The interaction between the Leishmania parasite and the host cell involves complex, multifaceted processes. The disease severity in cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is largely dependent on the causative species. Most of the information on immune responses in human CL is available with respect to L. major infection and is lacking for L. tropica species. In this study, we employed cytokine/chemokine/receptor membrane cDNA array to capture comprehensive picture of immuno-determinants in localized human tissue during L. tropica infection. Expression of selected molecules was evaluated by real time PCR in dermal lesion tissues at pre- and post treatment stages. Plasma IL-17 level was estimated by sandwich ELISA.
The cDNA array analysis identified several immuno-determinants in tissue lesions of Indian CL including cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-10, IL-13), chemokines (IL-8, CCL2, CCL3, CCL4) and apoptotic molecules (Fas, TRAIL, IRF-1). Elevated mRNA levels of Th17 (IL-17, IL-23 and RORγt) and Treg (CD25, CTLA-4 and Foxp3) markers were observed in lesion tissues of CL patients compared to the control group, which subsided post treatment. Plasma IL-17 levels were found to be significantly higher in CL samples compared to controls.
In addition to defining comprehensive immunological responses inside lesion tissues of CL patients, our study demonstrated the presence of Th17 and Treg cells in CL caused by L. tropica.
cDNA array; Cutaneous Leishmaniasis; Cytokines; Th17 cell; Treg cell
Short dimeric or mulitmeric peptides derived from a highly conserved stretch of amino acids from gammaretroviral envelope proteins has been found to have immunosuppressive properties in vitro. Here we test the hypothesis that such immunosuppressive peptides may serve as immunomodulatory reagents for treatment of inflammatory disorders.
The anti-inflammatory effect of a synthetic retrovirus-derived immunosuppressive peptide of 17 amino acids was tested in two murine skin inflammation models, a TPA-induced acute toxic contact eczema model and an oxazolone-induced allergic contact dermatitis. Overall, mice (n = 24) treated with a topically applied cream containing the dimeric immunosuppressive peptide exhibited a reduction of 28.8% in ear thickness (range 20.1-42.5), whereas the application of a scrambled peptide dimer or a monomer of the immunosuppressive peptide remained without effect (p = 0.028). Furthermore, ear biopsies from mice treated with the dimeric immunosuppressive peptide showed a significant reduction in mRNA of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-17C, and IL-6 as well as the chemokine CXCL2 compared to mice treated with control peptides.
Using two murine skin inflammation models, we show that an immunosuppressive retroviral peptide is capable of reducing inflammatory disorders. The results indicate that virus-derived immunosuppressive peptides capable of down-regulating several proinflammatory cytokines may represent a novel class of drugs for the treatment of excess inflammation.
Administration of mercury at nontoxic doses induces systemic autoimmune disease in Brown Norway (BN) rats. The pathogenesis of lupus-like oral mucosal lesion by mercury-induced autoimmunity is still unclear, even though the oral mucosa is observed to be commonly affected in mercury-treated BN rats. In this study, we investigated the immunopathology of lupus-like oral mucosal lesions in a model of mercury-induced systemic autoimmunity.
Brown Norway male rats were injected subcutaneously with either phosphate-buffered saline (control) or mercury at a dose of 1.0 mg per kilogram of body weight on days 0, 3, 5, and 7. Blood, kidney, and tongue samples were taken at various timepoints for evaluation by immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR, and lupus band test (LBT).
Oral mucosal lesions were classified according to three consecutive temporal phases on the basis of infiltration of immunocompetent cells as follows: (phase I) infiltration of MHC class II+ dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages; (phase II) addition of ED1+ macrophage infiltrates; and (phase III) focal infiltration of pan T cells following increased infiltration of DC and macrophages. Dense infiltration of DC and macrophages was observed in the basement membrane (BM) zone of the oral epithelium. Tissue expression of IL-4 mRNA was detected in early lesions (phase I), suggesting that locally produced IL-4 may be responsible for Th2-mediated immune response. A linear and continuous smooth pattern of fluorescence was observed in the oral epithelial BM in addition to renal glomeruli, indicating immune complex deposits.
Local autoimmune responses are involved in the pathogenesis of mercury-induced lupus-like lesions of the oral mucosa.
Mercury-induced autoimmunity; Oral mucosa; Lupus-like lesions; Brown Norway rats
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infections are still a major cause of death among all infectious diseases. Although 99% of individuals infected with Mtb develop a CD4+ Th1 and CD8+ T cell mediated immunity as measured by tuberculin skin test, this results only in partial protection and Mtb vaccines are not effective. Deviation of immune responses by pathogens towards a Th2 profile is a common mechanism of immune evasion, typically leading to the persistence of the microbes.
Here we tested the stimulatory capacity of selective Mtb antigens on human monocyte-derived dendritic cell (DC) maturation and cytokine production. DC maturation markers CD80, CD86 and CD83 were readily upregulated by H37Ra- and H37Rv-associated antigens, the 30-kDa (from Ag85 B complex) and 38-KDa Mtb antigens only partially induced these markers. All Mtb antigens induced variable levels of IL-6 and low levels of IL-10, there was no release of IL-12p70 detectable. Substantial IL-12p40 production was restricted to LPS or H37Ra and H37Rv preparations. Although the proliferation levels of primary T cell responses were comparable using all the differentially stimulated DC, the 30-kDa and 38-kDa antigens showed a bias towards IL-4 secretion of polarized CD4+ T cells after secondary stimulation as compared to H37Ra and H37Rv preparations.
Together our data indicate that 30-kDa and 38-kDa Mtb antigens induced only partial DC maturation shifting immune responses towards a Th2 profile.
Dendritic cells; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; T helper cell responses
The milk-derived protein human Casein alpha s1 (CSN1S1) has recently been detected in blood cells and was shown to possess proinflammatory properties. In the present study, we investigated the effect of CSN1S1 on the differentiation of monocytes.
Primary human monocytes were stimulated with recombinant CSN1S1 and compared to cells stimulated with GM-CSF/IL-4 or M-CSF/IFNγ. Morphological changes were assessed by microscopy and quantification of surface markers of differentiation by FACS analysis. Phagocytic activity of CSN1S1 stimulated cells was measured by quantification of zymosan labeled particle uptake. The role of mitogen activated protein kinases for CSN1S1-induced differentiation of monocytes and proinflammatory cytokine expression was assessed by supplementation of specific inhibitors.
CSN1S1 at a concentration of 10 μg/ml resulted in morphological changes (irregular shape, pseudopodia) and aggregation of cells, comparable to changes observed in M-CSF/IFNγ differentiated macrophages. Surface marker expression was altered after 24 h with an upregulation of CD14 (mean 2.5 fold) and CD64 (1.9 fold) in CSN1S1 stimulated cells. CSN1S1 treated cells showed a characteristic surface marker pattern for macrophages after 120 h of incubation (CD14high, CD64high, CD83low, CD1alow) comparable to changes observed in M-CSF/IFNγ treated monocytes. Furthermore, phagocytic activity was increased 1.4 and 1.9 fold following stimulation with 10 μg/ml CSN1S1 after 24 and 48 h, respectively. Early GM-CSF, but not GM-CSF/IL-4 induced differentiation of monocytes towards dendritic cells (DC) was inhibited by addition of CSN1S1. Finally, CSN1S1 induced upregulation of CD14 was impeded by inhibition of ERK1/2, while inhibition of the mitogen activated protein kinases JNK and p38 did not influence cellular differentiation. However, JNK and p38 inhibitors impeded CSN1S1 induced secretion of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1b or IL-6.
CSN1S1 skews in vitro differentiation of monocytes towards a macrophage-like phenotype. Data is accumulating that functions of CSN1S1 are beyond nutritional properties and include immunomodulatory effects.
Macrophage; Inflammation; Interleukin-1; Interleukin-6; Milk; Differentiation
The immune system consists of multiple preformed and more specific adaptive immune responses, which are all subject to both positive and negative regulation. Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) is a cell surface ligand implicated in the induction of anergy, Inducible T-cell Costimulator (ICOS) plays a stimulatory role in the development of both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Antigen 4 (CTLA-4) plays a role in inhibitory regulation of T-cell activity, and T cell immunoglobulin and mucin protein 3 (Tim-3) has been described as a negative regulatory molecule in CD4+ helper type 1 cells and CD8+ cytotoxic type 1 cells. Each of these ligands is induced with T-cell activation allowing greater opportunity to have a regulatory role.
Flow cytometry was used to quantitate the expression of PD-1, ICOS, CTLA-4 and Tim-3 in human T-cells from geriatric and younger subjects both at baseline and after in vitro induction by mitogen. The magnitude of expression of the molecules increased significantly on activated blasts after mitogen stimulation compared to their baseline levels in resting cells. The increase in CTLA-4 expressing CD8+ T-cells was significantly higher after in vitro induction in older persons, while the increase in cells expressing Tim-3 and PD-1 was significantly reduced. In CD4+ T-cells, a greater increase in CTLA-4 expressing cells in older persons was the only difference between the age groups.
We found several significant changes in the older individuals in regulatory elements of the adaptive immune system that occur particularly after immune activation. These differences could have ramifications to autoimmunity as well as immunology against infection and tumors.
Immunosenescence; CD4; CD8; Adaptive immune system; Anergy; Co-receptor; PD-1; CTLA-4; ICOS; Tim-3
Active cancer immunotherapies are beginning to yield clinical benefit, especially those using peptide-pulsed dendritic cells (DCs). Different adjuvants, including Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, commonly co-administered to cancer patients as part of a DC-based vaccine, are being widely tested in the clinical setting. However, endogenous DCs in tumor-bearing individuals are often dysfunctional, suggesting that ex vivo educated DCs might be superior inducers of anti-tumor immune responses. We have previously shown that prothymosin alpha (proTα) and its immunoreactive decapeptide proTα(100–109) induce the maturation of human DCs in vitro. The aim of this study was to investigate whether proTα- or proTα(100–109)-matured DCs are functionally competent and to provide preliminary evidence for the mode of action of these agents.
Monocyte-derived DCs matured in vitro with proTα or proTα(100–109) express co-stimulatory molecules and secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines. ProTα- and proTα(100–109)-matured DCs pulsed with HER-2/neu peptides induce TH1-type immune responses, prime autologous naïve CD8-positive (+) T cells to lyse targets expressing the HER-2/neu epitopes and to express a polyfunctional profile, and stimulate CD4+ T cell proliferation in an HER-2/neu peptide-dependent manner. DC maturation induced by proTα and proTα(100–109) is likely mediated via TLR-4, as shown by assessing TLR-4 surface expression and the levels of the intracellular adaptor molecules TIRAP, MyD88 and TRIF.
Our results suggest that proTα and proTα(100–109) induce both the maturation and the T cell stimulatory capacity of DCs. Although further studies are needed, evidence for a possible proTα and proTα(100–109) interaction with TLR-4 is provided. The initial hypothesis that proTα and the proTα-derived immunoactive decapeptide act as “alarmins”, provides a rationale for their eventual use as adjuvants in DC-based anti-cancer immunotherapy.
Prothymosin alpha; Immunoreactive peptide; Dendritic cells; TH1 immune responses; TLR-4; Adjuvant; HER-2/neu peptides
Anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease is a well-known antibody-induced autoimmune disease. A few patients have glomerular C1q deposition, but it is usually absent on renal histopathology. The role of C1q deposition in kidney injury is unclear. Recently, anti-C1q antibodies are demonstrated to be pathogenic in the target organ damage of many autoimmune diseases, by facilitating C1q deposition and enhancing complement activation via classical pathway. In the current study, we investigated the associations between anti-C1q antibodies in sera and C1q deposition in kidney of patients with anti-GBM disease.
It was shown that the severity of kidney injury was comparable between patients with and without C1q deposition, including the prevalence of oliguria/auria, the median percentage of crescents in glomeruli and the mean concentration of serum creatinine. Serum anti-C1q antibodies were detected in 15/25 (60%) patients with a low titer. The prevalence of C1q deposition in kidney was comparable between patients with and without serum anti-C1q antibodies (26.7% vs. 30.0%, p > 0.05). No association was found between anti-C1q antibodies and the severity of kidney injury.
The classical pathway of complement may not play a pathogenic role in the kidney injury of human anti-GBM disease. Anti-C1q antibodies could be detected in more than half of patients, which need further investigations.
Anti-glomerular basement membrane disease; Complement; Classical pathway; C1q; Anti-C1q antibody
Activin A is a pleiotrophic regulatory cytokine, the ablation of which is neonatal lethal. Healthy human alveolar macrophages (AMs) constitutively express activin A, but AMs of patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) are deficient in activin A. PAP is an autoimmune lung disease characterized by neutralizing autoantibodies to Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF). Activin A can be stimulated, however, by GM-CSF treatment of AMs in vitro. To further explore pulmonary activin A regulation, we examined AMs in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from wild-type C57BL/6 compared to GM-CSF knockout mice which exhibit a PAP-like histopathology. Both human PAP and mouse GM-CSF knockout AMs are deficient in the transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ).
In sharp contrast to human PAP, activin A mRNA was elevated in mouse GM-CSF knockout AMs, and activin A protein was increased in BAL fluid. Investigation of potential causative factors for activin A upregulation revealed intrinsic overexpression of IFNγ, a potent inducer of the M1 macrophage phenotype, in GM-CSF knockout BAL cells. IFNγ mRNA was not elevated in PAP BAL cells. In vitro studies confirmed that IFNγ stimulated activin A in wild-type AMs while antibody to IFNγ reduced activin A in GM-CSF knockout AMs. Both IFNγ and Activin A were also reduced in GM-CSF knockout mice in vivo after intratracheal instillation of lentivirus-PPARγ compared to control lentivirus vector. Examination of other M1 markers in GM-CSF knockout mice indicated intrinsic elevation of the IFNγ-regulated gene, inducible Nitrogen Oxide Synthetase (iNOS), CCL5, and interleukin (IL)-6 compared to wild-type. The M2 markers, IL-10 and CCL2 were also intrinsically elevated.
Data point to IFNγ as the primary upregulator of activin A in GM-CSF knockout mice which in addition, exhibit a unique mix of M1-M2 macrophage phenotypes.
Interferon gamma; Activin A; Alveolar macrophages
Some studies have shown that nasally administered immunobiotics had the potential to improve the outcome of influenza virus infection. However, the capacity of immunobiotics to improve protection against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection was not investigated before.
The aims of this study were: a) to evaluate whether the nasal administration of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CRL1505 (Lr05) and L. rhamnosus CRL1506 (Lr06) are able to improve respiratory antiviral defenses and beneficially modulate the immune response triggered by TLR3/RIG-I activation; b) to investigate whether viability of Lr05 or Lr06 is indispensable to modulate respiratory immunity and; c) to evaluate the capacity of Lr05 and Lr06 to improve the resistance of infant mice against RSV infection.
Nasally administered Lr05 and Lr06 differentially modulated the TLR3/RIG-I-triggered antiviral respiratory immune response. Lr06 administration significantly modulated the production of IFN-α, IFN-β and IL-6 in the response to poly(I:C) challenge, while nasal priming with Lr05 was more effective to improve levels of IFN-γ and IL-10. Both viable Lr05 and Lr06 strains increased the resistance of infant mice to RSV infection while only heat-killed Lr05 showed a protective effect similar to those observed with viable strains.
The present work demonstrated that nasal administration of immunobiotics is able to beneficially modulate the immune response triggered by TLR3/RIG-I activation in the respiratory tract and to increase the resistance of mice to the challenge with RSV. Comparative studies using two Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains of the same origin and with similar technological properties showed that each strain has an specific immunoregulatory effect in the respiratory tract and that they differentially modulate the immune response after poly(I:C) or RSV challenges, conferring different degree of protection and using distinct immune mechanisms. We also demonstrated in this work that it is possible to beneficially modulate the respiratory defenses against RSV by using heat-killed immunobiotics.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus; Nasal treatment; Poly(I:C); Sntiviral immunity; Respiratory tract; Respiratory syncytial virus
Although DNA vaccine holds a great potential for cancer immunotherapy, effective long-lasting antitumoral immunity sufficient to induce durable responses in cancer patients remains to be achieved. Considering the pivotal role of dendritic cells (DC) in the antigen processing and presentation, we prepared DC-targeting DNA vaccines by fusing tumor-associated antigen HER2/neu ectodomain to single chain antibody fragment (scFv) from NLDC-145 antibody specific for DC-restricted surface molecule DEC-205 (scFvNLDC-145), and explored its antitumoral efficacy and underlying mechanisms in mouse breast cancer models.
In vivo targeting assay demonstrated that scFvNLDC-145 specifically delivered DNA vaccine-encoded antigen to DC. Compared with untargeted HER2/neu DNA vaccines, vaccination with scFvNLDC-145-HER2/neu markedly promoted the HER2/neu-specific cellular and humoral immune responses with long-lasting immune memory, resulting in effective protection against challenge of HER2/neu-positive D2F2/E2 breast tumor while ineffective in parental HER2/neu-negative D2F2 breast tumor. More importantly, in combination with temporary depletion of regulatory T cells (Treg) by low-dose cyclophosphamide, vaccination with scFvNLDC-145-HER2/neu induced the regression of established D2F2/E2 breast tumor and significantly retarded the development of spontaneous mammary carcinomas in transgenic BALB-neuT mice.
Our findings demonstrate that DC-targeted DNA vaccines for in vivo direct delivery of tumor antigens to DC could induce potent antigen-specific cellular and humoral immune responses and, if additional combination with systemic Treg depletion, was able to elicit an impressively therapeutic antitumoral activity, providing a rationale for further development of this approach for cancer treatment.
DNA vaccine; DC-targeted; HER2/neu; Breast cancer; Cyclophosphamide
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a nonspecific, acute-phase protein that rises in response to infectious and non-infectious inflammatory processes. Infections are the single largest cause of neonatal deaths globally.
The primary aim of this study is to examine the association between CRP gene polymorphism and serum levels of CRP in correlation with early onset sepsis (EOS) infection in newborns living in Taif city, Saudi Arabia. The second aim is to examine the relationship between specific IgG/IgG subclasses and early onset sepsis (EOS) infection among these newborns.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is one of the most common organisms related to sepsis infection in the newborn at King Abdel Aziz Specialist Hospital (KAASH). This study was conducted in Taif city, at KAASH’s neonatal intensive care unit between March and August 2012. Neonates were consecutively enrolled onto the study having met our inclusion criteria (as per our research protocol).
The CRP concentration level was analysed using NycoCard® CRP Single Test. CRP -286 (C>T>A) A polymorphisms were analyzed using Pyrosequencing technology for CRP genotyping. IgG subclasses were analysed in the study population using ELISA.
Logistic regression analyses showed that the AA and AC genotypes were negatively associated amongst EOS neonates compared to suspected neonates. The frequency of CC and CT were significantly associated with the EOS neonates compared to the suspected group. The levels of specific IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3 antibodies were significantly lower amongst EOS compared to the suspected group.
Taken together, the CRP-286 (C>T>A) A genotype polymorphism and specific IgG antibodies isotype levels can contribute to a reduced risk of EOS. Furthermore, CRP has a potential use in detecting EOS in neonates, which may mean earlier detection and management of EOS and subsequently better clinical outcome.
CRP; CRP gene Polymorphism; IgG subclasses; Early onset sepsis (EOS); Saudi Arabia
Host genetic variations may contribute to disease susceptibility of influenza. IL-1A and IL-1B are important inflammatory cytokines that mediate the inflammation and initiate the immune response against virus infection. In this study, we investigated the relationship between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of Interleukin-1A (IL-1A) and Interleukin-1B (IL-1B) and the susceptibility to 2009 pandemic A/H1N1 influenza (A(H1N1)pdm09). 167 patients whom were confirmed with A(H1N1)pdm09 and 192 healthy controls were included in this study. Four SNPs (rs1304037, rs16347, rs17561, rs2071373) in IL1A gene and three SNPs (rs1143623, rs3917345, rs1143627) in IL1B gene were genotyped by using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry platform, and the associations of the genetic variants of IL-1 with susceptibility to A(H1N1)pdm09 were then assessed.
The polymorphisms of rs17561 in IL1A gene and rs1143627 in IL1B gene were found to be associated with susceptibility to A(H1N1)pdm09 with P values of 0.003 (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.27-3.41) and 0.002 (OR 1.62 , 95% CI 1.20-2.18), respectively. However, no significant difference in allelic frequency was observed for other SNPs between cases and controls.
This study provides a new insight into pathogenesis of A(H1N1)pdm09, suggesting that genetic variants of IL-1A and IL-1B may exert a substantial impact on the susceptibility of A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection.
Interleukin-1; H1N1; Influenza; Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)
Recent investigations suggest that neutrophils play an important role in the immune response to lung cancer as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the amount of neutrophils and markers of their activity in lung cancer and COPD and in coexistence of these two diseases.
In total, 267 persons were included in the study: 139 patients with lung cancer, 55 patients with lung cancer and COPD, 40 patients with COPD, and 33 healthy subjects. Peripheral blood and BAL fluid samples were obtained for cell count analysis and determination of NE, MPO levels and ROS production. NE and MPO levels in the serum and BAL fluid were determined by ELISA. ROS production was analyzed by flow cytometer.
The percentage, cell count of neutrophils and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio in the peripheral blood were significantly higher in lung cancer patients with or without COPD compared to COPD patients or healthy individuals (P < 0.05). The percentage and cell count of neutrophils in BAL fluid were significantly lower in patients with lung cancer with or without COPD than in patients with COPD (P < 0.05). However, BAL fluid and serum levels of both NE and MPO were significantly higher in patients with lung cancer than COPD patients or healthy individuals (P < 0.05). Neutrophils produced higher amounts of ROS in patients with lung cancer with or without COPD compared with COPD patients or healthy individuals (P < 0.05).
The results from this study demonstrate higher degree of local and systemic neutrophilic inflammation in patients with lung cancer (with or without COPD) than in patients with COPD.
Lung cancer; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Neutrophils; Reactive oxygen species
T-cell receptor diversity correlates with immune competency and is of particular interest in patients undergoing immune reconstitution. Spectratyping generates data about T-cell receptor CDR3 length distribution for each BV gene but is technically complex. Flow cytometry can also be used to generate data about T-cell receptor BV gene usage, but its utility has not been compared to or tested in combination with spectratyping.
Using flow cytometry and spectratype data, we have defined a divergence metric that quantifies the deviation from normal of T-cell receptor repertoire. We have shown that the sample size is a sensitive parameter in the predicted flow divergence values, but not in the spectratype divergence values. We have derived two ways to correct for the measurement bias using mathematical and statistical approaches and have predicted a lower bound in the number of lymphocytes needed when using the divergence as a substitute for diversity.
Using both flow cytometry and spectratyping of T-cells, we have defined the divergence measure as an indirect measure of T-cell receptor diversity. We have shown the dependence of the divergence measure on the sample size before it can be used to make predictions regarding the diversity of the T-cell receptor repertoire.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease with a strong MHC class II component and where many patients develop characteristic autoantibodies towards the noncoding amino acid citrulline. Such anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) have recently been put forward as an independent predictive factor for treatment response by co-stimulation blockade by CTLA4-Ig (abatacept). We have performed a mechanism of action study to dissect T cell functionality in RA patients with long-standing disease undergoing abatacept treatment and the influence of ACPA status.
Peripheral blood samples were collected from RA patients as they started CTLA4-Ig treatment and 3 and 6 months later. A general decrease of regulatory T cell subsets was observed in the cohort. Additionally within the ACPA-positive group significant down-regulation of all key T cell effector subsets including Th1, Th2, and Th17 was observed by analyzing cytokines by intracellular flow cytometry and in cell culture supernatants.
RA synovial fluid samples were cultured in vitro in the presence or absence of CTLA4-Ig (abatacept). T cell cytokine production was diminished, but without increasing the functional capacity of CD4+CD25hi regulatory T cells as previously demonstrated in the context of TNF-blockade and anti-IL6R therapy.
Our immunological study of T cell functionality in RA patients, both ACPA-positive and ACPA-negative, starting biological therapy with the co-stimulation blockade abatacept (CTLA4-Ig) supports the recently published registry study implicating ACPA seropositivity as an independent predictive factor to treatment response as we observed the most striking effect on T cell subset modulation in ACPA-positive patients. These data further support the notion of RA as a disease with several sub-entities, where the ACPA-positive fraction represents a classical HLA-associated autoimmune disorder while ACPA-negative patients may have other driving forces apart from classical adaptive immune responses.
Rheumatoid arthritis; Autoimmunity; T lymphocyte; Cytokines; Regulatory T cells; Abatacept; ACPA
Data regarding the quantitative expression of TCR Vβ subpopulations in children with autoimmune diseases provided interesting and sometimes conflicting results. The aim of the present study was to assess by comparative flow cytometric analysis the peripheral blood CD4+ TCR Vβ repertoire of children with an organ-specific autoimmune disorder, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), in comparison to children with a systemic autoimmune disease, such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in comparison to healthy age-matched controls of the same ethnic origin. The CD4+ TCR Vβ repertoire was analysed by flow cytometry in three groups of participants: a) fifteen newly diagnosed children with T1DM (mean age: 9.2 ± 4.78 years old), b) nine newly diagnosed children with SLE, positive for ANA and anti-dsDNA, prior to treatment (mean age: 12.8 ±1.76 years old) and c) 31 healthy age-matched controls (mean age: 6.58 ± 3.65 years old), all of Hellenic origin.
CD4 + TCR Vβ abnormalities (± 3SD of controls) were observed mainly in SLE patients. Statistical analysis revealed that the CD4 + Vβ4 chain was significantly increased in patients with T1DM (p < 0.001), whereas CD4 + Vβ16 one was significantly increased in SLE patients (p < 0.001) compared to controls.
CD4 + Vβ4 and CD4 + Vβ16 chains could be possibly involved in the cascade of events precipitating the pathogenesis of T1DM and SLE in children, respectively.
TCR Vβ repertoire; Flow cytometry; T1DM; SLE; Children
MicroRNA are small noncoding RNA molecules that are involved in the control of gene expression. To investigate the role of microRNA in multiple sclerosis (MS), we performed genome-wide expression analyses of mRNA and microRNA in T-cells from MS patients and controls.
Heparin-anticoagulated peripheral blood was collected from MS-patients and healthy controls followed by isolation of T-cells. MicroRNA and RNA from T-cells was prepared and hybridized to Affymetrix miR 2.0 array and Affymetrix U133Plus 2.0 Human Genome array (Santa Clara, CA), respectively. Verifications were performed with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
We identified 2,452 differentially expressed genes and 21 differentially expressed microRNA between MS patients and controls. By Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, 20 of 21 differentially expressed microRNA were shown to affect the expression of their target genes, many of which were involved in the immune system. Tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 14 (TNFSF14) was a microRNA target gene significantly decreased in MS. The differential expression of mir-494, mir-197 and the predicted microRNA target gene TNFSF14 was verified by real-time PCR and ELISA.
These findings indicate that microRNA may be important regulatory molecules in T-cells in MS.
Autoimmunity; T-cell; Microarray; MicroRNA
Impaired diabetic wound healing occurs as a consequence of excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammatory cytokine production. We previously found that whey protein (WP) was able to normally regulate the ROS and inflammatory cytokines during the inflammatory phase (first day) in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic wound healing. This study was designed to assess the effect of WP on metabolic status, the inflammation and anti-inflammation response, oxidative stress and the antioxidant defense system during different phases of the wound healing process in diabetic rats. WP at a dosage of 100 mg/kg of body weight, dissolved in 1% CMC, was orally administered daily to wounded normal (non-diabetic) and STZ-induced diabetic rats for 8 days starting from the 1st day after wounding.
The data revealed that WP enhanced wound closure and was associated with an increase in serum insulin levels in diabetic rats and an alleviation of hyperglycemic and hyperlipidemic states in diabetic animals. The increase in insulin levels as a result of WP administration is associated with a marked multiplication of β-cells in the core of islets of Langerhans. WP induced a reduction in serum TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 levels and an increase in IL-10 levels, especially on the 4th day after wounding and treatment. WP also suppressed hepatic lipid peroxidation and stimulated the antioxidant defense system by increasing the level of glutathione and the activity of glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in wounded diabetic rats.
WP was observed to enhance wound closure by improving the diabetic condition, limiting prolonged inflammation, suppressing oxidative stress and elevating the antioxidant defense system in diabetic rats.
Whey proteins; Prolonged inflammation; Cytokines; Wound healing; Diabetic rats
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is a potent immunosuppressive cytokine necessary for cancer growth. Animal and human studies have shown that pharmacologic inhibition of TGF-β slows the growth rate of established tumors and occasionally eradicates them altogether. We observed, paradoxically, that inhibiting TGF-β before exposing animals to tumor cells increases tumor growth kinetics. We hypothesized that TGF-β is necessary for the anti-tumor effects of cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTLs) during the early stages of tumor initiation.
BALB/c mice were pretreated with a blocking soluble TGF-β receptor (sTGF-βR, TGF-β-blockade group, n=20) or IgG2a (Control group, n=20) before tumor inoculation. Tumor size was followed for 6 weeks. In vivo lymphocyte assays and depletion experiments were then performed to investigate the immunological basis of our results. Lastly, animals were pretreated with either sTGF-βR (n=6) or IgG2a (n=6) prior to immunization with an adenoviral vector encoding the human papillomavirus E7 gene (Ad.E7). One week later, flow cytometry was utilized to measure the number of splenic E7-specific CD8+ T cells.
Inhibition of TGF-β before the injection of tumor cells resulted in significantly larger average tumor volumes on days 11, 17, 22, 26 and 32 post tumor-inoculation (p < 0.05). This effect was due to the inhibition of CTLs, as it was not present in mice with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) or those depleted of CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, pretreatment with sTGF-βR inhibited tumor-specific CTL activity in a Winn Assay. Tumors grew to a much larger size when mixed with CD8+ T cells from mice pretreated with sTGF-βR than when mixed with CD8+ T cells from mice in the control group: 96 mm3 vs. 22.5 mm3, respectively (p < 0.05). In addition, fewer CD8+ T cells were generated in Ad.E7-immunized mice pretreated with sTGF-βR than in mice from the control group: 0.6% total CD8+ T cells vs. 1.9%, respectively (p < 0.05).
These studies provide the first in vivo evidence that TGF-β may be necessary for anti-tumor immune responses in certain cancers. This finding has important implications for our understanding of anti-tumor immune responses, the role of TGF-β in the immune system, and the future development of TGF-β inhibiting drugs.
Malignant mesothelioma; Tumor immunology; Immune suppression; TGF-β; CD8+ Cytotoxic T cell
Though potentially linked to the basic physiology of stress response we still have no clear understanding of Gulf War Illness (GWI), a debilitating condition presenting complex immune, endocrine and neurological symptoms. Here we compared male (n = 20) and female (n = 10) veterans with GWI separately against their healthy counterparts (n = 21 male, n = 9 female) as well as subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) (n = 12 male, n = 10 female).
Subjects were assessed using a Graded eXercise Test (GXT) with blood drawn prior to exercise, at peak effort (VO2 max) and 4-hours post exercise. Using chemiluminescent imaging we measured the concentrations of IL-1a, 1b, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 (p70), 13, 15, 17 and 23, IFNγ, TNFα and TNFβ in plasma samples from each phase of exercise. Linear classification models were constructed using stepwise variable selection to identify cytokine co-expression patterns characteristic of each subject group.
Classification accuracies in excess of 80% were obtained using between 2 and 5 cytokine markers. Common to both GWI and CFS, IL-10 and IL-23 expression contributed in an illness and time-dependent manner, accompanied in male subjects by NK and Th1 markers IL-12, IL-15, IL-2 and IFNγ. In female GWI and CFS subjects IL-10 was again identified as a delineator but this time in the context of IL-17 and Th2 markers IL-4 and IL-5. Exercise response also differed between sexes: male GWI subjects presented characteristic cytokine signatures at rest but not at peak effort whereas the opposite was true for female subjects.
Though individual markers varied, results collectively supported involvement of the IL-23/Th17/IL-17 axis in the delineation of GWI and CFS in a sex-specific way.
Cytokines; Chronic fatigue; Gulf war illness; Exercise challenge; Immune signaling; Classification model
Airway inflammation is mainly mediated by T helper 2 cells (Th2) that characteristically produce interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Epidemiological studies have revealed an inverse association between the dietary intake of vitamin A and the occurrence of asthma. Serum vitamin A concentrations are significantly lower in asthmatic subjects than in healthy control subjects. It has been reported that all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a potent derivative of vitamin A, regulates immune responses. However, its role in Th2-mediated airway inflammation remains unclear. We investigated the effects of ATRA in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation.
We found that ATRA treatment attenuated airway inflammation and decreased mRNA levels of Th2- and Th17-related transcription factors. The data showed that airway inflammation coincided with levels of Th2- and Th17-related cytokines. We also showed that ATRA inhibited Th17 and promoted inducible regulatory T-cell differentiation, whereas it did not induce an obvious effect on Th2 differentiation in vitro. Our data suggest that ATRA may interfere with the in vivo Th2 responses via T-cell extrinsic mechanisms.
Administration of ATRA dramatically attenuated airway inflammation by inhibiting Th2 and Th17 differentiation and/or functions. ATRA may have potential therapeutic effects for airway inflammation in asthmatic patients.
Asthma; All-trans retinoic acid; Th2; Th17; Regulatory T cells
Most HIV-infected subjects exhibit a progressive rise in CD4 T-cell counts after initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). However, a subset of individuals exhibit very poor CD4 T-cell recovery despite effective control of HIV-RNA viraemia. We evaluated CD4 T-cell proliferation among suboptimal responders and its correlation with CD4 T-cell activation.
The magnitude of CD4 increase (difference between absolute CD4 counts at baseline and absolute CD4 counts at 4 years of ART) was grouped into 4 quartiles for the 211 patients with sustained HIV-RNA viral suppression. Cases of ‘Suboptimal immune responders’ included patients within the lowest quartile [Median CD4 increase 165 (Range −43-298) cells/μl; n=52] and a comparison group of ‘Optimal immune responders’ was defined as patients within the highest quartile of CD4 increase [Median CD4 increase 528 (Range 417–878) cells/μl; n=52]. Frozen PBMC were thawed and analysed from a convenient sample of 39 suboptimal responders and 48 optimal responders after 4 years of suppressive antiretroviral therapy. T-cell activation was measured by proportions of T-cells expressing surface marker CD38 and HLADR (CD4+CD38+HLA-DR+ and CD8+CD38+HLA-DR+ cells). T-cell proliferation was determined by the extent of carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) dye dilution on culture day 5 of PBMCs in the presence of antigen (SEB, PPD, CMVpp65, GagA and GagD). Samples were analyzed on a FACS Calibur flow cytometer and flow data was analyzed using FlowJo and GraphPad.
Overall, CD4 T-cell proliferation on stimulation with SEB, PPD, CMVpp65, Gag A and Gag D.antigens, was lower among suboptimal than optimal responders; this was significant for SEB (CD4+ p=0.003; CD8+ p=0.048) and PPD antigens (CD8+ p=0.038). Among suboptimal responders, T-cell proliferation decreased with increasing immune activation (Negative correlation; slope = −0.13±−0.11) but not among optimal responders.
T-cell immune activation and exhaustion were associated with poor proliferation among suboptimal responders to HAART despite sustained viral suppression. We recommend studies to further understand the mechanisms leading to impaired T-cell function among suboptimal responders as well as the potential role of immune modulation in optimizing CD4 count and functional recovery after HAART.
T-cell proliferation; Immune activation; Suboptimal immune recovery; HAART immune responses; HIV/AIDS
Surgical intervention-related trauma contributes largely to the development of postoperative immunosuppression, with reduced resistance to secondary bacterial infection. This study compared the impact of laparotomy versus laparoscopy on macrophage-associated bactericidal ability and examined whether laparotomy renders the host more susceptible to microbial infection.
BALB/c mice were randomized into control, laparotomy, and laparoscopy groups. Laparotomy, but not laparoscopy, significantly downregulated CR3 expression on macrophages, diminished macrophage-induced uptake and phagocytosis of E. coli and S. aureus, and impaired macrophage-mediated intracellular bacterial killing. Consistent with this, mice that underwent laparotomy displayed substantially higher bacterial counts in the blood and visceral organs as well as a significantly enhanced mortality rate following bacterial infection, whereas mice subjected to laparoscopy did not show any defects in their bacterial clearance.
Laparotomy has an adverse effect on host innate immunity against microbial infection by impairing macrophage-mediated phagocytosis and killing of the invaded bacteria. By contrast, laparoscopy appears to preserve macrophage-associated bactericidal ability, thus alleviating the development of postoperative immunosuppression.
Laparotomy; Laparoscopy; Phagocytosis; Bactericidal activity; Innate immunity; Macrophages
Despite decades of extensive studies, the morbidity and mortality for acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS) remained high. Particularly, biomarkers essential for its early diagnosis and prognosis are lacking.
Recent studies suggest that alveolar macrophages (AMs) at the exudative phase of ALI/ARDS initiate, amplify and perpetuate inflammatory responses, while they resolve inflammation in the recovery phase to prevent further tissue injury and perpetuated inflammation in the lung. Therefore, proteins relevant to this functional switch could be valuable biomarkers for ALI/ARDS diagnosis and prognosis. We thus conducted comparative analysis of the AM proteome to assess its dynamic proteomic changes during ALI/ARDS progression and recovery.
135 proteins were characterized to be differentially expressed between AMs at the exudative and recovery phase. MALDI-TOF-MS and peptide mass fingerprint (PMF) analysis characterized 27 informative proteins, in which 17 proteins were found with a marked increase at the recovery phase, while the rest of 10 proteins were manifested by the significantly higher levels of expression at the exudative phase.
Given the role of above identified proteins played in the regulation of inflammatory responses, cell skeleton organization, oxidative stress, apoptosis and metabolism, they have the potential to serve as biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis in the setting of patients with ALI/ARDS.
ALI/ARDS; Alveolar macrophages; Biomarker; 2D PAGE; MALDI-TOF-MS