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1.  New routes for allergen immunotherapy 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2012;8(10):1525-1533.
IgE-mediated allergy is a highly prevalent disease in the industrialized world. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) should be the preferred treatment, as it has long lasting protective effects and can stop the progression of the disease. However, few allergic patients choose to undergo SIT, due to the long treatment time and potential allergic adverse events. Since the beneficial effects of SIT are mediated by antigen presenting cells inducing Th1, Treg and antibody responses, whereas the adverse events are caused by mast cells and basophils, the therapeutic window of SIT may be widened by targeting tissues rich in antigen presenting cells. Lymph nodes and the epidermis contain high density of dendritic cells and low numbers of mast cells and basophils. The epidermis has the added benefit of not being vascularised thereby reducing the chances of anaphylactic shock due to leakage of allergen. Hence, both these tissues represent highly promising routes for SIT and are the focus of discussion in this review.
PMCID: PMC3660774  PMID: 23095873
allergy; immunotherapy; administration route; intralymphatic; epicutaneous; transcutaneous; clinical trials
2.  Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e63972.
The classical serotonergic psychedelics LSD, psilocybin, mescaline are not known to cause brain damage and are regarded as non-addictive. Clinical studies do not suggest that psychedelics cause long-term mental health problems. Psychedelics have been used in the Americas for thousands of years. Over 30 million people currently living in the US have used LSD, psilocybin, or mescaline.
To evaluate the association between the lifetime use of psychedelics and current mental health in the adult population.
Data drawn from years 2001 to 2004 of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health consisted of 130,152 respondents, randomly selected to be representative of the adult population in the United States. Standardized screening measures for past year mental health included serious psychological distress (K6 scale), mental health treatment (inpatient, outpatient, medication, needed but did not receive), symptoms of eight psychiatric disorders (panic disorder, major depressive episode, mania, social phobia, general anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, and non-affective psychosis), and seven specific symptoms of non-affective psychosis. We calculated weighted odds ratios by multivariate logistic regression controlling for a range of sociodemographic variables, use of illicit drugs, risk taking behavior, and exposure to traumatic events.
21,967 respondents (13.4% weighted) reported lifetime psychedelic use. There were no significant associations between lifetime use of any psychedelics, lifetime use of specific psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, peyote), or past year use of LSD and increased rate of any of the mental health outcomes. Rather, in several cases psychedelic use was associated with lower rate of mental health problems.
We did not find use of psychedelics to be an independent risk factor for mental health problems.
PMCID: PMC3747247  PMID: 23976938
3.  Over 30 million psychedelic users in the United States 
F1000Research  2013;2:98.
We estimated lifetime prevalence of psychedelic use (lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin (magic mushrooms), mescaline, and peyote) by age category using data from a 2010 US population survey of 57,873 individuals aged 12 years and older. There were approximately 32 million lifetime psychedelic users in the US in 2010; including 17% of people aged 21 to 64 years (22% of males and 12% of females). Rate of lifetime psychedelic use was greatest among people aged 30 to 34 (total 20%, including 26% of males and 15% of females).
PMCID: PMC3917651  PMID: 24627778
5.  Relief from Zmp1-Mediated Arrest of Phagosome Maturation Is Associated with Facilitated Presentation and Enhanced Immunogenicity of Mycobacterial Antigens▿ 
Pathogenic mycobacteria escape host innate immune responses by blocking phagosome-lysosome fusion. Avoiding lysosomal delivery may also be involved in the capacity of mycobacteria to evade major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I- or II-dependent T-cell responses. In this study, we used a genetic mutant of Mycobacterium bovis BCG that is unable to escape lysosomal transfer and show that presentation of mycobacterial antigens is affected by the site of intracellular residence. Compared to infection with wild-type BCG, infection of murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells with a mycobacterial mutant deficient in zinc metalloprotease 1 (Zmp1) resulted in increased presentation of MHC class II-restricted antigens, as assessed by activation of mycobacterial Ag85A-specific T-cell hybridomas. The zmp1 deletion mutant was more immunogenic in vivo, as measured by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH), antigen-specific lymphocyte proliferation, and the frequency of antigen-specific gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-producing lymphocytes of both CD4 and CD8 subsets. In conclusion, our results suggest that phagosome maturation and lysosomal delivery of BCG facilitate mycobacterial antigen presentation and enhance immunogenicity.
PMCID: PMC3122614  PMID: 21471301

Results 1-5 (5)