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1.  Cytosolic Phospholipase A2α and Eicosanoids Regulate Expression of Genes in Macrophages Involved in Host Defense and Inflammation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69002.
The role of Group IVA cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2α) activation in regulating macrophage transcriptional responses to Candida albicans infection was investigated. cPLA2α releases arachidonic acid for the production of eicosanoids. In mouse resident peritoneal macrophages, prostacyclin, prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene C4 were produced within minutes of C. albicans addition before cyclooxygenase 2 expression. The production of TNFα was lower in C. albicans-stimulated cPLA2α+/+ than cPLA2α-/- macrophages due to an autocrine effect of prostaglandins that increased cAMP to a greater extent in cPLA2α+/+ than cPLA2α-/- macrophages. For global insight, differential gene expression in C. albicans-stimulated cPLA2α+/+ and cPLA2α-/- macrophages (3 h) was compared by microarray. cPLA2α+/+ macrophages expressed 86 genes at lower levels and 181 genes at higher levels than cPLA2α-/- macrophages (≥2-fold, p<0.05). Several pro-inflammatory genes were expressed at lower levels (Tnfα, Cx3cl1, Cd40, Ccl5, Csf1, Edn1, CxCr7, Irf1, Irf4, Akna, Ifnγ, several IFNγ-inducible GTPases). Genes that dampen inflammation (Socs3, Il10, Crem, Stat3, Thbd, Thbs1, Abca1) and genes involved in host defense (Gja1, Csf3, Trem1, Hdc) were expressed at higher levels in cPLA2α+/+ macrophages. Representative genes expressed lower in cPLA2α+/+ macrophages (Tnfα, Csf1) were increased by treatment with a prostacyclin receptor antagonist and protein kinase A inhibitor, whereas genes expressed at higher levels (Crem, Nr4a2, Il10, Csf3) were suppressed. The results suggest that C. albicans stimulates an autocrine loop in macrophages involving cPLA2α, cyclooxygenase 1-derived prostaglandins and increased cAMP that globally effects expression of genes involved in host defense and inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3742295  PMID: 23950842
2.  Risk of Chronic Beryllium Disease by HLA-DPB1 E69 Genotype and Beryllium Exposure in Nuclear Workers 
Rationale: Beryllium sensitization (BeS) and chronic beryllium disease (CBD) are determined by at least one genetic factor, a glutamic acid at position 69 (E69) of the HLA-DPB1 gene, and by exposure to beryllium. The relationship between exposure and the E69 genotype has not been well characterized.
Objectives: The study goal was to define the relationship between beryllium exposure and E69 for CBD and BeS.
Methods: Workers (n = 386) from a U.S. nuclear weapons facility were enrolled into a case–control study (70 BeS, 61 CBD, and 255 control subjects). HLA-DPB1 genotypes were determined by sequence-specific primer-polymerase chain reaction. Beryllium exposures were reconstructed on the basis of worker interviews and historical exposure measurements.
Measurements and Main Results: Any E69 carriage increased odds for CBD (odds ratio [OR], 7.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.66–15.84) and each unit increase in lifetime weighted average exposure increased the odds for CBD (OR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.26–4.09). Compared with E69-negative genotypes, a single E69-positive *02 allele increased the odds for BeS (OR, 12.01; 95% CI, 4.28–33.71) and CBD (OR, 3.46; 95% CI, 1.42–8.43). A single non-*02 E69 allele further increased the odds for BeS (OR, 29.54; 95% CI, 10.33–84.53) and CBD (OR, 11.97; 95% CI, 5.12–28.00) and two E69 allele copies conferred the highest odds for BeS (OR, 55.68; 95% CI, 14.80–209.40) and CBD (OR, 22.54; 95% CI, 7.00–72.62).
Conclusions: E69 and beryllium exposure both contribute to the odds of CBD. The increased odds for CBD and BeS due to E69 appear to be differentially distributed by genotype, with non-*02 E69 carriers and E69 homozygotes at higher odds than those with *02 genotypes.
PMCID: PMC3136994  PMID: 21471109
berylliosis; genetics; case–control studies; occupational exposure; HLA-DP antigens
Most diseases, including asthma, result from the interaction between environmental exposures and genetic variants. Functional variants of CD14 negatively affect lung function in farm workers and children exposed to animal allergens and endotoxin.
We hypothesized that CD14 polymorphisms interact with inhaled endotoxin and/or allergen to decrease airways function in laboratory animal workers.
369 Caucasian workers completed a symptom and work exposure questionnaire, prick skin testing, and spirometry. Individual exposure estimates for endotoxin and mouse allergen were calculated by weighting task-based breathing zone concentrations by time reported for each task and length of time in current job. Real-time PCR was used to assess CD14/-1619, -550, and -159 alleles. Multiple linear regression predicting airways function included an interaction term between genotype and exposure.
Workers at the highest quartile of the natural log transformed cumulative endotoxin exposure and with the endotoxin responsive CD14/-1619 G allele had significantly lower FEV1 and FEF25–75 percent predicted compared to workers with an AA, with no significant differences noted at lower endotoxin levels for either genotype. The gene by environment effect was marked for atopic workers. Laboratory animal allergy, mouse allergen exposure, CD14/-159 or -550 genotype, and a gene-exposure interaction term for these genotypes and exposures did not predict changes in lung function.
A significant gene by environment interaction affects airways function in laboratory animal workers. More highly endotoxin exposed workers with CD14/-1619G alleles have significantly lower FEV1 and FEF25–75 percent predicted than those with CD14/-1619AA. Atopic workers are particularly affected by cumulative endotoxin exposures.
PMCID: PMC2917520  PMID: 20579716
CD14/-1619; occupational asthma; endotoxin; mouse allergen; CD14/-159; laboratory animal allergy
4.  Smoking reduces surfactant protein D and phospholipids in patients with and without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Pulmonary surfactant D (SP-D) has important regulatory functions for innate immunity and has been implicated as a biomarker for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We hypothesized that COPD patients would have reduced bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid SP-D levels compared to healthy smoking and non-smoking controls.
BAL SP-D and phospholipids were quantified and corrected for dilution in 110 subjects (65 healthy never smokers, 23 smokers with normal spirometry, and 22 smokers with COPD).
BAL SP-D was highest in never smokers (mean 51.9 μg/mL ± 7.1 μg/mL standard error) compared to both smokers with normal spirometry (16.0 μg/mL ± 11.8 μg/mL) and subjects with COPD (19.1 μg/mL ± 12.9 μg/mL; P < 0.0001). Among smokers with COPD, BAL SP-D correlated significantly with FEV1% predicted (R = 0.43; P < 0.05); however, the strongest predictor of BAL SP-D was smoking status. BAL SP-D levels were lowest in current smokers (12.8 μg/mL ± 11.0 μg/mL), intermediate in former smokers (25.2 μg/mL ± 14.2 μg/mL; P < 0.008), and highest in never smokers. BAL phospholipids were also lowest in current smokers (6.5 nmol ± 1.5 nmol), intermediate in former smokers (13.1 nmol ± 2.1 nmol), and highest in never smokers (14.8 nmol ± 1.1 nmol; P < 0.0001).
These data suggest that smokers, and especially current smokers, exhibit significantly reduced BAL SP-D and phospholipids compared to nonsmokers. Our findings may help better explain the mechanism that leads to the rapid progression of disease and increased incidence of infection in smokers.
PMCID: PMC2987951  PMID: 20973980

Results 1-4 (4)