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1.  Multilocus analysis of atopy in Korean children using multifactor‐dimensionality reduction 
Thorax  2007;62(3):265-269.
Atopy is considered to be a complex genetic trait and does not follow a simple mendelian pattern of inheritance. It is now well recognised that gene–gene interactions are important in complex genetic disease.
To analyse the influence of gene–gene interactions in the development of atopy.
A total of 2055 ethnically identical participants aged 10–18 years living in rural areas on Jeju Island, Korea, were randomly recruited. Atopy was defined as a positive skin prick test response to one or more common inhalant allergens. Gene–gene interactions among 12 polymorphic loci were analysed in the seven candidate genes of atopy using the multidimensionality‐reduction method.
A significant interaction was found between V297I in the gene coding vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (KDR) and −308G→A in the gene coding tumour necrosis factor (TNF)α on the risk of atopy, with a cross‐validation consistency of 10 out of 10 and a prediction error of 35.9% (p = 0.001). Conventional logistic regression also revealed significant interactions between KDR and TNF for atopy. Individuals with the variant allele of −308G→A in TNF (GA or AA) and V297I in KDR (VI or II) had a significantly higher risk of atopy (OR 2.23; 95% CI 1.48 to 3.57).
KDR and TNF may synergistically influence the development of atopy through gene–gene interaction in Korean children and adolescents.
PMCID: PMC2117169  PMID: 17121871
2.  Immunopathogenesis of Allergic Asthma: More Than the Th2 Hypothesis 
Asthma is a chronic obstructive airway disease that involves inflammation of the respiratory tract. Biological contaminants in indoor air can induce innate and adaptive immune responses and inflammation, resulting in asthma pathology. Epidemiologic surveys indicate that the prevalence of asthma is higher in developed countries than in developing countries. The prevalence of asthma in Korea has increased during the last several decades. This increase may be related to changes in housing styles, which result in increased levels of indoor biological contaminants, such as house dust mite-derived allergens and bacterial products such as endotoxin. Different types of inflammation are observed in those suffering from mild-to-moderate asthma compared to those experiencing severe asthma, involving markedly different patterns of inflammatory cells and mediators. As described in this review, these inflammatory profiles are largely determined by the involvement of different T helper cell subsets, which orchestrate the recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells. It is becoming clear that T helper cells other than Th2 cells are involved in the pathogenesis of asthma; specifically, both Th1 and Th17 cells are crucial for the development of neutrophilic inflammation in the airways, which is related to corticosteroid resistance. Development of therapeutics that suppress these immune and inflammatory cells may provide useful asthma treatments in the future.
PMCID: PMC3695232  PMID: 23814671
Allergic asthma; endotoxin; immunopathogenesis; T helper cell
3.  Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Is a Key Mediator in the Development of T Cell Priming and Its Polarization to Type 1 and Type 17 T Helper Cells in the Airways 
Chronic inflammatory airway diseases including asthma are characterized by immune dysfunction to inhaled allergens. Our previous studies demonstrated that T cell priming to inhaled allergens requires LPS, which is ubiquitously present in household dust allergens. In this study, we evaluated the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the development of T cell priming and its polarization to Th1 or Th17 cells when exposed to LPS-contaminated allergens. An asthma mouse model was induced by airway sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens and then challenged with allergens alone. Therapeutic intervention was performed during allergen sensitization. The present study showed that lung inflammation induced by sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens was decreased in mice with homozygous disruption of the IL-17 gene; in addition, allergen-specific Th17 immune response was abolished in IL-6 knockout mice. Meanwhile, in vivo production of VEGF was up-regulated by airway exposure of LPS. In addition, airway sensitization of allergen plus recombinant VEGF induced both type 1 and type 17 Th cell (Th1 and Th17) responses. Th1 and Th17 responses induced by airway sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens were blocked by treatment with a pan-VEGF receptor (VEGFR; VEGFR-1 plus VEGFR-2) inhibitor during sensitization. These effects were accompanied by inhibition of the production of Th1 and Th17 polarizing cytokines, IL-12p70 and IL-6, respectively. These findings indicate that VEGF produced by LPS plays a key role in activation of naive T cells and subsequent polarization to Th1 and Th17 cells.
PMCID: PMC3385973  PMID: 19786548
4.  Egr-1 Activation by Cancer-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Promotes Endothelial Cell Migration via ERK1/2 and JNK Signaling Pathways 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115170.
Various mammalian cells, including cancer cells, shed extracellular vesicles (EVs), also known as exosomes and microvesicles, into surrounding tissues. These EVs play roles in tumor growth and metastasis by promoting angiogenesis. However, the detailed mechanism of how cancer-derived EVs elicit endothelial cell activation remains unknown. Here, we provide evidence that early growth response-1 (Egr-1) activation in endothelial cells is involved in the angiogenic activity of colorectal cancer cell-derived EVs. Both RNA interference–mediated downregulation of Egr-1 and ERK1/2 or JNK inhibitor significantly blocked EV-mediated Egr-1 activation and endothelial cell migration. Furthermore, lipid raft-mediated endocytosis inhibitor effectively blocked endothelial Egr-1 activation and migration induced by cancer-derived EVs. Our results suggest that Egr-1 activation in endothelial cells may be a key mechanism involved in the angiogenic activity of cancer-derived EVs. These findings will improve our understanding regarding the proangiogenic activities of EVs in diverse pathological conditions including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC4264882  PMID: 25502753
5.  An Important Role of α-Hemolysin in Extracellular Vesicles on the Development of Atopic Dermatitis Induced by Staphylococcus aureus 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e100499.
Skin barrier disruption and dermal inflammation are key phenotypes of atopic dermatitis (AD). Staphylococcus aureus secretes extracellular vesicles (EVs), which are involved in AD pathogenesis. Here, we evaluated the role of EVs-associated α-hemolysin derived from S. aureus in AD pathogenesis. α-hemolysin production from S. aureus was detected using western blot analyses. The cytotoxic activity of α-hemolysin on HaCaT keratinocytes was evaluated by measuring cell viability after treating cells with soluble and EVs-associated α-hemolysin. To determine the type of cell death, HaCaT keratinocytes were stained with annexin V and 7-AAD. The in vivo effects of α-hemolysin were evaluated by application of soluble and EV-associated α-hemolysin on the mouse skin. The present study showed that increased α-hemolysin was produced by S. aureus colonized on AD patients compared to healthy subjects. α-hemolysin production was also related to AD severity. In addition, EV-associated α-hemolysin was more cytotoxic to HaCaT keratinocytes than soluble α-hemolysin, and α-hemolysin-negative EVs did not induce keratinocyte death. EV-associated α-hemolysin induced necrosis, but soluble α-hemolysin induced apoptosis of keratinocytes. In vivo, skin barrier disruption and epidermal hyperplasia were induced by soluble and EV-associated α-hemolysin. However, AD-like dermal inflammation was only caused by EV-associated α-hemolysin. Moreover, neither skin barrier disruption nor AD-like skin inflammation was induced by α-hemolysin-negative EVs. Taken together, α-Hemolysin secreted from S. aureus, particularly the EV-associated form, induces both skin barrier disruption and AD-like skin inflammation, suggesting that EV-associated α-hemolysin is a novel diagnostic and therapeutic target for the control of AD.
PMCID: PMC4084635  PMID: 24992681
6.  Staphylococcus aureus Extracellular Vesicles Carry Biologically Active β-Lactamase 
Gram-positive bacteria naturally produce extracellular vesicles. However, little is known regarding the functions of Gram-positive bacterial extracellular vesicles, especially in the bacterial community. Here, we investigated the role of Staphylococcus aureus extracellular vesicles in interbacterial communication to cope with antibiotic stress. We found that S. aureus liberated BlaZ, a β-lactamase protein, via extracellular vesicles. These extracellular vesicles enabled other ampicillin-susceptible Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria to survive in the presence of ampicillin. However, S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not mediate the survival of tetracycline-, chloramphenicol-, or kanamycin-susceptible bacteria. Moreover, S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not contain the blaZ gene. In addition, the heat-treated S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not mediate the survival of ampicillin-susceptible bacteria. The β-lactamase activities of S. aureus soluble and extracellular vesicle-associated BlaZ were similar, but only the extracellular vesicle-associated BlaZ was resistant to protease digestion, which suggests that the enzymatic activity of BlaZ in extracellular vesicles is largely protected by the vesicle structure. Our observations provide evidence of the important role of S. aureus extracellular vesicles in antibiotic resistance, which allows the polymicrobial community to continue to evolve and prosper against antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC3716153  PMID: 23529736
7.  Influence of the Adjuvants and Genetic Background on the Asthma Model Using Recombinant Der f 2 in Mice 
Immune Network  2013;13(6):295-300.
Der f 2 is the group 2 major allergen of a house dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae) and its function has been recently suggested. To determine the optimal condition of sensitization to recombinant Der f 2 (rDer f 2) in murine model of asthma, we compared the effectiveness with different adjuvants in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Mice from both strains sensitized with rDer f 2 by intraperitoneal injection or subcutaneous injection on days 1 and 14. The dosage was 20 µg. Freund's adjuvants with pertussis toxin (FP) or alum alone were used as adjuvants. On days 28, 29, and 30, mice were challenged intranasally with 0.1% rDer f 2. We evaluated airway hyperresponsivenss, eosinophil proportion in lung lavage, airway inflammation, and serum allergen specific antibody responses. Naive mice were used as controls. Airway hyperresponsiveness was increased in C57BL/6 with FP, and BALB/c with alum (PC200: 13.5±6.3, 13.2±6.7 vs. >50 mg/ml, p<0.05). The eosinophil proportion was increased in all groups; C57BL/6 with FP, BALB/c with FP, C57BL/6 with alum, BALB/c with alum (24.8±3.6, 20.3±10.3, 11.0±6.9, 5.7±2.8, vs. 0.0±0.0%, p<0.05). The serum allergen specific IgE levels were increased in C57BL/6 with FP or alum (OD: 0.8±1.4, 1.1±0.8, vs. 0.0±0.0). C57BL/6 mice were better responders to rDer f 2 and as for adjuvants, Freund's adjuvant with pertussis toxin was better.
PMCID: PMC3875789  PMID: 24385949
Allergy; Asthma; Rodent; House dust mite; Der f 2
8.  Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Gut Microbiota, Especially Akkermansia muciniphila, Protect the Progression of Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Induced Colitis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76520.
Gut microbiota play an important part in the pathogenesis of mucosal inflammation, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, owing to the complexity of the gut microbiota, our understanding of the roles of commensal and pathogenic bacteria in the maintenance of immune homeostasis in the gut is evolving only slowly. Here, we evaluated the role of gut microbiota and their secreting extracellular vesicles (EV) in the development of mucosal inflammation in the gut. Experimental IBD model was established by oral application of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to C57BL/6 mice. The composition of gut microbiota and bacteria-derived EV in stools was evaluated by metagenome sequencing using bacterial common primer of 16S rDNA. Metagenomics in the IBD mouse model showed that the change in stool EV composition was more drastic, compared to the change of bacterial composition. Oral DSS application decreased the composition of EV from Akkermansia muciniphila and Bacteroides acidifaciens in stools, whereas increased EV from TM7 phylum, especially from species DQ777900_s and AJ400239_s. In vitro pretreatment of A. muciniphila-derived EV ameliorated the production of a pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 from colon epithelial cells induced by Escherichia coli EV. Additionally, oral application of A. muciniphila EV also protected DSS-induced IBD phenotypes, such as body weight loss, colon length, and inflammatory cell infiltration of colon wall. Our data provides insight into the role of gut microbiota-derived EV in regulation of intestinal immunity and homeostasis, and A. muciniphila-derived EV have protective effects in the development of DSS-induced colitis.
PMCID: PMC3811976  PMID: 24204633
9.  CCN1 Secretion Induced by Cigarette Smoking Extracts Augments IL-8 Release from Bronchial Epithelial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68199.
Inflammation involves in many cigarette smoke (CS) related diseases including the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Lung epithelial cell released IL-8 plays a crucial role in CS induced lung inflammation. CS and cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) both induce IL-8 secretion and subsequently, IL-8 recruits inflammatory cells into the lung parenchyma. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which CSE triggers IL-8 release remain not completely understood. In this study, we identified a novel extracellular matrix (ECM) molecule, CCN1, which mediated CSE induced IL-8 secretion by lung epithelial cells. We first found that CS and CSE up-regulated CCN1 expression and secretion in lung epithelial cells in vivo and in vitro. CSE up-regulated CCN1 via induction of reactive oxygen spices (ROS) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. p38 MAPK and JNK activation were also found to mediate the signal pathways in CSE induced CCN1. CCN1 was secreted into ECM via Golgi and membrane channel receptor aquaporin4. After CSE exposure, elevated ECM CCN1 functioned via an autocrine or paracrine manner. Importantly, CCN1 activated Wnt pathway receptor LRP6, subsequently stimulated Wnt pathway component Dvl2 and triggered beta-catenin translocation from cell membrane to cytosol and nucleus. Treatment of Wnt pathway inhibitor suppressed CCN1 induced IL-8 secretion from lung epithelial cells. Taken together, CSE increased CCN1 expression and secretion in lung epithelial cells via induction of ROS and ER stress. Increased ECM CCN1 resulted in augmented IL-8 release through the activation of Wnt pathway.
PMCID: PMC3706594  PMID: 23874538
10.  Three-Dimensional Imaging of Hepatic Sinusoids in Mice Using Synchrotron Radiation Micro-Computed Tomography 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68600.
Hepatic sinusoid, the smallest vessel in the liver, plays important roles in hepatic microcirculation. Although the structure of the hepatic sinusoids affects diverse functions of the liver, little is known about morphological alterations in the sinusoids under pathological conditions. In this study, we show that the structure of hepatic sinusoids can be identified three-dimensionally in normal and carbon tetrachloride-injured mouse liver, using the absorption mode of synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography. We observed that the hepatic sinusoidal structure on tomographic slice images was similar to that on histological images of normal and acutely injured mice. Moreover, centrilobular necrosis and structural alterations of the sinusoids in the necrotic region were detectable on tomographic slice and volume-rendered images of the acutely injured mice. Furthermore, quantitative analyses on 3D volume-rendered images of the injured sinusoid revealed decrease in the volume of the sinusoid and connectivity of the sinusoidal network. Our results suggest that the use of synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography may improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of hepatic diseases by detecting the hepatic sinusoids and their alterations in three-dimensional structures of the damaged liver.
PMCID: PMC3702620  PMID: 23861925
11.  Activation of Rice nicotianamine synthase 2 (OsNAS2) Enhances Iron Availability for Biofortification 
Molecules and Cells  2012;33(3):269-275.
Because micronutrients in human diets ultimately come from plant sources, malnutrition of essential minerals is a significant public health concern. By increasing the expression of nicotianamine synthase (NAS), we fortified the level of bioavailable iron in rice seeds. Activation of iron deficiency-inducible OsNAS2 resulted in a rise in Fe content (3.0-fold) in mature seeds. Its ectopic expression also increased that content. Enhanced expression led to higher tolerance of Fe deficiency and better growth under elevated pH. Mice fed with OsNAS2-D1 seeds recovered more rapidly from anemia, indicating that bioavailable Fe contents were improved by this increase in OsNAS2 expression.
PMCID: PMC3887711  PMID: 22228185
anemia; bioavailability; mouse; rice
12.  EVpedia: an integrated database of high-throughput data for systemic analyses of extracellular vesicles 
Journal of Extracellular Vesicles  2013;2:10.3402/jev.v2i0.20384.
Secretion of extracellular vesicles is a general cellular activity that spans the range from simple unicellular organisms (e.g. archaea; Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria) to complex multicellular ones, suggesting that this extracellular vesicle-mediated communication is evolutionarily conserved. Extracellular vesicles are spherical bilayered proteolipids with a mean diameter of 20–1,000 nm, which are known to contain various bioactive molecules including proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Here, we present EVpedia, which is an integrated database of high-throughput datasets from prokaryotic and eukaryotic extracellular vesicles. EVpedia provides high-throughput datasets of vesicular components (proteins, mRNAs, miRNAs, and lipids) present on prokaryotic, non-mammalian eukaryotic, and mammalian extracellular vesicles. In addition, EVpedia also provides an array of tools, such as the search and browse of vesicular components, Gene Ontology enrichment analysis, network analysis of vesicular proteins and mRNAs, and a comparison of vesicular datasets by ortholog identification. Moreover, publications on extracellular vesicle studies are listed in the database. This free web-based database of EVpedia ( might serve as a fundamental repository to stimulate the advancement of extracellular vesicle studies and to elucidate the novel functions of these complex extracellular organelles.
PMCID: PMC3760654  PMID: 24009897
nanocosmos; communicasomes; exosomes; microvesicles; outer membrane vesicles; membrane vesicles; web portals; phylogenetic analyses
13.  Outer Membrane Vesicles Derived from Escherichia coli Up-Regulate Expression of Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecules In Vitro and In Vivo 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59276.
Escherichia coli, as one of the gut microbiota, can evoke severe inflammatory diseases including peritonitis and sepsis. Gram-negative bacteria including E. coli constitutively release nano-sized outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). Although E. coli OMVs can induce the inflammatory responses without live bacteria, the effect of E. coli OMVs in vivo on endothelial cell function has not been previously elucidated. In this study, we show that bacteria-free OMVs increased the expression of endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), E-selectin and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and enhanced the leukocyte binding on human microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. Inhibition of NF-κB and TLR4 reduced the expression of cell adhesion molecules in vitro. OMVs given intraperitoneally to the mice induced ICAM-1 expression and neutrophil sequestration in the lung endothelium, and the effects were reduced in ICAM-1-/- and TLR4-/- mice. When compared to free lipopolysaccharide, OMVs were more potent in inducing both ICAM-1 expression as well as leukocyte adhesion in vitro, and ICAM-1 expression and neutrophil sequestration in the lungs in vivo. This study shows that OMVs potently up-regulate functional cell adhesion molecules via NF-κB- and TLR4-dependent pathways, and that OMVs are more potent than free lipopolysaccharide.
PMCID: PMC3597602  PMID: 23516621
14.  Murine subcutaneous immunotherapy models with beneficial immunological and physiological effects 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2013;3(1):50-58.
Immunotherapy was introduced 100 years ago and has a unique role in the treatment of allergic diseases in that only immunotherapy can induce long-term immunological tolerance. However, only a few mouse models of immunotherapy have been developed so far.
We tried to establish murine immunotherapy models that have similar findings in human using subcutaneous rush immunotherapy-like schedule.
To determine the maximal safe or maximal tolerable dose, injection dose was doubled twice a day from the dose of sensitization. Mice with established asthma using ovalbumin (OVA) were repeatedly injected with OVA from the dose of sensitization subcutaneously twice a day: after reaching to the maximal safe or maximal tolerable dose, mice were injected with each dose either 10 times or 24 times.
Short term immunotherapy (10 times) with the maximal safe and tolerable dose of OVA showed decreased IL-5 production, decreased IL-5/INF-γ ratio, and increased IgG2a/IgG1 but there was no significant difference in airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) or airway inflammation. Prolonged immunotherapy (24 times) with the maximal tolerable dose not only decreased cytokine productions of IL-5 and even INF-γ, but also decreased IgE, IgG1 and even IgG2a production. Remarkably, the prolonged immunotherapy provided a protective effect on AHR.
This study suggested immunotherapy models with some beneficial immunological and physiological effects in murine asthma.
PMCID: PMC3563022  PMID: 23403956
Asthma; Animal models; Allergy; Immunotherapy
15.  Acetyl salicylic acid inhibits Th17 airway inflammation via blockade of IL-6 and IL-17 positive feedback 
T-helper (Th)17 cell responses are important for the development of neutrophilic inflammatory disease. Recently, we found that acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) inhibited Th17 airway inflammation in an asthma mouse model induced by sensitization with lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-containing allergens. To investigate the mechanism(s) of the inhibitory effect of ASA on the development of Th17 airway inflammation, a neutrophilic asthma mouse model was generated by intranasal sensitization with LPS plus ovalbumin (OVA) and then challenged with OVA alone. Immunologic parameters and airway inflammation were evaluated 6 and 48 h after the last OVA challenge. ASA inhibited the production of interleukin (IL)-17 from lung T cells as well as in vitro Th17 polarization induced by IL-6. Additionally, ASA, but not salicylic acid, suppressed Th17 airway inflammation, which was associated with decreased expression of acetyl-STAT3 (downstream signaling of IL-6) in the lung. Moreover, the production of IL-6 from inflammatory cells, induced by IL-17, was abolished by treatment with ASA, whereas that induced by LPS was not. Altogether, ASA, likely via its acetyl moiety, inhibits Th17 airway inflammation by blockade of IL-6 and IL-17 positive feedback.
PMCID: PMC3584657  PMID: 23306703
Acetyl salicylic acid; IL-6; IL-17A; STAT3; Th17
16.  Quantitative proteomics of extracellular vesicles derived from human primary and metastatic colorectal cancer cells 
Journal of Extracellular Vesicles  2012;1:10.3402/jev.v1i0.18704.
Cancer cells actively release extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, into surrounding tissues. These EVs play pleiotropic roles in cancer progression and metastasis, including invasion, angiogenesis, and immune modulation. However, the proteomic differences between primary and metastatic cancer cell-derived EVs remain unclear. Here, we conducted comparative proteomic analysis between EVs derived from human primary colorectal cancer cells (SW480) and their metastatic derivatives (SW620). Using label-free quantitation, we identified 803 and 787 proteins in SW480 EVs and SW620 EVs, respectively. Based on comparison between the estimated abundance of EV proteins, we identified 368 SW480 EV-enriched and 359 SW620 EV-enriched proteins. SW480 EV-enriched proteins played a role in cell adhesion, but SW620 EV-enriched proteins were associated with cancer progression and functioned as diagnostic indicators of metastatic cancer; they were overexpressed in metastatic colorectal cancer and played roles in multidrug resistance. As the first proteomic analysis comparing primary and metastatic cancer-derived EVs, this study increases our understanding of the pathological function of EVs in the metastatic process and provides useful biomarkers for cancer metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3760640  PMID: 24009881
colorectal cancer; microvesicles; exosomes; ectosomes; metastasis; biomarker; secretome; APEX; label-free quantitative proteomics; nanoparticle tracking analysis
17.  Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induces remodeling and enhances TH2-mediated sensitization and inflammation in the lung 
Nature medicine  2004;10(10):1095-1103.
Exaggerated levels of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) are present in persons with asthma, but the role(s) of VEGF in normal and asthmatic lungs has not been defined. We generated lung-targeted VEGF165 transgenic mice and evaluated the role of VEGF in T-helper type 2 cell (TH2)-mediated inflammation. In these mice, VEGF induced, through IL-13–dependent and –independent pathways, an asthma-like phenotype with inflammation, parenchymal and vascular remodeling, edema, mucus metaplasia, myocyte hyperplasia and airway hyper-responsiveness. VEGF also enhanced respiratory antigen sensitization and TH2 inflammation and increased the number of activated DC2 dendritic cells. In antigen-induced inflammation, VEGF was produced by epithelial cells and preferentially by TH2 versus TH1 cells. In this setting, it had a critical role in TH2 inflammation, cytokine production and physiologic dysregulation. Thus, VEGF is a mediator of vascular and extravascular remodeling and inflammation that enhances antigen sensitization and is crucial in adaptive TH2 inflammation. VEGF regulation may be therapeutic in asthma and other TH2 disorders.
PMCID: PMC3434232  PMID: 15378055
18.  Genetic Variations in TXNRD1 as Potential Predictors of Drug-Induced Liver Injury 
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is the most common adverse drug reaction; however, it is not easily predicted. We hypothesize that DILI has a common genetic basis. Based on the findings of previous animal studies on toxic hepatitis, we selected the thioredoxin reductase 1 gene (TXNRD1) as a candidate marker of DILI for this genetic association study.
Records from 118 patients with DILI were extracted from the database of the Adverse Drug Reaction Research Group in South Korea. Causative drugs included antituberculosis drugs (n=68, 57.6%), antibiotics (n=22, 18.6%), antiepileptic drugs (n=7, 5.9%), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (n=5, 4.2%), and others (n=16, 13.7%). Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TXNRD1 (rs10735393, rs4964287, rs4595619, rs10861201, rs11111997, rs4246270, and rs4246271) were scored in 118 DILI patients and in 120 drug-matched controls without liver injury.
No differences were found between the frequencies of any of the 7 SNPs in the cases and controls; however, a significant association was found between a TTA haplotype composed of rs10735393, rs4964287, and rs4595619 and DILI using an allele model (odds ratio, 1.79; 95% confidence interval, 1.18-2.73; P=0.008; Bonferroni corrected P=0.024).
These results suggest that genetic variations in TXNRD1 favor the development of DILI, although a larger confirmative study is needed.
PMCID: PMC3328729  PMID: 22548205
Drug-induced liver injury; genetic association study; genetic polymorphism; single nucleotide polymorphisms; thioredoxin reductase 1
19.  Therapeutic Effects of Autologous Tumor-Derived Nanovesicles on Melanoma Growth and Metastasis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33330.
Cancer vaccines with optimal tumor-associated antigens show promise for anti-tumor immunotherapy. Recently, nano-sized vesicles, such as exosomes derived from tumors, were suggested as potential antigen candidates, although the total yield of exosomes is not sufficient for clinical applications. In the present study, we developed a new vaccine strategy based on nano-sized vesicles derived from primary autologous tumors. Through homogenization and sonication of tumor tissues, we achieved high yields of vesicle-bound antigens. These nanovesicles were enriched with antigenic membrane targets but lacked nuclear autoantigens. Furthermore, these nanovesicles together with adjuvant activated dendritic cells in vitro, and induced effective anti-tumor immune responses in both primary and metastatic melanoma mouse models. Therefore, autologous tumor-derived nanovesicles may represent a novel source of antigens with high-level immunogenicity for use in acellular vaccines without compromising safety. Our strategy is cost-effective and can be applied to patient-specific cancer therapeutic vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3305328  PMID: 22438914
20.  Cbl-b Regulates Airway Mucosal Tolerance to Aeroallergen 
As an E3 ubiquitin ligase and a molecular adaptor, Cbl-b controls the activation threshold of the antigen receptor and negatively regulates CD28 co-stimulation, functioning as an intrinsic mediator of T cell anergy that maintains tolerance. However, the role of Cbl-b in the airway immune response to aeroallergens is unclear.
To determine the contribution of Cbl-b in tolerance to aeroallergens, we examined ovalbumin (OVA)-induced lung inflammation in Cbl-b deficient mice.
Cbl-b-/- mice and wildtype (WT) C57BL/6 mice were sensitized and challenged with OVA intranasally, a procedure normally tolerated by WT mice. We analyzed lung histology, BAL total cell counts and differential, cytokines and chemokines in the airway, and cytokine response by lymphocytes after re-stimulation by OVA antigen.
Compared with WT mice, OVA challenged Cbl-b-/- mice showed significantly increased neutrophilic and eosinophilic infiltration in the lung and mucus hyperplasia. The serum levels of IgG2a and IgG1, but not IgE, were increased. The levels of inflammatory mediators IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IP-10, MCP-1, MIP-1α, Eotaxin, and RANTES, but not IL-17A or IL-6, were elevated in the airway of Cbl-b-/- mice. Lymphocytes from Cbl-b-/-mice released increased amount of IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-13, and IP-10 in response to OVA re-stimulation. However, no significant changes were noted in the CD4+CD25+ Treg cell populations in the lung tissues after OVA stimulation and there was no difference between WT and Cbl-b-/- mice.
These results demonstrate that Cbl-b deficiency leads to a breakdown of tolerance to OVA allergen in the murine airways, probably through increased activation of T effector cells, indicating that Cbl-b is a critical factor in maintaining lung homeostasis upon environmental exposure to aeroallergens.
PMCID: PMC2994994  PMID: 20738317
Cbl-b; Ubiquitin E3 Ligase; Aeroallergen; Allergic inflammation; Asthma
21.  Tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 in allergic and anaphylactic inflammation 
Immunologic research  2010;47(1-3):3-13.
Protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 is an essential regulatory molecule in many different signaling pathways. The biological importance of SHP-1 is underscored by the motheaten mutant mouse strains with immunological disorders involving multiple organs and by the close association of aberrant SHP-1 expression with several human diseases. Recent studies provided some compelling evidence that supports a role of SHP-1 in regulating mast cell development and function and also in regulating type 2 allergic inflammatory responses in both innate and adaptive immune responses. In this article, we summarize the recent advancement of our understanding of this interesting phosphatase in the important area of allergic inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2954886  PMID: 20077161
Phosphatase; Mast cells; Th2 cytokines; Allergic inflammatory response; Allergy; Asthma
22.  Protective effects of basic fibroblast growth factor in the development of emphysema induced by interferon-γ 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2011;43(4):169-178.
Recent clinical evidence indicates that the non-eosinophilic subtype of severe asthma is characterized by fixed airway obstruction, which may be related to emphysema. Transgenic studies have demonstrated that high levels of IFN-γ in the airways induce emphysema. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), which is the downstream mediator of TGF-β, is important in wound healing. We investigated the role of FGF2 in IFN-γ-induced emphysema and the therapeutic effects of recombinant FGF2 in the prevention of emphysema in a severe non-eosinophilic asthma model. To evaluate the role of FGF2 in IFN-γ-induced emphysema, lung targeted IFN-γ transgenic mice were cross-bred with FGF2-deficient mice. A severe non-eosinophilic asthma model was generated by airway application of LPS-containing allergens twice a week for 4 weeks. To evaluate protective effects of FGF2, recombinant FGF2 (10 µg) was injected subcutaneously during allergen challenge in the severe asthma model. We found that non-eosinophilic inflammation and emphysema induced by transgenic overexpression of IFN-γ in the airways were aggravated by the absence of FGF2. Airway challenge with LPS-containing allergens induced more inflammation in mice sensitized with LPS-containing allergens compared to challenge with allergens alone. In addition, LPS-induced lung inflammation and emphysema depended on IFN-γ but not on IL-13. Interestingly, emphysema in the severe asthma model was significantly inhibited by treatment with recombinant FGF2 during allergen challenge, whereas lung inflammation was unaffected. Therefore, our present data suggest that FGF2 may help protect against IFN-γ-induced emphysema, and that recombinant FGF2 may help lessen the severity of emphysema.
PMCID: PMC3085735  PMID: 21297377
asthma; emphysema; fibroblast growth factor 2; interferon-γ; pulmonary eosinophilia
23.  Role of inducible nitric oxide synthase on the development of virus-associated asthma exacerbation which is dependent on Th1 and Th17 cell responses 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2010;42(10):721-730.
Asthma is characterized by airway inflammation induced by immune dysfunction to inhaled antigens. Although respiratory viral infections are the most common cause of asthma exacerbation, immunologic mechanisms underlying virus-associated asthma exacerbation are controversial. Clinical evidence indicates that nitric oxide (NO) levels in exhaled air are increased in exacerbated asthma patients compared to stable patients. Here, we evaluated the immunologic mechanisms and the role of NO synthases (NOSs) in the development of virus-associated asthma exacerbation. A murine model of virus-associated asthma exacerbation was established using intranasal challenge with ovalbumin (OVA) plus dsRNA for 4 weeks in mice sensitized with OVA plus dsRNA. Lung infiltration of inflammatory cells, especially neutrophils, was increased by repeated challenge with OVA plus dsRNA, as compared to OVA alone. The neutrophilic inflammation enhanced by dsRNA was partly abolished in the absence of IFN-gamma or IL-17 gene expression, whereas unaffected in the absence of IL-13. In terms of the roles of NOSs, dsRNA-enhanced neutrophilic inflammation was significantly decreased in inducible NOS (iNOS)-deficient mice compared to wild type controls; in addition, this phenotype was inhibited by treatment with a non-specific NOS inhibitor (L-NAME) or an specific inhibitor (1400 W), but not with a specific endothelial NOS inhibitor (AP-CAV peptide). Taken together, these findings suggest that iNOS pathway is important in the development of virus-associated exacerbation of neutrophilic inflammation, which is dependent on both Th1 and Th17 cell responses.
PMCID: PMC2966746  PMID: 20841959
asthma; interferon-γ; interleukin-17; neutrophils; nitric oxide synthase type II; RNA viruses; Th1 cells
24.  IL-12-STAT4-IFN-γ axis is a key downstream pathway in the development of IL-13-mediated asthma phenotypes in a Th2 type asthma model 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2010;42(8):533-546.
IL-4 and IL-13 are closely related cytokines that are produced by Th2 cells. However, IL-4 and IL-13 have different effects on the development of asthma phenotypes. Here, we evaluated downstream molecular mechanisms involved in the development of Th2 type asthma phenotypes. A murine model of Th2 asthma was used that involved intraperitoneal sensitization with an allergen (ovalbumin) plus alum and then challenge with ovalbumin alone. Asthma phenotypes, including airway-hyperresponsiveness (AHR), lung inflammation, and immunologic parameters were evaluated after allergen challenge in mice deficient in candidate genes. The present study showed that methacholine AHR and lung inflammation developed in allergen-challenged IL-4-deficient mice but not in allergen-challenged IL-13-deficient mice. In addition, the production of OVA-specific IgG2a and IFN-γ-inducible protein (IP)-10 was also impaired in the absence of IL-13, but not of IL-4. Lung-targeted IFN-γ over-expression in the airways enhanced methacholine AHR and non-eosinophilic inflammation; in addition, these asthma phenotypes were impaired in allergen-challenged IFN-γ-deficient mice. Moreover, AHR, non-eosinophilic inflammation, and IFN-γ expression were impaired in allergen-challenged IL-12Rβ2- and STAT4-deficient mice; however, AHR and non-eosinophilic inflammation were not impaired in allergen-challenged IL-4Rα-deficient mice, and these phenomena were accompanied by the enhanced expression of IL-12 and IFN-γ. The present data suggest that IL-13-mediated asthma phenotypes, such as AHR and non-eosinophilic inflammation, in the Th2 type asthma are dependent on the IL-12-STAT4-IFN-γ axis, and that these asthma phenotypes are independent of IL-4Ralpha-mediated signaling.
PMCID: PMC2928926  PMID: 20592486
asthma; interferon-γ; interleukin-12; interleukin-13; respiratory hypersensitivity; Th2 cells
25.  Outer Membrane Vesicles Derived from Escherichia coli Induce Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11334.
Sepsis, characterized by a systemic inflammatory state that is usually related to Gram-negative bacterial infection, is a leading cause of death worldwide. Although the annual incidence of sepsis is still rising, the exact cause of Gram-negative bacteria-associated sepsis is not clear. Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), constitutively secreted from Gram-negative bacteria, are nano-sized spherical bilayered proteolipids. Using a mouse model, we showed that intraperitoneal injection of OMVs derived from intestinal Escherichia coli induced lethality. Furthermore, OMVs induced host responses which resemble a clinically relevant condition like sepsis that was characterized by piloerection, eye exudates, hypothermia, tachypnea, leukopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, dysfunction of the lungs, hypotension, and systemic induction of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6. Our study revealed a previously unidentified causative microbial signal in the pathogenesis of sepsis, suggesting OMVs as a new therapeutic target to prevent and/or treat severe sepsis caused by Gram-negative bacterial infection.
PMCID: PMC2893157  PMID: 20596524

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