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1.  Transplantation Tolerance Induced in Humans at the Fetal or the Neonatal Stage 
Journal of Transplantation  2011;2011:760319.
Patients transplanted with HLA-mismatched stem cells from fetal livers develop transplantation tolerance to donor antigens. Engraftment needs no conditioning regimen prior to transplantation in neonates with severe combined immunodeficiency disease or in human fetal patients having not yet developed any immune maturity, especially T-cell differentiation. The chimeric patients have donor-derived T lymphocytes which progressively demonstrate positive interactions with other host cells. They also can be shown to be tolerant toward both host and donor antigens. The latter tolerance relies upon clonal deletion from the T-cell repertoire, and it results from the contact between thymocytes of donor origin and dendritic cells or macrophages also deriving from donor stem cells. The former tolerance does not imply clonal deletion of T-cells with host reactivity. Numerous T-cells recognizing the allogeneic, host-type antigens are identified in these patients, but these cells are anergized, following interaction with epithelial cells of the host thymus. Induction of transplantation tolerance at the fetal stage requires minimal engraftment only; in the future it will be possible to further amplify the clinical benefit, using additional cell transplants after birth.
PMCID: PMC3159006  PMID: 21876781
2.  Human Endogenous Retrovirus Protein Activates Innate Immunity and Promotes Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e80128.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex multifactorial disease of the central nervous system (CNS) for which animal models have mainly addressed downstream immunopathology but not potential inducers of autoimmunity. In the absence of a pathogen known to cause neuroinflammation in MS, Mycobacterial lysate is commonly used in the form of complete Freund's adjuvant to induce autoimmunity to myelin proteins in Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for MS. The present study demonstrates that a protein from the human endogenous retrovirus HERV-W family (MSRV-Env) can be used instead of mycobacterial lysate to induce autoimmunity and EAE in mice injected with MOG, with typical anti-myelin response and CNS lesions normally seen in this model. MSRV-Env was shown to induce proinflammatory response in human macrophage cells through TLR4 activation pathway. The present results demonstrate a similar activation of murine dendritic cells and show the ability of MSRV-Env to trigger EAE in mice. In previous studies, MSRV-Env protein was reproducibly detected in MS brain lesions within microglia and perivascular macrophages. The present results are therefore likely to provide a model for MS, in which the upstream adjuvant triggering neuroinflammation is the one detected in MS active lesions. This model now allows pre-clinical studies with therapeutic agents targeting this endogenous retroviral protein in MS.
PMCID: PMC3855614  PMID: 24324591
3.  Telmisartan inhibits human urological cancer cell growth through early apoptosis 
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are widely used as hypertensive therapeutic agents. In addition, studies have provided evidence that ARBs have the potential to inhibit the growth of several types of cancer cells. It was reported that telmisartan (a type of ARB) has peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ activation activity. We previously reported that the PPAR-γ ligand induces growth arrest in human urological cancer cells through apoptosis. In this study, we evaluated the effects of telmisartan and other ARBs on cell proliferation in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), bladder cancer (BC), prostate cancer (PC) and testicular cancer (TC) cell lines. The inhibitory effects of telmisartan and other ARBs (candesartan, valsartan, irbesartan and losartan) on the growth of the RCC, BC, PC and TC cell lines was investigated using an MTT assay. Flow cytometry and Hoechst staining were used to determine whether the ARBs induced apoptosis. Telmisartan caused marked growth inhibition in the urological cancer cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Urological cancer cells treated with 100 μM telmisartan underwent early apoptosis and DNA fragmentation. However, the other ARBs had no effect on cell proliferation in any of the urological cancer cell lines. Telmisartan may mediate potent anti-proliferative effects in urological cancer cells through PPAR-γ. Thus, telmisartan is a potent target for the prevention and treatment of human urological cancer.
PMCID: PMC3445905  PMID: 22993542
telmisartan; angiotensin II receptor blocker; urological cancer; apoptosis
4.  Different mechanisms are involved in apoptosis induced by melanoma gangliosides on human monocyte-derived dendritic cells 
Glycobiology  2009;19(6):576-582.
Tumor escape is linked to multiple mechanisms, notably the liberation, by tumor cells, of soluble factors that inhibit the function of dendritic cells (DC). We have shown that melanoma gangliosides impair DC differentiation and induce their apoptosis. The present study was aimed to give insight into the mechanisms involved. DC apoptosis was independent of the catabolism of gangliosides since lactosylceramide did not induce cell death. Apoptosis induced by GM3 and GD3 gangliosides was not blocked by inhibitors of de novo ceramide biosynthesis, whereas the acid sphingomyelinase inhibitor desipramine only prevented apoptosis induced by GM3. Furthermore, our results suggest that DC apoptosis was triggered via caspase activation, and it was ROS dependent with GD3 ganglioside, suggesting that GM3 and GD3 induced apoptosis through different mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2682607  PMID: 19240275
acid sphingomyelinase; apoptosis; ceramides; dendritic cells; gangliosides; melanoma
5.  Molecular Evidence of Interhuman Transmission of Pneumocystis Pneumonia among Renal Transplant Recipients Hospitalized with HIV-Infected Patients 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2004;10(10):1766-1773.
Molecular evidence indicates that P. jirovecii may be nosocomially transmitted to severely immunosuppressed patients.
Ten Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) cases were diagnosed in renal transplant recipients (RTRs) during a 3-year period. Nosocomial transmission from HIV-positive patients with PCP was suspected because these patients shared the same hospital building, were not isolated, and were receiving suboptimal anti-PCP prophylaxis or none. P. jirovecii organisms were typed with the multitarget polymerase chain reaction–single-strand conformation polymorphism method. Among the 45 patients with PCP hospitalized during the 3-year period, 8 RTRs and 6 HIV-infected patients may have encountered at least 1 patient with active PCP within the 3 months before the diagnosis of their own PCP episode. In six instances (five RTRs, one HIV-infected patient), the patients harbored the same P. jirovecii molecular type as that found in the encountered PCP patients. The data suggest that part of the PCP cases observed in this building, particularly those observed in RTRs, were related to nosocomial interhuman transmission.
PMCID: PMC3323259  PMID: 15504262
Epidemiology; Pneumocystis carinii; Pneumocystis jirovecii; interhuman transmission; cluster analysis; sulfa drug resistance; dihydropteroate synthase; single-strand conformation polymorphism; PCP; research

Results 1-5 (5)