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1.  IFN-α-Induced Downregulation of miR-221 in Dendritic Cells: Implications for HCV Pathogenesis and Treatment 
Although interferon (IFN)-α is known to exert immunomodulatory and antiproliferative effects on dendritic cells (DCs) through induction of protein-coding IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), little is known about IFN-α-regulated miRNAs in DCs. Since several miRNAs are involved in regulating DC functions, it is important to investigate whether IFN-α's effects on DCs are mediated through miRNAs as well. In this study, we examined miRNA expression patterns in myeloid DCs (mDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs after exposing them to IFN-α. We report that IFN-α downregulates miR-221 in both DC subsets via inhibition of STAT3. We validated proapoptotic proteins BCL2L11 and CDKN1C as miR-221 targets suggesting that IFN-α can induce DC apoptosis via miR-221 downregulation. In addition, we validated another miR-221 target, SOCS1, which is known to be a negative regulator of JAK/STAT signaling. Consistent with this, miR-221 overexpression in mDCs enhanced the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α. In peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of HIV-1/HCV co-infected individuals undergoing IFN-α-based treatment the baseline miR-221 expression was lower in non-responders compared with responders; and miR-221 expression directly correlated with DC frequency and IL-6/TNF-α secretion. In addition to PBMCs, we isolated total liver cells and kupffer cells from HCV-infected individuals and individuals with alcoholic cirrhosis. We found that both total liver cells and kupffer cells from HCV-infected individuals had significantly higher miR-221 levels compared with individuals with cirrhosis. Overall, we demonstrate that IFN-α exerts both antiproliferative and immunomodulatory effects on mDCs via miR-221 downregulation; and IFN-miR-221 axis can play important role in HCV pathogenesis and treatment.
PMCID: PMC4560851  PMID: 26090579
2.  Massive Retinal Pigment Epithelial Detachment Following Acute Hypokalemic Quadriparesis in Dengue Fever 
To describe an unusual retinal manifestation of dengue fever in an endemic region.
Case Report:
A 35 year old male presenting with acute onset decreased vision in his right eye, was found to have a massive retinal pigment epithelial detachment (PED) extending up to the vascular arcades. He had been diagnosed with acute hypokalemic quadriparesis in dengue fever in the preceding week, which had resolved following treatment. The patient was managed conservatively. At three months follow up, there was spontaneous flattening of the PEDs with improvement in visual acuity.
Dengue fever complicated by acute hypokalemic quadriparesis can be associated with PED, which can be large. The condition resolves spontaneously and bears a good prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4926575  PMID: 27413508
Dengue Fever; Flaccid Quadriparesis; Hypokalemia; Pigment Epithelial Detachment
5.  Inhibition of Endoplasmic Reticulum-Resident Glucosidases Impairs Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus and Human Coronavirus NL63 Spike Protein-Mediated Entry by Altering the Glycan Processing of Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme 2 
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident glucosidases I and II sequentially trim the three terminal glucose moieties on the N-linked glycans attached to nascent glycoproteins. These reactions are the first steps of N-linked glycan processing and are essential for proper folding and function of many glycoproteins. Because most of the viral envelope glycoproteins contain N-linked glycans, inhibition of ER glucosidases with derivatives of 1-deoxynojirimycin, i.e., iminosugars, efficiently disrupts the morphogenesis of a broad spectrum of enveloped viruses. However, like viral envelope proteins, the cellular receptors of many viruses are also glycoproteins. It is therefore possible that inhibition of ER glucosidases not only compromises virion production but also disrupts expression and function of viral receptors and thus inhibits virus entry into host cells. Indeed, we demonstrate here that iminosugar treatment altered the N-linked glycan structure of angiotensin I-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which did not affect its expression on the cell surface or its binding of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) spike glycoprotein. However, alteration of N-linked glycans of ACE2 impaired its ability to support the transduction of SARS-CoV and human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) spike glycoprotein-pseudotyped lentiviral particles by disruption of the viral envelope protein-triggered membrane fusion. Hence, in addition to reducing the production of infectious virions, inhibition of ER glucosidases also impairs the entry of selected viruses via a post-receptor-binding mechanism.
PMCID: PMC4291352  PMID: 25348530
6.  In vivo immunogenicity of Tax 11-19 epitope in HLA-A2/DTR transgenic mice: implication for dendritic cell-based anti-HTLV-1 vaccine 
Vaccine  2014;32(26):3274-3284.
Viral oncoprotein Tax plays key roles in transformation of human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV-1)-infected T cells leading to adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), and is the key antigen recognized during HTLV-associated myelopathy (HAM). In HLA-A2+ asymptomatic carriers as well as ATL and HAM patients, Tax(11-19) epitope exhibits immunodominance. Here, we evaluate CD8 T-cell immune response against this epitope in the presence and absence of dendritic cells (DCs) given the recent encouraging observations made with Phase 1 DC-based vaccine trial for ATL. To facilitate these studies, we first generated an HLA-A2/DTR hybrid mouse strain carrying the HLA-A2.1 and CD11c-DTR genes. We then studied CD8 T-cell immune response against Tax(11-19) epitope delivered in the absence or presence of Freund’s adjuvant and/or DCs. Overall results demonstrate that naturally presented Tax epitope could initiate an antigen-specific CD8 T cell response in vivo but failed to do so upon DC depletion. Presence of adjuvant potentiated Tax(11-19)-specific response. Elevated serum IL-6 levels coincided with depletion of DCs whereas decreased TGF-β was associated with adjuvant use. Thus, Tax(11-19) epitope is a potential candidate for the DC-based anti-HTLV-1 vaccine and the newly hybrid mouse strain could be used for investigating DC involvement in human class-I-restricted immune responses.
PMCID: PMC4044917  PMID: 24739247
HTLV-1; Tax; dendritic cells; HLA-A2.1 transgenic mice; CD11c-DTR transgenic mice
7.  Effect of morphine and SIV on dendritic cell trafficking into the central nervous system of rhesus macaques 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;20(2):175-183.
Recruitment of immune cells such as monocytes/macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) has been documented in diseases involving neuroinflammation. Neuroinvasion by HIV leads to neurocognitive diseases and alters the permeability of the BBB. Likewise, many HIV patients use drugs of abuse such as morphine, which can further compromise the BBB. While the role of monocytes and macrophages in neuroAIDS is well established, research demonstrating the presence and role of DCs in the CNS during HIV infection has not been developed yet. In this respect, this study explored the presence of DCs in the brain parenchyma of rhesus macaques infected with a neurovirulent form of SIV (SIV mac239 R71/17E) and administered with morphine. Cells positive for DC markers including CD11c (integrin), macDC-SIGN (dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin), CD83 (a maturation factor) and HLA-DR (MHC class II) were consistently found in the brain parenchyma of SIV-infected macaques as well as infected macaques on morphine. Control animals did not exhibit any DC presence in their brains. These results provide first evidence of DCs’ relevance in NeuroAIDS vis-à-vis drugs of abuse and open new avenues of understanding and investigative HIV-CNS inflictions.
PMCID: PMC3925206  PMID: 23943466
drugs of abuse; blood-brain barrier; dendritic cell trafficking; central nervous system; SIV infection; fluorescent immunohistochemistry
8.  Myocyte enhancer factor (MEF)-2 plays essential roles in T-cell transformation associated with HTLV-1 infection by stabilizing complex between Tax and CREB 
Retrovirology  2015;12:23.
The exact molecular mechanisms regarding HTLV-1 Tax-mediated viral gene expression and CD4 T-cell transformation have yet to be fully delineated. Herein, utilizing virus-infected primary CD4+ T cells and the virus-producing cell line, MT-2, we describe the involvement and regulation of Myocyte enhancer factor-2 (specifically MEF-2A) during the course of HTLV-1 infection and associated disease syndrome.
Inhibition of MEF-2 expression by shRNA and its activity by HDAC9 led to reduced viral replication and T-cell transformation in correlation with a heightened expression of MEF-2 in ATL patients. Mechanistically, MEF-2 was recruited to the viral promoter (LTR, long terminal repeat) in the context of chromatin, and constituted Tax/CREB transcriptional complex via direct binding to the HTLV-1 LTR. Furthermore, an increase in MEF-2 expression was observed upon infection in an extent similar to CREB (known Tax-interacting transcription factor), and HATs (p300, CBP, and p/CAF). Confocal imaging confirmed MEF-2 co-localization with Tax and these proteins were also shown to interact by co-immunoprecipitation. MEF-2 stabilization of Tax/CREB complex was confirmed by a novel promoter-binding assay that highlighted the involvement of NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells) in this process via Tax-mediated activation of calcineurin (a calcium-dependent serine-threonine phosphatase). MEF-2-integrated signaling pathways (PI3K/Akt, NF-κB, MAPK, JAK/STAT, and TGF-β) were also activated during HTLV-1 infection of primary CD4+ T cells, possibly regulating MEF-2 activity.
We demonstrate the involvement of MEF-2 in Tax-mediated LTR activation, viral replication, and T-cell transformation in correlation with its heightened expression in ATL patients through direct binding to DNA within the HTLV-1 LTR.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12977-015-0140-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4374383  PMID: 25809782
HTLV-1; Tax; LTR; Retroviral promoter; Myocyte enhancer factor-2 (MEF-2)
9.  Host Genetic Factors and Dendritic Cell Responses Associated with the Outcome of Interferon/Ribavirin Treatment in HIV-1/HCV Co-Infected Individuals 
HIV-1/HCV co-infection is a significant health problem. Highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) against HIV-1 has proved to be fairly successful. On the other hand, direct acting antiviral drugs against HCV have improved cure rates but high cost and development of drug resistance are important concerns. Therefore PEGylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) still remain essential components of HCV treatment, and identification of host factors that predict IFN/RBV treatment response is necessary for effective clinical management of HCV infection. Impaired dendritic cell (DC) and T cell responses are associated with HCV persistence. It has been shown that IFN/RBV treatment enhances HCV-specific T cell functions and it is likely that functional restoration of DCs is the underlying cause. To test this hypothesis, we utilized an antibody cocktail (consisting of DC maturation, adhesion and other surface markers) to perform comprehensive phenotypic characterization of myeloid DCs (mDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) in a cohort of HIV-1/HCV co-infected individuals undergoing IFN/RBV treatment. Our results show that pre-treatment frequencies of mDCs are lower in non-responders (NRs) compared to responders (SVRs) and healthy controls. Although, the treatment was able to restore the frequency of mDCs in NRs, it downregulated the frequency of CCR7+, CD54+ and CD62L+ mDCs. Pre-treatment frequencies of pDCs were lower in NRs and decreased further upon treatment. Compared to SVRs, NRs exhibited higher ratio of PD-L1+/CD86+ pDCs prior to treatment; and this ratio remained high even after treatment. These findings demonstrate that enumeration and phenotypic assessment of DCs before/during therapy can help predict the treatment outcome. We also show that before treatment, PBMCs from SVRs secrete higher amounts of IFN-γ compared to controls and NRs. Upon genotyping IFNL3 polymorphisms rs12979860, rs4803217 and ss469415590, we found rs12979860 to be a better predictor of treatment outcome. Collectively, our study led to identification of important correlates of IFN/RBV treatment response in HIV-1/HCV co-infected individuals.
PMCID: PMC4332701  PMID: 25705565
Dendritic cells; Interferon-α; Ribavirin; human chronic viral infections; HIV-1; HCV; HIV-1/HCV co-infection
10.  Epigenetics, drugs of abuse, and the retroviral promoter 
Drug abuse alone has been shown to cause epigenetic changes in brain tissue that have been shown to play roles in addictive behaviors. In conjunction with HIV-1 infection, it can cause epigenetic changes at the viral promoter that can result in altered gene expression, and exacerbate disease progression overall. This review entails an in-depth look at research conducted on the epigenetic effects of three of the most widely abused drugs (cannabinoids, opioids, and cocaine), with a particular focus on the mechanisms through which these drugs interact with HIV-1 infection at the viral promoter. Here we discuss the impact of this interplay on disease progression from the point of view of the nature of gene regulation at the level of chromatin accessibility, chromatin remodeling, and nucleosome repositioning. Given the importance of chromatin remodeling and DNA methylation in controlling the retroviral promoter, and the high susceptibility of the drug abusing population of individuals to HIV infection, it would be beneficial to understand the way in which the host genome is modified and regulated by drugs of abuse.
PMCID: PMC3878082  PMID: 24218017
drug abuse; epigenetics; chromatin remodeling; HIV-1; LTR
11.  Lack of recall response to Tax in ATL and HAM/TSP patients but not in asymptomatic carriers of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 
Journal of clinical immunology  2013;33(7):1223-1239.
Purpose & methods
The immunopathogenic mechanisms responsible for debilitating neurodegenerative and oncologic diseases associated with human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) are not fully understood. In this respect, a patient cohort from HTLV-1 endemic region that included seronegative controls (controls), asymptomatic carriers (ACs), and patients with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) or HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) was analyzed for CD8+ T cells polyfunctionality in response to the viral antigen Tax.
Compared to ACs, ATL and HAM/TSP patients had lower frequency and polyfunctionality of CTLs in response to Tax suggesting dysfunction of CD8+ T cells in these individuals. As an underlying mechanism, programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor was found to be highly unregulated in Tax-responsive as well as total CD8+ T cells from ATL and HAM/TSP but not from ACs and directly correlated with the lack of polyfunctionality in these individuals. Further, PD-1 expression showed a direct whereas MIP-1α expression had an indirect correlation with the proviral load providing new insights about the immunopathogenesis of HTLV-associated diseases. Additionally, we identified key cytokine signatures defining the immune activation status of clinical samples by the luminex assay.
Collectively, our findings suggest that reconstitution of fully functional CTLs, stimulation of MIP-1α expression, and/or blockade of the PD-1 pathway are potential approaches for immunotherapy and therapeutic vaccine against HTLV-mediated diseases.
PMCID: PMC3784618  PMID: 23888327
Chronic viral infections; Cytotoxic T cell; CD4+ T cell; CD8+ T cell; Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1; HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis; Tax
12.  An Altered Maturation and Adhesion Phenotype of Dendritic Cells in Diseased Individuals Compared to Asymptomatic Carriers of Human T Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2013;29(9):1273-1285.
The immunopathogenic mechanisms underlying human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-mediated diseases such as adult T cell leukemia (ATL) and HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) are not clearly understood. As critical effectors of antiviral immune response, dendritic cells (DCs) are implicated to play an important role in determining the outcome of HTLV-1 infection. However, a complete understanding of their role in any disease pathogenesis requires extensive assessment of the phenotypic and functional state of DCs. To enable this, we developed a polychromatic antibody cocktail comprising key phenotypic and functional markers of DCs and applied it in a patient cohort from the HTLV-1 endemic region, Jamaica, consisted of seronegative controls, asymptomatic carriers (ACs), ATL, and HAM/TSP patients. This ex vivo analyses included two major subsets of blood DCs, myeloid and plasmacytoid (mDCs and pDCs, respectively). The comparative analyses of results demonstrated a decreased pDC frequency in both ATL and HAM/TSP patients as compared to ACs and seronegative controls. Similarly, CD86 expression on both mDCs and pDCs was significantly higher in HAM/TSP (but not ATL) patients compared to ACs. Interestingly, HLA-DR expression was significantly lower on pDCs of patients as compared to carriers; however, for mDCs, only the HAM/TSP group had significantly lower expression of HLA-DR. Unlike HAM/TSP individuals, ATL individuals had higher HLA-ABC expression on mDCs compared to ACs. Finally, both mDCs and pDCs of HAM/TSP patients had significantly higher expression of the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) compared to ACs. Overall, this study suggests that DCs exhibit a differential phenotypic and functional profile between patients (ATL and HAM/TSP) and carriers of HTLV-1 and could provide an important tool for understanding HTLV-1 immunopathogenesis during infection and disease.
PMCID: PMC3749709  PMID: 23750452
13.  α4β1 Integrin Mediates the Recruitment of Immature Dendritic Cells across the Blood-Brain Barrier during Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis 
Dendritic cells (DCs) within the CNS are recognized to play an important role in the effector phase and propagation of the immune response in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model for multiple sclerosis. However, the mechanisms regulating DC trafficking into the CNS still need to be characterized. In this study, we show by performing intravital fluorescence videomicroscopy of the inflamed spinal cord white-matter microvasculature in SJL mice with EAE that immature, and to a lesser extent, LPS-matured, bone marrow-derived DCs efficiently interact with the CNS endothelium by rolling, capturing, and firm adhesion. Immature but not LPS-matured DCs efficiently migrated across the wall of inflamed parenchymal microvessels into the CNS. Blocking α4 integrins interfered with the adhesion but not the rolling or capturing of immature and LPS-matured DCs to the CNS microvascular endothelium, inhibiting their migration across the vascular wall. Functional absence of β1 integrins but not of β7 integrins or α4β7 integrin similarly reduced the adhesion of immature DCs to the CNS microvascular endothelium, demonstrating that α4β1 but not α4β7 integrin mediates this step of immature DCs interaction with the inflamed blood-brain barrier during EAE. Our study shows that during EAE, especially immature DCs migrate into the CNS, where they may be crucial for the perpetuation of the CNS-targeted autoimmune response. Thus therapeutic targeting of α4 integrins affects DC trafficking into the CNS and may therefore lead to the resolution of the CNS autoimmune inflammation by reducing the number of CNS professional APCs.
PMCID: PMC3999618  PMID: 20483748
14.  Phase II Trial of Cetuximab and Conformal Radiotherapy Only in Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer with Concurrent Tissue Sampling Feasibility Study1 
Translational Oncology  2014;7(1):55-64.
BACKGROUND: Preclinical data have indicated the anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) agent cetuximab (Erbitux) as a radiosensitizer in pancreatic cancer, but this has not been specifically addressed in a clinical study. We report the results of an original study initiated in 2007, where cetuximab was tested with radiotherapy (RT) alone in locally advanced pancreatic cancer in a phase II trial (PACER). METHODS: Patients (n = 21) received cetuximab loading dose (400 mg/m2) and weekly dose (250 mg/m2) during RT (50.4 Gy in 28 fractions). Toxicity and disease response end point data were prospectively assessed. A feasibility study of on-trial patient blood and skin sampling was incorporated. RESULTS: Treatment was well tolerated, and toxicity was low; most patients (71%) experienced acute toxicities of grade 2 or less. Six months posttreatment, stable local disease was achieved in 90% of evaluable patients, but only 33% were free from metastatic progression. Median overall survival was 7.5 months, and actuarial survival was 33% at 1 year and 11% at 3 years, reflecting swift metastatic progression in some patients but good long-term control of localized disease in others. High-grade acneiform rash (P = .0027), posttreatment stable disease (P = .0059), and pretreatment cancer antigen 19.9 (CA19.9) level (P = .0042) associated with extended survival. Patient skin and blood samples yielded sufficient RNA and good quality protein, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that cetuximab inhibits EGFR-mediated radioresistance to achieve excellent local control with minimal toxicity but does not sufficiently control metastatic progression in all patients. Translational studies of patient tissue samples may yield molecular information that may enable individual treatment response prediction.
PMCID: PMC3998695  PMID: 24772208
21.  Proteomic identification of immunodominant chlamydial antigens in a mouse model 
Journal of proteomics  2012;77:176-186.
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted pathogen in the world. To identify new vaccine candidates a protein microarray was constructed by expressing the open reading frames (ORFs) from Chlamydia mouse pneumonitis (MoPn). C57BL/6, C3H/HeN and BALB/c mice were immunized either intranasally or intravaginally with live MoPn elementary bodies (EB). Two additional groups were immunized by the intramuscular plus subcutaneous routes with UV-treated EB, using CpG and Montanide as adjuvants to favor a Th1 response, or Alum, to elicit a Th2 response. Serum samples collected from the three strains of mice were tested in the microarray. The array included the expression of 909 proteins from the 921 ORFs of the MoPn genome and plasmid. A total of 530 ORFs were recognized by at least one serum sample. Of these, 36 reacted with sera from the three strains of mice immunized with live EB. These antigens included proteins that were previously described as immunogenic such as MOMP and HSP60. In addition, we uncovered new immunogens, including 11 hypothetical proteins. In summary, we have identified new immunodominant chlamydial proteins that can be tested for their ability to induce protection in animal models and subsequently in humans.
PMCID: PMC3575745  PMID: 22959960
Chlamydia; Antigens; Microarrays; Vaccine; Mouse model
22.  Vaccination with the Recombinant Major Outer Membrane Protein Elicits Antibodies to the Constant Domains and Induces Cross-Serovar Protection against Intranasal Challenge with Chlamydia trachomatis 
Infection and Immunity  2013;81(5):1741-1750.
To determine the ability of the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) to elicit cross-serovar protection, groups of mice were immunized by the intramuscular (i.m.) and subcutaneous (s.c.) routes with recombinant MOMP (rMOMP) from Chlamydia trachomatis serovars D (UW-3/Cx), E (Bour), or F (IC-Cal-3) or Chlamydia muridarum strain Nigg II using CpG-1826 and Montanide ISA 720 VG as adjuvants. Negative-control groups were immunized i.m. and s.c. with Neisseria gonorrhoeae recombinant porin B (Ng-rPorB) or i.n. with Eagle's minimal essential medium (MEM-0). Following vaccination, the mice developed antibodies not only against the homologous serovar but also against heterologous serovars. The rMOMP-vaccinated animals also mounted cell-mediated immune responses as assessed by a lymphoproliferative assay. Four weeks after the last immunization, mice were challenged i.n. with 104 inclusion-forming units (IFU) of C. muridarum. The mice were weighed for 10 days and euthanized, and the number of IFU in their lungs was determined. At 10 days postinfection (p.i.), mice immunized with the rMOMP of C. muridarum or C. trachomatis D, E, or F had lost 4%, 6%, 8%, and 8% of their initial body weight, respectively, significantly different from the negative-control groups (Ng-rPorB, 13%; MEM-0, 19%; P < 0.05). The median number of IFU recovered from the lungs of mice immunized with C. muridarum rMOMP was 0.13 × 106. The median number of IFU recovered from mice immunized with rMOMP from serovars D, E, and F were 0.38 × 106, 7.56 × 106, and 11.94 × 106 IFU, respectively. All the rMOMP-immunized animals had significantly less IFU than the Ng-rPorB (40 × 106)- or MEM-0 (70 × 106)-immunized mice (P < 0.05). In conclusion, vaccination with rMOMP can elicit protection against homologous and heterologous Chlamydia serovars.
PMCID: PMC3648024  PMID: 23478318
23.  Mechanisms of Dendritic Cell Trafficking Across the Blood–brain Barrier 
Although the central nervous system (CNS) is considered to be an immunoprivileged site, it is susceptible to a host of autoimmune as well as neuroinflammatory disorders owing to recruitment of immune cells across the blood–brain barrier into perivascular and parenchymal spaces. Dendritic cells (DCs), which are involved in both primary and secondary immune responses, are the most potent immune cells in terms of antigen uptake and processing as well as presentation to T cells. In light of the emerging importance of DC traficking into the CNS, these cells represent good candidates for targeted immunotherapy against various neuroinflammatory diseases. This review focuses on potential physiological events and receptor interactions between DCs and the microvascular endothelial cells of the brain as they transmigrate into the CNS during degeneration and injury. A clear understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved in DC migration may advance the development of new therapies that manipulate these mechanistic properties via pharmacologic intervention. Furthermore, therapeutic validation should be in concurrence with the molecular imaging techniques that can detect migration of these cells in vivo. Since the use of noninvasive methods to image migration of DCs into CNS has barely been explored, we highlighted potential molecular imaging techniques to achieve this goal. Overall, information provided will bring this important leukocyte population to the forefront as key players in the immune cascade in the light of the emerging contribution of DCs to CNS health and disease.
PMCID: PMC3276728  PMID: 21822588
Dendritic cell trafficking; Lectins and integrins; Blood–brain barrier; Molecular imaging; Neuroinflammation; Microvascular endothelial cells
24.  Dendritic Cells in HIV-1 and HCV Infection: Can They Help Win the Battle? 
Virology  2013;4:1-25.
Persistent infections with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. As sentinels of our immune system, dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in initiating and regulating a potent antiviral immune response. Recent advances in our understanding of the role of DCs during HIV-1 and HCV infection have provided crucial insights into the mechanisms employed by these viruses to impair DC functions in order to evade an effective immune response against them. Modulation of the immunological synapse between DC and T-cell, as well as dysregulation of the crosstalk between DCs and natural killer (NK) cells, are emerging as two crucial mechanisms. This review focuses on understanding the interaction of HIV-1 and HCV with DCs not only to understand the immunopathogenesis of chronic HIV-1 and HCV infection, but also to explore the possibilities of DC-based immunotherapeutic approaches against them. Host genetic makeup is known to play major roles in infection outcome and rate of disease progression, as well as response to anti-viral therapy in both HIV-1 and HCV-infected individuals. Therefore, we highlight the genetic variations that can potentially affect DC functions, especially in the setting of chronic viral infection. Altogether, we address if DCs’ potential as critical effectors of antiviral immune response could indeed be utilized to combat chronic infection with HIV-1 and HCV.
PMCID: PMC4222345  PMID: 25512691
dendritic cells; HIV-1; HCV; HIV-1/HCV co-infection; human chronic viral infections; DC-NK cell crosstalk; innate immune response; antigen-specific immune response
25.  Induction of protective immunity by vaccination against Chlamydia trachomatis using the major outer membrane protein adjuvanted with CpG oligodeoxynucleotide coupled to the nontoxic B subunit of cholera toxin 
Vaccine  2009;27(44):6239-6246.
The present study was undertaken to test the efficacy of immunization with the native major outer membrane protein (nMOMP) of C. trachomatis mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) serovar in combination with a novel immunostimulatory adjuvant consisting of CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) linked to the nontoxic B subunit of cholera toxin (CTB-CpG) to elicit a protective immune response to C. trachomatis. High levels of Chlamydia specific IgG antibodies were detected in the sera from BALB/c mice immunized intramuscularly and subcutaneously (i.m.+s.c.) with the nMOMP/CTB-CpG vaccine or with nMOMP adjuvanted with a mixture of CT and CpG ODN (CT + CpG). Further, these immunization schemes gave rise to significant T-cell mediated Chlamydia-specific immune responses. No Chlamydia-specific humoral or cell-mediated immune responses were detected in the control mice vaccinated with ovalbumin together with either CTB-CpG or CT + CpG. Following an intranasal challenge with C. trachomatis the groups of mice immunized with nMOMP plus CTB-CpG, CT + CpG or live C. trachomatis were found to be protected based on their change in body weight and lung weight as well as number of inclusion forming unit recovered from the lungs, as compared with control groups immunized with ovalbumin plus either adjuvants. Interestingly, IFN-γ-producing CD4+, but not CD8+, T-cells showed a significant correlation with the outcomes of the challenge. In conclusion, nMOMP in combination with the novel adjuvant CTB-CpG elicited a significant antigen specific antibody and cell-mediated immune responses as well as protection against a pulmonary challenge with C. trachomatis.
PMCID: PMC3566636  PMID: 19686693
Chlamydia trachomatis; vaccine; CTB-CpG adjuvant

Results 1-25 (58)