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1.  Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Are Crucial in Bifidobacterium adolescentis-Mediated Inhibition of Yersinia enterocolitica Infection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71338.
In industrialized countries bacterial intestinal infections are commonly caused by enteropathogenic Enterobacteriaceae. The interaction of the microbiota with the host immune system determines the adequacy of an appropriate response against pathogens. In this study we addressed whether the probiotic Bifidobacterium adolescentis is protective during intestinal Yersinia enterocolitica infection. Female C57BL/6 mice were fed with B. adolescentis, infected with Yersinia enterocolitica, or B. adolescentis fed and subsequently infected with Yersinia enterocolitica. B. adolescentis fed and Yersinia infected mice were protected from Yersinia infection as indicated by a significantly reduced weight loss and splenic Yersinia load when compared to Yersinia infected mice. Moreover, protection from infection was associated with increased intestinal plasmacytoid dendritic cell and regulatory T-cell frequencies. Plasmacytoid dendritic cell function was investigated using depletion experiments by injecting B. adolescentis fed, Yersinia infected C57BL/6 mice with anti-mouse PDCA-1 antibody, to deplete plasmacytoid dendritic cells, or respective isotype control. The B. adolescentis-mediated protection from Yersinia dissemination to the spleen was abrogated after plasmacytoid dendritic cell depletion indicating a crucial function for pDC in control of intestinal Yersinia infection. We suggest that feeding of B. adolescentis modulates the intestinal immune system in terms of increased plasmacytoid dendritic cell and regulatory T-cell frequencies, which might account for the B. adolescentis-mediated protection from Yersinia enterocolitica infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071338
PMCID: PMC3748105  PMID: 23977019
2.  Role of CD40 ligation in dendritic cell semimaturation 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:22.
Background
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-13-22
PMCID: PMC3485177  PMID: 22537317
Dendritic cells; CD40 ligation; Maturation; Cytokine; MAP Kinase; Homoeostasis; T-cell
3.  Autologous bone graft versus demineralized bone matrix in internal fixation of ununited long bones 
Background
Non-unions are severe complications in orthopaedic trauma care and occur in 10% of all fractures. The golden standard for the treatment of ununited fractures includes open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) as well as augmentation with autologous-bone-grafting. However, there is morbidity associated with the bone-graft donor site and some patients offer limited quantity or quality of autologous-bone graft material. Since allogene bone-grafts are introduced on the market, this comparative study aims to evaluate healing characteristics of ununited bones treated with ORIF combined with either iliac-crest-autologous-bone-grafting (ICABG) or demineralized-bone-matrix (DBM).
Methods and results
From 2000 to 2006 out of sixty-two consecutive patients with non-unions presenting at our Level I Trauma Center, twenty patients had ununited diaphyseal fractures of long bones and were treated by ORIF combined either by ICABG- (n = 10) or DBM-augmentation (n = 10). At the time of index-operation, patients of the DBM-group had a higher level of comorbidity (ASA-value: p = 0.014). Mean duration of follow-up was 56.6 months (ICABG-group) and 41.2 months (DBM-group). All patients were clinically and radiographically assessed and adverse effects related to bone grafting were documented. The results showed that two non-unions augmented with ICABG failed osseous healing (20%) whereas all non-unions grafted by DBM showed successful consolidation during the first year after the index operation (p = 0.146). No early complications were documented in both groups but two patients of the ICABG-group suffered long-term problems at the donor site (20%) (p = 0.146). Pain intensity were comparable in both groups (p = 0.326). However, patients treated with DBM were more satisfied with the surgical procedure (p = 0.031).
Conclusion
With the use of DBM, the costs for augmentation of the non-union-site are more expensive compared to ICABG (calculated difference: 160 €/case). Nevertheless, this study demonstrated that the application of DBM compared to ICABG led to an advanced outcome in the treatment of non-unions and simultaneously to a decreased quantity of adverse effects. Therefore we conclude that DBM should be offered as an alternative to ICABG, in particular to patients with elevated comorbidity and those with limited availability or reduced quality of autologous-bone graft material.
doi:10.1186/1752-2897-3-11
PMCID: PMC2801473  PMID: 20003511

Results 1-3 (3)