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1.  Oral Delivery of IL27 Recombinant Bacteria Attenuates Immune Colitis in Mice 
Gastroenterology  2013;146(1):210-221.e13.
Background & Aims
Treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) would benefit from specific targeting of therapeutics to the intestine. We developed a strategy for localized delivery of the immunosuppressive cytokine IL27, which is actively synthesized in situ by the food-grade bacterium Lactococcuslactis (LL-IL-27), and tested its ability to reduce colitis in mice.
The 2 genes encoding mouse IL27 were synthesized with optimal codon usage for L lactis and joined with a linker; a signal sequence was added to allow for secretion of the product. The construct was introduced into L lactis. Colitis was induced via transfer of CD4+CD45RBhi T cells into Rag−/− mice to induce colitis; 7.5 weeks later, LL-IL-27 was administered to mice via gavage. Intestinal tissues were collected and analyzed.
LL-IL-27 administration protected mice from T-cell transfer-induced enterocolitis and death. LL-IL-27 reduced disease activity scores, pathology features of large and small bowel, and levels of inflammatory cytokines in colonic tissue. LL-IL-27 also reduced numbers of CD4+ and IL17+ T cells in gut-associated lymphoid tissue. The effects of LL-IL-27 required production of IL10 by the transferred T cells. LL-IL-27 was more effective than either LL-IL-10 or systemic administration of recombinant IL27 in reducing colitis in mice. LL-IL-27 also reduced colitis in mice following administration of dextran sodium sulfate.
L lactis engineered to express IL27 (LL-IL-27) reduces colitis in mice, by increasing production of IL10. Mucosal delivery of LL-IL-27 could be a more effective and safer therapy for IBD.
PMCID: PMC3920828  PMID: 24120477
mouse model; Crohn’s Disease; ulcerative colitis; immune regulation
2.  Interleukin-7 Regulates Bim Proapoptotic Activity in Peripheral T-Cell Survival▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2009;30(3):590-600.
Interleukin-7 (IL-7) is critical for T-cell development and peripheral T-cell homeostasis. The survival of pro-T cells and mature T cells requires IL-7. The survival function of IL-7 is accomplished partly through induction of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 and inhibition of proapoptotic proteins Bax and Bad. We show here that the proapoptotic protein Bim, a BH3-only protein belonging to the Bcl-2 family, also plays a role in peripheral T-cell survival. Deletion of Bim partially protected an IL-7-dependent T-cell line and peripheral T cells, especially cells with an effector memory phenotype, from IL-7 deprivation. However, T-cell development in the thymus was not restored in IL-7−/− Rag2−/− mice reconstituted with Bim−/− bone marrow. IL-7 withdrawal altered neither the intracellular location of Bim, which was constitutively mitochondrial, nor its association with Bcl-2; however, a reduction in its association with the prosurvival protein Mcl-1 was observed. IL-7 withdrawal did not increase Bim mRNA or protein expression but did induce changes in the isoelectric point of BimEL and its reactivity with an antiphosphoserine antibody. Our findings suggest that the maintenance of peripheral T cells by IL-7 occurs partly through inhibition of Bim activity at the posttranslational level.
PMCID: PMC2812241  PMID: 19933849
3.  Visualization and Identification of IL-7 Producing Cells in Reporter Mice 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e7637.
Interleukin-7 (IL-7) is required for lymphocyte development and homeostasis although the actual sites of IL-7 production have never been clearly identified. We produced a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mouse expressing ECFP in the Il7 locus. The construct lacked a signal peptide and ECFP (enhanced cyan fluorescent protein ) accumulated inside IL-7-producing stromal cells in thoracic thymus, cervical thymus and bone marrow. In thymus, an extensive reticular network of IL-7-containing processes extended from cortical and medullary epithelial cells, closely contacting thymocytes. Central memory CD8 T cells, which require IL-7 and home to bone marrow, physically associated with IL-7-producing cells as we demonstrate by intravital imaging.
PMCID: PMC2770321  PMID: 19907640
4.  Immunologic and Therapeutic Synergy of IL-27 and IL-2: Enhancement of T Cell Sensitization, Tumor-Specific CTL Reactivity and Complete Regression of Disseminated Neuroblastoma Metastases in the Liver and Bone Marrow1 
IL-27 exerts antitumor activity in murine orthotopic neuroblastoma, but only partial antitumor effect in disseminated disease. This study demonstrates that combined treatment with IL-2 and IL-27 induces potent antitumor activity in disseminated neuroblastoma metastasis. Complete durable tumor regression was achieved in 90% of mice bearing metastatic TBJ-IL-27 tumors treated with IL-2 compared with only 40% of mice bearing TBJ-IL-27 tumors alone and 0% of mice bearing TBJ-FLAG tumors with or without IL-2 treatment. Comparable antitumor effects were achieved by IL-27 protein produced upon hydrodynamic IL-27 plasmid DNA delivery when combined with IL-2. Although delivery of IL-27 alone, or in combination with IL-2, mediated pronounced regression of neuroblastoma metastases in the liver, combined delivery of IL-27 and IL-2 was far more effective than IL-27 alone against bone marrow metastases. Combined exposure to IL-27 produced by tumor and IL-2 synergistically enhances the generation of tumor-specific CTL reactivity. Potentiation of CTL reactivity by IL-27 occurs via mechanisms that appear to be engaged during both the initial sensitization and effector phase. Potent immunologic memory responses are generated in mice cured of their disseminated disease by combined delivery of IL-27 and IL-2, and depletion of CD8+ ablates the antitumor efficacy of this combination. Moreover, IL-27 delivery can inhibit the expansion of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory and IL-17-expressing CD4+ cells that are otherwise observed among tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from mice treated with IL-2. These studies demonstrate that IL-27 and IL-2 synergistically induce complete tumor regression and long-term survival in mice bearing widely metastatic neuroblastoma tumors.
PMCID: PMC2730673  PMID: 19299733

Results 1-4 (4)