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1.  A Broadly Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibody Directed against a Novel Conserved Epitope on the Influenza Virus H3 Hemagglutinin Globular Head 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(12):6743-6750.
Most neutralizing antibodies elicited during influenza virus infection or vaccination target immunodominant, variable epitopes on the globular head region of hemagglutinin (HA), which leads to narrow strain protection. In this report, we describe the properties of a unique anti-HA monoclonal antibody (MAb), D1-8, that was derived from human B cells and exhibits potent, broad neutralizing activity across antigenically diverse influenza H3 subtype viruses. Based on selection of escape variants, we show that D1-8 targets a novel epitope on the globular head region of the influenza virus HA protein. The HA residues implicated in D1-8 binding are highly conserved among H3N2 viruses and are located proximal to antigenic site D. We demonstrate that the potent in vitro antiviral activity of D1-8 translates into protective activity in mouse models of influenza virus infection. Furthermore, D1-8 exhibits superior therapeutic survival benefit in influenza virus-infected mice compared to the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir when treatment is started late in infection. The present study suggests the potential application of this monoclonal antibody for the therapeutic treatment of H3N2 influenza virus infection.
IMPORTANCE Recently, a few globular head-targeting MAbs have been discovered that exhibit activity against different subtypes of influenza subtypes, such as H1; however, none of the previously described MAbs showed broadly neutralizing activity against diverse H3 viruses. In this report, we describe a human MAb, D1-8, that exhibits potent, broadly neutralizing activity against antigenically diverse H3 subtype viruses. The genotypic analysis of escape mutants revealed a unique putative epitope region in the globular head of H3 HA that is comprised of highly conserved residues and is distinct from the receptor binding site. Furthermore, we demonstrate that D1-8 exhibits superior therapeutic efficacy in influenza virus-infected mice compared to the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir when treatment is started late in infection. In addition to describing a novel anti-globular head of H3 HA MAb with potent broadly neutralizing activity, our report suggests the potential of D1-8 for therapeutic treatment of seasonal influenza virus H3 infection.
PMCID: PMC4054378  PMID: 24696468
2.  IL-9 Governs Allergen-induced Mast Cell Numbers in the Lung and Chronic Remodeling of the Airways 
IL-9 is a pleiotropic cytokine that has multiple effects on structural as well as numerous hematopoietic cells, which are central to the pathogenesis of asthma.
The contribution of IL-9 to asthma pathogenesis has thus far been unclear, due to conflicting reports in the literature. These earlier studies focused on the role of IL-9 in acute inflammatory models; here we have investigated the effects of IL-9 blockade during chronic allergic inflammation.
Mice were exposed to either prolonged ovalbumin or house dust mite allergen challenge to induce chronic inflammation and airway remodeling.
Measurements and Main Results
We found that IL-9 governs allergen-induced mast cell (MC) numbers in the lung and has pronounced effects on chronic allergic inflammation. Anti–IL-9 antibody–treated mice were protected from airway remodeling with a concomitant reduction in mature MC numbers and activation, in addition to decreased expression of the profibrotic mediators transforming growth factor-β1, vascular endothelial growth factor, and fibroblast growth factor-2 in the lung. Airway remodeling was associated with impaired lung function in the peripheral airways and this was reversed by IL-9 neutralization. In human asthmatic lung tissue, we identified MCs as the main IL-9 receptor expressing population and found them to be sources of vascular endothelial growth factor and fibroblast growth factor-2.
Our data suggest an important role for an IL-9-MC axis in the pathology associated with chronic asthma and demonstrate that an impact on this axis could lead to a reduction in chronic inflammation and improved lung function in patients with asthma.
PMCID: PMC3385369  PMID: 20971830
IL-9; mast cells; asthma; airway remodeling; AHR
3.  Opposing Roles of Membrane and Soluble Forms of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products in Primary Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(8):1311-1320.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common respiratory pathogen in infants and the older population, causes pulmonary inflammation and airway occlusion that leads to impairment of lung function. Here, we have established a role for receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) in RSV infection. RAGE-deficient (ager−/−) mice were protected from RSV-induced weight loss and inflammation. This protection correlated with an early increase in type I interferons, later decreases in proinflammatory cytokines, and a reduction in viral load. To assess the contribution of soluble RAGE (sRAGE) to RSV-induced disease, wild-type and ager−/− mice were given doses of sRAGE following RSV infection. Of interest, sRAGE treatment prevented RSV-induced weight loss and neutrophilic inflammation to a degree similar to that observed in ager−/− mice. Our work further elucidates the roles of RAGE in the pathogenesis of respiratory infections and highlights the opposing roles of membrane and sRAGE in modulating the host response to RSV infection.
PMCID: PMC3308901  PMID: 22262795
4.  Strain-specific requirement for eosinophils in the recruitment of T cells to the lung during the development of allergic asthma 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2008;205(6):1285-1292.
Eosinophils have been implicated as playing a major role in allergic airway responses. However, the importance of these cells to the development of this disease has remained ambiguous despite many studies, partly because of lack of appropriate model systems. In this study, using transgenic murine models, we more clearly delineate a role for eosinophils in asthma. We report that, in contrast to results obtained on a BALB/c background, eosinophil-deficient C57BL/6 ΔdblGATA mice (eosinophil-null mice via the ΔDblGATA1 mutation) have reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, and cytokine production of interleukin (IL)-4, -5, and -13 in ovalbumin-induced allergic airway inflammation. This was caused by reduced T cell recruitment into the lung, as these mouse lungs had reduced expression of CCL7/MCP-3, CC11/eotaxin-1, and CCL24/eotaxin-2. Transferring eosinophils into these eosinophil-deficient mice and, more importantly, delivery of CCL11/eotaxin-1 into the lung during the development of this disease rescued lung T cell infiltration and airway inflammation when delivered together with allergen. These studies indicate that on the C57BL/6 background, eosinophils are integral to the development of airway allergic responses by modulating chemokine and/or cytokine production in the lung, leading to T cell recruitment.
PMCID: PMC2413027  PMID: 18490489

Results 1-4 (4)