- Infectious Disease
- Wound infections
- Microbial biofilms
Honors & Awards
SPARK Innovation Grant, Stanford University (2013)
Seed Grant Award, Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection (2013)
Career Development Award, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (2012)
Young Investigator Award, University of Washington Diabetes Research Council (2012)
Excellence in Teaching Award, Harvard Medical School (2004)
Marshall Scholar, Marshall Scholarship Fund (1994)
Academic All America, USRowing (1993)
Fellowship:University of Washington (2007) WA
Residency:Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School (2004) MA
Medical Education:Harvard Medical School (2001) MA
Board Certification: Infectious Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine (2007)
Board Certification: Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine (2004)
MD, Harvard Medical School (2001)
PhD, Oxford University (1998)
B.A., Columbia University, Biology (1994)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Our lab studies how immune responses are regulated within injured and infected tissues. We work at the intersection of immunology, structural biology, bioengineering, and microbiology. Our goals are to understand the factors that drive chronic inflammation and to develop novel therapeutics to promote wound healing and immune tolerance.
Major areas of investigation include:
Tissue Matrix and Autoimmunity
Why does inflammation persist at sites of autoimmunity? How do infections and inflammation protect from autoimmunity and asthma (the hygiene hypothesis)? To answer these questions, we are investigating how regulatory T-cell (Treg) behavior is influenced by the extracellular matrix in injured and healing tissues. Current projects under this Aim include studying how anti-inflammatory drugs impact vaccine responses, learning how the mechanical properties of inflamed tissues influence Treg behavior, and developing tolerizing vaccine adjuvants to prevent asthma and autoimmunity.
The Immunology of Wound Healing
How does the immune system distinguish between injured vs. healing tissue? Why is immune regulation deranged in chronic wounds? One contextual cue that informs local immune responses is the size and amount of hyaluronan (HA), an extracellular matrix polysaccharide abundant in inflamed tissues. At sites of tissue damage, catabolic fragments of hyaluronan function as endogenous “danger signals” and promote immune activation through Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling. Conversely, at sites of healing, intact hyaluronan provides what we have defined as “tissue integrity signals” that promote immune tolerance through the HA receptor CD44. Current projects under this Aim include learning how cells integrate these signals in injured and healing tissues, investigating the role of regulatory T-cells (Treg) in wound healing, and developing wound dressings that minimize scar formation.
The Immunology of Microbial Biofilms
How do microbial biofilms suppress local immune responses? The virulence of the major human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is predicated on its ability to form biofilms. These are networks of host and microbial extracellular matrix organized into slime layers that suppress local immune responses and mediate adhesion and antibiotic resistance. Current projects under this Aim include studying how microbes organize extracellular matrix into biofilms and how these suppress local immune responses. Further, we are devising innovative strategies to prevent chronic infections by targeting microbial biofilms.
- Independent Studies (6)
The Role of Interleukin-10 and Hyaluronan in Murine Fetal Fibroblast Function In Vitro: Implications for Recapitulating Fetal Regenerative Wound Healing
2015; 10 (5)
Mid-gestation fetal cutaneous wounds heal scarlessly and this has been attributed in part to abundant hyaluronan (HA) in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and a unique fibroblast phenotype. We recently reported a novel role for interleukin 10 (IL-10) as a regulator of HA synthesis in the fetal ECM, as well as the ability of the fetal fibroblast to produce an HA-rich pericellular matrix (PCM). We hypothesized that IL-10-mediated HA synthesis was essential to the fetal fibroblast functional phenotype and, moreover, that this phenotype could be recapitulated in adult fibroblasts via supplementation with IL-10 via an HA dependent process.To evaluate the differences in functional profile, we compared metabolism (MTS assay), apoptosis (caspase-3 staining), migration (scratch wound assay) and invasion (transwell assay) between C57Bl/6J murine fetal (E14.5) and adult (8 weeks) fibroblasts. We found that fetal fibroblasts have lower rates of metabolism and apoptosis, and an increased ability to migrate and invade compared to adult fibroblasts, and that these effects were dependent on IL-10 and HA synthase activity. Further, addition of IL-10 to adult fibroblasts resulted in increased fibroblast migration and invasion and recapitulated the fetal phenotype in an HA-dependent manner.Our data demonstrates the functional differences between fetal and adult fibroblasts, and that IL-10 mediated HA synthesis is essential for the fetal fibroblasts' enhanced invasion and migration properties. Moreover, IL-10 via an HA-dependent mechanism can recapitulate this aspect of the fetal phenotype in adult fibroblasts, suggesting a novel mechanism of IL-10 in regenerative wound healing.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0124302
View details for Web of Science ID 000354214400015
View details for PubMedID 25951109
4-methylumbelliferone treatment and hyaluronan inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer.
Frontiers in immunology
2015; 6: 123-?
Hyaluronan (HA) is a prominent component of the extracellular matrix at many sites of chronic inflammation, including type 1 diabetes (T1D), multiple sclerosis, and numerous malignancies. Recent publications have demonstrated that when HA synthesis is inhibited using 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU), beneficial effects are observed in several animal models of these diseases. Notably, 4-MU is an already approved drug in Europe and Asia called "hymecromone" where it is used to treat biliary spasm. However, there is uncertainty regarding how 4-MU treatment provides benefit in these animal models and the potential long-term consequences of HA inhibition. Here, we review what is known about how HA contributes to immune dysregulation and tumor progression. Then, we review what is known about 4-MU and hymecromone in terms of mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, and safety. Finally, we review recent studies detailing the use of 4-MU to treat animal models of cancer and autoimmunity.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00123
View details for PubMedID 25852691
Hyaluronan and hyaluronan-binding proteins accumulate in both human type 1 diabetic islets and lymphoid tissues and associate with inflammatory cells in insulitis.
2014; 63 (8): 2727-2743
Hyaluronan is an extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan that is present in pancreatic islets but little is known about its involvement in the development of human type 1 diabetes (T1D). We have evaluated whether pancreatic islets and lymphoid tissues of T1D and non-diabetic organ donors differ in the amount and distribution of hyaluronan and hyaluronan binding proteins (hyaladherins) such as inter-α-inhibitor (IαI), versican, and tumor necrosis factor-stimulated gene-6 (TSG-6). Hyaluronan was dramatically increased both within the islet and outside the islet endocrine cells, juxtaposed to islet microvessels in T1D. In addition, hyaluronan was prominent surrounding immune cells in areas of insulitis. IαI and versican were present in hyaluronan-rich areas of islets and both molecules accumulated in diabetic islets and regions exhibiting insulitis. TSG-6 was observed within the islet endocrine cells and in inflammatory infiltrates. These patterns were only observed in tissues from younger donors with disease duration of less than 10 years. Furthermore, hyaluronan and IαI amassed in follicular germinal centers and in T-cell areas in lymph nodes and spleens in T1D compared to controls. Our observations highlight potential roles for hyaluronan and hyaladherins in the pathogenesis of diabetes.
View details for DOI 10.2337/db13-1658
View details for PubMedID 24677718
Adenoviral-mediated gene transfer of insulin-like growth factor 1 enhances wound healing and induces angiogenesis
JOURNAL OF SURGICAL RESEARCH
2014; 190 (1): 367-377
Chronic wounds are characterized by a wound healing and neovascularization deficit. Strategies to increase neovascularization can significantly improve chronic wound healing. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 is reported to be a keratinocyte mitogen and is believed to induce angiogenesis via a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-dependent pathway. Using a novel ex vivo human dermal wound model and a diabetic-impaired wound healing murine model, we hypothesized that adenoviral overexpression of IGF-1 (Ad-IGF-1) will enhance wound healing and induce angiogenesis through a VEGF-dependent pathway.Ex vivo: 6-mm full-thickness punch biopsies were obtained from normal human skin, and 3-mm full-thickness wounds were created at the center. Skin explants were maintained at air liquid interface. Db/db murine model: 8-mm full-thickness dorsal wounds in diabetic (db/db) mice were created. Treatment groups in both human ex vivo and in vivo db/db wound models include 1 × 10(8) particle forming units of Ad-IGF-1 or Ad-LacZ, and phosphate buffered saline (n = 4-5/group). Cytotoxicity (lactate dehydrogenase) was quantified at days 3, 5, and 7 for the human ex vivo wound model. Epithelial gap closure (hematoxylin and eosin; Trichrome), VEGF expression (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), and capillary density (CD 31 + CAPS/HPF) were analyzed at day 7.In the human ex vivo organ culture, the adenoviral vectors did not demonstrate any significant difference in cytotoxicity compared with phosphate buffered saline. Ad-IGF-1 overexpression significantly increases basal keratinocyte migration, with no significant effect on epithelial gap closure. There was a significant increase in capillary density in the Ad-IGF-1 wounds. However, there was no effect on VEGF levels in Ad-IGF-1 samples compared with controls. In db/db wounds, Ad-IGF-1 overexpression significantly improves epithelial gap closure and granulation tissue with a dense cellular infiltrate compared with controls. Ad-IGF-1 also increases capillary density, again with no significant difference in VEGF levels in the wounds compared with control treatments.In two different models, our data demonstrate that adenoviral-mediated gene transfer of IGF-1 results in enhanced wound healing and induces angiogenesis via a VEGF-independent pathway. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of IGF-1 effects on angiogenesis may help produce novel therapeutics for chronic wounds or diseases characterized by a deficit in neovascularization.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2014.02.051
View details for Web of Science ID 000338444700053
Comparison of interleukin 10 homologs on dermal wound healing using a novel human skin ex vivo organ culture model
JOURNAL OF SURGICAL RESEARCH
2014; 190 (1): 358-366
Anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 has been shown to induce regenerative healing in postnatal wounds. A viral homolog of IL-10 produced by human cytomegalovirus (CMV IL-10) similarly generates potent immunoregulatory effects, but its effects on wound healing have not been investigated. Currently, there are limited cost-effective methods of screening vulnerary therapeutics. Taken together, we aim to develop and validate a novel human ex vivo dermal wound model and hypothesize that CMV IL-10 will enhance dermal wound healing.Full-thickness circular (6-mm) explants were taken from surgical skin samples and 3-mm full-thickness wounds were created. Explants were embedded in collagen I matrix and maintained in specially formulated media with the epidermis at air-liquid interface, and treated with human IL-10 or CMV IL-10 (200 ng/mL). The viability of cultured explants was validated by histology and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity. Epithelial gap, epithelial height, basal keratinocyte migration, vascular endothelial growth factor levels, and neovascularization were measured at days 3 and 7 to determine IL-10 effects on wound healing.Culture explants at day 7 appeared similar to fresh skin in morphology, cell, and vessel density. By day 14, the epidermis separated from the dermis and the cell density diminished. Day 7 wounds appeared viable with advancing epithelial and basal keratinocyte migration with no evidence of necrosis. Cytotoxicity analysis via the quantification of LDH revealed no differences between controls and treated groups. There was a slight increase in the quantity of LDH in media at day 3; however, this decreased at day 5 and continued to decline up to day 21. CMV IL-10 treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the epithelial gap and an increase in epithelial height. There were no differences in the rates of basal keratinocyte migration at day 7 between treated and control groups. Interestingly, human IL-10 increased vascular endothelial growth factor expression and neovascularization compared with controls.The human ex vivo wound model provides a simple and viable design to study dermal wound healing. Both IL-10 homologs demonstrate vulnerary effects. The viral homolog demonstrates enhanced effects on wound closure compared with human IL-10. These data represent a novel tool that can be used to screen therapeutics, such as CMV IL-10, before preclinical studies.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2014.02.027
View details for Web of Science ID 000338444700052
Tissue integrity signals communicated by high-molecular weight hyaluronan and the resolution of inflammation
2014; 58 (2-3): 186-192
The extracellular matrix polysaccharide hyaluronan (HA) exerts size-dependent effects on leukocyte behavior. Low-molecular weight HA is abundant at sites of active tissue catabolism and promotes inflammation via effects on Toll-like receptor signaling. Conversely, high-molecular weight HA is prevalent in uninjured tissues and is anti-inflammatory. We propose that the ability of high-molecular weight but not low-molecular weight HA to cross-link CD44 functions as a novel form of pattern recognition that recognizes intact tissues and communicates "tissue integrity signals" that promote resolution of local immune responses.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s12026-014-8495-2
View details for Web of Science ID 000336333700004
Evaluation of in vivo T cell kinetics: use of heavy isotope labelling in type 1 diabetes.
Clinical and experimental immunology
2013; 172 (3): 363-374
CD4(+) memory cell development is dependent upon T cell receptor (TCR) signal strength, antigen dose and the cytokine milieu, all of which are altered in type 1 diabetes (T1D). We hypothesized that CD4(+) T cell turnover would be greater in type 1 diabetes subjects compared to controls. In vitro studies of T cell function are unable to evaluate dynamic aspects of immune cell homoeostasis. Therefore, we used deuterium oxide ((2) H(2)O) to assess in vivo turnover of CD4(+) T cell subsets in T1D (n?=?10) and control subjects (n?=?10). Serial samples of naive, memory and regulatory (T(reg)) CD4(+) T cell subsets were collected and enrichment of deoxyribose was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Quantification of T cell turnover was performed using mathematical models to estimate fractional enrichment (f, n?=?20), turnover rate (k, n?=?20), proliferation (p, n?=?10) and disappearance (d*, n?=?10). Although turnover of T(regs) was greater than memory and naive cells in both controls and T1D subjects, no differences were seen between T1D and controls in T(reg) or naive kinetics. However, turnover of CD4(+) memory T cells was faster in those with T1D compared to control subjects. Measurement and modelling of incorporated deuterium is useful for evaluating the in vivo kinetics of immune cells in T1D and could be incorporated into studies of the natural history of disease or clinical trials designed to alter the disease course. The enhanced CD4(+) memory T cell turnover in T1D may be important in understanding the pathophysiology and potential treatments of autoimmune diabetes.
View details for DOI 10.1111/cei.12064
View details for PubMedID 23600824
- IL-10 induction from implants delivering pancreatic islets and hyaluronan. J Diabetes Res 2013; 2013: 342479
- IL-10 Induction from Implants Delivering Pancreatic Islets and Hyaluronan JOURNAL OF DIABETES RESEARCH 2013
- Science and government. Obama and the promotion of international science. Science 2012; 338 (6107): 610-612
The Role of Hyaluronan and the Extracellular Matrix in Islet Inflammation and Immune Regulation
CURRENT DIABETES REPORTS
2012; 12 (5): 471-480
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a disease that in most individuals results from autoimmune attack of a single tissue type, the pancreatic islet. A fundamental, unanswered question in T1D pathogenesis is how the islet tissue environment influences immune regulation. This crosstalk is likely to be communicated through the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here, we review what is known about the ECM in insulitis and examine how the tissue environment is synchronized with immune regulation. In particular, we focus on the role of hyaluronan (HA) and its interactions with Foxp3+ regulatory T-cells (Treg). We propose that HA is a "keystone molecule" in the inflammatory milieu and that HA, together with its associated binding proteins and receptors, is an appropriate point of entry for investigations into how ECM influences immune regulation in the islet.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11892-012-0297-0
View details for Web of Science ID 000308286400004
View details for PubMedID 22810951
Hyaluronan and versican in the control of human T-lymphocyte adhesion and migration
2012; 31 (2): 90-100
The ability of lymphocytes to migrate freely through connective tissues is vital to efficient immune function. How the extracellular matrix (ECM) may affect T-cell adhesion and migration is not well understood. We have examined the adhesion and migration of activated human T-lymphocytes on ECM made by fibroblast-like synoviocytes and lung fibroblasts. These cells were minimally interactive until treated with a viral mimetic, Poly I:C. This treatment promoted myofibroblast formation and engendered a higher-order structured ECM, rich in versican and hyaluronan, to which T-cells avidly adhered in a hyaluronidase-sensitive manner. This Poly I:C-induced matrix impeded T-cell spreading and migration on and through synoviocyte monolayers, while hyaluronidase treatment or adding versican antibody during matrix formation reversed the effect on T-cell migration. Hyaluronidase also reversed the spread myofibroblast morphology. These data suggest that the viscous hyaluronan- and versican-rich matrix binds and constrains T-lymphocytes. Using purified matrix components and solid state matrices of defined composition, we uncovered a role for versican in modulating hyaluronan-T-cell interactions. Versican prevented T-cell binding to soluble hyaluronan, as well as the amoeboid shape change on hyaluronan-coated dishes and T-cell penetration of collagen gels. Together, these data suggest that hyaluronan and versican play a role in T-cell trafficking and function in inflamed tissues.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.matbio.2011.10.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000301632900003
View details for PubMedID 22155153
Reversal of Diabetes in Mice With a Bioengineered Islet Implant Incorporating a Type I Collagen Hydrogel and Sustained Release of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
2012; 21 (10): 2099-2110
We have developed a bioengineered implant (BI) to evaluate strategies to promote graft survival and function in models of islet transplantation in mice. The BI, sized for implantation within a fold of intestinal mesentery, consists of a disk-shaped, polyvinyl alcohol sponge infused with a type I collagen hydrogel that contains dispersed donor islets. To promote islet vascularization, the BI incorporates a spherical alginate hydrogel for sustained release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). BIs that contained 450-500 islets from syngeneic (C57Bl/6) donors and 20 ng of VEGF reversed streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes in 100% of mice (8/8), whereas BIs that contained an equivalent number of islets, but which lacked VEGF, reversed STZ-induced diabetes in only 62.5% of mice (5/8). Between these "+VEGF" and "-VEGF" groups, the time to achieve normoglycemia (8-18 days after implantation) did not differ statistically; however, transitory, postoperative hypoglycemia was markedly reduced in the +VEGF group relative to the -VEGF group. Notably, none of the mice that achieved normoglycemia in these two groups required exogenous insulin therapy once the BIs began to fully regulate levels of blood glucose. Moreover, the transplanted mice responded to glucose challenge in a near-normal manner, as compared to the responses of healthy, nondiabetic (control) mice that had not received STZ. In future studies, the BIs described here will serve as platforms to evaluate the capability of immunomodulatory compounds, delivered locally within the BI, to prevent or reverse diabetes in the setting of autoimmune (type 1) diabetes.
View details for DOI 10.3727/096368912X636786
View details for Web of Science ID 000313227300001
View details for PubMedID 23231959
Low-Dose Antigen Promotes Induction of FOXP3 in Human CD4(+) T Cells
JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY
2011; 187 (7): 3511-3520
Low Ag dose promotes induction and persistence of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in mice, yet few studies have addressed the role of Ag dose in the induction of adaptive CD4(+)FOXP3(+) Tregs in humans. To this end, we examined the level of FOXP3 expression in human CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells upon activation with autologous APCs and varying doses of peptide. Ag-specific T cells expressing FOXP3 were identified by flow cytometry using MHC class II tetramer (Tmr). We found an inverse relationship between Ag dose and the frequency of FOXP3(+) cells for both foreign Ag-specific and self Ag-specific T cells. Through studies of FOXP3 locus demethylation and helios expression, we determined that variation in the frequency of Tmr(+)FOXP3(+) T cells was not due to expansion of natural Tregs, but instead, we found that induction, proliferation, and persistence of FOXP3(+) cells was similar in high- and low-dose cultures, whereas proliferation of FOXP3(-) T cells was favored in high Ag dose cultures. The frequency of FOXP3(+) cells positively correlated with suppressive function, indicative of adaptive Treg generation. The frequency of FOXP3(+) cells was maintained with IL-2, but not upon restimulation with Ag. Together, these data suggest that low Ag dose favors the transient generation of human Ag-specific adaptive Tregs over the proliferation of Ag-specific FOXP3(-) effector T cells. These adaptive Tregs could function to reduce ongoing inflammatory responses and promote low-dose tolerance in humans, especially when Ag exposure and tolerance is transient.
View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1003880
View details for Web of Science ID 000295036400009
View details for PubMedID 21865550
ECM components guide IL-10 producing regulatory T-cell (TR1) induction from effector memory T-cell precursors
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2011; 108 (19): 7938-7943
We describe a role for ECM as a biosensor for inflammatory microenvironments that plays a critical role in peripheral immune tolerance. We show that hyaluronan (HA) promotes induction of Foxp3- IL-10-producing regulatory T cells (TR1) from conventional T-cell precursors in both murine and human systems. This is, to our knowledge, the first description of an ECM component inducing regulatory T cells. Intact HA, characteristic of healing tissues, promotes induction of TR1 capable of abrogating disease in an IL-10-dependent mouse colitis model whereas fragmentary HA, typical of inflamed tissues, does not, indicating a decisive role for tissue integrity in this system. The TR1 precursor cells in this system are CD4(+)CD62L(-)FoxP3(-), suggesting that effector memory cells assume a regulatory phenotype when they encounter their cognate antigen in the context of intact HA. Matrix integrity cues might thereby play a central role in maintaining peripheral tolerance. This TR1 induction is mediated by CD44 cross-linking and signaling through p38 and ERK1/2. This induction is suppressed, also in a CD44-dependent manner, by osteopontin, a component of chronically inflamed ECM, indicating that CD44 signaling serves as a nexus for fate decisions regarding TR1 induction. Finally, we demonstrate that TR1 induction signals can be recapitulated using synthetic matrices. These results reveal important roles for the matrix microenvironment in immune regulation and suggest unique strategies for immunomodulation.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1017360108
View details for Web of Science ID 000290439500058
View details for PubMedID 21518860
Isolated Infection of a Decommissioned Penile Prosthesis Reservoir with Actinomyces neuii
JOURNAL OF SEXUAL MEDICINE
2011; 8 (3): 923-926
Inflatable penile prostheses (IPPs) are a well-established and reliable treatment for medication refractory erectile dysfunction. The most serious complication with IPPs is infection, with the reported incidence after primary placement 1% to 3% and after revision surgery 8% to 18%.The aim of this report is to describe an infected decommissioned IPP reservoir with Actinomyces neuii with successful preservation of a functioning implant.After 9 years of successful use with an IPP (AMS 700 CX) for Peyronie's disease and organic erectile dysfunction, a 79-year-old man underwent replacement with an AMS 700 LGX. The decommissioned reservoir was kept in the right prevesical space, and the new reservoir was placed in the left prevesical space. Three months later, he presented with right inguinal pain and swelling.He was found to have an infected right reservoir with A. neuii, sparing his new IPP. After removal of the right reservoir, he had an uneventful recovery and has shown no evidence of infection in the new device.Revision surgery for IPPs carries a higher risk for implant infection. This is the first report of a genitourinary implant infection with A.?neuii. Aggressive surgical and medical treatment may allow preservation of the functioning implant, despite gross infection of the decommissioned reservoir.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02144.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000287703100031
View details for PubMedID 21143418
Peptide-MHC Cellular Microarray with Innovative Data Analysis System for Simultaneously Detecting Multiple CD4 T-Cell Responses
2010; 5 (6)
Peptide:MHC cellular microarrays have been proposed to simultaneously characterize multiple Ag-specific populations of T cells. The practice of studying immune responses to complicated pathogens with this tool demands extensive knowledge of T cell epitopes and the availability of peptide:MHC complexes for array fabrication as well as a specialized data analysis approach for result interpretation.We co-immobilized peptide:DR0401 complexes, anti-CD28, anti-CD11a and cytokine capture antibodies on the surface of chamber slides to generate a functional array that was able to detect rare Ag-specific T cell populations from previously primed in vitro T cell cultures. A novel statistical methodology was also developed to facilitate batch processing of raw array-like data into standardized endpoint scores, which linearly correlated with total Ag-specific T cell inputs. Applying these methods to analyze Influenza A viral antigen-specific T cell responses, we not only revealed the most prominent viral epitopes, but also demonstrated the heterogeneity of anti-viral cellular responses in healthy individuals. Applying these methods to examine the insulin producing beta-cell autoantigen specific T cell responses, we observed little difference between autoimmune diabetic patients and healthy individuals, suggesting a more subtle association between diabetes status and peripheral autoreactive T cells.The data analysis system is reliable for T cell specificity and functional testing. Peptide:MHC cellular microarrays can be used to obtain multi-parametric results using limited blood samples in a variety of translational settings.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0011355
View details for Web of Science ID 000279259900023
View details for PubMedID 20634998
Th1 cytokines promote T-cell binding to antigen-presenting cells via enhanced hyaluronan production and accumulation at the immune synapse
CELLULAR & MOLECULAR IMMUNOLOGY
2010; 7 (3): 211-220
Hyaluronan (HA) production by dendritic cells (DCs) is known to promote antigen presentation and to augment T-cell activation and proliferation. We hypothesized that pericellular HA can function as intercellular 'glue' directly mediating T cell-DC binding. Using primary human cells, we observed HA-dependent binding between T cells and DCs, which was abrogated upon pre-treatment of the DCs with 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU), an agent which blocks HA synthesis. Furthermore, T cells regulate HA production by DCs via T cell-derived cytokines in a T helper (Th) subset-specific manner, as demonstrated by the observation that cell-culture supernatants from Th1 but not Th2 clones promote HA production. Similar effects were seen upon the addition of exogenous Th1 cytokines, IL-2, interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). The critical factors which determined the extent of DC-T cell binding in this system were the nature of the pre-treatment the DCs received and their capacity to synthesize HA, as T-cell clones which were pre-treated with monensin, added to block cytokine secretion, bound equivalently irrespective of their Th subset. These data support the existence of a feedforward loop wherein T-cell cytokines influence DC production of HA, which in turn affects the extent of DC-T cell binding. We also document the presence of focal deposits of HA at the immune synapse between T-cells and APC and on dendritic processes thought to be important in antigen presentation. These data point to a pivotal role for HA in DC-T cell interactions at the IS.
View details for DOI 10.1038/cmi.2010.9
View details for Web of Science ID 000277282200008
View details for PubMedID 20228832
Assessment of Seasonal Influenza A Virus-Specific CD4 T-Cell Responses to 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Swine-Origin Influenza A Virus
JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY
2010; 84 (7): 3312-3319
Very limited evidence has been reported to show human adaptive immune responses to the 2009 pandemic H1N1 swine-origin influenza A virus (S-OIV). We studied 17 S-OIV peptides homologous to immunodominant CD4 T epitopes from hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), nuclear protein (NP), M1 matrix protein (MP), and PB1 of a seasonal H1N1 strain. We concluded that 15 of these 17 S-OIV peptides would induce responses of seasonal influenza virus-specific T cells. Of these, seven S-OIV sequences were identical to seasonal influenza virus sequences, while eight had at least one amino acid that was not conserved. T cells recognizing epitopes derived from these S-OIV antigens could be detected ex vivo. Most of these T cells expressed memory markers, although none of the donors had been exposed to S-OIV. Functional analysis revealed that specific amino acid differences in the sequences of these S-OIV peptides would not affect or partially affect memory T-cell responses. These findings suggest that without protective antibody responses, individuals vaccinated against seasonal influenza A may still benefit from preexisting cross-reactive memory CD4 T cells reducing their susceptibility to S-OIV infection.
View details for DOI 10.1128/JVI.02226-09
View details for Web of Science ID 000275307400017
View details for PubMedID 20071564
Defects in IL-2R Signaling Contribute to Diminished Maintenance of FOXP3 Expression in CD4(+) CD25(+) Regulatory T-Cells of Type 1 Diabetic Subjects
2010; 59 (2): 407-415
In humans, multiple genes in the interleukin (IL)-2/IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) pathway are associated with type 1 diabetes. However, no link between IL-2 responsiveness and CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) regulatory T-cells (Tregs) has been demonstrated in type 1 diabetic subjects despite the role of these IL-2-dependent cells in controlling autoimmunity. Here, we address whether altered IL-2 responsiveness impacts persistence of FOXP3 expression in Tregs of type 1 diabetic subjects.Persistence of Tregs was assessed by culturing sorted CD4(+)CD25(hi) natural Tregs with IL-2 and measuring FOXP3 expression over time by flow cytometry for control and type 1 diabetic populations. The effects of IL-2 on FOXP3 induction were assessed 48 h after activation of CD4(+)CD25(-) T-cells with anti-CD3 antibody. Cytokine receptor expression and signaling upon exposure to IL-2, IL-7, and IL-15 were determined by flow cytometry and Western blot analysis.Maintenance of FOXP3 expression in CD4(+)CD25(+) Tregs of type 1 diabetic subjects was diminished in the presence of IL-2, but not IL-7. Impaired responsiveness was not linked to altered expression of the IL-2R complex. Instead, IL-2R signaling was reduced in Tregs and total CD4(+) T-cells of type 1 diabetic subjects. In some individuals, decreased signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 phosphorylation correlated with significantly higher expression of protein tyrosine phosphatase N2, a negative regulator of IL-2R signaling.Aberrant IL-2R signaling in CD4(+) T-cells of type 1 diabetic subjects contributes to decreased persistence of FOXP3 expression that may impact establishment of tolerance. These findings suggest novel targets for treatment of type 1 diabetes within the IL-2R pathway and suggest that an altered IL-2R signaling signature may be a biomarker for type 1 diabetes.
View details for DOI 10.2337/db09-0694
View details for Web of Science ID 000274435900011
View details for PubMedID 19875613
Intact extracellular matrix and the maintenance of immune tolerance: high molecular weight hyaluronan promotes persistence of induced CD4+CD25+regulatory T cells
JOURNAL OF LEUKOCYTE BIOLOGY
2009; 86 (3): 567-572
The composition of the ECM provides contextual cues to leukocytes in inflamed and healing tissues. One example of this is HA, where LMW-HA, generated during active inflammation, is a TLR ligand and an endogenous "danger signal," and HMW-HA, predominant in healing or intact tissues, functions in an inverse manner. Our data suggest that HMW-HA actively promotes immune tolerance by augmenting CD4+CD25+ T(Reg) function, and LMW-HA does not. Using a human iT(Reg) model, we demonstrate that HMW-HA but not LMW-HA provides a costimulatory signal through cross-linking CD44 which promotes Foxp3 expression, a critical signaling molecule associated with T(Reg). This effect, in part, may be mediated by a role for intact HMW-HA in IL-2 production, as T(Reg) are highly IL-2-dependent for their survival and function. We propose that HMW-HA contributes to the maintenance of immune homeostasis in uninjured tissue and effectively communicates an "all-clear" signal to down-regulate the adaptive immune system through T(Reg) after tissue matrix integrity has been restored.
View details for DOI 10.1189/jlb.0109001
View details for Web of Science ID 000269377200014
View details for PubMedID 19401397
CD44 Costimulation Promotes FoxP3(+) Regulatory T Cell Persistence and Function via Production of IL-2, IL-10, and TGF-beta
JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY
2009; 183 (4): 2232-2241
Work by our group and others has demonstrated a role for the extracellular matrix receptor CD44 and its ligand hyaluronan in CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cell (Treg) function. Herein, we explore the mechanistic basis for this observation. Using mouse FoxP3/GFP(+) Treg, we find that CD44 costimulation promotes expression of FoxP3, in part through production of IL-2. This promotion of IL-2 production was resistant to cyclosporin A treatment, suggesting that CD44 costimulation may promote IL-2 production through bypassing FoxP3-mediated suppression of NFAT. CD44 costimulation increased production of IL-10 in a partially IL-2-dependent manner and also promoted cell surface TGF-beta expression. Consistent with these findings, Treg from CD44 knockout mice demonstrated impaired regulatory function ex vivo and depressed production of IL-10 and cell surface TGF-beta. These data reveal a novel role for CD44 cross-linking in the production of regulatory cytokines. Similar salutary effects on FoxP3 expression were observed upon costimulation with hyaluronan, the primary natural ligand for CD44. This effect is dependent upon CD44 cross-linking; while both high-molecular-weight hyaluronan (HA) and plate-bound anti-CD44 Ab promoted FoxP3 expression, neither low-molecular weight HA nor soluble anti-CD44 Ab did so. The implication is that intact high-molecular weight HA can cross-link CD44 only in those settings where it predominates over fragmentary LMW-HA, namely, in uninflamed tissue. We propose that intact but not fragmented extracellular is capable of cross-linking CD44 and thereby maintains immunologic tolerance in uninjured or healing tissue.
View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.0900191
View details for Web of Science ID 000268906500007
View details for PubMedID 19635906
The Toll-Like Receptor Signaling Molecule Myd88 Contributes to Pancreatic Beta-Cell Homeostasis in Response to Injury
2009; 4 (4)
Commensal flora and pathogenic microbes influence the incidence of diabetes in animal models yet little is known about the mechanistic basis of these interactions. We hypothesized that Myd88, an adaptor molecule in the Toll-like-receptor (TLR) pathway, regulates pancreatic beta-cell function and homeostasis. We first examined beta-cells histologically and found that Myd88-/- mice have smaller islets in comparison to C57Bl/6 controls. Myd88-/- mice were nonetheless normoglycemic both at rest and after an intra-peritoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT). In contrast, after low-dose streptozotocin (STZ) challenge, Myd88-/-mice had an abnormal IPGTT relative to WT controls. Furthermore, Myd88-/- mice suffer enhanced beta-cell apoptosis and have enhanced hepatic damage with delayed recovery upon low-dose STZ treatment. Finally, we treated WT mice with broad-spectrum oral antibiotics to deplete their commensal flora. In WT mice, low dose oral lipopolysaccharide, but not lipotichoic acid or antibiotics alone, strongly promoted enhanced glycemic control. These data suggest that Myd88 signaling and certain TLR ligands mediate a homeostatic effect on beta-cells primarily in the setting of injury.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0005063
View details for Web of Science ID 000265500600019
View details for PubMedID 19357791
Cutting edge: High molecular weight hyaluronan promotes the suppressive effects of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells
JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY
2007; 179 (2): 744-747
Hyaluronan is a glycosaminoglycan present in the extracellular matrix. When hyaluronan is degraded during infection and injury, low m.w. forms are generated whose interactions influence inflammation and angiogenesis. Intact high m.w. hyaluronan, conversely, conveys anti-inflammatory signals. We demonstrate that high m.w. hyaluronan enhances human CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cell functional suppression of responder cell proliferation, whereas low m.w. hyaluronan does not. High m.w. hyaluronan also up-regulates the transcription factor FOXP3 on CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells. These effects are only seen with activated CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells and are associated with the expression of CD44 isomers that more highly bind high m.w. hyaluronan. At higher concentrations, high m.w. hyaluronan also has direct suppressive effects on T cells. We propose that the state of HA in the matrix environment provides contextual cues to CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells and T cells, thereby providing a link between the innate inflammatory network and the regulation of adaptive immune responses.
View details for Web of Science ID 000247752100007
View details for PubMedID 17617562
- Histoplasmosis presenting as an isolated spinal cord lesion ARCHIVES OF NEUROLOGY 2006; 63 (12): 1802-1803
CD1d-restricted T-cell subsets and dendritic cell function in autoimmunity
IMMUNOLOGY AND CELL BIOLOGY
2004; 82 (3): 307-314
CD1-restricted T cells have been shown to play a critical role in host defence, tumour surveillance, and maintenance of tolerance. However, immunologic outcomes resulting from activation of CD1d-restricted T cells can be either beneficial or deleterious. A major mechanism by which CD1d-restricted T cells are thought to exert immunoregulatory control is via effects on dendritic cell (DC) differentiation and migration. Important functional subsets of CD1d-restricted T cells are also known to exist and the potential implications for preferential subset activations are discussed.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1711.2004.01253.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000221866600011
View details for PubMedID 15186262
Multiple differences in gene expression in regulatory V alpha 24J alpha Q T cells from identical twins discordant for type 1 diabetes
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2000; 97 (13): 7411-7416
Quantitative and qualitative defects in CD1d-restricted T cells have been demonstrated in human and murine autoimmune diseases. To investigate the transcriptional consequences of T cell receptor activation in human Valpha24JalphaQ T cell clones, DNA microarrays were used to quantitate changes in mRNA levels after anti-CD3 stimulation of clones derived from identical twins discordant for type 1 diabetes and IL-4 secretion. Activation resulted in significant modulation of 226 transcripts in the IL-4 secreting clone and 86 in the IL-4-null clone. Only 28 of these genes were in common. The differences observed suggest both ineffective differentiation of diabetic Valpha24JalphaQ T cells and a role for invariant T cells in the recruitment and activation of cells from the myeloid lineage.
View details for Web of Science ID 000087811600087
View details for PubMedID 10840051
Reconstructing the complex evolutionary history of hepatitis B virus
JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION
1999; 49 (1): 130-141
A detailed analysis of the evolutionary history of hepatitis B virus (HBV) was undertaken using 39 mammalian hepadnaviruses for which complete genome sequences were available, including representatives of all six human genotypes, as well as a large sample of small S gene sequences. Phylogenetic trees of these data were ambiguous, supporting no single place of origin for HBV, and depended heavily on the underlying model of DNA substitution. In some instances genotype F, predominant in the Americas, was the first to diverge, suggesting that the virus arose in the New World. In other trees, however, sequences from genotype B, prevalent in East Asia, were the most divergent. An attempt was also made to determine the rate of nucleotide substitution in the C open reading frame and then to date the origin of HBV. However, no relationship between time and number of substitutions was found in two independent data sets, indicating that a reliable molecular clock does not exist for these data. Both the pattern and the rate of nucleotide substitution are therefore complex phenomena in HBV and hinder any attempt to reconstruct the past spread of this virus.
View details for Web of Science ID 000080974500014
View details for PubMedID 10368441
Recombination between sequences of hepatitis B virus from different genotypes
JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION
1996; 42 (2): 97-102
A comparison of 25 hepatitis B virus (HBV) isolates for which complete genome sequences are available revealed two that occupied different positions in phylogenetic trees reconstructed from different open reading frames. Further analysis indicated that this incongruence was the result of recombination between viruses of different genomic and antigenic types. Both putative recombinants originated from geographic regions where multiple genotypes are known to cocirculate. A search of the sequence databases showed evidence of similar intergenotypic recombinants. These observations indicate that recombination between divergent strains may represent an important source of genetic variation in HBV.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996UC69800005
View details for PubMedID 8919861