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1.  Use of Differentiated Pluripotent Stem Cells in Replacement Therapy for Treating Disease 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2014;345(6199):1247391.
Patient-derived pluripotent stem cells (PSC) directed to various cell fates holds promise as source material for treating numerous disorders. The availability of precisely differentiated PSC-derived cells will dramatically impact blood component and hematopoietic stem cell therapies, and should facilitate treatment of diabetes, some forms of liver disease and neurologic disorders, retinal diseases, and possibly heart disease. Although an unlimited supply of specific cell types are needed, other barriers must be overcome. This review of the state of cell therapies highlights important challenges. Successful cell transplantation will require optimizing the best cell type and site for engraftment, overcoming limitations to cell migration and tissue integration, and occasionally needing to control immunologic reactivity. Collaboration among scientists, clinicians, and industry is critical for generating new stem cell-based therapies.
PMCID: PMC4329726  PMID: 25146295
2.  A multivalent vaccine for type 1 diabetes skews T cell subsets to Th2 phenotype in NOD mice 
Immunologic research  2011;50(0):213-220.
Previous studies by our group, using an experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (EAT) model in Strain 13 inbred guinea pigs, resulted in T cell-mediated delayed hypersensitivity; however, autoantibodies proved not to be cytotoxic to thyroid epithelial cells in the presence or absence of complement proteins. Albeit, T cell-mediated lymphocyte cytotoxicity began to diminish sharply concomitantly with increasing titers of circulating autoantibodies, indicating a skewing of the self-reactive response and amelioration of the EAT. Furthermore, immunization of guinea pigs with thyroglobulin in incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA) generated a high titer of antithyroglobulin antibodies and proved to inhibit thyroiditis. These observations indicated that the shift in the immune response from Th1 to Th2 and the production of antibodies were likely responsible for ameliorating EAT. Based upon these results, we extrapolated our studies to design a multivalent vaccine, which shows promise in preventing/reversing T1D in NOD mice. A small pilot study was conducted in which a total of 34 mice, 20 non-immunized controls and 14 immunized with syngeneic islet lysate, were monitored for mean day to diabetes for a total of 28 weeks. Immunization of NOD animals with syngeneic islet lysates resulted in a significant delay in diabetes onset (P < 0.001) as compared to non-immunized controls. To further assess the vaccine’s efficacy, robustness, and delay of disease, a large-scale experiment was conducted and monitored for 32 weeks using 106 mice, 64 non-immunized controls and 42 immunized with syngeneic islet lysate. At the end of the study, 90% of the non-immunized group developed diabetes, while less than 25% of the immunized group became diabetic (P < 0.0001). The protective effect, as a result of vaccination, correlated with an increase in the levels of IL-10 and IL-4 cytokines as well as a skewing to Th2-dependent isotype antibodies in serum. Strikingly, adoptive transfer of spleen cells from immunized animals into NOD.scid recipients provided protection against transfer of diabetes by diabetogenic spleen cells. The results of this study provide evidence that vaccination with islet lysate leads to a Th2-dependent skewing of the immune response to islet beta cells as a possible mechanism of protection. This strategy may be implemented as a possible vaccination protocol for arresting and/or preventing T1D in patients.
PMCID: PMC4303903  PMID: 21717080
NOD mice; Type 1 diabetes; Autoimmunity; Vaccine; Th2
4.  Mn Porphyrin Regulation of Aerobic Glycolysis: Implications on the Activation of Diabetogenic Immune Cells 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2013;19(16):1902-1915.
Aims: The immune system is critical for protection against infections and cancer, but requires scrupulous regulation to limit self-reactivity and autoimmunity. Our group has utilized a manganese porphyrin catalytic antioxidant (MnTE-2-PyP5+, MnP) as a potential immunoregulatory therapy for type 1 diabetes. MnP has previously been shown to modulate diabetogenic immune responses through decreases in proinflammatory cytokine production from antigen-presenting cells and T cells and to reduce diabetes onset in nonobese diabetic mice. However, it is unclear whether or not MnP treatment can act beyond the reported inflammatory mediators. Therefore, the hypothesis that MnP may be affecting the redox-dependent bioenergetics of diabetogenic splenocytes was investigated. Results: MnP treatment enhanced glucose oxidation, reduced fatty acid oxidation, but only slightly decreased overall oxidative phosphorylation. These alterations occurred because of increased tricarboxylic acid cycle aconitase enzyme efficiency and were not due to changes in mitochondrial abundance. MnP treatment also displayed decreased aerobic glycolysis, which promotes activated immune cell proliferation, as demonstrated by reduced lactate production and glucose transporter 1 (Glut1) levels and inactivation of key signaling molecules, such as mammalian target of rapamycin, c-myc, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Innovation: This work highlights the importance of redox signaling by demonstrating that modulation of reactive oxygen species can supplant complex downstream regulation, thus affecting metabolic programming toward aerobic glycolysis. Conclusion: MnP treatment promotes metabolic quiescence, impeding diabetogenic autoimmune responses by restricting the metabolic pathways for energy production and affecting anabolic processes necessary for cell proliferation. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 19, 1902–1915.
PMCID: PMC3931434  PMID: 23682840
5.  Intestinal γδ T-cell lymphomas are most frequently of type II enteropathy-associated T-cell type 
Human pathology  2013;44(6):1131-1145.
Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma includes type I cases and distinctive type II cases that, according to 2008 and 2010 World Health Organization descriptions, are T-cell receptor β+. Although T-cell receptor γδ enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphomas are reported, it is unknown if they have distinctive features and if they should be categorized as enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma or as a mucocutaneous γδ T-cell lymphoma. To address these questions, the clinicopathologic, immunophenotypic, molecular, and cytogenetic features of 5 γδ-enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphomas were investigated. Only 1 patient had celiac disease and had type I enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma, and the others fulfilled the histopathologic criteria for type II enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma. All lacked cutaneous involvement. A celiac disease–associated HLA type was found in the patient with CD and one of four others. All were T-cell receptor γ+, T-cell receptor δ+, βF1−, CD3+, CD7+, CD5−, CD4−, and TIA-1+ with variable staining for CD2 (3/5), CD8 (2/5), Granzyme B (1/5), and CD56 (4/5). Fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrated 9q34 gains in 4 cases, with 9q33-34 gains by single nucleotide polymorphism in 3 of these. Single nucleotide polymorphism analysis also demonstrated gains in 5q34-q35.1/5q35.1 (4/5), 8q24 (3/5), and in 32 other regions in 3 of 5 cases. Vδ1 rearrangements were identified in 4 of 4 cases with documented clonality showing the same clone in normal-appearing distant mucosa (3/3 tested cases). Thus, γδ-enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphomas share many features with other enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma and are mostly of type II. Their usual nonactivated cytotoxic phenotype and Vδ1 usage are features unlike many other mucocutaneous γδ T-cell lymphomas but shared with hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. These findings support the conclusion that a γδ T-cell origin at extracutaneous sites does not define a specific entity.
PMCID: PMC3660470  PMID: 23332928
γδ T-cells; Enteropathy-associated; T-cell lymphoma; Gastrointestinal; lymphoma
6.  Involvement of Suppressive B-Lymphocytes in the Mechanism of Tolerogenic Dendritic Cell Reversal of Type 1 Diabetes in NOD Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e83575.
The objective of the study was to identify immune cell populations, in addition to Foxp3+ T-regulatory cells, that participate in the mechanisms of action of tolerogenic dendritic cells shown to prevent and reverse type 1 diabetes in the Non-Obese Diabetic (NOD) mouse strain. Co-culture experiments using tolerogenic dendritic cells and B-cells from NOD as well as transgenic interleukin-10 promoter-reporter mice along with transfer of tolerogenic dendritic cells and CD19+ B-cells into NOD and transgenic mice, showed that these dendritic cells increased the frequency and numbers of interleukin-10-expressing B-cells in vitro and in vivo. The expansion of these cells was a consequence of both the proliferation of pre-existing interleukin-10-expressing B-lymphocytes and the conversion of CD19+ B-lymphcytes into interleukin-10-expressing cells. The tolerogenic dendritic cells did not affect the suppressive activity of these B-cells. Furthermore, we discovered that the suppressive murine B-lymphocytes expressed receptors for retinoic acid which is produced by the tolerogenic dendritic cells. These data assist in identifying the nature of the B-cell population increased in response to the tolerogenic dendritic cells in a clinical trial and also validate very recent findings demonstrating a mechanistic link between human tolerogenic dendritic cells and immunosuppressive regulatory B-cells.
PMCID: PMC3894962  PMID: 24465383
7.  Evolution of Hepatic Steatosis to Fibrosis and Adenoma Formation in Liver-Specific Growth Hormone Receptor Knockout Mice 
Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common forms of chronic liver diseases closely associated with obesity and insulin resistance; deficient growth hormone (GH) action in liver has been implicated as a mechanism. Here, we investigated the evolution of NAFLD in aged mice with liver-specific GHR deletion.
Methods: We examined glucose tolerance, insulin responsiveness, and lipid profiles in aged male mice (44–50 weeks) with GHRLD. We performed proteomics analysis, pathway-based Superarray assay, as well as quantitative RT-PCR to gain molecular insight into the mechanism(s) of GHR-deficiency-mediated NAFLD. In addition, we examined the pathological changes of livers of aged GHRLD male mice.
Results: The biochemical profile was consistent with that of the metabolic syndrome: abnormal glucose tolerance, impaired insulin secretion, and hyperlipidemia. RT-qPCR analysis of key markers of inflammation revealed a three- to fivefold increase in TNFα and CCL3, confirming the presence of inflammation. Expression of fibrotic markers (e.g., Col1A2 and Col3A1) was significantly increased, together with a two- to threefold increase in TGFβ transcripts. Proteomics analyses showed a marked decrease of Mup1 and Selenbp2. In addition, pathway-analysis showed that the expression of cell cycle and growth relevant genes (i.e., Ccnd1, Socs2, Socs3, and Egfr) were markedly affected in GHRLD liver. Microscopic analyses (H&E) of GHRLD livers revealed the presence of hepatic adenomas of different stages of malignancy.
Conclusion: Abrogation of GH signaling in male liver leads to metabolic syndrome, hepatic steatosis, increased inflammation and fibrosis, and development of hepatic tumor. Since obesity, a common precursor of NAFLD, is a state of deficient GH secretion and action, the GHRLD model could be used to unravel the contribution of compromised hepatic GH signaling in these pathological processes, and help to identify potential targets for intervention.
PMCID: PMC4270248  PMID: 25566190
growth hormone receptor; hepatic steatosis; hepatocellular adenoma; NAFLD
9.  Cytokine and Chemokine Production by Human Pancreatic Islets Upon Enterovirus Infection 
Diabetes  2012;61(8):2030-2036.
Enteroviruses of the human enterovirus B species (HEV-Bs) (e.g., coxsackie B viruses [CVBs] and echoviruses) have been implicated as environmental factors that trigger/accelerate type 1 diabetes, but the underlying mechanism remains elusive. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the cytokines and chemokines that are produced by human pancreatic islets upon infection with CVBs. To this end, we studied the response of human islets of Langerhans upon mock or CVB3 infection. Using quantitative PCR, we showed that upon CVB3 infection, transcription of interferon (IFN), IFN-stimulated genes, and inflammatory genes was induced. Analysis of secreted cytokines and chemokines by Luminex technology confirmed production and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines (e.g., interleukin [IL]-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α) as well as various chemotactic proteins, such as IFN-γ–induced protein 10, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1β, and IL-8. Infection with other HEV-Bs induced similar responses, yet their extent depended on replication efficiency. Ultra violet–inactivated CVB3 did not induce any response, suggesting that virus replication is a prerequisite for antiviral responses. Our data represent the first comprehensive overview of inflammatory mediators that are secreted by human islets of Langerhans upon CVB infection and may shed light on the role of enteroviruses in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3402326  PMID: 22596052
10.  Modulation of Redox Balance Leaves Murine Diabetogenic TH1 T Cells “LAG-3-ing” Behind 
Diabetes  2012;61(7):1760-1768.
Preventing activation of diabetogenic T cells is critical for delaying type 1 diabetes onset. The inhibitory molecule lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG-3) and metalloprotease tumor necrosis factor-α converting enzyme (TACE) work together to regulate TH1 responses. The aim of this study was to determine if regulating redox using a catalytic antioxidant (CA) could modulate TACE-mediated LAG-3 shedding to impede diabetogenic T-cell activation and progression to disease. A combination of in vitro experiments and in vivo analyses using NOD mouse strains was conducted to test the effect of redox modulation on LAG-3 shedding, TACE enzymatic function, and disease onset. Systemic treatment of NOD mice significantly delayed type 1 diabetes onset. Disease prevention correlated with decreased activation, proliferation, and effector function of diabetogenic T cells; reduced insulin-specific T-cell frequency; and enhanced LAG-3+ cells. Redox modulation also affected TACE activation, diminishing LAG-3 cleavage. Furthermore, disease progression was monitored by measuring serum soluble LAG-3, which decreased in CA-treated mice. Therefore, affecting redox balance by CA treatment reduces the activation of diabetogenic T cells and impedes type 1 diabetes onset via decreasing T-cell effector function and LAG-3 cleavage. Moreover, soluble LAG-3 can serve as an early T-cell–specific biomarker for type 1 diabetes onset and immunomodulation.
PMCID: PMC3379669  PMID: 22586584
11.  The potential of genetically-engineered pigs in providing an alternative source of organs and cells for transplantation 
Journal of Biomedical Research  2013;27(4):249-253.
There is a critical shortage of organs, cells, and corneas from deceased human donors worldwide. There are also shortages of human blood for transfusion. A potential solution to all of these problems is the transplantation of organs, cells, and corneas from a readily available animal species, such as the pig, and the transfusion of red blood cells from pigs into humans. However, to achieve these ends, major immunologic and other barriers have to be overcome. Considerable progress has been made in this respect by the genetic modification of pigs to protect their tissues from the primate immune response and to correct several molecular incompatibilities that exist between pig and primate. These have included knockout of genes responsible for the expression of major antigenic targets for primate natural anti-pig antibodies, insertion of human complement- and coagulation-regulatory transgenes, and knockdown of swine leukocyte antigens that stimulate the primate's adaptive immune response. As a result of these manipulations, the administration of novel immunosuppressive agents, and other innovations, pig hearts have now functioned in baboons for 6-8 months, pig islets have maintained normoglycemia in diabetic monkeys for > 1 year, and pig corneas have maintained transparency for several months. Clinical trials of pig islet transplantation are already in progress. Future developments will involve further genetic manipulations of the organ-source pig, with most of the genes that are likely to be beneficial already identified.
PMCID: PMC3721033  PMID: 23885264
pig; blood transfusion; pig; genetic-engineered; pig; islets; pig; organs; xenotransplantation
12.  Clustering and Alignment of Polymorphic Sequences for HLA-DRB1 Genotyping 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59835.
Located on Chromosome 6p21, classical human leukocyte antigen genes are highly polymorphic. HLA alleles associate with a variety of phenotypes, such as narcolepsy, autoimmunity, as well as immunologic response to infectious disease. Moreover, high resolution genotyping of these loci is critical to achieving long-term survival of allogeneic transplants. Development of methods to obtain high resolution analysis of HLA genotypes will lead to improved understanding of how select alleles contribute to human health and disease risk. Genomic DNAs were obtained from a cohort of n = 383 subjects recruited as part of an Ulcerative Colitis study and analyzed for HLA-DRB1. HLA genotypes were determined using sequence specific oligonucleotide probes and by next-generation sequencing using the Roche/454 GSFLX instrument. The Clustering and Alignment of Polymorphic Sequences (CAPSeq) software application was developed to analyze next-generation sequencing data. The application generates HLA sequence specific 6-digit genotype information from next-generation sequencing data using MUMmer to align sequences and the R package diffusionMap to classify sequences into their respective allelic groups. The incorporation of Bootstrap Aggregating, Bagging to aid in sorting of sequences into allele classes resulted in improved genotyping accuracy. Using Bagging iterations equal to 60, the genotyping results obtained using CAPSeq when compared with sequence specific oligonucleotide probe characterized 4-digit genotypes exhibited high rates of concordance, matching at 759 out of 766 (99.1%) alleles.
PMCID: PMC3610899  PMID: 23555798
13.  AAV8-Mediated Gene Transfer of Interleukin-4 to Endogenous β-Cells Prevents the Onset of Diabetes in NOD Mice 
We previously demonstrated that intra-peritoneal delivery of adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (AAV8) stably transduces the pancreas, including the β-cells in the endogenous islets. We also demonstrated the ability to deliver and express genes specifically in β-cells for at least 6 months using a murine insulin promoter (mIP) in a double-stranded, self-complementary AAV vector (dsAAV8-mIP). Here we evaluated the effects of dsAAV8-mIP mediated delivery of interleukin 4 (mIL-4) to endogenous β-cells in NOD mice. In 4 week old NOD mice, the extent of gene transfer and expression in endogenous β-cells following i.p. delivery of dsAAV8-mIP-eGFP was comparable to normal BALB/c mice. Furthermore, following i.p. delivery of dsAAV8-mIP-IL4, expression of mIL-4 was detected in islets isolated and cultured from the treated mice. AAV8-mIP mediated gene expression of mIL-4 to endogenous β-cells of 4 and 8 week old NOD mice prevented the onset of hyperglycemia in NOD mice and reduced the severity of insulitis. Moreover, expression of mIL-4 also maintained the level of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ cells and adoptive co-transfer of splenocytes from diabetes-free IL-4 vector recipients and splenocytes from wild type diabetic NOD mice prevented the onset diabetes. Taken together, these results demonstrate that local expression of mIL-4 in islets prevents islet destruction and blocks autoimmunity, in part, through regulation of T cell function. These results also demonstrate the utility of using dsAAV8-mIP gene transfer to endogenous NOD β-cells to examine the role of specific gene products in preventing or exacerbating the onset of type 1 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3560428  PMID: 18560422
14.  Increased Yield and Improved Transplantation Outcome of Mouse Islets with Bovine Serum Albumin 
Journal of Transplantation  2012;2012:856386.
Isolation and transplantation of rodent islets are frequently used as a tool for predicting the behavior of new protocols for islet allotransplants in type 1 diabetes patients. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) is recognized as a protease inhibitor possibly protecting function and viability in islets. For this study, the addition of 0.2% BSA to the isolation protocol resulted in a 30% increase in islet yields while other parameters, such as viability and function, retained high islet quality. In vivo, a minimal mass of 70 BSA treated islets showed their ability to control glycemia levels in diabetic mice by bringing the average blood glucose to 153 ± 13.2 mg/dL compared to 288 ± 22.6 mg/dL without BSA. Our results show that the simple addition of BSA to the isolation protocol constitutes a reliable and reproducible method for increasing islet yield. Also adding BSA to the transplantation medium improves islet function in vivo. The method outlined here can reduce the overall number of animals needed per experiment and also reduce the time and resources needed for islet preparation.
PMCID: PMC3523609  PMID: 23304445
15.  Treg cells in pancreatic lymph nodes: the possible role in diabetogenesis and β cell regeneration in a T1D model 
Previously, we established a model in which physiologically adequate function of the autologous β cells was recovered in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice after the onset of hyperglycemia by rendering them hemopoietic chimera. These mice were termed antea-diabetic. In the current study, we addressed the role of T regulatory (Treg) cells in the mechanisms mediating the restoration of euglycemia in the antea-diabetic NOD model. The data generated in this study demonstrated that the numbers of Treg cells were decreased in unmanipulated NOD mice, with the most profound deficiency detected in the pancreatic lymph nodes (PLNs). The impaired retention of the Treg cells in the PLNs correlated with the locally compromised profile of the chemokines involved in their trafficking, with the most prominent decrease observed in SDF-1. The amelioration of autoimmunity and restoration of euglycemia observed in the antea-diabetic mice was associated with restoration of the Treg cell population in the PLNs. These data indicate that the function of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis and the retention of Treg cells in the PLNs have a potential role in diabetogenesis and in the amelioration of autoimmunity and β cell regeneration in the antea-diabetic model. We have demonstrated in the antea-diabetic mouse model that lifelong recovery of the β cells has a strong correlation with normalization of the Treg cell population in the PLNs. This finding offers new opportunities for testing the immunomodulatory regimens that promote accumulation of Treg cells in the PLNs as a therapeutic approach for type 1 diabetes (T1D).
PMCID: PMC4002217  PMID: 23042535
β cell regeneration; T regulatory cell trafficking; type 1 diabetes
16.  Amino Acid Position 11 of HLA-DRβ1 is a Major Determinant of Chromosome 6p Association with Ulcerative Colitis 
Genes and Immunity  2011;13(3):245-252.
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6p is an established risk locus for ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). We aimed to better define MHC association signals in UC and CD by combining data from dense single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping and from imputation of classical HLA types, their constituent SNPs and corresponding amino acids in 562 UC, 611 CD, and 1,428 control subjects. Univariate and multivariate association analyses were performed, controlling for ancestry. In univariate analyses, absence of the rs9269955 C allele was strongly associated with risk for UC (P = 2.67×10−13). rs9269955 is a SNP in the codon for amino acid position 11 of HLA-DRβ1, located in the P6 pocket of the HLA-DR antigen binding cleft. This amino acid position was also the most significantly UC-associated amino acid in omnibus tests (P = 2.68×10−13). Multivariate modeling identified rs9269955-C and 13 other variants in best predicting UC versus control status. In contrast, there was only suggestive association evidence between the MHC and CD. Taken together, these data demonstrate that variation at HLA-DRβ1, amino acid 11 in the P6 pocket of the HLA-DR complex antigen binding cleft is a major determinant of chromosome 6p association with ulcerative colitis.
PMCID: PMC3341846  PMID: 22170232
inflammatory bowel disease genetics; major histocompatibility complex; ulcerative colitis
17.  Multistationary and Oscillatory Modes of Free Radicals Generation by the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Revealed by a Bifurcation Analysis 
PLoS Computational Biology  2012;8(9):e1002700.
The mitochondrial electron transport chain transforms energy satisfying cellular demand and generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) that act as metabolic signals or destructive factors. Therefore, knowledge of the possible modes and bifurcations of electron transport that affect ROS signaling provides insight into the interrelationship of mitochondrial respiration with cellular metabolism. Here, a bifurcation analysis of a sequence of the electron transport chain models of increasing complexity was used to analyze the contribution of individual components to the modes of respiratory chain behavior. Our algorithm constructed models as large systems of ordinary differential equations describing the time evolution of the distribution of redox states of the respiratory complexes. The most complete model of the respiratory chain and linked metabolic reactions predicted that condensed mitochondria produce more ROS at low succinate concentration and less ROS at high succinate levels than swelled mitochondria. This prediction was validated by measuring ROS production under various swelling conditions. A numerical bifurcation analysis revealed qualitatively different types of multistationary behavior and sustained oscillations in the parameter space near a region that was previously found to describe the behavior of isolated mitochondria. The oscillations in transmembrane potential and ROS generation, observed in living cells were reproduced in the model that includes interaction of respiratory complexes with the reactions of TCA cycle. Whereas multistationarity is an internal characteristic of the respiratory chain, the functional link of respiration with central metabolism creates oscillations, which can be understood as a means of auto-regulation of cell metabolism.
Author Summary
The mitochondrial respiratory chain shows a variety of modes of behavior. In living cells, flashes of ROS production and oscillations accompanied by a decrease of transmembrane potential can be registered. The mechanisms of such complex behavior are difficult to rationalize without a mathematical formalization of mitochondrial respiration. Our most complete model of mitochondrial respiration accounts for the details of electron transport, reproducing the observed types of behavior, which includes the existence of multiple steady states and periodic oscillations. This most detailed model contains hundreds of differential equations, and such complexity makes it difficult to grasp the main determinants of its behavior. Therefore the full model was reduced to a simplified description of complex III only, and numerical bifurcation analysis was used to study its behavior. Then the evolution of its behavior was traced in a sequence of models with increasing complexity leading back to the full model. This analysis revealed the mechanism of switching between the modes of behavior and the conditions for persistence in a given state, which defines ATP production, ROS signaling and destructive effects. This is important for understanding the biochemical basics of many systemic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3447950  PMID: 23028295
18.  Phase I (Safety) Study of Autologous Tolerogenic Dendritic Cells in Type 1 Diabetic Patients 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(9):2026-2032.
The safety of dendritic cells to selectively suppress autoimmunity, especially in type 1 diabetes, has never been ascertained. We investigated the safety of autologous dendritic cells, stabilized into an immunosuppressive state, in established adult type 1 diabetic patients.
A randomized, double-blind, phase I study was conducted. A total of 10, otherwise generally healthy, insulin-requiring type 1 diabetic patients between 18 and 60 years of age, without any other known or suspected health conditions, received autologous dendritic cells, unmanipulated or engineered ex vivo toward an immunosuppressive state. Ten million cells were administered intradermally in the abdomen once every 2 weeks for a total of four administrations. The primary end point determined the proportion of patients with adverse events on the basis of the physician’s global assessment, hematology, biochemistry, and immune monitoring for a period of 12 months.
The dendritic cells were safely tolerated. There were no discernible adverse events in any patient throughout the study. Other than a significant increase in the frequency of peripheral B220+ CD11c− B cells, mainly seen in the recipients of engineered dendritic cells during the dendritic cell administration period, there were no statistically relevant differences in other immune populations or biochemical, hematological, and immune biomarkers compared with baseline.
Treatment with autologous dendritic cells, in a native state or directed ex vivo toward a tolerogenic immunosuppressive state, is safe and well tolerated. Dendritic cells upregulated the frequency of a potentially beneficial B220+ CD11c− B-cell population, at least in type 1 diabetes autoimmunity.
PMCID: PMC3161299  PMID: 21680720
19.  Isolation of Human Islets for Autologous Islet Transplantation in Children and Adolescents with Chronic Pancreatitis 
Journal of Transplantation  2012;2012:642787.
Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas that causes permanent changes in the function and structure of the pancreas. It is most commonly a complication of cystic fibrosis or due to a genetic predisposition. Chronic pancreatitis generally presents symptomatically as recurrent abdominal pain, which becomes persistent over time. The pain eventually becomes disabling. Once specific medical treatments and endoscopic interventions are no longer efficacious, total pancreatectomy is the alternative of choice for helping the patient achieve pain control. While daily administrations of digestive enzymes cannot be avoided, insulin-dependent diabetes can be prevented by transplanting the isolated pancreatic islets back to the patient. The greater the number of islets infused, the greater the chance to prevent or at least control the effects of surgical diabetes. We present here a technical approach for the isolation and preservation of the islets proven to be efficient to obtain high numbers of islets, favoring the successful treatment of young patients.
PMCID: PMC3306977  PMID: 22461976
20.  Systemic chimerism in human female recipients of male livers 
Lancet  1992;340(8824):876-877.
We have previously reported data from clinical and laboratory animal observations which suggest that organ tolerance after transplantation depends on a state of balanced lymphodendritic cell chimerism between the host and donor graft. We have sought further evidence to support this hypothesis by investigating HLA-mismatched liver allograft recipients.
9 of 9 female recipients of livers from male donors had chimerism in their allografts and extrahepatic tissues, according to in-situ hybridisation and molecular techniques 10 to 19 years post-transplantation. In 8 women with good graft function, evidence of the Y chromosome was found in the blood (6/8), skin (8/8), and lymph nodes (7/8). A ninth patient whose transplant failed after 12 years from recurrent chronic viral hepatitis had chimerism in her lymph nodes, skin, jejunum, and aorta at the time of retransplantation.
Although cell migration is thought to take place after all types of transplantation, the large population of migratory cells in, and the extent of their seeding from, hepatic grafts may explain the privileged tolerogenicity of the liver compared with other organs.
PMCID: PMC3184834  PMID: 1357298
21.  Pancreas and islet cell transplantation 
Currently, for the patient with type 1 diabetes, a definitive treatment without resorting to the use of exogenous insulin can be achieved only with pancreas or islet cell transplantation. These means of restoring β-cell mass can completely maintain essentially normal long-term glucose homeostasis, although the need for powerful immunosuppressive regimens limits their application to only a subgroup of adult patients. Apart from the shortage of donors that has limited all kinds of transplantation, however, the widespread use of β-cell replacement has been precluded until recently by the drawbacks associated with both organ and islet cell transplantation. Although the study of recurrence of diabetes has generated attention, the fundamental obstacle to pancreas and islet transplantation has been, and remains, the alloimmune response. With a better elucidation of the mechanisms of alloengraftment achieved during the last 3 years, the stage has been set for further advances.
PMCID: PMC3184836  PMID: 12079269
type 1 diabetes; autoimmunity; allorejection; immunosuppression; tolerance
22.  Production of α1,3-Galactosyltransferase–Deficient Pigs 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2002;299(5605):411-414.
The enzyme α1,3-galactosyltransferase (α1,3GT or GCTA1) synthesizes α1,3-galactose (α1,3Gal) epitopes (Galα1,3Galβ1,4GlcNAc-R), which are the major xenoantigens causing hyperacute rejection in pig-to-human xenotransplantation. Complete removal of α1,3Gal from pig organs is the critical step toward the success of xenotransplantation. We reported earlier the targeted disruption of one allele of the α1,3GT gene in cloned pigs. A selection procedure based on a bacterial toxin was used to select for cells in which the second allele of the gene was knocked out. Sequencing analysis demonstrated that knockout of the second allele of the α1,3GT gene was caused by a T-to-G single point mutation at the second base of exon 9, which resulted in inactivation of the α1,3GT protein. Four healthy α1,3GT double-knockout female piglets were produced by three consecutive rounds of cloning. The piglets carrying a point mutation in the α1,3GT gene hold significant value, as they would allow production of α1,3Gal-deficient pigs free of antibiotic-resistance genes and thus have the potential to make a safer product for human use.
PMCID: PMC3154759  PMID: 12493821
23.  Pig-to-Nonhuman Primates Pancreatic Islet Xenotransplantation: An Overview 
Current Diabetes Reports  2011;11(5):402-412.
The therapy of type 1 diabetes is an open challenging problem. The restoration of normoglycemia and insulin independence in immunosuppressed type 1 diabetic recipients of islet allotransplantation has shown the potential of a cell-based diabetes therapy. Even if successful, this approach poses a problem of scarce tissue supply. Xenotransplantation can be the answer to this limited donor availability and, among possible candidate tissues for xenotransplantation, porcine islets are the closest to a future clinical application. Xenotransplantation, with pigs as donors, offers the possibility of using healthy, living, and genetically modified islets from pathogen-free animals available in unlimited number of islets. Several studies in the pig-to-nonhuman primate model demonstrated the feasibility of successful preclinical islet xenotransplantation and have provided insights into the critical events and possible mechanisms of immune recognition and rejection of xenogeneic islet grafts. Particularly promising results in the achievement of prolonged insulin independence were obtained with newly developed, genetically modified pigs islets able to produce immunoregulatory products, using different implantation sites, and new immunotherapeutic strategies. Nonetheless, further efforts are needed to generate additional safety and efficacy data in nonhuman primate models to safely translate these findings into the clinic.
PMCID: PMC3167044  PMID: 21805400
Type 1 diabetes; Islet xenotransplantation; Pancreas; Non-human primates; β-cell replacement
24.  Current State of Type 1 Diabetes Immunotherapy: Incremental Advances, Huge Leaps, or More of the Same? 
Thus far, none of the preclinically successful and promising immunomodulatory agents for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) has conferred stable, long-term insulin independence to diabetic patients. The majority of these immunomodulators are humanised antibodies that target immune cells or cytokines. These as well as fusion proteins and inhibitor proteins all share varying adverse event occurrence and severity. Other approaches have included intact putative autoantigens or autoantigen peptides. Considerable logistical outlays have been deployed to develop and to translate humanised antibodies targeting immune cells, cytokines, and cytokine receptors to the clinic. Very recent phase III trials with the leading agent, a humanised anti-CD3 antibody, call into question whether further development of these biologics represents a step forward or more of the same. Combination therapies of one or more of these humanised antibodies are also being considered, and they face identical, if not more serious, impediments and safety issues. This paper will highlight the preclinical successes and the excitement generated by phase II trials while offering alternative possibilities and new translational avenues that can be explored given the very recent disappointment in leading agents in more advanced clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC3139873  PMID: 21785616
25.  Redox Modulation Protects Islets From Transplant-Related Injury 
Diabetes  2010;59(7):1731-1738.
Because of reduced antioxidant defenses, β-cells are especially vulnerable to free radical and inflammatory damage. Commonly used antirejection drugs are excellent at inhibiting the adaptive immune response; however, most are harmful to islets and do not protect well from reactive oxygen species and inflammation resulting from islet isolation and ischemia-reperfusion injury. The aim of this study was to determine whether redox modulation, using the catalytic antioxidant (CA), FBC-007, can improve in vivo islet function post-transplant.
The abilities of redox modulation to preserve islet function were analyzed using three models of ischemia-reperfusion injury: 1) streptozotocin (STZ) treatment of human islets, 2) STZ-induced murine model of diabetes, and 3) models of syngeneic, allogeneic, and xenogeneic transplantation.
Incubating human islets with catalytic antioxidant during STZ treatment protects from STZ-induced islet damage, and systemic delivery of catalytic antioxidant ablates STZ-induced diabetes in mice. Islets treated with catalytic antioxidant before syngeneic, suboptimal syngeneic, or xenogeneic transplant exhibited superior function compared with untreated controls. Diabetic murine recipients of catalytic antioxidant–treated allogeneic islets exhibited improved glycemic control post-transplant and demonstrated a delay in allograft rejection. Treating recipients systemically with catalytic antioxidant further extended the delay in allograft rejection.
Pretreating donor islets with catalytic antioxidant protects from antigen-independent ischemia-reperfusion injury in multiple transplant settings. Treating systemically with catalytic antioxidant protects islets from antigen-independent ischemia-reperfusion injury and hinders the antigen-dependent alloimmune response. These results suggest that the addition of a redox modulation strategy would be a beneficial clinical approach for islet preservation in syngeneic, allogeneic, and xenogeneic transplantation.
PMCID: PMC2889773  PMID: 20413509

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