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1.  CD161 Expression Defines a Th1/Th17 Polyfunctional Subset of Resident Memory T Lymphocytes in Bronchoalveolar Cells 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0123591.
Alveolar resident memory T cells (TRM) comprise a currently uncharacterized mixture of cell subpopulations. The CD3+CD161+ T cell subpopulation resides in the liver, intestine and skin, but it has the capacity for tissue migration; however, the presence of resident CD3+CD161+ T cells in the bronchoalveolar space under normal conditions has not been reported. Bronchoalveolar cells (BACs) from healthy volunteers were evaluated and found that 8.6% (range 2.5%-21%) of these cells were CD3+ T lymphocytes. Within the CD3+ population, 4.6% of the cells (2.1–11.3) expressed CD161 on the cell surface, and 74.2% of the CD161+CD3+ T cells expressed CD45RO. The number of CD3+CD161+ T cells was significantly lower in the bronchoalveolar space than in the blood (4.6% of BACs vs 8.4% of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs); P<0.05). We also found that 2.17% of CD4+ T lymphocytes and 1.52% of CD8+ T lymphocytes expressed CD161. Twenty-two percent of the alveolar CD3+CD161+ T lymphocytes produced cytokines upon stimulation by PMA plus ionomycin, and significantly more interferon gamma (IFN-γ) was produced compared with other cytokines (P = 0.05). Most alveolar CD3+CD161+ T cells produced interleukin-17 (IL-17) and IFN-γ simultaneously, and the percentage of these cells was significantly higher than the percentage of CD3+CD161− T cells. Moreover, the percentage of alveolar CD3+CD161+ T lymphocytes that produced IFN-γ/IL-17 was significantly higher than those in the peripheral blood (p<0.05). In conclusion, Th1/Th17-CD3+CD161+ TRM could contribute to compartment-specific immune responses in the lung.
PMCID: PMC4408072  PMID: 25906076
2.  The Nitric Oxide Production in the Moss Physcomitrella patens Is Mediated by Nitrate Reductase 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0119400.
During the last 20 years multiple roles of the nitric oxide gas (•NO) have been uncovered in plant growth, development and many physiological processes. In seed plants the enzymatic synthesis of •NO is mediated by a nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-like activity performed by a still unknown enzyme(s) and nitrate reductase (NR). In green algae the •NO production has been linked only to NR activity, although a NOS gene was reported for Ostreococcus tauri and O. lucimarinus, no other Viridiplantae species has such gene. As there is no information about •NO synthesis neither for non-vascular plants nor for non-seed vascular plants, the interesting question regarding the evolution of the enzymatic •NO production systems during land plant natural history remains open. To address this issue the endogenous •NO production by protonema was demonstrated using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR). The •NO signal was almost eliminated in plants treated with sodium tungstate, which also reduced the NR activity, demonstrating that in P. patens NR activity is the main source for •NO production. The analysis with confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) confirmed endogenous NO production and showed that •NO signal is accumulated in the cytoplasm of protonema cells. The results presented here show for the first time the •NO production in a non-vascular plant and demonstrate that the NR-dependent enzymatic synthesis of •NO is common for embryophytes and green algae.
PMCID: PMC4351199  PMID: 25742644
3.  The Oxidative Fermentation of Ethanol in Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus Is a Two-Step Pathway Catalyzed by a Single Enzyme: Alcohol-Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ADHa) 
Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus is a N2-fixing bacterium endophyte from sugar cane. The oxidation of ethanol to acetic acid of this organism takes place in the periplasmic space, and this reaction is catalyzed by two membrane-bound enzymes complexes: the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). We present strong evidence showing that the well-known membrane-bound Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHa) of Ga. diazotrophicus is indeed a double function enzyme, which is able to use primary alcohols (C2–C6) and its respective aldehydes as alternate substrates. Moreover, the enzyme utilizes ethanol as a substrate in a reaction mechanism where this is subjected to a two-step oxidation process to produce acetic acid without releasing the acetaldehyde intermediary to the media. Moreover, we propose a mechanism that, under physiological conditions, might permit a massive conversion of ethanol to acetic acid, as usually occurs in the acetic acid bacteria, but without the transient accumulation of the highly toxic acetaldehyde.
PMCID: PMC4307304  PMID: 25574602
bifunctional enzyme-active alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHa); ethanol-acetaldehyde-oxidation; Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus; acetic acid bacteria; alcohol aldehyde dehydrogenase
4.  Nucleotide-oligomerizing domain-1 (NOD1) receptor activation induces pro-inflammatory responses and autophagy in human alveolar macrophages 
BMC Pulmonary Medicine  2014;14:152.
Nucleotide-binding oligomerizing domain-1 (NOD1) is a cytoplasmic receptor involved in recognizing bacterial peptidoglycan fragments that localize to the cytosol. NOD1 activation triggers inflammation, antimicrobial mechanisms and autophagy in both epithelial cells and murine macrophages. NOD1 mediates intracellular pathogen clearance in the lungs of mice; however, little is known about NOD1’s role in human alveolar macrophages (AMs) or its involvement in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection.
AMs, monocytes (MNs), and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) from healthy subjects were assayed for NOD1 expression. Cells were stimulated with the NOD1 ligand Tri-DAP and cytokine production and autophagy were assessed. Cells were infected with Mtb and treated with Tri-DAP post-infection. CFUs counting determined growth control, and autophagy protein recruitment to pathogen localization sites was analyzed by immunoelectron microscopy.
NOD1 was expressed in AMs, MDMs and to a lesser extent MNs. Tri-DAP stimulation induced NOD1 up-regulation and a significant production of IL1β, IL6, IL8, and TNFα in AMs and MDMs; however, the level of NOD1-dependent response in MNs was limited. Autophagy activity determined by expression of proteins Atg9, LC3, IRGM and p62 degradation was induced in a NOD1-dependent manner in AMs and MDMs but not in MNs. Infected AMs could be activated by stimulation with Tri-DAP to control the intracellular growth of Mtb. In addition, recruitment of NOD1 and the autophagy proteins IRGM and LC3 to the Mtb localization site was observed in infected AMs after treatment with Tri-DAP.
NOD1 is involved in AM and MDM innate responses, which include proinflammatory cytokines and autophagy, with potential implications in the killing of Mtb in humans.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-152) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4190423  PMID: 25253572
Human alveolar macrophages; Innate immunity; NOD1; IRGM; LC3; Autophagy; Mycobacterium tuberculosis
5.  The cuticle and plant defense to pathogens 
The cuticle provides a physical barrier against water loss and protects against irradiation, xenobiotics, and pathogens. Components of the cuticle are perceived by invading fungi and activate developmental processes during pathogenesis. In addition, cuticle alterations of various types induce a syndrome of reactions that often results in resistance to necrotrophs. This article reviews the current knowledge on the role of the cuticle in relation to the perception of pathogens and activation of defenses.
PMCID: PMC4056637  PMID: 24982666
Arabidopsis; innate immunity; Botrytis cinerea; resistance; cuticle; cutin monomers; wax; ROS
6.  Humoral and cellular responses to a non-adjuvanted monovalent H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine in hospital employees 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:544.
The efficacy of the H1N1 influenza vaccine relies on the induction of both humoral and cellular responses. This study evaluated the humoral and cellular responses to a monovalent non-adjuvanted pandemic influenza A/H1N1 vaccine in occupationally exposed subjects who were previously vaccinated with a seasonal vaccine.
Sixty healthy workers from a respiratory disease hospital were recruited. Sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained prior to and 1 month after vaccination with a non-adjuvanted monovalent 2009 H1N1 vaccine (Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine Panenza, Sanofi Pasteur). Antibody titers against the pandemic A/H1N1 influenza virus were measured via hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and microneutralization assays. Antibodies against the seasonal HA1 were assessed by ELISA. The frequency of IFN-γ-producing cells as well as CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation specific to the pandemic virus A/H1N peptides, seasonal H1N1 peptides and seasonal H3N2 peptides were assessed using ELISPOT and flow cytometry.
At baseline, 6.7% of the subjects had seroprotective antibody titers. The seroconversion rate was 48.3%, and the seroprotection rate was 66.7%. The geometric mean titers (GMTs) were significantly increased (from 6.8 to 64.9, p < 0.05). Forty-nine percent of the subjects had basal levels of specific IFN-γ-producing T cells to the pandemic A/H1N1 peptides that were unchanged post-vaccination. CD4+ T cell proliferation in response to specific pandemic A/H1N1 virus peptides was also unchanged; in contrast, the antigen-specific proliferation of CD8+ T cells significantly increased post-vaccination.
Our results indicate that a cellular immune response that is cross-reactive to pandemic influenza antigens may be present in populations exposed to the circulating seasonal influenza virus prior to pandemic or seasonal vaccination. Additionally, we found that the pandemic vaccine induced a significant increase in CD8+ T cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC3835617  PMID: 24238117
Pandemic influenza; H1N1; Vaccine; Cellular response; Proliferation; Humoral response
7.  Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid Attenuates the Oxidative Stress-Induced Decrease of CD33 Expression in Human Monocytes 
Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) is a natural lignan with recognized antioxidant and beneficial properties that is isolated from Larrea tridentata. In this study, we evaluated the effect of NDGA on the downregulation of oxidant stress-induced CD33 in human monocytes (MNs). Oxidative stress was induced by iodoacetate (IAA) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and was evaluated using reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and cell viability. NDGA attenuates toxicity, ROS production and the oxidative stress-induced decrease of CD33 expression secondary to IAA or H2O2 in human MNs. It was also shown that NDGA (20 μM) attenuates cell death in the THP-1 cell line that is caused by treatment with either IAA or H2O2. These results suggest that NDGA has a protective effect on CD33 expression, which is associated with its antioxidant activity in human MNs.
PMCID: PMC3596923  PMID: 23533689
8.  High glucose concentrations induce TNF-α production through the down-regulation of CD33 in primary human monocytes 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:19.
CD33 is a membrane receptor containing a lectin domain and a cytoplasmic immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM) that is able to inhibit cytokine production. CD33 is expressed by monocytes, and reduced expression of CD33 correlates with augmented production of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-8. However, the role of CD33 in the inflammation associated with hyperglycemia and diabetes is unknown. Therefore, we studied CD33 expression and inflammatory cytokine secretion in freshly isolated monocytes from patients with type 2 diabetes. To evaluate the effects of hyperglycemia, monocytes from healthy donors were cultured with different glucose concentrations (15-50 mmol/l D-glucose), and CD33 expression and inflammatory cytokine production were assessed. The expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling protein-3 (SOCS-3) and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were also evaluated to address the cellular mechanisms involved in the down-regulation of CD33.
CD33 expression was significantly decreased in monocytes from patients with type 2 diabetes, and higher levels of TNF-α, IL-8 and IL-12p70 were detected in the plasma of patients compared to healthy donors. Under high glucose conditions, CD33 protein and mRNA expression was significantly decreased, whereas spontaneous TNF-α secretion and SOCS-3 mRNA expression were increased in monocytes from healthy donors. Furthermore, the down-regulation of CD33 and increase in TNF-α production were prevented when monocytes were treated with the antioxidant α-tocopherol and cultured under high glucose conditions.
Our results suggest that hyperglycemia down-regulates CD33 expression and triggers the spontaneous secretion of TNF-α by peripheral monocytes. This phenomenon involves the generation of ROS and the up-regulation of SOCS-3. These observations support the importance of blood glucose control for maintaining innate immune function and suggest the participation of CD33 in the inflammatory profile associated with type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3353220  PMID: 22500980
Antioxidant; Cytokines; Monocytes; ROS; Siaglec-3; Type 2 diabetes
9.  Differential expression of Toll-like receptors on human alveolar macrophages and autologous peripheral monocytes 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):2.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are critical components in the regulation of pulmonary immune responses and the recognition of respiratory pathogens such as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (M.tb). Through examination of human alveolar macrophages this study attempts to better define the expression profiles of TLR2, TLR4 and TLR9 in the human lung compartment which are as yet still poorly defined.
Sixteen healthy subjects underwent venipuncture, and eleven subjects underwent additional bronchoalveolar lavage to obtain peripheral blood mononuclear and bronchoalveolar cells, respectively. Surface and intracellular expression of TLRs was assessed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and qRT-PCR. Cells were stimulated with TLR-specific ligands and cytokine production assessed by ELISA and cytokine bead array.
Surface expression of TLR2 was significantly lower on alveolar macrophages than on blood monocytes (1.2 ± 0.4% vs. 57 ± 11.1%, relative mean fluorescence intensity [rMFI]: 0.9 ± 0.1 vs. 3.2 ± 0.1, p < 0.05). The proportion of TLR4 and TLR9-expressing cells and the rMFIs of TLR4 were comparable between alveolar macrophages and monocytes. The surface expression of TLR9 however, was higher on alveolar macrophages than on monocytes (rMFI, 218.4 ± 187.3 vs. 4.4 ± 1.4, p < 0.05) while the intracellular expression of the receptor and the proportion of TLR9 positive cells were similar in both cell types. TLR2, TLR4 and TLR9 mRNA expression was lower in bronchoalveolar cells than in monocytes.
Pam3Cys, LPS, and M.tb DNA upregulated TLR2, TLR4 and TLR9 mRNA in both, bronchoalveolar cells and monocytes. Corresponding with the reduced surface and mRNA expression of TLR2, Pam3Cys induced lower production of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 in bronchoalveolar cells than in monocytes. Despite comparable expression of TLR4 on both cell types, LPS induced higher levels of IL-10 in monocytes than in alveolar macrophages. M.tb DNA, the ligand for TLR9, induced similar levels of cytokines in both cell types.
The TLR expression profile of autologous human alveolar macrophages and monocytes is not identical, therefore perhaps contributing to compartmentalized immune responses in the lungs and systemically. These dissimilarities may have important implications for the design and efficacy evaluation of vaccines with TLR-stimulating adjuvants that target the respiratory tract.
PMCID: PMC2817655  PMID: 20051129
10.  Compartmentalized Bronchoalveolar IFN-γ and IL-12 Response in Human Pulmonary Tuberculosis 
Human tuberculosis (TB) principally involves the lungs, where local immunity impacts on the load of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). Because concomitants of local Th1 immunity are still under-explored in humans, we characterized immune responses in bronchoalveolar cells (BAC) and systemically in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in persons with active pulmonary TB and in healthy community controls. PPD and live M.tb-induced IFN-γ-production was observed in CD4+, CD8+, γδ TCR+, and CD56+ alveolar T cell subpopulations and NK cells (CD3−CD56+). IFN-γ-producing CD4+ T cells (mostly CD45RO+) were more abundant (p<0.05). M.tb-induced IL-12p70, but interestingly also IL-4, were increased (p<0.05) in BAC from TB patients. Constitutive expression of IL-12Rβ1 and IL-12Rβ2 mRNA in BAC and PBMC and IFN-γR1 in BAC was similar in both study groups. Data were normalized to account for differences between the study groups in proportions of alveolar T cells and macrophages. IFN-γ production and its induction by IL-12R engagement occur virtually unimpaired in the bronchoalveolar spaces of patients with pulmonary TB. The reasons for the apparent failure of M. tuberculosis growth control during active pulmonary TB disease may be several including the expression of locally active immunosuppressive mechanisms that subvert the antimycobacterial effects of IFN-γ.
PMCID: PMC2653281  PMID: 18848499
Human pulmonary tuberculosis; BAL cells; interferon gamma; interleukin 12; interleukin 4
11.  Expression of Cathelicidin LL-37 during Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection in Human Alveolar Macrophages, Monocytes, Neutrophils, and Epithelial Cells▿  
Infection and Immunity  2007;76(3):935-941.
The innate immune response in human tuberculosis is not completely understood. To improve our knowledge regarding the role of cathelicidin hCAP-18/LL37 in the innate immune response to tuberculosis infection, we used immunohistochemistry, immunoelectron microscopy, and gene expression to study the induction and production of the antimicrobial peptide in A549 epithelial cells, alveolar macrophages (AM), neutrophils, and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) after infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We demonstrated that mycobacterial infection induced the expression and production of LL-37 in all cells studied, with AM being the most efficient. We did not detect peptide expression in tuberculous granulomas, suggesting that LL-37 participates only during early infection. Through the study of Toll-like receptors (TLR) in MDM, we showed that LL-37 can be induced by stimulation through TLR-2, TLR-4, and TLR-9. This last TLR was strongly stimulated by M. tuberculosis DNA. We concluded that LL-37 may have an important role in the innate immune response against M. tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC2258801  PMID: 18160480
12.  Mycobacterium tuberculosis Growth Control by Lung Macrophages and CD8 Cells from Patient Contacts 
Rationale: Healthy household contacts (HHCs) of patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis are exposed aerogenically to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), thus permitting the study of protective local immunity.
Objectives: To assess alveolar macrophage (AM) and autologous blood CD4 and CD8 T-cell–mediated Mtb growth control in HHCs and healthy, unexposed community control subjects (CCs).
Methods: AMs were infected with Mtb strains H37Ra and H37Rv at multiplicities of infection 0.1 and 1. Mtb colony-forming units were evaluated on Days 1, 4, and 7.
Main Results: CD8 T cells from HHCs in 1:1 cocultures with AMs significantly (p < 0.05) increased Mtb growth control by AMs. In CCs, no detectable contribution of CD8 T cells to Mtb growth control was observed. CD4 T cells did not increase Mtb growth control in HHCs or in CCs. IFN-γ, nitric oxide, and tumor necrosis factor were determined as potential mediators of Mtb growth control in AMs and AM/CD8 and AM/CD4 cocultures. IFN-γ production in AM/CD4 was twofold higher than that in AM/CD8 cocultures in both HHCs and CCs (p < 0.05). Nitric oxide production from AMs of HHCs increased on Days 4 and 7 and was undetectable in AMs from CCs. IFN-γ and nitric acid concentrations and Mtb growth control were not correlated. Tumor necrosis factor levels were significantly increased in AM/CD8 cocultures from HHCs compared with AM/CD8 cocultures from CCs (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Aerogenic exposure to Mtb in HHCs leads to expansion of Mtb–specific effector CD8 T cells that limit Mtb growth in autologous AMs.
PMCID: PMC2662991  PMID: 16210664
interferon type II; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; nitric oxide; T lymphocytes, effector; macrophages, alveolar
13.  Atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome Associated with a Hybrid Complement Gene 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e431.
Sequence analysis of the regulators of complement activation (RCA) cluster of genes at chromosome position 1q32 shows evidence of several large genomic duplications. These duplications have resulted in a high degree of sequence identity between the gene for factor H (CFH) and the genes for the five factor H-related proteins (CFHL1–5; aliases CFHR1–5). CFH mutations have been described in association with atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS). The majority of the mutations are missense changes that cluster in the C-terminal region and impair the ability of factor H to regulate surface-bound C3b. Some have arisen as a result of gene conversion between CFH and CFHL1. In this study we tested the hypothesis that nonallelic homologous recombination between low-copy repeats in the RCA cluster could result in the formation of a hybrid CFH/CFHL1 gene that predisposes to the development of aHUS.
Methods and Findings
In a family with many cases of aHUS that segregate with the RCA cluster we used cDNA analysis, gene sequencing, and Southern blotting to show that affected individuals carry a heterozygous CFH/CFHL1 hybrid gene in which exons 1–21 are derived from CFH and exons 22/23 from CFHL1. This hybrid encodes a protein product identical to a functionally significant CFH mutant (c.3572C>T, S1191L and c.3590T>C, V1197A) that has been previously described in association with aHUS.
CFH mutation screening is recommended in all aHUS patients prior to renal transplantation because of the high risk of disease recurrence post-transplant in those known to have a CFH mutation. Because of our finding it will be necessary to implement additional screening strategies that will detect a hybrid CFH/CFHL1 gene.
Tim Goodship and colleagues have identified a heterozygousCFH/CFHL1 hybrid gene which encodes a protein product identical to one previously described in association with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Editors' Summary
Atypical hemolytic uremic (aHUS) syndrome is a rare, chronic disease that can run in families. People with the condition are prone to developing kidney failure and high blood pressure, and are likely to have a shorter life span than healthy people. Previous work done by a group of researchers in Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK looked at the genetic underpinnings of aHUS in three families suffering from the condition. They found a region of the genome that was linked with the disease in all three families. That region was known to contain a gene for a protein called “factor H,” as well as a number of other genes for proteins that are involved in the same pathway as factor H in controlling an ancient defence system called complement. This system helps antibodies to kill invaders by marking any cell that is not protected by proteins such as factor H. Our own cells would be under constant threat without protective proteins such as factor H. Later studies found simple genetic mutations in people with aHUS, in the genes coding for factor H. However, other work suggested that in some families with aHUS, simple genetic mutations might not be the cause; instead more complicated rearrangements of the genome might occur which would then result in an abnormal factor H that incorporated part of the gene for another protective protein called factor H related protein 1.
Why Was This Study Done?
The researchers knew that it was important to understand the exact genetic mutations linked with aHUS in different families. This was because the exact type of mutation would help them predict whether a kidney transplant is likely to be successful in treating an individual with aHUS who has developed kidney failure. In people with mutations affecting proteins produced by the kidney, a kidney transplant would be likely to work; but in people with mutations affecting factor H, which is produced by the liver, the disease would probably recur after a kidney transplant.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In this study, the researchers went back to one of the three families with aHUS they had previously studied. The researchers had shown before that in this family, the disease was linked with the genome region containing factor H, but no precise mutation in that region had been found. This time, the researchers screened the genome of the family members and looked in particular for a specific rearrangement of the genome that they suspected might be involved. They found that the genomes in this family had been shuffled in the factor H region, resulting in an abnormal version of factor H being produced.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The mutation these researchers identified is likely to result in development of aHUS that does not get better after a kidney transplant, because the abnormal factor H would still be produced in the liver after a transplant had been done. Therefore, the researchers suggest that patients with aHUS be checked for this particular mutation before it is decided whether to go ahead with a transplant.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
US National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases information about atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome
The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) contains an entry on hemolytic uremic syndrome. OMIM is a database of human genes and genetic disorders developed by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information
The US National Kidney and Urologic Diseases has a page about hemolytic uremic syndrome
The Wikipedia has a page about HUS (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
PMCID: PMC1626556  PMID: 17076561
14.  Role of Phagosomes and Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II (MHC-II) Compartment in MHC-II Antigen Processing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Human Macrophages  
Infection and Immunity  2006;74(3):1621-1630.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis resides in phagosomes inside macrophages. In this study, we analyzed the kinetics and location of M. tuberculosis peptide-major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) complexes in M. tuberculosis-infected human macrophages. M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes were detected with polyclonal autologous M. tuberculosis-specific CD4+ T cells or F9A6 T hybridoma cells specific for M. tuberculosis antigen (Ag) 85B (96-111). Macrophages processed heat-killed M. tuberculosis more rapidly and efficiently than live M. tuberculosis. To determine where M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes were formed intracellularly, macrophages incubated with heat-killed M. tuberculosis were homogenized, and subcellular compartments were separated on Percoll density gradients analyzed with T cells. In THP-1 cells, M. tuberculosis Ag 85B (96- 111)-DR1 complexes appeared initially in phagosomes, followed by MHC class II compartment (MIIC) and the plasma membrane fractions. In monocyte-derived macrophages, M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes appeared only in MIIC fractions and subsequently on the plasma membrane. Although phagosomes from both cell types acquired lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP-1) and MHC-II, THP-1 phagosomes that support formation of M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes had increased levels of both LAMP-1 and MHC-II. Thus, M. tuberculosis phagosomes with high levels of MHC-II and LAMP-1 and MIIC both have the potential to form peptide-MHC-II complexes from M. tuberculosis antigens in human macrophages.
PMCID: PMC1418651  PMID: 16495533
15.  Inhibition of Major Histocompatibility Complex II Expression and Antigen Processing in Murine Alveolar Macrophages by Mycobacterium bovis BCG and the 19-Kilodalton Mycobacterial Lipoprotein  
Infection and Immunity  2004;72(4):2101-2110.
Alveolar macrophages constitute a primary defense against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but they are unable to control M. tuberculosis without acquired T-cell immunity. This study determined the antigen-presenting cell function of murine alveolar macrophages and the ability of the model mycobacterium, Mycobacterium bovis BCG, to modulate it. The majority (80 to 85%) of alveolar macrophages expressed both CD80 (B7.1) and CD11c, and 20 to 30% coexpressed major histocompatibility complex II (MHC-II). Gamma interferon (IFN-γ) enhanced MHC-II but not B7.1 expression. Naive or IFN-γ-treated alveolar macrophages did not express CD86 (B7.2), CD11b, Mac-3, CD40, or F4/80. M. bovis BCG and the 19-kDa mycobacterial lipoprotein inhibited IFN-γ-regulated MHC-II expression on alveolar macrophages, and inhibition was dependent on Toll-like receptor 2. The inhibition of MHC-II expression by the 19-kDa lipoprotein was associated with decreased presentation of soluble antigen to T cells. Thus, susceptibility to tuberculosis may result from the ability of mycobacteria to interfere with MHC-II expression and antigen presentation by alveolar macrophages.
PMCID: PMC375182  PMID: 15039332
16.  In Vivo Effect of NusB and NusG on rRNA Transcription Antitermination 
Journal of Bacteriology  2004;186(5):1304-1310.
Similarities between lambda and rRNA transcription antitermination have led to suggestions that they involve the same Nus factors. However, direct in vivo confirmation that rRNA antitermination requires all of the lambda Nus factors is lacking. We have therefore analyzed the in vivo role of NusB and NusG in rRNA transcription antitermination and have established that both are essential for it. We used a plasmid test system in which reporter gene mRNA was measured to monitor rRNA antiterminator-dependent bypass of a Rho-dependent terminator. A comparison of terminator read-through in a wild-type Escherichia coli strain and that in a nusB::IS10 mutant strain determined the requirement for NusB. In the absence of NusB, antiterminator-dependent terminator read-through was not detected, showing that NusB is necessary for rRNA transcription antitermination. The requirement for NusG was determined by comparing rRNA antiterminator-dependent terminator read-through in a strain overexpressing NusG with that in a strain depleted of NusG. In NusG-depleted cells, termination levels were unchanged in the presence or absence of the antiterminator, demonstrating that NusG, like NusB, is necessary for rRNA transcription antitermination. These results imply that NusB and NusG are likely to be part of an RNA-protein complex formed with RNA polymerase during transcription of the rRNA antiterminator sequences that is required for rRNA antiterminator-dependent terminator read-through.
PMCID: PMC344418  PMID: 14973028
17.  Phosphoantigen Presentation by Macrophages to Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Reactive Vγ9Vδ2+ T Cells: Modulation by Chloroquine  
Infection and Immunity  2002;70(8):4019-4027.
Vγ9Vδ2+ T cells (γδ T cells) are activated by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and recognize mycobacterial nonpeptide phosphoantigens. The role of antigen-presenting cells in the processing and presentation of phosphoantigens to Vγ9Vδ2+ T cells is not understood. We analyzed the role of macrophages for activation of γδ T cells by a new synthetic phosphoantigen bromohydrin pyrophosphate (BrHPP) and M. tuberculosis. Macrophages greatly increased γδ T-cell activation by both BrHPP and M. tuberculosis. Fixation of macrophages before infection demonstrated that uptake of M. tuberculosis was required for presentation to γδ T cells. Antigens of M. tuberculosis remained stably associated with macrophage surface and were not removed by paraformaldehyde fixation or washing. Macrophages processed M. tuberculosis for γδ T cells through a brefeldin A-insensitive pathway, suggesting that transport through the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex of a putative presenting molecule is not important in the early processing of M. tuberculosis antigens for γδ T cells. Processing of M. tuberculosis was not eliminated by chloroquine, indicating that processing of γδ antigens is not dependent on acidic pH in the lysosomes. Chloroquine treatment of BrHPP-pulsed macrophages increased activation of γδ T cells. Ammonium chloride treatment of macrophages did not increase reactivity of γδ T cells to BrHPP, indicating that the effect of chloroquine was independent of pH changes in endosomes. Chloroquine, by inhibiting membrane traffic, may increase association and retention of phosphoantigens with cell surface membrane molecules on macrophages.
PMCID: PMC128132  PMID: 12117907
18.  Cytokine Profiles for Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes from Patients with Active Pulmonary Tuberculosis and Healthy Household Contacts in Response to the 30-Kilodalton Antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
Infection and Immunity  1998;66(1):176-180.
Patients with active tuberculosis (TB) have a stronger humoral but a poorer cellular immune response to the secreted 30-kDa antigen (Ag) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis than do healthy household contacts (HHC), who presumably are more protected against disease. The basis for this observation was studied by examining the Th1 (interleukin 2 [IL-2] and gamma interferon [IFN-γ])- and Th2 (IL-10 and IL-4)-type cytokines produced in response to the 30-kDa Ag by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with active pulmonary TB (n = 7) and from HHC who were tuberculin (purified protein derivative) skin test positive (n = 12). Thirty-kilodalton-Ag-stimulated PBMC from TB patients produced significantly lower levels of IFN-γ (none detectable) than did those from HHC (212 ± 73 pg/ml, mean ± standard error) (P < 0.001). Likewise, 30-kDa-Ag-stimulated PBMC from TB patients failed to express IFN-γ mRNA by reverse transcription-PCR, whereas cells from HHC expressed the IFN-γ gene. In contrast, 30-kDa-Ag-stimulated PBMC from TB patients produced significantly higher levels of IL-10 (403 ± 80 pg/ml) than did those from HHC (187 ± 66 pg/ml) (P < 0.013), although cells from both groups expressed the IL-10 gene. IL-2 and IL-4 were not consistently produced, and their genes were not expressed by 30-kDa-Ag-stimulated cells from either TB patients or HHC. After treatment with antituberculous drugs, lymphocytes from four of the seven TB patients proliferated and three of them expressed IFN-γ mRNA in response to the 30-kDa Ag and produced decreased levels of IL-10.
PMCID: PMC107874  PMID: 9423855
19.  Effect of isoniazid on antigen-specific interferon-γ secretion in latent tuberculosis 
The European Respiratory Journal  2015;45(2):473-482.
Treatment of persons with latent tuberculosis (TB) infection at greatest risk of reactivation is an important component of TB control and elimination strategies. Biomarkers evaluating the effectiveness of treatment of latent TB infection have not yet been identified. This information would enhance control efforts and assist the evaluation of new treatment regimes.
We designed a two-group, two-arm, randomised clinical study of tuberculin skin test-positive participants: 26 with documented contact with TB patients and 34 with non-documented contact. Participants in each group were randomly assigned to the immediate- or deferred-isoniazid treatment arms. Assays of in vitro interferon (IFN)-γ secretion in response to recombinant Rv1737 and overlapping synthetic peptide pools from various groups of immunodominant proteins were performed.
During isoniazid therapy, a significant increase from baseline in the proportion of IFN-γ responders to the 10-kDa culture filtrate protein, Rv2031, Rv0849, Rv1986, Rv2659c, Rv2693c and the recombinant Rv1737 protein was observed (p⩽0.05). The peptide pool of Rv0849 and Rv1737 recombinant proteins induced the highest percentage of IFN-γ responders after isoniazid therapy.
The in vitro IFN-γ responses to these proteins might represent useful markers to evaluate changes associated with treatment of latent TB infection.
Peptide pool of Rv0849 and recombinant protein Rv1737 may be useful to test the efficacy of treatment of latent TB
PMCID: PMC4318657  PMID: 25359354

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