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1.  Neuropilin-1 distinguishes natural and inducible regulatory T cells among regulatory T cell subsets in vivo 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2012;209(10):1713-1722.
Neuropilin-1 is identified as a surface marker to distinguish different Foxp3+ T reg cell subsets under homeostatic conditions.
Foxp3+ CD4+ T helper cells called regulatory T (T reg) cells play a key role in controlling reactivity to self-antigens and onset of autoimmunity. T reg cells either arise in thymus and are called natural T reg (nT reg) cells or are generated in the periphery through induction of Foxp3 and are called inducible T reg (iT reg) cells. The relative contributions of iT reg cells and nT reg cells in peripheral tolerance remain unclear as a result of an inability to separate these two subsets of T reg cells. Using a combination of novel TCR transgenic mice with a defined self-antigen specificity and conventional mouse models, we demonstrate that a cell surface molecule, neuropilin-1 (Nrp-1), is expressed at high levels on nT reg cells and can be used to separate nT reg versus iT reg cells in certain physiological settings. In addition, iT reg cells generated through antigen delivery or converted under homeostatic conditions lack Nrp-1 expression. Nrp-1lo iT reg cells show similar suppressive activity to nT reg cells in controlling ongoing autoimmune responses under homeostatic conditions. In contrast, their activity might be compromised in certain lymphopenic settings. Collectively, our data show that Nrp-1 provides an excellent marker to distinguish distinct T reg subsets and will be useful in studying the role of nT reg versus iT reg cells in different disease settings.
doi:10.1084/jem.20120822
PMCID: PMC3457729  PMID: 22966003
2.  Clinical Genomicist Workstation 
The use of NextGen Sequencing clinically necessitates the need for informatics tools that support the complete workflow from sample accessioning to data analysis and reporting. To address this need we have developed Clinical Genomicist Workstation (CGW). CGW is a secure, n-tiered application where web browser submits requests to application servers that persist the data in a relational database. CGW is used by Washington University Genomic and Pathology Services for clinical genomic testing of many cancers. CGW has been used to accession, analyze and sign out over 409 cases since November, 2011. There are 22 ordering oncologists and 7 clinical genomicists that use the CGW. In summary, CGW a ‘soup-to-nuts’ solution to track, analyze, interpret, and report clinical genomic diagnostic tests.
PMCID: PMC3814481  PMID: 24303327
3.  Genomic homeostasis is dysregulated in favour of apoptosis in the colonic epithelium of the azoxymethane treated rat 
BMC Physiology  2013;13:2.
Background
The acute response to genotoxic carcinogens in rats is an important model for researching cancer initiation events. In this report we define the normal rat colonic epithelium by describing transcriptional events along the anterior-posterior axis and then investigate the acute effects of azoxymethane (AOM) on gene expression, with a particular emphasis on pathways associated with the maintenance of genomic integrity in the proximal and distal compartments using whole genome expression microarrays.
Results
There are large transcriptional changes that occur in epithelial gene expression along the anterior-posterior axis of the normal healthy rat colon. AOM administration superimposes substantial changes on these basal gene expression patterns in both the distal and proximal rat colonic epithelium. In particular, the pathways associated with cell cycle and DNA damage and repair processes appear to be disrupted in favour of apoptosis.
Conclusions
The healthy rats’ colon exhibits extensive gene expression changes between its proximal and distal ends. The most common changes are associated with metabolism, but more subtle expression changes in genes involved in genomic homeostasis are also evident. These latter changes presumably protect and maintain a healthy colonic epithelium against incidental dietary and environmental insults. AOM induces substantial changes in gene expression, resulting in an early switch in the cell cycle process, involving p53 signalling, towards cell cycle arrest leading to the more effective process of apoptosis to counteract this genotoxic insult.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-13-2
PMCID: PMC3561103  PMID: 23343511
Colorectal cancer; Azoxymethane; Rats; Gene expression
4.  Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics: Viewpoints on the Current Status and Applications in Nutrition Research and Practice 
Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics hold much promise for providing better nutritional advice to the public generally, genetic subgroups and individuals. Because nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics require a deep understanding of nutrition, genetics and biochemistry and ever new ‘omic’ technologies, it is often difficult, even for educated professionals, to appreciate their relevance to the practice of preventive approaches for optimising health, delaying onset of disease and diminishing its severity. This review discusses (i) the basic concepts, technical terms and technology involved in nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics; (ii) how this emerging knowledge can be applied to optimise health, prevent and treat diseases; (iii) how to read, understand and interpret nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic research results, and (iv) how this knowledge may potentially transform nutrition and dietetic practice, and the implications of such a transformation. This is in effect an up-to-date overview of the various aspects of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics relevant to health practitioners who are seeking a better understanding of this new frontier in nutrition research and its potential application to dietetic practice.
doi:10.1159/000327772
PMCID: PMC3121546  PMID: 21625170
Dietetics; Nutrigenetics; Nutrigenomics; Nutrition Research; Personalised nutrition
5.  Modulation of Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses by Tofacitinib (CP-690,550) 
Inhibitors of the JAK family of non-receptor tyrosine kinases have demonstrated clinical efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders; however, the precise mechanisms by which JAK inhibition improves inflammatory immune responses remain unclear. Here we examined the mode of action of tofacitinib (CP-690,550) on JAK/STAT signaling pathways involved in adaptive and innate immune responses. To determine the extent of inhibition of specific JAK/STAT-dependent pathways, we analyzed cytokine stimulation of mouse and human T cells in vitro. We also investigated the consequences of CP-690,550 treatment on Th cell differentiation of naïve murine CD4+ T cells. CP-690,550 inhibited IL-4-dependent Th2 cell differentiation, and interestingly also interfered with Th17 cell differentiation. Expression of IL-23 receptor and of the Th17 cytokines IL-17A, IL-17F and IL-22 were blocked when naïve Th cells were stimulated with IL-6 and IL-23. In contrast, IL-17A-production was enhanced when Th17 cells were differentiated in the presence of TGF-β. Moreover, CP-690,550 also prevented activation of STAT1, induction of T-bet and subsequent generation of Th1 cells. In a model of established arthritis, CP-690,550 rapidly improved disease by inhibiting production of inflammatory mediators and suppressing STAT1-dependent genes in joint tissue. Furthermore, efficacy in this disease model correlated with inhibition of both JAK1 and JAK3 signaling pathways. CP-690,550 also modulated innate responses to LPS in vivo through a mechanism likely involving inhibition of STAT1 signaling. Thus, CP-690,550 may improve autoimmune diseases and prevent transplant rejection by suppressing the differentiation of pathogenic Th1 and Th17 cells, as well as innate immune cell signaling.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1003668
PMCID: PMC3108067  PMID: 21383241
6.  Virus-Plus-Susceptibility Gene Interaction Determines Crohn’s Disease Gene Atg16L1 Phenotypes in Intestine 
Cell  2010;141(7):1135-1145.
SUMMARY
It is unclear why disease occurs in only a small proportion of persons carrying common risk alleles of disease susceptibility genes. Here we demonstrate that an interaction between a specific virus infection and a mutation in the Crohn’s disease susceptibility gene Atg16L1 induces intestinal pathologies in mice. This virus-plus-susceptibility gene interaction generated abnormalities in granule packaging and unique patterns of gene expression in Paneth cells. Further, the response to injury induced by the toxic substance dextran sodium sulfate was fundamentally altered to include pathologies resembling aspects of Crohn’s disease. These pathologies triggered by virus-plus-susceptibility gene interaction were dependent on TNFα and IFNγ and were prevented by treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics. Thus, we provide a specific example of how a virus-plus-susceptibility gene interaction can, in combination with additional environmental factors and commensal bacteria, determine the phenotype of hosts carrying common risk alleles for inflammatory disease.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2010.05.009
PMCID: PMC2908380  PMID: 20602997
7.  Effects of casoxin 4 on morphine inhibition of small animal intestinal contractility and gut transit in the mouse 
Background and aims:
Chronic opioid analgesia has the debilitating side-effect of constipation in human patients. The major aims of this study were to: 1) characterize the opioid-specific antagonism of morphine-induced inhibition of electrically driven contraction of the small intestine of mice, rats, and guinea pigs; and 2) test if the oral delivery of small milk-derived opioid antagonist peptides could block morphine-induced inhibition of intestinal transit in mice.
Methods:
Mouse, rat, and guinea pig intact ileal sections were electrically stimulated to contract and inhibited with morphine in vitro. Morphine inhibition was then blocked by opioid subtype antagonists in the mouse and guinea pig. Using a polymeric dye, Poly R-478, the opioid antagonists casoxin 4 and lactoferroxin A were tested orally for blocking activity of morphine inhibition of gut transit in vivo by single or double gavage techniques.
Results:
The guinea pig tissue was more sensitive to morphine inhibition compared with the mouse or the rat (IC50 [half maximal inhibitory concentration] values as nmol/L ± SEM were 34 ± 3, 230 ± 13, and 310 ± 14 respectively) (P < 0.01). The inhibitory influence of opioid agonists (IC50) in electrically driven ileal mouse preparations were DADLE ([D-Ala2, D-Leu5]-enkephalin) ≥ met-enkephalin ≥ dynorphin A ≥ DAMGO ([D-Ala2, N-Me-Phe4, Glyol5]-enkephalin) > morphine > morphiceptin as nmol/L 13.9, 17.3, 19.5, 23.3, 230, and 403 respectively. The mouse demonstrated predominantly κ- and δ-opioid receptor activity with a smaller μ-opioid receptor component. Both mouse and guinea pig tissue were sensitive to casoxin 4 antagonism of morphine inhibition of contraction. In contrast to naloxone, relatively high oral doses of the μ-opioid receptor antagonists, casoxin 4 and lactoferroxin A, applied before and after morphine injection were unable to antagonize morphine inhibition of gut transit.
Conclusions:
Casoxin 4 reverses morphine-induced inhibition of contraction in mice and guinea pigs in vitro but fails to influence morphine inhibition of mouse small intestinal transit by the oral route.
doi:10.2147/CEG.S16161
PMCID: PMC3108675  PMID: 21694869
lactoferroxin A; μ-opioid receptor antagonist; opioid agonists
8.  Measuring the combinatorial expression of solute transporters and metalloproteinases transcripts in colorectal cancer 
BMC Research Notes  2009;2:164.
Background
It was hypothesised that colorectal cancer (CRC) could be diagnosed in biopsies by measuring the combined expression of a small set of well known genes. Genes were chosen based on their role in either the breakdown of the extracellular matrix or with changes in cellular metabolism both of which are associated with CRC progression
Findings
Gene expression data derived from quantitative real-time PCR for the solute transporter carriers (SLCs) and the invasion-mediating matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were examined using a Linear Descriminant Analysis (LDA). The combination of MMP-7 and SLC5A8 was found to be the most predictive of CRC.
Conclusion
A combinatorial analysis technique is an effective method for both furthering our understanding on the molecular basis of some aspects of CRC, as well as for leveraging well defined cancer-related gene sets to identify cancer. In this instance, the combination of MMP-7 and SLC5A8 were optimal for identifying CRC.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-2-164
PMCID: PMC2736974  PMID: 19689820
9.  Radiology and Medical Care Costs 
Western Journal of Medicine  1982;137(4):338-339.
PMCID: PMC1274130  PMID: 18749223

Results 1-9 (9)