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author:("Yang, giwen")
1.  Pathogenic Fungus Microsporum canis Activates the NLRP3 Inflammasome 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(2):882-892.
Microsporum canis is a pathogenic fungus with worldwide distribution that causes tinea capitis in animals and humans. M. canis also causes invasive infection in immunocompromised patients. To defy pathogenic fungal infection, the host innate immune system is the first line of defense. As an important arm of innate immunity, the inflammasomes are intracellular multiprotein complexes that control the activation of caspase-1, which cleaves proinflammatory cytokine pro-interleukin-1β (IL-1β) into its mature form. To determine whether the inflammasome is involved in the host defense against M. canis infection, we challenged human monocytic THP-1 cells and mouse dendritic cells with a clinical strain of M. canis isolated from patients with tinea capitis. We found that M. canis infection triggered rapid secretion of IL-1β from both THP-1 cells and mouse dendritic cells. Moreover, by using gene-specific shRNA and competitive inhibitors, we determined that M. canis-induced IL-1β secretion was dependent on NLRP3. The pathways proposed for NLRP3 inflammasome activation, namely, cathepsin B activity, K+ efflux, and reactive oxygen species production, were all required for the inflammasome activation triggered by M. canis. Meanwhile, Syk, Dectin-1, and Card9 were found to be involved in M. canis-induced IL-1β secretion via regulation of pro-IL-1β transcription. More importantly, our data revealed that M. canis-induced production of IL-1β was dependent on the NLRP3 inflammasome in vivo. Together, this study unveils that the NLRP3 inflammasome exerts a critical role in host innate immune responses against M. canis infection, and our data suggest that diseases that result from M. canis infection might be controlled by regulating the activation of inflammasomes.
PMCID: PMC3911390  PMID: 24478101
3.  Generation of Biotechnology-Derived Flavobacterium columnare Ghosts by PhiX174 Gene E-Mediated Inactivation and the Potential as Vaccine Candidates against Infection in Grass Carp 
Flavobacterium columnare is a bacterial pathogen causing high mortality rates for many freshwater fish species. Fish vaccination with a safe and effective vaccine is a potential approach for prevention and control of fish disease. Here, in order to produce bacterial ghost vaccine, a specific Flavobacterium lysis plasmid pBV-E-cat was constructed by cloning PhiX174 lysis gene E and the cat gene with the promoter of F. columnare into the prokaryotic expression vector pBV220. The plasmid was successfully electroporated into the strain F. columnare G4cpN22 after curing of its endogenous plasmid. F. columnare G4cpN22 ghosts (FCGs) were generated for the first time by gene E-mediated lysis, and the vaccine potential of FCG was investigated in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) by intraperitoneal route. Fish immunized with FCG showed significantly higher serum agglutination titers and bactericidal activity than fish immunized with FKC or PBS. Most importantly, after challenge with the parent strain G4, the relative percent survival (RPS) of fish in FCG group (70.9%) was significantly higher than FKC group (41.9%). These results showed that FCG could confer immune protection against F. columnare infection. As a nonliving whole cell envelope preparation, FCG may provide an ideal alternative to pathogen-based vaccines against columnaris in aquaculture.
PMCID: PMC3376489  PMID: 22719209
4.  Multidose Streptozotocin Induction of Diabetes in BALB/c Mice Induces a Dominant Oxidative Macrophage and a Conversion of TH1 to TH2 Phenotypes During Disease Progression 
Mediators of Inflammation  2005;2005(4):202-209.
Macrophages (Mp) are implicated in both early and late phases in type 1 diabetes development. Recent study has suggested that a balance between reductive Mp (RMp) and oxidative Mp (OMp) is possible to regulate TH1/TH2 balance. The aim of this study is to investigate the redox status of peritoneal Mp and its cytokine profile during the development of autoimmune diabetes induced by multiple low-dose streptozotocin in BALB/c mice. Meanwhile, the polarization of TH1/TH2 of splenocytes or thymocytes was also examined. We found that peritoneal Mp appeared as an “incomplete” OMp phenotype with decreased icGSH along with disease progression. The OMp showed reduced TNF-α, IL-12, and NO production as well as defective phagocytosis activity compared to nondiabetic controls; however, there was no significant difference with IL-6 production. On the other hand, the levels of IFN-γ or IL-4 of splenocytes in diabetic mice were significantly higher compared to the control mice. The ratio of IFN-γ to IL-4 was also higher at the early stage of diabetes and then declined several weeks later after the occurrence of diabetes, suggesting a pathogenetic TH1 phenotype from the beginning gradually to a tendency of TH2 during the development of diabetes. Our results implied that likely OMp may be relevant in the development of type 1 diabetes; however, it is not likely the only factor regulating the TH1H/TH2 balance in MLD-STZ-induced diabetic mice.
PMCID: PMC1526479  PMID: 16192669

Results 1-4 (4)