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1.  All-trans retinoic acid attenuates airway inflammation by inhibiting Th2 and Th17 response in experimental allergic asthma 
BMC Immunology  2013;14:28.
Airway inflammation is mainly mediated by T helper 2 cells (Th2) that characteristically produce interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Epidemiological studies have revealed an inverse association between the dietary intake of vitamin A and the occurrence of asthma. Serum vitamin A concentrations are significantly lower in asthmatic subjects than in healthy control subjects. It has been reported that all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a potent derivative of vitamin A, regulates immune responses. However, its role in Th2-mediated airway inflammation remains unclear. We investigated the effects of ATRA in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation.
We found that ATRA treatment attenuated airway inflammation and decreased mRNA levels of Th2- and Th17-related transcription factors. The data showed that airway inflammation coincided with levels of Th2- and Th17-related cytokines. We also showed that ATRA inhibited Th17 and promoted inducible regulatory T-cell differentiation, whereas it did not induce an obvious effect on Th2 differentiation in vitro. Our data suggest that ATRA may interfere with the in vivo Th2 responses via T-cell extrinsic mechanisms.
Administration of ATRA dramatically attenuated airway inflammation by inhibiting Th2 and Th17 differentiation and/or functions. ATRA may have potential therapeutic effects for airway inflammation in asthmatic patients.
PMCID: PMC3695807  PMID: 23800145
Asthma; All-trans retinoic acid; Th2; Th17; Regulatory T cells
2.  Synthesized OVA323-339MAP octamers mitigate OVA-induced airway inflammation by regulating Foxp3 T regulatory cells 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:34.
Antigen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) has been widely practiced in treating allergic diseases such as asthma. However, this therapy may induce a series of allergic adverse events during treatment. Peptide immunotherapy (PIT) was explored to overcome these disadvantages. We confirmed that multiple antigen peptides (MAPs) do not cause autoimmune responses, which led to the presumption that MAPs intervention could alleviate allergic airway inflammation without inducing adverse effects.
In this study, synthesized OVA323-339MAP octamers were subcutaneously injected into ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and -challenged Balb/c mice to observe its effect on allergic airway inflammation, Th2 immune response, and immune regulating function. It was confirmed that OVA sensitization and challenge led to significant peritracheal inflammatory, cell infiltration, and intensive Th2 response. Treatment of OVA323-339MAP octomers in the airway inflammation mice model increased CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells and their regulatory function in peripheral blood, mediastinal draining lymph nodes, and the spleen. Furthermore, OVA323-339MAP increased IL-10 levels in bronchial alveolar lavage fluid (BALF); up-regulated the expression of IL-10, membrane-bound TGF-β1, as well as Foxp3 in lung tissues; and up-regulated programmed death-1 (PD-1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) on the surface of Treg cells. These results were further correlated with the decreased OVA specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) level and the infiltration of inflammatory cells such as eosinophils and lymphocytes in BALF. However, OVA323-339 peptide monomers did not show any of the mentioned effects in the same animal model.
Our study indicates that OVA323-339MAP had significant therapeutic effects on mice allergic airway inflammation by regulating the balance of Th1/Th2 response through Treg cells in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3472185  PMID: 22769043
Allergic airway inflammation; Specific immunotherapy; Multiple antigen peptide
3.  OX40 Induces CCL20 Expression in the Context of Antigen Stimulation: An Expanding Role of Co-Stimulatory Molecules in Chemotaxis 
Cytokine  2010;50(3):253-259.
OX40 is an inducible co-stimulatory molecule expressed by activated T cells. It plays an important role in the activation and proliferation of T lymphocytes. Recently, some co-stimulatory molecules have been shown to direct leukocyte trafficking. Chemotaxis is essential for achieving an effective immune response. CCL20 is an important chemoattractant produced by activated T cells. In this study, using DO11.10 mice whose transgenic T cell receptor specifically recognizes ovalbumin, we demonstrate that ovalbumin induces OX40 expression in CD4+ lymphocytes. Further stimulation of OX40 by OX40 activating antibody up-regulates CCL20 production. Both NF-κB dependent and independent signaling pathways are implicated in the induction of CCL20 by OX40. Finally, we primed the DO11.10 splenocytes with or without OX40 activating antibody in the presence of ovalbumin. Intranasal administration of the cell lysates derived from the cells with OX40 stimulation results in more severe leukocyte infiltration in the lung of DO11.10 mice, which is substantially attenuated by CCL20 blocking antibody. Taken together, this study has shown that activation of OX40 induces CCL20 expression in the presence of antigen stimulation. Thus, our results broaden the role of OX40 in chemotaxis, and reveal a novel effect of co-stimulatory molecules in orchestrating both T cell up-regulation and migration.
PMCID: PMC2867600  PMID: 20400327
CCL20; CD4+ T cells; Co-stimulatory molecule; OX40; T cell co-stimulation
4.  CXCR4 But Not CXCR7 Is Mainly Implicated in Ocular Leukocyte Trafficking During Ovalbumin-Induced Acute Uveitis 
Experimental eye research  2009;89(4):522-531.
Uveitis is an inflammatory ocular disease characterized by the infiltration of T lymphocytes and other leukocytes into the eye. The recruitment of these inflammatory cells from systemic vasculature to ocular tissue is a well-coordinated multistep process including rolling, firm adhesion and transmigration. CXCL12 (SDF-1α) is an endothelial cell-derived cytokine interacting with CXCR4 and CXCR7, two chemokine receptors mainly expressed in T cells, neutrophils and monocytes. Recent studies have shown that CXCR4, CXCR7 and their ligand, CXCL12, are important for the regulation of leukocyte mobilization and trafficking. However, it is unclear whether these two chemokine receptors are implicated in the pathogenesis of uveitis. In this study, we used DO11.10 mice, whose CD4+ T cells are genetically engineered to react with ovalbumin (OVA), to investigate the role of CXCR4 and CXCR7 in an animal model of uveitis. Intravital microscopy revealed that intravitreal OVA challenge of DO11.10 mice caused the infiltration of both T cells and neutrophils. The invasion of these inflammatory cells coincided with the detection of transcriptional upregulation of CXCR4 and CXCR7 in the eye. In addition, both real time-PCR and immunohistochemistry revealed an enhanced expression of endothelial CXCL12. Furthermore, intraperitoneal injection of AMD3100 (a specific CXCR4 antagonist) significantly attenuated OVA-induced uveitis and CXCL12-mediated transwell migration. In contrast, intraperitoneal administration of CXCR7 neutralizing antibody did not significantly alter ocular infiltration of inflammatory cells caused by OVA challenge. Our data suggest that CXCR4 but not CXCR7 plays a critical role in antigen-induced ocular inflammation by facilitating leukocyte infiltration. This study not only enhances our knowledge of the immunopathological mechanism of uveitis but also provides a novel rationale to target CXCR4 as an anti-inflammatory strategy to treat uveitis.
PMCID: PMC2745349  PMID: 19524567
CXCL12; CXCR4; CXCR7; neutrophils; monocytes; ocular inflammation; T cells; uveitis
5.  Interleukin-17 causes neutrophil mediated inflammation in ovalbumin-induced uveitis in DO11.10 mice 
Cytokine  2009;46(1):79-91.
T cell-mediated uveitis is strongly associated with many systemic inflammatory disorders. Th17 cells are a novel T cell subset characterized by production of interleukin (IL)-17. In this study, we used DO11.10 mice to investigate the role of IL-17 in the pathogenesis of uveitis. CD4+ T cells in DO11.10 mice are genetically engineered to react with ovalbumin (OVA). IL-17 expression was determined by real-time PCR and ELISPOT. Uveitis was induced by intravitreal injection of OVA, and ocular inflammation was evaluated by intravital microscopy. OVA challenge significantly induced IL-17 production by DO11.10 splenocytes in vitro. Next, we examined whether OVA challenge could elicit local inflammation and induce IL-17 in vivo. OVA elicited marked neutrophil-predominant inflammatory cell infiltration in the eyes. This leukocyte influx was mediated by CD4+ lymphocytes as evidenced by significant inhibition of the ocular inflammation by CD4+ depleting antibody. Compared to control mice, OVA treatment induced IL-17 expression. Moreover, anti-IL-17 antibody markedly reduced OVA-mediated ocular inflammation. Finally, the neutralization of IL-17 attenuated ocular expression of CXCL2 and CXCL5, two cytokines which are chemotactic for neutrophils. Our study suggests that IL-17 is implicated in the pathogenesis of this T cell-mediated model of uveitis in part through neutrophil chemotaxis as a downstream effect of IL-17.
PMCID: PMC2745339  PMID: 19254849
Inflammation; Interleukin-17; Uveitis
6.  Targeted suppression of heme oxygenase-1 by small interference RNAs inhibits the production of bilirubin in neonatal rat with hyperbilirubinemia 
BMC Molecular Biology  2009;10:77.
Excessive accumulation of bilirubin contributes to neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in rats. Heme oxygenase (HO) is one of the rate-limiting enzymes in catabolizing heme to bilirubin. In the present study, we investigated whether suppression of rat HO-1 (rHO-1) expression by small interference RNAs (siRNAs) reduces bilirubin levels in hyperbilirubinemic rats.
Four pairs of siRNA targeting rHO-1 mRNA were introduced into BRL cells and compared for their inhibitory effect on the expression of rHO-1 gene and production of rHO-1 protein. The siRNA exhibiting the most potent effect on HO-1 expression and activity was then administered intraperitoneally to 7 to 9-day-old rats with hyperbilirubinemia. The siRNA distributed mostly in the liver and spleen of neonatal rat. Serum bilirubin levels and hepatic HO-1 expression were further evaluated. Systemic treatment of siRNA targeting rHO-1 reduced hepatic HO-1 expression and decreased the serum bilirubin levels in a time- and dose-dependent manner, and siRNA decreased the indirect bilirubin levels more effectively than Sn-protoporphyrin (SnPP), an HO-1 inhibitor.
siRNA targeting rHO-l attenuates hepatic HO-1 expression and serum bilirubin levels. Thus this study provides a novel therapeutic rationale for the prevention and treatment of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.
PMCID: PMC2726144  PMID: 19646271
7.  Scanning holographic microscopy of three-dimensional fluorescent specimens 
We demonstrate experimentally the three-dimensional reconstructions of fluorescent biological specimens using scanning holographic microscopy. Three-dimensional reconstructions with transverse resolution below about 1 μm of transmission and fluorescence emission images are presented and analyzed. The limitations of the method are discussed.
PMCID: PMC1538985  PMID: 16783434
8.  Point-spread function synthesis in scanning holographic microscopy 
Scanning holographic microscopy is a two-pupil synthesis method allowing the capture of single-sideband inline holograms of noncoherent (e.g., fluorescent) three-dimensional specimens in a single two-dimensional scan. The flexibility offered by the two-pupil method in synthesizing unusual point-spread functions is discussed. We illustrate and compare three examples of holographic recording, using computer simulations. The first example is the classical hologram in which each object point is encoded as a spherical wave. The second example uses pupils with spherical phase distributions having opposite curvatures, leading to reconstructed images with a resolution limit that is half that of the objective. In the third example, axicon pupils are used to obtain axially sectioned images.
PMCID: PMC1538983  PMID: 16783435

Results 1-8 (8)