BioMed Research International: Immunology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Osteopontin Promotes Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinase 13 through NF-κB Signaling in Osteoarthritis Tue, 30 Aug 2016 12:38:31 +0000 Osteopontin (OPN) is associated with the severity and progression of osteoarthritis (OA); however, the mechanism of OPN in the pathogenesis of OA is unknown. In this study, we found that OA patients had higher abundance of OPN and matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP13). In chondrocytes, we showed that OPN promoted the production of MMP13 and activation of NF-B pathway by increasing the abundance of p65 and phosphorylated p65 and translocation of p65 protein from cytoplasm to nucleus. Notably, inhibition of NF-B pathway by inhibitor suppressed the production of MMP13 induced by OPN treatment. In conclusion, OPN induces production of MMP13 through activation of NF-B pathway. Yusheng Li, Wei Jiang, Hua Wang, Zhenhan Deng, Chao Zeng, Min Tu, Liangjun Li, Wenfeng Xiao, Shuguang Gao, Wei Luo, and Guanghua Lei Copyright © 2016 Yusheng Li et al. All rights reserved. Coronary Artery Calcification Is Related to Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Long-Term Follow-Up Study Sun, 28 Aug 2016 14:15:20 +0000 Objective. A long-term follow-up of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to evaluate factors related to coronary artery calcification (CAC). Methods. All 22 eligible patients (4 males/18 females, mean age 65 years, and RA-duration 30–36 years) from the original (baseline; ) study of atherosclerosis were included. Inflammation, cardiovascular risk factors, and biomarkers were measured at baseline. At follow-up 13 years later, CAC was assessed by computed tomography (CT) and the grade of inflammation was measured. Multivariate analysis of differences between patients with low (0–10) and high CAC (>10) was done by orthogonal projection to latent structures (OPLS). Results. Ten patients had CAC 0–10 and 12 had >10 (range 18–1700). Patients with high CAC had significantly higher ESR (24.3 versus 9.9 mm/h) and swollen joint count (2 versus 0). The OPLS models discriminated between patients having high or low CAC. With only baseline variables, the sensitivity was 73% and the specificity 82%. The model that also included inflammatory variables from follow-up had a sensitivity of 89% and a specificity of 85%. Exclusion of baseline intima media thickness and plaque from the latter model modestly reduced the accuracy (sensitivity 80% and specificity 83%). Conclusions. CAC is related to inflammation in patients with RA. Bengt Wahlin, Thomas Meedt, Fredrik Jonsson, Michael Y. Henein, and Solveig Wållberg-Jonsson Copyright © 2016 Bengt Wahlin et al. All rights reserved. Low Dosage of Chitosan Supplementation Improves Intestinal Permeability and Impairs Barrier Function in Mice Wed, 17 Aug 2016 12:06:13 +0000 The purpose of this study was to explore relationships between low dose dietary supplementation with chitosan (COS) and body weight, feed intake, intestinal barrier function, and permeability in mice. Twenty mice were randomly assigned to receive an unadulterated control diet (control group) or a dietary supplementation with 30 mg/kg dose of chitosan (COS group) for two weeks. Whilst no significant differences were found between the conditions for body weight or food and water intake, mice in the COS group had an increased serum D-lactate content () and a decreased jejunal diamine oxidase (DAO) activity (). Furthermore, mice in COS group displayed a reduced expression of occludin and ZO-1 () and a reduced expression of occludin in the ileum (). The conclusion drawn from these findings showed that although 30 mg/kg COS-supplemented diet had no effect on body weight or feed intake in mice, this dosage may compromise intestinal barrier function and permeability. This research will contribute to the guidance on COS supplements. Guiping Guan, Hongbing Wang, Hanhui Peng, and Guanya Li Copyright © 2016 Guiping Guan et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Dietetically Absorbed Rapeseed (Brassica campestris L.) Bee Pollen MicroRNAs in Serum of Mice Mon, 15 Aug 2016 06:28:18 +0000 MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNA that, through mediating posttranscriptional gene regulation, play a critical role in nearly all biological processes. Over the last decade it has become apparent that plant miRNAs may serve as a novel functional component of food with therapeutic effects including anti-influenza and antitumor. Rapeseed bee pollen has good properties in enhancing immune function as well as preventing and treating disease. In this study, we identified the exogenous miRNAs from rapeseed bee pollen in mice blood using RNA-seq technology. We found that miR-166a was the most highly enriched exogenous plant miRNAs in the blood of mice fed with rapeseed bee pollen, followed by miR-159. Subsequently, RT-qPCR results confirmed that these two miRNAs also can be detected in rapeseed bee pollen. Our results suggested that food-derived exogenous miRNAs from rapeseed bee pollen could be absorbed in mice and the abundance of exogenous miRNAs in mouse blood is dependent on their original levels in the rapeseed bee pollen. Xuan Chen, Guan-hai Dai, Ze-ming Ren, Ye-ling Tong, Feng Yang, and Yong-qiang Zhu Copyright © 2016 Xuan Chen et al. All rights reserved. Association between TLR4 and PTEN Involved in LPS-TLR4 Signaling Response Tue, 02 Aug 2016 13:29:57 +0000 In this study, we explored the potential mechanisms of how PTEN regulating LPS induced TLR4 signaling pathway. The initial findings from ELISA demonstrate that PTEN influences TNF-α secretion by its lipid phosphatase activity. Subsequently, western blot, immunoprecipitation assay, and immunofluorescence were performed to explore the activation process of PTEN by stimulation with LPS. As early as 20 minutes after LPS stimulation, reduced phosphorylation of PTEN was found obviously. Accordingly, the whole cell-scattered PTEN translocated towards the cell membrane 20 minutes after stimulating with LPS. Moreover, the weak physical association between PTEN and TLR4 in resting RAW264.7 cells increased gradually after the stimulation of LPS. Furthermore, our study showed PTEN decreased LPS-induced Akt activity and upregulated NF-B-dependent gene transcription, identifying indirectly that the PTEN could regulate the activation of NF-B by its downstream Akt kinase. In summary, our study illustrates the potential signal transduction process of PTEN while stimulated by LPS: by increasing the association of TLR4, PTEN recruits to its phosphoinositide substrate PI(3,4,5)P3 located on the cell membrane and exerts its dephosphorylated function and subsequently depresses the activity of downstream molecule Akt and results in activation of NF-B, followed by the secretion of inflammatory mediators TNF-α. Huahua Yin, Yan Tan, Xiaofeng Wu, Hong Yan, Feng Liu, Yuanzhang Yao, Jianxin Jiang, Qi Wan, and Lei Li Copyright © 2016 Huahua Yin et al. All rights reserved. Macleaya cordata Extract Decreased Diarrhea Score and Enhanced Intestinal Barrier Function in Growing Piglets Mon, 25 Jul 2016 13:03:41 +0000 Macleaya cordata extract is of great scientific and practical interest to researchers, due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory responses within experimental animals. This study was designed to determine the diarrhea score and innate immunity of growing piglets after they had received Macleaya cordata extract supplements. A total of 240 growing pigs were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments, with 8 replicates per treatment and 10 piglets per replicate. All pigs received a basal diet containing similar amounts of nutrients. The three treatments were a control (no additive), an antibiotic (200 mg/kg colistin), and the Macleaya cordata extract supplement group (40 mg/kg Macleaya cordata extract). The diarrhea score was calculated after D 28. The jejunal samples were obtained from five piglets selected randomly from each treatment on D 28. In comparison with the control group, the dietary Macleaya cordata extract and colistin group demonstrated a substantially decreased diarrhea score. The introduction of Macleaya cordata extract supplements to the diet significantly increased volumes of ZO-1 and claudin-1, particularly in comparison with the pigs in the control group (). The findings indicate that Macleaya cordata extract does enhance intestinal barrier function in growing piglets and that it could be used as a viable substitute for antibiotics. Gang Liu, Guiping Guan, Jun Fang, Yordan Martínez, Shuai Chen, Peng Bin, Veeramuthu Duraipandiyan, Ting Gong, Myrlene Carine B. Tossou, Naif Abdullah Al-Dhabi, and Yulong Yin Copyright © 2016 Gang Liu et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Associated Autoimmune Diseases on Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Incidence and Metabolic Control in Children and Adolescents Wed, 20 Jul 2016 07:42:55 +0000 Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is one of the most common chronic diseases developing in childhood. The incidence of the disease in children increases for unknown reasons at a rate from 3 to 5% every year worldwide. The background of T1DM is associated with the autoimmune process of pancreatic beta cell destruction, which leads to absolute insulin deficiency and organ damage. Complex interactions between environmental and genetic factors contribute to the development of T1DM in genetically predisposed patients. The T1DM-inducing autoimmune process can also affect other organs, resulting in development of additional autoimmune diseases in the patient, thereby impeding diabetes control. The most common T1DM comorbidities include autoimmune thyroid diseases, celiac disease, and autoimmune gastritis; additionally, diabetes can be a component of PAS (Polyglandular Autoimmune Syndrome). The aim of this review is to assess the prevalence of T1DM-associated autoimmune diseases in children and adolescents and their impact on the course of T1DM. We also present suggestions concerning screening tests. Aleksandra Krzewska and Iwona Ben-Skowronek Copyright © 2016 Aleksandra Krzewska and Iwona Ben-Skowronek. All rights reserved. Macrophages and Their Role in Atherosclerosis: Pathophysiology and Transcriptome Analysis Sun, 17 Jul 2016 11:31:16 +0000 Atherosclerosis can be regarded as a chronic inflammatory state, in which macrophages play different and important roles. Phagocytic proinflammatory cells populate growing atherosclerotic lesions, where they actively participate in cholesterol accumulation. Moreover, macrophages promote formation of complicated and unstable plaques by maintaining proinflammatory microenvironment. At the same time, anti-inflammatory macrophages contribute to tissue repair and remodelling and plaque stabilization. Macrophages therefore represent attractive targets for development of antiatherosclerotic therapy, which can aim to reduce monocyte recruitment to the lesion site, inhibit proinflammatory macrophages, or stimulate anti-inflammatory responses and cholesterol efflux. More studies are needed, however, to create a comprehensive classification of different macrophage phenotypes and to define their roles in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In this review, we provide an overview of the current knowledge on macrophage diversity, activation, and plasticity in atherosclerosis and describe macrophage-based cellular tests for evaluation of potential antiatherosclerotic substances. Yuri V. Bobryshev, Ekaterina A. Ivanova, Dimitry A. Chistiakov, Nikita G. Nikiforov, and Alexander N. Orekhov Copyright © 2016 Yuri V. Bobryshev et al. All rights reserved. A Recombinant Adenovirus Expressing P12A and 3C Protein of the Type O Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Stimulates Systemic and Mucosal Immune Responses in Mice Sun, 10 Jul 2016 06:34:55 +0000 Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious livestock disease of cloven-hoofed animals which causes severe economic losses. The replication-deficient, human adenovirus-vectored FMD vaccine has been proven effective against FMD. However, the role of T-cell-mediated antiviral responses and the mucosae-mediated antiviral responses induced by the adenovirus-vectored FMD vaccine was rarely examined. Here, the capsid protein precursor P1-2A and viral protease 3C of the type O FMDV were expressed in replicative-deficient human adenovirus type 5 vector. BALB/c mice immunized intramuscularly and intraperitoneally with recombinant adenovirus rAdv-P12A3C elicited higher FMDV-specific IgG antibodies, IFN-γ, and IL-4 cytokines than those in mice immunized with inactivated FMDV vaccine. Moreover, BALB/c mice immunized with recombinant adenovirus rAdv-P12A3C by oral and intraocular-nasal immunization induced high FMDV-specific IgA antibodies. These results show that the recombinant adenovirus rAdv-P12A3C could resist FMDV comprehensively. This study highlights the potential of rAdv-P12A3C to serve as a type O FMDV vaccine. Yinli Xie, Peng Gao, and Zhiyong Li Copyright © 2016 Yinli Xie et al. All rights reserved. Crosstalk between Vitamin D Metabolism, VDR Signalling, and Innate Immunity Wed, 15 Jun 2016 08:14:49 +0000 The primary function of vitamin D is to regulate calcium homeostasis, which is essential for bone formation and resorption. Although diet is a source of vitamin D, most foods are naturally lacking vitamin D. Vitamin D is also manufactured in the skin through a photolysis process, leading to a process called the “sunshine vitamin.” The active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol), is biosynthesised in the kidney through the hydroxylation of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol by the CYP27B1 enzyme. It has been found that several immune cells express the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and CYP27B1; of the latter, synthesis is determined by several immune-specific signals. The realisation that vitamin D employs several molecular mechanisms to regulate innate immune responses is more recent. Furthermore, evidence collected from intervention studies indicates that vitamin D supplements may boost clinical responses to infections. This review considers the current knowledge of how immune signals regulate vitamin D metabolism and how innate immune system function is modulated by ligand-bound VDR. Rui Lin Copyright © 2016 Rui Lin. All rights reserved. NLRP3 Activation Was Regulated by DNA Methylation Modification during Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection Mon, 06 Jun 2016 11:20:14 +0000 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection activates the NLRP3 inflammasome in macrophages and dendritic cells. Much attention has been paid to the mechanisms for regulation of NLRP3 against Mtb. However, whether epigenetic mechanisms participated in NLRP3 activation is still little known. Here we showed that NLRP3 activation was regulated by DNA methylation modification. Mtb infection promoted NLRP3 activation and inflammatory cytokines expression. NLRP3 promoter was cloned and subsequently identified by Dual-Luciferase Reporter System. The results showed that NLRP3 promoter activity was decreased after methylation by DNA methylase Sss I in vitro. Meanwhile, DNA methyltransferases inhibitor DAC could upregulate the expression of NLRP3. Furthermore, promoter region of NLRP3 gene was demethylated after Mtb H37Rv strain infection. These data revealed that DNA methylation was involved in NLRP3 inflammasome activation during Mtb infection and provided a new insight into the relationship between host and pathogens. Meili Wei, Lu Wang, Tao Wu, Jun Xi, Yuze Han, Xingxiang Yang, Ding Zhang, Qiang Fang, and Bikui Tang Copyright © 2016 Meili Wei et al. All rights reserved. Effect of High Dietary Tryptophan on Intestinal Morphology and Tight Junction Protein of Weaned Pig Mon, 06 Jun 2016 07:54:50 +0000 Tryptophan (Trp) plays an essential role in pig behavior and growth performances. However, little is known about Trp’s effects on tight junction barrier and intestinal health in weaned pigs. In the present study, twenty-four (24) weaned pigs were randomly assigned to one of the three treatments with 8 piglets/treatments. The piglets were fed different amounts of L-tryptophan (L-Trp) as follows: 0.0%, 0.15, and 0.75%, respectively, named zero Trp (ZTS), low Trp (LTS), and high Trp (HTS), respectively. No significant differences were observed in average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), and gain: feed (G/F) ratio between the groups. After 21 days of the feeding trial, results showed that dietary Trp significantly increased () crypt depth and significantly decreased () villus height to crypt depth ratio (VH/CD) in the jejunum of pig fed HTS. In addition, pig fed HTS had higher () serum diamine oxidase (DAO) and D-lactate. Furthermore, pig fed HTS significantly decreased mRNA expression of tight junction proteins occludin and ZO-1 but not claudin-1 in the jejunum. The number of intraepithelial lymphocytes and goblet cells were not significantly different () between the groups. Collectively, these data suggest that dietary Trp supplementation at a certain level (0.75%) may negatively affect the small intestinal structure in weaned pig. Myrlene Carine B. Tossou, Hongnan Liu, Miaomiao Bai, Shuai Chen, Yinghua Cai, Veeramuthu Duraipandiyan, Hongbin Liu, Tolulope O. Adebowale, Naif Abdullah Al-Dhabi, Lina Long, Hussain Tarique, Abimbola O. Oso, Gang Liu, and Yulong Yin Copyright © 2016 Myrlene Carine B. Tossou et al. All rights reserved. Oregano Essential Oil Improves Intestinal Morphology and Expression of Tight Junction Proteins Associated with Modulation of Selected Intestinal Bacteria and Immune Status in a Pig Model Sun, 29 May 2016 06:50:35 +0000 Oregano essential oil (OEO) has long been used to improve the health of animals, particularly the health of intestine, which is generally attributed to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. However, how OEO acts in the intestine of pig is still unclear. This study was aimed at elucidating how OEO promotes the intestinal barrier integrity in a pig model. Pigs were fed a control diet alone or one supplemented with 25 mg/kg of OEO for 4 weeks. The OEO-treated pigs showed decreased () endotoxin level in serum and increased () villus height and expression of occludin and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) in the jejunum. These results demonstrated that the integrity of intestinal barrier was improved by OEO treatment. The OEO-treated pigs had a lower () population of Escherichia coli in the jejunum, ileum, and colon than the control. This is in accordance with the greater inactivation () of inflammation, which was reflected by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), protein kinase B (Akt), and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling pathways and expression of inflammatory cytokines in the jejunum. Our results show that OEO promotes intestinal barrier integrity, probably through modulating intestinal bacteria and immune status in pigs. Yi Zou, Quanhang Xiang, Jun Wang, Jian Peng, and Hongkui Wei Copyright © 2016 Yi Zou et al. All rights reserved. 2-Methoxyestradiol Alleviates Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis by Inhibiting Lymphocytes Proliferation and T Cell Differentiation Sun, 08 May 2016 06:47:36 +0000 Purpose. To investigate the effect of 2-Methoxyestradiol (2ME2) on experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) and the mechanism. Method. C57BL/6 male mice were used to establish the EAU model. 2ME2 was abdominal administrated in D0–D13, D0–D6, and D7–D13 and control group was given vehicle from D0–D13. At D14, pathological severity was scored. Lymphocyte reaction was measured using MTT assay. T cell differentiation in draining lymph nodes and eye-infiltrating cells was tested by flow cytometry. Proinflammatory cytokines production from lymphocytes was determined by ELISA. Result. The disease scores from 2ME2 D0–D13, 2ME2 D0–D6, 2ME2 D7–D13, and vehicle groups were , , , and . Cells from all 2ME2 treated groups responded weaker than control (). The inhibitory effect of 2ME2 on lymphocyte proliferation attenuated from 2ME2 D0–D13 to 2ME2 D0–D6 and to 2ME2 D7–D13 groups (). 2ME2 treated mice developed fewer Th1 and Th17 cells both in draining lymph nodes and in eyes than control (). Lymphocytes from 2ME2 group secreted less IFN-γ and IL-17A than those from control (). Conclusion. 2ME2 ameliorated EAU progression and presented a better effect at priming phase. The possible mechanism could be the inhibitory impact on IRBP specific lymphocyte proliferation and Th1 and Th17 cell differentiation. Linxinyu Xu, Tianshu Yang, Shaobo Su, and Fang Wang Copyright © 2016 Linxinyu Xu et al. All rights reserved. Altered Expression of TLR2 and TLR4 on Peripheral CD14+ Blood Monocytes in Children with Urinary Tract Infection Thu, 05 May 2016 16:30:06 +0000 Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the second most common bacterial infection, after otitis media, in infants and children. The mechanisms of disease susceptibility and the role of immunity in the pathogenesis of UTI in children have been evaluated. In recent years, Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs) have been recognized as specific components of the innate immune system constituting important mediators in host immune recognition. The aim of the present study was to determine ΤLR2 and TLR4 expression during the acute phase of UTI in infants and children by measuring the CD14/TLR2 and CD14/TLR4 expression on monocytes. We also attempted to compare the TLRs expression with the immunological status of the patients to healthy children. The study group consisted of 60 children (36 females and 24 males) and the control group included 60 age-matched pediatric subjects (27 females and 33 males). In our study, no antibody deficiency was found either in the children with UTI or in healthy subjects. There might be a connection between low IgA, IgG, and IgG subclasses serum levels and UTI as there was a statistically significant difference between patients and healthy children. A higher expression of CD14/TLR2 was revealed in patients (90,07%) compared to controls (85,48%) as well as CD14/TLR4 in patients (90,53%) compared to controls (87,25%) (statistically significant difference, ). The results of this study could provide new understanding of UTIs’ pathogenesis in children. Panagiota Karananou, Alexandra Fleva, Despoina Tramma, Anastasia Alataki, Aikaterini Pavlitou-Tsiontsi, Maria Emporiadou-Peticopoulou, and Efimia Papadopoulou-Alataki Copyright © 2016 Panagiota Karananou et al. All rights reserved. Retracted: The Immune System in Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Potential New Immunotherapeutic Strategies Thu, 31 Mar 2016 11:35:58 +0000 BioMed Research International Copyright © 2016 BioMed Research International. All rights reserved. Methylation Status of Alu and LINE-1 Interspersed Repetitive Sequences in Behcet’s Disease Patients Wed, 30 Mar 2016 11:09:15 +0000 Behcet’s Disease (BD) is a multisystem chronic inflammatory disease. The pathology is believed to involve both genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. Hypomethylation leading to activation of interspersed repetitive sequences (IRSs) such as LINE-1 and Alu contributes to the pathologies of autoimmune diseases and cancer. Herein, the epigenetic changes of IRSs in BD were evaluated using combined bisulfite restriction analysis-interspersed repetitive sequences (COBRA-IRS). DNA from neutrophils and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of BD patients with ocular involvement that were in active or inactive states and healthy controls were used to analyze LINE-1 and Alu methylation levels. For Alu sequences, significant differences were observed in the frequency of alleles between PBMCs of patients and controls (), and between inactive patients and controls (). For neutrophils, the frequency of was significantly higher between patients and controls () and between inactive patients and controls (). The partial methylation () frequencies of Alu between inactive patients and control samples also differed (). No statistically significant differences for LINE-1 were detected. Thus, changes in the methylation level of IRS elements might contribute to the pathogenesis of BD. The role of Alu transcripts in BD should be investigated further. Şahru Yüksel, Selma Ozbek Kucukazman, Gülten Sungur Karataş, Mehmet Akif Ozturk, Sasiprapa Prombhul, and Nattiya Hirankarn Copyright © 2016 Şahru Yüksel et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Serum Concentrations of Ghrelin, Obestatin, Omentin-1, and Apelin in Children with Type 1 Diabetes Tue, 19 Jan 2016 12:57:13 +0000 The increasing knowledge on the functions of gastric peptides and adipokines in the body allows the assumption of their major role linking the process of food intake, nutritional status, and body growth, largely through the regulation of glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. The aim of the study was the assessment of serum levels of selected gastric peptides and adipocytokines in children with type 1 diabetes, with respect to the disease duration. The study involved 80 children aged 4–18 years (M/F -37/43). Children with type 1 diabetes () were compared to the control group (). The study group was divided into 4 subgroups: (I) patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes, after an episode of ketoacidosis (), (II) patients with type 1 diabetes of duration no longer than 5 years (), (III) patients with 5 to 10 years of DT1 (), and (IV) patients with type 1 diabetes of duration longer than 10 years (). The concentrations of gastric peptide and adipocytokines across all subgroups were lower than in the control group. The differences were statistically significant (), which may be of importance in the development of the disease complications. Agnieszka Polkowska, Izabela Szczepaniak, and Artur Bossowski Copyright © 2016 Agnieszka Polkowska et al. All rights reserved. Role of Baicalin in Anti-Influenza Virus A as a Potent Inducer of IFN-Gamma Thu, 10 Dec 2015 14:21:04 +0000 Baicalin (BA) is a flavonoid compound purified from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi and has been shown to possess a potent inhibitory activity against viruses. However, the role of BA in anti-influenza virus has not been extensively studied, and the immunological mechanism of BA in antiviral activity remains unknown. Here, we observed that BA could protect mice from infection by influenza virus A/PR/8/34 (H1N1), associated with increasing IFN-γ production, but presented no effects in IFN-γ or IFN-γ receptor deficient mice. Further study indicated that BA could inhibit A/PR/8/34 replication through IFN-γ in human PBMC. Moreover, BA can directly induce IFN-γ production in human CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and NK cells, and activate JAK/STAT-1 signaling pathway. Collectively, BA exhibited anti-influenza virus A (H1N1) activity in vitro and in vivo as a potent inducer of IFN-γ in major IFN-γ producing cells. Ming Chu, Lan Xu, Ming-bo Zhang, Zheng-yun Chu, and Yue-dan Wang Copyright © 2015 Ming Chu et al. All rights reserved. Protective Efficacy of an Inactive Vaccine Based on the LY02 Isolate against Acute Haemophilus parasuis Infection in Piglets Tue, 24 Nov 2015 09:22:30 +0000 Haemophilus parasuis can cause Glässer’s disease characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, polyarthritis, and meningitis. The current prevention of Glässer’s disease is mainly based on the inactive vaccines; however, the protective efficacy usually fails in heterogeneous or homologous challenges. Here, the predominant lineage of H. parasuis (LY02 strain) in Fujian province, China, characterized as serovar 5, was used to evaluate the protective immunity against acute H. parasuis infection in piglets after inactivation. Following challenging with H. parasuis, only mild lesions in the pigs immunized with the killed vaccine were observed, whereas the typical symptoms of Glässer’s disease presented in the nonimmunized piglets. A strong IgG immune response was induced by the inactive vaccine. CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte levels were increased, indicating the potent cellular immune responses were elicited. The significantly high levels of IL-2, IL-4, TGF-β, and IFN-γ in sera from pigs immunized with this killed vaccine suggested that the mixed Th1 and Th2 immune responses were induced, associated with the high protection against H. parasuis infection compared to the nonimmunized animals. This study indicated that the inactivated LY02 strain of H. parasuis could serve as a potential vaccine candidate to prevent the prevalence of H. parasuis in Fujian province, China. Xiao-Hua Li, Guo-Zhen Zhao, Long-Xin Qiu, Ai-Ling Dai, Wang-Wei Wu, and Xiao-Yan Yang Copyright © 2015 Xiao-Hua Li et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Murine Anti-Lactoferrin Monoclonal Antibody Activates Human Polymorphonuclear Leukocytes through Membrane-Bound Lactoferrin and TLR4 Sun, 15 Nov 2015 09:14:04 +0000 Soluble lactoferrin (LTF) is a versatile molecule that not only regulates the iron homeostasis, but also harbors direct microbicidal and immunomodulating abilities in mammalian body fluids. In contrast, little is known about the function of membrane-bound LTF (mbLTF), although its expression on human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (huPMNs) has been reported for decades. Given that LTF/anti-LTF antibodies represent a potential diagnostic/prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic target in patients with immune disorders, we wished, in the present study, to generate a novel human LTF- (huLTF-) specific mAb suitable for detailed analyses on the expression and function of mbLTF as well as for deciphering the underlying mechanisms. By using the traditional hybridoma cell fusion technology, we obtained a murine IgG1 (kappa) mAb, M-860, against huLTF. M-860 recognizes a conformational epitope of huLTF as it binds to natural, but not denatured, huLTF in ELISA. Moreover, M-860 detects mbLTF by FACS and captures endogenous huLTF in total cell lysates of huPMNs. Functionally, M-860 induces the activation of huPMNs partially through TLR4 but independently of phagocytosis. M-860 is thus a powerful tool to analyze the expression and function of human mbLTF, which will further our understanding of the roles of LTF in health and disease. Xiao-Min Hu, Yan-Rui Xu, Ru Yan, Shu-Liang Sun, Hong-Liang Dong, Jun Wang, and Xiao-Ming Gao Copyright © 2015 Xiao-Min Hu et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Diet and Exercise on the Peripheral Immune System in Young Balb/c Mice Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:44:01 +0000 Although diet and exercise clearly have an influence on immune function, studies are scarce on the effect caused by exercise and the consumption of a carbohydrate-rich or fat-rich diet on the peripheral immune system. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of exercise and the two aforementioned unbalanced diets on young Balb/c mice, especially in relation to BMI, the level of glucose, and the percentage of lymphocyte subpopulations in peripheral blood. The changes found were then related to the synthesis of leptin and adiponectin as well as the production of oxidative stress. The increase in BMI found with the carbohydrate-rich and fat-rich diets showed correlation with the levels of leptin and adiponectin. An increase in leptin and a decrease in adiponectin directly correlated with an increase in total lymphocytes and CD4+ cells and with a decrease in B cells. The increase in leptin also correlated with an increase in CD8+ cells. Glycemia and oxidative stress increased with the two unbalanced diets, negatively affecting the proliferation of total lymphocytes and the percentage of B cells, apparently by causing alterations in proteins through carbonylation. These alterations caused by an unbalanced diet were not modified by moderate exercise. B. E. Martínez-Carrillo, R. A. Jarillo-Luna, R. Campos-Rodríguez, R. Valdés-Ramos, and V. Rivera-Aguilar Copyright © 2015 B. E. Martínez-Carrillo et al. All rights reserved. T Lymphocyte Plasticity in Autoimmunity and Cancer Mon, 26 Oct 2015 06:49:27 +0000 Nona Janikashvili, Tinatin Chikovani, Sylvain Audia, Bernard Bonnotte, and Nicolas Larmonier Copyright © 2015 Nona Janikashvili et al. All rights reserved. Functional and Phenotypic Plasticity of CD4+ T Cell Subsets Sun, 25 Oct 2015 12:55:45 +0000 The remarkable plasticity of CD4+ T cells allows individuals to respond to environmental stimuli in a context-dependent manner. A balance of CD4+ T cell subsets is critical to mount responses against pathogen challenges to prevent inappropriate activation, to maintain tolerance, and to participate in antitumor immune responses. Specification of subsets is a process beginning in intrathymic development and continuing within the circulation. It is highly flexible to adapt to differences in nutrient availability and the tissue microenvironment. CD4+ T cell subsets have significant cross talk, with the ability to “dedifferentiate” given appropriate environmental signals. This ability is dependent on the metabolic status of the cell, with mTOR acting as the rheostat. Autoimmune and antitumor immune responses are regulated by the balance between regulatory T cells and Th17 cells. When a homeostatic balance of subsets is not maintained, immunopathology can result. CD4+ T cells carry complex roles within tumor microenvironments, with context-dependent immune responses influenced by oncogenic drivers and the presence of inflammation. Here, we examine the signals involved in CD4+ T cell specification towards each subset, interconnectedness of cytokine networks, impact of mTOR signaling, and cellular metabolism in lineage specification and provide a supplement describing techniques to study these processes. Tiffany Caza and Steve Landas Copyright © 2015 Tiffany Caza and Steve Landas. All rights reserved. LAP TGF-Beta Subset of CD4+CD25+CD127− Treg Cells is Increased and Overexpresses LAP TGF-Beta in Lung Adenocarcinoma Patients Sun, 25 Oct 2015 11:41:43 +0000 Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Adenocarcinoma, the most commonly diagnosed histologic type of lung cancer, is associated with smoking. Cigarette smoke promotes inflammation on the airways, which might be mediated by Th17 cells. This inflammatory environment may contribute to tumor development. In contrast, some reports indicate that tumors may induce immunosuppressive Treg cells to dampen immune reactivity, supporting tumor growth and progression. Thus, we aimed to analyze whether chronic inflammation or immunosuppression predominates at the systemic level in lung adenocarcinoma patients, and several cytokines and Th17 and Treg cells were studied. Higher proportions of IL-17-producing CD4+ T-cells were found in smoking control subjects and in lung adenocarcinoma patients compared to nonsmoking control subjects. In addition, lung adenocarcinoma patients increased both plasma concentrations of IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10, and proportions of Latency Associated Peptide (LAP) TGF-β subset of CD4+CD25+CD127− Treg cells, which overexpressed LAP TGF-β. This knowledge may lead to the development of immunotherapies that could inhibit the suppressor activity mediated by the LAP TGF-β subset of CD4+CD25+CD127− Treg cells to promote reactivity of immune cells against lung adenocarcinoma cells. Lorenzo Islas-Vazquez, Heriberto Prado-Garcia, Dolores Aguilar-Cazares, Manuel Meneses-Flores, Miriam Galicia-Velasco, Susana Romero-Garcia, Catalina Camacho-Mendoza, and Jose Sullivan Lopez-Gonzalez Copyright © 2015 Lorenzo Islas-Vazquez et al. All rights reserved. Vitamin A Impairs the Reprogramming of Tregs into IL-17-Producing Cells during Intestinal Inflammation Sun, 25 Oct 2015 11:30:43 +0000 Maintaining the identity of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) is critical for controlling immune responses in the gut, where an imbalance between Tregs and T effector cells has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease. Accumulating evidence suggests that Tregs can convert into Th17 cells and acquire an inflammatory phenotype. In this study, we used an adoptive transfer model of Ag-specific T cells to study the contribution of different factors to the reprogramming of in vitro-generated Treg cells (iTreg) into IL-17-producing cells in a mouse model of gut inflammation in vivo. Our results show that intestinal inflammation induces the reprogramming of iTreg cells into IL-17-producing cells and that vitamin A restrains reprogramming in the gut. We also demonstrate that the presence of IL-2 during the in vitro generation of iTreg cells confers resistance to Th17 conversion but that IL-2 and retinoic acid (RA) cooperate to maintain Foxp3 expression following stimulation under Th17-polarizing conditions. Additionally, although IL-2 and RA differentially regulate the expression of different Treg cell suppressive markers, Treg cells generated under different polarizing conditions present similar suppressive capacity. Gabriela Tejón, Valeria Manríquez, Jaime De Calisto, Felipe Flores-Santibáñez, Yessia Hidalgo, Natalia Crisóstomo, Dominique Fernández, Daniela Sauma, J. Rodrigo Mora, María R. Bono, and Mario Rosemblatt Copyright © 2015 Gabriela Tejón et al. All rights reserved. Th17 Cell Plasticity and Functions in Cancer Immunity Sun, 25 Oct 2015 08:54:22 +0000 Th17 cells represent a particular subset of T helper lymphocytes characterized by high production of IL-17 and other inflammatory cytokines. Th17 cells participate in antimicrobial immunity at mucosal and epithelial barriers and particularly fight against extracellular bacteria and fungi. While a role for Th17 cells in promoting inflammation and autoimmune disorders has been extensively and elegantly demonstrated, it is still controversial whether and how Th17 cells influence tumor immunity. Although Th17 cells specifically accumulate in many different types of tumors compared to healthy tissues, the outcome might however differ from a tumor type to another. Th17 cells were consequently associated with both good and bad prognoses. The high plasticity of those cells toward cells exhibiting either anti-inflammatory or in contrast pathogenic functions might contribute to Th17 versatile functions in the tumor context. On one hand, Th17 cells promote tumor growth by inducing angiogenesis (via IL-17) and by exerting themselves immunosuppressive functions. On the other hand, Th17 cells drive antitumor immune responses by recruiting immune cells into tumors, activating effector CD8+ T cells, or even directly by converting toward Th1 phenotype and producing IFN-γ. In this review, we are discussing the impact of the tumor microenvironment on Th17 cell plasticity and function and its implications in cancer immunity. Leslie Guéry and Stéphanie Hugues Copyright © 2015 Leslie Guéry and Stéphanie Hugues. All rights reserved. T Helper Lymphocyte Subsets and Plasticity in Autoimmunity and Cancer: An Overview Sun, 25 Oct 2015 08:48:44 +0000 In response to cytokine signalling and other factors, CD4-positive T lymphocytes differentiate into distinct populations that are characterized by the production of certain cytokines and are controlled by different master transcription factors. The spectrum of such populations, which was initially limited to Th1 and Th2 subsets, is currently broadened to include Th17 and Treg subsets, as well as a number of less studied subtypes, such as Tfh, Th9, and Th22. Although these subsets appear to be relatively stable, certain plasticity exists that allows for transition between the subsets and formation of hybrid transition forms. This provides the immune system flexibility needed for adequate response to pathogens but, at the same time, can play a role in the pathogenic processes in cases of deregulation. In this review, we will discuss the properties of T lymphocyte subsets and their plasticity, as well as its implications for cancer and autoimmune diseases. Ekaterina A. Ivanova and Alexander N. Orekhov Copyright © 2015 Ekaterina A. Ivanova and Alexander N. Orekhov. All rights reserved. T Lymphocyte Dynamics in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Role of the Microbiome Sun, 25 Oct 2015 08:37:02 +0000 Humans have coevolved with a complex community of bacterial species also referred to as the microbiome, which reciprocally provides critical contributions to human metabolism and immune system development. Gut microbiome composition differs significantly between individuals depending on host genetics, diet, and environmental factors. A dysregulation of the symbiotic nature of the intestinal host-microbial relationship and an aberrant and persistent immune response are the fundamental processes involved in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Considering the essential role of T cells in IBD and the contributing role of the microbiome in shaping the immune response during the pathogenesis of IBD, this review focuses on the complex relationship, interplay, and communication between the gut microbiome and T cells, including their differentiation into different subsets of effector or regulatory cells. C. B. Larmonier, K. W. Shehab, F. K. Ghishan, and P. R. Kiela Copyright © 2015 C. B. Larmonier et al. All rights reserved. T Helper Subsets, Peripheral Plasticity, and the Acute Phase Protein, α1-Antitrypsin Sun, 25 Oct 2015 08:27:25 +0000 The traditional model of T helper differentiation describes the naïve T cell as choosing one of several subsets upon stimulation and an added reciprocal inhibition aimed at maintaining the chosen subset. However, to date, evidence is mounting to support the presence of subset plasticity. This is, presumably, aimed at fine-tuning adaptive immune responses according to local signals. Reprograming of cell phenotype is made possible by changes in activation of master transcription factors, employing epigenetic modifications that preserve a flexible mode, permitting a shift between activation and silencing of genes. The acute phase response represents an example of peripheral changes that are critical in modulating T cell responses. α1-antitrypsin (AAT) belongs to the acute phase responses and has recently surfaced as a tolerogenic agent in the context of adaptive immune responses. Nonetheless, AAT does not inhibit T cell responses, nor does it shutdown inflammation per se; rather, it appears that AAT targets non-T cell immunocytes towards changing the cytokine environment of T cells, thus promoting a regulatory T cell profile. The present review focuses on this intriguing two-way communication between innate and adaptive entities, a crosstalk that holds important implications on potential therapies for a multitude of immune disorders. Boris M. Baranovski, Gabriella S. Freixo-Lima, Eli C. Lewis, and Peleg Rider Copyright © 2015 Boris M. Baranovski et al. All rights reserved. T Lymphocyte Inhibition by Tumor-Infiltrating Dendritic Cells Involves Ectonucleotidase CD39 but Not Arginase-1 Wed, 30 Sep 2015 09:05:33 +0000 T lymphocytes activated by dendritic cells (DC) which present tumor antigens play a key role in the antitumor immune response. However, in patients suffering from active cancer, DC are not efficient at initiating and supporting immune responses as they participate to T lymphocyte inhibition. DC in the tumor environment are functionally defective and exhibit a characteristic of immature phenotype, different to that of DC present in nonpathological conditions. The mechanistic bases underlying DC dysfunction in cancer responsible for the modulation of T-cell responses and tumor immune escape are still being investigated. Using two different mouse tumor models, we showed that tumor-infiltrating DC (TIDC) are constitutively immunosuppressive, exhibit a semimature phenotype, and impair responder T lymphocyte proliferation and activation by a mechanism involving CD39 ectoenzyme. Malika Trad, Alexandrine Gautheron, Jennifer Fraszczak, Darya Alizadeh, Claire Larmonier, Collin J. LaCasse, Sara Centuori, Sylvain Audia, Maxime Samson, Marion Ciudad, Francis Bonnefoy, Stéphanie Lemaire-Ewing, Emmanuel Katsanis, Sylvain Perruche, Philippe Saas, and Bernard Bonnotte Copyright © 2015 Malika Trad et al. All rights reserved. Current Concept and Update of the Macrophage Plasticity Concept: Intracellular Mechanisms of Reprogramming and M3 Macrophage “Switch” Phenotype Sun, 23 Aug 2015 09:09:16 +0000 Macrophages play a key role in immunity. In this review, we consider the traditional notion of macrophage plasticity, data that do not fit into existing concepts, and a hypothesis for existence of a new switch macrophage phenotype. Depending on the microenvironment, macrophages can reprogram their phenotype toward the proinflammatory M1 phenotype or toward the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype. Macrophage reprogramming involves well-coordinated changes in activities of signalling and posttranslational mechanisms. Macrophage reprogramming is provided by JNK-, PI3K/Akt-, Notch-, JAK/STAT-, TGF-β-, TLR/NF-κB-, and hypoxia-dependent pathways. Posttranscriptional regulation is based on micro-mRNA. We have hypothesized that, in addition to the M1 and M2 phenotypes, an M3 switch phenotype exists. This switch phenotype responds to proinflammatory stimuli with reprogramming towards the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype or, contrarily, it responds to anti-inflammatory stimuli with reprogramming towards the proinflammatory M1 phenotype. We have found signs of such a switch phenotype in lung diseases. Understanding the mechanisms of macrophage reprogramming will assist in the selection of new therapeutic targets for correction of impaired immunity. Igor Malyshev and Yuri Malyshev Copyright © 2015 Igor Malyshev and Yuri Malyshev. All rights reserved. Molecular Pathogenesis of Anti-NMDAR Encephalitis Sun, 28 Jun 2015 08:55:54 +0000 Anti-NMDAR encephalitis is a recently identified autoimmune disease, described by an immune-mediated loss of NMDA glutamate receptors, resulting in progressive mental deterioration. To date, literature on anti-NMDAR encephalitis has been largely clinically oriented, including descriptions of the clinical presentation and course, diagnostic methods, and potential clinical treatments. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms contributing to the complex immunological cellular transformation that is associated with the progression of anti-NMDAR encephalitis remain to be adequately explored. This review will provide a summary of the current literature on anti-NMDAR encephalitis, including the immunologic molecular mechanisms contributing to disease progression. In particular this review will focus on the effect of anti-NMDAR on GluN2-NMDAR expression and the molecular transformation of B and T leukocytes in the loss of self-tolerance. Further research on the immunologic mechanisms contributing to anti-NMDAR encephalitis may provide an avenue for future novel diagnostic approaches, such as immunologic surveillance, as well as new therapeutic strategies for this recently identified autoimmune disease. Hao Ding, Zhihong Jian, Creed M. Stary, Wei Yi, and Xiaoxing Xiong Copyright © 2015 Hao Ding et al. All rights reserved. Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Wed, 24 Jun 2015 07:41:40 +0000 Mohammad Owais, Swaleha Zubair, Anshu Agrawal, and Yung-Fu Chang Copyright © 2015 Mohammad Owais et al. All rights reserved. Immunosuppression and Multiple Primary Malignancies in Kidney-Transplanted Patients: A Single-Institute Study Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:17:51 +0000 Immunodeficiency is associated with higher cancer incidence. However, it is unknown whether there is a link between immunodeficiency and development of multiple primary malignancies. In the present study we analyse this link focusing on kidney-transplanted patients, as they are at higher risk of developing cancer due to the chronic assumption of immunosuppressants. We followed up 1200 patients who underwent kidney transplantation between 1980 and 2012. A total of 77/1200 kidney-transplanted patients developed cancer and 24 of them developed multiple cancers. Most multiple cancers were synchronous with a nonsignificant association between cancer and rejection episodes. In the general cancer population, one-ninth of patients are at higher risk of developing a second tumor over a lifetime; hence it would be reasonable to conclude that, from a merely theoretical and statistical viewpoint, long-term transplanted patients potentially have a higher risk of developing MPMs. However, data did not confirm this assumption, probably because these patients die before a second primary malignancy appears. Despite many observations on the increased incidence of different tumor types in immunodeficient patients and despite immunosuppression certainly being a predisposing factor for the multicancer syndrome, data so far are not robust enough to justify a correlation between immunodeficiency and multiple primary malignancies in transplanted patients. Michele L. Santangelo, Carmen Criscitiello, Andrea Renda, Stefano Federico, Giuseppe Curigliano, Concetta Dodaro, Alessandro Scotti, Vincenzo Tammaro, Armando Calogero, Eleonora Riccio, Antonio Pisani, and Nicola Carlomagno Copyright © 2015 Michele L. Santangelo et al. All rights reserved. Mushroom β-Glucan May Immunomodulate the Tumor-Associated Macrophages in the Lewis Lung Carcinoma Wed, 17 Jun 2015 08:32:26 +0000 The present study showed that oral mushroom beta-glucan treatment significantly increased IFN-γ mRNA expression but significantly reduced COX-2 mRNA expression within the lung. For LLC tumor model, oral Ganoderma lucidum or Antrodia camphorata polysaccharides treatments significantly reduced TGF-β production in serum. In addition, IL-12 and IFN-γ mRNA expression were significantly increased, but IL-6, IL-10, COX-2, and TGF-β mRNA expression were substantially following oral mushroom polysaccharides treatments. The study highlights the efficacious effect of mushroom polysaccharides for ameliorating the immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment. Increased M1 phenotype of tumor-associated macrophages and attenuated M2 phenotype of tumor-associated macrophages could be achieved by ingesting mushroom polysaccharides. Wan-Jhen Wang, Yu-Sheng Wu, Sherwin Chen, Chi-Feng Liu, and Shiu-Nan Chen Copyright © 2015 Wan-Jhen Wang et al. All rights reserved. Immunotherapy for Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcomas Wed, 17 Jun 2015 07:30:35 +0000 Although multimodal therapies including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy have improved clinical outcomes of patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas, the prognosis of patients has plateaued over these 20 years. Immunotherapies have shown the effectiveness for several types of advanced tumors. Immunotherapies, such as cytokine therapies, vaccinations, and adoptive cell transfers, have also been investigated for bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Cytokine therapies with interleukin-2 or interferons have limited efficacy because of their cytotoxicities. Liposomal muramyl tripeptide phosphatidylethanolamine (L-MTP-PE), an activator of the innate immune system, has been approved as adjuvant therapeutics in combination with conventional chemotherapy in Europe, which has improved the 5-year overall survival of patients. Vaccinations and transfer of T cells transduced to express chimeric antigen receptors have shown some efficacy for sarcomas. Ipilimumab and nivolumab are monoclonal antibodies designed to inhibit immune checkpoint mechanisms. These antibodies have recently been shown to be effective for patients with melanoma and also investigated for patients with sarcomas. In this review, we provide an overview of various trials of immunotherapies for bone and soft tissue sarcomas, and discuss their potential as adjuvant therapies in combination with conventional therapies. Takenori Uehara, Tomohiro Fujiwara, Ken Takeda, Toshiyuki Kunisada, Toshifumi Ozaki, and Heiichiro Udono Copyright © 2015 Takenori Uehara et al. All rights reserved. Dendritic Cell-Based Immunotherapy Treatment for Glioblastoma Multiforme Wed, 17 Jun 2015 07:02:23 +0000 Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant glioma and patients diagnosed with this disease had poor outcomes even treated with the combination of conventional treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation). Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most powerful antigen presenting cells and DC-based vaccination has the potential to target and eliminate GBM cells and enhance the responses of these cells to the existing therapies with minimal damage to the healthy tissues around them. It can enhance recognition of GBM cells by the patients’ immune system and activate vast, potent, and long-lasting immune reactions to eliminate them. Therefore, this therapy can prolong the survival of GBM patients and has wide and bright future in the treatment of GBM. Also, the efficacy of this therapy can be strengthened in several ways at some degree: the manipulation of immune regulatory components or costimulatory molecules on DCs; the appropriate choices of antigens for loading to enhance the effectiveness of the therapy; regulation of positive regulators or negative regulators in GBM microenvironment. Liu Yang, Geng Guo, Xiao-yuan Niu, and Jing Liu Copyright © 2015 Liu Yang et al. All rights reserved. miR-451a Inhibited Cell Proliferation and Enhanced Tamoxifen Sensitive in Breast Cancer via Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor Tue, 16 Jun 2015 13:37:53 +0000 This study aims to investigate the regulative effects of microRNA-451a (miR-451a) on cell proliferation and sensitivity to tamoxifen in breast cancer cells. In cell culture experiments, the lentiviral vectors of pHBLV-miR-451a and pHBLV-miR-451a sponge were constructed and used to transfect MCF-7 and LCC2 cells. The transfection efficiency was tested by fluorescent observation, and cell lines with stable over- or downregulated expression of miR-451a were established. The expression of miR-451a and the target gene macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) were detected by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and/or western blot. Moreover, MTT assay, colony formation, and Transwell invasion assays were also performed. Data showed that the recombinant lentiviral vectors were constructed correctly, and the virus titer was 1 × 108 CFU/mL. The stable transfected cells were obtained. Overexpression of miR-451a downregulated MIF expression in mRNA and protein levels and inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation, and invasion of breast cancer cells. Downregulation of miR-451a upregulated MIF expression and increased breast cancer cell growth, invasion, and tamoxifen sensitivity. In summary, the miR-451a/MIF pathway may play important roles in the biological properties of breast cancer cells and may be a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer. Zhenru Liu, Tianyu Miao, Ting Feng, Zhouhua Jiang, Mingyuan Li, Liming Zhou, and Hong Li Copyright © 2015 Zhenru Liu et al. All rights reserved. Intratumoral Heterogeneity of MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 Expression in Mucosal Melanoma Tue, 16 Jun 2015 12:40:42 +0000 Mucosal melanoma is a rare disease, which differs from its cutaneous counterpart genetically and for its clinical behaviour. Moreover this is a heterogeneous disease based on the tissue of origin. As CT7 and CT10 are highly expressed in cutaneous melanoma and are immunogenic in this disease, we analysed their expression throughout the different subtypes of mucosal melanoma and tumor development. We detected a frequent expression of CT7 in primaries and corresponding metastases (55%) as well as for CT10 (30%). This expression resulted to be heterogeneous in the same tumor specimen and moreover influenced by the tissue of origin. Our results support the role of these antigens in immunotherapy for mucosal melanoma. A. Curioni-Fontecedro, R. Pitocco, N. L. Schoenewolf, D. Holzmann, D. Soldini, R. Dummer, S. Calvieri, H. Moch, D. Mihic-Probst, and A. Fitsche Copyright © 2015 A. Curioni-Fontecedro et al. All rights reserved. Immunotherapy in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Comprehensive Review Tue, 16 Jun 2015 12:33:43 +0000 Localized renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is often curable by surgery alone. However, metastatic RCC is generally incurable. In the 1990s, immunotherapy in the form of cytokines was the mainstay of treatment for metastatic RCC. However, responses were seen in only a minority of highly selected patients with substantial treatment-related toxicities. The advent of targeted agents such as vascular endothelial growth factor tyrosine kinase inhibitors VEGF-TKIs and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors led to a change in this paradigm due to improved response rates and progression-free survival, a better safety profile, and the convenience of oral administration. However, most patients ultimately progress with about 12% being alive at 5 years. In contrast, durable responses lasting 10 years or more are noted in a minority of those treated with cytokines. More recently, an improved overall survival with newer forms of immunotherapy in other malignancies (such as melanoma and prostate cancer) has led to a resurgence of interest in immune therapies in metastatic RCC. In this review we discuss the rationale for immunotherapy and recent developments in immunotherapeutic strategies for treating metastatic RCC. Rachna Raman and Daniel Vaena Copyright © 2015 Rachna Raman and Daniel Vaena. All rights reserved. Effect and Molecular Mechanisms of Traditional Chinese Medicine on Regulating Tumor Immunosuppressive Microenvironment Tue, 16 Jun 2015 12:27:26 +0000 Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an important complementary strategy for treating cancer in China. The mechanism is related to regulating the internal environment and remodeling the tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment (TIM). Herein we illustrate how TIM is reformed and its protumor activity on promoting tumor cell proliferation, angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, tumor invasion, and the oncogenicity of cancer stem cells. Furthermore we summarize the effects and mechanism of TCM on regulating TIM via enhancing antitumor immune responses (e.g., regulating the expression of MHC molecules and Fas/FasL, attenuating cancerigenic ability of cancer stem cells) and remolding immunosuppressive cells (e.g., reversing immune phenotypes of T lymphocytes and tumor associated macrophages, promoting dendritic cells mature, restraining myeloid derived suppressor cells function, and regulating Th1/Th2 factors). We also reveal the bidirectional and multitargeting functions of TCM on regulating TIM. Hopefully, it provides new theoretical basis for TCM clinical practice in cancer treatment and prevention. Qiujun Guo, Jie Li, and Hongsheng Lin Copyright © 2015 Qiujun Guo et al. All rights reserved. “Adherent” versus Other Isolation Strategies for Expanding Purified, Potent, and Activated Human NK Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy Tue, 16 Jun 2015 10:15:12 +0000 Natural killer (NK) cells have long been hypothesized to play a central role in the development of new immunotherapies to combat a variety of cancers due to their intrinsic ability to lyse tumor cells. For the past several decades, various isolation and expansion methods have been developed to harness the full antitumor potential of NK cells. These protocols have varied greatly between laboratories and several have been optimized for large-scale clinical use despite associated complexity and high cost. Here, we present a simple method of “adherent” enrichment and expansion of NK cells, developed using both healthy donors’ and cancer patients’ peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and compare its effectiveness with various published protocols to highlight the pros and cons of their use in adoptive cell therapy. By building upon the concepts and data presented, future research can be adapted to provide simple, cost-effective, reproducible, and translatable procedures for personalized treatment with NK cells. Senthamil R. Selvan and John P. Dowling Copyright © 2015 Senthamil R. Selvan and John P. Dowling. All rights reserved. Which Metrics Are Appropriate to Describe the Value of New Cancer Therapies? Tue, 16 Jun 2015 10:13:47 +0000 Patients with certain cancers are treated with curative intent, but for others the results are less favorable and different therapeutic approaches are needed. Early data suggest that new therapies, which modulate immune responses to cancers, may have potential for long-term survival in a proportion of cases. Therefore, it is timely to consider whether metrics generally used to describe the medical value of therapies for patients with common solid tumors remain appropriate for therapies with curative potential. Literature reviews were conducted to define how various stakeholders describe cure in oncology and to identify the endpoints used in clinical trials for selected solid tumors. The results showed that “cure” is described using various terms that can be divided broadly into lack of disease progression, eradication of cancerous cells, and survival. The review of trial endpoints showed frequent use of median overall survival (OS) and progression- and response-related endpoints. Because these endpoints were mainly described in the context of chemotherapies that are not generally curative, they may not adequately capture outcomes of new therapeutic modalities with potential for long-term survival. More appropriate endpoints may include mean OS, cure fraction, and OS rate at landmark time points. Peter Johnson, Wolfgang Greiner, Imad Al-Dakkak, and Samuel Wagner Copyright © 2015 Peter Johnson et al. All rights reserved. Functional Alteration of Natural Killer Cells and Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes upon Asbestos Exposure and in Malignant Mesothelioma Patients Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:39:49 +0000 Malignant mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, which is known to have carcinogenic effects. However, the development of mesothelioma takes a long period and results from a low or intermediate dose of exposure. These findings have motivated us to investigate the immunological effects of asbestos exposure and analyze immune functions of patients with mesothelioma and pleural plaque, a sign of exposure to asbestos. Here, we review our knowledge concerning natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). NK cells showed impaired cytotoxicity with altered expression of activating receptors upon exposure to asbestos, while induction of granzyme+ cells in CD8+ lymphocytes was suppressed by asbestos exposure. It is interesting that a decrease in NKp46, a representative activating receptor, is common between NK cells in PBMC culture with asbestos and those of mesothelioma patients. Moreover, it was observed that CD8+ lymphocytes may be stimulated by some kind of “nonself” cells in plaque-positive individuals and in mesothelioma patients, whereas CTL in mesothelioma is impaired by poststimulation maintenance of cytotoxicity. These findings suggest that analysis of immunological parameters might contribute to the evaluation of health conditions of asbestos-exposed individuals and to a greater understanding of the pathology of malignant mesothelioma. Yasumitsu Nishimura, Naoko Kumagai-Takei, Hidenori Matsuzaki, Suni Lee, Megumi Maeda, Takumi Kishimoto, Kazuya Fukuoka, Takashi Nakano, and Takemi Otsuki Copyright © 2015 Yasumitsu Nishimura et al. All rights reserved. Expression of FOXP3, CD14, and ARG1 in Neuroblastoma Tumor Tissue from High-Risk Patients Predicts Event-Free and Overall Survival Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:37:30 +0000 The prognosis of children with metastatic neuroblastoma (NB) > 18 months at diagnosis is dismal. Since the immune status of the tumor microenvironment could play a role in the history of disease, we evaluated the expression of CD45, CD14, ARG1, CD163, CD4, FOXP3, Perforin-1 (PRF1), Granzyme B (GRMB), and IL-10 mRNAs in primary tumors at diagnosis from children with metastatic NB and tested whether the transcript levels are significantly associated to event-free and overall survival (EFS and OS, resp.). Children with high expression of CD14, ARG1 and FOXP3 mRNA in their primary tumors had significantly better EFS. Elevated expression of CD14, and FOXP3 mRNA was significantly associated to better OS. CD14 mRNA expression levels significantly correlated to all markers, with the exception of CD4. Strong positive correlations were found between PRF1 and CD163, as well as between PFR1 and FOXP3. It is worth noting that the combination of high levels of CD14, FOXP3, and ARG1 mRNAs identified a small group of patients with excellent EFS and OS, whereas low levels of CD14 were sufficient to identify patients with dismal survival. Thus, the immune status of the primary tumors of high-risk NB patients may influence the natural history of this pediatric cancer. Sara Stigliani, Michela Croce, Fabio Morandi, Paola Scaruffi, Valentina Rigo, Barbara Carlini, Carla Manzitti, Anna Rita Gigliotti, Gian Paolo Tonini, Vito Pistoia, Silvano Ferrini, and Maria Valeria Corrias Copyright © 2015 Sara Stigliani et al. All rights reserved. Polymorphisms of NFκB1 and IκBα and Their Synergistic Effect on Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Susceptibility Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:35:32 +0000 Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a multifactoral and polygenic disease with high prevalence in Southeast Asia and Southern China. Environmental factors and genetic susceptibility play important roles in NPC pathogenesis. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in nuclear factor-kappa B (NFκB) and its inhibitor (IκBα) conferred consistent risks for NPC. Four putatively functional SNPs (NFκB1: rs28362491del>ins ATTG; NFκB2: rs12769316G>A; IκBα: rs2233406C>T and rs696G>A) were analyzed to evaluate their associations with NPC risk in total 1590 NPC cases and 1979 cancer-free controls. We found that the rs28362491 insATTG variants (ins/del + ins/ins) in NFκB1 conferred an increased risk of NPC (odds ratio , 95% confidence interval –1.55, and ) compared with the del/del homozygous genotype. The rs696AA variant in IκBα had an increased risk of NPC (, 95% –1.66, and ) by decreasing IκBα expression due to the modulation of microRNA hsa-miR-449a. Furthermore, both adverse genotypes of NFκB/IκBα and their interaction also exerted an increased risk on NPC. Taken together, Our findings indicated that genetic variants in NFκB1 (rs28362491del>ins ATTG) and IκBα (rs696G>A) and their synergistic effect might contribute to NPC predisposition. Yehua Liu, Fuman Qiu, Lei Yang, Rongrong Yang, Xiaorong Yang, Dongsheng Huang, Wenxiang Fang, Lisha Zhang, Qingping Jiang, Lan Zhang, Yifeng Zhou, and Jiachun Lu Copyright © 2015 Yehua Liu et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of C-X-C Motif Chemokine 13 on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Associates with Wnt Signaling Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:35:27 +0000 Objects. To investigate the effect of CXCL13 (C-X-C motif chemokine 13) on hepatocellular carcinoma and clarify the potential mechanisms. Methods. 32 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and 12 healthy controls were recruited for analyzing the expression of CXCL13 by RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction). ELISA (enzyme-linked immune-sorbent assay) was used to test the concentration of serum CXCL13. The interaction between CXCL13 and Wnt signaling was analyzed by western blot. In vitro PBMCs cultured with HepG2 supernatant, the levels of IL-12, IL4, IL-6, and IL-17, and four IgG subclasses were detected by ELISA. Results. The rate of high expression CXCL13 was 63.4% in advanced HCC patients, and the serum CXCL13 was also at a high level in stage IV HCC patients. Meanwhile CXCL13 level was positively correlated with serum ALT (Alanine Transaminase) and AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase). CXCL13 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling shared a positive feedback loop. Furthermore, CXCL13 could obviously promote the expressions of IL-12 and IL-17, and induce IgG4 secreted by B cells. Conclusions. The effect of CXCL13 on promoting liver cancer is related to the activation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway and the facilitation of IL-12, IL-17 and IgG4. CXCL13 plays an important role in the progression of HCC, and it may act as a potential target for the diagnosis and treatment of HCC. Chunyan Li, Dong Kang, Xiguang Sun, Yufei Liu, Jinhong Wang, and Pujun Gao Copyright © 2015 Chunyan Li et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Development of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:01:03 +0000 Recent progress in cancer immunotherapy has been remarkable. Most striking are the clinical development and approval of immunomodulators, also known as immune checkpoint inhibitors. These monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are directed to immune checkpoint molecules, which are expressed on immune cells and mediate signals to attenuate excessive immune reactions. Although mAbs targeting tumor associated antigens, such as anti-CD20 mAb and anti-Her2 mAb, directly recognize tumor cells and induce cell death, immune checkpoint inhibitors restore and augment the antitumor immune activities of cytotoxic T cells by blocking immune checkpoint molecules on T cells or their ligands on antigen presenting and tumor cells. Based on preclinical data, many clinical trials have demonstrated the acceptable safety profiles and efficacies of immune checkpoint inhibitors in a variety of cancers. The first in class approved immune checkpoint inhibitor is ipilimumab, an anti-CTLA-4 (cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4) mAb. Two pivotal phase III randomized controlled trials demonstrated a survival benefit in patients with metastatic melanoma. In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ipilimumab for metastatic melanoma. Several clinical trials have since investigated new agents, alone and in combination, for various cancers. In this review, we discuss the current development status of and future challenges in utilizing immune checkpoint inhibitors. Ayumu Ito, Shunsuke Kondo, Kohei Tada, and Shigehisa Kitano Copyright © 2015 Ayumu Ito et al. All rights reserved. Beyond the Immune Suppression: The Immunotherapy in Prostate Cancer Tue, 16 Jun 2015 08:40:39 +0000 Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer in men. As well in many other human cancers, inflammation and immune suppression have an important role in their development. We briefly describe the host components that interact with the tumor to generate an immune suppressive environment involved in PCa promotion and progression. Different tools provide to overcome the mechanisms of immunosuppression including vaccines and immune checkpoint blockades. With regard to this, we report results of most recent clinical trials investigating immunotherapy in metastatic PCa (Sipuleucel-T, ipilimumab, tasquinimod, Prostvac-VF, and GVAX) and provide possible future perspectives combining the immunotherapy to the traditional therapies. Ida Silvestri, Susanna Cattarino, Anna Maria Aglianò, Giulia Collalti, and Alessandro Sciarra Copyright © 2015 Ida Silvestri et al. All rights reserved. Human Tumor Antigens and Cancer Immunotherapy Tue, 16 Jun 2015 08:30:03 +0000 With the recent developments of adoptive T cell therapies and the use of new monoclonal antibodies against the immune checkpoints, immunotherapy is at a turning point. Key players for the success of these therapies are the cytolytic T lymphocytes, which are a subset of T cells able to recognize and kill tumor cells. Here, I review the nature of the antigenic peptides recognized by these T cells and the processes involved in their presentation. I discuss the importance of understanding how each antigenic peptide is processed in the context of immunotherapy and vaccine delivery. Nathalie Vigneron Copyright © 2015 Nathalie Vigneron. All rights reserved. NKG2D and DNAM-1 Ligands: Molecular Targets for NK Cell-Mediated Immunotherapeutic Intervention in Multiple Myeloma Tue, 16 Jun 2015 07:57:07 +0000 A pivotal strategy to improve NK cell-mediated antitumor activity involves the upregulation of activating ligands on tumor cells. Enhancement of NK cell-mediated recognition of multiple myeloma cells was reported by us and others showing increased surface expression of NKG2D and DNAM-1 ligands on tumor cells following treatment with a number of chemotherapeutic agents, such as genotoxic drugs or inhibitors of proteasome, histone deacetylases, GSK3, and HSP-90. These compounds have the capability to affect tumor survival but also to activate specific transduction pathways associated with the upregulation of different NK cell activating ligands on the tumor cells. Here, we will summarize and discuss the molecular pathways whereby these drugs can regulate the expression of NK cell activating ligands in multiple myeloma cells. Cinzia Fionda, Alessandra Soriani, Alessandra Zingoni, Angela Santoni, and Marco Cippitelli Copyright © 2015 Cinzia Fionda et al. All rights reserved. Modulation of Lung Immune Response 2014 Wed, 13 May 2015 11:17:16 +0000 Alexandre de Paula Rogerio, Carlo José Freire Oliveira, Edinéia Lemos de Andrade, and Troy Carlo Copyright © 2015 Alexandre de Paula Rogerio et al. All rights reserved. Immunological, Viral, Environmental, and Individual Factors Modulating Lung Immune Response to Respiratory Syncytial Virus Wed, 06 May 2015 06:12:07 +0000 Respiratory syncytial virus is a worldwide pathogen agent responsible for frequent respiratory tract infections that may become severe and potentially lethal in high risk infants and adults. Several studies have been performed to investigate the immune response that determines the clinical course of the infection. In the present paper, we review the literature on viral, environmental, and host factors influencing virus response; the mechanisms of the immune response; and the action of nonimmunological factors. These mechanisms have often been studied in animal models and in the present review we also summarize the main findings obtained from animal models as well as the limits of each of these models. Understanding the lung response involved in the pathogenesis of these respiratory infections could be useful in improving the preventive strategies against respiratory syncytial virus. Silvia Vandini, Paolo Bottau, Giacomo Faldella, and Marcello Lanari Copyright © 2015 Silvia Vandini et al. All rights reserved. Advances in Anti-IgE Therapy Tue, 05 May 2015 12:58:45 +0000 Omalizumab depletes free IgE in the blood and interstitial space and inhibits IgE binding to FcεRI on basophils, mast cells, and dendritic cells. We stopped omalizumab treatment after four years. Recurrences of urticaria symptoms were found to be higher in patients with chronic urticaria than recurrences of asthmatic symptoms in severe persistent asthma patients. For the very first time, we used omalizumab in symptomatic therapy of recurrent laryngeal oedema and urticaria attacks in a patient with postoperative pulmonary carcinoid tumor for eight months. During the four years of follow-up, no recurrence was noted in pulmonary carcinoid tumor. Control PET CT results revealed normal findings. After omalizumab treatment, laryngeal oedema and urticaria symptoms were decreased. The most common adverse reaction from omalizumab is injection site induration, injection site itching, injection site pain, and bruising but the package insert contains warnings regarding parasitic infections. While there are no reports of fatal anaphylaxis as a result of omalizumab, some cases have been serious and potentially life-threatening. Therefore, the FDA requires that people receiving omalizumab be monitored in the physician’s office for a period of time after their injections. Arzu Didem Yalcin Copyright © 2015 Arzu Didem Yalcin. All rights reserved. AT-RvD1 Modulates CCL-2 and CXCL-8 Production and NF-κB, STAT-6, SOCS1, and SOCS3 Expression on Bronchial Epithelial Cells Stimulated with IL-4 Tue, 05 May 2015 06:03:54 +0000 Bronchial epithelial cells represent the first line of defense against microorganisms and allergens in the airways and play an important role in chronic inflammatory processes such as asthma. In an experimental model, both RvD1 and AT-RvD1, lipid mediators of inflammation resolution, ameliorated some of the most important phenotypes of experimental asthma. Here, we extend these results and demonstrate the effect of AT-RvD1 on bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) stimulated with IL-4. AT-RvD1 (100 nM) decreased both CCL2 and CXCL-8 production, in part by decreasing STAT6 and NF-κB pathways. Furthermore, the effects of AT-RvD1 were ALX/FRP2 receptor dependent, as the antagonist of this receptor (BOC1) reversed the inhibition of these chemokines by AT-RvD1. In addition, AT-RvD1 decreased SOCS1 and increased SOCS3 expression, which play important roles in Th1 and Th17 modulation, respectively. In conclusion, AT-RvD1 demonstrated significant effects on the IL-4-induced activation of bronchial epithelial cells and consequently the potential to modulate neutrophilic and eosinophilic airway inflammation in asthma. Taken together, these findings identify AT-RvD1 as a potential proresolving therapeutic agent for allergic responses in the airways. Jhony Robison de Oliveira, Daniely Cornélio Favarin, Sarah Cristina Sato Vaz Tanaka, Marly Aparecida Spadotto Balarin, David Nascimento Silva Teixeira, Bruce David Levy, and Alexandre de Paula Rogério Copyright © 2015 Jhony Robison de Oliveira et al. All rights reserved. Expression Pattern of Transcription Factors and Intracellular Cytokines Reveals That Clinically Cured Tuberculosis Is Accompanied by an Increase in Mycobacterium-Specific Th1, Th2, and Th17 Cells Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:02:34 +0000 Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major global health problem and is the second biggest cause of death by infectious disease worldwide. Here, we investigate in vitro the Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg cytokines and transcriptional factors produced after Mycobacterium-specific antigen stimulation in patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis, clinically cured pulmonary tuberculosis, and healthy donors with a positive tuberculin skin test (TST+). Together, our data indicate that clinical cure after treatment increases the percentages of Mycobacterium-specific Th1, Th2, and Th17 cells compared with those found in active-TB and TST+ healthy donors. These results show that the host-parasite equilibrium in latent TB breaks in favor of the microorganism and that the subsequent clinical recovery posttreatment does not return the percentage levels of such cells to those observed in latent tuberculosis. Additionally, our results indicate that rather than showing an increase in the percentage of Mycobacterium-specific Tregs, active-TB patients display lower Th1 : Treg and Th17 : Treg ratios. These data, together with lower Th1 : Th2 and Th17 : Th2 ratios, may indicate a mechanism by which the breakdown of the host-parasite equilibrium leads to active-TB and changes in the repertoire of Mycobacterium-specific Th cells that are associated with clinical cure after treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. Marcos V. da Silva, Vladimir J. Massaro Junior, Juliana R. Machado, Djalma A. A. Silva, Lúcio R. Castellano, Patricia B. D. Alexandre, Denise B. R. Rodrigues, and Virmondes Rodrigues Copyright © 2015 Marcos V. da Silva et al. All rights reserved. Does Moderate Intensity Exercise Attenuate the Postprandial Lipemic and Airway Inflammatory Response to a High-Fat Meal? Mon, 27 Apr 2015 11:34:12 +0000 We investigated whether an acute bout of moderate intensity exercise in the postprandial period attenuates the triglyceride and airway inflammatory response to a high-fat meal (HFM) compared to remaining inactive in the postprandial period. Seventeen (11 M/6 F) physically active (≥150 min/week of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)) subjects were randomly assigned to an exercise (EX; 60% ) or sedentary (CON) condition after a HFM (10 kcal/kg, 63% fat). Blood analytes and airway inflammation via exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) were measured at baseline, and 2 and 4 hours after HFM. Airway inflammation was assessed with induced sputum and cell differentials at baseline and 4 hours after HFM. Triglycerides doubled in the postprandial period (~113 ± 18%, ), but the increase did not differ between EX and CON. Percentage of neutrophils was increased 4 hours after HFM (~17%), but the increase did not differ between EX and CON. Exhaled nitric oxide changed nonlinearly from baseline to 2 and 4 hours after HFM . Our findings suggest that, in active individuals, an acute bout of moderate intensity exercise does not attenuate the triglyceride or airway inflammatory response to a high-fat meal. Stephanie P. Kurti, Sara K. Rosenkranz, Morton Levitt, Brooke J. Cull, Colby S. Teeman, Sam R. Emerson, and Craig A. Harms Copyright © 2015 Stephanie P. Kurti et al. All rights reserved. Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells Inhibit the Function of Allogeneic Activated Vγ9Vδ2 T Lymphocytes In Vitro Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:45:42 +0000 Background. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) can regulate the function of immune cells. However, whether and how UC-MSCs can modulate the function of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells has not been fully understood. Methods. The PBMCs or Vγ9Vδ2 T cells were activated and expanded with pamidronate (PAM) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) with or without the presence UC-MSCs. The effects of UC-MSCs on the proliferation, cytokine expression, and cytotoxicity of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells were determined by flow cytometry. The effects of UC-MSCs on Fas-L, TRAIL-expressing Vγ9Vδ2 T cells, and Vγ9Vδ2 T cell apoptosis were determined by flow cytometry. Results. UC-MSCs inhibited Vγ9Vδ2 T cell proliferation in a dose-dependent but cell-contact independent manner. Coculture with UC-MSCs reduced the frequency of IFNγ+ but increased granzyme B+ Vγ9Vδ2 T cells. UC-MSCs inhibited the cytotoxicity of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells against influenza virus H1N1 infected A549 cells and also reduced the frequency of Fas-L+, TRAIL+ Vγ9Vδ2 T cells but failed to modulate the apoptosis of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells. Conclusions. These results indicated that UC-MSCs efficiently suppressed the proliferation and cytotoxicity of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells and modulated their cytokine production. Fas-L and TRAIL were involved in the regulation. Cell contact and apoptosis of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells were not necessary for the inhibition. Xiaohuan Liu, Ting Feng, Tianxiang Gong, Chongyang Shen, Tingting Zhu, Qihong Wu, Qiang Li, and Hong Li Copyright © 2015 Xiaohuan Liu et al. All rights reserved. The Immune System in Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Potential New Immunotherapeutic Strategies Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:27:44 +0000 Background. Hepatocellular carcinoma is a major health problem worldwide and the third most common cause of cancer-related death. HCC treatment decisions are complex and dependent upon tumor staging. Several molecular targeted agents have been evaluated in clinical trials in advanced HCC. Despite of only modest objective response rates according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, several studies showed encouraging results in terms of prolongation of the time to progression, disease stabilization, and survival. Cellular immunotherapy would improve the immune state and has potential in enhancing the therapeutic outcome for HCC patients. Materials and Methods. A search of the literature was made using cancer literature, the PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science (WOS) database for the following keywords: “hepatocellular carcinoma,” “molecular hepatocarcinogenesis,” “targeted therapy,” “molecular immunological targets,” “tumour-associated antigens,” “Tregs,” “MDSCs,” “immunotherapy.” Discussion and Conclusion. Treatment strategies combining blockade of immunoregulatory cell types such as Tregs and MDSCs and of inhibitory receptors, with vaccine-induced activation of TAA-specific T cells, may be necessary to achieve the most effective therapeutic antitumour activity in HCC. In the future, new therapeutic options will be represented by a blend of immunotherapy-like vaccines and T-cell modulators, supplemented by molecularly targeted inhibitors of tumor signaling pathways. Gaetano Bertino, Shirin Demma, Annalisa Ardiri, Maria Proiti, Alessandra Mangia, Salvatore Gruttadauria, Adriana Toro, Isidoro Di Carlo, Giulia Malaguarnera, Nicoletta Bertino, Mariano Malaguarnera, and Michele Malaguarnera Copyright © 2015 Gaetano Bertino et al. All rights reserved. Biological Effects of Listeriolysin O: Implications for Vaccination Sun, 22 Mar 2015 13:26:53 +0000 Listeriolysin O (LLO) is a thiol-activated cholesterol-dependent pore-forming toxin and the major virulence factor of Listeria monocytogenes (LM). Extensive research in recent years has revealed that LLO exerts a wide array of biological activities, during the infection by LM or by itself as recombinant antigen. The spectrum of biological activities induced by LLO includes cytotoxicity, apoptosis induction, endoplasmic reticulum stress response, modulation of gene expression, intracellular calcium oscillations, and proinflammatory activity. In addition, LLO is a highly immunogenic toxin and the major target for innate and adaptive immune responses in different animal models and humans. Recently, the crystal structure of LLO has been published in detail. Here, we review the structure-function relationship for this fascinating microbial molecule, highlighting the potential uses of LLO in the fields of biomedicine and biotechnology, particularly in vaccination. K. G. Hernández-Flores and H. Vivanco-Cid Copyright © 2015 K. G. Hernández-Flores and H. Vivanco-Cid. All rights reserved. Differential Regulation of Proinflammatory Mediators following LPS- and ATP-Induced Activation of Monocytes from Patients with Antiphospholipid Syndrome Sun, 15 Feb 2015 07:43:51 +0000 Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an acquired autoimmune disorder characterized by recurrent thrombosis and pregnancy morbidity in association with the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. Growing evidence supports the involvement of monocytes in APS pathogenesis. Inflammatory activation of monocytes promotes thrombus formation and other APS complications. However, mechanisms underlying their activation are poorly investigated. We aimed to determine transcriptional activity of monocytes after exposing them to low concentrations of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and LPS + adenosine triphosphate (ATP) using comparative qRT-PCR. The results showed that LPS significantly increased transcriptional levels of TLR2, IL-23, CCL2, CXCL10, IL-1β, and IL-6 in APS cells, while, in cells from healthy donors, LPS resulted in IL-6 and STAT3 elevated mRNAs. Double stimulation of the cells resulted in decreased mRNA levels of NLRP3 in monocytes isolated from healthy donors and CCL2, IL-1β in APS cells. By contrast, TLR2 mRNAs were elevated in both investigated groups after culture of the cells with LPS + ATP. Thus, the findings indicate increased sensitivity of APS cells to LPS that may contribute to thrombus formation and enhance development or progression of autoimmune processes. Low concentrations of ATP diminish LPS-induced inflammatory state of APS monocytes which might be a potential mechanism which regulates inflammatory state of the cells. Anush Martirosyan, Martin Petrek, Zdenka Navratilova, Armen Blbulyan, Anna Boyajyan, and Gayane Manukyan Copyright © 2015 Anush Martirosyan et al. All rights reserved. Detection of Human Cytomegalovirus in Different Histopathological Types of Glioma in Iraqi Patients Sun, 01 Feb 2015 12:08:26 +0000 Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is an endemic herpes virus that reemerges in cancer patients enhancing oncogenic potential. HCMV infection is associated with certain types of cancer morbidity such as glioblastomas. HCMV, like all other herpes viruses, has the ability to remain latent within the body of the host and can contribute in chronic inflammation. To determine the role of HCMV in glioma pathogenesis, paraffin-embedded blocks from glioma patients () and from benign meningioma patients () were obtained and evaluated by immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction for the evidence of HCMV antigen expression and the presence of viral DNA. We detected HCMV antigen and DNA for IEI-72, pp65, and late antigen in 33/36, 28/36, and 26/36 in glioblastoma multiforme patients whereas 12/14, 10/14, and 9/14 in anaplastic astrocytoma patients, respectively. Furthermore, 84% of glioma patients were positive for immunoglobulin G (IgG) compared to 72.5% among control samples (). These data indicate the presence of the HCMV virus in a high percentage of glioma samples demonstrating distinct histopathological grades and support previous reports showing the presence of HCMV infection in glioma tissue. These studies demonstrate that detection of low-levels of latent viral infections may play an active role in glioma development and pathogenesis. Haidar A. Shamran, Haider S. Kadhim, Aws R. Hussain, Abdulameer Kareem, Dennis D. Taub, Robert L. Price, Mitzi Nagarkatti, Prakash S. Nagarkatti, and Udai P. Singh Copyright © 2015 Haidar A. Shamran et al. All rights reserved. Elevation of Tim-3 and PD-1 Expression on T Cells Appears Early in HIV Infection, and Differential Tim-3 and PD-1 Expression Patterns Can Be Induced by Common γ-Chain Cytokines Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:21:44 +0000 Purpose. To explore the association between differential Tim-3 and PD-1 expression patterns and HIV disease progression, and to investigate the impact of common γ-chain cytokines on Tim-3 and PD-1 expression patterns on T cells. Methods. Tim-3/PD-1 expression on the T cells of patients with early and chronic HIV infections was detected. The expression levels and functional profiles of T cells with differential Tim-3 and PD-1 expression patterns induced by γ-chain cytokines were studied. Results. The elevation of differential Tim-3 and PD-1 expression patterns on T cells appeared early in HIV infection. Co-expression of Tim-3 and PD-1 (Tim-3+PD-1+) correlates with more severe exhaustion of T cells during HIV infection. In vitro stimulation of common γ-chain cytokines can induce differential expression patterns of Tim-3 and PD-1 on T cells. The enhancement of Tim-3 and PD-1 expression by common γ-chain IL-2 can inhibit the function of T cells re-stimulated by HIV gag and TCR, not by the re-stimulation of IL-2. Conclusions. The elevation of differential Tim-3 and PD-1 expression patterns on T cells represents a state of T cell exhaustion and can be induced by common γ-chain cytokines. These findings provide insights into HIV pathogenesis and help inform immune intervention strategies. Zi-Ning Zhang, Ming-Lu Zhu, Yan-Hong Chen, Ya-Jing Fu, Tong-Wei Zhang, Yong-Jun Jiang, Zhen-Xing Chu, and Hong Shang Copyright © 2015 Zi-Ning Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms and Haplotypes in Hungarian Patients with Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathy Thu, 15 Jan 2015 06:39:41 +0000 Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies are autoimmune diseases characterized by symmetrical proximal muscle weakness. Our aim was to identify a correlation between VDR polymorphisms or haplotypes and myositis. We studied VDR-BsmI, VDR-ApaI, VDR-TaqI, and VDR-FokI polymorphisms and haplotypes in 89 Hungarian poly-/dermatomyositis patients (69 females) and 93 controls (52 females). We did not obtain any significant differences for VDR-FokI, BsmI, ApaI, and TaqI genotypes and allele frequencies between patients with myositis and healthy individuals. There was no association of VDR polymorphisms with clinical manifestations and laboratory profiles in myositis patients. Men with myositis had a significantly different distribution of BB, Bb, and bb genotypes than female patients, control male individuals, and the entire control group. Distribution of TT, Tt, and tt genotypes was significantly different in males than in females in patient group. According to four-marker haplotype prevalence, frequencies of sixteen possible haplotypes showed significant differences between patient and control groups. The three most frequent haplotypes in patients were the fbAt, FBaT, and fbAT. Our findings may reveal that there is a significant association: Bb and Tt genotypes can be associated with myositis in the Hungarian population we studied. We underline the importance of our result in the estimated prevalence of four-marker haplotypes. Levente Bodoki, Ji-Qing Chen, Margit Zeher, Melinda Nagy-Vincze, Zoltán Griger, Erika Zilahi, and Katalin Dankó Copyright © 2015 Levente Bodoki et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Anti-Histone H1 Monoclonal Antibody, SSV Monoclonal Antibody, Improves Lung Injury and Survival in a Mouse Model of Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Sepsis-Like Syndrome Sun, 11 Jan 2015 09:51:15 +0000 Background. Histones play important roles in both host defenses and inflammation related to microbial infection. A peptide mimotope (SSV) was identified from a novel histone H1 monoclonal antibody (16G9 mAb) that was shown to inhibit the mixed lymphocyte reaction. In the present study, an anti-SSV producing hybridoma was established. We investigated the effects of SSV mAb in a mouse acute inflammation model induced by intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Methods. SSV mAb was generated and characterized. Mice were treated with SSV mAb or a control IgG antibody prior to LPS injection. Evaluation of survival rate and lung tissue on histological score was performed. The levels of inflammatory cytokines and histones H1, H3, and H4 in plasma and lung tissue were measured by ELISA. Results. Competitive ELISA revealed that SSV mAb binds to histone H1. SSV mAb improved lung injury and prolonged the survival of LPS-injected mice. Increased levels of histones H1, H3, and H4 and inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) in plasma and lung tissue after LPS injection were ameliorated by SSV mAb. Conclusion. SSV mAb is shown to have anti-inflammatory activity and organ-protective effects, highlighting the importance of controlling histone H1 as well as H3 and H4 levels during inflammation. Toru Kusano, Kuei-Chen Chiang, Masafumi Inomata, Yayoi Shimada, Naoya Ohmori, Takeshi Goto, Shuji Sato, Shigeru Goto, Toshiaki Nakano, Seiji Kawamoto, Yuki Takaoka, Norio Shiraishi, Takayuki Noguchi, and Seigo Kitano Copyright © 2015 Toru Kusano et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effect of a Lipid-Based Preparation from Mycobacterium smegmatis in a Murine Model of Progressive Pulmonary Tuberculosis Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:57:00 +0000 A more effective vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) is urgently needed. Based on its high genetic homology with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the nonpathogenic mycobacteria, Mycobacterium smegmatis (Ms), could be an attractive source of potential antigens to be included in such a vaccine. We evaluated the capability of lipid-based preparations obtained from Ms to provide a protective response in Balb/c mice after challenge with Mtb H37Rv strain. The intratracheal model of progressive pulmonary TB was used to assess the level of protection in terms of bacterial load as well as the pathological changes in the lungs of immunized Balb/c mice following challenge with Mtb. Mice immunized with the lipid-based preparation from Ms either adjuvanted with Alum (LMs-AL) or nonadjuvanted (LMs) showed significant reductions in bacterial load () compared to the negative control group (animals immunized with phosphate buffered saline (PBS)). Both lipid formulations showed the same level of protection as Bacille Calmette and Guerin (BCG). Regarding the pathologic changes in the lungs, mice immunized with both lipid formulations showed less pneumonic area when compared with the PBS group () and showed similar results compared with the BCG group. These findings suggest the potential of LMs as a promising vaccine candidate against TB. Maria de los Angeles García, Reinier Borrero, Maria E. Lanio, Yanely Tirado, Nadine Alvarez, Alina Puig, Alicia Aguilar, Liem Canet, Dulce Mata Espinoza, Jorge Barrios Payán, María Elena Sarmiento, Rogelio Hernández-Pando, Mohd-Nor Norazmi, and Armando Acosta Copyright © 2014 Maria de los Angeles García et al. All rights reserved. Cervical Cancer Cell Supernatants Induce a Phenotypic Switch from U937-Derived Macrophage-Activated M1 State into M2-Like Suppressor Phenotype with Change in Toll-Like Receptor Profile Sun, 21 Sep 2014 06:53:27 +0000 Cervical cancer (CC) is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main risk factor for developing CC. Macrophages are important immune effector cells; they can be differentiated into two phenotypes, identified as M1 (classically activated) and M2 (alternatively activated). Macrophage polarization exerts profound effects on the Toll-like receptor (TLR) profile. In this study, we evaluated whether the supernatant of human CC cells HeLa, SiHa, and C-33A induces a shift of M1 macrophage toward M2 macrophage in U937-derived macrophages. Results. The results showed that soluble factors secreted by CC cells induce a change in the immunophenotype of macrophages from macrophage M1 into macrophage M2. U937-derived macrophages M1 released proinflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide; however, when these cells were treated with the supernatant of CC cell lines, we observed a turnover of M1 toward M2. These cells increased CD163 and IL-10 expression. The expression of TLR-3, -7, and -9 is increased when the macrophages were treated with the supernatant of CC cells. Conclusions. Our result strongly suggests that CC cells may, through the secretion of soluble factors, induce a change of immunophenotype M1 into M2 macrophages. Karina Sánchez-Reyes, Alejandro Bravo-Cuellar, Georgina Hernández-Flores, José Manuel Lerma-Díaz, Luis Felipe Jave-Suárez, Paulina Gómez-Lomelí, Ruth de Celis, Adriana Aguilar-Lemarroy, Jorge Ramiro Domínguez-Rodríguez, and Pablo Cesar Ortiz-Lazareno Copyright © 2014 Karina Sánchez-Reyes et al. All rights reserved. Proinflammatory Cytokines Correlate with Depression and Anxiety in Colorectal Cancer Patients Wed, 17 Sep 2014 07:15:35 +0000 The objective of this study was to investigate whether serum cytokine levels correlate with depression and anxiety in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Twenty patients hospitalized for surgical resection of CRC were included in the study group and twenty healthy volunteers comprised the control group. Depression and anxiety were analyzed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and serum levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, TNF-α, and TGF-β were measured by Cytometric Bead Array. We found that more than half of CRC patients presented clinically significant levels of anxiety or depression, and 65% of them manifested a combination of severe anxiety and depression. CRC patients had increased serum levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α but lower IL-10 concentrations. Correlation analysis between HADS score and cytokine levels revealed a positive association of anxiety and/or depression with IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α and a negative correlation with IL-10. These results indicate that circulating proinflammatory cytokines are involved in the pathophysiology of anxiety and depression in CRC patients. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in these psychological disorders will allow the design of therapeutic interventions that lead to an improved quality of life and overall survival of CRC patients. Diego Oliveira Miranda, Taís Aparecida Soares de Lima, Lucas Ribeiro Azevedo, Omar Feres, José Joaquim Ribeiro da Rocha, and Gabriela Pereira-da-Silva Copyright © 2014 Diego Oliveira Miranda et al. All rights reserved. Mucosal Immunity in the Female Genital Tract, HIV/AIDS Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:51:49 +0000 Mucosal immunity consists of innate and adaptive immune responses which can be influenced by systemic immunity. Despite having been the subject of intensive studies, it is not fully elucidated what exactly occurs after HIV contact with the female genital tract mucosa. The sexual route is the main route of HIV transmission, with an increased risk of infection in women compared to men. Several characteristics of the female genital tract make it suitable for inoculation, establishment of infection, and systemic spread of the virus, which causes local changes that may favor the development of infections by other pathogens, often called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The relationship of these STDs with HIV infection has been widely studied. Here we review the characteristics of mucosal immunity of the female genital tract, its alterations due to HIV/AIDS, and the characteristics of coinfections between HIV/AIDS and the most prevalent STDs. Juliana Reis Machado, Marcos Vinícius da Silva, Camila Lourencini Cavellani, Marlene Antônia dos Reis, Maria Luiza Gonçalves dos Reis Monteiro, Vicente de Paula Antunes Teixeira, and Rosana Rosa Miranda Corrêa Copyright © 2014 Juliana Reis Machado et al. All rights reserved. Increased Sialylation of Anti-Thomsen-Friedenreich Antigen (CD176) Antibodies in Patients with Gastric Cancer: A Diagnostic and Prognostic Potential Thu, 04 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Aim. To study whether alterations in the sialylation of antibodies (Ab) specific to the Thomsen-Friedenreich (TF) glycotope have a diagnostic and prognostic potential in gastric cancer. Methods. Serum samples were taken from patients with gastric carcinoma and controls . The level of TF-specific antibodies and their sialylation was detected using ELISA with synthetic TF-polyacrylamide conjugate as antigen and sialic acid-specific Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA). Results. The level of TF-specific IgM was significantly decreased in cancer compared with controls . Cancer patients showed a higher level of SNA binding to anti-TF IgM and IgA irrespective of disease stage, tumor morphology, and gender. Changes in the SNA/Ab index demonstrated moderate sensitivity (66–71%) and specificity (60–73%) for stomach cancer. The best diagnostic accuracy (100%) was achieved in 29% patients with high SNA binding and low anti-TF IgM level. This subset of patients demonstrated the poorest survival. Conclusion. Our findings are the first evidence that the increased sialylation of TF-specific Abs combined with a low level of anti-TF IgM is strongly linked to gastric cancer and patients survival, which can be used as a novel biomarker for cancer detection and prognosis. Oleg Kurtenkov, Jelena Izotova, Kersti Klaamas, and Boris Sergeyev Copyright © 2014 Oleg Kurtenkov et al. All rights reserved. Inhibition of Hydrogen Sulfide Production by Gene Silencing Attenuates Inflammatory Activity by Downregulation of NF-κB and MAP Kinase Activity in LPS-Activated RAW 264.7 Cells Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous inflammatory mediator produced by the activity of cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) in macrophages. The objective of this study was to explore the mechanism by which hydrogen sulfide acts as an inflammatory mediator in lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced macrophages. In this study, we used small interfering RNA (siRNA) to inhibit CSE expression in macrophages. We found that CSE silencing siRNA could reduce the LPS-induced activation of transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) significantly. Phosphorylation and activation of extra cellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) increased in LPS-induced macrophages. We showed that phosphorylation of ERK in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells reached a peak 30 min after activation. Our findings show that silencing CSE gene by siRNA reduces phosphorylation and activation of ERK1/2 in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells. These findings suggest that siRNA reduces the inflammatory effects of hydrogen sulfide through the ERK-NF-κB signalling pathway and hydrogen sulfide plays its inflammatory role through ERK-NF-κB pathway in these cells. Alireza Badiei, Nethaji Muniraj, Stephen Chambers, and Madhav Bhatia Copyright © 2014 Alireza Badiei et al. All rights reserved. NK Cells in Mucosal Defense against Infection Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:28:32 +0000 Conventional natural killer cells (NK cells) provide continual surveillance for cancer and rapid responses to infection. They develop in the bone marrow, emerge as either NK precursor cells, immature, or mature cells, and disperse throughout the body. In the periphery NK cells provide critical defense against pathogens and cancer and are noted to develop features of adaptive immune responses. In the tightly regulated and dynamic mucosal tissues, they set up residency via unknown mechanisms and from sources that are yet to be defined. Once resident, they appear to have the ability to functionally mature dependent on the mucosal tissue microenvironment. Mucosal NK cells play a pivotal role in early protection through their cytolytic function and IFNγ production against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasitic infections. This review presents what is known about NK cell development and phenotypes of mucosal tissue resident conventional NK cells. The question of how they come to reside in their tissues and published data on their function against pathogens during mucosal infection are discussed. Dissecting major questions highlighted in this review will be important to the further understanding of NK cell homing and functional diversity and improve rational design of NK cell based therapies against mucosal infection. Daria Ivanova, Ryan Krempels, Jennyfer Ryfe, Kaitlyn Weitzman, David Stephenson, and Jason P. Gigley Copyright © 2014 Daria Ivanova et al. All rights reserved. Immune Mechanisms in Vascular Disease and Stroke Thu, 14 Aug 2014 05:53:46 +0000 Ban-Hock Toh, Alexander Bobik, Tin S. Kyaw, Grant R. Drummond, Christopher G. Sobey, and Tomasz J. Guzik Copyright © 2014 Ban-Hock Toh et al. All rights reserved. Myeloid-Derived microRNAs, miR-223, miR27a, and miR-652, Are Dominant Players in Myeloid Regulation Mon, 11 Aug 2014 06:43:49 +0000 In the past few years expanding knowledge has been accumulated about the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) not only in hematopoiesis and cancer, but also in inflammatory and infectious diseases. Regarding myeloid cells, our knowledge is relatively insufficient, therefore we intended to collect the available data of miRNA profiles of myeloid cells. In addition to a rather general myeloid regulator miR-223, two other miRNAs seem to be useful subjects in understanding of myeloid miRNA biology: miR-27a and miR-652. We review functions of these three miRNAs and other myeloid miRNAs focusing on their roles in monocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils and mast cells. Anna B. Gilicze, Zoltán Wiener, Sára Tóth, Edit Buzás, Éva Pállinger, Franco H. Falcone, and András Falus Copyright © 2014 Anna B. Gilicze et al. All rights reserved. Biotechnological Drugs: The Breakthrough in Autoimmune Rheumatic Conditions Sun, 10 Aug 2014 08:27:17 +0000 Lorenzo Cavagna, Lesley-Ann Saketkoo, Andreas Schwarting, and Roberto Caporali Copyright © 2014 Lorenzo Cavagna et al. All rights reserved. Vagus Nerve through 7 nAChR Modulates Lung Infection and Inflammation: Models, Cells, and Signals Sun, 20 Jul 2014 11:12:04 +0000 Cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway (CAP) bridges immune and nervous systems and plays pleiotropic roles in modulating inflammation in animal models by targeting different immune, proinflammatory, epithelial, endothelial, stem, and progenitor cells and signaling pathways. Acute lung injury (ALI) is a devastating inflammatory disease. It is pathogenically heterogeneous and involves many cells and signaling pathways. Here, we emphasized the research regarding the modulatory effects of CAP on animal models, cell population, and signaling pathways that involved in the pathogenesis of ALI. By comparing the differential effects of CAP on systemic and pulmonary inflammation, we postulated that a pulmonary parasympathetic inflammatory reflex is formed to sense and respond to pathogens in the lung. Work targeting the formation and function of pulmonary parasympathetic inflammatory reflex would extend our understanding of how vagus nerve senses, recognizes, and fights with pathogens and inflammatory responses. Haiya Wu, Ling Li, and Xiao Su Copyright © 2014 Haiya Wu et al. All rights reserved. Murine Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells Acquire, Though Fail to Present Exogenous Protein Antigens on Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Molecules Sun, 20 Jul 2014 08:56:35 +0000 In the present study aortic murine smooth muscle cell (SMC) antigen presentation capacity was evaluated using the Eα-GFP/Y-Ae system to visualize antigen uptake through a GFP tag and tracking of Eα peptide/MHCII presentation using the Y-Ae Ab. Stimulation with IFN-γ (100 ng/mL) for 72 h caused a significant increase in the percentage of MHC class II positive SMCs, compared with unstimulated cells. Treatment with Eα-GFP (100 μg/mL) for 48 h induced a significant increase in the percentage of GFP positive SMCs while it did not affect the percentage of Y-Ae positive cells, being indicative of antigen uptake without its presentation in the context of MHC class II. After IFN-γ-stimulation, ovalbumin- (OVA, 1 mg/mL) or OVA323–339 peptide-(0.5 μg/mL) treated SMCs failed to induce OT-II CD4+ T cell activation/proliferation; this was also accompanied by a lack of expression of key costimulatory molecules (OX40L, CD40, CD70, and CD86) on SMCs. Finally, OVA-treated SMCs failed to induce DO11.10-GFP hybridoma activation, a process independent of costimulation. Our results demonstrate that while murine primary aortic SMCs express MHC class II and can acquire exogenous antigens, they fail to activate T cells through a failure in antigen presentation and a lack of costimulatory molecule expression. Marcella Maddaluno, Neil MacRitchie, Gianluca Grassia, Armando Ialenti, John P. Butcher, Paul Garside, James M. Brewer, and Pasquale Maffia Copyright © 2014 Marcella Maddaluno et al. All rights reserved. Roles of Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Vascular Dysfunction in Hypertension Sun, 20 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Hypertension is a complex condition and is the most common cardiovascular risk factor, contributing to widespread morbidity and mortality. Approximately 90% of hypertension cases are classified as essential hypertension, where the precise cause is unknown. Hypertension is associated with inflammation; however, whether inflammation is a cause or effect of hypertension is not well understood. The purpose of this review is to describe evidence from human and animal studies that inflammation leads to the development of hypertension, as well as the evidence for involvement of oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction—both thought to be key steps in the development of hypertension. Other potential proinflammatory conditions that contribute to hypertension—such as activation of the sympathetic nervous system, aging, and elevated aldosterone—are also discussed. Finally, we consider the potential benefit of anti-inflammatory drugs and statins for antihypertensive therapy. The evidence reviewed suggests that inflammation can lead to the development of hypertension and that oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction are involved in the inflammatory cascade. Aging and aldosterone may also both be involved in inflammation and hypertension. Hence, in the absence of serious side effects, anti-inflammatory drugs could potentially be used to treat hypertension in the future. Quynh N. Dinh, Grant R. Drummond, Christopher G. Sobey, and Sophocles Chrissobolis Copyright © 2014 Quynh N. Dinh et al. All rights reserved. Blood Monocyte Subsets and Selected Cardiovascular Risk Markers in Rheumatoid Arthritis of Short Duration in relation to Disease Activity Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:48:55 +0000 Objectives. To evaluate blood monocyte subsets and functional monocyte properties in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of short duration in the context of cardiovascular (CV) risk and disease activity. Methods. We studied conventional markers of CV risk, intima media thickness (IMT), and blood monocyte subsets in 27 patients aged 41 ± 10 years with RA of short duration (median 12 months) and 22 healthy controls. The RA subjects were divided into low (DAS28: 2.6–5.1) and high (DAS28 > 5.1) disease activity. Results. RA patients exhibited increased levels of intermediate (CD14++CD16+) monocytes with decreased CD45RA expression compared to controls, increased counts of classical (CD14++CD16−) monocytes, and decreased percentages of nonclassical (CD14+CD16++) monocytes. Patients with high disease activity had lower HLA DR expression on classical monocytes compared to low disease activity patients. There were no differences in monocyte subsets between subjects with DAS > 5.1 and DAS ≤ 5.1. There were no significant intergroup differences in IMT and the majority of classical CV risk factors. Conclusions. Patients with RA of short duration show alteration in peripheral blood monocyte subsets despite the fact that there is no evidence of subclinical atherosclerosis. Disease activity assessed with DAS28 was associated with impaired functional properties but not with a shift in monocyte subpopulations. Ewa Klimek, Tomasz Mikołajczyk, Joanna Sulicka, Beata Kwaśny-Krochin, Mariusz Korkosz, Grzegorz Osmenda, Barbara Wizner, Andrzej Surdacki, Tomasz Guzik, Tomasz K. Grodzicki, and Anna Skalska Copyright © 2014 Ewa Klimek et al. All rights reserved. Modulation of TLR 3, 7 and 8 Expressions in HCV Genotype 3 Infected Individuals: Potential Correlations of Pathogenesis and Spontaneous Clearance Sun, 13 Jul 2014 13:58:22 +0000 Background. Hepatitis C virus is the major cause of chronic hepatitis worldwide which finally leads to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Toll like receptors (TLRs) play an important role in the course of many viral infections, but the role of TLRs in HCV pathogenesis has not been well elucidated so far. Objective. The aim of this study was to analyse the mRNA expression of TLRs 3, 7, and 8 in different stages of HCV infection including chronic, cirrhosis, interferon treated resolved, and relapsed cases. Methodology. Total RNA from whole blood was extracted and mRNA expression of TLRs 3, 7, and 8 genes was analyzed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR using β-Actin gene as an internal control. Results. This study consisted of 100 HCV infected individuals and twenty healthy controls. TLR 3 expression was found to be significantly elevated in individuals who had spontaneously cleared the virus , whereas TLR 7 was found to be 3.26 times more elevated in patients with cirrhosis of liver. In IFN induced individuals, TLR 8 expression levels were found to be 2.28-fold elevated as compared to control population. Conclusion. TLRs 3, 7, and 8 are prime biomarker candidates for HCV infection mRNA expression analysis which might improve current therapeutic approaches. Rushna Firdaus, Aritra Biswas, Kallol Saha, Anirban Mukherjee, Falguni Pal, Sujit Chaudhuri, Alok Chandra, Asokananda Konar, and Provash Chandra Sadhukhan Copyright © 2014 Rushna Firdaus et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Citrus Peel Extracts on Cytokines Levels and T Regulatory Cells in Acute Liver Injury Sun, 13 Jul 2014 08:44:35 +0000 Background. T cell-mediated immune responses contribute to the hepatocellular injury during autoimmune hepatitis, viral infection, and hepatotoxins. Pharmacological compounds regulating immune responses are suitable candidates for prevention/treatment of this pathology. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to define the effects of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory mixture of citrus peel extract (CPE) on the immune-mediated liver injury. Methods. The influence of CPE on liver injury was determined by the activity of transaminases in plasma and the histological changes. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects were studied by measuring frequency of T regulatory cells (Tregs), cytokines (TNF-α, IL-10, and IFN-γ), and nitric oxide levels. Results. The CPE application notably prevents development of liver injury through decreasing levels of both cytokines (TNF-alpha, INF) and regulatory T cells and increasing levels of IL-10. CPE injection also diminished the serum NO, which in turn resulted in evident reduction of the liver damage. Conclusion. Our findings represent the primary preclinical data indicating that the CPE in vivo could ameliorate Con A induced hepatitis. The low dose of CPE most likely can be used for the treatment of the T cell-mediated liver injury as in autoimmune hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, and chronic viral hepatitis. Ia Pantsulaia, Manana Iobadze, Nato Pantsulaia, and Tinatin Chikovani Copyright © 2014 Ia Pantsulaia et al. All rights reserved. Expression of Acetylcholine Receptors by Experimental Rat Renal Allografts Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:05:16 +0000 Chronic allograft injury (CAI) is a major cause for renal allograft dysfunction and characterized by vasculopathies, tubular atrophy, and fibrosis. We demonstrated that numerous leukocytes interact with vascular endothelial cells of allografts and produce acetylcholine, which contributes to vascular remodeling. The cholinergic system might be a promising target for the development of novel therapies. However, neither the cellular mechanisms nor the acetylcholine receptors involved in CAI are known. Kidney transplantation was performed in the Lewis to Lewis and in the Fischer-334 to Lewis rat strain combination, which is an established experimental model for CAI. Expression of nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors mRNA was quantified in renal tissue by real-time RT-PCR on days 9 and 42 after surgery. We detected CHRNA2–7, CHRNA10, CHRNB2, CHRNB4, and CHRM1–3 mRNA in normal kidneys and in renal transplants. In contrast, CHRNA9, CHRM4, and CHRM5 mRNA remained below the threshold of detection. In renal allografts, CHRNA3 and CHRNB4 mRNA expression were dramatically reduced compared to isografts. In conclusion, we demonstrated that most acetylcholine receptor subtypes are expressed by normal and transplanted kidneys. Allograft rejection downmodulates CHRNA3 and CHRNB4 mRNA. The role of different acetylcholine receptor subtypes in the development of CAI remains to be established. Marion Meixner, Srebrena Atanasova, Winfried Padberg, and Veronika Grau Copyright © 2014 Marion Meixner et al. All rights reserved. Metoprolol Reduces Proinflammatory Cytokines and Atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− Mice Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 A few studies in animals and humans suggest that metoprolol (β1-selective adrenoceptor antagonist) may have a direct antiatherosclerotic effect. However, the mechanism behind this protective effect has not been established. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of metoprolol on development of atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− mice and investigate its effect on the release of proinflammatory cytokines. Male ApoE−/− mice were treated with metoprolol (2.5 mg/kg/h) or saline for 11 weeks via osmotic minipumps. Atherosclerosis was assessed in thoracic aorta and aortic root. Total cholesterol levels and Th1/Th2 cytokines were analyzed in serum and macrophage content in lesions by immunohistochemistry. Metoprolol significantly reduced atherosclerotic plaque area in thoracic aorta ( versus Control). Further, metoprolol reduced serum TNFα and the chemokine CXCL1 ( versus Control for both) as well as decreasing the macrophage content in the plaques ( versus Control). Total cholesterol levels were not affected. In this study we found that a moderate dose of metoprolol significantly reduced atherosclerotic plaque area in thoracic aorta of ApoE−/− mice. Metoprolol also decreased serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines TNFα and CXCL1 and macrophage content in the plaques, showing that metoprolol has an anti-inflammatory effect. Marcus A. Ulleryd, Evelina Bernberg, Li Jin Yang, Göran M. L. Bergström, and Maria E. Johansson Copyright © 2014 Marcus A. Ulleryd et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Anti-TNF Alpha Drugs on Disability in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Long-Term Real-Life Data from the Lorhen Registry Sun, 06 Jul 2014 08:13:51 +0000 This study involving 1033 patients with RA confirms the effectiveness of etanercept, adalimumab, and infliximab in reducing RA-related disability even in patients with a history of highly active and longstanding RA. Moreover, we found that the improvement in disability was biphasic, with a marked improvement during the first year of anti-TNF therapy, followed by slower but significant recovery over the subsequent four years. Matteo Filippini, Chiara Bazzani, Fabiola Atzeni, Piercarlo Sarzi Puttini, Antonio Marchesoni, Ennio Giulio Favalli, Roberto Caporali, Lorenzo Cavagna, and Roberto Gorla Copyright © 2014 Matteo Filippini et al. All rights reserved. Terminally Differentiated Epithelial Cells of the Thymic Medulla and Skin Express Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subunit α3 Thu, 03 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 In the thymus, T cell maturation is influenced by cholinergic signaling, and the predominantly expressed receptor is the α3-subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, encoded by the chrna3 gene. We here determined its cellular distribution utilizing an appropriate eGFP-expressing reporter mouse strain. Neither T cells (CD4, CD8) nor mesenchymal cells (desmin-positive) expressed eGFP. In the thymic medulla, eGFP-positive cells either were scattered or, more frequently, formed small clusters resembling Hassall’s corpuscles. Immunolabeling revealed that these cells were indeed terminally differentiated epithelial cells expressing keratin 10 (K10) but neither typical cortical (K8, K18) nor medullary keratins (K5, K14). These labeling patterns reflected those in the epidermis of the skin, where overlap of K10 and eGFP expression was seen in the stratum granulosum, whereas underlying basal cells displayed K5-immunoreactivity. A substantial portion of thymic eGFP-positive cells was also immunoreactive to chromogranin A, a peptide previously reported in epidermal keratinocytes in the stratum granulosum. Its fragment catestatin has multiple biological activities, including suppression of proinflammatory cytokine release from macrophages and inhibition of α3β4 nAChR. The present findings suggest that its thymic production and/or release are under cholinergic control involving nAChR containing the α3-subunit. Aichurek Soultanova, Alexandra R. Panneck, Amir Rafiq, and Wolfgang Kummer Copyright © 2014 Aichurek Soultanova et al. All rights reserved. Antibodies in the Pathogenesis of Hypertension Mon, 23 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 It has long been known that circulating levels of IgG and IgM antibodies are elevated in patients with essential and pregnancy-related hypertension. Recent studies indicate these antibodies target, and in many cases activate, G-protein coupled receptors and ion channels. Prominent among these protein targets are AT1 receptors, α1-adrenoceptors, β1-adrenoceptors, and L-type voltage operated Ca2+ channels, all of which are known to play key roles in the regulation of blood pressure through modulation of vascular tone, cardiac output, and/or Na+/water reabsorption in the kidneys. This suggests that elevated antibody production may be a causal mechanism in at least some cases of hypertension. In this brief review, we will further describe the protein targets of the antibodies that are elevated in individuals with essential and pregnancy-related hypertension and the likely pathophysiological consequences of antibody binding to these targets. We will speculate on the potential mechanisms that underlie elevated antibody levels in hypertensive individuals and, finally, we will outline the therapeutic opportunities that could arise with a better understanding of how and why antibodies are produced in hypertension. Christopher T. Chan, Maggie Lieu, Ban-Hock Toh, Tin S. Kyaw, Alexander Bobik, Christopher G. Sobey, and Grant R. Drummond Copyright © 2014 Christopher T. Chan et al. All rights reserved. Adiponectin Levels Are Reduced While Markers of Systemic Inflammation and Aortic Remodelling Are Increased in Intrauterine Growth Restricted Mother-Child Couple Sun, 22 Jun 2014 07:46:52 +0000 Aim of the Study. To investigate the relationships between the adipocytokine levels, markers of inflammation, and vascular remodelling in pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Materials and Methods. This was a retrospective study. One hundred and forty pregnant patients were enrolled. Adiponectin, leptin, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and C reactive protein (CRP) were assessed in IUGR, small for gestational age (SGA), and appropriate for gestational age (AGA) mother-child couples at delivery. IUGR and SGA fetuses were defined as fetuses whose estimated fetal weight (EFW) was below 10th percentile for gestational age with and without umbilical artery (UA) Doppler abnormalities, respectively. Fetal aorta intima media thickness (aIMT) was evaluated by ultrasound in the same fetal groups. Data were analyzed by R (version 2.15.2). Results. There were 37 IUGR mother-child couples, 33 SGA, and 70 AGA. Leptin, TNFα, IL-6, and CRP serum levels were higher in IUGR pregnant patients (). Adiponectin levels were significantly reduced in IUGR fetuses compared to SGA and AGA, while leptin, TNFα, and IL-6 levels were higher in IUGR group (). Fetal aIMT was significantly higher in IUGR () and in this group there was a negative correlation between aIMT and adiponectin/leptin ratio (A/L ratio) () and between adiponectin and IL-6 levels (). Conclusions. In conclusion, compared to SGA and AGA, IUGR fetuses had reduced circulating levels of adiponectin and elevated measures of aIMT and several inflammatory markers. Moreover, adiponectin levels were negatively correlated with aIMT in IUGR fetuses suggesting a possible causal link between reduced adiponectin and vessel remodelling. Silvia Visentin, Annunziata Lapolla, Ambrogio Pietro Londero, Chiara Cosma, Mariagrazia Dalfrà, Martina Camerin, Diego Faggian, Mario Plebani, and Erich Cosmi Copyright © 2014 Silvia Visentin et al. All rights reserved. Denture-Related Stomatitis Is Associated with Endothelial Dysfunction Sun, 22 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Oral inflammation, such as periodontitis, can lead to endothelial dysfunction, accelerated atherosclerosis, and vascular dysfunction. The relationship between vascular dysfunction and other common forms of oral infections such as denture-related stomatitis (DRS) is unknown. Similar risk factors predispose to both conditions including smoking, diabetes, age, and obesity. Accordingly, we aimed to investigate endothelial function and major vascular disease risk factors in 44 consecutive patients with dentures with clinical and microbiological features of DRS () and without DRS (). While there was a tendency for higher occurrence of diabetes and smoking, groups did not differ significantly in respect to major vascular disease risk factors. Groups did not differ in main ambulatory blood pressure, total cholesterol, or even CRP. Importantly, flow mediated dilatation (FMD) was significantly lower in DRS than in non-DRS subjects, while nitroglycerin induced vasorelaxation (NMD) or intima-media thickness (IMT) was similar. Interestingly, while triglyceride levels were normal in both groups, they were higher in DRS subjects, although they did not correlate with either FMD or NMD. Conclusions. Denture related stomatitis is associated with endothelial dysfunction in elderly patients with dentures. This is in part related to the fact that diabetes and smoking increase risk of both DRS and cardiovascular disease. Joanna Maciąg, Grzegorz Osmenda, Daniel Nowakowski, Grzegorz Wilk, Anna Maciąg, Tomasz Mikołajczyk, Ryszard Nosalski, Agnieszka Sagan, Magdalena Filip, Mirosław Dróżdż, Jolanta Loster, Tomasz J. Guzik, and Marta Cześnikiewicz-Guzik Copyright © 2014 Joanna Maciąg et al. All rights reserved. Low Density Lipoprotein-Containing Circulating Immune Complexes: Role in Atherosclerosis and Diagnostic Value Wed, 18 Jun 2014 09:19:02 +0000 It has been suggested that low density lipoprotein-containing circulating immune complexes (LDL-CIC) play a role in atherogenesis and are involved in the formation of early atherosclerotic lesion. These complexes, as well as anti-LDL autoantibodies, have been found in the blood and in the atherosclerotic lesions of patients with different cardiovascular diseases, as well as in the blood of animals with experimental atherosclerosis. It can be suggested that the presence of anti-LDL antibodies in the blood is a result of immune response induced by lipoprotein modification. LDL-CIC differs from native LDL in many aspects. It has much lower sialic acid content, smaller diameter, and higher density and is more electronegative than native LDL. Fraction of LDL-CICs is fundamental to the serum atherogenicity manifested at the cellular level. LDL-CIC, unlike native LDL, is able to induce intracellular accumulation of neutral lipids, especially esterified cholesterol, in cells cultured from uninvolved human aortic intima and in macrophage cultures. After removal of LDL-CIC, the CHD patient’s sera lose their atherogenic properties. Titer of LDL-CIC in blood serum significantly correlates with progression of atherosclerosis in human in vivo and has the highest diagnostic value among other measured serum lipid parameters. Elevated CIC-cholesterol might well be a possible risk factor of coronary atherosclerosis. Igor A. Sobenin, Jukka T. Salonen, Andrey V. Zhelankin, Alexandra A. Melnichenko, Jari Kaikkonen, Yuri V. Bobryshev, and Alexander N. Orekhov Copyright © 2014 Igor A. Sobenin et al. All rights reserved. Role of IL-33 and Its Receptor in T Cell-Mediated Autoimmune Diseases Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:05:12 +0000 Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is a new cytokine of interleukin-1 family, whose specific receptor is ST2. IL-33 exerts its functions via its target cells and plays different roles in diseases. ST2 deletion and exclusion of IL-33/ST2 axis are accompanied by enhanced susceptibility to dominantly T cell-mediated organ-specific autoimmune diseases. It has been reported that IL-33/ST2 pathway plays a key role in host defense and immune regulation in inflammatory and infectious diseases. This review focuses on new findings in the roles of IL-33 and ST2 in several kinds of T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. Qing Zhao and Guangjie Chen Copyright © 2014 Qing Zhao and Guangjie Chen. All rights reserved. MicroRNAs in Autoimmune Diseases Wed, 04 Jun 2014 08:59:27 +0000 Autoimmune diseases (ADs) are featured by body's immune responses being directed towards its own specific target organs or multiple organ systems, causing persistent inflammation and consequent tissue damage. miRNAs are small noncoding RNAs in a size of approximately 22 nt that play important regulatory roles in many organisms by cleavage or translational inhibition of targeted mRNAs. Many miRNAs are reported to be differentially expressed in ADs and may play a pivotal role in regulating immune responses and autoimmunity. In this review, current research progress in the miRNAs in ADs was elucidated. Zigang Qu, Wenhui Li, and Baoquan Fu Copyright © 2014 Zigang Qu et al. All rights reserved. The Role of CTLA-4 Exon-1 49 A/G Polymorphism and Soluble CTLA-4 Protein Level in Egyptian Patients with Behçet's Disease Mon, 02 Jun 2014 13:04:00 +0000 This study analyzed the association of the A/G SNP at position +49 of exon-1 in the CTLA-4 gene to the susceptibility and clinical manifestations of Behcet’s disease (BD). It was performed on 60 Egyptian BD patients and 95 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The genotypes for the +49 A/G polymorphism of the CTLA-4 gene were determined by PCR-RFLP, while the serum level of CTLA-4 protein was measured by ELISA. CTLA-4 +49 A allele (, , and CI (95%) = 1.90–4.99) and A/A genotype (, , and CI (95%) = 2.58–17.10) frequency distribution was significantly more increased in patients than in the controls, with no significant differences between males and females with regard to the genotype or allele frequency distribution. A/A genotype was associated with a more reduced expression of sCTLA-4 protein in patients than in the controls ( versus , resp; ). In addition, it is associated with the occurrence of ocular and vasculitic manifestations of BD in the patient group. The CTLA-4 gene could be considered as a susceptibility and a disease-modifying gene to BD in Egyptian population that needs further confirmatory studies on larger cohorts. Sahar M. Abdel Galil and Hoda A. Hagrass Copyright © 2014 Sahar M. Abdel Galil and Hoda A. Hagrass. All rights reserved. CB2 Receptor Activation Ameliorates the Proinflammatory Activity in Acute Lung Injury Induced by Paraquat Thu, 22 May 2014 09:36:08 +0000 Paraquat, a widely used herbicide, is well known to exhibit oxidative stress and lung injury. In the present study, we investigated the possible underlying mechanisms of cannabinoid receptor-2 (CB2) activation to ameliorate the proinflammatory activity induced by PQ in rats. JWH133, a CB2 agonist, was administered by intraperitoneal injection 1 h prior to PQ exposure. After PQ exposure for 4, 8, 24, and 72 h, the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was collected to determine levels of TNF-α and IL-1β, and the arterial blood samples were collected for detection of PaO2 level. At 72 h after PQ exposure, lung tissues were collected to determine the lung wet-to-dry weight ratios, myeloperoxidase activity, lung histopathology, the protein expression level of CB2, MAPKs (ERK1/2, p38MAPK, and JNK1/2), and NF-κBp65. After rats were pretreated with JWH133, PQ-induced lung edema and lung histopathological changes were significantly attenuated. PQ-induced TNF-α and IL-1β secretion in BALF, increases of PaO2 in arterial blood, and MPO levels in the lung tissue were significantly reduced. JWH133 could efficiently activate CB2, while inhibiting MAPKs and NF-κB activation. The results suggested that activating CB2 receptor exerted protective activity against PQ-induced ALI, and it potentially contributed to the suppression of the activation of MAPKs and NF-κB pathways. Zhenning Liu, Yu Wang, Hongyu Zhao, Qiang Zheng, Li Xiao, and Min Zhao Copyright © 2014 Zhenning Liu et al. All rights reserved. Are Proteinase 3 and Cathepsin C Enzymes Related to Pathogenesis of Periodontitis? Mon, 19 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Aim. Cathepsin C is the activator of the polymorphonuclear leukocyte-derived proteinase 3, which contributes to inflammatory processes. The aim of the present study was to investigate gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) proteinase 3 and cathepsin C levels in periodontal diseases. Design. Eighteen patients with chronic periodontitis (CP), 20 patients with generalized aggressive periodontitis (G-AgP), 20 patients with gingivitis, and 18 healthy subjects were included in the study. Periodontal parameters including probing depth, clinical attachment level, papilla bleeding index, and plaque index were assessed in all study subjects. GCF proteinase 3 and cathepsin C levels were analyzed by ELISA. Results. GCF proteinase 3 total amount was significantly higher in diseased groups compared to control group, after adjusting age . No differences were found in GCF cathepsin C levels among the study groups . Periodontal parameters of sampling sites were positively correlated with GCF proteinase 3 total amounts but not with cathepsin C total amounts . Conclusions. Elevated levels of GCF proteinase 3 in CP, G-AgP, and gingivitis might suggest that proteinase 3 plays a role during inflammatory periodontal events in host response. However, cathepsin C in GCF does not seem to have an effect on the pathogenesis of periodontal diseases. Oya Türkoğlu, Elif Azarsız, Gülnur Emingil, Necil Kütükçüler, and Gül Atilla Copyright © 2014 Oya Türkoğlu et al. All rights reserved. Periodontal Pathogens and Atherosclerosis: Implications of Inflammation and Oxidative Modification of LDL Sun, 18 May 2014 09:35:55 +0000 Inflammation is well accepted to play a crucial role in the development of atherosclerotic lesions, and recent studies have demonstrated an association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, causative agents of destructive chronic inflammation in the periodontium, can accelerate atheroma deposition in animal models. Emerging evidence suggests that vaccination against virulence factors of these pathogens and anti-inflammatory therapy may confer disease resistance. In this review, we focus on the role of inflammatory mechanisms and oxidative modification in the formation and activation of atherosclerotic plaques accelerated by P. gingivalis or A. actinomycetemcomitans in an ApoE-deficient mouse model and high-fat-diet-fed mice. Furthermore, we examine whether mucosal vaccination with a periodontal pathogen or the anti-inflammatory activity of catechins can reduce periodontal pathogen-accelerated atherosclerosis. Tomoko Kurita-Ochiai and Masafumi Yamamoto Copyright © 2014 Tomoko Kurita-Ochiai and Masafumi Yamamoto. All rights reserved. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of the Nicotinergic Peptides SLURP-1 and SLURP-2 on Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells and Immunocytes Sun, 04 May 2014 07:13:10 +0000 A search for novel and more efficient therapeutic modalities of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of the most important tasks of contemporary medicine. The anti-inflammatory action of nicotine in IBD might be therapeutic, but its toxicity due to off-target and nonreceptor effects limited its use and prompted a search for nontoxic nicotinergic drugs. We tested the hypothesis that SLURP-1 and -2—the physiological nicotinergic substances produced by the human intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) and immunocytes—can mimic the anti-inflammatory effects of nicotine. We used human CCL-241 enterocytes, CCL-248 colonocytes, CCRF-CEM T-cells, and U937 macrophages. SLURP-1 diminished the TLR9-dependent secretion of IL-8 by CCL-241, and IFNγ-induced upregulation of ICAM-1 in both IEC types. rSLURP-2 inhibited IL-1β-induced secretion of IL-6 and TLR4- and TLR9-dependent induction of CXCL10 and IL-8, respectively, in CCL-241. rSLURP-1 decreased production of TNFα by T-cells, downregulated IL-1β and IL-6 secretion by macrophages, and moderately upregulated IL-10 production by both types of immunocytes. SLURP-2 downregulated TNFα and IFNγR in T-cells and reduced IL-6 production by macrophages. Combining both SLURPs amplified their anti-inflammatory effects. Learning the pharmacology of SLURP-1 and -2 actions on enterocytes, colonocytes, T cells, and macrophages may help develop novel effective treatments of IBD. Alex I. Chernyavsky, Valentin Galitovskiy, Igor B. Shchepotin, and Sergei A. Grando Copyright © 2014 Alex I. Chernyavsky et al. All rights reserved. Mannan-Binding Lectin in Cardiovascular Disease Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:10:38 +0000 Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide so research continues into underlying mechanisms. Since innate immunity and its potent component mannan-binding lectin have been proven to play an important role in the inflammatory response during infection and ischaemia-reperfusion injury, attention has been paid to its role in the development of cardiovascular complications as well. This review provides a general outline of the structure and genetic polymorphism of MBL and its role in inflammation/tissue injury with emphasis on associations with cardiovascular disease. MBL appears to be involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and, in consequence, coronary artery disease and also inflammation and tissue injury after myocardial infarction and heart transplantation. The relationship between MBL and disease is rather complex and depends on different genetic and environmental factors. That could be why the data obtained from animal and clinical studies are sometimes contradictory proving not for the first time that innate immunity is a “double-edge sword,” sometimes beneficial and, at other times disastrous for the host. Izabela Pągowska-Klimek and Maciej Cedzyński Copyright © 2014 Izabela Pągowska-Klimek and Maciej Cedzyński. All rights reserved. The Yin and Yang of Innate Immunity in Stroke Wed, 30 Apr 2014 07:27:59 +0000 Immune system plays an elementary role in the pathophysiological progress of ischemic stroke. It consists of innate and adaptive immune system. Activated within minutes after ischemic onset, innate immunity is responsible for the elimination of necrotic cells and tissue repair, while it is critically involved in the initiation and amplification of poststroke inflammation that amplifies ischemic damage to the brain tissue. Innate immune response requires days to be fully developed, providing a considerable time window for therapeutic intervention, suggesting prospect of novel immunomodulatory therapies against poststroke inflammation-induced brain injury. However, obstacles still exist and a comprehensive understanding of ischemic stroke and innate immune reaction is essential. In this review, we highlighted the current experimental and clinical data depicting the innate immune response following ischemic stroke, mainly focusing on the recognition of damage-associated molecular patterns, activation and recruitment of innate immune cells, and involvement of various cytokines. In addition, clinical trials targeting innate immunity were also documented regardless of the outcome, stressing the requirements for further investigation. Xiaomeng Xu and Yongjun Jiang Copyright © 2014 Xiaomeng Xu and Yongjun Jiang. All rights reserved. The Emerging Role of Biotechnological Drugs in the Treatment of Gout Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:55:21 +0000 One of the most important therapeutic advances obtained in the field of rheumatology is the availability of the so-called bio(techno)logical drugs, which have deeply changed treatment perspectives in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. According to the steadily increasing attention on gout, due to well-established prognostic and epidemiology implications, in the last 5 years, the same change of perspective has been observed also for this disease. In fact, several bio(techno)logical agents have been investigated both for the management of the articular gout symptoms, targeting mainly interleukin-1β, as well as urate-lowering therapies such as recombinant uricases. Among the IL-1β inhibitors, the majority of studies involve drugs such as anakinra, canakinumab, and rilonacept, but other compounds are under development. Moreover, other potential targets have been suggested, as, for example, the TNF alpha and IL-6, even if data obtained are less robust than those of IL-1β inhibitors. Regarding urate-lowering therapies, the recombinant uricases pegloticase and rasburicase clearly showed their effectiveness in gout patients. Also in this case, new compounds are under development. The aim of this review is to focus on the various aspects of different bio(techno)logical drugs in gouty patients. L. Cavagna and W. J. Taylor Copyright © 2014 L. Cavagna and W. J. Taylor. All rights reserved. Treatment Comparison in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Head-to-Head Trials and Innovative Study Designs Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:30:13 +0000 Over the last decades, the increasing knowledge in the area of rheumatoid arthritis has progressively expanded the arsenal of available drugs, especially with the introduction of novel targeted therapies such as biological disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). In this situation, rheumatologists are offered a wide range of treatment options, but on the other side the need for comparisons between available drugs becomes more and more crucial in order to better define the strategies for the choice and the optimal sequencing. Indirect comparisons or meta-analyses of data coming from different randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are not immune to conceptual and technical challenges and often provide inconsistent results. In this review we examine some of the possible evolutions of traditional RCTs, such as the inclusion of active comparators, aimed at individualising treatments in real-life conditions. Although head-to-head RCTs may be considered the best tool to directly compare the efficacy and safety of two different DMARDs, surprisingly only 20 studies with such design have been published in the last 25 years. Given the recent advent of the first RCTs truly comparing biological DMARDs, we also review the state of the art of head-to-head trials in RA. Ennio Giulio Favalli, Serena Bugatti, Martina Biggioggero, and Roberto Caporali Copyright © 2014 Ennio Giulio Favalli et al. All rights reserved. Correlated Inflammatory Responses and Neurodegeneration in Peptide-Injected Animal Models of Alzheimer’s Disease Sun, 13 Apr 2014 15:37:44 +0000 Animal models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) which emphasize activation of microglia may have particular utility in correlating proinflammatory activity with neurodegeneration. This paper reviews injection of amyloid-β (Aβ) into rat brain as an alternative AD animal model to the use of transgenic animals. In particular, intrahippocampal injection of peptide demonstrates prominent microglial mobilization and activation accompanied by a significant loss of granule cell neurons. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of inflammatory reactivity is demonstrated by a broad spectrum of drugs with a common endpoint in conferring neuroprotection in peptide-injected animals. Peptide-injection models provide a focus on glial cell responses to direct peptide injection in rat brain and offer advantages in the study of the mechanisms underlying neuroinflammation in AD brain. James G. McLarnon Copyright © 2014 James G. McLarnon. All rights reserved. Determinants of Disability in Multiple Sclerosis: An Immunological and MRI Study Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:11:21 +0000 Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by a wide interpatient clinical variability and available biomarkers of disease severity still have suboptimal reliability. We aimed to assess immunological and MRI-derived measures of brain tissue damage in patients with different motor impairment degrees, for in vivo investigating the pathogenesis of MS-related disability. Twenty-two benign (B), 26 secondary progressive (SP), and 11 early, nondisabled relapsing-remitting (RR) MS patients and 37 healthy controls (HC) underwent conventional and diffusion tensor brain MRI and, as regards MS patients, immunophenotypic and functional analysis of stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Corticospinal tract (CST) fractional anisotropy and grey matter volume were lower and CST diffusivity was higher in SPMS compared to RRMS and BMS patients. CD14+IL6+ and CD4+IL25+ cell percentages were higher in BMS than in SPMS patients. A multivariable model having EDSS as the dependent variable retained the following independent predictors: grey matter volume, CD14+IL6+ and CD4+IL25+ cell percentages. In patients without motor impairment after long-lasting MS, the grey matter and CST damage degree seem to remain as low as in the earlier disease stages and an immunological pattern suggestive of balanced pro- and anti-inflammatory activity is observed. MRI-derived and immunological measures might be used as complementary biomarkers of MS severity. Paola Tortorella, Maria Marcella Laganà, Marina Saresella, Eleonora Tavazzi, Maria Giulia Preti, Cristian Ricci, Francesca Baglio, Ivana Marventano, Federica Piancone, Giuseppe Baselli, Pietro Cecconi, Domenico Caputo, Mario Clerici, and Marco Rovaris Copyright © 2014 Paola Tortorella et al. All rights reserved. MicroRNA Roles in the NF-κB Signaling Pathway during Viral Infections Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:25:23 +0000 NF-κB signaling network is a crucial component of innate immunity. miRNAs are a subtype of small noncoding RNAs, involved in regulation of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. Increasing evidence has emerged that miRNAs play an important role in regulation of NF-κB signaling pathway during viral infections. Both host and viral miRNAs are attributed to modulation of NF-κB activity, thus affecting viral infection and clearance. Understandings of the mechanisms of these miRNAs will open a direction for development of novel antivirus drugs. Zeqian Gao, Yongxi Dou, Yixia Chen, and Yadong Zheng Copyright © 2014 Zeqian Gao et al. All rights reserved. Combined Cytolytic Effects of a Vaccinia Virus Encoding a Single Chain Trimer of MHC-I with a Tax-Epitope and Tax-Specific CTLs on HTLV-I-Infected Cells in a Rat Model Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:18:49 +0000 Adult T cell leukemia (ATL) is a malignant lymphoproliferative disease caused by human T cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I). To develop an effective therapy against the disease, we have examined the oncolytic ability of an attenuated vaccinia virus (VV), LC16m8Δ (m8Δ), and an HTLV-I Tax-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) line, 4O1/C8, against an HTLV-I-infected rat T cell line, FPM1. Our results demonstrated that m8Δ was able to replicate in and lyse tumorigenic FPM1 cells but was incompetent to injure 4O1/C8 cells, suggesting the preferential cytolytic activity toward tumor cells. To further enhance the cytolysis of HTLV-I-infected cells, we modified m8Δ and obtained m8Δ/RT1AlSCTax180L, which can express a single chain trimer (SCT) of rat major histocompatibility complex class I with a Tax-epitope. Combined treatment with m8Δ/RT1AlSCTax180L and 4O1/C8 increased the cytolysis of FPM1V.EFGFP/8R cells, a CTL-resistant subclone of FPM1, compared with that using 4O1/C8 and m8Δ presenting an unrelated peptide, suggesting that the activation of 4O1/C8 by m8Δ/RT1AlSCTax180L further enhanced the killing of the tumorigenic HTLV-I-infected cells. Our results indicate that combined therapy of oncolytic VVs with SCTs and HTLV-I-specific CTLs may be effective for eradication of HTLV-I-infected cells, which evade from CTL lysis and potentially develop ATL. Takashi Ohashi, Takafumi Nakamura, Minoru Kidokoro, Xianfeng Zhang, and Hisatoshi Shida Copyright © 2014 Takashi Ohashi et al. All rights reserved. Ankylosing Spondylitis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Serum Levels of TNF- and Its Soluble Receptors during the Course of Therapy with Etanercept and Infliximab Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:35:26 +0000 The effects of the TNF-α blockers infliximab or etanercept on the levels of TNF-α, TNF-receptor 1 (TNF-R1), and TNF-receptor 2 (TNF-R2), as well as the levels of the inflammation markers CRP and IL-6, were measured in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients receiving treatment with either compound. We found that RA patients tend to have higher levels of TNF-α than both healthy individuals and AS patients prior to treatment (). We measured greatly increased levels of TNF-α in both the AS and RA etanercept patient groups during the course of treatment, while in the infliximab treated patients, the amount of TNF-α measured remained unchanged. Elevated TNF-α in the etanercept treated patients does not appear to be a significant risk factor for the spontaneous development of further autoimmune diseases in our study group. Increased levels of TNF-R1 were determined in both AS () and RA () patients when compared to healthy controls. In AS patients, the levels of TNF-R1 dropped significantly when treated with either infliximab () or etanercept (). In contrast, the levels of this receptor remained unchanged in RA patients treated with either compound. Martin Schulz, Helmut Dotzlaw, and Gunther Neeck Copyright © 2014 Martin Schulz et al. All rights reserved. MicroRNAs: New Regulators of Toll-Like Receptor Signalling Pathways Thu, 20 Mar 2014 06:07:32 +0000 Toll-like receptors (TLRs), a critical family of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), are responsible for the innate immune responses via signalling pathways to provide effective host defence against pathogen infections. However, TLR-signalling pathways are also likely to stringently regulate tissue maintenance and homeostasis by elaborate modulatory mechanisms. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key regulators and as an essential part of the networks involved in regulating TLR-signalling pathways. In this review, we highlight our understanding of the regulation of miRNA expression profiles by TLR-signalling pathways and the regulation of TLR-signalling pathways by miRNAs. We focus on the roles of miRNAs in regulating TLR-signalling pathways by targeting multiple molecules, including TLRs themselves, their associated signalling proteins and regulatory molecules, and transcription factors and functional cytokines induced by them, at multiple levels. Xiaobing He, Zhizhong Jing, and Guofeng Cheng Copyright © 2014 Xiaobing He et al. All rights reserved. Adipokines, Biomarkers of Endothelial Activation, and Metabolic Syndrome in Patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis Tue, 18 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease associated with accelerated atherosclerosis and increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease. AS patients also display a high prevalence of features clustered under the name of metabolic syndrome (MeS). Anti-TNF-α therapy was found to be effective to treat AS patients by suppressing inflammation and also improving endothelial function. Previously, it was demonstrated that a short infusion of anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibodyinfliximab induced a rapid and dramatic reduction in serum insulin levels and insulin resistance along with a rapid improvement of insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic AS patients. The role of adipokines, MeS-related biomarkers and biomarkers of endothelial cell activation and inflammation seem to be relevant in different chronic inflammatory diseases. However, its implication in AS has not been fully established. Therefore, in this review we summarize the recent advances in the study of the involvement of these molecules in CV disease or MeS in AS. The assessment of adipokines and biomarkers of endothelial cell activation and MeS may be of potential relevance in the stratification of the CV risk of patients with AS. Fernanda Genre, Raquel López-Mejías, José A. Miranda-Filloy, Begoña Ubilla, Beatriz Carnero-López, Ricardo Blanco, Trinitario Pina, Carlos González-Juanatey, Javier Llorca, and Miguel A. González-Gay Copyright © 2014 Fernanda Genre et al. All rights reserved. Potent Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Carbohydrate Polymer with Oxide of Zinc Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:51:01 +0000 Pebisut is a biological adhesive composed of naturally occurring carbohydrates combined with zinc oxide (ZnO) initially used as a coadjutant for healing of anastomoses. Likewise some works demonstrated that carbohydrate complexes exerts anti-inflammatory activity and it is widely known that ZnO modulate inflammation. However, the direct effects of Pebisut on isolated cells and acute inflammatory responses remained to be investigated. The present study evaluated anti-inflammatory effect of Pebisut using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated human mononuclear cells, chemotaxis, and cell infiltration in vivo in a murine model of peritonitis. Our data show that human cells treated with different dilutions of Pebisut release less IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-8 after LPS stimuli compared with the control treated cells. In addition, Pebisut lacked chemotactic activity in human mononuclear cells but was able to reduce chemotaxis towards CCL2, CCL5, and CXCL12 that are representative mononuclear cells chemoattractants. Finally, in a murine model of peritonitis, we found less number of macrophages (F4/80+) and T lymphocytes (CD3+) in peritoneal lavages from animals treated with Pebisut. Our results suggest that Pebisut has anti-inflammatory activity, which might have a beneficial effect during anastomoses healing or wounds associated with excessive inflammation. Mario Adan Moreno-Eutimio, Nayeli Goreti Nieto-Velázquez, Lorena Espinosa-Monroy, Yessica Torres-Ramos, Araceli Montoya-Estrada, Jorge Cueto, Juan Jose Hicks, and Gustavo Acosta-Altamirano Copyright © 2014 Mario Adan Moreno-Eutimio et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Strategy for Inducing the Antitumor Effects of Triterpenoid Compounds: Blocking the Protumoral Functions of Tumor-Associated Macrophages via STAT3 Inhibition Tue, 11 Mar 2014 08:52:18 +0000 There are many types of nontumor cells, including leukocytes, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells, in the tumor microenvironment. Among these cells, infiltrating macrophages have recently received attention as novel target cells due to their protumoral functions. Infiltrating macrophages are called tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). TAMs polarized to the M2 phenotype are involved in tumor development and are associated with a poor clinical prognosis. Therefore, the regulation of TAM activation or M2 polarization is a new strategy for antitumor therapy. We screened natural compounds possessing an inhibitory effect on the M2 polarization of human macrophages. Among 200 purified natural compounds examined, corosolic acid (CA) and oleanolic acid (OA), both are categorized in triterpenoid compounds, inhibited macrophage polarization to M2 phenotype by suppressing STAT3 activation. CA and OA also directly inhibited tumor cell proliferation and sensitized tumor cells to anticancer drugs, such as adriamycin and cisplatin. The in vivo experiments showed that CA significantly suppressed subcutaneous tumor development and lung metastasis in a murine sarcoma model. The application of triterpenoid compounds, such as CA and OA, is a potential new anticancer therapy targeting macrophage activation, with synergistic effects with anticancer agents. Yukio Fujiwara, Motohiro Takeya, and Yoshihiro Komohara Copyright © 2014 Yukio Fujiwara et al. All rights reserved. Attenuation of Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Rat by Nicotinic Alpha7 Receptor Partial Agonist GTS-21 Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:50:21 +0000 This research was performed to observe the effect of GTS-21 on Collagen Induced Arthritis (CIA). CIA model was used and after the onset of arthritis, the rats were divided into three groups based on their clinical symptoms score. Two groups were intraperitoneally (IP) injected daily with GTS-21 (1 mg/kg, 2.5 mg/kg) for a week, whereas phosphate buffered saline (PBS) was used for the control group. Cytokine titers, radiological, and histological examinations were performed at different time points after treatment with GTS-21. Compared with those of the control, the levels of TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-6 in the serum were significantly reduced after GTS-21 management. In addition, radiological results show that bone degradation was inhibited as well. Moreover, the hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining indicated that the histological score was significantly alleviated in the therapeutic group. Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) stain-positive cells were also detected in the destruction of the articular cartilage, which was significantly reduced compared with the control group. This study provides the first evidence on the effect of GTS-21 as a potential treatment for RA. Yiping Hu, Ruoxi Liu, Jinchao Li, Ye Yue, Wenxiang Cheng, and Peng Zhang Copyright © 2014 Yiping Hu et al. All rights reserved. Helminth Infection Increases the Probability of Indeterminate QuantiFERON Gold in Tube Results in Pregnant Women Wed, 19 Feb 2014 13:39:59 +0000 Background. Approximately one-third of the world population is infected with M. tuberculosis and helminths (Kariminia et al. (2009), Walson et al. (2010)). Pregnancy and Helminth infection are known to suppress the response (Kariminia et al. (2009), Elias et al. (2006)) on which the QuantiFERON Gold in Tube (QFT-GIT) assay, that measures the released IFN- upon in vitro stimulation with mycobacterial antigens, relies on (Thomas et al. (2010)). Objective. To determine whether QFT-GIT indeterminate result is significantly associated with helminth infection or not. Methods. In this cross-sectional study, eighty-five pregnant mothers were screened for parasitic and LTBI using Kato-Katz and QFT-GIT test-respectively, Result. The prevalence of helminth infection in pregnant mothers was 23 (27%) of this 17 (20%) was due to Schistosoma mansoni. Among the total of 85 study participants 26.8% were QFT-GIT positive and 14 (17%) had indeterminate results. Three samples (21.4%) were randomly selected from the indeterminate QFT-GIT results and retested to check the reproducibility of the assay and remained indeterminate. QFT-GIT indeterminate result showed significant association with helminth infection. Conclusion. Helminth infections were significantly associated with indeterminate QFT-GIT results in pregnant mothers. Therefore further study is important to evaluate the possible effect of helminth infection by excluding the effect of pregnancy, as pregnancy also downregulates cellular immunity. Dawit Gebreegziabiher, Kassu Desta, Rawleigh Howe, and Markos Abebe Copyright © 2014 Dawit Gebreegziabiher et al. All rights reserved. FC-98 Regulates TLR9-Mediated of CXCL-10 Expression in Dendritic Cells via MAPK and STAT1 Signaling Pathway Mon, 17 Feb 2014 11:13:49 +0000 Dendritic cells (DCs), as the most potent professional antigen presenting cells, play a crucial role in both innate and adaptive immune systems. Genomic bacterial DNA mimicked by unmethylated CpG motifs is discovered to possess immunostimulatory effects. CpG-DNA recognized by Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) on DCs arouses many immune diseases (such as cancer, viral infection, and autoimmune disorders). In this study we investigated the effects of FC-98 on CpG-induced bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs). The results showed that FC-98 significantly inhibited the CpG-induced BMDCs maturation and function by suppressing the expression of surface markers (CD40, CD80, CD86, and MHCII). Moreover, FC-98 downregulated the expression of C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL-10) both at the mRNA and protein level after CpG induction. Meanwhile, FC-98 markedly affected the migration of BMDCs to T cells without affecting their endocytosis capacity. Furthermore, FC-98 was confirmed to decrease CXCL-10 expression by inhibiting CpG-induced activation of MAPKs (ERK, JNK, and p38) and STAT1 signaling. Overall, these results suggested that FC-98 was a potential molecule in the treatment of CXCL-10-mediated immune diseases. Yonghong Yang, Huan Dou, Xiaoqin Li, Yuxian Song, Wei Gong, Renxiang Tan, and Yayi Hou Copyright © 2014 Yonghong Yang et al. All rights reserved. Establishment and Evaluation of Stable Cell Lines Inhibiting Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus by RNA Interference Mon, 10 Feb 2014 11:52:10 +0000 RNA interference (RNAi) has been proved to be a powerful tool for foot-and-mouth disease virus FMDV inhibition in vitro and in vivo. We established five stable baby hamster kidney 21 cell lines (BHK-21) containing five short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) expression plasmids (p3D1shRNA, p3D2shRNA, p3D3shRNA, p3D4shRNA, and p3D5shRNA) targeting 3D gene of FMDV. Immunofluorescent assay, virus titration, and real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (Q-RT-PCR) were conducted to detect the effect of shRNAs on FMDV replication. After challenged with FMDV of O/CHA/99, two cell lines (p3D1shRNA and p3D4shRNA) showed a significant reduction in the synthesis of viral protein and RNA, accompanied by a sharp decrease in viral yield, and the inhibition could last for at least thirty passages. We developed an efficient procedure for the establishment and evaluation of stable cell lines for anti-FMDV research based on RNAi technology, which can be a candidate method for anti-FMDV research. Yuan-xing Gu, Zong-liang Gao, Jian-hua Zhou, Jie Zhang, and Yong-sheng Liu Copyright © 2014 Yuan-xing Gu et al. All rights reserved. Flow Cytometry Assessment of In Vitro Generated CD138+ Human Plasma Cells Sun, 09 Feb 2014 13:08:20 +0000 The in vitro CD40-CD154 interaction promotes human B lymphocytes differentiation into plasma cells. Currently, CD138 is the hallmark marker enabling the detection of human plasma cells, both in vitro and in vivo; its presence can be monitored by flow cytometry using a specific antibody. We have developed a culture system allowing for the differentiation of memory B lymphocytes. In order to detect the newly formed plasma cells, we have compared their staining using five anti-CD138 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). As a reference, we also tested human cell lines, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and bone marrow samples. The five anti-CD138 mAbs stained RPMI-8226 cells (>98%) with variable stain index (SI). The highest SI was obtained with B-A38 mAb while the lowest SI was obtained with DL-101 and 1D4 mAbs. However, the anti-CD138 mAbs were not showing equivalent CD138+ cells frequencies within the generated plasma cells. B-A38, B-B4, and MI-15 were similar (15–25%) while DL-101 mAb stained a higher proportion of CD138-positive cells (38–42%). DL-101 and B-A38 mAbs stained similar populations in bone marrow samples but differed in their capacity to bind to and cell lines. In conclusion, such cellular fluctuations suggest heterogeneity in human plasma cell populations and/or in CD138 molecules. Rayelle Itoua Maïga, Jennifer Lemieux, Annie Roy, Carl Simard, and Sonia Néron Copyright © 2014 Rayelle Itoua Maïga et al. All rights reserved. Thymic Epithelial Cell Development and Its Dysfunction in Human Diseases Mon, 03 Feb 2014 06:55:59 +0000 Thymic epithelial cells (TECs) are the key components in thymic microenvironment for T cells development. TECs, composed of cortical and medullary TECs, are derived from a common bipotent progenitor and undergo a stepwise development controlled by multiple levels of signals to be functionally mature for supporting thymocyte development. Tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) family members including the receptor activator for NFκB (RANK), CD40, and lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR) cooperatively control the thymic medullary microenvironment and self-tolerance establishment. In addition, fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), Wnt, and Notch signals are essential for establishment of functional thymic microenvironment. Transcription factors Foxn1 and autoimmune regulator (Aire) are powerful modulators of TEC development, differentiation, and self-tolerance. Dysfunction in thymic microenvironment including defects of TEC and thymocyte development would cause physiological disorders such as tumor, infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases. In the present review, we will summarize our current understanding on TEC development and the underlying molecular signals pathways and the involvement of thymus dysfunction in human diseases. Lina Sun, Hongran Li, Haiying Luo, and Yong Zhao Copyright © 2014 Lina Sun et al. All rights reserved. The Soluble Form of CTLA-4 from Serum of Patients with Autoimmune Diseases Regulates T-Cell Responses Wed, 29 Jan 2014 14:46:04 +0000 Cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) is a costimulatory receptor transducing a potent inhibitory signal. Increasing evidence showed that CTLA-4 gene is an important susceptibility locus for autoimmune disorders. Alternatively spliced mRNA generates a soluble form, called sCTLA-4. Whereas low levels of sCTLA-4 are detected in normal human serum, increased/high serum levels are observed in several autoimmune diseases. The biological significance of increased sCTLA-4 serum level is not fully clarified yet. It can be envisaged that sCTLA-4 specifically inhibits the early T-cell activation by blocking the interaction of CD80/CD86 with the costimulatory receptor CD28. On the other hand, higher levels of sCTLA-4 could contend the binding of the membrane form of CTLA-4 with CD80/CD86, in later activation phase, causing a reduction of inhibitory signalling. We showed that sCTLA-4 from sera of patients with different autoimmune diseases is able to display functional activities on an in vitro system acting on the proliferation capability and modulating the secretion of cytokines. We observed a dual effect of sCTLA-4: inhibiting the secretion of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-7, and IL-13 and activating the secretion of TGF-β and IL-10. This study underlines the role of sCTLA-4 in modulating the immune response and its relevance in autoimmune disease pathogenesis. Rita Simone, Giampaola Pesce, Princey Antola, Margarita Rumbullaku, Marcello Bagnasco, Nicola Bizzaro, and Daniele Saverino Copyright © 2014 Rita Simone et al. All rights reserved. Infliximab Reverses Suppression of Cholesterol Efflux Proteins by TNF-α: A Possible Mechanism for Modulation of Atherogenesis Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:28:42 +0000 Tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α is a proinflammatory proatherogenic cytokine. Infliximab, an anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibody, is effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis. However, its impact on cardiovascular burden and lipid transport is unclear. The present study investigates the effect of TNF-α and infliximab on reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) proteins. Uptake of modified lipoproteins by macrophages in the vasculature leads to atherogenic foam cell formation. RCT is mediated by proteins including ATP binding cassette transporters A1 (ABCA1), G1 (ABCG1), liver X receptor- (LXR-) α, and 27-hydroxylase. RCT counteracts lipid overload by ridding cells of excess cholesterol. THP-1 human monocytes were incubated with either TNF-α alone or TNF-α with infliximab. Expression of proteins involved in cholesterol efflux was analyzed. TNF-α significantly reduced both ABCA1 and LXR-α mRNA (to , , and , , versus control set as 100%, resp.). Infliximab nullified the TNF-α effect. Results were confirmed by Western blot. Infliximab abolished the increase in foam cells induced by TNF-α. TNF-α treatment significantly reduces ABCA1 and LXR-α expression in monocytes, thus bringing about a proatherogenic state. The anti-TNF drug infliximab, commonly used in rheumatology, restored RCT proteins. This is the first report of an atheroprotective effect of infliximab on RCT in monocytes. Iryna Voloshyna, Sangeetha Seshadri, Kamran Anwar, Michael J. Littlefield, Elise Belilos, Steven E. Carsons, and Allison B. Reiss Copyright © 2014 Iryna Voloshyna et al. All rights reserved. Immunomodulation in Human Dendritic Cells Leads to Induction of Interferon-Gamma Production by Leishmania donovani Derived KMP-11 Antigen via Activation of NF-B in Indian Kala-Azar Patients Wed, 22 Jan 2014 14:05:21 +0000 Dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages (Ms) are well-known antigen presenting cells with an ability to produce IL-12 which indicates that they have potential of directing acquired immunity toward a Th1-biased response. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of Leishmania specific KMP-11 antigen through comparison of immune responses after presentation by DCs and Ms to T cells in Indian patients with VL. Patients with DCS and Ms were directed against a purified Leishmania donovani antigen (KMP-11) and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA). The cytokines (IL-12, IL-10, and TGF-) producing abilities of the DCs and Ms against these antigens were determined by flow cytometry. The transcription factor (NF-B) and T-cell cytokine support (IFN-, IL-10), which could be significant in effector immune function, were also determined. Severe hindrance in the immune protection due to Leishmania parasites, as revealed by decreased expression of IL-12 and upregulation of IL-10 and TGF- expression in the Ms compared to DCs, occurred in VL patients. The production of IL-12 in response to L. donovani KMP-11 antigen was increased in DCs which was reduced in Ms of VL patients. In contrast, the presentation of KMP-11 antigen by DCs to T-lymphocytes in VL patients significantly increased the IFN- produced by these immune cells, whereas the levels of IL-10 were significantly elevated after presentation of KMP-11antigen by Ms. The VL patients were observed with severely dysfunctional Ms in terms of NF-B activity that could be recovered only after stimulation of DCs with L. donovani KMP-11 antigen. Immunologically the better competitiveness of KMP-11 antigen through a dendritic cell delivery system may be used to revert T-cell anergy, and control strategy can be designed accordingly against kala-azar. Rajesh Chaudhary, Ajay Amit, Anupam Yadav, Anurag Singh, Vikash Kumar, S. K. Singh, Shyam Narayan, Vidyanand Rabidas, K. Pandey, Anil Kumar, Pradeep Das, and Sanjiva Bimal Copyright © 2014 Rajesh Chaudhary et al. All rights reserved. Toward Understanding the Role of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor in the Immune System: Current Progress and Future Trends Mon, 06 Jan 2014 14:17:23 +0000 The immune system is regulated by distinct signaling pathways that control the development and function of the immune cells. Accumulating evidence suggest that ligation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr), an environmentally responsive transcription factor, results in multiple cross talks that are capable of modulating these pathways and their downstream responsive genes. Most of the immune cells respond to such modulation, and many inflammatory response-related genes contain multiple xenobiotic-responsive elements (XREs) boxes upstream. Active research efforts have investigated the physiological role of Ahr in inflammation and autoimmunity using different animal models. Recently formed paradigm has shown that activation of Ahr by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) or 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) prompts the differentiation of CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) and inhibits T helper (Th)-17 suggesting that Ahr is an innovative therapeutic strategy for autoimmune inflammation. These promising findings generate a basis for future clinical practices in humans. This review addresses the current knowledge on the role of Ahr in different immune cell compartments, with a particular focus on inflammation and autoimmunity. Hamza Hanieh Copyright © 2014 Hamza Hanieh. All rights reserved. SEA Antagonizes the Imatinib-Meditated Inhibitory Effects on T Cell Activation via the TCR Signaling Pathway Thu, 02 Jan 2014 11:45:44 +0000 The BCR-ABL kinase inhibitor imatinib is highly effective in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, long-term imatinib treatment induces immunosuppression, which is mainly due to T cell dysfunction. Imatinib can reduce TCR-triggered T cell activation by inhibiting the phosphorylation of tyrosine kinases such as Lck, ZAP70, LAT, and PLCγ1 early in the TCR signaling pathway. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the superantigen SEA, a potent T cell stimulator, can block the immunosuppressive effects of imatinib on T cells. Our data show that the exposure of primary human T cells and Jurkat cells to SEA for 24 h leads to the upregulation of the Lck and ZAP70 proteins in a dose-dependent manner. T cells treated with SEA prior to TCR binding had increased the tyrosine phosphorylation of Lck, ZAP70, and PLCγ1. Pretreatment with SEA prevents the inhibitory effects of imatinib on TCR signaling, which leads to T cell proliferation and IL-2 production. It is conceivable that SEA antagonizes the imatinib-mediated inhibition of T cell activation and proliferation through the TCR signaling pathway. Guanming Wang, Yuhui Yan, Xiaohua Chen, Chen Lin, and Yangqiu Li Copyright © 2014 Guanming Wang et al. All rights reserved. Lactobacilli Reduce Chemokine IL-8 Production in Response to TNF-α and Salmonella Challenge of Caco-2 Cells Sat, 28 Dec 2013 13:32:11 +0000 The probiotic properties of two selected lactobacilli strains were assessed. L. salivarius and L. plantarum displayed higher hydrophobicity (48% and 54%, resp.) and coaggregation ability with four pathogens (from 7.9% to 57.5%). L. salivarius and L. plantarum had good inhibitory effects on S. aureus (38.2% and 49.5%, resp.) attachment to Caco-2 cells. Live lactobacilli strains and their conditioned media effectively inhibited IL-8 production (<14.6 pg/mL) in TNF-α-induced Caco-2 cells. Antibiotic-treated and the sonicated lactobacilli also maintained inhibitory effects (IL-8 production from 5.0 to 36.3 pg/mL); however, the heat-treated lactobacilli lost their inhibitory effects (IL-8 production from 130.2 to 161.0 pg/mL). These results suggest that both the structural components and the soluble cellular content of lactobacilli have anti-inflammatory effects. We also found that pretreatment of Caco-2 cells with lactobacilli inhibited S. typhimurium-induced IL-8 production (<27.3 pg/mL). However, lactobacilli did not inhibit IL-8 production in Caco-2 cells pretreated with S. typhimurium. These results suggest that the tested lactobacilli strains are appropriate for preventing inflammatory diseases caused by enteric pathogens but not for therapy. In short, L. salivarius and L. plantarum are potential candidates for the development of microbial ecological agents and functional foods. Da-Yong Ren, Chang Li, Yan-Qing Qin, Rong-Lan Yin, Shou-Wen Du, Fei Ye, Hong-Feng Liu, Mao-Peng Wang, Yang Sun, Xiao Li, Ming-Yao Tian, and Ning-Yi Jin Copyright © 2013 Da-Yong Ren et al. All rights reserved. Role of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Production of Prostaglandin E2 and Nitric Oxide during Experimental Murine Paracoccidioidomycosis Wed, 25 Dec 2013 08:27:36 +0000 There has recently been increased interest in the potential health effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the immune system. Paracoccidioidomycosis is the most important endemic mycosis in Latin America. Macrophages have a fundamental role and act as first line of organism defense. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of n-3 fatty acids on the production of PGE2 and NO by mice infected with Pb18 and fed a diet enriched with LNA for 8 weeks. To study the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on macrophage activity during experimental paracoccidioidomycosis, mice were infected with Pb18 and fed a diet supplemented with LNA. PGE2 in the serum of animals was analyzed and NO in the supernatants of macrophages cultured and challenged in vitro with Pb18 was measured. Omega-3 fatty acids seemed to decrease the production of PGE2 in vivo in the infected group fed an LNA-supplemented diet during the 4th and 8th weeks of the experiment. At the same time, we observed an increase in synthesis of NO by peritoneal macrophages in this group. Omega-3 fatty acids thus appear to have an immunomodulatory effect in paracoccidioidomycosis. S. C. Sargi, M. M. O. Dalalio, A. G. Moraes, J. E. L. Visentainer, D. R. Morais, and J. V. Visentainer Copyright © 2013 S. C. Sargi et al. All rights reserved. Oral Immunogenicity of Plant-Made Mycobacterium tuberculosis ESAT6 and CFP10 Thu, 19 Dec 2013 11:17:57 +0000 Two lines of transgenic carrot plants producing Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins (ESAT6 and CFP10) have been constructed. The target proteins are present in carrot storage roots at a level not less than 0.056% of the total storage protein (TSP) for ESAT6 and 0.002% of TSP for CFP10. As has been shown, oral immunization of mice induces both the cell-mediated and humoral immunities. These data suggest that the proteins in question are appropriate as a candidate edible vaccine against tuberculosis. Elena A. Uvarova, Pavel A. Belavin, Natalya V. Permyakova, Alla A. Zagorskaya, Olesya V. Nosareva, Almagul A. Kakimzhanova, and Elena V. Deineko Copyright © 2013 Elena A. Uvarova et al. All rights reserved. Modulation of Lung Immune Response Thu, 05 Dec 2013 15:46:29 +0000 Alexandre de Paula Rogerio, Carlo José Freire Oliveira, Edinéia Lemos de Andrade, and Oliver Haworth Copyright © 2013 Alexandre de Paula Rogerio et al. All rights reserved. Perinatal Exposure to Insecticide Methamidophos Suppressed Production of Proinflammatory Cytokines Responding to Virus Infection in Lung Tissues in Mice Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:37:21 +0000 Methamidophos, a representative organophosphate insecticide, is regulated because of its severe neurotoxicity, but it is suspected of contaminating agricultural foods in many countries due to illicit use. To reveal unknown effects of methamidophos on human health, we evaluated the developmental immunotoxicity of methamidophos using a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection mouse model. Pregnant mice were exposed to methamidophos (10 or 20 ppm) in their drinking water from gestation day 10 to weaning on postnatal day 21. Offsprings born to these dams were intranasally infected with RSV. The levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interferon-gamma in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluids after infection were significantly decreased in offspring mice exposed to methamidophos. Treatment with methamidophos did not affect the pulmonary viral titers but suppressed moderately the inflammation of lung tissues of RSV-infected offspring, histopathologically. DNA microarray analysis revealed that gene expression of the cytokines in the lungs of offspring mice exposed to 20 ppm of methamidophos was apparently suppressed compared with the control. Methamidophos did not suppress IL-6 production in RSV-infected J774.1 cell cultures. Thus, exposure of the mother to methamidophos during pregnancy and nursing was suggested to cause an irregular immune response in the lung tissues in the offspring mice. Wataru Watanabe, Hiroki Yoshida, Akihiko Hirose, Toshi Akashi, Tomomi Takeshita, Nao Kuroki, Asami Shibata, Satoko Hongo, Seiko Hashiguchi, Katsuhiko Konno, and Masahiko Kurokawa Copyright © 2013 Wataru Watanabe et al. All rights reserved. Ovarian Stimulation Affects the Population of Mouse Uterine NK Cells at Early Pregnancy Sun, 17 Nov 2013 17:09:39 +0000 The aim of this study was to determine the influence of ovarian stimulation on endometrial mouse NK cell population. For superovulation, the female adult NMRI mice were injected i.p. with 10 IU of the pregnant mare serum gonadotropin followed 48 h later by an i.p. injection of 10 IU human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. Ovarian stimulated and nonstimulated mice were mated with fertile male. The presence of vaginal plug proved natural pregnancy, and this day was considered as day one of pregnancy. Tissue samples were prepared from the uterine horn and spleen of both groups of study on 7th day of pregnancy. Serum estradiol-17 and progesterone were measured at the same time. The tissue cryosections were prepared and double stained for CD 161 and CD3 markers, and NK cells population was analyzed. Relative frequency of NK cells was significantly lower in stroma and myometrium in hyperstimulated mice compared with the control group. However, no difference was seen in percentage of NK cells in spleen. The ovarian stimulation influences the proportion of uterine NK cells and may affect the embryo implantation. Parvin Dorfeshan, Mojdeh Salehnia, and Seyed Mohammad Moazzeni Copyright © 2013 Parvin Dorfeshan et al. All rights reserved. Prevalence of Bronchiectasis in Asthma according to Oral Steroid Requirement: Influence of Immunoglobulin Levels Wed, 13 Nov 2013 13:24:44 +0000 Purpose. To establish the prevalence of bronchiectasis in asthma in relation to patients’ oral corticosteroid requirements and to explore whether the increased risk is due to blood immunoglobulin (Ig) concentration. Methods. Case-control cross-sectional study, including 100 sex- and age-matched patients, 50 with non-steroid-dependent asthma (NSDA) and 50 with steroid-dependent asthma (SDA). Study protocol: (a) measurement of Ig and gG subclass concentration; (b) forced spirometry; and (c) high-resolution thoracic computed tomography. When bronchiectasis was detected, a specific etiological protocol was applied to establish its etiology. Results. The overall prevalence of bronchiectasis was 12/50 in the SDA group and 6/50 in the NSDA group (). The etiology was documented in six patients (four NSDA and two SDA). After excluding these patients, the prevalence of bronchiectasis was 20% (10/50) in the SDA group and 2/50 (4%) in the NSDA group (). Patients with asthma-associated bronchiectasis presented lower FEV1 values than patients without bronchiectasis, but the levels of Ig and subclasses of IgG did not present differences. Conclusions. Steroid-dependent asthma seems to be associated with a greater risk of developing bronchiectasis than non-steroid-dependent asthma. This is probably due to the disease itself rather than to other influencing factors such as immunoglobulin levels. Manel Luján, Xavier Gallardo, María José Amengual, Montserrat Bosque, Rosa M. Mirapeix, and Christian Domingo Copyright © 2013 Manel Luján et al. All rights reserved. Recent Advances in Genetic Predisposition of Myasthenia Gravis Tue, 05 Nov 2013 11:03:20 +0000 Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease mediated by the presence of autoantibodies that bind to components of the neuromuscular junction, causing the symptoms of muscular weakness and fatigability. Like most autoimmune disorders, MG is a multifactorial, noninherited disease, though with an established genetic constituent. The heterogeneity observed in MG perplexes genetic analysis even more, as it occurs in various levels, including diverse autoantigens, thymus histopathology, and age at onset. In this context of distinct subgroups, a plethora of association studies, discussed in this review, have assessed the involvement of various HLA and non-HLA related loci in MG susceptibility, over the past five years. As expected, certain HLA alleles were strongly associated with MG. Many of the non-HLA genes, such as PTPN22 and CTLA-4, have been previously studied in MG and other autoimmune diseases and their association with MG has been reevaluated in more cohesive groups of patients. Moreover, novel risk or protective loci have been revealed, as in the case of TNIP1 and FOXP3. Although the majority of these results have been derived from candidate gene studies, the focal point of all recent genetic studies is the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) conducted on early-onset MG patients. Zoi Zagoriti, Manousos E. Kambouris, George P. Patrinos, Socrates J. Tzartos, and Konstantinos Poulas Copyright © 2013 Zoi Zagoriti et al. All rights reserved. Low pH Environmental Stress Inhibits LPS and LTA-Stimulated Proinflammatory Cytokine Production in Rat Alveolar Macrophages Wed, 30 Oct 2013 13:26:09 +0000 Gastric aspiration increases the risks for developing secondary bacterial pneumonia. Cytokine elaboration through pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) is an important mechanism in initiating innate immune host response. Effects of low pH stress, a critical component of aspiration pathogenesis, on the PRR pathways were examined, specifically toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2) and TLR4, using isolated rat alveolar macrophages (aMØs). We assessed the ability of aMØs after brief exposure to acidified saline to elaborate proinflammatory cytokines in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA) stimulation, known ligands of TLR4 and TLR2, respectively. Low pH stress reduced LPS- and LTA-mediated cytokine release (CINC-1, MIP-2, TNF-, MCP-1, and IFN-). LPS and LTA increased intracellular Ca2+ concentrations while Ca2+ chelation by BAPTA decreased LPS- and LTA-mediated cytokine responses. BAPTA blocked the effects of low pH stress on most of LPS-stimulated cytokines but not of LTA-stimulated responses. In vivo mouse model demonstrates suppressed E. coli and S. pneumoniae clearance following acid aspiration. In conclusion, low pH stress inhibits antibacterial cytokine response of aMØs due to impaired TLR2 (MyD88 pathway) and TLR4 signaling (MyD88 and TRIF pathways). The role of Ca2+ in low pH stress-induced signaling is complex but appears to be distinct between LPS- and LTA-mediated responses. Stanley F. Fernandez, Christopher Fung, Jadwiga D. Helinski, Ravi Alluri, Bruce A. Davidson, and Paul R. Knight III Copyright © 2013 Stanley F. Fernandez et al. All rights reserved. Novel Vaccine Adjuvants Tue, 22 Oct 2013 10:22:11 +0000 Anshu Agrawal, Mohammad Owais, and Udai P. Singh Copyright © 2013 Anshu Agrawal et al. All rights reserved. Oligomannose-Coated Liposome as a Novel Adjuvant for the Induction of Cellular Immune Responses to Control Disease Status Thu, 10 Oct 2013 12:11:28 +0000 Professional phagocytic cells, such as dendritic cells, are mainly responsible for phagocytosis, antigen presentation, and cytokine secretion, which induce subsequent activation of T cell-mediated immunity. Thus, strategies that deliver antigens and stimulatory signals to the cells have significant implications for vaccine design. In this paper, we summarize the potential for liposomes coated with the neoglycolipids containing oligomannose residues (OMLs) as a novel adjuvant for induction of Th1 immune responses and CTLs specific for the encased antigen. OMLs preferentially take up peripheral phagocytic cells. In response to OML uptake, the cells secrete IL-12 selectively, enhance the expression of costimulatory molecules, and migrate into lymphoid tissues from peripheral tissues. OMLs also have the ability to deliver encapsulated protein antigens to the MHC class I and class II pathways to generate antigen-specific CTLs and Th1 cells, respectively, and lipid antigen to CD1d to activate NKT cells. Since administration of OML-based vaccines can eliminate an established tumor, inhibit elevation of the serum IgE level, and prevent progression of protozoan infections in several murine, human, and bovine models, OML-based vaccines have revealed their potential for clinical use in vaccination for a variety of diseases in which CTLs and/or Th1 cells act as effector cells. Naoya Kojima, Mariko Ishii, Yoko Kawauchi, and Hideaki Takagi Copyright © 2013 Naoya Kojima et al. All rights reserved. MHC Universal Cells Survive in an Allogeneic Environment after Incompatible Transplantation Wed, 09 Oct 2013 19:13:19 +0000 Cell, tissue, and organ transplants are commonly performed for the treatment of different diseases. However, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) diversity often prevents complete donor-recipient matching, resulting in graft rejection. This study evaluates in a preclinical model the capacity of MHC class I-silenced cells to engraft and grow upon allogeneic transplantation. Short hairpin RNA targeting β2-microglobulin (RN_shβ2m) was delivered into fibroblasts derived from LEW/Ztm () (RT1-) rats using a lentiviral-based vector. MHC class I (RT1-A-) expressing and -silenced cells were injected subcutaneously in LEW rats () and MHC-congenic LEW.1W rats (), respectively. Cell engraftment and the status of the immune response were monitored for eight weeks after transplantation. In contrast to RT1-A-expressing cells, RT1-A-silenced fibroblasts became engrafted and were still detectable eight weeks after allogeneic transplantation. Plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ were significantly higher in animals transplanted with RT1-A-expressing cells than in those receiving RT1-A-silenced cells. Furthermore, alloantigen-specific T-cell proliferation rates derived from rats receiving RT1-A-expressing cells were higher than those in rats transplanted with RT1-A-silenced cells. These data suggest that silencing MHC class I expression might overcome the histocompatibility barrier, potentially opening up new avenues in the field of cell transplantation and regenerative medicine. Constança Figueiredo, Dirk Wedekind, Thomas Müller, Stefanie Vahlsing, Peter A. Horn, Axel Seltsam, and Rainer Blasczyk Copyright © 2013 Constança Figueiredo et al. All rights reserved. Internalization of B Cell Receptors in Human EU12 μHC+ Immature B Cells Specifically Alters Downstream Signaling Events Wed, 09 Oct 2013 11:07:25 +0000 It has been recognized for a long time that engagement of B cell antigen receptors (BCRs) on immature B cells or mature B cells leads to completely opposite cell fate decisions. The underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we show that crosslinking of BCRs on human EU12 μHC+ immature B cells resulted in complete internalization of cell surface BCRs. After loss of cell surface BCRs, restimulation of EU12 μHC+ cells showed impaired Ca2+ flux, delayed SYK phosphorylation, and decreased CD19 and FOXO1 phosphorylation, which differ from those in mature Daudi or Ramos B cells with partial internalization of BCRs. In contrast, sustained phosphorylation and reactivation of ERK upon restimulation were observed in the EU12 μHC+ cells after BCR internalization. Taken together, these results show that complete internalization of cell surface BCRs in EU12 μHC+ cells specifically alters the downstream signaling events, which may favor receptor editing versus cell activation. Jing Liu, Wanqin Xie, Miles D. Lange, Sang Yong Hong, Kaihong Su, and Zhixin Zhang Copyright © 2013 Jing Liu et al. All rights reserved. Potential Effects of Medicinal Plants and Secondary Metabolites on Acute Lung Injury Wed, 09 Oct 2013 11:02:38 +0000 Acute lung injury (ALI) is a life-threatening syndrome that causes high morbidity and mortality worldwide. ALI is characterized by increased permeability of the alveolar-capillary membrane, edema, uncontrolled neutrophils migration to the lung, and diffuse alveolar damage, leading to acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. Although corticosteroids remain the mainstay of ALI treatment, they cause significant side effects. Agents of natural origin, such as medicinal plants and their secondary metabolites, mainly those with very few side effects, could be excellent alternatives for ALI treatment. Several studies, including our own, have demonstrated that plant extracts and/or secondary metabolites isolated from them reduce most ALI phenotypes in experimental animal models, including neutrophil recruitment to the lung, the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, edema, and vascular permeability. In this review, we summarized these studies and described the anti-inflammatory activity of various plant extracts, such as Ginkgo biloba and Punica granatum, and such secondary metabolites as epigallocatechin-3-gallate and ellagic acid. In addition, we highlight the medical potential of these extracts and plant-derived compounds for treating of ALI. Daniely Cornélio Favarin, Jhony Robison de Oliveira, Carlo Jose Freire de Oliveira, and Alexandre de Paula Rogerio Copyright © 2013 Daniely Cornélio Favarin et al. All rights reserved. The Multifaceted Aspects of Interstitial Lung Disease in Rheumatoid Arthritis Wed, 25 Sep 2013 16:33:40 +0000 Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a relevant extra-articular manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that may occur either in early stages or as a complication of long-standing disease. RA related ILD (RA-ILD) significantly influences the quoad vitam prognosis of these patients. Several histopathological patterns of RA-ILD have been described: usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) is the most frequent one, followed by nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP); other patterns are less commonly observed. Several factors have been associated with an increased risk of developing RA-ILD. The genetic background plays a fundamental but not sufficient role; smoking is an independent predictor of ILD, and a correlation with the presence of rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies has also been reported. Moreover, both exnovo occurrence and progression of ILD have been related to drug therapies that are commonly prescribed in RA, such as methotrexate, leflunomide, anti-TNF alpha agents, and rituximab. A greater understanding of the disease process is necessary in order to improve the therapeutic approach to ILD and RA itself and to reduce the burden of this severe extra-articular manifestation. Lorenzo Cavagna, Sara Monti, Vittorio Grosso, Nicola Boffini, Eva Scorletti, Gloria Crepaldi, and Roberto Caporali Copyright © 2013 Lorenzo Cavagna et al. All rights reserved. Proteinase-Activated Receptor-2 Agonist Activates Anti-Influenza Mechanisms and Modulates IFNγ-Induced Antiviral Pathways in Human Neutrophils Sun, 22 Sep 2013 16:15:58 +0000 Proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR2) is expressed by human leukocytes and participates in the development of inflammatory diseases. Recent studies demonstrated an ability of PAR2 agonist to enhance IFNγ-induced antiviral responses of human leukocytes. However, the precise cellular antiviral defense mechanisms triggered in leukocytes after stimulation with IFNγ and/or PAR2 agonist remain elusive. Therefore, we aimed to identify neutrophil defense mechanisms involved in antiviral resistance. Here we demonstrated that PAR2 agonist enhanced IFNγ-related reduction of influenza A virus (IAV) replication in human neutrophils. PAR2-mediated decrease in IAV replication was associated with reduced NS-1 transcription. Moreover, PAR2-dependent neutrophil activation resulted in enhanced myeloperoxidase degranulation and extracellular myeloperoxidase disrupted IAV. The production of ROS was elevated in response to PAR2 activation. Interestingly, IFNγ did not influence both effects: PAR2 agonist-triggered myeloperoxidase (MPO) release and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which are known to limit IAV infections. In contrast, orthomyxovirus resistance gene A (MxA) protein expression was synergistically elevated through PAR2 agonist and IFNγ in neutrophils. Altogether, these findings emphasize two PAR2-controlled antiviral mechanisms that are independent of or modulated by IFNγ. Micha Feld, Victoria Shpacovitch, Christina Ehrhardt, Michaela Fastrich, Tobias Goerge, Stephan Ludwig, and Martin Steinhoff Copyright © 2013 Micha Feld et al. All rights reserved. Modulation of the Effects of Lung Immune Response on Bone Marrow by Oral Antigen Exposure Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:58:40 +0000 Allergic airway inflammation is attenuated by oral tolerization (oral exposure to allergen, followed by conventional sensitization and challenge with homologous antigen), which decreases airway allergen challenge-induced eosinophilic infiltration of the lungs and bone marrow eosinophilia. We examined its effects on bone marrow eosinophil and neutrophil production. Mice of wild type (BP-2, BALB/c, and C57BL/6) and mutant strains (lacking iNOS or CD95L) were given ovalbumin (OVA) or water (vehicle) orally and subsequently sensitized and challenged with OVA (OVA/OVA/OVA and H2O/OVA/OVA groups, resp.). Anti-OVA IgG and IgE, bone marrow eosinophil and neutrophil numbers, and eosinophil and neutrophil production ex vivo were evaluated. T lymphocytes from OVA/OVA/OVA or control H2O/OVA/OVA donors were transferred into naïve syngeneic recipients, which were subsequently sensitized/challenged with OVA. Alternatively, T lymphocytes were cocultured with bone marrow eosinophil precursors from histocompatible sensitized/challenged mice. OVA/OVA/OVA mice of the BP-2 and BALB/c strains showed, relative to H2O/OVA/OVA controls, significantly decreased bone marrow eosinophil counts and ex vivo eosinopoiesis/neutropoiesis. Full effectiveness in vivo required sequential oral/subcutaneous/intranasal exposures to the same allergen. Transfer of splenic T lymphocytes from OVA/OVA/OVA donors to naive recipients prevented bone marrow eosinophilia and eosinopoiesis in response to recipient sensitization/challenge and supressed eosinopoiesis upon coculture with syngeneic bone marrow precursors from sensitized/challenged donors. P. Xavier-Elsas, C. L. C. A. Silva, L. Pinto, T. Queto, B. M. Vieira, M. G. Aranha, B. De Luca, D. Masid-de-Brito, R. A. Luz, R. S. Lopes, R. Ferreira, and M. I. Gaspar-Elsas Copyright © 2013 P. Xavier-Elsas et al. All rights reserved. Illuminating the Petite Picture of T Cell Memory Responses to Listeria monocytogenes Sun, 22 Sep 2013 10:37:24 +0000 The ease to culture, moderately less safety constraints in handling, and above all, hurdle free induction of an anticipated infection in mouse rendered Listeria monocytogenes the rank of a model organism for studying a variety of host immune responses. Listeria monocytogenes being an intracellular pathogen evokes potent CD8 T cell response during which CD8 T cells pass through a massive expansion phase. This is generally followed by contraction phase wherein majority of activated cells undergo apoptosis leaving behind a population of memory CD8 T cells that has potential to confer enhanced protection upon reencounter with the same pathogen. Functional attributes of various cytokines, transcription factors, receptors, adaptors, and effectors pertaining to the generation of robust memory T cell response have begun to be unravelled for better understanding of memory and opening avenues to create superior vaccine strategies. This review is an attempt to unveil related discoveries along with updating recent advances on this issue. Saba Tufail, Khan Farheen Badrealam, Mohammad Owais, and Swaleha Zubair Copyright © 2013 Saba Tufail et al. All rights reserved. Effect of the Plasmid-DNA Vaccination on Macroscopic and Microscopic Damage Caused by the Experimental Chronic Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in the Canine Model Thu, 19 Sep 2013 18:22:30 +0000 The dog is considered the main domestic reservoir for Trypanosoma cruzi infection and a suitable experimental animal model to study the pathological changes during the course of Chagas disease (CD). Vaccine development is one of CD prevention methods to protect people at risk. Two plasmids containing genes encoding a trans-sialidase protein (TcSP) and an amastigote-specific glycoprotein (TcSSP4) were used as DNA vaccines in a canine model. Splenomegaly was not found in either of the recombinant plasmid-immunized groups; however, cardiomegaly was absent in animals immunized only with the plasmid containing the TcSSP4 gene. The inflammation of subendocardial and myocardial tissues was prevented only with the immunization with TcSSP4 gene. In conclusion, the vaccination with these genes has a partial protective effect on the enlargement of splenic and cardiac tissues during the chronic CD and on microscopic hearth damage, since both plasmids prevented splenomegaly but only one avoided cardiomegaly, and the lesions in heart tissue of dog immunized with plasmid containing the TcSSP4 gene covered only subepicardial tissue. Olivia Rodríguez-Morales, Silvia C. Carrillo-Sánchez, Humberto García-Mendoza, Alberto Aranda-Fraustro, Martha A. Ballinas-Verdugo, Ricardo Alejandre-Aguilar, José Luis Rosales-Encina, Maite Vallejo, and Minerva Arce-Fonseca Copyright © 2013 Olivia Rodríguez-Morales et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Osteoimmunology in Periodontal Disease Tue, 17 Sep 2013 18:18:11 +0000 Periodontal disease is a pathological condition that involves inflammation of the tooth supporting structures. It occurs in response to the presence of bacterial plaque on the tooth structure. The host defense system, including innate and adaptive immunity, is responsible for combating the pathologic bacteria invading the periodontal tissue. Failure to eradicate the invading pathogens will result in a continuous state of inflammation where inflammatory cells such as lymphocytes, PMNs, and macrophages will continue to produce inflammatory mediators in an effort to destroy the invaders. Unfortunately, these inflammatory mediators have a deleterious effect on the host tissue as well as foreign microbes. One of the effects of these mediators on the host is the induction of matrix degradation and bone resorption through activation of proteases and other inflammatory mediators that activate osteoclasts. Rayyan A. Kayal Copyright © 2013 Rayyan A. Kayal. All rights reserved. Chronic Heat Stress Inhibits Immune Responses to H5N1 Vaccination through Regulating CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Tregs Tue, 17 Sep 2013 08:48:19 +0000 Chronic heat stress (CHS) is known to have negative impacts on the immune responses in animals and increases their susceptibility to infections including the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1. However, the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in CHS immunosuppression remains largely undefined. In this study, we demonstrated a novel mechanism by which CHS suppressed both Th1 and Th2 immune responses and dramatically decreased the protective efficacy of the formalin-inactivated H5N1 vaccine against H5N1 influenza virus infection. This suppression was found to be associated with the induced generation of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Tregs and the increased secretions of IL-10 and TGF-β in CD4+ T cells. Adoptive transfer of the induced Tregs also suppressed the protective efficacy of formalin-inactivated H5N1 virus immunization. Collectively, this study identifies a novel mechanism of CHS immunosuppression mediated by regulating CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Tregs. Di Meng, Yanxin Hu, Chong Xiao, Tangting Wei, Qiang Zou, and Ming Wang Copyright © 2013 Di Meng et al. All rights reserved. Antileukotriene Reverts the Early Effects of Inflammatory Response of Distal Parenchyma in Experimental Chronic Allergic Inflammation Sun, 15 Sep 2013 13:59:37 +0000 Aims. Compare the effects of montelukast or dexamethasone in distal lung parenchyma and airway walls of guinea pigs (GP) with chronic allergic inflammation. Methods. GP have inhaled ovalbumin (OVA group-2x/week/4weeks). After the 4th inhalation, GP were treated with montelukast or dexamethasone. After 72 hours of the 7th inhalation, GP were anesthetised, and lungs were removed and submitted to histopathological evaluation. Results. Montelukast and dexamethasone treatments reduced the number of eosinophils in airway wall and distal lung parenchyma compared to OVA group (). On distal parenchyma, both treatments were effective in reducing RANTES, NF-κB, and fibronectin positive cells compared to OVA group (). Montelukast was more effective in reducing eotaxin positive cells on distal parenchyma compared to dexamethasone treatment (), while there was a more expressive reduction of IGF-I positive cells in OVA-D group (). On airway walls, montelukast and dexamethasone were effective in reducing IGF-I, RANTES, and fibronectin positive cells compared to OVA group (). Dexamethasone was more effective in reducing the number of eotaxin and NF-κB positive cells than Montelukast (). Conclusions. In this animal model, both treatments were effective in modulating allergic inflammation and remodeling distal lung parenchyma and airway wall, contributing to a better control of the inflammatory response. Nathália Brandão Gobbato, Flávia Castro Ribas de Souza, Stella Bruna Napolitano Fumagalli, Fernanda Degobbi Tenório Quirino dos Santos Lopes, Carla Máximo Prado, Milton Arruda Martins, Iolanda de Fátima Lopes Calvo Tibério, and Edna Aparecida Leick Copyright © 2013 Nathália Brandão Gobbato et al. All rights reserved. Immunomodulatory Effects of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells: Fact or Fiction? Tue, 10 Sep 2013 09:58:42 +0000 Adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) are often referred to as adipose-derived stem cells due to their potential to undergo multilineage differentiation. Their promising role in tissue engineering and ability to modulate the immune system are the focus of extensive research. A number of clinical trials using ASCs are currently underway to better understand the role of such cell niche in enhancing or suppressing the immune response. If governable, such immunoregulatory role would find application in several conditions in which an immune response is present (i.e., autoimmune conditions) or feared (i.e., solid organ or reconstructive transplantation). Although allogeneic ASCs have been shown to prevent acute GvHD in both preclinical and clinical studies, their potential warrants further investigation. Well-designed and standardized clinical trials are necessary to prove the role of ASCs in the treatment of immune disorders or prevention of tissue rejection. In this paper we analyze the current literature on the role of ASCs in immunomodulation in vitro and in vivo and discuss their potential in regulating the immune system in the context of transplantation. Angelo A. Leto Barone, Saami Khalifian, W. P. Andrew Lee, and Gerald Brandacher Copyright © 2013 Angelo A. Leto Barone et al. All rights reserved. A Fusion Protein between Streptavidin and the Endogenous TLR4 Ligand EDA Targets Biotinylated Antigens to Dendritic Cells and Induces T Cell Responses In Vivo Thu, 05 Sep 2013 08:04:47 +0000 The development of tools for efficient targeting of antigens to antigen presenting cells is of great importance for vaccine development. We have previously shown that fusion proteins containing antigens fused to the extra domain A from fibronectin (EDA), an endogenous TLR4 ligand, which targets antigens to TLR4-expressing dendritic cells (DC), are highly immunogenic. To facilitate the procedure of joining EDA to any antigen of choice, we have prepared the fusion protein EDAvidin by linking EDA to the N terminus of streptavidin, allowing its conjugation with biotinylated antigens. We found that EDAvidin, as streptavidin, forms tetramers and binds biotin or biotinylated proteins with a ~ 2.6 × 10−14 mol/L. EDAvidin favours the uptake of biotinylated green fluorescent protein by DC. Moreover, EDAvidin retains the proinflammatory properties of EDA, inducing NF-κβ by TLR4-expressing cells, as well as the production of TNF-α by the human monocyte cell line THP1 and IL-12 by DC. More importantly, immunization of mice with EDAvidin conjugated with the biotinylated nonstructural NS3 protein from hepatitis C virus induces a strong anti-NS3 T cell immune response. These results open a new way to use the EDA-based delivery tool to target any antigen of choice to DC for vaccination against infectious diseases and cancer. Laura Arribillaga, Maika Durantez, Teresa Lozano, Francesc Rudilla, Federico Rehberger, Noelia Casares, Lorea Villanueva, Marta Martinez, Marta Gorraiz, Francisco Borrás-Cuesta, Pablo Sarobe, Jesús Prieto, and Juan José Lasarte Copyright © 2013 Laura Arribillaga et al. All rights reserved. Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases at Reference and High-Specialty Hospitals in the State of Guanajuato, Mexico Sun, 01 Sep 2013 13:57:05 +0000 Background. In general, primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDs) are underdiagnosed in most countries. The objective of this study was to describe the frequency and clinical spectrum of PID in the most important tertiary hospitals in our region. Methods. An observational, cross-sectional, with retrospective chart, review study was conducted. A total of 26 patients were included and grouped according to the updated classification of PIDs. Results. PIDs spectra were as follows: predominantly antibody deficiency diseases were the most common category (65.38%), followed by other well-defined immunodeficiency syndromes (11.55%), congenital defects of phagocyte number and/or function (7.69%), complement deficiencies (3.85%), combined T- and B-cell immunodeficiencies (3.85%), and defects in innate immunity (3.85%). The mean time elapsed from the onset of symptoms to the reference and diagnosis by a tertiary hospital was of 4.65 ± 6.95 years. Conclusions. Predominant antibody deficiency disease was the most common group of PIDs, agreeing with international reports. Awareness of underdiagnosis by physicians is crucial for a prompt diagnosis and treatment, which in turn should improve the quality of life among patients with PIDs. Eduardo Guaní-Guerra, Ulises Noel García-Ramírez, Ana Isabel Jiménez-Romero, José Manuel Velázquez-Ávalos, Gabriela Gallardo-Martínez, and Francisco-Javier Mendoza-Espinoza Copyright © 2013 Eduardo Guaní-Guerra et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis of a Novel Thiazolidinedione and Evaluation of Its Modulatory Effect on IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-17A, and IL-22 Production in PBMCs from Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Sun, 01 Sep 2013 08:54:36 +0000 Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease frequently characterized by chronic synovitis of multiple joints. The pathogenesis of RA is complex and involves many proinflammatory cytokines as Th17 related ones. PPARγ is a nuclear receptor activator that represses proinflammatory gene expression. Thus, this work aimed to synthetize a new thiazolidinedione (TZD) analogue based on a well-known anti-inflammatory and PPARγ agonist activity of this ring and evaluate its anti-inflammatory activity. After chemical structure confirmation, the compound named 5-(5-bromo-2-methoxy-benzylidene)-3-(2-nitro-benzyl)-thiazolidine-2,4-dione TM17 was submitted to cytokine releasing inhibition and PPARγ genetic modulation assays. The new compound showed no toxicity on human and murine cells, decreasing IL-6 secretion by murine splenocytes and reducing IL-17A, IL-22, and IFN-γ expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with RA. TM17 was more efficient in modulating the mRNA expression of PPARγ than its well-used TZD agonist rosiglitazone. Surprisingly, TM17 was efficient on IL-17A and IFN-γ reduction, like the positive control methylprednisolone, and presented a better effect on IL-22 levels. In conclusion, PBMCs obtained from RA patients under TM17 treatment present a significant reduction in IL-17A, IL-22, and IFN-γ levels, but not IL-6 when compared with nontreated cells, as well as increase PPARγ mRNA expression in absence of stimulus addressing it as a promising molecule in RA treatment. Laurindo Ferreira da Rocha Junior, Moacyr Jesus Barreto de Melo Rêgo, Mariana Brayner Cavalcanti, Michelly Cristiny Pereira, Marina Galdino da Rocha Pitta, Priscilla Stela Santana de Oliveira, Sayonara Maria Calado Gonçalves, Angela Luzia Branco Pinto Duarte, Maria do Carmo Alves de Lima, Ivan da Rocha Pitta, and Maira Galdino da Rocha Pitta Copyright © 2013 Laurindo Ferreira da Rocha Junior et al. All rights reserved. Intracellular Secretory Leukoprotease Inhibitor Modulates Inositol 1,4,5-Triphosphate Generation and Exerts an Anti-Inflammatory Effect on Neutrophils of Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Thu, 29 Aug 2013 14:11:37 +0000 Secretory leukoprotease inhibitor (SLPI) is an anti-inflammatory protein present in respiratory secretions. Whilst epithelial cell SLPI is extensively studied, neutrophil associated SLPI is poorly characterised. Neutrophil function including chemotaxis and degranulation of proteolytic enzymes involves changes in cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) levels which is mediated by production of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) in response to G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) stimuli. The aim of this study was to investigate the intracellular function of SLPI and the mechanism-based modulation of neutrophil function by this antiprotease. Neutrophils were isolated from healthy controls (), individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) () or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (). Recombinant human SLPI significantly inhibited fMet-Leu-Phe (fMLP) and interleukin(IL)-8 induced neutrophil chemotaxis () and decreased degranulation of matrix metalloprotease-9 (MMP-9), hCAP-18, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) (). The mechanism of inhibition involved modulation of cytosolic IP3 production and downstream Ca2+ flux. The described attenuation of Ca2+ flux was overcome by inclusion of exogenous IP3 in electropermeabilized cells. Inhibition of IP3 generation and Ca2+ flux by SLPI may represent a novel anti-inflammatory mechanism, thus strengthening the attractiveness of SLPI as a potential therapeutic molecule in inflammatory airway disease associated with excessive neutrophil influx including CF, non-CF bronchiectasis, and COPD. Emer P. Reeves, Nessa Banville, Dorothy M. Ryan, Niamh O’Reilly, David A. Bergin, Kerstin Pohl, Kevin Molloy, Oliver J. McElvaney, Khalifah Alsaleh, Ahmed Aljorfi, Osama Kandalaft, Eimear O'Flynn, Patrick Geraghty, Shane J. O’Neill, and Noel G. McElvaney Copyright © 2013 Emer P. Reeves et al. All rights reserved. Aminopeptidase N (CD13) Is Involved in Phagocytic Processes in Human Dendritic Cells and Macrophages Mon, 26 Aug 2013 08:37:49 +0000 Aminopeptidase N (APN or CD13) is a membrane ectopeptidase expressed by many cell types, including myelomonocytic lineage cells: monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells. CD13 is known to regulate the biological activity of various peptides by proteolysis, and it has been proposed that CD13 also participates in several functions such as angiogenesis, cell adhesion, metastasis, and tumor invasion. We had previously reported that, in human monocytes and macrophages, CD13 modulates the phagocytosis mediated by receptors for the Fc portion of IgG antibodies (FcγRs). In this work, we analyzed the possible interaction of CD13 with other phagocytic receptors. We found out that the cross-linking of CD13 positively modulates the phagocytosis mediated by receptors of the innate immune system, since a significant increase in the phagocytosis of zymosan particles or heat-killed E. coli was observed when CD13 was cross-linked using anti-CD13 antibodies, in both macrophages and dendritic cells. Also, we observed that, during the phagocytosis of zymosan, CD13 redistributes and is internalized into the phagosome. These findings suggest that, besides its known functions, CD13 participates in phagocytic processes in dendritic cells and macrophages. Mónica I. Villaseñor-Cardoso, Dulce A. Frausto-Del-Río, and Enrique Ortega Copyright © 2013 Mónica I. Villaseñor-Cardoso et al. All rights reserved. The Immunobiology of Prostanoid Receptor Signaling in Connecting Innate and Adaptive Immunity Tue, 20 Aug 2013 13:47:05 +0000 Prostanoids, including prostaglandins (PGs), thromboxanes (TXs), and prostacyclins, are synthesized from arachidonic acid (AA) by the action of Cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. They are bioactive inflammatory lipid mediators that play a key role in immunity and immunopathology. Prostanoids exert their effects on immune and inflammatory cells by binding to membrane receptors that are widely expressed throughout the immune system and act at multiple levels in innate and adaptive immunity. The immunoregulatory role of prostanoids results from their ability to regulate cell-cell interaction, antigen presentation, cytokine production, cytokine receptor expression, differentiation, survival, apoptosis, cell-surface molecule levels, and cell migration in both autocrine and paracrine manners. By acting on immune cells of both systems, prostanoids and their receptors have great impact on immune regulation and play a pivotal role in connecting innate and adaptive immunity. This paper focuses on the immunobiology of prostanoid receptor signaling because of their potential clinical relevance for various disorders including inflammation, autoimmunity, and tumorigenesis. We mainly discuss the effects of major COX metabolites, PGD2, PGE2, their signaling during dendritic cell (DC)-natural killer (NK) reciprocal crosstalk, DC-T cell interaction, and subsequent consequences on determining crucial aspects of innate and adaptive immunity in normal and pathological settings. Hedi Harizi Copyright © 2013 Hedi Harizi. All rights reserved. The SDF-1α3′ A Genetic Variation Is Correlated with Susceptibility of Asthma in Iranian Patients Tue, 20 Aug 2013 10:32:40 +0000 Background and Aim. Chemokine/receptor axis is a predominant actor of clinical disorders. They are key factors of pathogenesis of almost all clinical situations including asthma. Correspondingly, CXCL12 is involved in the immune responses. Therefore, this study was designed to explore the association between gene polymorphism at position +801 of CXCL12, known as , and susceptibility to asthma in Iranian patients. Material and Methods. In this experimental study, samples were taken from 162 asthma patients and 189 healthy controls on EDTA. DNA was extracted and analyzed for CXCL12 polymorphisms using PCR-RLFP. The demographic information was also collected in parallel with the experimental part of the study by a questionnaire which was designed specifically for this study. Findings. Our results indicated a significant difference () between the A/A, A/G, and G/G genotypes and A and G alleles of polymorphisms at position +801 of CXCL12. We also showed an elevated level of CXCL12 circulating level in Iranian asthma patients. Conclusion. Our findings suggest that (CXCL12) polymorphism plays a role in pathogenesis of asthma. It can also be concluded that circulatory level of CXCL12 presumably can be used as one of the pivotal biological markers in diagnosis of asthma. Houshang Rafatpanah, Masoud Amin, Mohsen Ghasemshirazi, Mohammad Kazemiarababadi, Hossein Khorramdelazad, Hamid Abousaidi, Ziba Shabani, Ahmadreza Sayadi, Gholamhossein Hassanshahi, and Jamile Samadi Copyright © 2013 Houshang Rafatpanah et al. All rights reserved. Carbon Nanofibers Have IgE Adjuvant Capacity but Are Less Potent Than Nanotubes in Promoting Allergic Airway Responses Mon, 19 Aug 2013 10:08:32 +0000 There is a growing concern for the possible health impact of nanoparticles. The main objective of this study was to investigate the allergy-promoting capacity of four different carbon nanofiber (CNF) samples in an injection and an airway mouse model of allergy. Secondly, the potency of the CNF was compared to the previously reported allergy-promoting capacity of carbon nanotubes (CNT) in the airway model. Ultrafine carbon black particles (ufCBP) were used as a positive control. Particles were given together with the allergen ovalbumin (OVA) either by subcutaneous injection into the footpad or intranasally to BALB/cA mice. After allergen booster, OVA-specific IgE, IgG1, and IgG2a in serum were measured. In the airway model, inflammation was determined as influx of inflammatory cells (eosinophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and macrophages) and by mediators (MCP-1 and TNF- present in bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF)). CNF and CNT both increased OVA-specific IgE levels in the two models, but in the airway model, the CNT gave a significantly stronger IgE response than the CNF. Furthermore, the CNT and not the CNF promoted eosinophil lung inflammation. Our data therefore suggest that nanotube-associated properties are particularly potent in promoting allergic responses. Unni Cecilie Nygaard, Mari Samuelsen, Calin Daniel Marioara, and Martinus Løvik Copyright © 2013 Unni Cecilie Nygaard et al. All rights reserved. Role of Campylobacter jejuni Infection in the Pathogenesis of Guillain-Barré Syndrome: An Update Tue, 13 Aug 2013 13:10:54 +0000 Our current knowledge on Campylobacter jejuni infections in humans has progressively increased over the past few decades. Infection with C. jejuni is the most common cause of bacterial gastroenteritis, sometimes surpassing other infections due to Salmonella, Shigella, and Escherichia coli. Most infections are acquired due to consumption of raw or undercooked poultry, unpasteurized milk, and contaminated water. After developing the diagnostic methods to detect C. jejuni, the possibility to identify the association of its infection with new diseases has been increased. After the successful isolation of C. jejuni, reports have been published citing the occurrence of GBS following C. jejuni infection. Thus, C. jejuni is now considered as a major triggering agent of GBS. Molecular mimicry between sialylated lipooligosaccharide structures on the cell envelope of these bacteria and ganglioside epitopes on the human nerves that generates cross-reactive immune response results in autoimmune-driven nerve damage. Though C. jejuni is associated with several pathologic forms of GBS, axonal subtypes following C. jejuni infection may be more severe. Ample amount of existing data covers a large spectrum of GBS; however, the studies on C. jejuni-associated GBS are still inconclusive. Therefore, this review provides an update on the C. jejuni infections engaged in the pathogenesis of GBS. Kishan Kumar Nyati and Roopanshi Nyati Copyright © 2013 Kishan Kumar Nyati and Roopanshi Nyati. All rights reserved. The Immune Interplay between the Host and the Pathogen in Aspergillus fumigatus Lung Infection Tue, 30 Jul 2013 11:30:00 +0000 The interplay between Aspergillus fumigatus and the host immune response in lung infection has been subject of studies over the last years due to its importance in immunocompromised patients. The multifactorial virulence factors of A. fumigatus are related to the fungus biological characteristics, for example, structure, ability to grow and adapt to high temperatures and stress conditions, besides capability of evading the immune system and causing damage to the host. In this context, the fungus recognition by the host innate immunity occurs when the pathogen disrupts the natural and chemical barriers followed by the activation of acquired immunity. It seems clear that a Th1 response has a protective role, whereas Th2 reactions are often associated with higher fungal burden, and Th17 response is still controversial. Furthermore, a fine regulation of the effector immunity is required to avoid excessive tissue damage associated with fungal clearance, and this role could be attributed to regulatory T cells. Finally, in this work we reviewed the aspects involved in the complex interplay between the host immune response and the pathogen virulence factors, highlighting the immunological issues and the importance of its better understanding to the development of novel therapeutic approaches for invasive lung aspergillosis. Helioswilton Sales-Campos, Ludmilla Tonani, Cristina Ribeiro Barros Cardoso, and Márcia Regina Von Zeska Kress Copyright © 2013 Helioswilton Sales-Campos et al. All rights reserved. Celiac Disease and Autoimmune-Associated Conditions Wed, 24 Jul 2013 10:30:38 +0000 Celiac disease (CD) is frequently accompanied by a variety of extradigestive manifestations, thus making it a systemic disease rather than a disease limited to the gastrointestinal tract. This is primarily explained by the fact that CD belongs to the group of autoimmune diseases. The only one with a known etiology is related to a permanent intolerance to gluten. Remarkable breakthroughs have been achieved in the last decades, due to a greater interest in the diagnosis of atypical and asymptomatic patients, which are more frequent in adults. The known presence of several associated diseases provides guidance in the search of oligosymptomatic cases as well as studies performed in relatives of patients with CD. The causes for the onset and manifestation of associated diseases are diverse; some share a similar genetic base, like type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D); others share pathogenic mechanisms, and yet, others are of unknown nature. General practitioners and other specialists must remember that CD may debut with extraintestinal manifestations, and associated illnesses may appear both at the time of diagnosis and throughout the evolution of the disease. The implementation of a gluten-free diet (GFD) improves the overall clinical course and influences the evolution of the associated diseases. In some cases, such as iron deficiency anemia, the GFD contributes to its disappearance. In other disorders, like T1D, this allows a better control of the disease. In several other complications and/or associated diseases, an adequate adherence to a GFD may slow down their evolution, especially if implemented during an early stage. Eugenia Lauret and Luis Rodrigo Copyright © 2013 Eugenia Lauret and Luis Rodrigo. All rights reserved. Aspergillus-Associated Airway Disease, Inflammation, and the Innate Immune Response Sun, 21 Jul 2013 11:02:47 +0000 Aspergillus moulds exist ubiquitously as spores that are inhaled in large numbers daily. Whilst most are removed by anatomical barriers, disease may occur in certain circumstances. Depending on the underlying state of the human immune system, clinical consequences can ensue ranging from an excessive immune response during allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis to the formation of an aspergilloma in the immunocompetent state. The severest infections occur in those who are immunocompromised where invasive pulmonary aspergillosis results in high mortality rates. The diagnosis of Aspergillus-associated pulmonary disease is based on clinical, radiological, and immunological testing. An understanding of the innate and inflammatory consequences of exposure to Aspergillus species is critical in accounting for disease manifestations and preventing sequelae. The major components of the innate immune system involved in recognition and removal of the fungus include phagocytosis, antimicrobial peptide production, and recognition by pattern recognition receptors. The cytokine response is also critical facilitating cell-to-cell communication and promoting the initiation, maintenance, and resolution of the host response. In the following review, we discuss the above areas with a focus on the innate and inflammatory response to airway Aspergillus exposure and how these responses may be modulated for therapeutic benefit. Sanjay H. Chotirmall, Mazen Al-Alawi, Bojana Mirkovic, Gillian Lavelle, P. Mark Logan, Catherine M. Greene, and Noel G. McElvaney Copyright © 2013 Sanjay H. Chotirmall et al. All rights reserved. CTLA-4 Expression and Polymorphisms in Lung Tissue of Patients with Diagnosed Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Tue, 09 Jul 2013 12:00:05 +0000 Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) is a potent immunoregulatory molecule that downregulates T-cell activation and thus influences the antitumor immune response. CTLA-4 polymorphisms are associated with various cancers, and CTLA-4 mRNA/protein increased expression is found in several tumor types. However, most of the studies are based on peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and much less is known about the relationship between CTLA-4 expression, especially gene expression, and its polymorphic variants in cancer tissue. In our study we assessed the distribution of CTLA-4 two polymorphisms (+49A/G and −318C/T), using TaqMan probes (rs231775 and rs5742909, resp.), and CTLA-4 gene expression in real-time PCR assay in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissue samples. The increased CTLA-4 expression was observed in the majority of NSCLC patients, and it was significantly correlated with TT genotype (−318C/T) and with tumor size (T2 versus T3 + T4). The presence of G allele and GG genotype in cancer tissue (+49A/G) was significantly associated with the increased NSCLC risk. Additionally, we compared genotype distributions in the corresponding tumor and blood samples and found statistically significant differences. The shift from one genotype in the blood to another in the tumor may confirm the complexity of gene functionality in cancer tissue. Adam Antczak, Dorota Pastuszak-Lewandoska, Paweł Górski, Daria Domańska, Monika Migdalska-Sęk, Karolina Czarnecka, Ewa Nawrot, Jacek Kordiak, and Ewa Brzeziańska Copyright © 2013 Adam Antczak et al. All rights reserved. Interleukin-33 Drives Activation of Alveolar Macrophages and Airway Inflammation in a Mouse Model of Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Asthma Mon, 08 Jul 2013 13:48:15 +0000 We investigated the role of interleukin-33 (IL-33) in airway inflammation in an experimental model of an acute exacerbation of chronic asthma, which reproduces many of the features of the human disease. Systemically sensitized female BALB/c mice were challenged with a low mass concentration of aerosolized ovalbumin for 4 weeks to induce chronic asthmatic inflammation and then received a single moderate-level challenge to trigger acute airway inflammation simulating an asthmatic exacerbation. The inflammatory response and expression of cytokines and activation markers by alveolar macrophages (AM) were assessed, as was the effect of pretreatment with a neutralizing antibody to IL-33. Compared to chronically challenged mice, AM from an acute exacerbation exhibited significantly enhanced expression of markers of alternative activation, together with enhanced expression of proinflammatory cytokines and of cell surface proteins associated with antigen presentation. In parallel, there was markedly increased expression of both mRNA and immunoreactivity for IL-33 in the airways. Neutralization of IL-33 significantly decreased both airway inflammation and the expression of proinflammatory cytokines by AM. Collectively, these data indicate that in this model of an acute exacerbation of chronic asthma, IL-33 drives activation of AM and has an important role in the pathogenesis of airway inflammation. Melissa M. Bunting, Alexander M. Shadie, Rylie P. Flesher, Valentina Nikiforova, Linda Garthwaite, Nicodemus Tedla, Cristan Herbert, and Rakesh K. Kumar Copyright © 2013 Melissa M. Bunting et al. All rights reserved. Supplementation with Natural Forms of Vitamin E Augments Antigen-Specific TH1-Type Immune Response to Tetanus Toxoid Sun, 07 Jul 2013 15:07:01 +0000 This study compared the ability of three forms of vitamin E [tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), alpha-tocopherol (-T), and delta-tocotrienol (-T3)] to enhance immune response to tetanus toxoid (TT) immunisation in a mouse model. Twenty BALB/c mice were divided into four groups of five mice each. The mice were fed with the different forms of vitamin E (1 mg) or vehicle daily for two weeks before they were given the TT vaccine [4 Lf] intramuscularly (i.m.). Booster vaccinations were given on days 28 and 42. Serum was collected (days 0, 28, and 56) to quantify anti-TT levels. At autopsy, splenocytes harvested were cultured with TT or mitogens. The production of anti-TT antibodies was augmented () in mice that were fed with -T3 or TRF compared to controls. The production of IFN- and IL-4 by splenocytes from the vitamin E treated mice was significantly () higher than that from controls. The IFN- production was the highest in animals supplemented with -T3 followed by TRF and finally -T. Production of TNF- was suppressed in the vitamin E treated group compared to vehicle-supplemented controls. Supplementation with -T3 or TRF can enhance immune response to TT immunisation and production of cytokines that promote cell-mediated (TH1) immune response. Ammu Kutty Radhakrishnan, Dashayini Mahalingam, Kanga Rani Selvaduray, and Kalanithi Nesaretnam Copyright © 2013 Ammu Kutty Radhakrishnan et al. All rights reserved. Natural Killer Dendritic Cells Enhance Immune Responses Elicited by α-Galactosylceramide-Stimulated Natural Killer T Cells Wed, 26 Jun 2013 17:42:44 +0000 Natural killer dendritic cells (NKDCs) possess potent anti-tumor activity, but the cellular effect of NKDC interactions with other innate immune cells is unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that the interaction of NKDCs and natural killer T (NKT) cells is required for the anti-tumor immune responses that are elicited by α-galactosylceramide (α-GC) in mice. The rapid and strong expression of interferon-γ by NKDCs after α-GC stimulation was dependent on NKT cells. Various NK and DC molecular markers and cytotoxic molecules were up-regulated following α-GC administration. This up-regulation could improve NKDC presentation of tumor antigens and increase cytotoxicity against tumor cells. NKDCs were required for the stimulation of DCs, NK cells, and NKT cells. The strong anti-tumor immune responses elicited by α-GC may be due to the down-regulation of regulatory T cells. Furthermore, the depletion of NKDCs dampened the tumor clearance mediated by α-GC-stimulated NKT cells in vivo. Taken together, these results indicate that complex interactions of innate immune cells might be required to achieve optimal anti-tumor immune responses during the early stages of tumorigenesis. Sung Won Lee, Hyun Jung Park, Nayoung Kim, and Seokmann Hong Copyright © 2013 Sung Won Lee et al. All rights reserved. Update on Anticytokine Treatment for Asthma Tue, 18 Jun 2013 13:54:27 +0000 Current advances in the knowledge of asthma pathobiology suggest that anticytokine therapies can be potentially useful for the treatment of this complex and heterogeneous airway disease. Recent evidence is accumulating in support of the efficacy of anti-IL-4, anti-IL-5, and anti-IL-13 drugs. Therefore, these new developments are now changing the global scenario of antiasthma therapies, especially with regard to more severe disease. Current findings referring to variability of individual therapeutic responses highlight that the different asthma subtypes need to be well characterized, in order to implement phenotype-targeted treatments which in the near future will hopefully be mainly based on cytokine-directed biologics. Luca Gallelli, Maria Teresa Busceti, Alessandro Vatrella, Rosario Maselli, and Girolamo Pelaia Copyright © 2013 Luca Gallelli et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Ex Vivo Culture Conditions on Immunosuppression by Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Tue, 04 Jun 2013 09:01:01 +0000 A microarray analysis was performed to investigate whether ex vivo culture conditions affect the characteristics of MSCs. Gene expression profiles were mainly influenced by the level of cell confluence rather than initial seeding density. The analysis showed that 276 genes were upregulated and 230 genes downregulated in MSCs harvested at 90% versus 50% confluence (, ). The genes that were highly expressed in MSCs largely corresponded to chemotaxis, inflammation, and immune responses, indicating direct or indirect involvement in immunomodulatory functions. Specifically, PTGES and ULBP1 were up-regulated in MSCs harvested at high density. Treatment of MSCs with PTGES or ULBP1 siRNA reversed their inhibition of T-cell proliferation in vitro. The culture conditions such as cell confluence at harvest seem to be important for gene expression profile of MSCs; therefore, the results of this study may provide useful guidelines for the harvest of MSCs that can appropriately suppress the immune response. Myoung Woo Lee, Dae Seong Kim, Somi Ryu, In Keun Jang, Hye Jin Kim, Jin Mo Yang, Doo-Hoon Lee, Soo Hyun Lee, Meong Hi Son, Hee Won Cheuh, Hye Lim Jung, Keon Hee Yoo, Ki Woong Sung, and Hong Hoe Koo Copyright © 2013 Myoung Woo Lee et al. All rights reserved. Heat Shock Proteins: Stimulators of Innate and Acquired Immunity Sat, 25 May 2013 13:35:01 +0000 Adjuvants were reintroduced into modern immunology as the dirty little secret of immunologists by Janeway and thus began the molecular definition of innate immunity. It is now clear that the binding of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on antigen presenting cells (APCs) activates the innate immune response and provides the host with a rapid mechanism for detecting infection by pathogens and initiates adaptive immunity. Ironically, in addition to advancing the basic science of immunology, Janeway’s revelation on induction of the adaptive system has also spurred an era of rational vaccine design that exploits PRRs. Thus, defined PAMPs that bind to known PRRs are being specifically coupled to antigens to improve their immunogenicity. However, while PAMPs efficiently activate the innate immune response, they do not mediate the capture of antigen that is required to elicit the specific responses of the acquired immune system. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are molecular chaperones that are found complexed to client polypeptides and have been studied as potential cancer vaccines. In addition to binding PRRs and activating the innate immune response, HSPs have been shown to both induce the maturation of APCs and provide chaperoned polypeptides for specific triggering of the acquired immune response. Camilo A. Colaco, Christopher R. Bailey, K. Barry Walker, and James Keeble Copyright © 2013 Camilo A. Colaco et al. All rights reserved. Malaria Vaccine Adjuvants: Latest Update and Challenges in Preclinical and Clinical Research Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:17:39 +0000 There is no malaria vaccine currently available, and the most advanced candidate has recently reported a modest 30% efficacy against clinical malaria. Although many efforts have been dedicated to achieve this goal, the research was mainly directed to identify antigenic targets. Nevertheless, the latest progresses on understanding how immune system works and the data recovered from vaccination studies have conferred to the vaccine formulation its deserved relevance. Additionally to the antigen nature, the manner in which it is presented (delivery adjuvants) as well as the immunostimulatory effect of the formulation components (immunostimulants) modulates the immune response elicited. Protective immunity against malaria requires the induction of humoral, antibody-dependent cellular inhibition (ADCI) and effector and memory cell responses. This review summarizes the status of adjuvants that have been or are being employed in the malaria vaccine development, focusing on the pharmaceutical and immunological aspects, as well as on their immunization outcomings at clinical and preclinical stages. Elena Mata, Aiala Salvador, Manoli Igartua, Rosa María Hernández, and José Luis Pedraz Copyright © 2013 Elena Mata et al. All rights reserved. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Inhibits the RANKL Pathway and Impacts on the Production of Pathway-Associated Cytokines in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:20:57 +0000 Objectives. To study effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) on RANKL signaling pathway and pathway-associated cytokines in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. Receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG), IFN-γ, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-17, and IL-4 were examined in 54 patients with incipient RA using a cytometric bead array (CBA) or an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results. After 72 hours of incubation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with 1,25(OH)2D3 in RA patients, the levels of RANKL, TNF-α, IL-17 and IL-6 significantly decreased compared to those of the control. 1,25(OH)2D3 had no significantly impact on the levels of OPG, RANKL/OPG, and IL-4. Conclusions. The present study demonstrated that 1,25(OH)2D3 reduced the production of RANKL and the secretion of TNF-α, IL-17, and IL-6 in PBMCs of RA patients, which indicated that 1,25(OH)2D3 might be able to decrease damage of cartilage and bone in RA patients by regulating the expression of RANKL signaling pathway and pathway-associated cytokines. Jing Luo, Hongyan Wen, Hui Guo, Qi Cai, Shuangtian Li, and Xiaofeng Li Copyright © 2013 Jing Luo et al. All rights reserved. Role of M2 Muscarinic Receptor in the Airway Response to Methacholine of Mice Selected for Minimal or Maximal Acute Inflammatory Response Thu, 18 Apr 2013 14:05:56 +0000 Airway smooth muscle constriction induced by cholinergic agonists such as methacholine (MCh), which is typically increased in asthmatic patients, is regulated mainly by muscle muscarinic M3 receptors and negatively by vagal muscarinic M2 receptors. Here we evaluated basal (intrinsic) and allergen-induced (extrinsic) airway responses to MCh. We used two mouse lines selected to respond maximally (AIRmax) or minimally (AIRmin) to innate inflammatory stimuli. We found that in basal condition AIRmin mice responded more vigorously to MCh than AIRmax. Treatment with a specific M2 antagonist increased airway response of AIRmax but not of AIRmin mice. The expression of M2 receptors in the lung was significantly lower in AIRmin compared to AIRmax animals. AIRmax mice developed a more intense allergic inflammation than AIRmin, and both allergic mouse lines increased airway responses to MCh. However, gallamine treatment of allergic groups did not affect the responses to MCh. Our results confirm that low or dysfunctional M2 receptor activity is associated with increased airway responsiveness to MCh and that this trait was inherited during the selective breeding of AIRmin mice and was acquired by AIRmax mice during allergic lung inflammation. Juciane Maria de Andrade Castro, Rodrigo R. Resende, Luciana Mirotti, Esther Florsheim, Layra Lucy Albuquerque, Adriana Lino-dos-Santos-Franco, Eliane Gomes, Wothan Tavares de Lima, Marcelo de Franco, Orlando Garcia Ribeiro, and Momtchilo Russo Copyright © 2013 Juciane Maria de Andrade Castro et al. All rights reserved. The Role of E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Cbl Proteins in Interleukin-2-Induced Jurkat T-Cell Activation Wed, 27 Mar 2013 08:29:31 +0000 Interleukin- (IL-) 2 is the major growth factor for T-cell activation and proliferation. IL-2 has multiple functions in the regulation of immunological processes. Although most studies focus on T-cell immunomodulation, T-cell activation by IL-2 is the foundation of priming the feedback loop. Here, we investigated the effect of MAPK/ERK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways on IL-2-induced cell activation and the regulatory mechanisms of upstream ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b and c-Cbl. Morphological analysis of Jurkat T cells was performed by cytospin preparations with Wright-Giemsa stain. CD25 expression on Jurkat T cells was determined by flow cytometry. Changes in cell activation proteins such as p-ERK, ERK, p-Akt, Akt, and ubiquitin ligase Casitas B-cell Lymphoma (Cbl) proteins were analyzed by western blot. Following IL-2-induced activation of Jurkat T cells, p-ERK expression was upregulated, while there was no change in p-Akt, ERK, or Akt expression. Thus, the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway, but not PI3K/Akt, was involved in IL-2-induced T-cell activation. Either using PD98059 (a specific inhibitor for p-ERK) or depletion of ERK with small interfering RNA (siRNA) reduced the expression of CD25. This study also showed that ubiquitin ligase proteins Cbl-b and c-Cbl might be involved in IL-2-induced Jurkat T-cell activation by negatively regulating the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway. Ming-Fang Zhao, Xiu-Juan Qu, Jing-Lei Qu, You-Hong Jiang, Ye Zhang, Ke-Zuo Hou, Hao Deng, and Yun-Peng Liu Copyright © 2013 Ming-Fang Zhao et al. All rights reserved. CpG ODN and ISCOMATRIX Adjuvant: A Synergistic Adjuvant Combination Inducing Strong T-Cell IFN- Responses Sat, 23 Mar 2013 13:07:55 +0000 For the induction of robust humoral and cellular immune responses, a strong rationale exists to use vaccine-adjuvant combinations possessing both immune modulatory and enhanced delivery capabilities. Herein, we evaluated the combination of 2 different adjuvants, a TLR9 agonist, composed of synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) containing immunostimulatory CpG motifs (CpG), and ISCOMATRIX adjuvant (ISCOMATRIX), composed of saponin, phospholipid, and cholesterol, which possesses both immunostimulatory and delivery properties. While both individual adjuvants have been shown effective in numerous preclinical and clinical studies, it is likely that for optimal adjuvant activity a combined adjuvant approach will be necessary. Herein, using three different antigens, namely, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), ovalbumin (OVA), and influenza A haemagglutinin antigen (HA), we show in mice that some adjuvant effects of CpG and ISCOMATRIX are further enhanced if they are used in combination. In particular, with all three antigens, IFN- levels were greatly increased with the CpG/ISCOMATRIX combination. The ability of the CpG/ISCOMATRIX combination to induce antitumor responses when administered with OVA following administration to mice of a highly metastatic OVA-secreting tumor cell line (B16-OVA melanoma) was also demonstrated. Thus the CpG/ISCOMATRIX combination may prove to be a valuable tool in the development of novel or improved vaccines. Michael J. McCluskie, Risini D. Weeratna, Dana M. Evans, Shawn Makinen, Debbie Drane, and Heather L. Davis Copyright © 2013 Michael J. McCluskie et al. All rights reserved. Inflammation and Immunity in Radiation Damage to the Gut Mucosa Tue, 19 Mar 2013 08:17:24 +0000 Erythema was observed on the skin of the first patients treated with radiation therapy. It is in particular to reduce this erythema, one feature of tissue inflammation, that prescribed dose to the tumor site started to be fractionated. It is now well known that radiation exposure of normal tissues generates a sustained and apparently uncontrolled inflammatory process. Radiation-induced inflammation is always observed, often described, sometimes partly explained, but still today far from being completely understood. The thing with the gut and especially the gut mucosa is that it is at the frontier between the external milieu and the organism, is in contact with a plethora of commensal and foreign antigens, possesses a dense-associated lymphoid tissue, and is particularly radiation sensitive because of a high mucosal turnover rate. All these characteristics make the gut mucosa a strong responsive organ in terms of radiation-induced immunoinflammation. This paper will focus on what has been observed in the normal gut and what remains to be done concerning the immunoinflammatory response following localized radiation exposure. Agnès François, Fabien Milliat, Olivier Guipaud, and Marc Benderitter Copyright © 2013 Agnès François et al. All rights reserved. CXCR1/CXCR2 Antagonism Is Effective in Pulmonary Defense against Klebsiella pneumoniae Infection Mon, 18 Mar 2013 09:07:07 +0000 Klebsiella pneumoniae-associated pathology is largely mediated by neutrophilic inflammation. In this study, we administered Klebsiella pneumoniae to experimental guinea pig groups and the ELR-CXC chemokine antagonist , ceftazidime, and dexamethasone to different groups, respectively. After 24 h, we assessed the animal’s pulmonary inflammatory levels, including gross histopathology, airway neutrophilia, lung myeloperoxidase levels, expressions of CXCL8 and TNF, and airway bacterial loads. Compared with ceftazidime and dexamethasone treatments, the administration of the ELR-CXC chemokine antagonist alone was more effective than other methods, although it did not markedly attenuate the bacterial load. These results suggest new methods for the treatment of Klebsiella pneumoniae pathology. Jing Wei, Jing Peng, Bing Wang, Hong Qu, Shiyi Wang, Aziz Faisal, Jia-Wei Cheng, John R. Gordon, and Fang Li Copyright © 2013 Jing Wei et al. All rights reserved. Increasing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Yield to Develop Mice with Human Immune Systems Thu, 14 Feb 2013 09:02:41 +0000 Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are unique in their capacity to give rise to all mature cells of the immune system. For years, HSC transplantation has been used for treatment of genetic and neoplastic diseases of the hematopoietic and immune systems. The sourcing of HSCs from human umbilical cord blood has salient advantages over isolation from mobilized peripheral blood. However, poor sample yield has prompted development of methodologies to expand HSCs ex vivo. Cytokines, trophic factors, and small molecules have been variously used to promote survival and proliferation of HSCs in culture, whilst strategies to lower the concentration of inhibitors in the culture media have recently been applied to promote HSC expansion. In this paper, we outline strategies to expand HSCs in vitro, and to improve engraftment and reconstitution of human immune systems in immunocompromised mice. To the extent that these “humanized” mice are representative of the endogenous human immune system, they will be invaluable tools for both basic science and translational medicine. Juan-Carlos Biancotti and Terrence Town Copyright © 2013 Juan-Carlos Biancotti and Terrence Town. All rights reserved. Chronic Stress Induces Structural Alterations in Splenic Lymphoid Tissue That Are Associated with Changes in Corticosterone Levels in Wistar-Kyoto Rats Sun, 10 Feb 2013 08:35:50 +0000 Major depressive disorder patients present chronic stress and decreased immunity. The Wistar-Kyoto rat (WKY) is a strain in which the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is overactivated. To determine whether chronic stress induces changes in corticosterone levels and splenic lymphoid tissue, 9-week-old male rats were subject to restraint stress (3 h daily), chemical stress (hydrocortisone treatment, 50 mg/Kg weight), mixed stress (restraint plus hydrocortisone), or control treatment (without stress) for 1, 4, and 7 weeks. The serum corticosterone levels by RIA and spleens morphology were analyzed. Corticosterone levels as did the structure, size of the follicles and morphology of the parenchyma (increase in red pulp) in the spleen, varied depending on time and type of stressor. These changes indicate that chronic stress alters the immune response in the spleen in WKY rats by inducing morphological changes, explaining in part the impaired immunity that develops in organisms that are exposed to chronic stress. María Eugenia Hernandez, Lucia Martinez-Mota, Citlaltepetl Salinas, Ricardo Marquez-Velasco, Nancy G. Hernandez-Chan, Jorge Morales-Montor, Mayra Pérez-Tapia, María L. Streber, Ivonne Granados-Camacho, Enrique Becerril, Baquera-Heredia Javier, and Lenin Pavón Copyright © 2013 María Eugenia Hernandez et al. All rights reserved. Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes and Vaccine Development 2013 Mon, 04 Feb 2013 15:11:17 +0000 Zhengguo Xiao, Kim Klonowski, Hanchun Yang, and Julie Curtsinger Copyright © 2013 Zhengguo Xiao et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Use and Mechanisms of Infliximab Treatment on Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Recent Update Mon, 21 Jan 2013 14:42:08 +0000 The pathogenesis and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have been recently advanced, while it is still challenged with high morbidity and poor prognosis. Infliximab, a monoclonal antibody of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), has emerged as an efficient treatment with many clinical benefits such as quick disease activity reduction and IBD patient life quality improvement. However, the biological effects of infliximab on IBD need to be elucidated. This paper reviewed the clinical use and recently advanced biological action of infliximab on IBD. By forming the stable complex with the soluble or the membrane form of TNF in fluid environment or on cell surface of immune cell, fibroblast, endothelium, and epithelium, infliximab quenches TNF activity and performs the important biological actions which lead to amelioration and remission of immune responses. The mechanisms of infliximab treatment for IBD were intensively discussed. The recent advances on two topics including predictors and side effects of infliximab treatment were also reviewed. Yuan Guo, Nonghua Lu, and Aiping Bai Copyright © 2013 Yuan Guo et al. All rights reserved. Characterization of CD8+ T-Cell Responses in the Peripheral Blood and Skin Injection Sites of Melanoma Patients Treated with mRNA Electroporated Autologous Dendritic Cells (TriMixDC-MEL) Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:37:43 +0000 Treatment of melanoma patients with mRNA electroporated dendritic cells (TriMixDC-MEL) stimulates T-cell responses against the presented tumor-associated antigens (TAAs). In the current clinical trials, melanoma patients with systemic metastases are treated, requiring priming and/or expansion of preexisting TAA-specific T cells that are able to migrate to both the skin and internal organs. We monitored the presence of TAA-specific CD8+ T cells infiltrating the skin at sites of intradermal TriMixDC-MEL injection (SKILs) and within the circulation of melanoma patients treated in two clinical trials. In 10 out of fourteen (71%) patients screened, CD8+ T cells recognizing any of the four TAA presented by TriMixDC-MEL cellular vaccine were found in both compartments. In total, 30 TAA-specific T-cell responses were detected among the SKILs and 29 among peripheral blood T cells, of which 24 in common. A detailed characterization of the antigen specificity of CD8+ T-cell populations in four patients indicates that the majority of the epitopes detected were only recognized by CD8+ T cells derived from either skin biopsies or peripheral blood, indicating that some compartmentalization occurs after TriMix-DC therapy. To conclude, functional TAA-specific CD8+ T cells distribute both to the skin and peripheral blood of patients after TriMixDC-MEL therapy. Daphné Benteyn, An M. T. Van Nuffel, Sofie Wilgenhof, Jurgen Corthals, Carlo Heirman, Bart Neyns, Kris Thielemans, and Aude Bonehill Copyright © 2013 Daphné Benteyn et al. All rights reserved. IL-6 Production by Dendritic Cells Is Dispensable for CD8+ Memory T-Cell Generation Sun, 30 Dec 2012 18:03:22 +0000 Following activation, naïve CD8+ T cells will differentiate into effectors that differ in their ability to survive: some will persist as memory cells while the majority will die by apoptosis. Signals given by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) at the time of priming modulate this differential outcome. We have recently shown that, in opposition to dendritic cell (DC), CD40-activated B-(CD40-B) cell vaccination fails to efficiently produce CD8+ memory T cells. Understanding why CD40-B-cell vaccination does not lead to the generation of functional long-lived memory cells is essential to define the signals that should be provided to naïve T cells by APCs. Here we show that CD40-B cells produce very low amount of IL-6 when compared to DCs. However, supplementation with IL-6 during CD40-B-cell vaccination did not improve memory generation. Furthermore, IL-6-deficient DCs maintained the capacity to promote the formation of functional CD8+ effectors and memory cells. Our results suggest that in APC vaccination models, IL-6 provided by the APCs is dispensable for proper CD8+ T-cell memory generation. Jean-François Daudelin, Mélissa Mathieu, Salix Boulet, and Nathalie Labrecque Copyright © 2013 Jean-François Daudelin et al. All rights reserved. Regulation of Tight Junctions in Upper Airway Epithelium Sat, 29 Dec 2012 11:40:13 +0000 The mucosal barrier of the upper respiratory tract including the nasal cavity, which is the first site of exposure to inhaled antigens, plays an important role in host defense in terms of innate immunity and is regulated in large part by tight junctions of epithelial cells. Tight junction molecules are expressed in both M cells and dendritic cells as well as epithelial cells of upper airway. Various antigens are sampled, transported, and released to lymphocytes through the cells in nasal mucosa while they maintain the integrity of the barrier. Expression of tight junction molecules and the barrier function in normal human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs) are affected by various stimuli including growth factor, TLR ligand, and cytokine. In addition, epithelial-derived thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), which is a master switch for allergic inflammatory diseases including allergic rhinitis, enhances the barrier function together with an increase of tight junction molecules in HNECs. Furthermore, respiratory syncytial virus infection in HNECs in vitro induces expression of tight junction molecules and the barrier function together with proinflammatory cytokine release. This paper summarizes the recent progress in our understanding of the regulation of tight junctions in the upper airway epithelium under normal, allergic, and RSV-infected conditions. Takashi Kojima, Mitsuru Go, Ken-ichi Takano, Makoto Kurose, Tsuyoshi Ohkuni, Jun-ichi Koizumi, Ryuta Kamekura, Noriko Ogasawara, Tomoyuki Masaki, Jun Fuchimoto, Kazufumi Obata, Satoshi Hirakawa, Kazuaki Nomura, Takashi Keira, Ryou Miyata, Nobuhiro Fujii, Hiroyuki Tsutsumi, Tetsuo Himi, and Norimasa Sawada Copyright © 2013 Takashi Kojima et al. All rights reserved. Increased Toll-Like Receptor Signaling Pathways Characterize CD8+ Cells in Rapidly Progressive SIV Infection Thu, 27 Dec 2012 13:39:31 +0000 Similar to HIV infection in humans, SIV infection in macaques induces progressive loss of immune cell components and function, resulting in immune deficiency in nearly all untreated infected subjects. In SIV-infected macaques, 25% of animals develop terminal AIDS within 6 months of infection. The factors responsible for the development of such rapid progression are unknown. We have previously found that defects in CD8+ T cells detectable from early infection correlate to rapid progression to simian AIDS. The transcriptional screening of molecular fingerprints on different steps along the activation/effector process of splenic CD8+ cells at termination revealed a distinction in rapid compared to regular progressors, which was characterized by a decrease in classic T cell receptor (TCR) components, and an increase in Toll-like receptor (TLR) and apoptotic pathways. A TLR pathway screening in lymphoid and myeloid cells from both the spleen and from the central nervous system of infected macaques revealed that the upregulation of TLR is not in the innate immune compartment, but rather in lymphoid cells that contain adaptive immune cells. Our findings suggest that opposing effects of TCR specific signaling and TLR engagement may drive the CD8 phenotypic failure that determines a rapid disease course in HIV infection. Maria Cecilia Garibaldi Marcondes, Celsa Spina, Eduardo Bustamante, and Howard Fox Copyright © 2013 Maria Cecilia Garibaldi Marcondes et al. All rights reserved. Preparation, Characterization, and Determination of Immunological Activities of Transfer Factor Specific to Human Sperm Antigen Thu, 27 Dec 2012 13:33:03 +0000 Objective. The objective of this study was to prepare, characterize, and determine immunological activities of specific transfer factor (STF) specific to human sperm antigen (HSA) for the preparation of antisperm contraceptive vaccine that can be used as an immunocontraceptive. Methods. HSA-STF was prepared using the spleens of rabbits vaccinated with HSA. The specific immunological activities were examined by lymphocyte proliferation test (LPT), leukocyte adhesion inhibition test (LAIT), and by determining the concentrations of IL-4, γ-IFN, and IL-21. HSA-STF was a helveolous substance, having a pH value of and UV absorption maxima at  nm. It contained seventeen amino acids; glycine and glutamic acids were the highest in terms of concentrations (38.8 μg/mL and 36.3 μg/mL, resp.). Results. The concentration of polypeptide was  mg/mL, and ribose was  mg/mL. The stimulation index for lymphocyte proliferation test was 1.84, and the leukocyte adhesion inhibition rate was 37.7%. There was a statistically significant difference between the cultural lymphocytes with HSA-STF and non-HSA-STF for γ-IFN and IL-21 (), but there was no statistical significance for IL-4 (). Conclusion. HSA-STF was prepared and characterized successfully. It had immunological activity which could transfer the immune response specific to HSA and prove to be a potential candidate for the development of male immunocontraceptive agents. Jianwei Zhou, Cui Kong, Zhaohong Yuan, Junmin Luo, Rui Ma, Jiang Yu, and Jinghe Cao Copyright © 2013 Jianwei Zhou et al. All rights reserved. What Is Recent in Pancreatic Cancer Immunotherapy? Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:18:50 +0000 Pancreatic cancer (PC) represents an unresolved therapeutic challenge, due to the poor prognosis and the reduced response to currently available treatments. Pancreatic cancer is the most lethal type of digestive cancers, with a median survival of 4–6 months. Only a small proportion of PC patients is curative by surgical resection, whilst standard chemotherapy for patients in advanced disease generates only modest effects with considerable toxic damages. Thus, new therapeutic approaches, specially specific treatments such as immunotherapy, are needed. In this paper we analyze recent preclinical and clinical efforts towards immunotherapy of pancreatic cancer, including passive and active immunotherapy approaches, designed to target pancreatic-cancer-associated antigens and to elicit an antitumor response in vivo. Elena Niccolai, Domenico Prisco, Mario Milco D'Elios, and Amedeo Amedei Copyright © 2013 Elena Niccolai et al. All rights reserved. MUC1-Specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in Cancer Therapy: Induction and Challenge Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:00:50 +0000 MUC1 glycoprotein is often found overexpressed and hypoglycosylated in tumor cells from numerous cancer types. Since its discovery MUC1 has been an attractive target for antitumor immunotherapy. Indeed, in vitro and in vivo experiments have shown T-cell-specific responses against MUC1 in an HLA-restricted and HLA-unrestricted manner, although some animal models have highlighted the possible development of tolerogenic responses against this antigen. These observations permit the development of new T-cell vaccine strategies capable of inducing an MUC1-specific cytotoxic T cell response in cancer patients. Some of these strategies are now being tested in clinical trials against different types of cancer. To date, encouraging clinical responses have been observed with some MUC1 vaccines in phase II/III clinical trials. This paper compiles knowledge regarding MUC1 as a promising tumor antigen for antitumor therapeutic vaccines applicable to numerous cancers. We also summarize the results of MUC1-vaccine-based clinical trials. David Roulois, Marc Grégoire, and Jean-François Fonteneau Copyright © 2013 David Roulois et al. All rights reserved. Conformation-Dependent High-Affinity Potent Ricin-Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibodies Wed, 26 Dec 2012 09:21:43 +0000 Ricin is a potential biothreat agent with no approved antidote available for ricin poisoning. The aim of this study was to develop potent antibody-based antiricin antidotes. Four strong ricin resistant hybridoma clones secreting antiricin monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were developed. All four mAbs are bound to conformational epitopes of ricin toxin B (RTB) with high affinity ( values from 2.55 to 36.27 nM). RTB not only triggers cellular uptake of ricin, but also facilitates transport of the ricin toxin A (RTA) from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cytosol, where RTA exerts its toxic activity. The four mAbs were found to have potent ricin-neutralizing capacities and synergistic effects among them as determined by an in vitro neutralization assay. In vivo protection assay demonstrated that all four mAbs had strong efficacy against ricin challenges. D9 was found to be exceptionally effective. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of D9, at a dose of 5 μg, 6 weeks before or 6 hours after an i.p. challenge with 5 × LD50 of ricin was able to protect or rescue 100% of the mice, indicating that mAb D9 is an excellent candidate to be developed as a potent antidote against ricin poisoning for both prophylactic and therapeutic purposes. Wei-Gang Hu, Junfei Yin, Damon Chau, Charles Chen Hu, Dustin Lillico, Justin Yu, Laurel M. Negrych, and John W. Cherwonogrodzky Copyright © 2013 Wei-Gang Hu et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Sodium Octanoate on Innate Immune Response of Mammary Epithelial Cells during Staphylococcus aureus Internalization Mon, 24 Dec 2012 08:09:04 +0000 Bovine mammary epithelial cells (bMECs) are capable of initiating an innate immune response to invading bacteria. Short chain fatty acids can reduce Staphylococcus aureus internalization into bMEC, but it has not been evaluated if octanoic acid (sodium octanoate, NaO), a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA), has similar effects. In this study we determined the effect of NaO on S. aureus internalization into bMEC and on the modulation of innate immune elements. NaO (0.25–2 mM) did not affect S. aureus growth and bMEC viability, but it differentially modulated bacterial internalization into bMEC, which was induced at 0.25–0.5 mM (~60%) but inhibited at 1-2 mM (~40%). Also, bMEC showed a basal expression of all the innate immune genes evaluated, which were induced by S. aureus. NaO induced BNBD4, LAP, and BNBD10 mRNA expression, but BNBD5 and TNF-α were inhibited. Additionally, the pretreatment of bMEC with NaO inhibited the mRNA expression induction generated by bacteria which coincides with the increase in internalization; only TAP and BNDB10 showed an increase in their expression; it coincides with the greatest effect on the reduction of bacterial internalization. In conclusion, NaO exerts a dual effect on S. aureus internalization in bMEC and modulates elements of innate immune response. Nayeli Alva-Murillo, Alejandra Ochoa-Zarzosa, and Joel E. López-Meza Copyright © 2013 Nayeli Alva-Murillo et al. All rights reserved. CpG and Interleukin-15 Synergize to Enhance IFN-γ Production by Activated CD8+ T Cells Sun, 23 Dec 2012 16:10:52 +0000 Interleukin-15 (IL-15) regulates the development and maintenance of memory CD8+ T cells. Paradoxically, we previously reported that IL-15 could enhance CD8+ T-cell responses to IL-12, a proinflammatory cytokine required for optimal priming of effector CD8+ T cells. To expand the physiological relevance of these findings, we tested IL-15 for its ability to enhance T-cell responses to bacterial CpG. Expectedly, CpG enhanced the production of IFN- by CD8+ T cells polyclonally activated with anti-CD3. However, addition of IL-15 to CpG-stimulated cultures led to a striking increase in IFN- production. The effect of CpG and IL-15 was also evident with CD8+ T cells recovered from mice infected with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) and restimulated with antigen. The observed synergy between CpG and IL-15 occurred in an IL-12-dependent manner, and this effect could even be demonstrated in cocultures of activated CD8+ T cells and CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells. Although IFN- was not essential for CpG-induced IL-12, the ability of CpG and IL-15 to act on CD8+ T cells required expression of the IFN--inducible transcription factor T-bet. These data have important implications for development of vaccines and design of therapies to boost CD8+ T-cell responses to infectious agents and tumors. Dustin Cobb, Siqi Guo, and Ronald B. Smeltz Copyright © 2013 Dustin Cobb et al. All rights reserved. Innate Immunity Modulation by the IL-33/ST2 System in Intestinal Mucosa Tue, 04 Dec 2012 16:26:00 +0000 Innate immunity prevents pathogens from entering and spreading within the body. This function is especially important in the gastrointestinal tract and skin, as these organs have a large surface contact area with the outside environment. In the intestine, luminal commensal bacteria are necessary for adequate food digestion and play a crucial role in tolerance to benign antigens. Immune system damage can create an intestinal inflammatory response, leading to chronic disease including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an IBD of unknown etiology with increasing worldwide prevalence. In the intestinal mucosa of UC patients, there is an imbalance in the IL-33/ST2 axis, an important modulator of the innate immune response. This paper reviews the role of the IL-33/ST2 system in innate immunity of the intestinal mucosa and its importance in inflammatory bowel diseases, especially ulcerative colitis. Marina García-Miguel, M. Julieta González, Rodrigo Quera, and Marcela A. Hermoso Copyright © 2013 Marina García-Miguel et al. All rights reserved. Improved Binding Activity of Antibodies against Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Chain-Related Gene A by Phage Display Technology for Cancer-Targeted Therapy Wed, 21 Nov 2012 08:25:22 +0000 Major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related gene A (MICA) is an NKG2D ligand that is over-expressed under cellular stress including cancer transformation and viral infection. High expression of MICA in cancer tissues or patients' sera is useful for prognostic or follow-up markers in cancer patients. In this study, phage display technology was employed to improve antigen-binding activities of anti-MICA monoclonal antibodies (WW2G8, WW6B7, and WW9B8). The 12 amino acid residues in the complementarity determining regions (CDRs) on the V domain of the heavy chain CDR3 (HCDR3) of these anti-MICA antibodies were modified by PCR-random mutagenesis, and phages displaying mutated anti-MICA Fab were constructed. After seven rounds of panning, five clones of phages displaying mutant anti-MICA Fab which exhibited 3–7-folds higher antigen-binding activities were isolated. Two clones of the mutants (phage-displayed mutant Fab WW9B8.1 and phage-displayed mutant Fab WW9B8.21) were confirmed to have antigen-binding specificity for cell surface MICA proteins by flow cytometry. These phage clones are able to recognize MICA in a native form according to positive results obtained by indirect ELISA and flow cytometry. Thus, these phage particles could be potentially used for further development of nanomedicine specifically targeting cancer cells expressing MICA proteins. Achara Phumyen, Amonrat Jumnainsong, and Chanvit Leelayuwat Copyright © 2012 Achara Phumyen et al. All rights reserved. NK Cells in Healthy Aging and Age-Associated Diseases Tue, 20 Nov 2012 07:32:01 +0000 NK cells exhibit the highest cytotoxic capacity within the immune system. Alteration of their number or functionality may have a deep impact on overall immunity. This is of particular relevance in aging where the elderly population becomes more susceptible to infection, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases amongst others. As the fraction of elderly increases worldwide, it becomes urgent to better understand the aging of the immune system to prevent and cure the elderly population. For this, a better understanding of the function and phenotype of the different immune cells and their subsets is necessary. We review here NK cell functions and phenotype in healthy aging as well as in various age-associated diseases. Xavier Camous, Alejandra Pera, Rafael Solana, and Anis Larbi Copyright © 2012 Xavier Camous et al. All rights reserved. Natural Killer Cell Regulation by MicroRNAs in Health and Disease Mon, 19 Nov 2012 17:03:45 +0000 Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune lymphocytes that are critical for normal host defense against infections and mediate antitumor immune responses. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small, noncoding RNAs that posttranscriptionally regulate the majority of cellular processes and pathways. Our understanding of how miRNAs regulate NK cells biology is limited, but recent studies have provided novel insight into their expression by NK cells, and how they contribute to the regulation of NK cell development, maturation, survival, and effector function. Here, we review the expression of miRNAs by NK cells, their contribution to cell intrinsic and extrinsic control of NK cell development and effector response, and their dysregulation in NK cell malignancies. Jeffrey W. Leong, Ryan P. Sullivan, and Todd A. Fehniger Copyright © 2012 Jeffrey W. Leong et al. All rights reserved. Comprehensive Evaluation of Different T-Helper Cell Subsets Differentiation and Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis Wed, 03 Oct 2012 09:57:27 +0000 Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common autoimmune disorder. Loss of Th1/Th2 and Th17/Treg balance has been reported in several inflammatory autoimmune diseases. This study was to investigate Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg differentiation and related cytokines in RA patients. The frequencies of Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg cells in peripheral blood of RA patients (𝑛=76) and healthy controls (𝑛=18) were determined by flow cytometry. Eight serum cytokines were analyzed using cytometric bead array. The results demonstrated that RA patients exhibited increased peripheral Th1/Th17 cells and Th1/Th17-related cytokines. However, Th1 cells only reached significant difference at advanced stage, but Th17 at all stages, suggesting more important roles in Th17 cells. For Th2 and Treg cells, there was a different function pattern in RA progression. Although with the increase of DAS28 score, Th2 cell experienced some degree of decrease in RA patients, no significant difference was observed. IL-4 and IL-10 showed a significant increase in RA patients. These indicated that Th2 cells might exert immunosuppression effects mainly by secreting cytokines. Treg cells were found significantly decreased in RA patients, but no difference was observed in TGF-β expression, indicating a cell-cell interaction pattern in Treg cell. Junwei Chen, Junxia Li, Huiying Gao, Caihong Wang, Jing Luo, Zhiqin Lv, and Xiaofeng Li Copyright © 2012 Junwei Chen et al. All rights reserved. Frequency of TLR 2, 4, and 9 Gene Polymorphisms in Chinese Population and Their Susceptibility to Type 2 Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease Wed, 03 Oct 2012 08:10:31 +0000 Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are pivotal components of the innate immune response. Activation of the innate immune system and subsequent chronic low-grade inflammation are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. In the study, we genotyped TLRs gene polymorphisms, including TLR2 Arg677Trp and Arg753Gln, TLR4 Asp299Gly and Thr399Ile, TLR9-1486T/C and -1237T/C. The frequencies of TT, TC and CC genotype of TLR9-1486T/C mutation were 39.6%, 45.8% and 14.6%, respectively; the frequencies of T allele and C allele were 62.5% and 37.5%. However, neither of these parameters was statistically significant among study groups. In addition, we were surprised to find that the commonly reported TLR SNPs in the Western countries, like TLR2 Arg677Trp or Arg753Gln, TLR4 Asp299Gly or Thr399Ile and TLR9-1237T/C, were not polymorphic at all in all study subjects. In conclusion, our data suggests that TLR2 Arg677Trp or Arg753Gln, TLR4 Asp299Gly or Thr399Ile and TLR9-1237T/C polymorphisms have low frequency and TLR9-1486T/C polymorphism may not be a suitable marker in predicting the susceptibility to type 2 diabetes or coronary artery disease in the Chinese Han population. Fengjing Liu, Weixin Lu, Qiaohui Qian, Weigang Qi, Jifan Hu, and Bo Feng Copyright © 2012 Fengjing Liu et al. All rights reserved. Strategies for Enhancing Vaccine-Induced CTL Antitumor Immune Responses Tue, 02 Oct 2012 14:26:11 +0000 Vaccine-induced cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) play a critical role in adaptive immunity against cancers. An important goal of current vaccine research is to induce durable and long-lasting functional CTLs that can mediate cytotoxic effects on tumor cells. To attain this goal, there are four distinct steps that must be achieved. To initiate a vaccine-induced CTL antitumor immune response, dendritic cells (DCs) must capture antigens derived from exogenous tumor vaccines in vivo or autologous DCs directly loaded in vitro with tumor antigens must be injected. Next, tumor-antigen-loaded DCs must activate CTLs in lymphoid organs. Subsequently, activated CTLs must enter the tumor microenvironment to perform their functions, at which point a variety of negative regulatory signals suppress the immune response. Finally, CTL-mediated cytotoxic effects must overcome the tolerance induced by tumor cells. Each step is a complex process that may be impeded in many ways. However, if these steps happen under appropriate regulation, the vaccine-induced CTL antitumor immune response will be more successful. For this reason, we should gain a better understanding of the basic mechanisms that govern the immune response. This paper, based on the steps necessary to induce an immune response, discusses current strategies for enhancing vaccine-induced CTL antitumor immune responses. Xin Yong, Yü-Feng Xiao, Gang Luo, Bin He, Mu-Han Lü, Chang-Jiang Hu, Hong Guo, and Shi-Ming Yang Copyright © 2012 Xin Yong et al. All rights reserved. Identification of HLA-A24-Restricted Novel T Cell Epitope Peptides Derived from P-Cadherin and Kinesin Family Member 20A Tue, 19 Jun 2012 17:18:14 +0000 We here identified human leukocyte antigen-(HLA-)A∗2402-restricted epitope peptides from Cadherin 3, type 1, P-cadherin (CDH3) and kinesin family member 20A (KIF20A) that were found to be specifically expressed in cancer cells through genome-wide expression profile analysis. CDH3-10-807 peptide and KIF20A-10-66 peptide successfully induced specific CTL clones, and these selectively responded to COS7 cells expressing both HLA-A∗2402 and respective protein while did not respond to parental cells or COS7 cells expressing either HLA-A∗2402 or respective protein. Furthermore, CTL clones responded to cancer cells that endogenously express HLA-A∗2402 and respective protein, suggesting that CDH3-10-807 peptide and KIF20A-10-66 peptide are naturally presented on HLA-A∗2402 molecule of human cancer cells. Our results demonstrated that CDH3-10-807 peptide and KIF20A-10-66 peptide are novel HLA-A24-restricted tumor-associated antigens and would be applicable for CTL-inducing cancer therapies. Ryuji Osawa, Takuya Tsunoda, Sachiko Yoshimura, Tomohisa Watanabe, Motoki Miyazawa, Masaji Tani, Kazuyoshi Takeda, Hidewaki Nakagawa, Yusuke Nakamura, and Hiroki Yamaue Copyright © 2012 Ryuji Osawa et al. All rights reserved. Ustekinumab in Psoriasis Immunopathology with Emphasis on the Th17-IL23 Axis: A Primer Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:19:27 +0000 Psoriasis is a chronic relapsing immunoinflammatory dermatosis that is commonly associated with systemic comorbidities. The pathogenic importance of interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 is beyond doubt, as well as the involvement of T helper cells (Th)1 and Th17 cells. There is upregulation of the p40 subunit shared by IL-12 and IL-23 and of the IL-23 p19 subunit, but not an increased expression of the IL-12 p35 subunit. This indicates that IL-23 appears more involved than IL-12 in the pathogenesis of psoriatic plaques. Ustekinumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody of the immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 class targeting the p40 subunit common to both IL-12 and IL-23, thus inhibiting both IL-12 and IL-23 receptor-mediated signalling. Ustekinumab is part of the recent biologic therapies active in psoriasis, autoimmune arthritides, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Pascale Quatresooz, Trinh Hermanns-Lê, Gérald E. Piérard, Philippe Humbert, Philippe Delvenne, and Claudine Piérard-Franchimont Copyright © 2012 Pascale Quatresooz et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of the Immune Responses Induced in Cattle after Inoculation of a Mycobacterium bovis Strain Deleted in Two mce2 Genes Tue, 05 Jun 2012 11:12:05 +0000 The generation of efficient candidate vaccines against bovine tuberculosis will contribute to the control of this zoonotic disease. Rationally attenuated Mycobacterium bovis strains generated by knockout of virulence genes are promising candidate vaccines. However, to be effective, these candidate vaccines should at least maintain the immunological properties of their virulent parental M. bovis strains. Therefore, the aim of this study was to obtain an M. bovis strain deleted in the mce2 genes and evaluate the effect of the mutation on the immunological profile elicited by the bacteria in cattle. We showed that the activation of CD4+ T cells in cattle inoculated with the mutant strain was equivalent to that in animals inoculated with the parental strain. Moreover, after in vitro stimulation, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from animals inoculated with the mutant produced higher levels of mRNA Th-1 cytokines than the parental strain. Therefore, these results indicate that the mce2 mutant is a promising candidate vaccine against bovine tuberculosis. Federico Carlos Blanco, Marcelo Soria, María José Gravisaco, María Verónica Bianco, Virginia Meikle, Sergio Garbaccio, Lucas Vagnoni, Angel Adrián Cataldi, and Fabiana Bigi Copyright © 2012 Federico Carlos Blanco et al. All rights reserved. Attenuated Salmonella typhimurium SV4089 as a Potential Carrier of Oral DNA Vaccine in Chickens Mon, 04 Jun 2012 14:34:49 +0000 Attenuated Salmonella has been used as a carrier for DNA vaccine. However, in vitro and in vivo studies on the bacteria following transfection of plasmid DNA were poorly studied. In this paper, eukaryotic expression plasmids encoding avian influenza virus (AIV) subtype H5N1 genes, pcDNA3.1/HA, NA, and NP, were transfected into an attenuated Salmonella enteric typhimurium SV4089. In vitro stability of the transfected plasmids into Salmonella were over 90% after 100 generations. The attenuated Salmonella were able to invade MCF-7 (1.2%) and MCF-10A (0.5%) human breast cancer cells. Newly hatched specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chicks were inoculated once by oral gavage with 109 colony-forming unit (CFU) of the attenuated Salmonella. No abnormal clinical signs or deaths were recorded after inoculation. Viable bacteria were detected 3 days after inoculation by plating from spleen, liver, and cecum. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were carried out for confirmation. Salmonella was not detected in blood cultures although serum antibody immune responses to Salmonella O antiserum group D1 factor 1, 9, and 12 antigens were observed in all the inoculated chickens after 7 days up to 35 days. Our results showed that live attenuated S. typhimurium SV4089 harboring pcDNA3.1/HA, NA, and NP may provide a unique alternative as a carrier for DNA oral vaccine in chickens. Seyed Davoud Jazayeri, Aini Ideris, Zunita Zakaria, and Abdul Rahman Omar Copyright © 2012 Seyed Davoud Jazayeri et al. All rights reserved. Expression of GA733-Fc Fusion Protein as a Vaccine Candidate for Colorectal Cancer in Transgenic Plants Wed, 23 May 2012 10:45:51 +0000 The tumor-associated antigen GA733 is a cell-surface glycoprotein highly expressed in colorectal carcinomas. In this study, 3 recombinant genes were constructed as follows: GA733 tagged to the ER retention sequence KDEL (GA733K), GA733 fused to the immunoglobulin Fc fragment (GA733-Fc), and GA733-Fc fused to the ER retention sequence (GA733-FcK). Agrobacterium-mediated transformation was used to generate transgenic plants expressing recombinant genes. The presence of transgenes was confirmed by genomic PCR. Western blot, confocal immunofluorescence, and sandwich ELISA showed the expression of recombinant proteins. The stability, flexibility, and bioactivity of recombinant proteins were analyzed and demonstrated through N-glycosylation analysis, animal trials, and sera ELISA. Our results suggest that the KDEL retained proteins in ER with oligomannose glycan structure and enhanced protein accumulation level. The sera of mice immunized with GA733-FcK purified from plants contained immunoglobulins which were at least as efficient as the mammalian-derived GA733-Fc at recognizing human colorectal cancer cell lines. Thus, a plant system can be used to express the KDEL fusion protein with oligomannose glycosylation, and this protein induces an immune response which is comparable to non-KDEL-tagged, mammalian-derived proteins. Zhe Lu, Kyung-Jin Lee, Yingxue Shao, Jeong-Hwan Lee, Yangkang So, Young-Kug Choo, Doo-Byoung Oh, Kyung-A Hwang, Seung Han Oh, Yeon Soo Han, and Kisung Ko Copyright © 2012 Zhe Lu et al. All rights reserved. Multiple Signaling Pathways Are Involved in the Interleukine-4 Regulated Expression of DC-SIGN in THP-1 Cell Line Thu, 17 May 2012 08:37:52 +0000 Dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3 grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) is an important pattern recognition receptor on dendritic cells (DCs), and its expression shows significant cytological and histological specificity, being interleukine-4 (IL-4) dependent. The signaling pathways through which IL-4 regulates expression of DC-SIGN are still unclear. We used phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate- (PMA-) differentiated THP-1 cells as the in vitro model of monocyte/macrophage cells to study the signaling pathways involved in IL-4-regulated expression of DC-SIGN. We found that a high expression of DC-SIGN could be induced by IL-4 at the levels of mRNA and cell surface protein. Upregulated expression of DC-SIGN was almost completely blocked by the specific inhibitor of ERK pathway, and partly reduced by the specific inhibitors of JAK-STAT and NF-κB pathways. The activation of the three signaling pathways was directly confirmed by testing the phosphorylation of protein kinase within the cytoplasm and nucleus over time. The analysis of cis-acting elements of DC-SIGN promoter showed that the activity of DC-SIGN promoter without Ets-1 transcription factors binding site almost completely disappeared. Our results demonstrated that multiple signaling pathways are involved in IL-4 induced high expression of DC-SIGN on THP-1 cells, in which ERK pathway is the main signaling pathway and mediated by the Ets-1 transcription factors binding site. Changzhong Jin, Lijuan Wu, Jie Li, Meixin Fang, Linfang Cheng, and Nanping Wu Copyright © 2012 Changzhong Jin et al. All rights reserved. Role of Cytokines in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Recent Progress from GWAS and Sequencing Thu, 10 May 2012 15:15:48 +0000 Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disorder, known to have a strong genetic component. Concordance between monozygotic twins is approximately 30–40%, which is 8–20 times higher than that of dizygotic twins. In the last decade, genome-wide approaches to understanding SLE have yielded many candidate genes, which are important to understanding the pathophysiology of the disease and potential targets for pharmaceutical intervention. In this paper, we focus on the role of cytokines and examine how genome-wide association studies, copy number variation studies, and next-generation sequencing are being employed to understand the etiology of SLE. Prominent genes identified by these approaches include BLK, FCγR3B, and TREX1. Our goal is to present a brief overview of genomic approaches to SLE and to introduce some of the key discussion points pertinent to the field. John J. Connolly and Hakon Hakonarson Copyright © 2012 John J. Connolly and Hakon Hakonarson. All rights reserved. Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes and Vaccine Development 2011 Sun, 06 May 2012 14:28:45 +0000 Zhengguo Xiao, Kim Klonowski, Hanchun Yang, and Julie Curtsinger Copyright © 2011 Zhengguo Xiao et al. All rights reserved. Vaxjo: A Web-Based Vaccine Adjuvant Database and Its Application for Analysis of Vaccine Adjuvants and Their Uses in Vaccine Development Tue, 13 Mar 2012 14:20:04 +0000 Vaccine adjuvants are compounds that enhance host immune responses to co-administered antigens in vaccines. Vaxjo is a web-based central database and analysis system that curates, stores, and analyzes vaccine adjuvants and their usages in vaccine development. Basic information of a vaccine adjuvant stored in Vaxjo includes adjuvant name, components, structure, appearance, storage, preparation, function, safety, and vaccines that use this adjuvant. Reliable references are curated and cited. Bioinformatics scripts are developed and used to link vaccine adjuvants to different adjuvanted vaccines stored in the general VIOLIN vaccine database. Presently, 103 vaccine adjuvants have been curated in Vaxjo. Among these adjuvants, 98 have been used in 384 vaccines stored in VIOLIN against over 81 pathogens, cancers, or allergies. All these vaccine adjuvants are categorized and analyzed based on adjuvant types, pathogens used, and vaccine types. As a use case study of vaccine adjuvants in infectious disease vaccines, the adjuvants used in Brucella vaccines are specifically analyzed. A user-friendly web query and visualization interface is developed for interactive vaccine adjuvant search. To support data exchange, the information of vaccine adjuvants is stored in the Vaccine Ontology (VO) in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) format. Samantha Sayers, Guerlain Ulysse, Zuoshuang Xiang, and Yongqun He Copyright © 2012 Samantha Sayers et al. All rights reserved.