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1.  Two Host Factors Regulate Persistence of H7a-Specific T Cells Injected in Tumor-Bearing Mice 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(1):e4116.
Background
Injection of CD8 T cells primed against immunodominant minor histocompatibility antigens (MiHA) such as H7a can eradicate leukemia and solid tumors. To understand why MiHA-targeted T cells have such a potent antitumor effect it is essential to evaluate their in vivo behavior. In the present work, we therefore addressed two specific questions: what is the proliferative dynamics of H7a-specifc T cells in tumors, and do H7a-specific T cells persist long-term after adoptive transfer?
Methodology/Principal Findings
By day 3 after adoptive transfer, we observed a selective infiltration of melanomas by anti-H7a T cells. Over the next five days, anti-H7a T cells expanded massively in the tumor but not in the spleen. Thus, by day 8 after injection, anti-H7a T cells in the tumor had undergone more cell divisions than those in the spleen. These data strongly suggest that anti-H7a T cells proliferate preferentially and extensively in the tumors. We also found that two host factors regulated long-term persistence of anti-H7a memory T cells: thymic function and expression of H7a by host cells. On day 100, anti-H7a memory T cells were abundant in euthymic H7a-negative (B10.H7b) mice, present in low numbers in thymectomized H7a-positive (B10) hosts, and undetectable in euthymic H7a-positive recipients.
Conclusions/Significance
Although in general the tumor environment is not propitious to T-cell invasion and expansion, the present work shows that this limitation may be overcome by adoptive transfer of primed CD8 T cells targeted to an immunodominant MiHA (here H7a). At least in some cases, prolonged persistence of adoptively transferred T cells may be valuable for prevention of late cancer relapse in adoptive hosts. Our findings therefore suggest that it may be advantageous to target MiHAs with a restricted tissue distribution in order to promote persistence of memory T cells and thereby minimize the risk of cancer recurrence.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004116
PMCID: PMC2607026  PMID: 19127288
2.  Prediction of Graft-Versus-Host Disease in Humans by Donor Gene-Expression Profiling 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(1):e23.
Background
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) results from recognition of host antigens by donor T cells following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT). Notably, histoincompatibility between donor and recipient is necessary but not sufficient to elicit GVHD. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that some donors may be “stronger alloresponders” than others, and consequently more likely to elicit GVHD.
Methods and Findings
To this end, we measured the gene-expression profiles of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from 50 AHCT donors with microarrays. We report that pre-AHCT gene-expression profiling segregates donors whose recipient suffered from GVHD or not. Using quantitative PCR, established statistical tests, and analysis of multiple independent training-test datasets, we found that for chronic GVHD the “dangerous donor” trait (occurrence of GVHD in the recipient) is under polygenic control and is shaped by the activity of genes that regulate transforming growth factor-β signaling and cell proliferation.
Conclusions
These findings strongly suggest that the donor gene-expression profile has a dominant influence on the occurrence of GVHD in the recipient. The ability to discriminate strong and weak alloresponders using gene-expression profiling could pave the way to personalized transplantation medicine.
The donor gene expression profile appears to have a dominant influence on the occurrence of graft-versus-host disease in the recipient.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Human blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, which carry oxygen throughout the body, fight infections, and help blood clot, respectively. Normally, blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells in the bone marrow (and their offspring, peripheral blood stem cells) continually provide new blood cells. Tumors that arise from the bone marrow (such as leukemia and lymphoma, two types of hematopoietic tumor) are often treated by a bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplant from a healthy donor to provide new blood-forming stem cells, as a follow-up to chemotherapy or radiotherapy designed to eradicate as much of the tumor as possible. This procedure is called allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT)—the word allogeneic indicates that the donor and recipient are not genetically identical. When solid organs (for example, kidneys) are transplanted, the recipient's immune system can recognize alloantigens (proteins that vary between individuals) on the donor organ as foreign and reject it. To reduce the risk of rejection, the donor and recipient must have identical major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins. MHC matching is also important in AHCT but for further reasons. Here, donor T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) can attack the skin and other tissues of the host. This graft versus host disease (GVHD) affects many people undergoing AHCT despite MHC matching either soon after transplantation (acute GVHD) or months later (chronic GVHD). As an aside, the transplant may also act against the tumor itself—this is known as a graft versus leukemia effect.
Why Was This Study Done?
GVHD can usually be treated with drugs that damp down the immune system (immunosuppressive drugs), but it would be preferable to avoid GVHD altogether. Indeed, GVHD continues to be the leading cause of nonrelapse mortality following AHCT. Unfortunately, what determines who will develop GVHD after MHC-matched AHCT is unclear. Although GVHD only develops if there are some mismatches in histocompatibility antigens between the donor and host, it does not inevitably develop. Until now, scientists have mainly investigated whether differences between ACHT recipients might explain this observation. But, in this study, the researchers have examined the donors instead to see whether differences in their immune responses might make some donors stronger “alloresponders” than others and consequently more likely to cause GVHD.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used a molecular biology technique called microarray expression profiling to examine gene expression patterns in the T lymphocytes of peripheral blood stem cell donors. From these patterns, they identified numerous genes whose expression levels discriminated between donors whose MHC-identical transplant recipient developed GVHD after AHCT (GVHD+ donors) and those whose recipient did not develop GVHD (GVHD− donors). The researchers confirmed that the expression levels of 17 of these genes discriminated between GVHD+ and GVHD− donors using a second technique called quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Many of these genes are involved in TGF-β signaling (TGF-β is a protein that helps to control the immune system), cell growth, or proliferation. The researchers also identified four gene pairs that interacted with each other to determine the likelihood that a given donor would induce GVHD. Finally, the researchers computationally retested their data and showed that the measurement of expression levels of each of these genes and of the four interacting gene pairs could correctly identify a donor sample likely to cause GVHD in up to 80% of samples.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide the first evidence that the donor's gene expression profile influences the development of GVHD in the recipient after AHCT. The researchers suggest that a “dangerous donor” (strong alloresponder) is a key factor in determining whether GVHD occurs after AHCT and propose that gene expression profiling of donor T lymphocytes might identify those donors likely to cause GVHD. Before this approach can be used to reduce the incidence of GVHD after AHCT, these findings need to be confirmed in many more donors. Also, the development of a test that is accurate enough for clinical use—one that does not miss dangerous donors but does not discard too many safe donors—may require the identification of larger groups of interacting genes. But, if it survives further investigation, the concept of a dangerous donor could represent an important advance in transplantation medicine, one that could help clinicians select low-risk donors for AHCT and tailor patients' immunosuppressive drug regimens according to their donor-determined risk of GVHD.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040023.
• The National Marrow Donor Program provides information for patients and physicians on all aspects of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, including GVHD
• The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on bone marrow transplants, GVHD and transplant rejection
• The US National Cancer Institute has a factsheet on bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040023
PMCID: PMC1796639  PMID: 17378698
3.  Perinatal complications in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and their unaffected siblings  
Objectives
Genetic and nonshared environmental factors (experienced by 1 family member to the exclusion of the others) have been strongly implicated in the causes of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Pregnancy, labour/delivery and neonatal complications (PLDNC) have often been associated with ADHD; however, no investigations aimed at delineating the shared or nonshared nature of these factors have been reported. We aimed to identify those elements of the PLDNC that are more likely to be of a nonshared nature.
Methods
We used an intrafamily study design, comparing the history of PLDNC between children diagnosed with ADHD, according to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV), and their unaffected siblings. Children with ADHD were recruited from the outpatient, day-treatment program of the Child Psychiatry Department, Douglas Hospital, Montréal. The unaffected sibling closest in age to the child with ADHD was used as a control. The history of PLDNC was assessed using the Kinney Medical and Gynecological Questionnaire and the McNeil–Sjöstrom Scale for both children with ADHD and their siblings. Seventy children with ADHD along with 50 of their unaffected siblings agreed to participate in the study. Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Continuous Performance Test (CPT) and Restricted Academic Situation Scale (RASS) scores were also used as measures of ADHD symptoms in children with ADHD.
Results
The children with ADHD had significantly higher rates of neonatal complications compared with their unaffected siblings (F4,196 = 3.67, p < 0.006). Furthermore, neonatal complications in the children with ADHD were associated with worse CBCL total and externalizing scores and with poorer performance on the CPT.
Conclusions
These results suggest that neonatal complications are probably a nonshared environmental risk factor that may be pathogenic in children with ADHD.
PMCID: PMC551167  PMID: 15798787
attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity; child; perinatal care; pregnancy complications; siblings
4.  Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val108/158 Met polymorphism does not modulate executive function in children with ADHD 
BMC Medical Genetics  2004;5:30.
Background
An association has been observed between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, the predominant means of catecholamine catabolism within the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and neuropsychological task performance in healthy and schizophrenic adults. Since several of the cognitive functions typically deficient in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are mediated by prefrontal dopamine (DA) mechanisms, we investigated the relationship between a functional polymorphism of the COMT gene and neuropsychological task performance in these children.
Methods
The Val108/158 Met polymorphism of the COMT gene was genotyped in 118 children with ADHD (DSM-IV). The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Tower of London (TOL), and Self-Ordered Pointing Task (SOPT) were employed to evaluate executive functions. Neuropsychological task performance was compared across genotype groups using analysis of variance.
Results
ADHD children with the Val/Val, Val/Met and Met/Met genotypes were similar with regard to demographic and clinical characteristics. No genotype effects were observed for WCST standardized perseverative error scores [F2,97 = 0.67; p > 0.05], TOL standardized scores [F2,99 = 0.97; p > 0.05], and SOPT error scores [F2,108 = 0.62; p > 0.05].
Conclusions
Contrary to the observed association between WCST performance and the Val108/158 Met polymorphism of the COMT gene in both healthy and schizophrenic adults, this polymorphism does not appear to modulate executive functions in children with ADHD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-5-30
PMCID: PMC544598  PMID: 15613245
5.  Sensitivity of Tests to Assess Improvement In ADHD Symptomatology 
Objective
To assess which measurements best predict improvement on ADHD symptomatology after medication is given.
Methods
147 children aged 6 to 12 years, diagnosed with ADHD, participated in a double-blind placebo controlled twoweek crossover trial of methylphenidate.
Results
There were statistically significant differences on all measures between placebo and medication. Effect size for the overall group was 0.33 (CGI-P), 0.80 (CGI-T), 1.33 (CGI), 0.56 (CPT), 0.82 (RASS).
Conclusions
Acute behavioural response measures, where children are observed by clinicians (RASS and CGI), were overall more reliable than parent reports in detecting improvement on ADHD symptomatology. Teacher reports were also very important, especially in the 9 to 12 year old group.
PMCID: PMC2538631  PMID: 19030484
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder; medication response; methylphenidate; trouble déficitaire de l’attention avec hyperactivité; réponse à la médication; méthylphénidate

Results 1-5 (5)