Journal of Immunology Research The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:42:32 +0000 Vishwanath Venketaraman, Deepak Kaushal, and Beatrice Saviola Copyright © 2015 Vishwanath Venketaraman et al. All rights reserved. Vaccination with an Attenuated Ferritin Mutant Protects Mice against Virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis Mon, 03 Aug 2015 12:12:44 +0000 Mycobacterium tuberculosis the causative agent of tuberculosis affects millions of people worldwide. New tools for treatment and prevention of tuberculosis are urgently needed. We previously showed that a ferritin (bfrB) mutant of M. tuberculosis has altered iron homeostasis and increased sensitivity to antibiotics and to microbicidal effectors produced by activated macrophages. Most importantly, M. tuberculosis lacking BfrB is strongly attenuated in mice, especially, during the chronic phase of infection. In this study, we examined whether immunization with a bfrB mutant could confer protection against subsequent infection with virulent M. tuberculosis in a mouse model. The results show that the protection elicited by immunization with the bfrB mutant is comparable to BCG vaccination with respect to reduction of bacterial burden. However, significant distinctions in the disease pathology and host genome-wide lung transcriptome suggest improved containment of Mtb infection in animals vaccinated with the bfrB mutant, compared to BCG. We found that downmodulation of inflammatory response and enhanced fibrosis, compared to BCG vaccination, is associated with the protective response elicited by the bfrB mutant. Selvakumar Subbian, Ruchi Pandey, Patricia Soteropoulos, and G. Marcela Rodriguez Copyright © 2015 Selvakumar Subbian et al. All rights reserved. Impairments of Antigen-Presenting Cells in Pulmonary Tuberculosis Mon, 03 Aug 2015 11:33:49 +0000 The phenotype and functional properties of antigen-presenting cells (APC), that is, circulating monocytes and generated in vitro macrophages and dendritic cells, were investigated in the patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) differing in lymphocyte reactivity to M. tuberculosis antigens (PPD-reactive versus PPD-anergic patients). We revealed the distinct impairments in patient APC functions. For example, the monocyte dysfunctions were displayed by low CD86 and HLA-DR expression, 2-fold increase in CD14+CD16+ expression, the high numbers of IL-10-producing cells, and enhanced IL-10 and IL-6 production upon LPS-stimulation. The macrophages which were in vitro generated from peripheral blood monocytes under GM-CSF were characterized by Th1/Th2-balance shifting (downproduction of IFN-γ coupled with upproduction of IL-10) and by reducing of allostimulatory activity in mixed lymphocyte culture. The dendritic cells (generated in vitro from peripheral blood monocytes upon GM-CSF + IFN-α) were characterized by impaired maturation/activation, a lower level of IFN-γ production in conjunction with an enhanced capacity to produce IL-10 and IL-6, and a profound reduction of allostimulatory activity. The APC dysfunctions were found to be most prominent in PPD-anergic patients. The possible role of APC impairments in reducing the antigen-specific T-cell response to M. tuberculosis was discussed. Ludmila V. Sakhno, Ekaterina Ya. Shevela, Marina A. Tikhonova, Sergey D. Nikonov, Alexandr A. Ostanin, and Elena R. Chernykh Copyright © 2015 Ludmila V. Sakhno et al. All rights reserved. Dendritic Cell Activity Driven by Recombinant Mycobacterium bovis BCG Producing Human IL-18, in Healthy BCG Vaccinated Adults Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:23:08 +0000 Tuberculosis remains an enormous global burden, despite wide vaccination coverage with the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), the only vaccine available against this disease, indicating that BCG-driven immunity is insufficient to protect the human population against tuberculosis. In this study we constructed recombinant BCG producing human IL-18 (rBCGhIL-18) and investigated whether human IL-18 produced by rBCGhIL-18 modulates DC functions and enhances Th1 responses to mycobacterial antigens in humans. We found that the costimulatory CD86 and CD80 molecules were significantly upregulated on rBCGhIL-18-infected DCs, whereas the stimulation of DCs with nonrecombinant BCG was less effective. In contrast, both BCG strains decreased the DC-SIGN expression on human DCs. The rBCGhIL-18 increased IL-23, IL-10, and IP-10 production by DCs to a greater extent than nonrecombinant BCG. In a coculture system of CD4+ T cells and loaded DCs, rBCGhIL-18 favoured strong IFN-γ but also IL-10 production by naive T cells but not by memory T cells. This was much less the case for nonrecombinant BCG. Thus the expression of IL-18 by recombinant BCG increases IL-23, IP-10, and IL-10 expression by human DCs and enhances their ability to induce IFN-γ and IL-10 expression by naive T cells, without affecting the maturation phenotype of the DCs. Piotr Szpakowski, Franck Biet, Camille Locht, Małgorzata Paszkiewicz, Wiesława Rudnicka, Magdalena Druszczyńska, Fabrice Allain, Marek Fol, Joël Pestel, and Magdalena Kowalewicz-Kulbat Copyright © 2015 Piotr Szpakowski et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Anti-TBGL Antibody in the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis Patients in China Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:12:40 +0000 Tuberculous glycolipid (TBGL) is a component of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall, and anti-TBGL antibodies are used for serodiagnosis of tuberculosis. Anti-TBGL IgG and IgA levels were measured in 45 pulmonary TB patients (PTB), 26 extra-pulmonary TB patients (ETB), 16 AIDS-TB patients, and 58 healthy controls (HC) including 39 health care workers (HW) and 19 newly enrolled students (ST). Anti-TBGL IgG measurements yielded 68.9% and 46.2% sensitivity in PTB and ETB, respectively, and 81.0% specificity. However, anti-TBGL IgA measurements were significantly less sensitive in detecting ETB than PTB (15.4% versus 46.7% sensitivity) but showed up to 89.7% specificity. Samples from AIDS-TB patients exhibited low reaction of anti-TBGL IgG and IgA with 6.3% and 12.5% sensitivity, respectively. Unlike anti-lipoarabinomannan (LAM) IgG that was found to elevate in sputum smearpositive subjects, anti-TBGL IgG and IgA elevated in those with cavitation and bronchiectasis, respectively. Anti-TBGL IgG in cavitary TB yielded 78.2% sensitivity compared to 57.1% in those otherwise. Meanwhile, higher anti-TBGL IgA titers were observed in HW than in ST, and increasing anti-TBGL IgG titers were observed in HW on follow-up. Therefore, higher anti-TBGL antibody titers are present in patients presenting cavities and bronchiectasis and subjects under TB exposure risk. Jingge Zhao, Zhaoqin Zhu, Xiaoyan Zhang, Yasuhiko Suzuki, Haorile Chagan-Yasutan, Haili Chen, Yanmin Wan, Jianqing Xu, Yugo Ashino, and Toshio Hattori Copyright © 2015 Jingge Zhao et al. All rights reserved. Multifunctional Analysis of CD4+ T-Cell Response as Immune-Based Model for Tuberculosis Detection Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:08:40 +0000 Mono- and multifunctional specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were evaluated to improve the immune-based detection of active tuberculosis (TB) and latent infection (LTBI). We applied flow cytometry to investigate cytokines profile (IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2) of T cells after stimulation with TB antigens in 28 TB-infected subjects (18 active TB and 10 LTBI) and 10 uninfected controls. Cytokines production by CD4+ T cells at single-cell levels was higher in TB-infected subjects than uninfected controls . Assigning to activated CD4+ T cells, producing any of the three cytokines, a cut-off >0.45%, it was possible to differentiate TB-infected (>0.45%) by uninfected subjects (<0.45%). Among TB-infected subjects, the frequencies of multifunctional CD4+ T cells, simultaneously producing all 3 cytokines, are lower in active TB than LTBI subjects . Thus, assigning to triple-positive CD4+ T cells a cut-off <0.182%, TB-infected individuals could be classified as active TB subjects (<0.182%) or LTBI subjects (>0.182%). The magnitude of CD8+ T-cell responses showed no differences between active TB and LTBI. Multifunctional CD4+ T-cell responses could have the potential to identify at single time point subjects without TB infection and patients having active or latent TB. Miriam Lichtner, Claudia Mascia, Ilaria Sauzullo, Fabio Mengoni, Serena Vita, Raffaella Marocco, Valeria Belvisi, Gianluca Russo, Vincenzo Vullo, and Claudio M. Mastroianni Copyright © 2015 Miriam Lichtner et al. All rights reserved. Polyclonal Recipient nTregs Are Superior to Donor or Third-Party Tregs in the Induction of Transplantation Tolerance Mon, 27 Jul 2015 07:28:25 +0000 Induction of donor-specific tolerance is still considered as the “Holy Grail” in transplantation medicine. The mixed chimerism approach is virtually the only tolerance approach that was successfully translated into the clinical setting. We have previously reported successful induction of chimerism and tolerance using cell therapy with recipient T regulatory cells (Tregs) to avoid cytotoxic recipient treatment. Treg therapy is limited by the availability of cells as large-scale expansion is time-consuming and associated with the risk of contamination with effector cells. Using a costimulation-blockade based bone marrow (BM) transplantation (BMT) model with Treg therapy instead of cytoreductive recipient treatment we aimed to determine the most potent Treg population for clinical translation. Here we show that CD4+CD25+ in vitro activated nTregs are superior to TGF induced iTregs in promoting the induction of chimerism and tolerance. Therapy with nTregs (but not iTregs) led to multilineage chimerism and donor-specific tolerance in mice receiving as few as 0.5 106 cells. Moreover, we show that only recipient Tregs, but not donor or third-party Tregs, had a beneficial effect on BM engraftment at the tested doses. Thus, recipient-type nTregs significantly improve chimerism and tolerance and might be the most potent Treg population for translation into the clinical setting. Nina Pilat, Christoph Klaus, Karin Hock, Ulrike Baranyi, Lukas Unger, Benedikt Mahr, Andreas M. Farkas, Fritz Wrba, and Thomas Wekerle Copyright © 2015 Nina Pilat et al. All rights reserved. BPI-ANCA Provides Additional Clinical Information to Anti-Pseudomonas Serology: Results from a Cohort of 117 Swedish Cystic Fibrosis Patients Sun, 26 Jul 2015 14:11:23 +0000 Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) colonized with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) have worse prognosis compared with patients who are not. BPI-ANCA is an anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody against BPI (bactericidal/permeability increasing protein) correlating with P. aeruginosa colonization and adverse long time prognosis. Whether it provides additional information as compared to standard anti-P. aeruginosa serology tests is not known. 117 nontransplanted CF patients at the CF centre in Lund, Sweden, were followed prospectively for ten years. Bacterial colonisation was classified according to the Leeds criteria. IgA BPI-ANCA was compared with assays for antibodies against alkaline protease (AP), Elastase (ELA), and Exotoxin A (ExoA). Lung function and patient outcome, alive, lung transplanted, or dead, were registered. BPI-ANCA showed the highest correlation with lung function impairment with an r-value of 0.44. Forty-eight of the 117 patients were chronically colonized with P. aeruginosa. Twenty of these patients experienced an adverse outcome. Receiver operator curve (ROC) analysis revealed that this could be predicted by BPI-ANCA (AUC = 0.77), () to a better degree compared with serology tests. BPI-ANCA correlates better with lung function impairment and long time prognosis than anti-P. aeruginosa serology and has similar ability to identify patients with chronic P. aeruginosa. Ulrika Lindberg, Malin Carlsson, Thomas Hellmark, and Mårten Segelmark Copyright © 2015 Ulrika Lindberg et al. All rights reserved. Research Progress on Regulatory T Cells in Acute Kidney Injury Sun, 26 Jul 2015 09:31:43 +0000 Immune inflammation is crucial in mediating acute kidney injury (AKI). Immune cells of both the innate and adaptive immune systems substantially contribute to overall renal damage in AKI. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are key regulator of immunological function and have been demonstrated to ameliorate injury in several murine experimental models of renal inflammation. Recent studies have illuminated the renal-protective function of Tregs in AKI. Tregs appear to exert beneficial effects in both the acute injury phase and the recovery phase of AKI. Additionally, Tregs-based immunotherapy may represent a promising approach to ameliorate AKI and promote recovery from AKI. This review will highlight the recent insights into the role of Tregs and their therapeutic potential in AKI. Yamei Wang and Yuhong Tao Copyright © 2015 Yamei Wang and Yuhong Tao. All rights reserved. Aeromonas salmonicida Infection Only Moderately Regulates Expression of Factors Contributing to Toll-Like Receptor Signaling but Massively Activates the Cellular and Humoral Branches of Innate Immunity in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:25:51 +0000 Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are known to detect a defined spectrum of microbial structures. However, the knowledge about the specificity of teleost Tlr factors for distinct pathogens is limited so far. We measured baseline expression profiles of 18 tlr genes and associated signaling factors in four immune-relevant tissues of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Intraperitoneal injection of a lethal dose of Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida induced highly increased levels of cytokine mRNAs during a 72-hour postinfection (hpi) period. In contrast, only the fish-specific tlr22a2 and the downstream factor irak1 featured clearly increased transcript levels, while the mRNA concentrations of many other tlr genes decreased. Flow cytometry quantified cell trafficking after infection indicating a dramatic influx of myeloid cells into the peritoneum and a belated low level immigration of lymphoid cells. T and B lymphocytes were differentiated with RT-qPCR revealing that B lymphocytes emigrated from and T lymphocytes immigrated into head kidney. In conclusion, no specific TLR can be singled out as a dominant receptor for A. salmonicida. The recruitment of cellular factors of innate immunity rather than induced expression of pathogen receptors is hence of key importance for mounting a first immune defense against invading A. salmonicida. Andreas Brietzke, Tomáš Korytář, Joanna Jaros, Bernd Köllner, Tom Goldammer, Hans-Martin Seyfert, and Alexander Rebl Copyright © 2015 Andreas Brietzke et al. All rights reserved. Microbiome and Asthma: What Have Experimental Models Already Taught Us? Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:24:31 +0000 Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that imposes a substantial burden on patients, their families, and the community. Although many aspects of the pathogenesis of classical allergic asthma are well known by the scientific community, other points are not yet understood. Experimental asthma models, particularly murine models, have been used for over 100 years in order to better understand the immunopathology of asthma. It has been shown that human microbiome is an important component in the development of the immune system. Furthermore, the occurrence of many inflammatory diseases is influenced by the presence of microbes. Again, experimental models of asthma have helped researchers to understand the relationship between the microbiome and respiratory inflammation. In this review, we discuss the evolution of murine models of asthma and approach the major studies involving the microbiome and asthma. R. Bonamichi-Santos, M. V. Aun, R. C. Agondi, J. Kalil, and P. Giavina-Bianchi Copyright © 2015 R. Bonamichi-Santos et al. All rights reserved. Safety and Efficacy Endpoints for Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy in Renal Transplant Recipients Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:25:48 +0000 Despite excellent short-term graft survival after renal transplantation, the long-term graft outcome remains compromised. It has become evident that a combination of sustained alloreactivity and calcineurin-inhibitor- (CNI-) related nephrotoxicity results in fibrosis and consequently dysfunction of the graft. New immunosuppressive regimens that can minimize or eliminate side effects, while maintaining efficacy, are required to improve long-term graft survival. In this perspective mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are an interesting candidate, since MSCs have immunosuppressive and regenerative properties. The first clinical trials with MSCs in renal transplantation showed safety and feasibility and displayed promising results. Recently, the first phase II studies have been started. One of the most difficult and challenging aspects in those early phase trials is to define accurate endpoints that can measure safety and efficacy of MSC treatment. Since both graft losses and acute rejection rates declined, alternative surrogate markers such as renal function, histological findings, and immunological markers are used to measure efficacy and to provide mechanistic insight. In this review, we will discuss the current status of MSCs in renal transplantation with a focus on the endpoints used in the different experimental and clinical studies. J. R. Bank, T. J. Rabelink, J. W. de Fijter, and M. E. J. Reinders Copyright © 2015 J. R. Bank et al. All rights reserved. Sepsis: From Pathophysiology to Individualized Patient Care Wed, 15 Jul 2015 10:35:50 +0000 Sepsis has become a major health economic issue, with more patients dying in hospitals due to sepsis related complications compared to breast and colorectal cancer together. Despite extensive research in order to improve outcome in sepsis over the last few decades, results of large multicenter studies were by-and-large very disappointing. This fiasco can be explained by several factors, but one of the most important reasons is the uncertain definition of sepsis resulting in very heterogeneous patient populations, and the lack of understanding of pathophysiology, which is mainly based on the imbalance in the host-immune response. However, this heroic research work has not been in vain. Putting the results of positive and negative studies into context, we can now approach sepsis in a different concept, which may lead us to new perspectives in diagnostics and treatment. While decision making based on conventional sepsis definitions can inevitably lead to false judgment due to the heterogeneity of patients, new concepts based on currently gained knowledge in immunology may help to tailor assessment and treatment of these patients to their actual needs. Summarizing where we stand at present and what the future may hold are the purpose of this review. Ildikó László, Domonkos Trásy, Zsolt Molnár, and János Fazakas Copyright © 2015 Ildikó László et al. All rights reserved. Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy in Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury Wed, 15 Jul 2015 08:07:43 +0000 Ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) represents a worldwide public health issue of increasing incidence. IRI may virtually affect all organs and tissues and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Particularly, the duration of blood supply deprivation has been recognized as a critical factor in stroke, hemorrhagic shock, or myocardial infarction, as well as in solid organ transplantation (SOT). Pathophysiologically, IRI causes multiple cellular and tissular metabolic and architectural changes. Furthermore, the reperfusion of ischemic tissues induces both local and systemic inflammation. In the particular field of SOT, IRI is an unavoidable event, which conditions both short- and long-term outcomes of graft function and survival. Clinically, the treatment of patients with IRI mostly relies on supportive maneuvers since no specific target-oriented therapy has been validated thus far. In the present review, we summarize the current literature on mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) and their potential use as cell therapy in IRI. MSC have demonstrated immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and tissue repair properties in rodent studies and in preliminary clinical trials, which may open novel avenues in the management of IRI and SOT. Pascal Rowart, Pauline Erpicum, Olivier Detry, Laurent Weekers, Céline Grégoire, Chantal Lechanteur, Alexandra Briquet, Yves Beguin, Jean-Marie Krzesinski, and François Jouret Copyright © 2015 Pascal Rowart et al. All rights reserved. Infusion of Sulfosuccinimidyl-4-[N-maleimidomethyl]cyclohexane-1-carboxylate-Conjugated MOG35–55-Coupled Spleen Cells Effectively Prevents and Reverses Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in Mice Tue, 14 Jul 2015 07:14:52 +0000 In this study, we have evaluated our recently developed method for antigen-cell coupling using sulfosuccinimidyl-4-[N-maleimidomethyl]cyclohexane-1-carboxylate (sulfo-SMCC) heterobifunctional crosslinker in prevention and reversal of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We demonstrate that infusion of MOG35–55-coupled spleen cells (MOG-SP) significantly prevents and reverses EAE. Further studies show that the protected animals exhibit significantly delayed EAE upon EAE reinduction. Moreover, adoptive transfer of CD4+ T cells from the protected mice to naïve syngeneic mice renders the recipient mice resistant to EAE induction. Unexpectedly, CD4+ T cell proliferation is similar upon ex vivo stimulation by MOG35–55 amongst all groups. However, further analysis of those proliferating CD4+ T cells shows remarkable differences in Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (70% in MOG-SP groups versus 10–25% in control groups) and in IL-17+ cells (2-3% in MOG-SP groups versus 6–9% in control groups). In addition, we discover that MOG-SP treatment also significantly attenuates MOG35–55-responding IFN-γ-producing Th1 cells. These findings suggest that MOG-SP treatment induces EAE protective MOG35–55-specific regulatory T cells and suppresses EAE pathogenic Th17 and Th1 cells. Our study provides a novel approach for antigen-based EAE immunotherapy, which can potentially be translated into clinical application for immunotherapy of multiple sclerosis. Lanfang Zhang, Yixian Guo, and Chang-Qing Xia Copyright © 2015 Lanfang Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Innate Immune Defenses in Human Tuberculosis: An Overview of the Interactions between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Innate Immune Cells Tue, 14 Jul 2015 06:10:40 +0000 Tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious global public health problem that results in up to 2 million deaths each year. TB is caused by the human pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), which infects primarily innate immune cells patrolling the lung. Innate immune cells serve as barometers of the immune response against Mtb infection by determining the inflammatory milieu in the lungs and promoting the generation of adaptive immune responses. However, innate immune cells are also potential niches for bacterial replication and are readily manipulated by Mtb. Our understanding of the early interactions between Mtb and innate immune cells is limited, especially in the context of human infection. This review will focus on Mtb interactions with human macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils, and NK cells and detail evidence that Mtb modulation of these cells negatively impacts Mtb-specific immune responses. Furthermore, this review will emphasize important innate immune pathways uncovered through human immunogenetic studies. Insights into the human innate immune response to Mtb infection are necessary for providing a rational basis for the augmentation of immune responses against Mtb infection, especially with respect to the generation of effective anti-TB immunotherapeutics and vaccines. Jonathan Kevin Sia, Maria Georgieva, and Jyothi Rengarajan Copyright © 2015 Jonathan Kevin Sia et al. All rights reserved. Intradermal DNA Electroporation Induces Cellular and Humoral Immune Response and Confers Protection against HER2/neu Tumor Mon, 13 Jul 2015 12:27:11 +0000 Skin represents an attractive target for DNA vaccine delivery because of its natural richness in APCs, whose targeting may potentiate the effect of vaccination. Nevertheless, intramuscular electroporation is the most common delivery method for ECTM vaccination. In this study we assessed whether intradermal administration could deliver the vaccine into different cell types and we analyzed the evolution of tissue infiltrate elicited by the vaccination protocol. Intradermal electroporation (EP) vaccination resulted in transfection of different skin layers, as well as mononuclear cells. Additionally, we observed a marked recruitment of reactive infiltrates mainly 6–24 hours after treatment and inflammatory cells included CD11c+. Moreover, we tested the efficacy of intradermal vaccination against Her2/neu antigen in cellular and humoral response induction and consequent protection from a Her2/neu tumor challenge in Her2/neu nontolerant and tolerant mice. A significant delay in transplantable tumor onset was observed in both BALB/c (,0003) and BALB-neuT mice (,003). Moreover, BALB-neuT mice displayed slow tumor growth as compared to control group (,0016). In addition, while in vivo cytotoxic response was observed only in BALB/c mice, a significant antibody response was achieved in both mouse models. Our results identify intradermal EP vaccination as a promising method for delivering Her2/neu DNA vaccine. Alessia Lamolinara, Lorenzo Stramucci, Albana Hysi, Manuela Iezzi, Cristina Marchini, Marianna Mariotti, Augusto Amici, and Claudia Curcio Copyright © 2015 Alessia Lamolinara et al. All rights reserved. The Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Derived Osteocyte Capacity to Modulate Dendritic Cell Functions Is Strictly Dependent on the Culture System Sun, 12 Jul 2015 11:21:49 +0000 In vitro differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) into osteocytes (human differentiated osteogenic cells, hDOC) before implantation has been proposed to optimize bone regeneration. However, a deep characterization of the immunological properties of DOC, including their effect on dendritic cell (DC) function, is not available. DOC can be used either as cellular suspension (detached, Det-DOC) or as adherent cells implanted on scaffolds (adherent, Adh-DOC). By mimicking in vitro these two different routes of administration, we show that both Det-DOC and Adh-DOC can modulate DC functions. Specifically, the weak downregulation of CD80 and CD86 caused by Det-DOC on DC surface results in a weak modulation of DC functions, which indeed retain a high capacity to induce T-cell proliferation and to generate CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells. Moreover, Det-DOC enhance the DC capacity to differentiate CD4+CD161+CD196+ Th17-cells by upregulating IL-6 secretion. Conversely, Adh-DOC strongly suppress DC functions by a profound downregulation of CD80 and CD86 on DC as well as by the inhibition of TGF-β production. In conclusion, we demonstrate that different types of DOC cell preparation may have a different impact on the modulation of the host immune system. This finding may have relevant implications for the design of cell-based tissue-engineering strategies. Sara Trabanelli, Federico La Manna, Marco Romano, Valentina Salvestrini, Michele Cavo, Marilena Ciciarello, Roberto M. Lemoli, and Antonio Curti Copyright © 2015 Sara Trabanelli et al. All rights reserved. The Ability of Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor to Inhibit Apoptosis in Monocytes Is Independent of Its Antiprotease Activity Sun, 12 Jul 2015 10:54:18 +0000 Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor (SLPI) is a serine protease inhibitor produced by epithelial and myeloid cells with anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that SLPI exerts its anti-inflammatory activity by directly binding to NF-κB DNA binding sites and, in so doing, prevents binding and subsequent transcription of proinflammatory gene expression. In the current study, we demonstrate that SLPI can inhibit TNF-α-induced apoptosis in U937 cells and peripheral blood monocytes. Specifically, SLPI inhibits TNF-α-induced caspase-3 activation and DNA degradation associated with apoptosis. We go on to show that this ability of SLPI to inhibit apoptosis is not dependent on its antiprotease activity as antiprotease deficient variants of SLPI can also inhibit TNF-α-induced apoptosis. This reduction in monocyte apoptosis may preserve monocyte function during inflammation resolution and promote infection clearance at mucosal sites. Niamh McGarry, Catherine M. Greene, Noel G. McElvaney, Sinéad Weldon, and Clifford C. Taggart Copyright © 2015 Niamh McGarry et al. All rights reserved. Immune Evasion Strategies of Trypanosoma cruzi Thu, 09 Jul 2015 06:06:55 +0000 Microbes have evolved a diverse range of strategies to subvert the host immune system. The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, provides a good example of such adaptations. This parasite targets a broad spectrum of host tissues including both peripheral and central lymphoid tissues. Rapid colonization of the host gives rise to a systemic acute response which the parasite must overcome. The parasite in fact undermines both innate and adaptive immunity. It interferes with the antigen presenting function of dendritic cells via an action on host sialic acid-binding Ig-like lectin receptors. These receptors also induce suppression of CD4+ T cells responses, and we presented evidence that the sialylation of parasite-derived mucins is required for the inhibitory effects on CD4 T cells. In this review we highlight the major mechanisms used by Trypanosoma cruzi to overcome host immunity and discuss the role of parasite colonization of the central thymic lymphoid tissue in chronic disease. Ana Flávia Nardy, Célio Geraldo Freire-de-Lima, and Alexandre Morrot Copyright © 2015 Ana Flávia Nardy et al. All rights reserved. NKG2D Signaling Leads to NK Cell Mediated Lysis of Childhood AML Wed, 08 Jul 2015 07:15:05 +0000 Natural killer cells have been shown to be relevant in the recognition and lysis of acute myeloid leukemia. In childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, it was shown that HLA I expression and KIR receptor-ligand mismatch significantly impact ALL cytolysis. We characterized 14 different primary childhood AML blasts by flow cytometry including NKG2D ligands. Further HLA I typing of blasts was performed and HLA I on the AML blasts was quantified. In two healthy volunteer NK cell donors HLA I typing and KIR genotyping were done. Blasts with high NKG2D ligand expression had significantly higher lysis by isolated NK cells. Grouping the blasts by NKG2D ligand expression led to a significant inverse correlation of HLA I expression and cytolysis in NKG2D low blasts. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation of NKG2D ligand expression and blast cytolysis was shown. No impact of KIR ligand-ligand mismatch was found but a significantly increased lysis of homozygous C2 blasts by KIR2DL1 negative NK cells (donor B) was revealed. In conclusion, NKG2D signaling leads to NK cell mediated lysis of childhood AML despite high HLA I expression. Patrick Schlegel, Kerstin Ditthard, Peter Lang, Markus Mezger, Sebastian Michaelis, Rupert Handgretinger, and Matthias Pfeiffer Copyright © 2015 Patrick Schlegel et al. All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “The Story of CD4+CD28− T Cells Revisited: Solved or Still Ongoing?” Wed, 08 Jul 2015 06:20:12 +0000 Kathrin Maly and Michael Schirmer Copyright © 2015 Kathrin Maly and Michael Schirmer. All rights reserved. Immunotherapy of Ovarian Cancer: The Role of Checkpoint Inhibitors Tue, 07 Jul 2015 07:17:57 +0000 Ovarian cancer is the most important cause of gynecological cancer-related mortality, with the majority of women presenting with advanced disease. Although surgery and chemotherapy can improve survival rates, it is necessary to integrate alternative strategies to improve the outcomes. Advances in understanding the role of immune system in the pathogenesis of cancer have led to the rapid evolvement of immunotherapy, which might establish a sustained immune system response against recurring cancer cells. Recently, it has emerged that powerful immunologic effector cells may be blocked by inhibitory regulatory pathways controlled by specific molecules often called “immune checkpoints,” which turn off the immune system. Similarly, cancer cells are able to use these checkpoints to avoid immune control and rejection. Inhibition of these inhibitory pathways represents a potent strategy in the fight against cancer and is currently under investigation with encouraging results in some cancers, such as melanoma. In ovarian cancer researches are still in an early phase, but with promising results. In this review we will explore the rationale of immunotherapy in ovarian cancer with a special focus on these emerging molecules. Francesca De Felice, Claudia Marchetti, Innocenza Palaia, Daniela Musio, Ludovico Muzii, Vincenzo Tombolini, and Pierluigi Benedetti Panici Copyright © 2015 Francesca De Felice et al. All rights reserved. Regulation of Dendritic Cell Function in Inflammation Thu, 02 Jul 2015 06:32:23 +0000 Dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen presenting cells and link the innate and adaptive immune system. During steady state immune surveillance in skin, DC act as sentinels against commensals and invading pathogens. Under pathological skin conditions, inflammatory cytokines, secreted by surrounding keratinocytes, dermal fibroblasts, and immune cells, influence the activation and maturation of different DC populations including Langerhans cells (LC) and dermal DC. In this review we address critical differences in human DC subtypes during inflammatory settings compared to steady state. We also highlight the functional characteristics of human DC subsets in inflammatory skin environments and skin diseases including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Understanding the complex immunoregulatory role of distinct DC subsets in inflamed human skin will be a key element in developing novel strategies in anti-inflammatory therapy. André Said and Günther Weindl Copyright © 2015 André Said and Günther Weindl. All rights reserved. Activation-Inactivation Cycling of Rab35 and ARF6 Is Required for Phagocytosis of Zymosan in RAW264 Macrophages Wed, 01 Jul 2015 06:00:39 +0000 Phagocytosis of zymosan by phagocytes is a widely used model of microbial recognition by the innate immune system. Live-cell imaging showed that fluorescent protein-fused Rab35 accumulated in the membranes of phagocytic cups and then dissociated from the membranes of newly formed phagosomes. By our novel pull-down assay for Rab35 activity, we found that Rab35 is deactivated immediately after zymosan internalization into the cells. Phagosome formation was inhibited in cells expressing the GDP- or GTP-locked Rab35 mutant. Moreover, the simultaneous expression of ACAP2—a Rab35 effector protein—with GTP-locked Rab35 or the expression of plasma membrane-targeted ACAP2 showed a marked inhibitory effect on phagocytosis through ARF6 inactivation by the GAP activity of ACAP2. ARF6, a substrate for ACAP2, was also localized on the phagocytic cups and dissociated from the membranes of internalized phagosomes. In support of the microscopic observations, ARF6-GTP pull-down experiments showed that ARF6 is transiently activated during phagosome formation. Furthermore, the expression of GDP- or GTP-locked ARF6 mutants also suppresses the uptake of zymosan. These data suggest that the activation-inactivation cycles of Rab35 and ARF6 are required for the uptake of zymosan and that ACAP2 is an important component that links Rab35/ARF6 signaling during phagocytosis of zymosan. Youhei Egami, Makoto Fujii, Katsuhisa Kawai, Yurie Ishikawa, Mitsunori Fukuda, and Nobukazu Araki Copyright © 2015 Youhei Egami et al. All rights reserved. DC-Based Immunotherapy Combined with Low-Dose Methotrexate Effective in the Treatment of Advanced CIA in Mice Sun, 28 Jun 2015 09:06:10 +0000 We have previously demonstrated that semimature dendritic cell- (smDC-) based immunotherapy is effective for the treatment of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) prior to disease onset. In the present study, we examined the efficacy of combination therapy with smDCs and methotrexate (MTX) in advanced CIA with a score of 2-3. Combination therapy with low-dose MTX and type II collagen- (CII-) pulsed smDCs (CII-smDCs) was more effective in inhibiting disease progression than high or low-dose MTX alone or a combination of high dose MTX and CII-smDCs. The effect of CII-smDCs alone was also comparable to the combination therapy. CD4+Foxp3+ Treg populations and IL-10 secretion markedly increased, and CII-specific autoreactive T cells decreased in mice treated with CII-smDCs alone or in combination with MTX. Combination therapy reduced the secretion of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and IL-17 with little influence on the IL-4 secretion in the mixed leukocyte reaction. These results imply that the combination therapy with low-dose MTX and smDCs is effective in controlling advanced CIA by enhancing Treg population and suppresses antigen-specific Th1/Th17 immunity, rather than initiating Th1 to Th2 immune deviation. Our findings provide a better understanding of the DC therapy in combination with MTX for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Jun-Eui Park, Jinah Jang, Ji-Hye Choi, Mi-sun Kang, Yun-Ju Woo, Young-Rim Seong, Chan-Bum Choi, Hye-Soon Lee, Sang-Cheol Bae, and Yong-Soo Bae Copyright © 2015 Jun-Eui Park et al. All rights reserved. Branched Polyethylenimine-Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (bPEI-SPIONs) Improve the Immunogenicity of Tumor Antigens and Enhance Th1 Polarization of Dendritic Cells Sun, 28 Jun 2015 09:01:58 +0000 Nanoparticles in the field of dendritic cell (DC) research are emerging as a promising method of enhancing the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. We investigated the effect of branched polyethylenimine-superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (bPEI-SPIONs) on tumor cells loaded onto DCs. The tumor antigens were prepared as follows: (1) apoptotic U266 cells with ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation followed by a 2 h incubation in the absence (2 h postirradiated cells) or (2) presence of bPEI-SPIONs (bPEI-SPION 2 h postirradiated cells) and (3) apoptotic U266 cells with UVB irradiation followed by an overnight 16 h incubation (16 h postirradiated cells). bPEI-SPIONs render U266 cells sensitive to UVB irradiation through reactive oxygen species production to accelerate apoptotic death. The 2 h postirradiated cells and bPEI-SPION 2 h postirradiated cells released immunogenic proteins, including Hsp70, Hsp90, and HMGB1. The DCs loaded with bPEI-SPION 2 h postirradiated cells showed the highest IL-12p70 production and Th1 polarization compared with other DCs. These results suggest that bPEI-SPIONs are a promising method of enhancing the immunogenicity of tumor cells and promoting Th1 polarization of DCs loaded with these tumor cells. My-Dung Hoang, Hwa-Jeong Lee, Hyun-Ju Lee, Sung-Hoon Jung, Nu-Ri Choi, Manh-Cuong Vo, Thanh-Nhan Nguyen-Pham, Hyeoung-Joon Kim, In-Kyu Park, and Je-Jung Lee Copyright © 2015 My-Dung Hoang et al. All rights reserved. The Complex Role of STAT3 in Viral Infections Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:58:20 +0000 Signal transducer and activators of transcription-3 (STAT3) regulates diverse biological functions including cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. In addition, STAT3 plays a key role in regulating host immune and inflammatory responses and in the pathogenesis of many cancers. Several studies reported differential regulation of STAT3 in a range of viral infections. Interestingly, STAT3 appears to direct seemingly contradictory responses and both pro- and antiviral roles of STAT3 have been described. This review summarized the currently known functions of STAT3 in the regulation of viral replication and pathogenesis of viral infections. Some of the key unanswered questions and the gap in our current understanding of the role of STAT3 in viral pathogenesis are discussed. Suresh V. Kuchipudi Copyright © 2015 Suresh V. Kuchipudi. All rights reserved. The Pathogenicity of Anti-β2GP1-IgG Autoantibodies Depends on Fc Glycosylation Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:42:49 +0000 To analyze the glycosylation of anti-β2GP1, we investigated purified IgG from healthy children, patients with APS, and asymptomatic adult carriers of antiphospholipid antibodies. We observed that in the sera of healthy children and of patients with APS, IgG3 and IgG2 were predominant, respectively. The potentially protective anti-β2GP1-IgM was lower in the sera of healthy children. Although anti-β2GP1-associated C1q did not differ between children and patients with antiphospholipid syndrome, the associated C3c was significantly higher in the sera of healthy children. This indicates a more efficient clearance of anti-β2GP1 immune complexes in the healthy children. This clearance is not accompanied by inflammation or coagulatory events. It is likely that the most important pathogenic factor of the anti-β2GP1-IgG is related to the different glycosylation observed in healthy and diseased individuals. We detected a significantly higher sialylation of anti-β2GP1-IgG isolated from the sera of healthy children and asymptomatic adults when compared with that of patients with clinically apparent antiphospholipid syndrome. Low sialylated IgG reportedly ameliorates inflammation and inflammation promotes hyposialylation. Thus, both reactions create a vicious circle that precipitates the pathology of the antiphospholipid syndrome including thrombus-formation. We conclude that the increased sialylation of anti-β2GP1-IgG of sera of healthy individuals limits their pathogenicity. Christoph Fickentscher, Iryna Magorivska, Christina Janko, Mona Biermann, Rostyslav Bilyy, Cecilia Nalli, Angela Tincani, Veronica Medeghini, Antonella Meini, Falk Nimmerjahn, Georg Schett, Luis E. Muñoz, Laura Andreoli, and Martin Herrmann Copyright © 2015 Christoph Fickentscher et al. All rights reserved. IFI16 Expression Is Related to Selected Transcription Factors during B-Cell Differentiation Mon, 22 Jun 2015 12:37:00 +0000 The interferon-inducible DNA sensor IFI16 is involved in the modulation of cellular survival, proliferation, and differentiation. In the hematopoietic system, IFI16 is consistently expressed in the CD34+ stem cells and in peripheral blood lymphocytes; however, little is known regarding its regulation during maturation of B- and T-cells. We explored the role of IFI16 in normal B-cell subsets by analysing its expression and relationship with the major transcription factors involved in germinal center (GC) development and plasma-cell (PC) maturation. IFI16 mRNA was differentially expressed in B-cell subsets with significant decrease in IFI16 mRNA in GC and PCs with respect to naïve and memory subsets. IFI16 mRNA expression is inversely correlated with a few master regulators of B-cell differentiation such as BCL6, XBP1, POU2AF1, and BLIMP1. In contrast, IFI16 expression positively correlated with STAT3, REL, SPIB, RELA, RELB, IRF4, STAT5B, and STAT5A. ARACNE algorithm indicated a direct regulation of IFI16 by BCL6, STAT5B, and RELB, whereas the relationship between IFI16 and the other factors is modulated by intermediate factors. In addition, analysis of the CD40 signaling pathway showed that IFI16 gene expression directly correlated with NF-κB activation, indicating that IFI16 could be considered an upstream modulator of NF-κB in human B-cells. Pier Paolo Piccaluga, Claudio Agostinelli, Fabio Fuligni, Simona Righi, Claudio Tripodo, Maria Carla Re, Alberto Clò, Anna Miserocchi, Silvia Morini, Marisa Gariglio, Gian Gaetano Ferri, Alberto Rinaldi-Ceroni, Ottavio Piccin, Marco De Andrea, Stefano A. Pileri, Santo Landolfo, and Davide Gibellini Copyright © 2015 Pier Paolo Piccaluga et al. All rights reserved.