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Stringer S.,University of Birmingham | Sharma P.,University of Birmingham | Dutton M.,University of Birmingham | Jesky M.,University of Birmingham | And 7 more authors.
BMC Nephrology | Year: 2013

Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects up to 16% of the adult population and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. People at highest risk from progressive CKD are defined by a sustained decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and/or the presence of significant albuminuria/proteinuria and/or more advanced CKD. Accurate mapping of the bio-clinical determinants of this group will enable improved risk stratification and direct the development of better targeted management for people with CKD. Methods/Design. The Renal Impairment In Secondary Care study is a prospective, observational cohort study, patients with CKD 4 and 5 or CKD 3 and either accelerated progression and/or proteinuria who are managed in secondary care are eligible to participate. Participants undergo a detailed bio-clinical assessment that includes measures of vascular health, periodontal health, quality of life and socio-economic status, clinical assessment and collection of samples for biomarker analysis. The assessments take place at baseline, and at six, 18, 36, 60 and 120 months; the outcomes of interest include cardiovascular events, progression to end stage kidney disease and death. Discussion. The determinants of progression of chronic kidney disease are not fully understood though there are a number of proposed risk factors for progression (both traditional and novel). This study will provide a detailed bio-clinical phenotype of patients with high-risk chronic kidney disease (high risk of both progression and cardiovascular events) and will repeatedly assess them over a prolonged follow up period. Recruitment commenced in Autumn 2010 and will provide many outputs that will add to the evidence base for progressive chronic kidney disease. © 2013 Stringer et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Chamba A.,Center for Immune Regulation | Holder M.J.,Center for Immune Regulation | Jarrett R.F.,Institute of Comparative Medicine | Shield L.,Institute of Comparative Medicine | And 3 more authors.
Leukemia Research | Year: 2010

B-cell lines of diverse neoplastic origin express the serotonin transporter (SERT/SLC6A4) and growth arrest in response to SERT-ligands, including the antidepressants chlomipramine and fluoxetine. Here we detail SLC6A4 transcript (Q-PCR) and protein (FACS) expression in primary cells from patients with: chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; mantle cell lymphoma; follicular lymphoma; Burkitt's lymphoma; and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The ability of the SERT-binding antidepressants to impact the growth of these cells when sustained on CD154-transfected fibroblasts was also determined. The results reveal a broad spectrum of primary B-cell malignancies expressing SLC6A4 with a proportion additionally displaying growth arrest on SERT-ligand exposure. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Lunde E.,Center for Immune Regulation | Lunde E.,University of Oslo | Loset G.T.,Center for Immune Regulation | Loset G.T.,University of Oslo | And 4 more authors.
BMC Biotechnology | Year: 2010

Background: Whereas T cell receptors (TCRs) detect peptide/major histocompatibility complexes (pMHCs) with exquisite specificity, there are challenges regarding their expression and use as soluble detection molecules due to molecular instability. We have investigated strategies for the production of TCR-immunoglobulin (Ig) fusion proteins. Two different TCRs that are characteristic of a mouse model for idiotype (Id) dependent immune regulation were engineered. They are structurally unrelated with different variable (V), diversity (D) and joining (J) segments, but each share one V gene segment, either Vαor Vβ, with the well characterized murine TCR, 2C.Results: Several TCR-Ig formats were assessed. In one, the TCR V domains were fused to Ig constant (C) regions. In others, the complete extracellular part of the TCR was fused either to a complete Ig or an Ig Fc region. All molecules were initially poorly secreted from eukaryotic cells, but replacement of unfavourable amino acids in the V regions improved secretion, as did the introduction of a disulfide bridge between the TCR C domains and the removal of an unpaired cysteine. A screening strategy for selection of mutations that stabilize the actual fusion molecules was developed and used successfully. Molecules that included the complete heterodimeric TCR, with a stabilizing disulfide bridge, were correctly folded as they bound TCR-specific antibodies (Abs) and detected pMHC on cells after specific peptide loading.Conclusions: We show that fully functional TCR-Ig fusion proteins can be made in good yields following stabilizing engineering of TCR V and C region genes. This is important since TCR-Ig fusions will be important probes for the presence of specific pMHCs in vitro and in vivo. In the absence of further affinity maturation, the reagents will be very useful for the detection of kinetic stability of complexes of peptide and MHC. © 2010 Lunde et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Lane P.J.L.,Center for Immune Regulation | McConnell F.M.,Center for Immune Regulation | Anderson G.,Center for Immune Regulation | Nawaf M.G.,Center for Immune Regulation | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Immunology | Year: 2014

Although current thinking has focused on genetic variation between individuals and environmental influences as underpinning susceptibility to both autoimmunity and cancer, an alternative view is that human susceptibility to these diseases is a consequence of the way the immune system evolved. It is important to remember that the immunological genes that we inherit and the systems that they control were shaped by the drive for reproductive success rather than for individual survival. It is our view that human susceptibility to autoimmunity and cancer is the evolutionarily acceptable side effect of the immune adaptations that evolved in early placental mammals to accommodate a fundamental change in reproductive strategy. Studies of immune function in mammals show that high affinity antibodies and CD4 memory, along with its regulation, co-evolved with placentation. By dissection of the immunologically active genes and proteins that evolved to regulate this step change in the mammalian immune system, clues have emerged that may reveal ways of de-tuning both effector and regulatory arms of the immune system to abrogate autoimmune responses whilst preserving protection against infection. Paradoxically, it appears that such a detuned and deregulated immune system is much better equipped to mount anti-tumor immune responses against cancers. © 2014 Lane, McConnell, Anderson, Nawaf, Gaspal and Withers. Source

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