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1.  Bifunctional Lipocalin Ameliorates Murine Immune Complex-induced Acute Lung Injury 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2013;288(26):18789-18802.
Background: OmCI is an ectoparasite-derived anti-inflammatory protein that binds LTB4 and prevents complement C5 activation.
Results: The C5 and LTB4 binding activities of OmCI are functionally and structurally independent, and OmCI potently inhibits immune complex-induced acute lung injury (IC-ALI).
Conclusion: LTB4 and C5 activation by complement contribute equally to the pathology of IC-ALI.
Significance: Dual inhibition of these mediators should be considered for treatment of IC-dependent diseases.
Molecules that simultaneously inhibit independent or co-dependent proinflammatory pathways may have advantages over conventional monotherapeutics. OmCI is a bifunctional protein derived from blood-feeding ticks that specifically prevents complement (C)-mediated C5 activation and also sequesters leukotriene B4 (LTB4) within an internal binding pocket. Here, we examined the effect of LTB4 binding on OmCI structure and function and investigated the relative importance of C-mediated C5 activation and LTB4 in a mouse model of immune complex-induced acute lung injury (IC-ALI). We describe two crystal structures of bacterially expressed OmCI: one binding a C16 fatty acid and the other binding LTB4 (C20). We show that the C5 and LTB4 binding activities of the molecule are independent of each other and that OmCI is a potent inhibitor of experimental IC-ALI, equally dependent on both C5 inhibition and LTB4 binding for full activity. The data highlight the importance of LTB4 in IC-ALI and activation of C5 by the complement pathway C5 convertase rather than by non-C proteases. The findings suggest that dual inhibition of C5 and LTB4 may be useful for treatment of human immune complex-dependent diseases.
doi:10.1074/jbc.M112.420331
PMCID: PMC3696655  PMID: 23625922
Complement; Immunotherapy; Inflammation; Leukotriene; Lung Injury; Parasite; Acute Lung Injury; Immune Complex
2.  Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin Enhances Th2/Th22 and Reduces IL-17A in Protease-Allergen-Induced Airways Inflammation 
ISRN Allergy  2013;2013:971036.
Background. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is induced in allergic skin and lung inflammation in man and mice. Methods. Allergic lung inflammation induced by two proteases allergens HDM and papain and a classical allergen ovalbumin was evaluated in vivo in mice deficient for TSLPR. Eosinophil recruitment, Th2 and Th17 cytokine and chemokine levels were determined in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, lung homogenates and lung mononuclear cells ex vivo. Results. Here we report that mice challenged with house dust mite extract or papain in the absence of TSLPR have a drastic reduction of allergic inflammation with diminished eosinophil recruitment in BAL and lung and reduced mucus overproduction. TSLPR deficient DCs displayed diminished OVA antigen uptake and reduced capacity to activate antigen specific T cells. TSLPR deficient mice had diminished proinflammatory IL-1β, IL-13, and IL-33 chemokines production, while IL-17A, IL-12p40 and IL-10 were increased. Together with impaired Th2 cytokines, IL-17A expressing TCRβ+ T cells were increased, while IL-22 expressing CD4+ T cells were diminished in the lung. Conclusion. Therefore, TSLPR signaling is required for the development of both Th2 and Th22 responses and may restrain IL-17A. TSLP may mediate its effects in part by increasing allergen uptake and processing by DCs resulting in an exacerbated asthma.
doi:10.1155/2013/971036
PMCID: PMC3658395  PMID: 23738146
3.  Adoptive Transfer of Induced-Treg Cells Effectively Attenuates Murine Airway Allergic Inflammation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40314.
Both nature and induced regulatory T (Treg) lymphocytes are potent regulators of autoimmune and allergic disorders. Defects in endogenous Treg cells have been reported in patients with allergic asthma, suggesting that disrupted Treg cell-mediated immunological regulation may play an important role in airway allergic inflammation. In order to determine whether adoptive transfer of induced Treg cells generated in vitro can be used as an effective therapeutic approach to suppress airway allergic inflammation, exogenously induced Treg cells were infused into ovalbumin-sensitized mice prior to or during intranasal ovalbumin challenge. The results showed that adoptive transfer of induced Treg cells prior to allergen challenge markedly reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophil recruitment, mucus hyper-production, airway remodeling, and IgE levels. This effect was associated with increase of Treg cells (CD4+FoxP3+) and decrease of dendritic cells in the draining lymph nodes, and with reduction of Th1, Th2, and Th17 cell response as compared to the controls. Moreover, adoptive transfer of induced Treg cells during allergen challenge also effectively attenuate airway inflammation and improve airway function, which are comparable to those by natural Treg cell infusion. Therefore, adoptive transfer of in vitro induced Treg cells may be a promising therapeutic approach to prevent and treat severe asthma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040314
PMCID: PMC3392250  PMID: 22792275
4.  Both Functional LTβ Receptor and TNF Receptor 2 Are Required for the Development of Experimental Cerebral Malaria 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(7):e2608.
Background
TNF-related lymphotoxin α (LTα) is essential for the development of Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA)-induced experimental cerebral malaria (ECM). The pathway involved has been attributed to TNFR2. Here we show a second arm of LTα-signaling essential for ECM development through LTβ-R, receptor of LTα1β2 heterotrimer.
Methodology/Principal Findings
LTβR deficient mice did not develop the neurological signs seen in PbA induced ECM but died at three weeks with high parasitaemia and severe anemia like LTαβ deficient mice. Resistance of LTαβ or LTβR deficient mice correlated with unaltered cerebral microcirculation and absence of ischemia, as documented by magnetic resonance imaging and angiography, associated with lack of microvascular obstruction, while wild-type mice developed distinct microvascular pathology. Recruitment and activation of perforin+ CD8+ T cells, and their ICAM-1 expression were clearly attenuated in the brain of resistant mice. An essential contribution of LIGHT, another LTβR ligand, could be excluded, as LIGHT deficient mice rapidly succumbed to ECM.
Conclusions/Significance
LTβR expressed on radioresistant resident stromal, probably endothelial cells, rather than hematopoietic cells, are essential for the development of ECM, as assessed by hematopoietic reconstitution experiment. Therefore, the data suggest that both functional LTβR and TNFR2 signaling are required and non-redundant for the development of microvascular pathology resulting in fatal ECM.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002608
PMCID: PMC2442868  PMID: 18612394
5.  Interleukin-17 is a negative regulator of established allergic asthma 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2006;203(12):2715-2725.
T helper (Th)17 cells producing interleukin (IL)-17 play a role in autoimmune and allergic inflammation. Here, we show that IL-23 induces IL-17 in the lung and IL-17 is required during antigen sensitization to develop allergic asthma, as shown in IL-17R–deficient mice. Since IL-17 expression increased further upon antigen challenge, we addressed its function in the effector phase. Most strikingly, neutralization of IL-17 augmented the allergic response in sensitized mice. Conversely, exogenous IL-17 reduced pulmonary eosinophil recruitment and bronchial hyperreactivity, demonstrating a novel regulatory role of IL-17. Mechanistically, IL-17 down modulated eosinophil-chemokine eotaxin (CCL11) and thymus- and activation-regulated chemokine/CCL17 (TARC) in lungs in vivo and ex vivo upon antigen restimulation. In vitro, IL-17 reduced TARC production in dendritic cells (DCs)—the major source of TARC—and antigen uptake by DCs and IL-5 and IL-13 production in regional lymph nodes. Furthermore, IL-17 is regulated in an IL-4–dependent manner since mice deficient for IL-4Rα signaling showed a marked increase in IL-17 concentration with inhibited eosinophil recruitment. Therefore, endogenous IL-17 is controlled by IL-4 and has a dual role. Although it is essential during antigen sensitization to establish allergic asthma, in sensitized mice IL-17 attenuates the allergic response by inhibiting DCs and chemokine synthesis.
doi:10.1084/jem.20061401
PMCID: PMC2118159  PMID: 17101734

Results 1-5 (5)