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1.  Establishment of a Humanized APL Model via the Transplantation of PML-RARA-Transduced Human Common Myeloid Progenitors into Immunodeficient Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111082.
Recent advances in cancer biology have revealed that many malignancies possess a hierarchal system, and leukemic stem cells (LSC) or leukemia-initiating cells (LIC) appear to be obligatory for disease progression. Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), a subtype of acute myeloid leukemia characterized by the formation of a PML-RARα fusion protein, leads to the accumulation of abnormal promyelocytes. In order to understand the precise mechanisms involved in human APL leukemogenesis, we established a humanized in vivo APL model involving retroviral transduction of PML-RARA into CD34+ hematopoietic cells from human cord blood and transplantation of these cells into immunodeficient mice. The leukemia well recapitulated human APL, consisting of leukemic cells with abundant azurophilic abnormal granules in the cytoplasm, which expressed CD13, CD33 and CD117, but not HLA-DR and CD34, were clustered in the same category as human APL samples in the gene expression analysis, and demonstrated sensitivity to ATRA. As seen in human APL, the induced APL cells showed a low transplantation efficiency in the secondary recipients, which was also exhibited in the transplantations that were carried out using the sorted CD34− fraction. In order to analyze the mechanisms underlying APL initiation and development, fractionated human cord blood was transduced with PML-RARA. Common myeloid progenitors (CMP) from CD34+/CD38+ cells developed APL. These findings demonstrate that CMP are a target fraction for PML-RARA in APL, whereas the resultant CD34− APL cells may share the ability to maintain the tumor.
PMCID: PMC4219701  PMID: 25369030
2.  Delta-like 4 is indispensable in thymic environment specific for T cell development 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2008;205(11):2507-2513.
The thymic microenvironment is required for T cell development in vivo. However, in vitro studies have shown that when hematopoietic progenitors acquire Notch signaling via Delta-like (Dll)1 or Dll4, they differentiate into the T cell lineage in the absence of a thymic microenvironment. It is not clear, however, whether the thymus supports T cell development specifically by providing Notch signaling. To address this issue, we generated mice with a loxP-flanked allele of Dll4 and induced gene deletion specifically in thymic epithelial cells (TECs). In the thymus of mutant mice, the expression of Dll4 was abrogated on the epithelium, and the proportion of hematopoietic cells bearing the intracellular fragment of Notch1 (ICN1) was markedly decreased. Corresponding to this, CD4 CD8 double-positive or single-positive T cells were not detected in the thymus. Further analysis showed that the double-negative cell fraction was lacking T cell progenitors. The enforced expression of ICN1 in hematopoietic progenitors restored thymic T cell differentiation, even when the TECs were deficient in Dll4. These results indicate that the thymus-specific environment for determining T cell fate indispensably requires Dll4 expression to induce Notch signaling in the thymic immigrant cells.
PMCID: PMC2571926  PMID: 18824583
3.  Distinct Role of Antigen-Specific T Helper Type 1 (Th1) and Th2 Cells in Tumor Eradication in Vivo 
The role of T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2 cells in tumor immunity was investigated using Th cells induced from ovalbumin (OVA)-specific T cell receptor transgenic mice. Although Th1 cells exhibited stronger cytotoxicity than Th2 cells, both cell types completely eradicated tumors when transferred into mice bearing A20 tumor cells transfected with the OVA gene (A20-OVA). Th1 cells eradicated the tumor mass by inducing cellular immunity, whereas Th2 cells destroyed the tumor by inducing tumor necrosis. Both Th1 and Th2 cells required CD8+ T cells to eliminate tumors, and neither of these cells were able to completely eliminate A20-OVA tumors from T and B cell–deficient RAG2−/− mice. Mice cured from tumors by Th1 and Th2 cell therapy rejected A20-OVA upon rechallenge, but CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes were induced only from spleen cells prepared from cured mice by Th1 cell therapy. Moreover, we demonstrated that Th1 and Th2 cells used distinct adhesion mechanisms during tumor eradication: the leukocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1–dependent cell–cell adhesion step was essential for Th1 cell therapy, but not for Th2 cell therapy. These findings demonstrated for the first time the distinct role of antigen-specific Th1 and Th2 cells during eradication of established tumors in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2195611  PMID: 10477547
Th1; Th2; tumor; adoptive immunotherapy; cytokine
4.  The Natural Killer T (NKT) Cell Ligand α-Galactosylceramide Demonstrates Its Immunopotentiating Effect by Inducing Interleukin (IL)-12 Production by Dendritic Cells and IL-12 Receptor Expression on NKT Cells  
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1999;189(7):1121-1128.
The natural killer T (NKT) cell ligand α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) exhibits profound antitumor activities in vivo that resemble interleukin (IL)-12–mediated antitumor activities. Because of these similarities between the activities of α-GalCer and IL-12, we investigated the involvement of IL-12 in the activation of NKT cells by α-GalCer. We first established, using purified subsets of various lymphocyte populations, that α-GalCer selectively activates NKT cells for production of interferon (IFN)-γ. Production of IFN-γ by NKT cells in response to α-GalCer required IL-12 produced by dendritic cells (DCs) and direct contact between NKT cells and DCs through CD40/CD40 ligand interactions. Moreover, α-GalCer strongly induced the expression of IL-12 receptor on NKT cells from wild-type but not CD1−/− or Vα14−/− mice. This effect of α-GalCer required the production of IFN-γ by NKT cells and production of IL-12 by DCs. Finally, we showed that treatment of mice with suboptimal doses of α-GalCer together with suboptimal doses of IL-12 resulted in strongly enhanced natural killing activity and IFN-γ production. Collectively, these findings indicate an important role for DC-produced IL-12 in the activation of NKT cells by α-GalCer and suggest that NKT cells may be able to condition DCs for subsequent immune responses. Our results also suggest a novel approach for immunotherapy of cancer.
PMCID: PMC2193012  PMID: 10190903
natural killer T cells; dendritic cells; α-galactosylceramide; interleukin 12; interleukin 12 receptor

Results 1-4 (4)