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1.  Indigenous enteric eosinophils control DCs to initiate a primary Th2 immune response in vivo 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(8):1657-1672.
Eosinophil degranulation of peroxidase promotes DC activation and mobilization from the intestine to LNs to induce Th2 immunity and food allergy.
Eosinophils natively inhabit the small intestine, but a functional role for them there has remained elusive. Here, we show that eosinophil-deficient mice were protected from induction of Th2-mediated peanut food allergy and anaphylaxis, and Th2 priming was restored by reconstitution with il4+/+ or il4−/− eosinophils. Eosinophils controlled CD103+ dendritic cell (DC) activation and migration from the intestine to draining lymph nodes, events necessary for Th2 priming. Eosinophil activation in vitro and in vivo led to degranulation of eosinophil peroxidase, a granule protein whose enzymatic activity promoted DC activation in mice and humans in vitro, and intestinal and extraintestinal mouse DC activation and mobilization to lymph nodes in vivo. Further, eosinophil peroxidase enhanced responses to ovalbumin seen after immunization. Thus, eosinophils can be critical contributors to the intestinal immune system, and granule-mediated shaping of DC responses can promote both intestinal and extraintestinal adaptive immunity.
PMCID: PMC4113937  PMID: 25071163
2.  Combined vaccination and immunostimulatory antibodies provides durable cure of murine melanoma and induces transcriptional changes associated with positive outcome in human melanoma patients 
Oncoimmunology  2012;1(4):419-431.
We have developed a recombinant adenovirus vaccine encoding dopachrome tautomerase (rHuAd5-hDCT) that produces robust DCT-specific immunity, but only provides modest suppression of murine melanoma. In the current study, an agonist antibody against 4-1BB was shown to enhance rHuAd5-hDCT efficacy and evoke tumor regression, but most tumors ultimately relapsed. The vaccine triggered upregulation of the immune inhibitory PD-1 signaling pathway and PD-1 blockade dramatically enhanced the rHuAd5-hDCT + anti-4-1BB strategy, resulting in complete regression of growing tumors in > 70% of recipients. The impact of the combined anti-4-1BB/anti-PD-1 treatment did not manifest as a dramatic enhancement in either the magnitude or functionality of DCT-specific tumor infiltrating lymphocytes relative to either treatment alone. Rather, a synergistic enhancement in intratumoral cytokine expression was observed, suggesting that the benefit of the combined therapy was a local event within the tumor. Global transcriptional analysis revealed immunological changes within the tumor following the curative vaccination, which extended beyond the T cell compartment. We identified an immune signature of 85 genes associated with clearance of murine melanoma that correlated with improved survival outcome in two independent cohorts of human melanoma patients. Our data reinforce the concept that successful vaccination must overcome local hurdles in the tumor microenvironment that are not manifest within the periphery. Further, tumor rejection following vaccination involves more than simply T cells. Finally, the association of our immune signature with positive survival outcome in human melanoma patients suggests that similar vaccination strategies may be promising for melanoma treatment.
PMCID: PMC3382903  PMID: 22754760
4-1BB; PD-1; T lymphocyte; gene profiling; immune suppression; vaccine
3.  IL-1α/IL-1R1 Expression in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Mechanistic Relevance to Smoke-Induced Neutrophilia in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28457.
Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite this, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to COPD pathogenesis are still poorly understood.
Methodology and Principal Findings
The objective of this study was to assess IL-1 α and β expression in COPD patients and to investigate their respective roles in perpetuating cigarette smoke-induced inflammation. Functional studies were pursued in smoke-exposed mice using gene-deficient animals, as well as blocking antibodies for IL-1α and β. Here, we demonstrate an underappreciated role for IL-1α expression in COPD. While a strong correlation existed between IL-1α and β levels in patients during stable disease and periods of exacerbation, neutrophilic inflammation was shown to be IL-1α-dependent, and IL-1β- and caspase-1-independent in a murine model of cigarette smoke exposure. As IL-1α was predominantly expressed by hematopoietic cells in COPD patients and in mice exposed to cigarette smoke, studies pursued in bone marrow chimeric mice demonstrated that the crosstalk between IL-1α+ hematopoietic cells and the IL-1R1+ epithelial cells regulates smoke-induced inflammation. IL-1α/IL-1R1-dependent activation of the airway epithelium also led to exacerbated inflammatory responses in H1N1 influenza virus infected smoke-exposed mice, a previously reported model of COPD exacerbation.
Conclusions and Significance
This study provides compelling evidence that IL-1α is central to the initiation of smoke-induced neutrophilic inflammation and suggests that IL-1α/IL-1R1 targeted therapies may be relevant for limiting inflammation and exacerbations in COPD.
PMCID: PMC3232226  PMID: 22163019
4.  Efficacy of Daptomycin against Bacillus anthracis in a Murine Model of Anthrax Spore Inhalation▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(10):4471-4473.
Daptomycin demonstrated in vitro (MIC90, 4 μg/ml) and in vivo activities against Bacillus anthracis. Twice-daily treatment with a dose of 50 mg/kg of body weight was begun 24 h after challenge and continued for 14 or 21 days; results were compared to those for controls treated with phosphate-buffered saline or ciprofloxacin. Day 43 survival rates were 6/10 mice for the 14-day and 9/10 mice for the 21-day treatment groups, compared to survival with ciprofloxacin: 8/10 and 9/10 mice, respectively. Culture results from tissues removed at the termination of the experiment were negative.
PMCID: PMC2944578  PMID: 20643899
5.  Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Assessment of Faropenem in a Lethal Murine Bacillus anthracis Inhalation Postexposure Prophylaxis Model ▿  
There are few options for prophylaxis after exposure to Bacillus anthracis, especially in children and women of childbearing potential. Faropenem is a β-lactam in the penem subclass that is being developed as an oral prodrug, faropenem medoxomil, for the treatment of respiratory tract infections. Faropenem was shown to have in vitro activity against B. anthracis strains that variably express the bla1 β-lactamase (MIC range, ≤0.06 to 1 μg/ml). In this study we evaluated the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) relationships between the plasma faropenem free-drug (f) concentrations and efficacy against B. anthracis in a murine postexposure prophylaxis inhalation model. The plasma PKs and PKs-PDs of faropenem were evaluated in BALB/c mice following the intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of doses ranging from 2.5 to 160 mg/kg of body weight. For the evaluation of efficacy, mice received by inhalation aerosol doses of B. anthracis (Ames strain; faropenem MIC, 0.06 μg/ml) at 100 times the 50% lethal dose. The faropenem dosing regimens (10, 20, 40, and 80 mg/kg/day) were administered i.p. at 24 h postchallenge at 4-, 6-, and 12-h intervals for 14 days. The sigmoid maximum-threshold-of-efficacy (Emax) model fit the survival data, in which the free-drug area under the concentration-time curve (fAUC)/MIC ratio, the maximum concentration of free drug in plasma (fCmax)/MIC ratio, and the cumulative percentage of a 24-h period that the free-drug concentration exceeds the MIC under steady-state pharmacokinetic conditions (f %TMIC) were each evaluated. Assessment of f %TMIC demonstrated the strongest correlation with survival (R2 = 0.967) compared to the correlations achieved by assessment of fAUC/MIC or fCmax/MIC, for which minimal correlations were observed. The 50% effective dose (ED50), ED90, and ED99 corresponded to f %TMIC values of 10.6, 13.4, and 16.4%, respectively, and Emax was 89.3%. Overall, faropenem demonstrated a high level of activity against B. anthracis in the murine postexposure prophylaxis inhalation model.
PMCID: PMC2863661  PMID: 20145081
6.  Activity of Dalbavancin against Bacillus anthracis In Vitro and in a Mouse Inhalation Anthrax Model▿  
Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, can produce fatal disease when it is inhaled or ingested by humans. Dalbavancin, a novel, semisynthetic lipoglycopeptide, has potent activity, greater than that of vancomycin, against Gram-positive bacteria and a half-life in humans that supports once-weekly dosing. Dalbavancin demonstrated potent in vitro activity against B. anthracis (MIC range, ≤0.03 to 0.5 mg/liter; MIC50 and MIC90, 0.06 and 0.25 mg/liter, respectively), which led us to test its efficacy in a murine inhalation anthrax model. The peak concentrations of dalbavancin in mouse plasma after the administration of single intraperitoneal doses of 5 and 20 mg/kg of body weight were 15 and 71 mg/kg, respectively. At 20 mg/kg, the dalbavancin activity was detectable for 6 days after administration (terminal half-life, 53 h), indicating that long intervals between doses were feasible. The mice were challenged with 50 to 100 times the median lethal dose of the Ames strain of B. anthracis, an inoculum that kills untreated animals within 4 days. The efficacy of dalbavancin was 80 to 100%, as determined by the rate of survival at 42 days, when treatment was initiated 24 h postchallenge with regimens of 15 to 120 mg/kg every 36 h (q36h) or 30 to 240 mg/kg every 72 h (q72h). A regimen of ciprofloxacin known to protect 100% of animals was tested in parallel. Delayed dalbavancin treatment (beginning 36 or 48 h postchallenge) with 60 mg/kg q36h or 120 mg/kg q72h still provided 70 to 100% survival. The low MICs and long duration of efficacy in vivo suggest that dalbavancin may have potential as an alternative treatment or for the prophylaxis of B. anthracis infections.
PMCID: PMC2826002  PMID: 20047912
7.  Persistence of Transgene Expression Influences CD8+ T-Cell Expansion and Maintenance following Immunization with Recombinant Adenovirus▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(23):12027-12036.
Previous studies determined that the CD8+ T-cell response elicited by recombinant adenovirus exhibited a protracted contraction phase that was associated with long-term presentation of antigen. To gain further insight into this process, a doxycycline-regulated adenovirus was constructed to enable controlled extinction of transgene expression in vivo. We investigated the impact of premature termination of transgene expression at various time points (day 3 to day 60) following immunization. When transgene expression was terminated before the maximum response had been attained, overall expansion was attenuated, yielding a small memory population. When transgene expression was terminated between day 13 and day 30, the memory population was not sustained, demonstrating that the early memory population was antigen dependent. Extinction of transgene expression at day 60 had no obvious impact on memory maintenance, indicating that maintenance of the memory population may ultimately become independent of transgene expression. Premature termination of antigen expression had significant but modest effects on the phenotype and cytokine profile of the memory population. These results offer new insights into the mechanisms of memory CD8+ T-cell maintenance following immunization with a recombinant adenovirus.
PMCID: PMC2786755  PMID: 19759135
8.  Determination of Antibiotic Efficacy against Bacillus anthracis in a Mouse Aerosol Challenge Model▿  
An anthrax spore aerosol infection mouse model was developed as a first test of in vivo efficacy of antibiotics identified as active against Bacillus anthracis. Whole-body, 50% lethal dose (LD50) aerosol challenge doses in a range of 1.9 × 103 to 3.4 × 104 CFU with spores of the fully virulent Ames strain were established for three inbred and one outbred mouse strain (A/J, BALB/c, C57BL, and Swiss Webster). The BALB/c strain was further developed as a model for antibiotic efficacy. Time course microbiological examinations of tissue burdens in mice after challenge showed that spores could remain dormant in the lungs while vegetative cells disseminated to the mediastinal lymph nodes and then to the spleen, accompanied by bacteremia. For antibiotic efficacy studies, BALB/c mice were challenged with 50 to 100 LD50 of spores followed by intraperitoneal injection of either ciprofloxacin at 30 mg/kg of body weight (every 12 h [q12h]) or doxycycline at 40 mg/kg (q6h). A control group was treated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) q6h. Treatment was begun 24 h after challenge with groups of 10 mice for 14 or 21 days. The PBS-treated control mice all succumbed (10/10) to inhalation anthrax infection within 72 h. Sixty-day survival rates for ciprofloxacin and doxycycline-treated groups were 8/10 and 9/10, respectively, for 14-day treatment and 10/10 and 7/10 for 21-day treatment. Delayed treatment with ciprofloxacin initiated 36 and 48 h postexposure resulted in 80% survival and was statistically no different than early (24 h) postexposure treatment. Results using this mouse model correlate closely with clinical observations of inhalational anthrax in humans and with earlier antibiotic studies in the nonhuman primate inhalational anthrax model.
PMCID: PMC1855446  PMID: 17296745
9.  Transcript Analysis of Genes Encoding a Family 61 Endoglucanase and a Putative Membrane-Anchored Family 9 Glycosyl Hydrolase from Phanerochaete chrysosporium 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2002;68(11):5765-5768.
Phanerochaete chrysosporium cellulase genes were cloned and characterized. The cel61A product was structurally similar to fungal endoglucanases of glycoside hydrolase family 61, whereas the cel9A product revealed similarities to Thermobifida fusca Cel9A (E4), an enzyme with both endo- and exocellulase characteristics. The fungal Cel9A is apparently a membrane-bound protein, which is very unusual for microbial cellulases. Transcript levels of both genes were substantially higher in cellulose-grown cultures than in glucose-grown cultures. These results show that P. chrysosporium possesses a wide array of conventional and unconventional cellulase genes.
PMCID: PMC129927  PMID: 12406778

Results 1-9 (9)