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1.  Analysis of maternal microchimerism in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) using real-time quantitative PCR amplification of MHC polymorphisms 
Chimerism  2014;5(1):6-15.
Although pregnancy-associated microchimerism is known to exist in humans, its clinical significance remains unclear. Fetal microchimerism has been documented in rhesus monkeys, but the trafficking and persistence of maternal cells in the monkey fetus and infant have not been fully explored. To investigate the frequency of maternal microchimerism in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta), a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) strategy was developed and validated to target polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene sequences. Informative PCR assays were identified for 19 of 25 dams and their respective offspring. Analyses were performed on tissues (thymus, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected prenatally and postnatally in a subset of animals. Seven of 19 monkeys had detectable maternal microchimerism in at least one compartment (range: 0.001–1.9% chimeric cells). In tissues, maternal microchimerism was found in 2 of 7 fetuses and 3 of 12 juveniles (1–1.5 years of age), and most of the animals that were positive had microchimeric cells in more than one tissue. Maternal microchimerism was detected in PBMCs from all (4 of 4) fetuses. These observations suggest that maternal microchimerism occurs in the rhesus monkey fetus and can be detected in tissues in a subset of offspring after birth.
PMCID: PMC3988117  PMID: 24451553
major histocompatibility complex; microchimerism; quantitative PCR; rhesus monkey; transplacental transfer
2.  B7h-expressing dendritic cells and plasma B cells mediate distinct outcomes of ICOS costimulation in T cell-dependent antibody responses 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:29.
The ICOS-B7h costimulatory receptor-ligand pair is required for germinal center formation, the production of isotype-switched antibodies, and antibody affinity maturation in response to T cell-dependent antigens. However, the potentially distinct roles of regulated B7h expression on B cells and dendritic cells in T cell-dependent antibody responses have not been defined.
We generated transgenic mice with lineage-restricted B7h expression to assess the cell-type specific roles of B7h expression on B cells and dendritic cells in regulating T cell-dependent antibody responses. Our results show that endogenous B7h expression is reduced on B cells after activation in vitro and is also reduced in vivo on antibody-secreting plasma B cells in comparison to both naïve and germinal center B cells from which they are derived. Increasing the level of B7h expression on activated and plasma B cells in B-B7hTg mice led to an increase in the number of antibody-secreting plasma cells generated after immunization and a corresponding increase in the concentration of antigen-specific high affinity serum IgG antibodies of all isotypes, without affecting the number of responding germinal center B cells. In contrast, ICOS costimulation mediated by dendritic cells in DC-B7hTg mice contributed to germinal center formation and selectively increased IgG2a production without affecting the overall magnitude of antibody responses.
Using transgenic mice with lineage-restricted B7h expression, we have revealed distinct roles of ICOS costimulation mediated by dendritic cells and B cells in the regulation of T cell-dependent antibody responses.
PMCID: PMC3477010  PMID: 22686515
ICOS; B7h; Costimulation; Antibody; Germinal center; Plasma cell; Dendritic cell
3.  Separation of Notch1 Promoted Lineage Commitment and Expansion/Transformation in Developing T Cells 
Notch1 signaling is required for T cell development. We have previously demonstrated that expression of a dominant active Notch1 (ICN1) transgene in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) leads to thymic-independent development of CD4+CD8+ double-positive (DP) T cells in the bone marrow (BM). To understand the function of Notch1 in early stages of T cell development, we assessed the ability of ICN1 to induce extrathymic T lineage commitment in BM progenitors from mice that varied in their capacity to form a functional pre-T cell receptor (TCR). Whereas mice repopulated with ICN1 transduced HSCs from either recombinase deficient (Rag-2−/−) or Src homology 2 domain–containing leukocyte protein of 76 kD (SLP-76)−/− mice failed to develop DP BM cells, recipients of ICN1-transduced Rag-2−/− progenitors contained two novel BM cell populations indicative of pre-DP T cell development. These novel BM populations are characterized by their expression of CD3ε and pre-Tα mRNA and the surface proteins CD44 and CD25. In contrast, complementation of Rag-2−/− mice with a TCRβ transgene restored ICN1-induced DP development in the BM within 3 wk after BM transfer (BMT). At later time points, this population selectively and consistently gave rise to T cell leukemia. These findings demonstrate that Notch signaling directs T lineage commitment from multipotent progenitor cells; however, both expansion and leukemic transformation of this population are dependent on T cell–specific signals associated with development of DP thymocytes.
PMCID: PMC2193437  PMID: 11435476
leukemia; development; hematopoiesis; lymphocyte; stem cells

Results 1-3 (3)