50% increases in CBR1 mRNA and CBR1 protein levels, respectively, in human lung tissue samples from smokers compared to never-smokers. Second, we detected 3.0-fold (p < 0.0001) induction of CBR1 mRNA and 1.5-fold (p < 0.01) induction of CBR1 protein levels in cells of the human lung cancer cell line A549 incubated with 2.5µM B[a]P for 24 hours. Third, results from experiments with CBR1 promoter constructs indicated that a proximal XRE motif (−122XRE) mediates induction of reporter activity in response to B[a]P. Furthermore, we detected enhanced nuclear translocation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) following B[a]P exposure in A549 cells. Finally, we demonstrated increased binding of specific protein complexes to −122XRE in nuclear extracts from B[a]P-treated cells and the presence of the AhR/Arnt complex in the specific nuclear protein−122XRE complexes.
Human Carbonyl Reductase 1 (CBR1); benzo[a]pyrene; cigarette smoke metabolism
Multidrug resistance protein 4 (MRP4) effluxes a wide variety of endogenous compounds, including cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and is exclusively expressed in vascular endothelial cells (ECs) of the retina. This study aimed to investigate the role of MRP4 in retinal vascular development.
The retinal vascular phenotype of Mrp4−/− mice was examined by whole-mount immunohistochemistry at P3, P6, and P14. The retinas from P6 pups that received an intraperitoneal injection of either solvent control or forskolin, an inducer of intracellular cAMP formation, at P4 and P5 were analyzed in terms of their vascular formation (vascular length, vascular branching, vascular density, and the number of tip cells), cell proliferation and apoptosis, and vessel stability.
The Mrp4−/− mice exhibited no overt abnormalities in the development of the retinal vasculature, but retinal vascular development in the Mrp4−/− mice was suppressed in response to forskolin administration. There was a significant decrease in the vascular length, vascular branching, and vascular density, and inhibited tip cell formation at the vascular front. The forskolin-treated Mrp4−/− mice showed an increased number of Ki67-positive and cleaved caspase 3–positive ECs, a significant decrease in the amount of pericyte coverage, and a reduced number of empty sleeves. In pups exposed to hyperoxia (75% oxygen) from P7 to P12, the Mrp4−/− mice showed a significant increase in the unvascularized retinal area.
Mrp4−/− mice exhibited suppressed retinal vascular development in response to forskolin treatment. Thus, Mrp4 might have protective roles in retinal vascular development by regulating the intracellular cAMP level.
The Mrp4−/− mice showed decreased retinal vascular density in response to forskolin treatment. Together with the increased apoptosis, decreased pericyte coverage, and enhanced vessel regression, Mrp4 might act protectively in retinal vascular development by regulating the intracellular cAMP level.
Fourth generation (4thG) immunoassay (IA) is becoming the standard HIV screening method but was not available when the Fiebig acute HIV infection (AHI) staging system was proposed. Here we evaluated AHI staging based on a 4thG IA (4thG staging).
Screening for AHI was performed in real-time by pooled nucleic acid testing (NAT, n=48,828 samples) and sequential enzyme immunoassay (EIA, n=3,939 samples) identifying 63 subjects with non-reactive 2nd generation EIA (Fiebig stages I (n=25), II (n=7), III (n=29), IV (n=2)). The majority of samples tested (n=53) were subtype CRF_01AE (77%). NAT+ subjects were re-staged into three 4thG stages: stage 1 (n=20; 4th gen EIA-, 3rd gen EIA-), stage 2 (n=12; 4th gen EIA+, 3rd gen EIA-), stage 3 (n=31; 4th gen EIA+, 3rd gen EIA+, Western blot-/indeterminate). 4thG staging distinguishes groups of AHI subjects by time since presumed HIV exposure, pattern of CD8+ T, B and natural killer cell absolute numbers, and HIV RNA and DNA levels. This staging system further stratified Fiebig I subjects: 18 subjects in 4thG stage 1 had lower HIV RNA and DNA levels than 7 subjects in 4thG stage 2.
Using 4th generation IA as part of AHI staging distinguishes groups of patients by time since exposure to HIV, lymphocyte numbers and HIV viral burden. It identifies two groups of Fiebig stage I subjects who display different levels of HIV RNA and DNA, which may have implication for HIV cure. 4th generation IA should be incorporated into AHI staging systems.
Acute HIV infection; Primary HIV infection; Fiebig stage; 4thG stage; Enzyme immunoassay; 4th generation EIA; 2nd generation EIA; Nucleic acid testing; Reservoir; Functional cure
With standard miniature swine donors, survivals of only 3 days have been achieved in primate liver-transplant recipients. The recent production of alpha1,3-galactosyl transferase knockout (GalT-KO) miniature swine has made it possible to evaluate xenotransplantation of pig organs in clinically relevant pig-to-non-human primate models in the absence of the effects of natural anti-Gal antibodies. We are reporting our results using GalT-KO liver grafts.
We performed GalT-KO liver transplants in baboons using an immunosuppressive regimen previously used by our group in xeno heart and kidney transplantation. Post-operative liver function was assessed by laboratory function tests, coagulation parameters and histology.
In two hepatectomized recipients of GalT-KO grafts, post-transplant liver function returned rapidly to normal. Over the first few days, the synthetic products of the donor swine graft appeared to replace those of the baboon. The first recipient survived for 6 days and showed no histopathological evidence of rejection at the time of death from uncontrolled bleeding, probably caused by transfusion-refractory thrombocytopenia. Amicar treatment of the second and third recipients led to maintenance of platelet counts of over 40 000 per μl throughout their 9- and 8-day survivals, which represents the longest reported survival of pig-to-primate liver transplants to date. Both of the last two animals nevertheless succumbed to bleeding and enterococcal infection, without evidence of rejection.
These observations suggest that thrombocytopenia after liver xenotransplantation may be overcome by Amicar therapy. The coagulopathy and sepsis that nevertheless occurred suggest that additional causes of coagulation disturbance must be addressed, along with better prevention of infection, to achieve long-term survival.
baboon; liver; swine; xenotransplantation
The Thai HIV phase III prime-boost trial (RV144) using ALVAC-HIV® (vCP1521) and AIDSVAX B/E® was, to our knowledge, the first to demonstrate acquisition efficacy. Vaccine-induced, cell-mediated immune responses were assessed. T cell epitope mapping studies using IFN-γ ELISPOT were performed on PBMC from HIV-1 uninfected vaccine (N=61) and placebo (N=10) recipients using HIV-1 Env peptides. Positive responses were measured in 25 (41%) vaccinees and were predominantly CD4+ T cell mediated. Responses were targeted within the HIV Env region, with 15/25 (60%) of vaccinees recognizing peptides derived from the V2 region of HIV-1 Env, which includes the α4β7 integrin binding site. Intracellular cytokine staining confirmed that Env responses predominated (19/30; 63% of vaccine recipients) and were mediated by polyfunctional effector memory CD4+ T cells, with the majority of responders producing both IL-2 and IFN-γ (12/19; 63%). HIV-Env Ab titers were higher in subjects with IL-2 compared to those without IL-2 secreting HIV-Env specific effector memory T cells. Proliferation assays revealed that HIV Ag-specific T cells were CD4+ with the majority (80%) expressing CD107a. HIV-specific T cell lines obtained from vaccine recipients confirmed V2 specificity, polyfunctionality and functional cytolytic capacity. While the RV144 T cell responses were modest in frequency compared to humoral immune responses, the CD4+ T cell response was directed to HIV-1 Env and more particularly the V2 region.
Human; Vaccination; Viral; AIDS; HIV-1; T cells
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play an important role in controlling antitumor T-cell responses and hence represent a considerable obstacle for cancer immunotherapy. The abundance of specific Treg populations in cancer patients has been poorly analyzed so far. Here, we demonstrate that in breast cancer patients, Tregs often control spontaneous effector memory T-cell responses against mammaglobin, a common breast tissue-associated antigen that is overexpressed by breast carcinoma. Using functional assays, we identified a HLA-DRB1*04:01- and HLA-DRB1*07:01-restricted epitope of mammaglobin (mam34–48) that was frequently recognized by Tregs isolated from breast cancer patients. Using mam34–48-labeled HLA Class II tetramers, we quantified mammaglobin-specific Tregs and CD4+ conventional T (Tcon) cells in breast carcinoma patients as well as in healthy individuals. Both mammaglobin-specific Tregs and Tcon cells were expanded in breast cancer patients, each constituting approximately 0.2% of their respective cell subpopulations. Conversely, mammaglobin-specific Tregs and CD4+ Tcon cells were rare in healthy individuals (0.07%). Thus, we provide here for the first time evidence supporting the expansion of breast tissue-specific Tregs and CD4+ Tcon cells in breast cancer patients. In addition, we substantiate the potential implications of breast tissue-specific Tregs in the suppression of antitumor immune responses in breast cancer patients. The HLA Class II tetramers used in this study may constitute a valuable tool to elucidate the role of antigen-specific Tregs in breast cancer immunity and to monitor breast cancer-specific CD4+ T cells.
breast cancer; mammaglobin; HLA Class II; multimer; regulatory T cells; suppression; tetramer; Tregs; tumor-specific T cells
The multidrug resistance protein 4 (Mrp4) is an ATP-binding cassette transporter that is capable of exporting the second messenger cAMP from cells, a process that might regulate cAMP-mediated anti-inflammatory processes. However, using LPS- or cigarette smoke (CS)-inflammation models, we found that neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were similar in Mrp4−/− and Mrp4+/+ mice treated with LPS or CS. Similarly, neutrophil numbers were not reduced in the BALF of LPS-challenged wt mice after treatment with 10 or 30 mg/kg of the Mrp1/4 inhibitor MK571. The absence of Mrp4 also had no impact on the influx of eosinophils or IL-4 and IL-5 levels in the BALF after OVA airway challenge in mice sensitized with OVA/alum. LPS-induced cytokine release in whole blood ex vivo was also not affected by the absence of Mrp4. These data clearly suggest that Mrp4 deficiency alone is not sufficient to reduce inflammatory processes in vivo. We hypothesized that in combination with PDE4 inhibitors, used at suboptimal concentrations, the anti-inflammatory effect would be more pronounced. However, LPS-induced neutrophil recruitment into the lung was no different between Mrp4−/− and Mrp4+/+ mice treated with 3 mg/kg Roflumilast. Finally, the single and combined administration of 10 and 30 mg/kg MK571 and the specific breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) inhibitor KO143 showed no reduction of LPS-induced TNFα release into the BALF compared to vehicle treated control animals. Similarly, LPS-induced TNFα release in murine whole blood of Mrp4+/+ or Mrp4−/− mice was not reduced by KO143 (1, 10 µM). Thus, BCRP seems not to be able to compensate for the absence or inhibition of Mrp4 in the used models. Taken together, our data suggest that Mrp4 is not essential for the recruitment of neutrophils into the lung after LPS or CS exposure or of eosinophils after allergen exposure.
ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters confer drug resistance against a wide range of chemotherapeutic agents, including nucleoside and nucleotide based drugs. While nucleoside based drugs have been used for many years in the treatment of solid and hematological malignancies as well as viral and autoimmune diseases, the potential contribution of ABC transporters has only recently been recognized. This neglect is likely because activation of nucleoside derivatives require an initial carrier-mediated uptake step followed by phosphorylation by nucleoside kinases, and defects in uptake or kinase activation were considered the primary mechanisms of nucleoside drug resistance. However, recent studies demonstrate that members of the ABCC transporter subfamily reduce the intracellular concentration of monophosphorylated nucleoside drugs. In addition to the ABCC subfamily members, ABCG2 has been shown to transport nucleoside drugs and nucleoside-monophosphate derivatives of clinically relevant nucleoside drugs such as cytarabine, cladribine, and clofarabine to name a few. This review will discuss ABC transporters and how they interact with other processes affecting the efficacy of nucleoside based drugs.
ABC transporter; nucleoside drug; drug resistance; nucleoside kinase; cancer
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common infectious diseases and drivers of antibiotic use and in-hospital days. A reduction of antibiotic use potentially lowers the risk of antibiotic resistance. An early and adequate risk assessment combining medical, biopsychosocial and functional risk scores has the potential to optimize site-of-care decisions and thus allocation of limited health-care resources. The aim of this factorial design study is twofold: first, for Intervention A, it investigates antibiotic exposure of patients treated with a protocol based on the type of UTI, procalcitonin (PCT) and pyuria. Second, for Intervention B, it investigates the usefulness of the prognostic biomarker proadrenomedullin (ProADM) integrated into an interdisciplinary assessment bundle for site-of-care decisions.
Methods and design
This randomized controlled open-label trial has a factorial design (2 × 2). Randomization of patients will be based on a pre-specified computer-generated randomization list and independent for the two interventions. Adults with UTI presenting to the emergency department (ED) will be screened and enrolled after providing informed consent.
For our first Intervention (A), we developed a protocol based on previous observational research to recommend initiation and duration of antibiotic use based on the clinical presentation of UTI, pyuria and PCT levels. For our second intervention (B), an algorithm was developed to support site-of care decisions based on the prognostic marker ProADM and distinct nursing factors on days 1 and 3. Both interventions will be compared with a control group conforming to the guidelines.
The primary endpoints for the two interventions will be: (A) overall exposure to antibiotics and (B) length of physician-led hospitalization within a follow-up of 30 days. Endpoints are assessed at discharge from hospital, and 30 and 90 days after admission. We plan to screen 300 patients and enroll 250 for an anticipated estimated loss of follow-up of 20%. This will provide adequate power for the two interventions.
This trial investigates two strategies for improved individualized medical care in patients with UTI. The minimally effective duration of antibiotic therapy is not known for UTIs, which is important for reducing the selection pressure for antibiotic resistance, costs and drug-related side effects. Triage decisions must be improved to reflect the true medical, biopsychosocial and functional risks in order to allocate patients to the most appropriate care setting and reduce hospital-acquired disability.
Trial registration number: