OM-85 (Broncho-Vaxom®, Broncho-Munal®, Ommunal®, Paxoral®, Vaxoral®), a product made of the water soluble fractions of 21 inactivated bacterial strain patterns responsible for respiratory tract infections, is used for the prevention of recurrent upper respiratory tract infections and acute exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. OM-85 is able to potentiate both innate and adaptive immune responses. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for OM-85 activation are still largely unknown. Purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of OM-85 stimulation on human dendritic cell functions. We show that OM-85 selectively induced NF-kB and MAPK activation in human DC with no detectable action on the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) pathway. As a consequence, chemokines (i.e. CXCL8, CXCL6, CCL3, CCL20, CCL22) and B-cell activating cytokines (i.e. IL-6, BAFF and IL-10) were strongly upregulated. OM-85 also synergized with the action of classical pro-inflammatory stimuli used at suboptimal concentrations. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with COPD, a pathological condition often associated with altered PRR expression pattern, fully retained the capability to respond to OM-85. These results provide new insights on the molecular mechanisms of OM-85 activation of the immune response and strengthen the rational for its use in clinical settings.
C1q is the first subcomponent of the classical complement pathway that can interact with a range of biochemically and structurally diverse self and nonself ligands. The globular domain of C1q (gC1q), which is the ligand-recognition domain, is a heterotrimeric structure composed of the C-terminal regions of A (ghA), B (ghB), and C (ghC) chains. The expression and functional characterization of ghA, ghB, and ghC modules have revealed that each chain has specific and differential binding properties toward C1q ligands. It is largely considered that C1q–ligand interactions are ionic in nature; however, the complementary ligand-binding sites on C1q and the mechanisms of interactions are still unclear. To identify the residues on the gC1q domain that are likely to be involved in ligand recognition, we have generated a number of substitution mutants of ghA, ghB, and ghC modules and examined their interactions with three selected ligands: IgG1, C-reactive protein (CRP), and pentraxin 3 (PTX3). Our results suggest that charged residues belonging to the apex of the gC1q heterotrimer (with participation of all three chains) as well as the side of the ghB are crucial for C1q binding to these ligands, and their contribution to each interaction is different. It is likely that a set of charged residues from the gC1q surface participate via different ionic and hydrogen bonds with corresponding residues from the ligand, instead of forming separate binding sites. Thus, a recently proposed model suggesting the rotation of the gC1q domain upon ligand recognition may be extended to C1q interaction with CRP and PTX3 in addition to IgG1.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic heart failure (CHF) may coexist in elderly patients with a history of smoking. Low-grade systemic inflammation induced by smoking may represent the link between these 2 conditions. In this study, we investigated left ventricular dysfunction in patients primarily diagnosed with COPD, and nonreversible airflow limitation in patients primarily diagnosed with CHF. The levels of circulating high-sensitive C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP), pentraxin 3 (PTX3), interleukin-1β (IL-1 β), and soluble type II receptor of IL-1 (sIL-1RII) were also measured as markers of systemic inflammation in these 2 cohorts. Patients aged ≥50 years and with ≥10 pack years of cigarette smoking who presented with a diagnosis of stable COPD (n=70) or stable CHF (n=124) were recruited. All patients underwent echocardiography, N-terminal pro-hormone of brain natriuretic peptide measurements, and post-bronchodilator spirometry. Plasma levels of Hs-CRP, PTX3, IL-1 β, and sIL-1RII were determined by using a sandwich enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay in all patients and in 24 healthy smokers (control subjects). Although we were unable to find a single COPD patient with left ventricular dysfunction, we found nonreversible airflow limitation in 34% of patients with CHF. On the other hand, COPD patients had higher plasma levels of Hs-CRP, IL1 β, and sIL-1RII compared with CHF patients and control subjects (p < 0.05). None of the inflammatory biomarkers was different between CHF patients and control subjects. In conclusion, although the COPD patients had no evidence of CHF, up to one third of patients with CHF had airflow limitation, suggesting that routine spirometry is warranted in patients with CHF, whereas echocardiography is not required in well characterized patients with COPD. Only smokers with COPD seem to have evidence of systemic inflammation.
Clinical studies have shown that radiotherapy increases the risk of cardiovascular disease at irradiated sites years after exposure. However, there is a lack of biological explanations in humans. We therefore examined human blood vessels exposed to radiotherapy and studied C-reactive protein (CRP) and pentraxin 3 (PTX3), a new marker for adverse cardiovascular outcome dependent on TNF- alpha (TNFα) or interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) expression.
Pairs of irradiated and non-irradiated human conduit arteries and veins were harvested from the same patient during autologous free tissue transfer for cancer-reconstruction at a median time of 48 weeks after radiotherapy. Differential gene expression was studied using qRT-PCR, confirmed by immunohistochemistry and cellular origins determined by immunofluorescence.
Gene expression in irradiated arteries compared to non-irradiated showed a consistent up-regulation of PTX3 in all patients and in a majority of veins (p < 0.001). Both TNFα and IL-1β were increased in irradiated compared to non-irradiated arteries (p < 0.01) and IL-1β correlated to the PTX3 expression (p = 0.017). Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence staining confirmed an increased expression of PTX3 in endothelial cells, macrophages and smooth muscle cells.
The sustained expression of PTX3 in arteries and veins tie biological evidence in humans to clinical studies and encourage further exploration of innate immunity in the pathogenesis of a radiation-induced vasculopathy.
PTX3; CRP; Radiotherapy; Human; Blood vessels; Gene expression; Cardiovascular disease; Atherosclerosis; Stroke and neck
Obesity is associated with a significantly increased risk for cancer suggesting that adipose tissue dysfunctions might play a crucial role therein. Macrophages play important roles in adipose tissue as well as in cancers. Here, we studied whether human adipose tissue macrophages (ATM) modulate cancer cell function.
Therefore, ATM were isolated and compared to monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) from the same obese patients. ATM, but not MDM, were found to secrete factors inducing inflammation and lipid accumulation in human T47D and HT-29 cancer cells. Gene expression profile comparison of ATM and MDM revealed over-expression of functional clusters, such as cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction (especially CXC-chemokine) signalling as well as cancer-related pathways, in ATM. Comparison with gene expression profiles of human tumour-associated macrophages (TAM) showed that ATM, but not MDM resemble TAM. Indirect co-culture experiments demonstrated that factors secreted by pre-adipocytes, but not mature adipocytes, confer an ATM-like phenotype to MDM. Finally, the concentrations of ATM secreted factors related to cancer are elevated in serum of obese subjects. In conclusion, ATM may thus modulate the cancer cell phenotype.
Adipocytes; cytology; Adipose Tissue; metabolism; Azo Compounds; pharmacology; Cell Line, Tumor; Chemokines; metabolism; Disease Progression; Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic; Humans; Immunohistochemistry; methods; Inflammation; Macrophages; cytology; metabolism; Neoplasms; metabolism; Obesity; metabolism; Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis; Phenotype; macrophages; obesity; cancer; adipose tissue; chemokines
Recent insights into the genetic and somatic aberrations have initiated a new era of rapidly evolving targeted and immune-based treatments for melanoma. After decades of unsuccessful attempts to finding a more effective cure in the treatment of melanoma now we have several drugs active in melanoma. The possibility to use these drugs in combination to improve responses to overcome the resistance, to potentiate the action of immune system with the new immunomodulating antibodies, and identification of biomarkers that can predict the response to a particular therapy represent new concepts and approaches in the clinical management of melanoma. The third “Melanoma Research: “A bridge from Naples to the World” meeting, shortened as “Bridge Melanoma Meeting” took place in Naples, December 2 to 4th, 2012. The four topics of discussion at this meeting were: advances in molecular profiling and novel biomarkers, combination therapies, novel concepts toward integrating biomarkers and therapies into contemporary clinical management of patients with melanoma across the entire spectrum of disease stage, and the knowledge gained from the biology of tumor microenvironment across different tumors as a bridge to impact on prognosis and response to therapy in melanoma. This international congress gathered more than 30 international faculty members who in an interactive atmosphere which stimulated discussion and exchange of their experience regarding the most recent advances in research and clinical management of melanoma patients.
Significant evidence supports that many endocrine disrupting chemicals could affect female reproductive health. Aim of this study was to compare the internal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), monoethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP), and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in serum samples of 111 infertile women and 44 fertile women. Levels of gene expression of nuclear receptors (ERα, ERβ, AR, AhR, PXR, and PPARγ) were also analyzed as biomarkers of effective dose. The percentage of women with BPA concentrations above the limit of detection was significantly higher in infertile women than in controls. No statistically significant difference was found with regard to PFOS, PFOA, MEHP and DEHP. Infertile patients showed gene expression levels of ERα, ERβ, AR, and PXR significantly higher than controls. In infertile women, a positive association was found between BPA and MEHP levels and ERα, ERβ, AR, AhR, and PXR expression. PFOS concentration positively correlated with AR and PXR expression. PFOA levels negatively correlated with AhR expression. No correlation was found between DEHP levels and all evaluated nuclear receptors. This study underlines the need to provide special attention to substances that are still widely present in the environment and to integrate exposure measurements with relevant indicators of biological effects.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and other myeloid cells that infiltrate neoplastic lesions promote tumor progression and are associated with poor patient prognosis. We have recently demonstrated that trabectedin, a licensed and commercially available anticancer agent, is selectively cytotoxic for TAMs and their circulating precursors (monocytes). The macrophage-depleting effect of trabectedin is a key component of its antitumor activity.
tumor-associated macrophages; chemotherapy; micro-environment; angiogenesis; marine drug
Members of the pentraxin family, including PTX3 and serum amyloid P component (SAP), have been reported to play a role in innate host defence against a range of microbial pathogens, yet little is known regarding their antiviral activities. In this study, we demonstrate that human SAP binds to human influenza A virus (IAV) strains and mediates a range of antiviral activities, including inhibition of IAV-induced hemagglutination (HA), neutralization of virus infectivity and inhibition of the enzymatic activity of the viral neuraminidase (NA). Characterization of the anti-IAV activity of SAP after periodate or bacterial sialidase treatment demonstrated that α(2,6)-linked sialic acid residues on the glycosidic moiety of SAP are critical for recognition by the HA of susceptible IAV strains. Other proteins of the innate immune system, namely human surfactant protein A and porcine surfactant protein D, have been reported to express sialylated glycans which facilitate inhibition of particular IAV strains, yet the specific viral determinants for recognition of these inhibitors have not been defined. Herein, we have selected virus mutants in the presence of human SAP and identified specific residues in the receptor-binding pocket of the viral HA which are critical for recognition and therefore susceptibility to the antiviral activities of SAP. Given the widespread expression of α(2,6)-linked sialic acid in the human respiratory tract, we propose that SAP may act as an effective receptor mimic to limit IAV infection of airway epithelial cells.
autoimmunity; innate immunity; macrophages; biliary tree; apoptosis
Left ventricular hypertrophy is enhanced by an inflammatory state and stimulation of various cytokines. Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is rapidly produced in response to inflammatory signals, and high plasma PTX3 levels are seen in patients with heart failure. This study aimed to examine the influence of PTX3 on cardiac hypertrophy and left ventricular dysfunction with respect to pressure overload.
Methods and Results
PTX3 systemic knockout (PTX3-KO) mice, transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of PTX3 (PTX3-TG), and the respective wild-type (WT) littermate mice were subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC) or a sham operation. Cardiac PTX3 expression increased after TAC in WT mice. In vitro, hydrogen peroxide induced the expression of PTX3 in both cardiac myocytes and cardiac fibroblasts. Recombinant PTX3 phosphorylated extracellular signal–regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in cardiac fibroblasts. Phosphorylation of cardiac ERK1/2 and nuclear factor kappa-B after TAC was attenuated in the PTX3-KO mice but was enhanced in the PTX3-TG mice compared with WT mice. Interleukin-6 and connective tissue growth factor production was lower in the PTX3-KO mice than in the WT mice, but this was augmented in the PTX3-TG mice than in the WT mice. Echocardiography revealed that adverse remodeling with left ventricular dysfunction, as well as with increased interstitial fibrosis, was enhanced in PTX3-TG mice, while these responses were suppressed in PTX3-KO mice.
The local inflammatory mediator PTX3 directly modulates the hypertrophic response and ventricular dysfunction following an increased afterload.
Members of the IL-1 family play a key role in innate and adaptive immunity and in the pathogenesis of diverse diseases. Members of IL-1R like receptor (ILR) family include signaling molecules and negative regulators. The latter include decoy receptors (IL-1RII; IL-18BP) and “receptors” with regulatory function (TIR8/SIGIRR; IL-1RAcPb; DIGIRR). Structural considerations suggest that also TIGIRR-1 and IL-1RAPL may have regulatory function. The presence of multiple pathways of negative regulation of members of the IL-1/IL-1R family emphasizes the need for a tight control of members of this fundamental system.
cytokine; interleukin-1; inflammation; decoy receptor
interleukin-1; decoy receptor; inflammation; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; autoinflammatory diseases
Diversity and plasticity are hallmarks of cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage. In response to IFNs, Toll-like receptor engagement, or IL-4/IL-13 signaling, macrophages undergo M1 (classical) or M2 (alternative) activation, which represent extremes of a continuum in a universe of activation states. Progress has now been made in defining the signaling pathways, transcriptional networks, and epigenetic mechanisms underlying M1-M2 or M2-like polarized activation. Functional skewing of mononuclear phagocytes occurs in vivo under physiological conditions (e.g., ontogenesis and pregnancy) and in pathology (allergic and chronic inflammation, tissue repair, infection, and cancer). However, in selected preclinical and clinical conditions, coexistence of cells in different activation states and unique or mixed phenotypes have been observed, a reflection of dynamic changes and complex tissue-derived signals. The identification of mechanisms and molecules associated with macrophage plasticity and polarized activation provides a basis for macrophage-centered diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
PTX3 is a long pentraxin of the innate immune system produced by different cell types (mononuclear phagocytes, dendritic cells, fibroblasts and endothelial cells) at the inflammatory site. It appears to have a cardiovascular protective function by acting on the immune-inflammatory balance in the cardiovascular system. PTX3 plasma concentration is an independent predictor of mortality in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) but the influence of PTX3 genetic variants on PTX3 plasma concentration has been investigated very little and there is no information on the association between PTX3 variations and AMI. Subjects of European origin (3245, 1751 AMI survivors and 1494 controls) were genotyped for three common PTX3 polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs2305619, rs3816527, rs1840680). Genotype and allele frequencies of the three SNPs and the haplotype frequencies were compared for the two groups. None of the genotypes, alleles or haplotypes were significantly associated with the risk of AMI. However, analysis adjusted for age and sex indicated that the three PTX3 SNPs and the corresponding haplotypes were significantly associated with different PTX3 plasma levels. There was also a significant association between PTX3 plasma concentrations and the risk of all-cause mortality at three years in AMI patients (OR 1.10, 95% CI: 1.01–1.20, p = 0.02). Our study showed that PTX3 plasma levels are influenced by three PTX3 polymorphisms. Genetically determined high PTX3 levels do not influence the risk of AMI, suggesting that the PTX3 concentration itself is unlikely to be even a modest causal factor for AMI. Analysis also confirmed that PTX3 is a prognostic marker after AMI.
Innate lymphoid cells (ILC)-22 protect the intestinal mucosa from infections by secreting interleukin-22 (IL-22). They include NKp46+ and Lymphoid Tissues inducer (LTi)-like subsets. Both express the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), a sensor for environmental, dietary and endogenous aromatic compounds. We show that AHR-/- mice have a marked ILC22 deficit, resulting in diminished IL-22 secretion and inadequate protection against intestinal bacterial infections. AHR-/- mice also lack post-natally-imprinted cryptopatches (CP) and isolated lymphoid follicles (ILF), but not embryonically-imprinted Peyer's Patches (PP). AHR induces Notch, which is required for NKp46+ILC, while LTi-like ILC, CP and ILF are partially dependent on Notch signaling. These results establish that AHR is essential for ILC22 and post-natal intestinal lymphoid tissues and reveal heterogeneity of ILC22 subsets in their developmental requirements and their impact on the generation of intestinal lymphoid tissues.
CCRL2 is a heptahelic transmembrane receptor that shows the highest degree of homology with CCR1, an inflammatory chemokine receptor. CCRL2 mRNA was rapidly (30 min) and transiently (2-4 hrs) regulated during dendritic cell (DC) maturation. Protein expression paralleled RNA regulation. In vivo, CCRL2 was expressed by activated DC and macrophages, but not by eosinophils and T cells. CCRL2−/− mice showed normal recruitment of circulating DC into the lung but a defective trafficking of antigen-loaded lung DC to mediastinal lymph nodes. This defect was associated to a reduction in lymph node cellularity and reduced priming of Th2 response. CCRL2−/− mice were protected in a model of OVA-induced airway inflammation with reduced leukocyte recruitment in the BAL (eosinophils and mononuclear cells) and reduced production of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-5 and chemokines CCL11 and CCL17. The central role of CCRL2 deficiency in DC was supported by the fact that adoptive transfer of CCRL2−/− antigen-loaded DC in wild type animals recapitulated the phenotype observed in knock out mice. These data show a nonredundant role of CCRL2 in lung DC trafficking and propose a role for this receptor in the control of excessive airway inflammatory responses.
Toll interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R) 8 (TIR8), also known as single Ig IL-1 receptor (IL-R)-related molecule, or SIGIRR, is a member of the IL-1R-like family, primarily expressed by epithelial cells. Current evidence suggests that TIR8 plays a nonredundant role as a negative regulator in vivo under different inflammatory conditions that are dependent on IL-R and Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation. In the present study, we examined the role of TIR8 in innate resistance to acute lung infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative pathogen responsible for life-threatening infections in immunocompromised individuals and cystic fibrosis patients. We show that Tir8 deficiency in mice was associated with increased susceptibility to acute P. aeruginosa infection, in terms of mortality and bacterial load, and to exacerbated local and systemic production of proinflammatory cytokines (gamma interferon [IFN-γ], tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], IL-1β, and IL-6) and chemokines (CXCL1, CXCL2, and CCL2). It has been reported that host defense against P. aeruginosa acute lung infection can be improved by blocking IL-1 since exaggerated IL-1β production may be harmful for the host in this infection. In agreement with these data, IL-1RI deficiency rescues the phenotype observed in Tir8-deficient mice: in Tir8−/− IL-1RI−/− double knockout mice we observed higher survival rates, enhanced bacterial clearance, and reduced levels of local and systemic cytokine and chemokine levels than in Tir8-deficient mice. These results suggest that TIR8 has a nonredundant effect in modulating the inflammation caused by P. aeruginosa, in particular, by negatively regulating IL-1RI signaling, which plays a major role in the pathogenesis of this infectious disease.
Pentraxins are a family of evolutionarily conserved pattern-recognition proteins that are made up of five identical subunits. Based on the primary structure of the subunit, the pentraxins are divided into two groups: short pentraxins and long pentraxins. C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid P-component (SAP) are the two short pentraxins. The prototype protein of the long pentraxin group is pentraxin 3 (PTX3). CRP and SAP are produced primarily in the liver while PTX3 is produced in a variety of tissues during inflammation. The main functions of short pentraxins are to recognize a variety of pathogenic agents and then to either eliminate them or neutralize their harmful effects by utilizing the complement pathways and macrophages in the host. CRP binds to modified low-density lipoproteins, bacterial polysaccharides, apoptotic cells, and nuclear materials. By virtue of these recognition functions, CRP participates in the resolution of cardiovascular, infectious, and autoimmune diseases. SAP recognizes carbohydrates, nuclear substances, and amyloid fibrils and thus participates in the resolution of infectious diseases, autoimmunity, and amyloidosis. PTX3 interacts with several ligands, including growth factors, extracellular matrix component and selected pathogens, playing a role in complement activation and facilitating pathogen recognition by phagocytes. In addition, data in gene-targeted mice show that PTX3 is essential in female fertility, participating in the assembly of the cumulus oophorus extra-cellular matrix. PTX3 is therefore a nonredundant component of the humoral arm of innate immunity as well as a tuner of inflammation. Thus, in conjunction with the other components of innate immunity, the pentraxins use their pattern-recognition property for the benefit of the host.
Pentraxins like C-reactive protein are key components of the innate immune system. Recently, pentraxin-3 (PTX3) has been proposed to be a specific marker of vascular inflammation, yet its association with atherosclerosis is still unclear.
Methods and Results
PTX3 serum levels were measured in three independent studies of 132 young men (ARMY Study), 205 young women (ARFY Study) and 562 individuals 55 to 94 years old (Bruneck Study). In contrast to C-reactive protein, PTX3 showed little relationships with classic vascular risk factors and pro-inflammatory conditions. In the population based Bruneck Study, PTX3 level was independently associated with prevalent cardiovascular diseases (multivariable odds ratio [95%CI] 3.09 [1.65–5.79]; P<0.001). Moreover, PTX3 level correlated with the severity of carotid and femoral atherosclerosis and was highest in individuals with multiple vascular territories affected. In contrast, there was no association with elevated intima-media thickness, a precursor lesion of atherosclerosis, in any of the three populations investigated.
Level of PTX3 is independently associated with atherosclerosis and manifest cardiovascular disease but not early vessel pathology. Unlike C-reactive protein, PTX3 is not a component of the classic acute phase response (systemic inflammation) but appears to be more specific for vascular inflammation.
Interleukin-1R like receptors (ILRs) and Toll Like Receptors (TLRs) are key receptors of innate immunity, inflammation, and orientation of the adaptive response. They belong to a superfamily characterized by the presence of a conserved intracellular domain, the Toll/IL-1R (TIR) domain, which is involved in the activation of a signaling cascade leading to activation of transcription factors associated to inflammation. The activation of inflammatory responses and immunity by ILRs or TLRs signaling is potentially detrimental for the host in acute and chronic conditions and is tightly regulated at different levels by receptor antagonists, decoy receptors or signaling molecules, and miRNAs. Recent evidence suggests that the ILRs family member TIR8 (also known as SIGIRR) is a regulatory protein acting intracellularly to inhibit ILRs and TLRs signaling. In particular, current evidence suggests that TIR8/SIGIRR dampens TLRs-mediated activation and inhibits signaling receptor complexes of IL-1 family members associated with Th1 (IL-18), Th2 (IL-33), and Th17 (IL-1) differentiation. Studies with Tir8/Sigirr-deficient mice showed that the ability to dampen signaling from ILRs and TLRs family members makes TIR8/SIGIRR a key regulator of inflammation. Here, we summarize our current understanding of the structure and function of TIR8/SIGIRR, focusing on its role in different pathological conditions, ranging from infectious and sterile inflammation, to autoimmunity and cancer-related inflammation.
cytokine; interleukin-1; toll like receptors; inflammation; infection; inflammation-associated cancer
Innate immunity represents the first line of defense against pathogens and plays key roles in activation and orientation of the adaptive immune response. The innate immune system comprises both a cellular and a humoral arm. Components of the humoral arm include soluble pattern recognition molecules (PRMs) that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns and initiate the immune response in coordination with the cellular arm, therefore acting as functional ancestors of antibodies. The long pentraxin PTX3 is a prototypic soluble PRM that is produced at sites of infection and inflammation by both somatic and immune cells. Gene targeting of this evolutionarily conserved protein has revealed a non-redundant role in resistance to selected pathogens. Moreover, PTX3 exerts important functions at the crossroad between innate immunity, inflammation, and female fertility. The human PTX3 protein contains a single N-glycosylation site that is fully occupied by complex type oligosaccharides, mainly fucosylated and sialylated biantennary glycans. Glycosylation has been implicated in a number of PTX3 activities, including neutralization of influenza viruses, modulation of the complement system, and attenuation of leukocyte recruitment. Therefore, this post translational modification might act as a fine tuner of PTX3 functions in native immunity and inflammation. Here we review the studies on PTX3, with emphasis on the glycan-dependent mechanisms underlying pathogen recognition and crosstalk with other components of the innate immune system.
pathogen recognition; inflammation; glycosylation; pentraxins; PTX3
Ectopic (or tertiary) lymphoid tissue develops at sites of inflammation or infection in non lymphoid organs and is associated with chronic inflammation. In colon mucosa, small lymphoid aggregates are already present in homeostatic conditions, as part of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and play an essential role in the immune response to perturbations of the mucosal microenvironment. Despite the recognized role of inflammation in tumor progression, the presence and biological function of lymphoid tissue in cancer has been poorly investigated. We identified aggregates of lymphocytes resembling tertiary lymphoid tissue in human colorectal cancer specimens; intratumor accumulations of lymphocytes display a high degree of compartmentalization, with B and T cells, mature dendritic cells and a network of CD21+ follicular dendritic cells (FDC). We analyzed the adaptation of colon lymphoid tissue in a murine model of colitis-associated cancer (AOM/DSS). B cell follicle formation increases in the context of the chronic inflammation associated to intestinal neoplasia, in this model. A network of lymphatic and haematic vessels surrounding B cell follicles is present and includes high endothelial venules (HEV). Future task is to determine whether lymphoid tissue contributes to the persistence of the tumor-associated inflammatory reaction, rather than represent a functional immune compartment, potentially participating to the anti tumor response.
colon cancer; immune infiltration; ectopic lymphoid tissue
Tumor-Associated Macrophages (TAM) are key components of the reactive stroma of tumors. In most, although not all cancers, their presence is associated with poor patient prognosis. In addition to releasing cytokines and growth factors for tumor and endothelial cells, a distinguished feature of TAM is their high-rate degradation of the extra-cellular matrix. This incessant stroma remodelling favours the release of matrix-bound growth factors and promotes tumor cell motility and invasion. In addition, TAM produce matrix proteins, some of which are typical of the neoplastic tissues. The gene expression profile of TAM isolated from human tumors reveals a matrix-related signature with the up-regulation of genes coding for different matrix proteins, as well as several proteolytic enzymes. Among ECM components are: osteopontin, osteoactivin, collagens and fibronectin, including also a truncated isoform of fibronectin termed migration stimulation factor. In addition to serve as structural proteins, these matrix components have key functions in the regulation of the vessel network, in the inductionof tumor cell motility and degradation of cellular debris. Among proteolytic enzymes are: matrix metalloproteases, cathepsins, lysosomal and ADAM proteases, and the urokinase-type plasminogen activator. The degrading activity of TAM, coupled to the production of bio-active ECM proteins, co-operate to the build-up and maintenance of an inflammatory micro-environment which eventually promotes tumor progression.
Tumor-Associated Macrophages (TAM); extra-cellular matrix (ECM); stroma; proteases; MMPs; cancer; inflammation
Glucocorticoid administration before cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) can reduce the systemic inflammatory response and improve clinical outcome. Long pentraxin PTX3 is a novel inflammatory parameter that could play a protective cardiovascular role by regulating inflammation. Twenty-nine children undergoing open heart surgery were enrolled in the study. Fourteen received dexamethasone (1st dose 1.5 mg/Kg i.v. or i.m. the evening before surgery; 2nd dose 1.5 mg/kg i.v. before starting bypass) and fifteen children served as control. Blood PTX3, short pentraxin C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-1 receptor II (IL-1RII), fibrinogen and partial thromboplastin time (PTT) were assayed at different times. PTX3 levels significantly increased during CPB in dexamethasone-treated (+D) and dexamethasone-untreated (−D) subjects, but were significantly higher in +D than −D patients. CRP levels significantly increased both in +D and −D patients in the postoperative days, with values significantly higher in −D than +D patients. Fibrinogen and PTT values were significantly higher in −D than +D patients in the 1st postoperative day. IL-1RII plasma levels increased in the postoperative period in both groups. Dexamethasone prophylaxis in pediatric patients undergoing CPB for cardiac surgery is associated with a significant increase of blood PTX3 that could contribute to decreasing inflammatory parameters and improving patient clinical outcome.