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1.  Strain-Specific RBC Storage, Metabolism, and Eicosanoid Generation in a Mouse Model 
Transfusion  2013;54(1):137-148.
RBC transfusion is a life-saving therapy, the logistical implementation of which requires RBC storage. However, stored RBCs exhibit substantial donor variability in multiple characteristics, including hemolysis in vitro and RBC recovery in vivo. The basis of donor variability is poorly understood.
Study Design and Methods
We applied a murine model of RBC storage and transfusion to test the hypothesis that genetically distinct inbred strains of mice would demonstrate strain-specific differences in RBC storage. In vivo recoveries were determined by monitoring transfused RBCs over 24 hours. Timed aliquots of stored RBCs were subjected to tandem chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis to elucidate metabolic changes in the RBCs during storage.
Using independent inbred mouse strains as donors, we found substantial strain-specific differences in post-transfusion RBC recovery in vivo following standardized refrigerated storage in vitro. Poor post-transfusion RBC recovery correlated with reproducible metabolic variations in the stored RBC units, including increased lipid peroxidation, decreased levels of multiple natural antioxidants, and accumulation of cytidine. Strain-dependent differences were also observed in eicosanoid generation (i.e. prostaglandins and leukotrienes).
These findings provide the first evidence of strain-specific metabolomic differences following refrigerated storage of murine RBCs. They also provide the first definitive biochemical evidence for strain specific variation of eicosanoid generation during RBC storage. The molecules described that correlate with RBC storage quality, and their associated biochemical pathways, suggest multiple causal hypotheses that can be tested regarding predicting the quality of RBC units prior to transfusion and developing methods of improved RBC storage.
PMCID: PMC4284097  PMID: 23721209
2.  Transfusion of murine RBCs expressing the human KEL glycoprotein induces clinically significant alloantibodies 
Transfusion  2013;54(1):179-189.
Red blood cell (RBC) alloantibodies to non-self antigens may develop following transfusion or pregnancy, leading to morbidity and mortality in the form of hemolytic transfusion reactions or hemolytic disease of the newborn. A better understanding of the mechanisms of RBC alloantibody induction, or strategies to mitigate the consequences of such antibodies, may ultimately improve transfusion safety. However, such studies are inherently difficult in humans.
Study Design and Methods
We recently generated transgenic mice with RBC specific expression of the human KEL glycoprotein, with the KEL2 or KEL1 antigens. Herein, we investigate recipient alloimmune responses to transfused RBCs in this system.
Transfusion of RBCs from KEL2 donors into wild type recipients (lacking the human KEL protein but expressing the murine KEL orthologue) resulted in dose dependent anti-KEL glycoprotein IgM and IgG antibody responses, enhanced by recipient inflammation with poly (I:C). Boostable responses were evident upon repeat transfusion, with morbid appearing alloimmunized recipients experiencing rapid clearance of transfused KEL2 but not control RBCs. Although KEL1 RBCs were also immunogenic following transfusion into wild type recipients, transfusion of KEL1 RBCs into KEL2 recipients or vice versa failed to lead to detectable anti-KEL1 or anti-KEL2 responses.
This murine model, with reproducible and clinically significant KEL glycoprotein alloantibody responses, provides a platform for future mechanistic studies of RBC alloantibody induction and consequences. Long term translational goals of these studies include improving transfusion safety for at risk patients.
PMCID: PMC3732531  PMID: 23621760
3.  Galectin-1 Exerts Inhibitory Effects during DENV-1 Infection 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112474.
Dengue virus (DENV) is an enveloped RNA virus that is mosquito-transmitted and can infect a variety of immune and non-immune cells. Response to infection ranges from asymptomatic disease to a severe disorder known as dengue hemorrhagic fever. Despite efforts to control the disease, there are no effective treatments or vaccines. In our search for new antiviral compounds to combat infection by dengue virus type 1 (DENV-1), we investigated the role of galectin-1, a widely-expressed mammalian lectin with functions in cell-pathogen interactions and immunoregulatory properties. We found that DENV-1 infection of cells in vitro exhibited caused decreased expression of Gal-1 in several different human cell lines, suggesting that loss of Gal-1 is associated with virus production. In test of this hypothesis we found that exogenous addition of human recombinant Gal-1 (hrGal-1) inhibits the virus production in the three different cell types. This inhibitory effect was dependent on hrGal-1 dimerization and required its carbohydrate recognition domain. Importantly, the inhibition was specific for hrGal-1, since no effect was observed using recombinant human galectin-3. Interestingly, we found that hrGal-1 directly binds to dengue virus and acts, at least in part, during the early stages of DENV-1 infection, by inhibiting viral adsorption and its internalization to target cells. To test the in vivo role of Gal-1 in DENV infection, Gal-1-deficient-mice were used to demonstrate that the expression of endogenous Galectin-1 contributes to resistance of macrophages to in vitro-infection with DENV-1 and it is also important to physiological susceptibility of mice to in vivo infection with DENV-1. These results provide novel insights into the functions of Gal-1 in resistance to DENV infection and suggest that Gal-1 should be explored as a potential antiviral compound.
PMCID: PMC4231055  PMID: 25392933
4.  Initiation and Regulation of Complement during Hemolytic Transfusion Reactions 
Hemolytic transfusion reactions represent one of the most common causes of transfusion-related mortality. Although many factors influence hemolytic transfusion reactions, complement activation represents one of the most common features associated with fatality. In this paper we will focus on the role of complement in initiating and regulating hemolytic transfusion reactions and will discuss potential strategies aimed at mitigating or favorably modulating complement during incompatible red blood cell transfusions.
PMCID: PMC3479954  PMID: 23118779
5.  Microbial Glycan Microarrays Define Key Features of Host-Microbial Interactions 
Nature chemical biology  2014;10(6):470-476.
Genomic approaches continue to provide unprecedented insight into the microbiome, yet host immune interactions with diverse microbiota can be difficult to study. We therefore generated a microbial microarray containing defined antigens isolated from a broad range of microbial flora to examine adaptive and innate immunity. Serological studies with this microarray show that immunoglobulins from multiple mammalian species exhibit unique patterns of reactivity, while exposure of animals to distinct microbes induces specific serological recognition. While adaptive immunity exhibited plasticity toward microbial antigens, immunological tolerance limits reactivity toward self. We discovered that several innate immune galectins exhibit specific recognition of microbes that express self-like antigens, leading to direct killing of a broad range of gram negative and positive microbes. Thus, host protection against microbes appears to represent a balance between adaptive and innate immunity to defend against evolving antigenic determinants while protecting against molecular mimicry.
PMCID: PMC4158828  PMID: 24814672
6.  Teaching Laboratory Medicine to Medical Students 
Laboratory medicine is an integral component of patient care. Approximately 60% to 70% of medical decisions are based on laboratory results. Physicians in specialties that order the tests are teaching medical students laboratory medicine and test use with minimal input from laboratory scientists who implement and maintain the quality control for those tests.
To develop, implement, and evaluate a 1.5-day medical student clinical laboratory experience for fourth-year medical students in their last month of training.
The experience was devised and directed by laboratory scientists and included a panel discussion, laboratory tours, case studies that focused on the goals and objectives recently published by the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, and medical-student presentations highlighting salient points of the experience. The same knowledge quiz was administered at the beginning and end of the experience and 84 students took both quizzes.
A score of 7 or more was obtained by 16 students (19%) on the initial quiz, whereas 34 (40%) obtained the same score on the final quiz; the improvement was found to be statistically significant (P = .002; t = 3.215), particularly in 3 out of the 10 questions administered.
Although the assessment can only measure a small amount of knowledge recently acquired, the improvement observed by fourth-year medical students devoting a short period to learning laboratory medicine principles was encouraging. This medical student clinical laboratory experience format allowed teaching of a select group of laboratory medicine principles in 1.5 days to an entire medical school class.
PMCID: PMC3767850  PMID: 23106588
7.  Differential expression of immunomodulatory galectin-1 in peripheral leukocytes and adult tissues and its cytosolic organization in striated muscle 
Glycobiology  2010;20(5):507-520.
Galectin-1 (Gal-1) is important in immune function and muscle regeneration, but its expression and localization in adult tissues and primary leukocytes remain unclear. To address this, we generated a specific monoclonal antibody against Gal-1, termed αhGal-1, and defined a sequential peptide epitope that it recognizes, which is preserved in human and porcine Gal-1, but not in murine Gal-1. Using αhGal-1, we found that Gal-1 is expressed in a wide range of porcine tissues, including striated muscle, liver, lung, brain, kidney, spleen, and intestine. In most types of cells, Gal-1 exhibits diffuse cytosolic expression, but in cells within the splenic red pulp, Gal-1 showed both cytosolic and nuclear localization. Gal-1 was also expressed in arterial walls and exhibited prominent cytosolic and nuclear staining in cultured human endothelial cells. However, human peripheral leukocytes and promyelocytic HL60 cells lack detectable Gal-1 and also showed very low levels of Gal-1 mRNA. In striking contrast, Gal-1 exhibited an organized cytosolic staining pattern within striated muscle tissue of cardiac and skeletal muscle and colocalized with sarcomeric actin on I bands. These results provide insights into previously defined roles for Gal-1 in inflammation, immune regulation and muscle biology.
PMCID: PMC2900886  PMID: 20053628
galectin-1 expression; leukocytes; monoclonal antibody; muscle; tissue localization
8.  Innate immune lectins kill bacteria expressing blood group antigen 
Nature medicine  2010;16(3):295-301.
The expression of ABO(H) blood group antigens causes deletion of cells that generate self anti-blood group antibodies, but this deletion limits adaptive immunity toward pathogens bearing cognate blood group antigens. To explore potential defense mechanisms against these pathogens, given such limitations in adaptive immunity, we screened for innate proteins that could recognize human blood group antigens. Here we report that two innate immune lectins, galectins-4 and -8, which are expressed in the intestinal tract, recognize and kill human blood group antigen-expressing E. coli, while failing to alter viability of other E. coli strains or other gram-negative or gram-positive organisms both in vitro and in vivo. Killing by both galectins-4 and -8 resides within their C-terminal domains, occurs rapidly and independently of complement, and is accompanied by disruption of membrane integrity. These results demonstrate that innate defense lectins can provide immunity against pathogens that display blood group self-antigens on their surface.
PMCID: PMC2853181  PMID: 20154696
9.  Novel Fluorescent Glycan Microarray Strategy Reveals Ligands for Galectins 
Chemistry & biology  2009;16(1):36-47.
Galectin-1 (Gal-1) and galectin-3 (Gal-3) are widely expressed galectins with immunoregulatory functions in animals. To explore their glycan specificity, we developed microarrays of naturally occurring glycans using a novel bifunctional fluorescent linker, 2-amino-N-(2-aminoethyl)-benzamide (AEAB), directly conjugated through its arylamine group by reductive amination to free glycans to form glycan-AEABs (GAEABs). Glycans from natural sources were used to prepare over 200 GAEABs, which were purified by multidimensional HPLC and covalently immobilized onto NHS-activated glass slides via their free alkylamine. Fluorescence-based screening demonstrated that Gal-1 recognizes a wide variety of complex N-glycans, whereas Gal-3 primarily recognizes poly-N-acetyllactosamine-containing glycans independent of N-glycan presentation. GAEABs provide a general solution to glycan microarray preparation from natural sources for defining the specificity of glycan-binding proteins.
PMCID: PMC2662446  PMID: 19171304
galectin; glycan microarray; fluorescent labeling; immobilization; functional glycomics
10.  Structural characterisation of neutrophil glycans by ultra sensitive mass spectrometric glycomics methodology 
Glycoconjugate Journal  2008;26(8):975-986.
Neutrophils are the most abundant white blood cells in humans and play a vital role in several aspects of the immune response. Numerous reports have implicated neutrophil glycosylation as an important factor in mediating these interactions. We report here the application of high sensitivity glycomics methodologies, including matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation (MALDI-TOF) and MALDI-TOF/TOF analyses, to the structural analysis of N- and O-linked carbohydrates released from two samples of neutrophils, prepared by two separate and geographically remote laboratories. The data produced demonstrates that the cells display a diverse range of sialylated and fucosylated complex glycans, with a high level of similarity between the two preparations.
PMCID: PMC2791480  PMID: 18587645
Mass spectrometry; Neutrophil; Glycomics; Protein glycosylation
11.  Galectin-1 signaling in leukocytes requires expression of complex-type N-glycans 
Glycobiology  2008;18(10):770-778.
Dimeric galectin-1 (dGal-1) is a homodimeric lectin with multiple proposed functions. Although dGal-1 binds to diverse glycans, it is unclear whether dGal-1 preferentially binds to specific subsets of glycans on cell surfaces to transmit signals. To explore this question, we selectively inhibited major glycan biosynthetic pathways in human HL60, Molt-4, and Jurkat cells. Inhibition of N-glycan processing blocked surface binding of dGal-1 and prevented dGal-1-induced Ca2+ mobilization and phosphatidylserine exposure. By contrast, inhibition of O-glycan or glycosphingolipid biosynthesis did not affect dGal-1 binding or dGal-1-induced Ca2+ mobilization and phosphatidylserine exposure. These results demonstrate that dGal-1 preferentially binds to and signals through glycoproteins containing complex-type N-glycans in at least some leukocyte subsets.
PMCID: PMC2733774  PMID: 18633135
galectin; inflammation; leukocytes; N-glycans; signaling
12.  Galectin-1 Induces Reversible Phosphatidylserine Exposure at the Plasma Membrane 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2009;20(5):1408-1418.
Cells normally undergo physiological turnover through the induction of apoptosis and phagocytic removal, partly through exposure of cell surface phosphatidylserine (PS). In contrast, neutrophils appear to possess apoptosis-independent mechanisms of removal. Here we show that Galectin-1 (Gal-1) induces PS exposure independent of alterations in mitochondrial potential, caspase activation, or cell death. Furthermore, Gal-1–induced PS exposure reverts after Gal-1 removal without altering cell viability. Gal-1–induced PS exposure is uniquely microdomain restricted, yet cells exposing PS do not display evident alterations in membrane morphology nor do they exhibit bleb formation, typically seen in apoptotic cells. Long-term exposure to Gal-1 prolongs PS exposure with no alteration in cell cycle progression or cell growth. These results demonstrate that Gal-1–induced PS exposure and subsequent phagocytic removal of living cells represents a new paradigm in cellular turnover.
PMCID: PMC2649277  PMID: 19116313

Results 1-12 (12)