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1.  Role of CD40 ligation in dendritic cell semimaturation 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:22.
DC are among the first antigen presenting cells encountering bacteria at mucosal surfaces, and play an important role in maintenance of regular homeostasis in the intestine. Upon stimulation DC undergo activation and maturation and as initiators of T cell responses they have the capacity to stimulate naïve T cells. However, stimulation of naïve murine DC with B. vulgatus or LPS at low concentration drives DC to a semimature (sm) state with low surface expression of activation-markers and a reduced capacity to activate T-cells. Additionally, semimature DC are nonresponsive to subsequent TLR stimulation in terms of maturation, TNF-α but not IL-6 production. Ligation of CD40 is an important mechanism in enhancing DC maturation, function and capacity to activate T-cells. We investigated whether the DC semimaturation can be overcome by CD40 ligation.
Upon CD40 ligation smDC secreted IL-12p40 but not the bioactive heterodimer IL-12p70. Additionally, CD40 ligation of smDC resulted in an increased production of IL-6 but not in an increased expression of CD40. Analysis of the phosphorylation pattern of MAP kinases showed that in smDC the p38 phosphorylation induced by CD40 ligation is inhibited. In contrast, phosphorylation of ERK upon CD40 ligation was independent of the DC maturation state.
Our data show that the semimature differentiation state of DC can not be overcome by CD40 ligation. We suggest that the inability of CD40 ligation in overcoming DC semimaturation might contribute to the tolerogenic phenotype of semimature DC and at least partially account for maintenance of intestinal immune homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC3485177  PMID: 22537317
Dendritic cells; CD40 ligation; Maturation; Cytokine; MAP Kinase; Homoeostasis; T-cell
2.  Forced IFIT-2 expression represses LPS induced TNF-alpha expression at posttranscriptional levels 
BMC Immunology  2008;9:75.
Interferon induced tetratricopeptide repeat protein 2 (IFIT-2, P54) belongs to the type I interferon response genes and is highly induced after stimulation with LPS. The biological function of this protein is so far unclear. Previous studies indicated that IFIT-2 binds to the initiation factor subunit eIF-3c, affects translation initiation and inhibits protein synthesis. The aim of the study was to further characterize the function of IFIT-2.
Stimulation of RAW264.7 macrophages with LPS or IFN-γ leads to the expression of IFIT-2 in a type I interferon dependent manner. By using stably transfected RAW264.7 macrophages overexpressing IFIT-2 we found that IFIT-2 inhibits selectively LPS induced expression of TNF-α, IL-6, and MIP-2 but not of IFIT-1 or EGR-1. In IFIT-2 overexpressing cells TNF-α mRNA expression was lower after LPS stimulation due to reduced mRNA stability. Further experiments suggest that characteristics of the 3'UTR of transcripts discriminate whether IFIT-2 has a strong impact on protein expression or not.
Our data suggest that IFIT-2 may affect selectively LPS induced protein expression probably by regulation at different posttranscriptional levels.
PMCID: PMC2632614  PMID: 19108715
3.  Intestinal Colonization of IL-2 Deficient Mice with Non-Colitogenic B. vulgatus Prevents DC Maturation and T-Cell Polarization 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(6):e2376.
IL-2 deficient (IL-2−/−) mice mono-colonized with E. coli mpk develop colitis whereas IL-2−/−-mice mono-colonized with B. vulgatus mpk do not and are even protected from E. coli mpk induced colitis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We investigated if mono-colonization with E. coli mpk or B. vulgatus mpk differentially modulates distribution, activation and maturation of intestinal lamina propria (LP) dendritic cells (DC). LP DC in mice mono-colonized with protective B. vulgatus mpk or co-colonized with E. coli mpk/B. vulgatus mpk featured a semi-mature LP DC phenotype (CD40loCD80loMHC-IIhi) whereas mono-colonization with colitogenic E. coli mpk induced LP DC activation and maturation prior to onset of colitis. Accordingly, chemokine receptor (CCR) 7 surface expression was more strikingly enhanced in mesenteric lymph node DC from E. coli mpk than B. vulgatus mpk mono- or co-colonized mice. Mature but not semi-mature LP DC promoted Th1 polarization. As B. vulgatus mpk promotes differentiation of semi-mature DC presumably by IL-6, mRNA and protein expression of IL-6 was investigated in LP DC. The data demonstrated that IL-6 mRNA and protein was increased in LP DC of B. vulgatus mpk as compared to E. coli mpk mono-colonized IL-2−/−-mice. The B. vulgatus mpk mediated suppression of CCR7 expression and DC migration was abolished in IL-6−/−-DC in vitro.
From this data we conclude that the B. vulgatus triggered IL-6 secretion by LP DC in absence of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-12 or TNF-α induces a semi-mature LP DC phenotype, which might prevent T-cell activation and thereby the induction of colitis in IL-2−/−-mice. The data provide new evidence that IL-6 might act as an immune regulatory cytokine in the mucosa by targeting intestinal DC.
PMCID: PMC2398772  PMID: 18545662

Results 1-3 (3)