Journal of Immunology Research The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG Activation of Dendritic Cells and Neutrophils Depends on the Dose and Time of Exposure Wed, 20 Jul 2016 12:15:45 +0000 This study evaluates the ability of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) to activate DC and neutrophils and modulate T cell activation and the impact of bacterial dose on these responses. Murine bone marrow derived DC or neutrophils were stimulated with LGG at ratios of 5 : 1, 10 : 1, and 100 : 1 (LGG : cells) and DC maturation (CD40, CD80, CD86, CD83, and MHC class II) and cytokine production (IL-10, TNF-α, and IL-12p70) were examined after 2 h and 18 h coculture and compared to the ability of BCG (the present immunotherapeutic agent for bladder cancer) to stimulate these cells. A 2 h exposure to 100 : 1 (high dose) or an 18 h exposure to 5 : 1 or 10 : 1 (low dose), LGG : cells, induced the highest production of IL-12 and upregulation of CD40, CD80, CD86, and MHC II on DC. In DCs stimulated with LGG activated neutrophils IL-12 production decreased with increasing dose. LGG induced 10-fold greater IL-12 production than BCG. T cell IFNγ and IL-2 production was significantly greater when stimulated with DC activated with low dose LGG. In conclusion, DC or DC activated with neutrophils exposed to low dose LGG induced greater Th1 polarization in T cells and this could potentially exert stronger antitumor effects. Thus the dose of LGG used for immunotherapy could determine treatment efficacy. Shirong Cai, Matheswaran Kandasamy, Juwita N. Rahmat, Sin Mun Tham, Boon Huat Bay, Yuan Kun Lee, and Ratha Mahendran Copyright © 2016 Shirong Cai et al. All rights reserved. Dengue Fever: Causes, Complications, and Vaccine Strategies Wed, 20 Jul 2016 06:09:30 +0000 Dengue is a highly endemic infectious disease of the tropical countries and is rapidly becoming a global burden. It is caused by any of the 4 serotypes of dengue virus and is transmitted within humans through female Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue disease varies from mild fever to severe conditions of dengue hemorrhagic fever and shock syndrome. Globalization, increased air travel, and unplanned urbanization have led to increase in the rate of infection and helped dengue to expand its geographic and demographic distribution. Dengue vaccine development has been a challenging task due to the existence of four antigenically distinct dengue virus serotypes, each capable of eliciting cross-reactive and disease-enhancing antibody response against the remaining three serotypes. Recently, Sanofi Pasteur’s chimeric live-attenuated dengue vaccine candidate has been approved in Mexico, Brazil, and Philippines for usage in adults between 9 and 45 years of age. The impact of its limited application to the public health system needs to be evaluated. Simultaneously, the restricted application of this vaccine candidate warrants continued efforts in developing a dengue vaccine candidate which is additionally efficacious for infants and naïve individuals. In this context, alternative strategies of developing a designed vaccine candidate which does not allow production of enhancing antibodies should be explored, as it may expand the umbrella of efficacy to include infants and naïve individuals. Niyati Khetarpal and Ira Khanna Copyright © 2016 Niyati Khetarpal and Ira Khanna. All rights reserved. Soluble Urokinase Receptors in Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis: A Review on the Scientific Point of View Mon, 18 Jul 2016 15:57:47 +0000 Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is one of the primary glomerular disorders in both children and adults which can progress to end-stage renal failure. Although there are genetic and secondary causes, circulating factors have also been regarded as an important factor in the pathogenesis of FSGS, because about 40% of the patients with FSGS have recurrence after renal transplantation. Soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a soluble form of uPAR, which is a membrane-bound protein linked to GPI in various immunologically active cells, including podocytes. It has recently been suggested as a potential circulating factor in FSGS by in vitro podocyte experiments, in vivo mice models, and human studies. However, there have also been controversies on this issue, because subsequent studies showed conflicting results. suPAR levels were also increased in patients with other glomerular diseases and were inversely correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate. Nevertheless, there has been no balanced review on this issue. In this review, we compare the conflicting data on the involvement of suPAR in the pathogenesis of FSGS and shed light on interpretation by taking into account many points and the potential variables and confounders influencing serum suPAR levels. Andreas Kronbichler, Moin A. Saleem, Björn Meijers, and Jae Il Shin Copyright © 2016 Andreas Kronbichler et al. All rights reserved. Eradication and Current Status of Poliomyelitis in Pakistan: Ground Realities Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:33:12 +0000 Pakistan is among the last three countries along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio virus is still endemic. More or less, with some fluctuations, numbers of reported cases in the past few years have shown a rising trend. Year 2014 pushed the country into the deep sea of difficulties, as number of cases rose to red alert level of 328. Security situation has adversely affected the whole immunization coverage campaign. In a country where 40 polio vaccinators have been killed since 2012, such a big number of cases is not a surprising outcome. Worse perception of parents about polio vaccine as in Karachi and FATA, the high risk zones, makes 100% coverage a dream. Minor and perhaps delayed payments to polio workers make them frustrated, resulting in decline of trained manpower for vaccination. Strong implementation of policies is required and those found guilty of attack on polio workers need to be punished. Targeted community awareness programme, strong surveillance network, and involvement of influential religious entities can help to root out polio disease from country. Present review is aimed at analyzing all barriers on the road to success in eradication of polio from Pakistan. Shazia Ghafoor and Nadeem Sheikh Copyright © 2016 Shazia Ghafoor and Nadeem Sheikh. All rights reserved. Actions of Thyroid Hormone Analogues on Chemokines Sun, 17 Jul 2016 13:39:22 +0000 The extracellular domain of plasma membrane integrin αvβ3 contains a receptor for thyroid hormone (L-thyroxine, T4; 3,5,3′-triiodo-L-thyronine, T3); this receptor also binds tetraiodothyroacetic acid (tetrac), a derivative of T4. Tetrac inhibits the binding of T4 and T3 to the integrin. Fractalkine (CX3CL1) is a chemokine relevant to inflammatory processes in the CNS that are microglia-dependent but also important to normal brain development. Expression of the CX3CL1 gene is downregulated by tetrac, suggesting that T4 and T3 may stimulate fractalkine expression. Independently of its specific receptor (CX3CR1), fractalkine binds to αvβ3 at a site proximal to the thyroid hormone-tetrac receptor and changes the physical state of the integrin. Tetrac also affects expression of the genes for other CNS-relevant chemokines, including CCL20, CCL26, CXCL2, CXCL3, and CXCL10. The chemokine products of these genes are important to vascularity of the brain, particularly of the choroid plexus, to inflammatory processes in the CNS and, in certain cases, to neuroprotection. Thyroid hormones are known to contribute to regulation of each of these CNS functions. We propose that actions of thyroid hormone and hormone analogues on chemokine gene expression contribute to regulation of inflammatory processes in brain and of brain blood vessel formation and maintenance. Paul J. Davis, Gennadi V. Glinsky, Hung-Yun Lin, and Shaker A. Mousa Copyright © 2016 Paul J. Davis et al. All rights reserved. HLA-01:03 Allele in Lung Transplant Recipients Correlates with Higher Chronic Lung Allograft Dysfunction Occurrence Sun, 17 Jul 2016 06:38:56 +0000 Lung transplantation (LTx) is a valid therapeutic option for selected patients with end-stage lung disease. HLA-E seems to play a major role in the immune response to different viral infections and to affect transplantation outcome, in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, for example. Two nonsynonymous alleles, HLA-01:01 and HLA-01:03, have functional differences, involving relative peptide affinity, cell surface expression, and potential lytic activity of NK cells. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the impact of these two alleles for LTx recipients on anti-HLA alloimmunization risk, overall survival, and chronic rejection (CLAD). HLA-E was genotyped in 119 recipients who underwent LTx from 1998 to 2010 in a single transplantation center. In univariate analysis, both HLA-E homozygous states were associated with impaired overall survival compared to heterozygous HLA-E alleles (). In multivariate analysis, HLA-01:03 allele showed increased CLAD occurrence when compared to homozygous HLA-01:01 status (HR: 3.563 (CI 95%, 1.016–12), ). HLA-E allele did not affect pathogen infection or the production of de novo DSA. This retrospective study shows an uninvestigated, deleterious association of HLA-E alleles with LTx and requires verification using a larger cohort. Julie Di Cristofaro, Mathieu Pelardy, Anderson Loundou, Agnès Basire, Carine Gomez, Jacques Chiaroni, Pascal Thomas, Martine Reynaud-Gaubert, and Christophe Picard Copyright © 2016 Julie Di Cristofaro et al. All rights reserved. Circulating Regulatory T-Cells in Monoclonal Gammopathies of Uncertain Significance and Multiple Myeloma: In Search of a Role Thu, 14 Jul 2016 14:14:11 +0000 The frequency and function of regulatory T-cells (Tregs) in multiple myeloma (MM) are still matter of debate. The percentage and absolute number of circulating Tregs (CD4+) from 39 patients with untreated MM and 44 patients with monoclonal gammopathies of uncertain significance (MGUS) were tested and compared with 20 healthy subjects as controls. The mean percentage number of circulating Tregs was 2.1%  ± 1.0 (range 0.75–6.1%) in MM patients; 2.1%  ± 0.9 (range 0.3–4.4%) in MGUS; and 1.5%  ± 0.4 (range 0.9–2.1%) in controls ( ns). Mean absolute number of Tregs was 36.3/μL ± 23.7 (range 6.7–149/μL) in MM; 38.8/μL ± 19.1 (range 4.3–87/μL) in MGUS; and 39.4/μL ± 12.5 (range 18–63/μL) in controls ( ns). After a median follow-up of 38 months, 5 MGUS and 2 smoldering MM (SMM) transformed into overt MM; however Tregs number did not predict this evolution. With respect to MM patients and after a median follow-up of 33 months, Tregs did not show any significant correlation with main clinical and laboratory characteristics. Finally, from a functional point of view, Tregs displayed an effective suppressor function, irrespective of disease status. This study indicates that the number of circulating Tregs does not differ in different monoclonal gammopathies and normal subjects and do not correlate with clinical features of MM. Giovanni D’Arena, Giovanni Rossi, Luca Laurenti, Teodora Statuto, Fiorella D’Auria, Luciana Valvano, Vittorio Simeon, Aldo Giudice, Idanna Innocenti, Vincenzo De Feo, Rosanna Filosa, and Pellegrino Musto Copyright © 2016 Giovanni D’Arena et al. All rights reserved. An Update on Inflamm-Aging: Mechanisms, Prevention, and Treatment Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:51:05 +0000 Inflamm-aging is a challenging and promising new branch of aging-related research fields that includes areas such as immunosenescence. Increasing evidence indicates that inflamm-aging is intensively associated with many aging diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, heart disease, type II diabetes, and cancer. Mounting studies have focused on the role of inflamm-aging in disease progression and many advances have been made in the last decade. However, the underlying mechanisms by which inflamm-aging affects pathological changes and disease development are still unclear. Here, we review studies of inflamm-aging that explore the concept, pathological features, mechanisms, intervention, and the therapeutic strategies of inflamm-aging in disease progression. Shijin Xia, Xinyan Zhang, Songbai Zheng, Ramin Khanabdali, Bill Kalionis, Junzhen Wu, Wenbin Wan, and Xiantao Tai Copyright © 2016 Shijin Xia et al. All rights reserved. Thrombin Cleavage of Osteopontin Modulates Its Activities in Human Cells In Vitro and Mouse Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis In Vivo Wed, 13 Jul 2016 14:14:21 +0000 Osteopontin is a proinflammatory cytokine and plays a pathogenetic role in multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), by recruiting autoreactive T cells into the central nervous system. Osteopontin functions are modulated by thrombin cleavage generating N- and C-terminal fragment, whose individual roles are only partly known. Published data are difficult to compare since they have been obtained with heterogeneous approaches. Interestingly, thrombin cleavage of osteopontin unmasks a cryptic domain of interaction with α4β1 integrin that is the main adhesion molecule involved in lymphocyte transmigration to the brain and is the target for natalizumab, the most potent drug preventing relapses. We produced recombinant osteopontin and its N- and C-terminal fragments in an eukaryotic system in order to allow their posttranslational modifications. We investigated, in vitro, their effect on human cells and in vivo in EAE. We found that the osteopontin cleavage plays a key role in the function of this cytokine and that the two fragments exert distinct effects both in vitro and in vivo. These findings suggest that drugs targeting each fragment may be used to fine-tune the pathological effects of osteopontin in several diseases. Elena Boggio, Chiara Dianzani, Casimiro Luca Gigliotti, Maria Felicia Soluri, Nausicaa Clemente, Giuseppe Cappellano, Erika Toth, Davide Raineri, Benedetta Ferrara, Cristoforo Comi, Umberto Dianzani, and Annalisa Chiocchetti Copyright © 2016 Elena Boggio et al. All rights reserved. Monocyte Heterogeneity: Consequences for Monocyte-Derived Immune Cells Mon, 11 Jul 2016 13:44:44 +0000 Blood monocytes are precursors of dendritic cells, macrophages, and osteoclasts. They are a heterogeneous cell population with differences in size, phenotype, and function. Although monocytes maintain several tissue-specific populations of immune cells in homeostasis, their contribution to populations of dendritic cells, macrophages, and osteoclasts is significantly increased in inflammation. Identification of a growing number of functionally different subsets of cells within populations of monocyte-derived immune cells has recently put monocyte heterogeneity into sharp focus. Here, we summarize recent findings in monocyte heterogeneity and their differentiation into dendritic cells, macrophages, and osteoclasts. We also discuss these advances in the context of the formation of functionally different monocyte-derived subsets of dendritic cells, macrophages, and osteoclasts. Sara Sprangers, Teun J. de Vries, and Vincent Everts Copyright © 2016 Sara Sprangers et al. All rights reserved. Storage Conditions of Conjugated Reagents Can Impact Results of Immunogenicity Assays Sun, 10 Jul 2016 14:35:36 +0000 Consistent performance of anti-drug antibody (ADA) assays through all stages of clinical development is critical for the assessment of immunogenicity and interpretation of PK, PD, safety, and efficacy. The electrochemiluminescent assays commonly employed for ADA measurement use drug conjugated with ruthenium and biotin to bind ADA in samples. Here we report an association between high nonspecific ADA responses in certain drug-naïve individuals and the storage buffer of the conjugated reagents used in a monoclonal antibody ADA assay. Ruthenylated reagents stored in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) buffer had increased levels of aggregate and produced variable and high baseline responses in some subjects. Reagents stored in a histidine-sucrose buffer (HSB) had lower aggregate levels and produced low sample responses. In contrast to PBS, conjugated reagents formulated in HSB remained low in aggregate content and in sample response variability after 5 freeze/thaw cycles. A reagent monitoring control (RMC) serum was prepared for the real-time evaluation of conjugated reagent quality. Using appropriate buffers for storage of conjugated reagents together with RMCs capable of monitoring of reagent aggregation status can help ensure consistent, long-term performance of ADA methods. Robert J. Kubiak, Nancy Lee, Yuan Zhu, William R. Franch, Sophia V. Levitskaya, Surekha R. Krishnan, Varghese Abraham, Peter F. Akufongwe, Christopher J. Larkin, and Wendy I. White Copyright © 2016 Robert J. Kubiak et al. All rights reserved. Seminal Fluid-Mediated Inflammation in Physiology and Pathology of the Female Reproductive Tract Sun, 03 Jul 2016 11:51:47 +0000 Inflammation is a multifaceted process involving a host of resident and recruited immune cells that eliminate the insult or injury and initiate tissue repair. In the female reproductive tract (FMRT), inflammation-mediated alterations in epithelial, vascular, and immune functions are important components of complex physiological processes and many local and systemic pathologies. It is well established that intracoital and postcoital function of seminal fluid (SF) goes beyond nutritive support for the spermatozoa cells. SF, in particular, the inflammatory bioactive lipids, and prostaglandins present in vast quantities in SF, have a role in localized immune modulation and regulation of pathways that can exacerbate inflammation in the FMRT. In sexually active women SF-mediated inflammation has been implicated in physiologic processes such as ovulation, implantation, and parturition while also enhancing tumorigenesis and susceptibility to infection. This review highlights the molecular mechanism by which SF regulates inflammatory pathways in the FMRT and how alterations in these pathways contribute to physiology and pathology of the female reproductive function. In addition, based on findings from TaqMan® 96-Well Plate Arrays, on neoplastic cervical cells treated with SF, we discuss new findings on the role of SF as a potent driver of inflammatory and tumorigenic pathways in the cervix. Anthonio O. Adefuye, Henry A. Adeola, Kurt J. Sales, and Arieh A. Katz Copyright © 2016 Anthonio O. Adefuye et al. All rights reserved. CD3+CD8+CD28− T Lymphocytes in Patients with Lupus Nephritis Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:07:31 +0000 The results of studies on the cells in SLE are inconsistent since several analyses describe as either immunosuppressive or cytotoxic. The aim of this study is to inquire whether the quantitative changes of T lymphocytes subpopulation are related to the clinical status of patients with lupus nephritis. Evaluation of Foxp3 expression on cells may shed some light on functional properties of these cells. 54 adult SLE patients and 19 sex and age matched healthy volunteers were enrolled in the study. There were 15 patients in inactive (SLEDAI ≤ 5) and 39 in active (SLEDAI > 5) phase of disease. We determined absolute count of and subpopulations by flow cytometry. We observed a statistically significant increase in absolute count and percentage of in SLE patients compared to HC (). Moreover there was significant positive correlation between increasing absolute count of cells and disease activity measured by SLEDAI (s = 0.281, ). Active LN patients had increased absolute count of cells compared to HC. Positive correlation of number with disease activity, and lack of Foxp3 expression on these cells, suggests that lymphocytes might be responsible for an increased proinflammatory response in the exacerbation of SLE. Marcelina Żabińska, Magdalena Krajewska, Katarzyna Kościelska-Kasprzak, and Marian Klinger Copyright © 2016 Marcelina Żabińska et al. All rights reserved. Tumor-Derived CXCL1 Promotes Lung Cancer Growth via Recruitment of Tumor-Associated Neutrophils Wed, 29 Jun 2016 10:59:07 +0000 Neutrophils have a traditional role in inflammatory process and act as the first line of defense against infections. Although their contribution to tumorigenesis and progression is still controversial, accumulating evidence recently has demonstrated that tumor-associated neutrophils (TANs) play a key role in multiple aspects of cancer biology. Here, we detected that chemokine CXCL1 was dramatically elevated in serum from 3LL tumor-bearing mice. In vitro, 3LL cells constitutively expressed and secreted higher level of CXCL1. Furthermore, knocking down CXCL1 expression in 3LL cells significantly hindered tumor growth by inhibiting recruitment of neutrophils from peripheral blood into tumor tissues. Additionally, tumor-infiltrated neutrophils expressed higher levels of MPO and Fas/FasL, which may be involved in TAN-mediated inhibition of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. These results demonstrate that tumor-derived CXCL1 contributes to TANs infiltration in lung cancer which promotes tumor growth. Ming Yuan, Ha Zhu, Junfang Xu, Yuanyuan Zheng, Xuetao Cao, and Qiuyan Liu Copyright © 2016 Ming Yuan et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Interleukin-23 in the Early Development of Emphysema in HIV1+ Smokers Wed, 29 Jun 2016 10:51:57 +0000 Rationale. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression is upregulated in alveolar macrophages (AM) of HIV1+ smokers who develop emphysema. Knowing that lung epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of HIV1+ smokers contains increased levels of inflammatory cytokines compared to HIV1− smokers, we hypothesized that upregulation of lung cytokines in HIV1+ smokers may be functionally related to increased MMP-9 expression. Methods. Cytokine arrays evaluated cytokine protein levels in ELF obtained from 5 groups of individuals: HIV1− healthy nonsmokers, HIV1− healthy smokers, HIV1− smokers with low diffusing capacity (), HIV1+ nonsmokers, and HIV1+ smokers with low . Results. Increased levels of the Th17 related cytokine IL-23 were found in HIV1− smokers with low and HIV1+ smokers and nonsmokers. Relative IL-23 gene expression was increased in AM of HIV1+ individuals, with greater expression in AM of HIV1+ smokers with low . Infection with HIV1 in vitro induced IL-23 expression in normal AM. IL-23 stimulation of AM/lymphocyte cocultures in vitro induced upregulation of MMP-9. Lung T lymphocytes express receptor IL-23R and interact with AM in order to upregulate MMP-9. Conclusion. This mechanism may contribute to the increased tissue destruction in the lungs of HIV1+ smokers and suggests that Th17 related inflammation may play a role. Igor Z. Barjaktarevic, Ronald G. Crystal, and Robert J. Kaner Copyright © 2016 Igor Z. Barjaktarevic et al. All rights reserved. Immunogenicity of Biotherapeutics: Causes and Association with Posttranslational Modifications Wed, 29 Jun 2016 08:44:48 +0000 Today, potential immunogenicity can be better evaluated during the drug development process, and we have rational approaches to manage the clinical consequences of immunogenicity. The focus of the scientific community should be on developing sensitive diagnostics that can predict immunogenicity-mediated adverse events in the small fraction of subjects that develop clinically relevant anti-drug antibodies. Here, we discuss the causes of immunogenicity which could be product-related (inherent property of the product or might be picked up during the manufacturing process), patient-related (genetic profile or eating habits), or linked to the route of administration. We describe various posttranslational modifications (PTMs) and how they may influence immunogenicity. Over the last three decades, we have significantly improved our understanding about the types of PTMs of biotherapeutic proteins and their association with immunogenicity. It is also now clear that all PTMs do not lead to clinical immunogenicity. We also discuss the mechanisms of immunogenicity (which include T cell-dependent and T cell-independent responses) and immunological tolerance. We further elaborate on the management of immunogenicity in preclinical and clinical setting and the unique challenges raised by biosimilars, which may have different immunogenic potential from their parent biotherapeutics. Anshu Kuriakose, Narendra Chirmule, and Pradip Nair Copyright © 2016 Anshu Kuriakose et al. All rights reserved. Modulation of Stat-1 in Human Macrophages Infected with Different Species of Intracellular Pathogenic Bacteria Wed, 29 Jun 2016 08:34:11 +0000 The infection of human macrophages by pathogenic bacteria induces different signaling pathways depending on the type of cellular receptors involved in the microorganism entry and on their mechanism(s) of survival and replication in the host cell. It was reported that Stat proteins play an important role in this process. In the present study, we investigate the changes in Stat-1 activation (phosphorylation in p-tyr701) after uptake of two Gram-positive (Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus) and two Gram-negative bacteria (Salmonella typhimurium and Legionella pneumophila) characterized by their varying abilities to enter, survive, and replicate in human macrophages. Comparing the results obtained with Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, Stat-1 activation in macrophages does not seem to be related to LPS content. The p-tyr701Stat-1 expression levels were found to be independent of the internalized bacterial number and IFN-γ release. On the contrary, Jak/Stat-1 pathway activation only occurs when an active infection has been established in the host macrophage, and it is plausible that the differences in the expression levels of p-tyr701Stat-1 could be due to different survival mechanisms or to differences in bacteria life cycles within macrophages. Giuditta Fiorella Schiavano, Sabrina Dominici, Laura Rinaldi, Alfonsina Mariarosaria Cangiano, Giorgio Brandi, and Mauro Magnani Copyright © 2016 Giuditta Fiorella Schiavano et al. All rights reserved. Transcriptional Targeting of Mature Dendritic Cells with Adenoviral Vectors via a Modular Promoter System for Antigen Expression and Functional Manipulation Wed, 29 Jun 2016 08:05:59 +0000 To specifically target dendritic cells (DCs) to simultaneously express different therapeutic transgenes for inducing immune responses against tumors, we used a combined promoter system of adenoviral vectors. We selected a 216 bp short Hsp70B′ core promoter induced by a mutated, constitutively active heat shock factor (mHSF) 1 to drive strong gene expression of therapeutic transgenes MelanA, BclxL, and IL-12p70 in HeLa cells, as well as in mature DCs (mDCs). As this involves overexpressing mHSF1, we first evaluated the resulting effects on DCs regarding upregulation of heat shock proteins and maturation markers, toxicity, cytokine profile, and capacity to induce antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. Second, we generated the two-vector-based “modular promoter” system, where one vector contains the mHSF1 under the control of the human CD83 promoter, which is specifically active only in DCs and after maturation. mHSF1, in turn, activates the Hsp70B′ core promotor-driven expression of transgenes MelanA and IL-12p70 in the DC-like cell line XS52 and in human mature and hence immunogenic DCs, but not in tolerogenic immature DCs. These in vitro experiments provide the basis for an in vivo targeting of mature DCs for the expression of multiple transgenes. Therefore, this modular promoter system represents a promising tool for future DC-based immunotherapies in vivo. Ilka Knippertz, Andrea Deinzer, Jan Dörrie, Niels Schaft, Dirk M. Nettelbeck, and Alexander Steinkasserer Copyright © 2016 Ilka Knippertz et al. All rights reserved. Biological Character of RetroNectin Activated Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:20:25 +0000 Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) using autologous cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells is a promising treatment for metastatic carcinomas. In this study, we investigated the impact of RetroNectin on the proliferation, phenotype alternation, cytokine secretion, and cytotoxic activity of CIK cells from pancreatic cancer patients. Furthermore, we treated 13 patients with metastatic or locally advanced pancreatic cancer using autologous RetroNectin-activated CIK cells (R-CIK cells) alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Compared with only CD3 activated CIK cells (OKT-CIK cells), R-CIK cells showed stronger and faster proliferative ability, with a lower ratio of spontaneous apoptosis. Moreover, this ability continued after IL-2 was withdrawn from the culture system. R-CIK cells could also secrete higher levels of IL-2 and lower levels of IL-4 and IL-5 versus OKT-CIK cells. There was no difference between OKT-CIK and R-CIK cells in cytotoxic ability against lymphoma cell line K562. In patients who received auto-R-CIK cell infusion therapy, the overall objective response rate was 23.1%. Median survival time (mOS) after first R-CIK cell infusion was 10.57 months; the 1-year survival rate was 38.5%. No serious toxicity was associated with R-CIK cell infusion. In conclusion, RetroNectin may enhance antitumor activity of CIK cells: it is safe for use in treating pancreatic cancer. Lu Han, Yi-Man Shang, Yong-Ping Song, and Quan-Li Gao Copyright © 2016 Lu Han et al. All rights reserved. Polymorphism rs3828903 within MICB Is Associated with Susceptibility to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in a Northern Han Chinese Population Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:07:11 +0000 Objectives. The variant rs3828903 within MICB, a nonclassical MHC class I chain-related gene, was detected to contribute to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in a Caucasian population. This study aimed to investigate the association in a northern Han Chinese population. Methods. We recruited 1077 SLE patients and 793 controls for analysis. rs3828903 was genotyped by TaqMan allele discrimination assay. Using the public databases, its functional annotations and gene differential expression analysis of MICB were evaluated. Results. Significant association between the allele G of rs3828903 and risk susceptibility to SLE was observed after adjusting for sex and age (). In silico analyses predicted a higher affinity to transcription factors for allele G (risk) and cis-expression quantitative trait loci (cis-eQTL) effects of rs3828903 in multiple tissues ( ranging from to ). Furthermore, higher mRNA expressions of MICB were observed in B cells, monocytes, and renal biopsies from SLE patients compared to controls. Conclusion. An association between rs3828903 and susceptibility to SLE has been detected in a Chinese population. This together with the functional annotations of rs3828903 converts MICB into a main candidate in the pathogenesis of SLE. Yue-miao Zhang, Xu-jie Zhou, Fa-juan Cheng, Yuan-yuan Qi, Ping Hou, Ming-hui Zhao, and Hong Zhang Copyright © 2016 Yue-miao Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Immunogenicity Assessment of Lipegfilgrastim in Patients with Breast Cancer Receiving Chemotherapy Thu, 23 Jun 2016 13:34:59 +0000 Lipegfilgrastim is a long-acting, once-per-cycle, glycopegylated recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) used to prevent neutropenia in patients receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy. This integrated analysis examined the immunogenicity of lipegfilgrastim and its potential clinical impact in two double-blind randomized studies (phases II and III) of patients with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy. Serum samples were analyzed using sequential assays for screening, confirmation, antibody titer, and characterization of antidrug antibodies (ADA). Neutropenia-related efficacy measures were reviewed for each ADA-positive patient. Among 255 patients receiving lipegfilgrastim (154 in phase II, 101 in phase III) and 155 patients receiving pegfilgrastim (54 in phase II, 101 in phase III), the incidence of treatment-emergent ADA was low and similar between the lipegfilgrastim (phase II: 1.3%; phase III: 1.0%) and pegfilgrastim (phase II: 1.9%; phase III: 1.0%) arms. None of the treatment-emergent ADA-positive samples exhibited neutralizing activity against lipegfilgrastim, pegfilgrastim, or glycosylated G-CSF in a cell-based neutralizing antibody assay. No changes were observed in neutropenia-related efficacy measures among ADA-positive patients, and no treatment-related hypersensitivity or anaphylaxis occurred. These results indicate that there is no apparent impact of ADA on lipegfilgrastim efficacy and safety. Linglong Zou, Anton Buchner, Martin Roberge, and Patrick M. Liu Copyright © 2016 Linglong Zou et al. All rights reserved. Overcoming the Constraints of Anti-HIV/CD89 Bispecific Antibodies That Limit Viral Inhibition Wed, 22 Jun 2016 14:27:02 +0000 Innovative strategies are necessary to maximize the clinical application of HIV neutralizing antibodies. To this end, bispecific constructs of human antibody F240, reactive with well-conserved gp41 epitope and antibody 14A8, reactive with the IgA receptor (CD89) on effector cells, were constructed. A F240 × 14A8 bispecific single chain variable region (scFv) molecule was constructed by linking two scFvs using a conventional GGGGS linker. Despite immunoreactivity with HIV gp41 and neutrophils, this bispecific scFv failed to inhibit HIV infection. This is in sharp contrast to viral inhibition using a chemical conjugate of the Fab of these two antibodies. Therefore, we constructed two novel Fab-like bispecific antibody molecules centered on fusion of the IgG1 CH1 domain or CH1-hinge domain to the C-terminus of F240scFv and fusion of the kappa chain CL domain to the C-terminus of 14A8scFv. Both Bi-Fab antibodies showed significant ADCVI activity for multiple clade B and clade C isolates by arming the neutrophils to inhibit HIV infection. The approach presented in this study is unique for HIV immunotherapy in that the impetus of neutralization is to arm and mobilize PMN to destroy HIV and HIV infected cells. Xiaocong Yu, Mark Duval, Melissa Gawron, Marshall R. Posner, and Lisa A. Cavacini Copyright © 2016 Xiaocong Yu et al. All rights reserved. Elevated Concentration of Defensins in Hepatitis C Virus-Infected Patients Mon, 20 Jun 2016 12:03:56 +0000 Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major etiological agent of human non-A and non-B hepatitis, affecting around 180 million people worldwide. Defensins, small cysteine-rich cationic peptides, are shown to have potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Defensins can be found in both normal and microbial infected patients, at variable concentrations. Notably, viral infections are often associated with elevated concentrations of defensins. The current study aimed to estimate the concentrations of total, α-, and β-defensins in serum taken from normal and HCV-infected patients. 12 healthy (noninfected) and 34 HCV-infected patients were enrolled. Standardized immunoassay kits were used to obtain serum concentrations of defensins. The obtained results were calibrated against kit standard reagents. Total defensin concentrations in HCV-infected patients were significantly higher (2- to 105-fold) compared to healthy individuals. The concentrations of α-defensins were also significantly elevated in the HCV-infected patients (31–1398 ng/50 μL). However, concentrations of β-defensins ranged from 44.5 ng/50 μL to 1056 ng/50 μL. The results did not reveal differences in serum defensin concentration between male and female HCV-infected patients. A-defensin concentration of ≥250 ng/50 μL was found to contain more β-defensins than total defensins and α-defensins. This study concludes, for the first time, that serum defensin levels are elevated in HCV-infected patients. Ehab H. Mattar, Hussein A. Almehdar, Abdullah A. AlJaddawi, Isam ElDin M. Abu Zeid, and Elrashdy M. Redwan Copyright © 2016 Ehab H. Mattar et al. All rights reserved. Uptake of HLA Alloantigens via CD89 and CD206 Does Not Enhance Antigen Presentation by Indirect Allorecognition Mon, 20 Jun 2016 11:36:13 +0000 In organ transplantation, alloantigens are taken up by antigen presenting cells and presented via the indirect pathway to T-cells which in turn can induce allograft rejection. Monitoring of these T-cells is of major importance; however no reliable assay is available to routinely monitor indirect allorecognition. Recently we showed that HLA monomers can be successfully used to monitor indirect allorecognition. Targeting antigens to endocytic receptors on antigen presenting cells may further enhance the presentation of antigens via HLA class II and improve the efficiency of this assay. In the current study we explored targeting of HLA monomers to either CD89 expressing monocytes or mannose receptor expressing dendritic cells. Monomer-antibody complexes were generated using biotin-labeled monomers and avidin labeling of the antibodies. We demonstrate that targeting the complexes to these receptors resulted in a dose-dependent HLA class II mediated presentation to a T-cell clone. The immune-complexes were efficiently taken up and presented to T-cells. However, the level of T-cell reactivity was similar to that when only exogenous antigen was added. We conclude that HLA-A2 monomers targeted for presentation through CD89 on monocytes or mannose receptor on dendritic cells lead to proper antigen presentation but do not enhance indirect allorecognition via HLA-DR. Eytan Breman, Jurjen M. Ruben, Kees L. Franken, Mirjam H. M. Heemskerk, Dave L. Roelen, Frans H. Claas, and Cees van Kooten Copyright © 2016 Eytan Breman et al. All rights reserved. Aptamers: A Feasible Technology in Cancer Immunotherapy Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:55:18 +0000 Aptamers are single-chained RNA or DNA oligonucleotides (ODNs) with three-dimensional folding structures which allow them to bind to their targets with high specificity. Aptamers normally show affinities comparable to or higher than that of antibodies. They are chemically synthesized and therefore less expensive to manufacture and produce. A variety of aptamers described to date have been shown to be reliable in modulating immune responses against cancer by either blocking or activating immune receptors. Some of them have been conjugated to other molecules to target the immune system and reduce off-target side effects. Despite the success of first-line treatments against cancer, the elevated number of relapsing cases and the tremendous side effects shown by the commonly used agents hinder conventional treatments against cancer. The advantages provided by aptamers could enhance the therapeutic index of a given strategy and therefore enhance the antitumor effect. Here we recapitulate the provided benefits of aptamers with immunomodulatory activity described to date in cancer therapy and the benefits that aptamer-based immunotherapy could provide either alone or combined with first-line treatments in cancer therapy. M. M. Soldevilla, H. Villanueva, and F. Pastor Copyright © 2016 M. M. Soldevilla et al. All rights reserved. A Modified NK Cell Degranulation Assay Applicable for Routine Evaluation of NK Cell Function Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:54:18 +0000 Natural killer (NK) cells play important role in innate immunity against tumors and viral infections. Studies show that lysosome-associated membrane protein-1 (LAMP-1, CD107a) is a marker for degranulation of NK and cytotoxic T cells and its expression is a sensitive marker for the cytotoxic activity determination. The conventional methods of determination of CD107a on NK cells involve use of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) or pure NK cells and K562 cells as stimulants. Thus, it requires large volume of blood sample which is usually difficult to obtain in pediatric patients and patients with cytopenia and also requires specialized laboratory for maintaining cell line. We have designed a flow cytometric assay to determine CD107a on NK cells using whole blood, eliminating the need for isolation of PBMC or isolate NK cells. This assay uses phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) and calcium ionophore (Ca2+-ionophore) instead of K562 cells for stimulation and thus does not require specialized cell culture laboratory. CD107a expression on NK cells using modified NK cell degranulation assay compared to the conventional assay was significantly elevated (). It was also validated by testing patients diagnosed with familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL) with defect in exocytosis. This assay is rapid, cost effective, and reproducible and requires significantly less volume of blood which is important for clinical evaluation of NK cells. Snehal Shabrish, Maya Gupta, and Manisha Madkaikar Copyright © 2016 Snehal Shabrish et al. All rights reserved. Immune Regulation and Antitumor Effect of TIM-1 Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:42:55 +0000 T cells play an important role in antitumor immunity, and the T cell immunoglobulin domain and the mucin domain protein-1 (TIM-1) on its surface, as a costimulatory molecule, has a strong regulatory effect on T cells. TIM-1 can regulate and enhance type 1 immune response of tumor association. Therefore, TIM-1 costimulatory pathways may be a promising therapeutic target in future tumor immunotherapy. This review describes the immune regulation and antitumor effect of TIM-1. Peng Du, Ruihua Xiong, Xiaodong Li, and Jingting Jiang Copyright © 2016 Peng Du et al. All rights reserved. The Mannose Receptor Is Involved in the Phagocytosis of Mycobacteria-Induced Apoptotic Cells Mon, 20 Jun 2016 07:28:30 +0000 Upon Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, macrophages may undergo apoptosis, which has been considered an innate immune response. The pathways underlying the removal of dead cells in homeostatic apoptosis have been extensively studied, but little is known regarding how cells that undergo apoptotic death during mycobacterial infection are removed. This study shows that macrophages induced to undergo apoptosis with mycobacteria cell wall proteins are engulfed by J-774A.1 monocytic cells through the mannose receptor. This demonstration was achieved through assays in which phagocytosis was inhibited with a blocking anti-mannose receptor antibody and with mannose receptor competitor sugars. Moreover, elimination of the mannose receptor by a specific siRNA significantly diminished the expression of the mannose receptor and the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. As shown by immunofluorescence, engulfed apoptotic bodies are initially located in Rab5-positive phagosomes, which mature to express the phagolysosome marker LAMP1. The phagocytosis of dead cells triggered an anti-inflammatory response with the production of TGF-β and IL-10 but not of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-12 and TNF-α. This study documents the previously unreported participation of the mannose receptor in the removal of apoptotic cells in the setting of tuberculosis (TB) infection. The results challenge the idea that apoptotic cell phagocytosis in TB has an immunogenic effect. Teresa Garcia-Aguilar, Patricia Espinosa-Cueto, Alejandro Magallanes-Puebla, and Raúl Mancilla Copyright © 2016 Teresa Garcia-Aguilar et al. All rights reserved. Immunoregulatory Role of HLA-G in Allergic Diseases Mon, 20 Jun 2016 06:30:49 +0000 Allergic diseases are sustained by a T-helper 2 polarization leading to interleukin-4 secretion, IgE-dependent inflammation, and mast cell and eosinophil activation. HLA-G molecules, both in membrane-bound and in soluble forms, play a central role in modulation of immune responses. Elevated levels of soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) molecules are detected in serum of patients with allergic rhinitis to seasonal and perennial allergens and correlate with allergen-specific IgE levels, clinical severity, drug consumption, and response to allergen-specific immunotherapy. sHLA-G molecules are also found in airway epithelium of patients with allergic asthma and high levels of sHLA-G molecules are detectable in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage of asthmatic patients correlating with allergen-specific IgE levels. Finally, HLA-G molecules are expressed by T cells, monocytes-macrophages, and Langerhans cells infiltrating the dermis of atopic dermatitis patients. Collectively, although at present it is difficult to completely define the role of HLA-G molecules in allergic diseases, it may be suggested that they are expressed and secreted by immune cells during the allergic reaction in an attempt to suppress allergic inflammation. Giuseppe Murdaca, Paola Contini, Simone Negrini, Giorgio Ciprandi, and Francesco Puppo Copyright © 2016 Giuseppe Murdaca et al. All rights reserved. Preexisting Antibodies to an F(ab′)2 Antibody Therapeutic and Novel Method for Immunogenicity Assessment Thu, 16 Jun 2016 12:12:51 +0000 Anti-therapeutic antibodies (ATAs) may impact drug exposure and activity and induce immune complex mediated toxicity; therefore the accurate measurement of ATA is important for the analysis of drug safety and efficacy. Preexisting ATAs to the hinge region of anti-Delta like ligand 4 (anti-DLL4) F(ab′)2, a potential antitumor therapeutic, were detected in cynomolgus monkey serum, which presented a challenge in developing assays for detecting treatment induced ATA. A total ATA assay was developed using a bridging ELISA that detected both anti-CDR and anti-framework ATA including anti-hinge reactivity. A competition assay that could detect 500 ng/mL of anti-CDR ATA in the presence of preexisting ATA was also developed to determine ATA specific to the anti-DLL4 F(ab′)2 CDR using anti-DLL4 F(ab′)2 and a control F(ab′)2. We used these assay methods in a cynomolgus monkey in vivo study to successfully evaluate total and anti-CDR ATA. The preexisting anti-hinge reactivity was also observed to a lesser extent in human serum, and a similar approach could be applied for specific immunogenicity assessment in clinical trials. Jane Ruppel, Ann Brady, Rebecca Elliott, Cecilia Leddy, Marco Palencia, Daniel Coleman, Jessica A. Couch, and Eric Wakshull Copyright © 2016 Jane Ruppel et al. All rights reserved.