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1.  Advances in Systems Biology Approaches for Autoimmune Diseases 
Immune Network  2014;14(2):73-80.
Because autoimmune diseases (AIDs) result from a complex combination of genetic and epigenetic factors, as well as an altered immune response to endogenous or exogenous antigens, systems biology approaches have been widely applied. The use of multi-omics approaches, including blood transcriptomics, genomics, epigenetics, proteomics, and metabolomics, not only allow for the discovery of a number of biomarkers but also will provide new directions for further translational AIDs applications. Systems biology approaches rely on high-throughput techniques with data analysis platforms that leverage the assessment of genes, proteins, metabolites, and network analysis of complex biologic or pathways implicated in specific AID conditions. To facilitate the discovery of validated and qualified biomarkers, better-coordinated multi-omics approaches and standardized translational research, in combination with the skills of biologists, clinicians, engineers, and bioinformaticians, are required.
PMCID: PMC4022781  PMID: 24851096
Autoimmune diseases; Systems biology; Multi-omics; Biomarker; Translational research; Network analysis
2.  Gut-residing Microbes Alter the Host Susceptibility to Autoantibody-mediated Arthritis 
Immune Network  2014;14(1):38-44.
K/BxN serum can transfer arthritis to normal mice owing to the abundant autoantibodies it contains, which trigger innate inflammatory cascades in joints. Little is known about whether gut-residing microbes affect host susceptibility to autoantibody-mediated arthritis. To address this, we fed C57BL/6 mice with water containing a mixture of antibiotics (ampicillin, vancomycin, neomycin, and metronidazol) for 2 weeks and then injected them with K/BxN serum. Antibiotic treatment significantly reduced the amount of bacterial genomic DNA isolated from fecal samples, in particular a gene encoding 16S ribosomal RNA derived from segmented filamentous bacteria. Arthritic signs, as indicated by the arthritic index and ankle thickness, were significantly attenuated in antibiotic-treated mice compared with untreated controls. Peyer's patches and mesenteric lymph nodes from antibiotic-treated mice contained fewer IL-17-expressing cells than those from untreated mice. Antibiotic treatment reduced serum C3 deposition in vitro via the alternative complement pathway. IL-17-/- congenic C57BL/6 mice were less susceptible to K/BxN serum-transferred arthritis than their wild-type littermates, but were still responsive to treatment with antibiotics. These results suggest that gut-residing microbes, including segmented filamentous bacteria, induce IL-17 production in GALT and complement activation via the alternative complement pathway, which cause the host to be more susceptible to autoantibody-mediated arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3942506  PMID: 24605079
K/BxN serum-transferred arthritis; Gut-residing microbes; Antibiotics; IL-17; Segmented filamentous bacteria
3.  Modulation of Glial and Neuronal Migration by Lipocalin-2 in Zebrafish 
Immune Network  2011;11(6):342-347.
Glial cells are involved in immune and inflammatory responses in the central nervous system (CNS). Glial cells such as microglia and astrocytes also provide structural and functional support for neurons. Migration and morphological changes of CNS cells are associated with their physiological as well as pathological functions. The secreted protein lipocalin-2 (LCN2) has been previously implicated in regulation of diverse cellular processes of glia and neurons, including cell migration and morphology.
Here, we employed a zebrafish model to analyze the role of LCN2 in CNS cell migration and morphology in vivo. In the first part of this study, we examined the indirect effect of LCN2 on cell migration and morphology of microglia, astrocytes, and neurons cultured in vitro.
Conditioned media collected from LCN2-treated astrocytes augmented migration of glia and neurons in the Boyden chamber assay. The conditioned media also increased the number of neuronal processes. Next, in order to further understand the role of LCN2 in the CNS in vivo, LCN2 was ectopically expressed in the zebrafish spinal cord. Expression of exogenous LCN2 modulated neuronal cell migration in the spinal cord of zebrafish embryos, supporting the role of LCN2 as a cell migration regulator in the CNS.
Thus, LCN2 proteins secreted under diverse conditions may play an important role in CNS immune and inflammatory responses by controlling cell migration and morphology.
PMCID: PMC3275702  PMID: 22346773
LCN2; Glia; Cell migration; Neuroinflammation; Central nervous system; Spinal cord

Results 1-3 (3)