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Angin M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Sharma S.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | King M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Murooka T.T.,Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

The impact of CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) pathogenesis remains incompletely understood. Although it has been shown that Tregs can be infected with HIV-1, the consequences of infection on a per-cell basis are still unknown. In vitro HIV-GFP infected and noninfected Tregs were isolated by flow-based cell-sorting to investigate Treg suppressive capacity and gene expression profiles. Our data show that HIV-1-infected Tregs were significantly less suppressive than noninfected Tregs and demonstrated down-regulation of genes critical to Treg function. This impaired function may have detrimental consequences for the control of generalized immune activation and accelerate HIV disease progression. © The Author 2014.

Lochhead R.B.,University of Utah | Zachary J.F.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Rosa L.D.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Ma Y.,University of Utah | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

MicroRNA-155 has been shown to play a role in immune activation and inflammation, and is suppressed by IL-10, an important anti-inflammatory cytokine. The established involvement of IL-10 in the murine model of Borrelia burgdorferi-induced Lyme arthritis and carditis allowed us to assess the interplay between IL-10 and miR-155 in vivo. As reported previously, Mir155 was highly upregulated in joints from infected severely arthritic B6 Il10-/-mice, but not in mildly arthritic B6 mice. In infected hearts, Mir155 was upregulated in both strains, suggesting a role of miR-155 in Lyme carditis. Using B. burgdorferi-infected B6, Mir155-/-, Il10-/-, and Mir155-/-Il10-/-double-knockout (DKO) mice, we found that anti-inflammatory IL-10 and pro-inflammatory miR-155 have opposite and somewhat compensatory effects on myeloid cell activity, cytokine production, and antibody response. Both IL-10 and miR-155 were required for suppression of Lyme carditis. Infected Mir155-/-mice developed moderate/ severe carditis, had higher B. burgdorferi numbers, and had reduced Th1 cytokine expression in hearts. In contrast, while Il10-/-And DKO mice also developed severe carditis, hearts had reduced bacterial numbers and elevated Th1 and innate cytokine expression. Surprisingly, miR-155 had little effect on Lyme arthritis. These results show that antagonistic interplay between IL-10 and miR-155 is required to balance host defense and immune activation in vivo, and this balance is particularly important for suppression of Lyme carditis. These results also highlight tissue-specific differences in Lyme arthritis and carditis pathogenesis, and reveal the importance of IL-10-mediated regulation of miR-155 in maintaining healthy immunity. Copyright: © 2015 Lochhead et al.

Seung E.,Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases
The Journal of infectious diseases | Year: 2013

Humanized mice historically have not been good models of human humoral immunity induced by either infection or immunization. However, newer versions of humanized mice generated in severely immunodeficient mice with a targeted disruption of the IL2Rγc gene have recently been reported to produce antigen-specific class-switched human antibodies, with some demonstrating neutralizing activities. Here we review the growing ability of humanized mice to support the study of human humoral immune responses, discussing the current and future potential of these models as well as their current limitations.

Rhee E.P.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Rhee E.P.,Cambridge Broad Institute | Cheng S.,Boston University | Cheng S.,Brigham and Womens Hospital | And 30 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2011

Dyslipidemia is an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes, although exactly which of the many plasma lipids contribute to this remains unclear. We therefore investigated whether lipid profiling can inform diabetes prediction by performing liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry - based lipid profiling in 189 individuals who developed type 2 diabetes and 189 matched disease-free individuals, with over 12 years of follow up in the Framingham Heart Study. We found that lipids of lower carbon number and double bond content were associated with an increased risk of diabetes, whereas lipids of higher carbon number and double bond content were associated with decreased risk. This pattern was strongest for triacylglycerols (TAGs) and persisted after multivariable adjustment for age, sex, BMI, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, total triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol. A combination of 2 TAGs further improved diabetes prediction. To explore potential mechanisms that modulate the distribution of plasma lipids, we performed lipid profiling during oral glucose tolerance testing, pharmacologic interventions, and acute exercise testing. Levels of TAGs associated with increased risk for diabetes decreased in response to insulin action and were elevated in the setting of insulin resistance. Conversely, levels of TAGs associated with decreased diabetes risk rose in response to insulin and were poorly correlated with insulin resistance. These studies identify a relationship between lipid acyl chain content and diabetes risk and demonstrate how lipid profiling could aid in clinical risk assessment. Copyright © 2011, The American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Malhotra R.,Cardiovascular Research Center | Burke M.F.,Cardiovascular Research Center | Martyn T.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Shakartzi H.R.,Massachusetts General Hospital | And 17 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Objective: Matrix Gla protein (MGP) is reported to inhibit bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signal transduction. MGP deficiency is associated with medial calcification of the arterial wall, in a process that involves both osteogenic transdifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and mesenchymal transition of endothelial cells (EndMT). In this study, we investigated the contribution of BMP signal transduction to the medial calcification that develops in MGP-deficient mice. Approach and Results: MGP-deficient mice (MGP-/-) were treated with one of two BMP signaling inhibitors, LDN-193189 or ALK3-Fc, beginning one day after birth. Aortic calcification was assessed in 28-day-old mice by measuring the uptake of a fluorescent bisphosphonate probe and by staining tissue sections with Alizarin red. Aortic calcification was 80% less in MGP-/- mice treated with LDN-193189 or ALK3-Fc compared with vehicle-treated control animals (P<0.001 for both). LDN-193189-treated MGP-/- mice survived longer than vehicle-treated MGP-/- mice. Levels of phosphorylated Smad1/5 and Id1 mRNA (markers of BMP signaling) did not differ in the aortas from MGP-/- and wild-type mice. Markers of EndMT and osteogenesis were increased in MGP-/- aortas, an effect that was prevented by LDN-193189. Calcification of isolated VSMCs was also inhibited by LDN-193189. Conclusions: Inhibition of BMP signaling leads to reduced vascular calcification and improved survival in MGP-/- mice. The EndMT and osteogenic transdifferentiation associated with MGP deficiency is dependent upon BMP signaling. These results suggest that BMP signal transduction has critical roles in the development of vascular calcification in MGP-deficient mice. © 2015 Malhotra et al.

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