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1.  Serum Immunoglobulin Free Light Chain Assessment in IgG4-Related Disease 
Immunoglobulin free light chains are produced in excess during normal antibody synthesis. Their evaluation is commonly used in case of a monoclonal gammopathy. In polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia related to the Sjögren syndrome or systemic lupus, erythematosus serum free light chain levels are increased and could correlate with disease activity. We show here that the κ (P < 0.0001) and λ (P = 0.0003) free light chains and the κ : λ ratio (P = 0.0049) are increased in sixteen patients with IgG4-related disease when compared to healthy controls. The increase of κ and λ free light chains probably reflects the marked polyclonal B cell activation of the disease. We could not assess in this small cohort of patients a significative correlation of serum free light chain levels and disease activity or extension.
doi:10.1155/2013/426759
PMCID: PMC3710612  PMID: 23878543
2.  Th2-polarised PrP-specific Transgenic T-cells Confer Partial Protection against Murine Scrapie 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(9):e1002216.
Several hurdles must be overcome in order to achieve efficient and safe immunotherapy against conformational neurodegenerative diseases. In prion diseases, the main difficulty is that the prion protein is tolerated as a self protein, which prevents powerful immune responses. Passive antibody therapy is effective only during early, asymptomatic disease, well before diagnosis is made. If efficient immunotherapy of prion diseases is to be achieved, it is crucial to understand precisely how immune tolerance against the prion protein can be overcome and which effector pathways may delay disease progression. To this end, we generated a transgenic mouse that expresses the ß-chain of a T cell receptor recognizing a PrP epitope presented by the class II major histocompatibility complex. The fact that the constraint is applied to only one TCR chain allows adaptation of the other chain according to the presence or absence of tolerogenic PrP. We first show that transgene-bearing T cells, pairing with rearranged α-chains conferring anti-PrP specificity, are systematically eliminated during ontogeny in PrP+ mice, suggesting that precursors with good functional avidity are rare in a normal individual. Second, we show that transgene-bearing T cells with anti-PrP specificity are not suppressed when transferred into PrP+ recipients and proliferate more extensively in a prion-infected host. Finally, such T cells provide protection through a cell-mediated pathway involving IL-4 production. These findings support the idea that cell-mediated immunity in neurodegenerative conditions may not be necessarily detrimental and may even contribute, when properly controlled, to the resolution of pathological processes.
Author Summary
It is generally accepted that prion-specific antibodies can protect against mouse scrapie infection. However, passive antibody therapy is limited to the lymphoinvasion stage of the disease. Active immunization has been attempted but the results have been disappointing. There is therefore a need for developing analytical models that will allow a fine dissection of the immune mechanisms at play in prion diseases and help distinguish between protective effects mediated by B cells and antibodies, and the effect of T cells. The aim of our study was to thoroughly examine T cell tolerance to the prion protein and to evaluate whether a pure specific population of T cells adoptively transferred to a normal host could proliferate and confer protection against scrapie. We designed a transgenic mouse in which the majority of T lymphocytes recognize the prion protein. Our key findings are that prion-specific T cells remain functional when transferred to normal recipients, even more so when the host is infected with scrapie, and confer partial protection against the disease by slowing down prion replication, in complete absence of anti-prion antibodies. Anti-prion T cells may therefore be considered as a therapeutic tool in the future.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002216
PMCID: PMC3164648  PMID: 21909267
3.  Caspase-dependent immunogenicity of doxorubicin-induced tumor cell death 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2005;202(12):1691-1701.
Systemic anticancer chemotherapy is immunosuppressive and mostly induces nonimmunogenic tumor cell death. Here, we show that even in the absence of any adjuvant, tumor cells dying in response to anthracyclins can elicit an effective antitumor immune response that suppresses the growth of inoculated tumors or leads to the regression of established neoplasia. Although both antracyclins and mitomycin C induced apoptosis with caspase activation, only anthracyclin-induced immunogenic cell death was immunogenic. Caspase inhibition by Z-VAD-fmk or transfection with the baculovirus inhibitor p35 did not inhibit doxorubicin (DX)-induced cell death, yet suppressed the immunogenicity of dying tumor cells in several rodent models of neoplasia. Depletion of dendritic cells (DCs) or CD8+T cells abolished the immune response against DX-treated apoptotic tumor cells in vivo. Caspase inhibition suppressed the capacity of DX-killed cells to be phagocytosed by DCs, yet had no effect on their capacity to elicit DC maturation. Freshly excised tumors became immunogenic upon DX treatment in vitro, and intratumoral inoculation of DX could trigger the regression of established tumors in immunocompetent mice. These results delineate a procedure for the generation of cancer vaccines and the stimulation of anti-neoplastic immune responses in vivo.
doi:10.1084/jem.20050915
PMCID: PMC2212968  PMID: 16365148
4.  Infected splenic dendritic cells are sufficient for prion transmission to the CNS in mouse scrapie 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2001;108(5):703-708.
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies display long incubation periods at the beginning of which the titer of infectious agents (prions) increases in peripheral lymphoid organs. This “replication” leads to a progressive invasion of the CNS. Follicular dendritic cells appear to support prion replication in lymphoid follicles. However, the subsequent steps of neuroinvasion remain obscure. CD11c+ dendritic cells, an unrelated cell type, are candidate vectors for prion propagation. We found a high infectivity titer in splenic dendritic cells from prion-infected mice, suggesting that dendritic cells carry infection. To test this hypothesis, we injected RAG-10/0 mice intravenously with live spleen cell subsets from scrapie-infected donors. Injection of infected dendritic cells induced scrapie without accumulation of prions in the spleen. These results suggest that CD11c+ dendritic cells can propagate prions from the periphery to the CNS in the absence of any additional lymphoid element.
PMCID: PMC209385  PMID: 11544275

Results 1-4 (4)