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1.  High Affinity Antibodies against Influenza Characterize the Plasmablast Response in SLE Patients After Vaccination 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0125618.
Breakdown of B cell tolerance is a cardinal feature of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Increased numbers of autoreactive mature naïve B cells have been described in SLE patients and autoantibodies have been shown to arise from autoreactive and non-autoreactive precursors. How these defects, in the regulation of B cell tolerance and selection, influence germinal center (GC) reactions that are directed towards foreign antigens has yet to be investigated. Here, we examined the characteristics of post-GC foreign antigen-specific B cells from SLE patients and healthy controls by analyzing monoclonal antibodies generated from plasmablasts induced specifically by influenza vaccination. We report that many of the SLE patients had anti-influenza antibodies with higher binding affinity and neutralization capacity than those from controls. Although overall frequencies of autoreactivity in the influenza-specific plasmablasts were similar for SLE patients and controls, the variable gene repertoire of influenza-specific plasmablasts from SLE patients was altered, with increased usage of JH6 and long heavy chain CDR3 segments. We found that high affinity anti-influenza antibodies generally characterize the plasmablast responses of SLE patients with low levels of autoreactivity; however, certain exceptions were noted. The high-avidity antibody responses in SLE patients may also be correlated with cytokines that are abnormally expressed in lupus. These findings provide insights into the effects of dysregulated immunity on the quality of antibody responses following influenza vaccination and further our understanding of the underlying abnormalities of lupus.
PMCID: PMC4423960  PMID: 25951191
2.  The TCR ligand-inducible expression of CD73 marks γδ lineage commitment and a metastable intermediate in effector specification 
CD73 expression is induced in response to TCR ligation and identifies a population of thymocytes that are committed to the γδ T cell fate.
Numerous studies indicate that γδ T cell receptor (γδTCR) expression alone does not reliably mark commitment of early thymic progenitors to the γδ fate. This raises the possibility that the γδTCR is unable to intrinsically specify fate and instead requires additional environmental factors, including TCR–ligand engagement. We use single cell progenitor assays to reveal that ligand acts instructionally to direct adoption of the γδ fate. Moreover, we identify CD73 as a TCR ligand-induced cell surface protein that distinguishes γδTCR-expressing CD4−CD8− progenitors that have committed to the γδ fate from those that have not yet done so. Indeed, unlike CD73− γδTCR+ progenitors, which largely adopt the αβ fate upon separation from the intrathymic selecting environment, those that express CD73 remain CD4−CD8− and committed to the γδ fate. CD73 is expressed by >90% of peripheral γδ cells, suggesting this is a common occurrence during development. Moreover, CD73 induction appears to mark a metastable intermediate stage before acquisition of effector function, suggesting that γδ lineage and effector fate are specified sequentially. These findings have important implications for the role of ligand in γδ lineage commitment and its relationship to the specification of effector fate.
PMCID: PMC3920555  PMID: 24493796
3.  Individual antibody and T cell responses to vaccination and infection with the 2009 pandemic swine-origin H1N1 influenza virus 
Journal of clinical immunology  2011;31(5):900-912.
The 2009 swine origin H1N1 influenza virus (swH1N1) provided an opportunity to study immune responses to a new influenza strain in the context of seasonal influenza vaccination. Our goals were: to assess whether analyzing multiple parameters of immune responsiveness to influenza has an advantage over evaluating hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) titer alone, to determine whether vaccination with the seasonal vaccine induced cross-reactive immunity to swH1N1 in some individuals, and to determine whether the immune response against swH1N1 is higher after infection than vaccination.
Antibody and T cell responses were studied in ten subjects who were first immunized with the 2009-10 seasonal influenza subunit vaccine, then six weeks later with the swH1N1 monovalent subunit vaccine. The amount of antibody against native virus glycoproteins, overall avidity of these antibodies, and HAI titer were measured. T cells were evaluated for proliferation and IFNγ secretion in response to the vaccine in vitro. Individuals with influenza-like illness were also evaluated, adding a microplate neuraminidase-inhibition (NAI) test.
The immune response to influenza was highly variable and immune parameters did not increase in parallel. The seasonal vaccine induced antibodies recognizing the pandemic virus in 50% of subjects. Antibody affinity and NAI activity to swH1N1 were higher after natural infection than vaccination.
Evaluation of several immune parameters gives a more complete measure of immune responsiveness to influenza infection or vaccination than the HAI test alone.
PMCID: PMC3197711  PMID: 21732013
pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza; vaccine response; antibodies and T cells after infection
4.  Restoration of adenosine deaminase-deficient human thymocyte development in vitro by inhibition of deoxynucleoside kinases1,2 
Mutations in the gene encoding adenosine deaminase (ADA), a purine salvage enzyme, lead to immunodeficiency in humans. Although ADA deficiency has been analyzed in cell culture and murine models, information is lacking concerning its impact on the development of human thymocytes. We have used chimeric human/mouse fetal thymic organ culture (hu/moFTOC) to study ADA-deficient human thymocyte development in an “in vivo-like” environment where toxic metabolites accumulate in situ. Inhibition of ADA during human thymocyte development resulted in a severe reduction in cellular expansion as well as impaired differentiation, largely affecting mature thymocyte populations. Thymocyte differentiation was not blocked at a discrete stage; rather, the paucity of mature thymocytes was due to the induction of apoptosis as evidenced by activation of caspases and was accompanied by the accumulation of intracellular deoxyadenosine triphosphate (dATP). Inhibition of adenosine kinase and deoxycytidine kinase prevented the accumulation of dATP and restored thymocyte differentiation and proliferation. Our work reveals that multiple deoxynucleoside kinases are involved in the phosphorylation of deoxyadenosine when ADA is absent, and suggests an alternate therapeutic strategy for treatment of ADA-deficient patients.
PMCID: PMC2673198  PMID: 19018008
human; immunodeficiency diseases; apoptosis; thymus
5.  Inhibition of deoxynucleoside kinases in human thymocytes prevents dATP accumulation and induction of apoptosis 
Thymocytes lacking adenosine deaminase (ADA) activity, a purine metabolism enzyme, accumulate intracellular dATP and consequently undergo apoptosis during development. We have analyzed the effect of ADA enzyme inhibition in human thymocyte suspension cultures with regard to accumulation of intracellular dATP and induction of apoptosis. We demonstrate that while inhibition of deoxycytidine kinase will prevent the accumulation of dATP and induction of apoptosis to a large degree, inhibition of both deoxycytidine kinase and adenosine kinase completely abrogates the accumulation of dATP and significantly reduces the induction of apoptosis. Thus, both deoxynucleoside kinases are involved in this model of ADA deficiency.
PMCID: PMC2752032  PMID: 18600545
ADA deficiency; human thymocyte development; deoxynucleoside kinases; apoptosis
6.  CD73-generated Adenosine Restricts Lymphocyte Migration into Draining Lymph Nodes1 
After an inflammatory stimulus, lymphocyte migration into draining lymph nodes increases dramatically to facilitate the encounter of naïve T cells with antigen-loaded dendritic cells. Here we show that CD73 (ecto-5′-nucleotidase) plays an important role in regulating this process. CD73 produces adenosine from AMP and is expressed on high endothelial venules (HEV) and subsets of lymphocytes. Cd73-/- mice have normal sized lymphoid organs in the steady state, but approximately 1.5-fold larger draining lymph nodes and 2.5-fold increased rates of L-selectin-dependent lymphocyte migration from the blood through HEV compared to wild type mice 24 hours after LPS administration. Migration rates of cd73+/+ and cd73-/- lymphocytes into lymph nodes of wild type mice are equal, suggesting that it is CD73 on HEV that regulates lymphocyte migration into draining lymph nodes. The A2B receptor is a likely target of CD73-generated adenosine, as it is the only adenosine receptor expressed on the HEV-like cell line KOP2.16 and it is up regulated by TNFα. Furthermore, increased lymphocyte migration into draining lymph nodes of cd73-/- mice is largely normalized by pretreatment with the selective A2B receptor agonist BAY 60-6583. Adenosine receptor signaling to restrict lymphocyte migration across HEV may be an important mechanism to control the magnitude of an inflammatory response.
PMCID: PMC2709497  PMID: 18424752
Rodent; Cell Trafficking; Spleen and lymph nodes; Inflammation
7.  Human αβ and γδ Thymocyte Development: TCR Gene Rearrangements, Intracellular TCRβ Expression and γδ Developmental Potential – Differences between Men and Mice1,2 
To evaluate the role of the TCR in the αβ/γδ lineage choice during human thymocyte development, molecular analyses of the TCRβ locus in γδ cells and the TCRγ and δ loci in αβ cells were undertaken. TCRβ variable gene segments remained largely in germline configuration in γδ cells, indicating that commitment to the γδ lineage occurred prior to complete TCRβ rearrangements in most cases. The few TCRβ rearrangements detected were primarily out-of-frame, suggesting that productive TCRβ rearrangements diverted cells away from the γδ lineage. In contrast, in αβ cells, the TCRγ locus was almost completely rearranged with a random productivity profile; the TCRδ locus contained primarily non-productive rearrangements. Productive γ rearrangements were, however, depleted compared to pre-selected cells. Productive TCRγ and δ rearrangements rarely occurred in the same cell, suggesting that αβ cells developed from cells unable to produce a functional γδ TCR. Intracellular TCRβ expression correlated with the up regulation of CD4 and concomitant down regulation of CD34, and plateaued at the early double positive stage. Surprisingly, however, some early double positive thymocytes retained γδ potential in culture. We present a model for human thymopoiesis which includes γδ development as a default pathway, an instructional role for the TCR in the αβ/γδ lineage choice, and a prolonged developmental window for β-selection and γδ lineage commitment. Aspects that differ from the mouse are the status of TCR gene rearrangements at the non-expressed loci, the timing of β-selection, and maintenance of γδ potential through the early double positive stage of development.
PMCID: PMC1592528  PMID: 16424183
cell differentiation; gene rearrangement; human; T cell receptors; thymus
8.  Further Differentiation of Murine Double Positive Thymocytes Is Inhibited in Adenosine Deaminase-Deficient Murine Fetal Thymic Organ Culture1 
Murine fetal thymic organ culture (FTOC) was used to investigate the mechanism by which a lack of adenosine deaminase (ADA) leads to a failure of T cell production in the thymus. We previously showed that T cell development was inhibited beginning at the CD4−CD8−CD25+CD44lo stage in ADA-deficient FTOCs initiated at day 15 of gestation when essentially all thymocytes are CD4−CD8−. In the present study, we asked whether thymocytes at later stages of differentiation would also be sensitive to ADA inhibition by initiating FTOCs when substantial numbers of CD4+CD8+ thymocytes were already present. dATP was highly elevated in ADA-deficient cultures and the recovery of αβ TCR+ thymocytes was inhibited by 94%, indicating that the later stages of thymocyte differentiation are also dependent upon ADA. ADA-deficient cultures were partially rescued by the pan-caspase inhibitor carbobenzoxy-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethyl ketone (z-VADfmk) or by the use of Apaf-1-deficient mice. Rescue was even more dramatic, with 60- to >200-fold increases in the numbers of CD4+CD8+ cells, when FTOCs were performed with an inhibitor of adenosine kinase, the major thymic deoxyadenosine phosphorylating enzyme, or with bcl-2 transgenic mice. dATP levels were normalized by treatment with either z-VADfmk or an adenosine kinase inhibitor, but not in cultures with fetal thymuses from bcl-2 transgenic mice. These data suggest that ADA deficiency leads to the induction of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis as a consequence of the accumulation of dATP derived from thymocytes failing the positive/negative selection checkpoint.
PMCID: PMC1550651  PMID: 16670300
apoptosis; cell differentiation; immunodeficiency diseases; thymus

Results 1-8 (8)