Journal of Immunology Research http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Sex Hormones in Allergic Conjunctivitis: Altered Levels of Circulating Androgens and Estrogens in Children and Adolescents with Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:54:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2015/945317/ Purpose. Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a chronic allergic disease mainly affecting boys in prepubertal age and usually recovering after puberty. To evaluate a possible role of sex hormones in VKC, serum levels of sex hormones in children and adolescents with VKC were assessed. Methods. 12 prepubertal and 7 early pubertal boys with active VKC and 6 male patients with VKC in remission phase at late pubertal age and 48 healthy age and sex-matched subjects were included. Serum concentration of estrone, 17 beta-estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, total testosterone and free testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), cortisol, delta-4-androstenedione, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex-hormones binding globuline (SHBG) were evaluated. Results. Serum levels of Estrone were significantly increased in all groups of patients with VKC when compared to healthy controls (). Prepubertal and early pubertal VKC showed a significant decrease in DHT ( and , resp.) and SHBG ( and , resp.) when compared to controls and serum levels of SHBG were increased in late pubertal VKC in remission phase (). Conclusions and Relevance. VKC patients have different circulating sex hormone levels in different phases of the disease and when compared to nonallergic subjects. These findings suggest a role played by sex hormones in the pathogenesis and/or activity of VKC. Marta Sacchetti, Alessandro Lambiase, Costanzo Moretti, Flavio Mantelli, and Stefano Bonini Copyright © 2015 Marta Sacchetti et al. All rights reserved. Prolonged Helium Postconditioning Protocols during Early Reperfusion Do Not Induce Cardioprotection in the Rat Heart In Vivo: Role of Inflammatory Cytokines Tue, 27 Jan 2015 10:11:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2015/216798/ Postconditioning of myocardial tissue employs short cycles of ischemia or pharmacologic agents during early reperfusion. Effects of helium postconditioning protocols on infarct size and the ischemia/reperfusion-induced immune response were investigated by measurement of protein and mRNA levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Rats were anesthetized with S-ketamine (150 mg/kg) and diazepam (1.5 mg/kg). Regional myocardial ischemia/reperfusion was induced; additional groups inhaled 15, 30, or 60 min of 70% helium during reperfusion. Fifteen minutes of helium reduced infarct size from 43% in control to 21%, whereas 30 and 60 minutes of helium inhalation led to an infarct size of 47% and 39%, respectively. Increased protein levels of cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant (CINC-3) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) were found after 30 or 60 min of helium inhalation, in comparison to control. 30 min of helium increased mRNA levels of CINC-3, IL-1β, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-) in myocardial tissue not directly subjected to ischemia/reperfusion. These results suggest that the effectiveness of the helium postconditioning protocol is very sensitive to duration of noble gas application. Additionally, helium was associated with higher levels of inflammatory cytokines; however, it is not clear whether this is causative of nature or part of an epiphenomenon. Gezina Tanya Mei Ling Oei, Hamid Aslami, Raphaela Priscilla Kerindongo, Renske Johanna Steenstra, Charlotte Jacqueline Peter Beurskens, Anita Maria Tuip-de Boer, Nicole Petra Juffermans, Markus Werner Hollmann, Benedikt Preckel, and Nina Claudia Weber Copyright © 2015 Gezina Tanya Mei Ling Oei et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Comparison of QUANTA Flash dsDNA Chemiluminescent Immunoassay with Four Current Assays for the Detection of Anti-dsDNA Autoantibodies Mon, 05 Jan 2015 14:21:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2015/902821/ Introduction. The objective of the present study was to compare QUANTA Flash dsDNA, a chemiluminescent immunoassay (CIA) on the BIO-FLASH, a rapid-response chemiluminescent analyzer, to three other anti-dsDNA antibody assays and to Crithidia luciliae indirect immunofluorescence test (CLIFT). Methods. In the first part of the study, 161 samples, 61 from patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and 100 from a disease control group, were tested by QUANTA Flash dsDNA CIA, QUANTA Lite dsDNA SC ELISA, BioPlex 2200 multiplex flow immunoassay (MFI), ImmuLisa dsDNA ELISA, and NOVA Lite CLIFT. A second cohort of 69 SLE patients was then tested by QUANTA Flash dsDNA and CLIFT to expand the study. Results. The overall qualitative agreements varied between 77.0% (NOVA Lite CLIFT versus QUANTA Lite) and 89.4% (ImmuLisa versus NOVA Lite CLIFT). The clinical sensitivities for the anti-dsDNA antibody tests varied from 8.2% (NOVA Lite CLIFT) to 54.1% (QUANTA Lite), while the clinical specificities varied from 88.0% (BioPlex 2200) to 100.0% (NOVA Lite CLIFT). Good correlation was found between QUANTA Flash dsDNA and NOVA Lite CLIFT. Conclusion. Significant variations among dsDNA methods were observed. QUANTA Flash dsDNA provides a good combination of sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of SLE and good agreement to CLIFT. Maria Infantino, Francesca Meacci, Chelsea Bentow, Peter Martis, Maurizio Benucci, Antonella Afeltra, Amelia Rigon, Fabiola Atzeni, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini, Mariangela Manfredi, and Michael Mahler Copyright © 2015 Maria Infantino et al. All rights reserved. Transplanted Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells Facilitate Lesion Repair in B6.Fas Mice Tue, 30 Dec 2014 00:10:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/530501/ Background. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem disease that is characterized by the appearance of serum autoantibodies. No effective treatment for SLE currently exists. Methods. We used human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (H-UC-MSC) transplantation to treat B6.Fas mice. Results. After four rounds of cell transplantation, we observed a statistically significant decrease in the levels of mouse anti-nuclear, anti-histone, and anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies in transplanted mice compared with controls. The percentage of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells in mouse peripheral blood significantly increased after H-UC-MSC transplantation. Conclusions. The results showed that H-UC-MSCs could repair lesions in B6.Fas mice such that all of the relevant disease indicators in B6.Fas mice were restored to the levels observed in normal C57BL/6 mice. Guang-ping Ruan, Xiang Yao, Shuang-juan Yang, Jin-xiang Wang, Fan Shu, Zi-an Li, Ju-fen Liu, Rong-qing Pang, and Xing-hua Pan Copyright © 2014 Guang-ping Ruan et al. All rights reserved. Conventional Rapid Latex Agglutination in Estimation of von Willebrand Factor: Method Revisited and Potential Clinical Applications Thu, 25 Dec 2014 09:14:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/850810/ Measurement of von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF : Ag) levels is usually performed in a specialised laboratory which limits its application in routine clinical practice. So far, no commercial rapid test kit is available for VWF : Ag estimation. This paper discusses the technical aspect of latex agglutination method which was established to suit the purpose of estimating von Willebrand factor (VWF) levels in the plasma sample. The latex agglutination test can be performed qualitatively and semiquantitatively. Reproducibility, stability, linearity, limit of detection, interference, and method comparison studies were conducted to evaluate the performance of this test. Semiquantitative latex agglutination test was strongly correlated with the reference immunoturbidimetric assay (Spearman’s rho = 0.946, , ). A substantial agreement () was found between qualitative latex agglutination test and the reference assay. Using the scoring system for the rapid latex test, no agglutination is with 0% VWF : Ag (control negative), 1+ reaction is equivalent to <20% VWF : Ag, and 4+ reaction indicates >150% VWF : Ag (when comparing with immunoturbidimetric assay). The findings from evaluation studies suggest that latex agglutination method is suitable to be used as a rapid test kit for the estimation of VWF : Ag levels in various clinical conditions associated with high levels and low levels of VWF : Ag. Marianor Mahat, Wan Zaidah Abdullah, and Che Maraina Che Hussin Copyright © 2014 Marianor Mahat et al. All rights reserved. Human CD38hiCD138+ Plasma Cells Can Be Generated In Vitro from CD40-Activated Switched-Memory B Lymphocytes Tue, 23 Dec 2014 05:59:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/635108/ B lymphocyte differentiation into long-lived plasma cells is the keystone event for the production of long-term protective antibodies. CD40-CD154 and CD27-CD70 interactions are involved in human B lymphocyte differentiation into CDCD cells in vivo as well as in vitro. In this study, we have compared these interactions in their capacity to drive switched-memory B lymphocytes differentiation into CDCD plasma cells. The targeted B lymphocytes were isolated from human peripheral blood, expanded for 19 days, and then submitted to CD70 or CD154 interactions for 14 days. The expanded B lymphocytes were constitutively expressing CD39, whereas CD31’s expression was noticed only following the in vitro differentiation step (day 5) and was exclusively present on the CD cell population. Furthermore, the generated CDCD cells showed a higher proportion of CD31+ cells than the CDCD cells. Besides, analyses done with human blood and bone marrow plasma cells showed that in vivo and de novo generated CDCD cells have a similar CD31 expression profile but are distinct according to their reduced CD39 expression level. Overall, we have evidences that in vitro generated plasma cells are heterogeneous and appear as CD39+ precursors to the ones present in bone marrow niches. Rayelle Itoua Maïga, Guillaume Bonnaure, Josiane Tremblay Rochette, and Sonia Néron Copyright © 2014 Rayelle Itoua Maïga et al. All rights reserved. Serum Levels of TNF-α, IL-12/23p40, and IL-17 in Plaque Psoriasis and Their Correlation with Disease Severity Mon, 22 Dec 2014 00:10:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/467541/ A case-control study was performed to assess the serum levels of TNF-α, IL-12/23p40, and IL-17 in patients with plaque psoriasis, compare them with healthy controls, and correlate them with disease severity, as represented by Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI). 32 consecutively selected, untreated patients with active, chronic plaque psoriasis were recruited and compared to 32 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Serum cytokine levels were determined by solid phase sandwich enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (R&D Systems Europe, Ltd.). The mean serum levels of TNF-α were significantly higher in psoriatic patients compared to those of controls (Mann-Whitney test; . However, the median serum levels of neither IL-12/23p40 nor IL-17 differ significantly between the 2 groups (Mann-Whitney test; and , resp.). No significant correlations were found between PASI and any of the cytokine serum levels (Spearman’s rank test; . Despite the well-evidenced therapeutic efficacy of biologic agents targeting TNF-α, IL-12/23p40, and IL-17, serum levels of TNF-α, IL-12/23p40, and IL-17 do not seem to correlate with the severity of psoriatic skin disease in untreated patients, as represented by PASI. Further investigation may add more data on the pathogenetic cascade of psoriasis. Aikaterini Kyriakou, Aikaterini Patsatsi, Timoleon-Achilleas Vyzantiadis, and Dimitrios Sotiriadis Copyright © 2014 Aikaterini Kyriakou et al. All rights reserved. Immunological Effects of Environmental Factors: Focus on the Fibrous and Particulated Materials Sun, 21 Dec 2014 08:05:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/697438/ Takemi Otsuki, Andrij Holian, and Mario Di Gioacchino Copyright © 2014 Takemi Otsuki et al. All rights reserved. Polymorphisms of Tumor Necrosis Factor-α, Transforming Growth Factor-β, and Interleukin-10 in Asthma Associated with Olive Pollen Sensitization Sun, 21 Dec 2014 06:46:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/276345/ Sensitization to specific olive pollen-allergens (Ole e 2 and 10) has been correlated with a clinical pattern of asthma. This study analyzes the association between several polymorphims of TNFA (G-308A, C-857T, and C-1031T), IL10 (C-571A and A-1117G), and TGFB (C-509-T) and these sensitizations. These polymorphisms were genotyped by allelic discrimination, in olive pollen-allergic patients (phenotyped for specific Ole e 2 and 10 sensitizations) and healthy controls. Levels of serum-soluble cytokines were correlated with specific genotypes and clinical phenotypes. The results showed that heterozygous TGFB C-509T genotype, besides having the lowest sera TGF- levels, was significantly increased in olive pollen-allergic patients compared with controls. According specific sensitizations, CC genotype of IL10 C-571A could be a protective factor for Ole e 2 sensitization and mainly for asthmatic Ole e 2 sensitized patients compared with asthmatic non-Ole e 2 sensitized patients (OR: 0.26, ). In contrast, heterozygous CA genotype was increased in Ole e 2 asthmatic subjects compared to asthmatic non-Ole e 2 sensitized patients. Lastly, heterozygous TNFA G-308A genotype was associated with Ole e 10 sensitization (OR: 2.5, ). In conclusion, these results suggest a role of TGF-β1 in olive-pollen sensitization and TNF-α and IL-10 genotypes in the asthma induced by specific olive-pollen allergens. Blanca Cárdaba, David Calzada, Selene Baos, Miriam Aguerri, Joaquín Quiralte, and Carlos Lahoz Copyright © 2014 Blanca Cárdaba et al. All rights reserved. Reestablishment of Active Immunity against HBV Graft Reinfection after Liver Transplantation for HBV-Related End Stage Liver Disease Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:10:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/764234/ Background. The aim of this study was to establish a hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination protocol among orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) recipients under the coverage of a low-dose hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) combined with an antiviral agent prophylaxis protocol. Method. Two hundred OLT recipients were included in this study. The vaccine was injected at months 0, 1, 2, and 6. Low-dose HBIG combined with antiviral agent prophylaxis protocol was continued before reestablishment of active immunity against HBV in order to maintain a steady anti-HBs titer. Results. Active immunity against HBV was reestablished in 50 patients, for an overall response rate of 25%. Of the 50 patients, 24 discontinued HBIG without any HBV graft reinfection during a follow-up period of 26.13 ± 7.05 months. 21 patients discontinued both HBIG and antiviral agents during a follow-up period of 39.86 ± 15.47 months, and 4 patients among them appeared to be HBsAg positive. There was no recipient death or graft loss because of HBV reinfection. Conclusions. Vaccination preventing HBV reinfection for OLT recipients is feasible. The strategy withdrawal of HBIG with induction of active immunity against hepatitis B is reasonable for long-term survivors of OLT; however, discontinuation nucleoside analogues should be cautious. Shi-Chun Lu, Tao Jiang, Wei Lai, Yuan Liu, Jing Zhang, Dao-Bing Zeng, Chuan-Yun Li, Meng-Long Wang, Dong-Dong Lin, Yue Zhu, You-Ping Li, and Ning Li Copyright © 2014 Shi-Chun Lu et al. All rights reserved. The Secretion of IL-22 from Mucosal NKp44+ NK Cells Is Associated with Microbial Translocation and Virus Infection in SIV/SHIV-Infected Chinese Macaques Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:06:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/387950/ Microbial translocation (MT) causes systemic immune activation in chronic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The role of a novel subtype of innate lymphoid cells, the NKp44+ NK cells, in HIV/simian immunodeficiency virus- (SIV-) induced MT remains unknown. In this study, 12 simian-human immunodeficiency virus- (SHIV-) infected macaques were chosen and split into two groups based on the MT level. Blood and Peripheral lymphoid tissue were sampled for flow cytometric analysis, viral load detection, and interleukin testing. Then, six naive Chinese macaques were used to determine the dynamics of cytokine secretion from mucosal NKp44+ NK cells in different phases of SIV infection. As a result, the degranulation capacity and IL-22 production of mucosal NKp44+ NK cells were associated with the MT level in the SHIV-infected macaques. And the number of mucosal NKp44+ NK cells and IL-22 secretion by these cells were lower in the chronic phase than in the early acute phase of SIV infection. The number of mucosal NKp44+ NK cells and interleukin-22 (IL-22) secretion by these cells increased before MT occurred. Therefore, we conclude that a decline in IL-22 production from mucosal NKp44+ NK cells induced by virus infection may be one of the causes of microbial translocation in HIV/SIV infection. Wei Wang, Fangxin Wu, Zhe Cong, Kejian Liu, Chuan Qin, and Qiang Wei Copyright © 2014 Wei Wang et al. All rights reserved. Daily Intake of Probiotics with High IFN-γ/IL-10 Ratio Increases the Cytotoxicity of Human Natural Killer Cells: A Personalized Probiotic Approach Thu, 11 Dec 2014 06:05:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/721505/ A personalized probiotic microfluidic chip system has been established and used to screen the probiotics which had the highest value of IFN-γ/IL-10 or IL-10/IFN-γ among six probiotics, including L. paracasei BRAP01, L. acidophilus AD300, B. longum BA100, E. faecium BR0085, L. rhamnosus AD500, and L. reuteri BR101. One hundred volunteers were included and their PBMCs were collected and stimulated by the six probiotics. People who belonged to the IFN-γ group took the probiotics that exerted the highest ratio of IFN-γ/IL-10 and vice versa in IL-10 group. A significant increase in NK cytotoxicity of 69 volunteers in the IFN-γ group was observed compared to the IL-10 group () and control group (). The result also showed that L. paracasei BRAP01 and L. acidophilus AD300 were the two dominant inducers in IFN-γ group which yielded higher value of IFN-γ/IL-10 than the other 4 probiotics, while L. reuteri BR101 was the most effective agent on the ratio of IL-10/IFN-γ in the IL-10 group. Our finding highlighted the concept of personalized probiotics and also provided a good foundation to investigate the probiotics with NK activity. Yu-Hsuan Ho, Yu-Chiu Lu, Hung-Cheng Chang, Shin-Yi Lee, Min-Fen Tsai, Yu-Ting Huang, and Ting-Yuan Hsu Copyright © 2014 Yu-Hsuan Ho et al. All rights reserved. A Micropolymorphism Altering the Residue Triad 97/114/156 Determines the Relative Levels of Tapasin Independence and Distinct Peptide Profiles for HLA-A24 Allotypes Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:31:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/298145/ While many HLA class I molecules interact directly with the peptide loading complex (PLC) for conventional loading of peptides certain class I molecules are able to present peptides in a way that circumvents the PLC components. We investigated micropolymorphisms at position 156 of HLA-A24 allotypes and their effects on PLC dependence for assembly and peptide binding specificities. HLA-A24: and HLA-A24: showed high levels of cell surface expression while HLA-A24: was expressed at low levels in tapasin deficient cells. Peptides presented by these allelic variants showed distinct differences in features and repertoire. Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated all the HLA-A24/156 variants to associate at similar levels with tapasin when present. Structurally, HLA-A24:02 contains the residue triad Met97/His114/Gln156 and a Trp156 or Leu156 polymorphism provides tapasin independence by stabilizing these triad residues, thus generating an energetically stable and a more peptide receptive environment. Micropolymorphisms at position 156 can influence the generic peptide loading pathway for HLA-A24 by altering their tapasin dependence for peptide selection. The trade-off for this tapasin independence could be the presentation of unusual ligands by these alleles, imposing significant risk following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Soumya Badrinath, Heike Kunze-Schumacher, Rainer Blasczyk, Trevor Huyton, and Christina Bade-Doeding Copyright © 2014 Soumya Badrinath et al. All rights reserved. Long-Lasting Production of New T and B Cells and T-Cell Repertoire Diversity in Patients with Primary Immunodeficiency Who Had Undergone Stem Cell Transplantation: A Single-Centre Experience Mon, 01 Dec 2014 10:07:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/240453/ Levels of Kappa-deleting recombination excision circles (KRECs), T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs), and T-cell repertoire diversity were evaluated in 1038 samples of 124 children with primary immunodeficiency, of whom 102 (54 with severe combined immunodeficiency and 48 with other types of immunodeficiency) underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Twenty-two not transplanted patients with primary immunodeficiency were used as controls. Only data of patients from whom at least five samples were sent to the clinical laboratory for routine monitoring of lymphocyte reconstitutions were included in the analysis. The mean time of the follow-up was 8 years. The long-lasting posttransplantation kinetics of KREC and TREC production occurred similarly in patients with severe combined immunodeficiency and with other types of immunodeficiency and, in both groups, the T-cell reconstitution was more efficient than in nontransplanted children. Although thymic output decreased in older transplanted patients, the degree of T-cell repertoire diversity, after an initial increase, remained stable during the observation period. However, the presence of graft-versus-host disease and ablative conditioning seemed to play a role in the time-related shaping of T-cell repertoire. Overall, our data suggest that long-term B- and T-cell reconstitution was equally achieved in children with severe combined immunodeficiency and with other types of primary immunodeficiency. Monica Valotti, Alessandra Sottini, Arnalda Lanfranchi, Federica Bolda, Federico Serana, Diego Bertoli, Viviana Giustini, Marion Vaglio Tessitore, Luigi Caimi, and Luisa Imberti Copyright © 2014 Monica Valotti et al. All rights reserved. Inflammation and ER Stress Downregulate BDH2 Expression and Dysregulate Intracellular Iron in Macrophages Mon, 01 Dec 2014 08:37:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/140728/ Macrophages play a very important role in host defense and in iron homeostasis by engulfing senescent red blood cells and recycling iron. Hepcidin is the master iron regulating hormone that limits dietary iron absorption from the gut and limits iron egress from macrophages. Upon infection macrophages retain iron to limit its bioavailability which limits bacterial growth. Recently, a short chain butyrate dehydrogenase type 2 (BDH2) protein was reported to contain an iron responsive element and to mediate cellular iron trafficking by catalyzing the synthesis of the mammalian siderophore that binds labile iron; therefore, BDH2 plays a crucial role in intracellular iron homeostasis. However, BDH2 expression and regulation in macrophages have not yet been described. Here we show that LPS-induced inflammation combined with ER stress led to massive BDH2 downregulation, increased the expression of ER stress markers, upregulated hepcidin expression, downregulated ferroportin expression, caused iron retention in macrophages, and dysregulated cytokine release from macrophages. We also show that ER stress combined with inflammation synergistically upregulated the expression of the iron carrier protein NGAL and the stress-inducible heme degrading enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) leading to iron liberation. This is the first report to show that inflammation and ER stress downregulate the expression of BDH2 in human THP-1 macrophages. Susu M. Zughaier, Brandon B. Stauffer, and Nael A. McCarty Copyright © 2014 Susu M. Zughaier et al. All rights reserved. Autoantibodies Targeting AT1 Receptor from Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome Upregulate Proinflammatory Cytokines Expression in Endothelial Cells Involving NF-κB Pathway Sun, 30 Nov 2014 11:36:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/342693/ Our study intended to prove whether agonistic autoantibodies to angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1-AAs) exist in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and affect the human endothelial cell (HEC) by upregulating proinflammatory cytokines expression involved in NF-κB pathway. Antibodies were determined by chronotropic responses of cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes coupled with receptor-specific antagonists (valsartan and AT1-EC2) as described previously. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) expression were improved at both mRNA and protein levels in HEC, while NF-κB in the DNA level was improved detected by electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA). These improvements could be inhibited by specific AT1 receptor blocker valsartan, NF-κB blocker pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), and specific short peptides from the second extracellular loop of AT1 receptor. These results suggested that AT1-AAs, via the AT1 receptor, induce expression of proinflammatory cytokines involved in the activation of NF-κB. AT1-AAs may play a great role in the pathogenesis of the acute coronary syndrome by mediating vascular inflammatory effects involved in the NF-κB pathway. Weijuan Li, Zhi Li, Yaoqi Chen, Songhai Li, Yuanyuan Lv, Wenping Zhou, Mengyang Liao, Feng Zhu, Zihua Zhou, Xiang Cheng, Qiutang Zeng, Yuhua Liao, and Yumiao Wei Copyright © 2014 Weijuan Li et al. All rights reserved. Inhibition of Neutrophil Collagenase/MMP-8 and Gelatinase B/MMP-9 and Protection against Endotoxin Shock Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:05:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/747426/ Endotoxin shock is a life-threatening disorder, associated with the rapid release of neutrophil enzymes, including neutrophil collagenase/matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) and gelatinase B/matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). After activation, these enzymes cleave extracellular matrix components and cytokines and thus may contribute to shock syndrome development. MMP inhibitors have been suggested as immunotherapy of endotoxin shock. However, little is known about the therapeutic time window of MMP inhibition. Here, a sublethal endotoxin shock mouse model was used to evaluate the effect of an MMP inhibiting peptide (P2) after intravenous or intraperitoneal injection and to study the time window between LPS and inhibitor injections. With the use of a specific ELISA the plasma P2 concentrations were monitored. Whereas we corroborated the treatment strategy of MMP targeting in endotoxin shock with a new inhibitor, we also demonstrated that the time window, within which effective MMP inhibition increased the survival rates, is rather limited. Zheng Qiu, Jianghai Chen, Hanmei Xu, Philippe E. Van den Steen, Ghislain Opdenakker, Min Wang, and Jialiang Hu Copyright © 2014 Zheng Qiu et al. All rights reserved. Association of TNF-α with Impaired Migration Capacity of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:17:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/169082/ Previous studies indicated that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) exhibited impaired capacities of proliferation, differentiation, and immune modulation. Considering that migration capacity is important for the exertion of BMSCs functions, the defects in migration might contribute to BMSCs dysfunction in SLE patients. In this study, we showed that the migration capacity of SLE BMSCs was remarkably impaired in comparison with those of healthy controls. Increased tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in SLE serum significantly inhibited the migration capacity and in vivo homing capacity of SLE BMSCs via a specific TNF receptor I (TNFRI) manner, in which decreased HGF mRNA production caused by the activation of I kappa B kinase beta (IKK-β) pathway is partially involved. To our knowledge, this is the first report to discuss the possible mechanisms for impaired migration of BMSCs in SLE patients. Our results suggest that inhibition of TNF-α pathway might be helpful for accelerating BMSCs migration to the inflammatory microenvironment in SLE patients, thereby having a potential role in SLE treatment. Linyu Geng, Xia Li, Xuebing Feng, Jiyun Zhang, Dandan Wang, Jinyun Chen, Rui Liu, Haifeng Chen, and Lingyun Sun Copyright © 2014 Linyu Geng et al. All rights reserved. TNFα Promotes Th17 Cell Differentiation through IL-6 and IL-1β Produced by Monocytes in Rheumatoid Arthritis Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/385352/ TNFα plays an important role in autoimmune pathogenesis and is the main therapeutic target of rheumatoid arthritis. However, its underlying mechanism is not completely understood. In this study, we described that Th17 cells were accumulated in synovial fluid, which was attributable to TNFα aberrantly produced in rheumatoid synovium. Interestingly, TNFα cannot induce IL-17 production of CD4+ T cells directly, but through the monocytes high levels of IL-1β and IL-6 in a TNFRI and TNFRII dependent manner from the active RA patients are produced. TNFα was shown to enhance the phosphorylation level of STAT3 and the expression level of transcription factor RORC of CD4+ T cells when cultured with CD14+ monocytes. Treatment with an approved TNFα blocking antibody showed marked reduction in the levels of IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-17 and the expression level of STAT3 phosphorylation in relation to Th17 cell differentiation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study provides new evidence supporting the critical role of TNFα in the pathogenic Th17 cell differentiation in rheumatoid arthritis. Yingxia Zheng, Lei Sun, Ting Jiang, Dongqing Zhang, Dongyi He, and Hong Nie Copyright © 2014 Yingxia Zheng et al. All rights reserved. A Circulating Subpopulation of Monocytic Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells as an Independent Prognostic/Predictive Factor in Untreated Non-Small Lung Cancer Patients Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/659294/ Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) represent a heterogeneous population of cells with immunosuppressive properties and might confer to worse prognosis in cancer patients. The presence of phenotypically newly described subpopulations of MDSCs and their association with the clinical outcome were investigated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. The percentages and correlation between MDSCs and distinct immune cells in the peripheral blood of 110 chemotherapy-naive patients before treatment and healthy controls were investigated using flow cytometry. Two monocytic [CD14+CD15−CD11b+CD33+HLA-DR−Lin− and CD14+CD15+CD11b+CD33+HLA-DR−Lin−] and a granulocytic [CD14−CD15+CD11b+CD33+HLA-DR−Lin−] subpopulations of MDSCs were identified, expressing inducible nitric oxide synthase, and reactive oxygen species, respectively. Increased percentages of both monocytic-MDSCs’ subpopulations were inversely correlated to dendritic/monocyte levels , while granulocytic-MDSCs were inversely correlated to CD4+ T cells . Increased percentages of monocytic-MDSCs were associated with worse response to treatment and patients with normal levels of CD14+CD15+CD11b+CD33+HLA-DR−Lin− had longer overall survival and progression free-survival compared to those with high levels and , resp.). Multivariate analysis revealed that the increased percentages of CD14+CD15+CD11b+CD33+HLA-DR−Lin− MDSCs were independently associated with decreased progression free-survival and overall survival. The data provide evidence that increased percentages of new monocytic-MDSCs’ subpopulations in advanced NSCLC patients are associated with an unfavourable clinical outcome. Eleni-Kyriaki Vetsika, Filippos Koinis, Marianthi Gioulbasani, Despoina Aggouraki, Anna Koutoulaki, Eirini Skalidaki, Dimitris Mavroudis, Vassilis Georgoulias, and Athanasios Kotsakis Copyright © 2014 Eleni-Kyriaki Vetsika et al. All rights reserved. Expression of TNF-α, April and BCMA in Behcet’s Disease Wed, 05 Nov 2014 06:53:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/380405/ Background. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is an important proinflammatory cytokine which plays an important role in the immunopathogenesis of Behcet’s disease (BD). B cell activating factor (BAFF) and its homolog A proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL) are members of the tumor necrosis factor family. BAFF binds to 3 receptors, B cell activating factor receptor (BAFF-R), transmembrane activator and calcium modulator ligand interactor (TACI), and B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) that are expressed by B cells. Objective. Estimation of the serum levels of TNF-α, APRIL, BAFF, and BCMA in patients with BD in an effort to evaluate their degree of involvement in the pathogenesis and development of BD. Patients and Methods. This study included 30 male patients fulfilling the international study group criteria for the diagnosis of BD. Twenty age-matched healthy male volunteers served as control. Serum samples were used for quantification of TNF-α, APRIL, BCMA, BAFF, and hsCRP using ELISA techniques. Results. The mean serum levels of TNF-α, APRIL, BCMA, and BAFF were more elevated in cases than in controls in a statistically significant manner . Positive correlation was observed between hs-CRP and BDCAF (Behcet’s disease current activity forum) index (r 0.68, . None of the TNF family members tested was affected by a positive pathergy test. Conclusions. Patients have significantly higher levels of TNF family members’ (TNF-α, BAFF, APRIL, and BCMA) compared to controls which might contribute to the pathogenesis of BD. Olfat G. Shaker, Shereen O. Tawfic, Amira M. El-Tawdy, Mohamed H. M. El-Komy, Manal El Menyawi, and Ahmed A. Heikal Copyright © 2014 Olfat G. Shaker et al. All rights reserved. CD8+ TIL Recruitment May Revert the Association of MAGE A3 with Aggressive Features in Thyroid Tumors Tue, 04 Nov 2014 06:52:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/921864/ Background. We aimed to investigate a possible role of MAGE A3 and its associations with infiltrated immune cells in thyroid malignancy, analyzing their utility as a diagnostic and prognostic marker. Materials and Methods. We studied 195 malignant tissues: 154 PTCs and 41 FTCs; 102 benign tissues: 51 follicular adenomas and 51 goiter and 17 normal thyroid tissues. MAGE A3 and immune cell markers (CD4 and CD8) were evaluated using immunohistochemistry and compared with clinical pathological features. Results. The semiquantitative analysis and ACIS III analysis showed similar results. MAGE A3 was expressed in more malignant than in benign lesions (), also helping to discriminate follicular-patterned lesions. It was also higher in tumors in which there was extrathyroidal invasion () and in patients with stage II disease (). MAGE A3+ tumors were more likely to present CD8+ TIL (), and these tumors were associated with less aggressive features, that is, extrathyroidal invasion and small size. There was a trend of MAGE A3+ CD8+ tumors to evolve free of disease. Conclusion. We demonstrated that MAGE A3 and CD8+ TIL infiltration may play an important role in malignant thyroid nodules, presenting an interesting perspective for new researches on DTC immunotherapy. Mariana Bonjiorno Martins, Marjory Alana Marcello, Fernando de Assis Batista, Lucas Leite Cunha, Elaine Cristina Morari, Fernando Augusto Soares, José Vassallo, and Laura Sterian Ward Copyright © 2014 Mariana Bonjiorno Martins et al. All rights reserved. GK-1 Improves the Immune Response Induced by Bone Marrow Dendritic Cells Loaded with MAGE-AX in Mice with Melanoma Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/158980/ The aim of dendritic cell (DC) vaccination in cancer is to induce tumor-specific effector T cells that may reduce and control tumor mass. Immunostimulants that could drive a desired immune response are necessary to be found in order to generate a long lasting tumor immune response. GK-1 peptide, derived from Taenia crassiceps, induces not only increase in TNFα, IFNγ, and MCP-1 production in cocultures of DCs and T lymphocytes but also immunological protection against influenza virus. Moreover, the aim of this investigation is the use of GK-1 as a bone marrow DCs (BMDCs) immunostimulant targeted with MAGE antigen; thus, BMDC may be used as immunotherapy against murine melanoma. GK-1 induced in BMDCs a meaningful increment of CD86 and IL-12. In addition, the use of BMDCs TNFα/GK-1/MAGE-AX induced the highest survival and the smallest tumors in mice. Besides, the treatment helped to increase CD8 lymphocytes levels and to produce IFNγ in lymph nodes. Moreover, the histopathological analysis showed that BMDCs treated with GK-1/TNFα and loaded with MAGE-AX induced the apparition of more apoptotic and necrotic areas in tumors than in mice without treatment. These results highlight the properties of GK-1 as an immunostimulant of DCs and suggest as a potential candidate the use of this immunotherapy against cancer disease. Gabriela Piñón-Zárate, Miguel Ángel Herrera-Enríquez, Beatriz Hernández-Téllez, Katia Jarquín-Yáñez, and Andrés Eliú Castell-Rodríguez Copyright © 2014 Gabriela Piñón-Zárate et al. All rights reserved. Proatherogenic Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein/2-Glycoprotein I Complexes in Arterial and Venous Disease Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/234316/ OxLDL/2GPI complexes have been implicated in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis and associated with disease severity and adverse outcomes. We investigate the significance of anti-oxLDL/2GPI antibodies and oxLDL/2GPI complexes in patients with arterial and idiopathic venous disease. A cohort of 61 arterial disease patients, 32 idiopathic venous disease patients, and 53 healthy controls was studied. Because statins influence oxLDL/2GPI, these complexes were analyzed on subjects not taking statins. Arterial and venous groups expressed higher levels of IgG anti-oxLDL/2GPI antibodies than controls without any other significant clinical association. OxLDL/2GPI complexes were significantly elevated in arterial (0.69 U/mL, ) and venous disease (0.54 U/mL, ) than controls (0.39 U/mL). Among arterial diseases, oxLDL/β2GPI was 0.85 U/mL for carotid artery disease, 0.72 U/mL for peripheral artery disease, and 0.52 U/mL for abdominal aortic aneurysm. There was a significant association with male gender, age, hypertension, and history of thrombosis. Subjects with oxLDL/β2GPI above the median (0.25 U/mL) were more likely to have arterial (OR 4.5, ) or venous disease (OR 4.1, ). Multivariate regression indicated that males (), high cholesterol (), and carotid disease () were significant predictors of oxLDL/β2GPI. The coexistence of oxLDL/2GPI in arterial and venous disease may suggest a common oxidative mechanism that independently predicts carotid artery disease. Jeffrey S. Berger, Caron B. Rockman, Kirk E. Guyer, and Luis R. Lopez Copyright © 2014 Jeffrey S. Berger et al. All rights reserved. Tolerogenic Splenic IDO+ Dendritic Cells from the Mice Treated with Induced-Treg Cells Suppress Collagen-Induced Arthritis Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:45:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/831054/ TGF-β-induced regulatory T cells (iTregs) retain Foxp3 expression and immune-suppressive activity in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). However, the mechanisms whereby transferred iTregs suppress immune responses, particularly the interplay between iTregs and dendritic cells (DCs) in vivo, remain incompletely understood. In this study, we found that after treatment with iTregs, splenic CD11c+DCs, termed “DCiTreg,” expressed tolerogenic phenotypes, secreted high levels of IL-10, TGF-β, and IDO, and showed potent immunosuppressive activity in vitro. After reinfusion with DCiTreg, marked antiarthritic activity improved clinical scores and histological end-points were observed. The serological levels of inflammatory cytokines and anti-CII antibodies were low and TGF-β production was high in the DCiTreg-treated group. DCiTreg also induced new iTregs in vivo. Moreover, the inhibitory activity of DCiTreg on CIA was lost following pretreatment with the inhibitor of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO). Collectively, these findings suggest that transferred iTregs could induce tolerogenic characteristics in splenic DCs and these cells could effectively dampen CIA in an IDO-dependent manner. Thus, the potential therapeutic effects of iTregs in CIA are likely maintained through the generation of tolerogenic DCs in vivo. Jie Yang, Yiming Yang, Huahua Fan, and Hejian Zou Copyright © 2014 Jie Yang et al. All rights reserved. HLA-E: A Novel Player for Histocompatibility Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:42:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/352160/ The classical class I human leukocyte antigens (HLA-A, -B, and -C) present allele-specific self- or pathogenic peptides originated by intracellular processing to CD8+ immune effector cells. Even a single mismatch in the heavy chain (hc) of an HLA class I molecule can impact on the peptide binding profile. Since HLA class I molecules are highly polymorphic and most of their polymorphisms affect the peptide binding region (PBR), it becomes obvious that systematic HLA matching is crucial in determining the outcome of transplantation. The opposite holds true for the nonclassical HLA class I molecule HLA-E. HLA-E polymorphism is restricted to two functional versions and is thought to present a limited set of highly conserved peptides derived from class I leader sequences. However, HLA-E appears to be a ligand for the innate and adaptive immune system, where the immunological response to peptide-HLA-E complexes is dictated through the sequence of the bound peptide. Structural investigations clearly demonstrate how subtle amino acid differences impact the strength and response of the cognate CD94/NKG2 or T cell receptor. Thomas Kraemer, Rainer Blasczyk, and Christina Bade-Doeding Copyright © 2014 Thomas Kraemer et al. All rights reserved. Immune Dysfunction in Rett Syndrome Patients Revealed by High Levels of Serum Anti-N(Glc) IgM Antibody Fraction Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:54:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/260973/ Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting exclusively (99%) female infants, is associated with loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) and, more rarely, cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) and forkhead box protein G1 (FOXG1). In this study, we aimed to evaluate the function of the immune system by measuring serum immunoglobulins (IgG and IgM) in RTT patients () and, by comparison, in age-matched children affected by non-RTT pervasive developmental disorders (non-RTT PDD) () and healthy age-matched controls (). To determine immunoglobulins we used both a conventional agglutination assay and a novel ELISA based on antibody recognition by a surrogate antigen probe, CSF114(Glc), a synthetic N-glucosylated peptide. Both assays provided evidence for an increase in IgM titer, but not in IgG, in RTT patients relative to both healthy controls and non-RTT PDD patients. The significant difference in IgM titers between RTT patients and healthy subjects in the CSF114(Glc) assay () suggests that this procedure specifically detects a fraction of IgM antibodies likely to be relevant for the RTT disease. These findings offer a new insight into the mechanism underlying the Rett disease as they unveil the possible involvement of the immune system in this pathology. Anna Maria Papini, Francesca Nuti, Feliciana Real-Fernandez, Giada Rossi, Caterina Tiberi, Giuseppina Sabatino, Shashank Pandey, Silvia Leoncini, Cinzia Signorini, Alessandra Pecorelli, Roberto Guerranti, Solange Lavielle, Lucia Ciccoli, Paolo Rovero, Claudio De Felice, and Joussef Hayek Copyright © 2014 Anna Maria Papini et al. All rights reserved. Alpha/Beta T-Cell Depleted Grafts as an Immunological Booster to Treat Graft Failure after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation with HLA-Matched Related and Unrelated Donors Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:06:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/578741/ Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is associated with several complications and risk factors, for example, graft versus host disease (GVHD), viral infections, relapse, and graft rejection. While high levels of CD3+ cells in grafts can contribute to GVHD, they also promote the graft versus leukemia (GVL) effect. Infusions of extra lymphocytes from the original stem cell donor can be used as a treatment after transplantation for relapse or poor immune reconstitution but also they increase the risk for GVHD. In peripheral blood, 95% of T-cells express the T-cell receptor and the remaining T-cells express the T-cell receptor. As T-cells are the primary mediators of GVHD, depleting them from the graft should reduce this risk. In this pilot study, five patients transplanted with HLA-matched related and unrelated donors were treated with T-cell depleted stem cell boosts. The majority of T-cells in the grafts expressed and/or . Most patients receiving -depleted stem cell boosts increased their levels of white blood cells, platelets, and/or granulocytes 30 days after infusion. No signs of GVHD or other side effects were detected. A larger pool of patients with longer follow-up time is needed to confirm the data in this study. E. Rådestad, H. Wikell, M. Engström, E. Watz, B. Sundberg, S. Thunberg, M. Uzunel, J. Mattsson, and M. Uhlin Copyright © 2014 E. Rådestad et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Relevance of HLA Antibody Monitoring after Kidney Transplantation Mon, 13 Oct 2014 10:45:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/845040/ In kidney transplantation, antibody-mediated allograft injury caused by donor HLA-specific antibodies (DSA) has recently been identified as one of the major causes of late graft loss. This paper gives a brief overview on the impact of DSA development on graft outcome in organ transplantation with a focus on risk factors for de novo alloantibody induction and recently published guidelines for monitoring of DSA during the posttransplant phase. Christian Morath, Gerhard Opelz, Martin Zeier, and Caner Süsal Copyright © 2014 Christian Morath et al. All rights reserved. Immunomodulation by Trypanosoma cruzi: Toward Understanding the Association of Dendritic Cells with Infecting TcI and TcII Populations Mon, 13 Oct 2014 07:31:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/962047/ Dendritic cells (DCs) are major immune components, and depending on how these cells are modulated, the protective host immune response changes drastically. Trypanosoma cruzi is a parasite with high genetic variability and modulates DCs by interfering with their capacity for antigen recognition, migration, and maturation. Despite recent efforts, the association between DCs and T. cruzi I (TcI) and TcII populations is unknown. Herein, it was demonstrated that AQ1.7 and MUTUM TcI strains present low rates of invasion of bone marrow-derived DCs, whereas the 1849 and 2369 TcII strains present higher rates. Whereas the four strains similarly induced the expression of PD-L1, the production and expression of IL-10 and TLR-2, respectively, in DCs were differentially increased. The production of TNF-α, IL-12, IL-6, and CCL2 and the expression of CD40, CD80, MHC-II, CCR5, and CCR7 changed depending on the strain. The 2369 strain yielded the most remarkable results because greater invasion correlated with an increase in the levels of anti-inflammatory molecules IL-10 and PD-L1 but not with a change in the levels of TNF-α, MHC-II, or CD40 molecules. These results suggest that T. cruzi strains belonging to different populations have evolved specific evasion strategies that subvert DCs and consequently the host response. Thiago Alvares da Costa, Marcos Vinicius Silva, Maria Tays Mendes, Tamires Marielem Carvalho-Costa, Lara Rocha Batista, Eliane Lages-Silva, Virmondes Rodrigues, Carlo Jose Oliveira, and Luis Eduardo Ramirez Copyright © 2014 Thiago Alvares da Costa et al. All rights reserved.