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1.  Rotavirus A-specific single-domain antibodies produced in baculovirus-infected insect larvae are protective in vivo 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:59.
Single-domain antibodies (sdAbs), also known as nanobodies or VHHs, are characterized by high stability and solubility, thus maintaining the affinity and therapeutic value provided by conventional antibodies. Given these properties, VHHs offer a novel alternative to classical antibody approaches. To date, VHHs have been produced mainly in E. coli, yeast, plants and mammalian cells. To apply the single-domain antibodies as a preventive or therapeutic strategy to control rotavirus infections in developing countries (444,000 deaths in children under 5 years of age) has to be minimized their production costs.
Here we describe the highly efficient expression of functional VHHs by the Improved Baculovirus Expression System (IBES® technology), which uses a baculovirus expression vector in combination with Trichoplusia ni larvae as living biofactories. Two VHHs, named 3B2 and 2KD1, specific for the inner capsid protein VP6 of Group A rotavirus, were expressed in insect larvae. The IBES® technology achieved very high expression of 3B2 and 2KD1, reaching 2.62% and 3.63% of the total soluble protein obtained from larvae, respectively. These expression levels represent up to 257 mg/L of protein extract after insect processing (1 L extract represents about 125 g of insect biomass or about 375 insect larvae). Larva-derived antibodies were fully functional when tested in vitro and in vivo, neutralizing Group A rotaviruses and protecting offspring mice against rotavirus-induced diarrhea.
Our results open up the possibility of using insects as living biofactories (IBES® technology) for the cost-efficient production of these and other fully functional VHHs to be used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, thereby eliminating concerns regarding the use of bacterial or mammalian cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that insects have been used as living biofactories to produce a VHH molecule.
PMCID: PMC3444942  PMID: 22953695
Single-domain antibodies; Therapeutic molecule; Neutralization; Rotavirus A; Insect; Baculovirus; IBES®technology
2.  Diet supplementation for 5 weeks with polyphenol-rich cereals improves several functions and the redox state of mouse leucocytes 
European Journal of Nutrition  2006;45(8):428-438.
Cereals naturally contain a great variety of polyphenols, which exert a wide range of physiological effects both in vitro and in vivo. Many of their protective effects, including an improvement of the function and redox state of immune cells in unhealthy or aged subjects come from their properties as powerful antioxidant compounds. However, whether cereal-based dietary supplementation positively affects the immune function and cellular redox state of healthy subjects remains unclear.
Aim of the study
To investigate the effects of supplementation (20% wt/wt) for 5 weeks with four different cereal fractions on healthy mice.
Several parameters of function and redox state of peritoneal leukocytes were measured. The cereals, named B (wheat germ), C (buckwheat flour), D (fine rice bran) and E (wheat middlings) contained different amounts of gallic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid, sinapic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, catechin, rutin and oryzanol as major polyphenols.
In general, all cereal fractions caused an improvement of the leukocyte parameters studied such as chemotaxis capacity, microbicidal activity, lymphoproliferative response to mitogens, interleukin-2 (IL-2) and tumor necrosis factor (TNFα) release, as well as oxidized glutathione (GSSG), GSSG/GSH ratio, catalase (CAT) activity and lipid oxidative damage. We observed similar effects among the cereal fractions.
The results suggest that some of these effects may due, at least partially, to the antioxidant activity of the polyphenols naturally present in cereals. Since an appropriate function of the leukocytes has been proposed as marker of the health state, a short-term intake of cereals seems to be sufficient to exert a benefit in the health of the general population. However, further studies are needed to assess the optimal doses and to find out which active polyphenols are able to mediate the observed physiological effects before recommending their regular consumption.
PMCID: PMC1705483  PMID: 17036262
leukocyte functions; leukocyte redox state; peritoneal leukocytes; polyphenols; health promotion

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