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1.  Cystic fibrosis: addressing the transition from pediatric to adult-oriented health care 
Survival for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) increased to nearly 40 years in 2012 from the early childhood years in the 1940s. Therefore, patients are living long enough to require transition from pediatric CF centers to adult CF centers. The goal of transition is for the young adult to be engaged in the adult health care system in ways that optimize health, maximize potential, and increase quality of life. A successful transition promotes autonomy and responsibility with respect to one’s own health. Currently, there is an information gap in the literature with respect to psychological models that can help guide informed transition processes. In this review, we establish the framework in which transition exists in CF; we review some of the published literature from the last 20 years of experience with transition in CF centers around the world; and we discuss psychological models of pediatric illness that can help to explain the current state of transition to adult-oriented care from pediatric-oriented care and help to formulate new models of ascertaining readiness for transition. Finally, we look at our current knowledge gaps and opportunities for future research endeavors.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S37710
PMCID: PMC3864992  PMID: 24376344
cystic fibrosis; transition; adolescent; social-ecological model of AYA readiness for transition; SMART
2.  Bitter and sweet taste receptors regulate human upper respiratory innate immunity 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(3):1393-1405.
Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) in the human airway detect harmful compounds, including secreted bacterial products. Here, using human primary sinonasal air-liquid interface cultures and tissue explants, we determined that activation of a subset of airway T2Rs expressed in nasal solitary chemosensory cells activates a calcium wave that propagates through gap junctions to the surrounding respiratory epithelial cells. The T2R-dependent calcium wave stimulated robust secretion of antimicrobial peptides into the mucus that was capable of killing a variety of respiratory pathogens. Furthermore, sweet taste receptor (T1R2/3) activation suppressed T2R-mediated antimicrobial peptide secretion, suggesting that T1R2/3-mediated inhibition of T2Rs prevents full antimicrobial peptide release during times of relative health. In contrast, during acute bacterial infection, T1R2/3 is likely deactivated in response to bacterial consumption of airway surface liquid glucose, alleviating T2R inhibition and resulting in antimicrobial peptide secretion. We found that patients with chronic rhinosinusitis have elevated glucose concentrations in their nasal secretions, and other reports have shown that patients with hyperglycemia likewise have elevated nasal glucose levels. These data suggest that increased glucose in respiratory secretions in pathologic states, such as chronic rhinosinusitis or hyperglycemia, promotes tonic activation of T1R2/3 and suppresses T2R-mediated innate defense. Furthermore, targeting T1R2/3-dependent suppression of T2Rs may have therapeutic potential for upper respiratory tract infections.
doi:10.1172/JCI72094
PMCID: PMC3934184  PMID: 24531552
3.  On Preventing the Extinction of the Physician-Scientist in Pediatric Pulmonology 
While the founders of Pediatric Pulmonology recognized the necessity of research as a vital part of the developing sub specialty, the field has struggled to develop and maintain physician-scientists and investigators. The clinical growth in Pediatric Pulmonology has resulted in significant challenges in career development faced by physician-scientists who aim to establish or maintain independent investigative programs. Such challenges may only be overcome with changes in how both trainees and established physician-scientists in Pediatric Pulmonology are supported.
doi:10.3389/fped.2014.00004
PMCID: PMC3896875  PMID: 24479109
pediatrics; pulmonology; physician-scientist; training; career development
4.  T2R38 taste receptor polymorphisms underlie susceptibility to upper respiratory infection 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2012;122(11):4145-4159.
Innate and adaptive defense mechanisms protect the respiratory system from attack by microbes. Here, we present evidence that the bitter taste receptor T2R38 regulates the mucosal innate defense of the human upper airway. Utilizing immunofluorescent and live cell imaging techniques in polarized primary human sinonasal cells, we demonstrate that T2R38 is expressed in human upper respiratory epithelium and is activated in response to acyl-homoserine lactone quorum-sensing molecules secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other gram-negative bacteria. Receptor activation regulates calcium-dependent NO production, resulting in stimulation of mucociliary clearance and direct antibacterial effects. Moreover, common polymorphisms of the TAS2R38 gene were linked to significant differences in the ability of upper respiratory cells to clear and kill bacteria. Lastly, TAS2R38 genotype correlated with human sinonasal gram-negative bacterial infection. These data suggest that T2R38 is an upper airway sentinel in innate defense and that genetic variation contributes to individual differences in susceptibility to respiratory infection.
doi:10.1172/JCI64240
PMCID: PMC3484455  PMID: 23041624
5.  Vitamin D3 attenuates Th2 responses to Aspergillus fumigatus mounted by CD4+ T cells from cystic fibrosis patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2010;120(9):3242-3254.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is caused by a dominant Th2 immune response to antigens derived from the opportunistic mold Aspergillus, most commonly Aspergillus fumigatus. It occurs in 4%–15% of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF); however, not all patients with CF infected with A. fumigatus develop ABPA. Therefore, we compared cohorts of A. fumigatus–colonized CF patients with and without ABPA to identify factors mediating tolerance versus sensitization. We found that the costimulatory molecule OX40 ligand (OX40L) was critical in driving Th2 responses to A. fumigatus in peripheral CD4+ T cells isolated from patients with ABPA. In contrast, CD4+ T cells from the non-ABPA cohort did not mount enhanced Th2 responses in vitro and contained a higher frequency of TGF-β–expressing regulatory T cells. Heightened Th2 reactivity in the ABPA cohort correlated with lower mean serum vitamin D levels. Further, in vitro addition of 1,25 OH-vitamin D3 substantially reduced DC expression of OX40L and increased DC expression of TGF-β. This in vitro treatment also resulted in increased Treg TGF-β expression and reduced Th2 responses by CD4+ T cells from patients with ABPA. These data provide rationale for a therapeutic trial of vitamin D to prevent or treat ABPA in patients with CF.
doi:10.1172/JCI42388
PMCID: PMC2929900  PMID: 20714107
6.  Pharmacologic Activation of the Innate Immune System to Prevent Respiratory Viral Infections 
Drugs that can rapidly inhibit respiratory infection from influenza or other respiratory pathogens are needed. One approach is to engage primary innate immune defenses against viral infection, such as activating the IFN pathway. In this study, we report that a small, cell-permeable compound called 5,6-di-methylxanthenone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA) can induce protection against vesicular stomatitis virus in vitro and H1N1 influenza A virus in vitro and in vivo through innate immune activation. Using the mouse C10 bronchial epithelial cell line and primary cultures of nasal epithelial cells, we demonstrate DMXAA activates the IFN regulatory factor-3 pathway leading to production of IFN-β and subsequent high-level induction of IFN-β–dependent proteins, such as myxovirus resistance 1 (Mx1) and 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1). Mice treated with DMXAA intranasally elevate mRNA/protein expression of Mx1 and OAS1 in the nasal mucosa, trachea, and lung. When challenged intranasally with a lethal dose of H1N1 influenza A virus, DMXAA reduced viral titers in the lungs and protected 80% of mice from death, even when given at 24 hours before infection. These data show that agents, like DMXAA, that can directly activate innate immune pathways, such as the IFN regulatory factor-3/IFN-β system, in respiratory epithelial cells can be used to protect from influenza pneumonia and potentially in other respiratory viral infections. Development of this approach in humans could be valuable for protecting health care professionals and “first responders” in the early stages of viral pandemics or bioterror attacks.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2010-0288OC
PMCID: PMC3265219  PMID: 21148741
innate immunity; interferon; influenza; pneumonia; bronchial epithelium
7.  IL-17RA Is Required for CCL2 Expression, Macrophage Recruitment, and Emphysema in Response to Cigarette Smoke 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20333.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is characterized by airspace enlargement and peribronchial lymphoid follicles; however, the immunological mechanisms leading to these pathologic changes remain undefined. Here we show that cigarette smoke is a selective adjuvant that augments in vitro and in vivo Th17, but not Th1, cell differentiation via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Smoke exposed IL-17RA−/− mice failed to induce CCL2 and MMP12 compared to WT mice. Remarkably, in contrast to WT mice, IL-17RA−/− mice failed to develop emphysema after 6 months of cigarette smoke exposure. Taken together, these data demonstrate that cigarette smoke is a potent Th17 adjuvant and that IL-17RA signaling is required for chemokine expression necessary for MMP12 induction and tissue emphysema.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020333
PMCID: PMC3103542  PMID: 21647421
8.  Ectopic Cdx2 Expression in Murine Esophagus Models an Intermediate Stage in the Emergence of Barrett's Esophagus 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18280.
Barrett's esophagus (BE) is an intestinal metaplasia that occurs in the setting of chronic acid and bile reflux and is associated with a risk for adenocarcinoma. Expression of intestine-specific transcription factors in the esophagus likely contributes to metaplasia development. Our objective was to explore the effects of an intestine-specific transcription factor when expressed in the mouse esophageal epithelium. Transgenic mice were derived in which the transcription factor Cdx2 is expressed in squamous epithelium using the murine Keratin-14 gene promoter. Effects of the transgene upon cell proliferation and differentiation, gene expression, and barrier integrity were explored. K14-Cdx2 mice express the Cdx2 transgene in esophageal squamous tissues. Cdx2 expression was associated with reduced basal epithelial cell proliferation and altered cell morphology. Ultrastructurally two changes were noted. Cdx2 expression was associated with dilated space between the basal cells and diminished cell-cell adhesion caused by reduced Desmocollin-3 mRNA and protein expression. This compromised epithelial barrier function, as the measured trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) of the K14-Cdx2 epithelium was significantly reduced compared to controls (1189 Ohm*cm2 ±343.5 to 508 Ohm*cm2±92.48, p = 0.0532). Secondly, basal cells with features of a transitional cell type, intermediate between keratinocytes and columnar Barrett's epithelial cells, were observed. These cells had reduced keratin bundles and increased endoplasmic reticulum levels, suggesting the adoption of secretory-cell features. Moreover, at the ultrastructural level they resembled “Distinctive” cells associated with multilayered epithelium. Treatment of the K14-Cdx2 mice with 5′-Azacytidine elicited expression of BE-associated genes including Cdx1, Krt18, and Slc26a3/Dra, suggesting the phenotype could be advanced under certain conditions. We conclude that ectopic Cdx2 expression in keratinocytes alters cell proliferation, barrier function, and differentiation. These altered cells represent a transitional cell type between normal squamous and columnar BE cells. The K14-Cdx2 mice represent a useful model to study progression from squamous epithelium to BE.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018280
PMCID: PMC3071814  PMID: 21494671
9.  Cystic fibrosis: Exploiting its genetic basis in the hunt for new therapies 
Pharmacology & therapeutics  2009;125(2):219-229.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), an anion channel expressed in epithelial cells throughout the body. In the lungs, absence or dysfunction of CFTR results in altered epithelial salt and water transport eventuating in impaired mucociliary clearance, chronic infection and inflammation, and tissue damage. CF lung disease is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in CF despite the many therapies aimed at reducing it. However, recent technological advances combined with two decades of research driven by the discovery of the CFTR gene have resulted in the development and clinical testing of novel therapies aimed at the principal underlying defect in CF, thereby ushering in a new age of therapy for CF.
doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2009.10.006
PMCID: PMC2823951  PMID: 19903491
Cystic fibrosis; CFTR; Gene therapy; Corrector; Potentiator; Transciptional read-through
10.  Tobacco Smoke Mediated Induction of Sinonasal Microbial Biofilms 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e15700.
Cigarette smokers and those exposed to second hand smoke are more susceptible to life threatening infection than non-smokers. While much is known about the devastating effect tobacco exposure has on the human body, less is known about the effect of tobacco smoke on the commensal and commonly found pathogenic bacteria of the human respiratory tract, or human respiratory tract microbiome. Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a common medical complaint, affecting 16% of the US population with an estimated aggregated cost of $6 billion annually. Epidemiologic studies demonstrate a correlation between tobacco smoke exposure and rhinosinusitis. Although a common cause of CRS has not been defined, bacterial presence within the nasal and paranasal sinuses is assumed to be contributory. Here we demonstrate that repetitive tobacco smoke exposure induces biofilm formation in a diverse set of bacteria isolated from the sinonasal cavities of patients with CRS. Additionally, bacteria isolated from patients with tobacco smoke exposure demonstrate robust in vitro biofilm formation when challenged with tobacco smoke compared to those isolated from smoke naïve patients. Lastly, bacteria from smoke exposed patients can revert to a non-biofilm phenotype when grown in the absence of tobacco smoke. These observations support the hypothesis that tobacco exposure induces sinonasal biofilm formation, thereby contributing to the conversion of a transient and medically treatable infection to a persistent and therapeutically recalcitrant condition.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015700
PMCID: PMC3017060  PMID: 21253587
11.  Cigarette Smoke Inhibits Airway Epithelial Cell Innate Immune Responses to Bacteria ▿  
Infection and Immunity  2010;78(5):2146-2152.
The human upper respiratory tract, including the nasopharynx, is colonized by a diverse array of microorganisms. While the host generally exists in harmony with the commensal microflora, under certain conditions, these organisms may cause local or systemic disease. Respiratory epithelial cells act as local sentinels of the innate immune system, responding to conserved microbial patterns through activation of signal transduction pathways and cytokine production. In addition to colonizing microbes, these cells may also be influenced by environmental agents, including cigarette smoke (CS). Because of the strong relationship among secondhand smoke exposure, bacterial infection, and sinusitis, we hypothesized that components in CS might alter epithelial cell innate immune responses to pathogenic bacteria. We examined the effect of CS condensate (CSC) or extract (CSE) on signal transduction and cytokine production in primary and immortalized epithelial cells of human or murine origin in response to nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus. We observed that epithelial production of interleukin-8 (IL-8) and IL-6 in response to bacterial stimulation was significantly inhibited in the presence of CS (P < 0.001 for inhibition by either CSC or CSE). In contrast, epithelial production of beta interferon (IFN-β) was not inhibited. CSC decreased NF-κB activation (P < 0.05) and altered the kinetics of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation in cells exposed to bacteria. Treatment of CSC with antioxidants abrogated CSC-mediated reduction of epithelial IL-8 responses to bacteria (P > 0.05 compared to cells without CSC treatment). These results identify a novel oxidant-mediated immunosuppressive role for CS in epithelial cells.
doi:10.1128/IAI.01410-09
PMCID: PMC2863539  PMID: 20194598
12.  IL-22 mediates mucosal host defense against Gram-negative bacterial pneumonia 
Nature medicine  2008;14(3):275-281.
Emerging evidence supports the concept that T helper type 17 (TH17) cells, in addition to mediating autoimmunity, have key roles in mucosal immunity against extracellular pathogens. Interleukin-22 (IL-22) and IL-17A are both effector cytokines produced by the TH17 lineage, and both were crucial for maintaining local control of the Gram-negative pulmonary pathogen, Klebsiella pneumoniae. Although both cytokines regulated CXC chemokines and granulocyte colony–stimulating factor production in the lung, only IL-22 increased lung epithelial cell proliferation and increased transepithelial resistance to injury. These data support the concept that the TH17 cell lineage and its effector molecules have evolved to effect host defense against extracellular pathogens at mucosal sites.
doi:10.1038/nm1710
PMCID: PMC2901867  PMID: 18264110
13.  Role of IL-17A, IL-17F, and the IL-17 Receptor in Regulating Growth-Related Oncogene-α and Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor in Bronchial Epithelium: Implications for Airway Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis1 
IL-17R signaling is critical for pulmonary neutrophil recruitment and host defense against Gram-negative bacteria through the coordinated release of G-CSF and CXC chemokine elaboration. In this study, we show that IL-17R is localized to basal airway cells in human lung tissue, and functional IL-17R signaling occurs on the basolateral surface of human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells. IL-17A and IL-17F were potent inducers of growth-related oncogene-α and G-CSF in HBE cells, and significant synergism was observed with TNF-α largely due to signaling via TNFRI. The activities of both IL-17A and IL-17F were blocked by a specific anti-IL-17R Ab, but only IL-17A was blocked with a soluble IL-17R, suggesting that cell membrane IL-17R is required for signaling by both IL-17A and IL-17F. Because IL-17A and IL-17F both regulate lung neutrophil recruitment, we measured these molecules as well as the proximal regulator IL-23p19 in the sputum of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) undergoing pulmonary exacerbation. We found significantly elevated levels of these molecules in the sputum of patients with CF who were colonized with Pseudomonas aeruginosa at the time of pulmonary exacerbation, and the levels declined with therapy directed against P. aeruginosa. IL-23 and the downstream cytokines IL-17A and IL-17F are critical molecules for proinflammatory gene expression in HBE cells and are likely involved in the proinflammatory cytokine network involved with CF pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2849297  PMID: 15972674
14.  Identification of the IL-17 Receptor Related Molecule IL-17RC as the Receptor for IL-17F 
The proinflammatory cytokines IL-17A and IL-17F have a high degree of sequence similarity and share many biological properties. Both have been implicated as factors contributing to the progression of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Moreover, reagents that neutralize IL-17A significantly ameliorate disease severity in several mouse models of human disease. IL-17A mediates its effects through interaction with its cognate receptor, the IL-17 receptor (IL-17RA). We report here that the IL-17RA-related molecule, IL-17RC is the receptor for IL-17F. Notably, both IL-17A and IL-17F bind to IL-17RC with high affinity, leading us to suggest that a soluble form of this molecule may serve as an effective therapeutic antagonist of IL-17A and IL-17F. We generated a soluble form of IL-17RC and demonstrate that it effectively blocks binding of both IL-17A and IL-17F, and that it inhibits signaling in response to these cytokines. Collectively, our work indicates that IL-17RC functions as a receptor for both IL-17A and IL-17F and that a soluble version of this protein should be an effective antagonist of IL-17A and IL-17F mediated inflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC2849293  PMID: 17911633
15.  Secondhand smoke inhibits both Cl- and K+ conductances in normal human bronchial epithelial cells 
Respiratory Research  2009;10(1):120.
Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is an independent risk factor for asthma, rhinosinusitis, and more severe respiratory tract infections in children and adults. Impaired mucociliary clearance with subsequent mucus retention contributes to the pathophysiology of each of these diseases, suggesting that altered epithelial salt and water transport may play an etiological role. To test the hypothesis that SHS would alter epithelial ion transport, we designed a system for in vitro exposure of mature, well-differentiated human bronchial epithelial cells to SHS. We show that SHS exposure inhibits cAMP-stimulated, bumetanide-sensitive anion secretion by 25 to 40% in a time-dependent fashion in these cells. Increasing the amount of carbon monoxide to 100 ppm from 5 ppm did not increase the amount of inhibition, and filtering SHS reduced inhibition significantly. It was determined that SHS inhibited cAMP-dependent apical membrane chloride conductance by 25% and Ba2+-sensitive basolateral membrane potassium conductance by 50%. These data confirm previous findings that cigarette smoke inhibits chloride secretion in a novel model of smoke exposure designed to mimic SHS exposure. They also extend previous findings to demonstrate an effect on basolateral K+ conductance. Therefore, pharmacological agents that increase either apical membrane chloride conductance or basolateral membrane potassium conductance might be of therapeutic benefit in patients with diseases related to SHS exposure.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-10-120
PMCID: PMC2792224  PMID: 19943936

Results 1-15 (15)