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Willart M.A.M.,Ghent University | Poulliot P.,Ghent University | Lambrecht B.N.,Flemish Institute for Biotechnology | Lambrecht B.N.,Erasmus Medical Center | Kool M.,Erasmus Medical Center
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2013

Sensitization of mice to real-life allergens or harmless antigen with the use of adjuvants will lead to the induction of DAMPs in the immune system. We have shown that the Th2-inducing adjuvant aluminum hydroxide or exposure of the airways to house dust mite leads to the release of DAMPs: uric acid, ATP, and IL-1. Exposure to DAMPs or PAMPs present in allergens or added to harmless allergens, such as the experimental allergen ovalbumin, induces several immune responses, including cellular influx and activation. Cellular influx can be analyzed by flow cytometry. Likewise, cellular activation can be assessed by measuring increased expression and release of chemokines and cytokines. These inflammatory mediators can be analyzed by ELISA or confocal microscopy. Here, we describe the protocols for these assessments and a protocol that takes advantage of bone marrow chimeric mice to further elucidate mechanism. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Wiedmann S.,University of Wurzburg | Norrving B.,Lund University | Nowe T.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Abilleira S.,Stroke Programme Catalan Agency for Health Information | And 8 more authors.
Stroke | Year: 2012

Background and Purpose-: Quality indicators serve as standards of care by which performance of individual hospitals is measured. Although several audits for monitoring quality of stroke care have been established in Europe, there is currently no consensus on quality indicators for acute stroke care or for methodology for collecting information on these measures. Methods-: An up-to-date inventory on European stroke audits in place in 2006 was performed in the course of a project funded by the European Union (European Implementation Score Collaboration [EIS]). Two regional (Flanders, Belgium; Catalonia, Spain) and 4 national (Germany, Scotland, Sweden, England/Wales/Northern Ireland) stroke audits took part. Between November 2009 and July 2010, 2 standardized surveys and a series of interviews were performed to determine characteristics, Methods, and content of these quality initiatives. For quality purposes, all summarized information was validated by representatives of the respective audits. Results-: Overall, 123 quality indicators (91 process, 24 outcome, and 8 structural indicators) were identified. Anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation and brain imaging were the only quality indicators used in all, whereas another 13 indicators were used in at least 2 of the quality initiatives. Substantial variations were found across the audits in terms of the development process of quality indicators, inclusion criteria, participation, population coverage, data documentation, follow-ups, benchmarking, and feedback of Results to participants. Conclusions-: There is a huge variety in measuring performance of acute stroke care in Europe, hampering valid comparisons of acute stroke care. Common standards for defining quality indicators and collecting information required for these measures should be defined in Europe. © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc. Source

Pozo M.I.,Catholic University of Leuven | Herrera C.M.,CSIC - Donana Biological Station | Van den Ende W.,Catholic University of Leuven | Verstrepen K.,Flemish Institute for Biotechnology | And 2 more authors.
FEMS Microbiology Ecology | Year: 2015

Floral nectars become easily colonized by microbes, most often species of the ascomycetous yeast genus Metschnikowia. Although it is known that nectar composition can vary tremendously among plant species, most probably corresponding to the nutritional requirements of their main pollinators, far less is known about how variation in nectar chemistry affects intraspecific variation in nectarivorous yeasts. Because variation in nectar traits probably affects growth and abundance of nectar yeasts, nectar yeasts can be expected to display large phenotypic variation in order to cope with varying nectar conditions. To test this hypothesis, we related variation in the phenotypic landscape of a vast collection of nectar-living yeast isolates from two Metschnikowia species (M. reukaufii and M. gruessii) to nectar chemical traits using non-linear redundancy analyses. Nectar yeasts were collected from 19 plant species from different plant families to include as much variation in nectar chemical traits as possible. As expected, nectar yeasts displayed large variation in phenotypic traits, particularly in traits related to growth performance in carbon sources and inhibitors, which was significantly related to the host plant from which they were isolated. Total sugar concentration and relative fructose content significantly explained the observed variation in the phenotypic profile of the investigated yeast species, indicating that sugar concentration and composition are the key traits that affect phenotypic variation in nectarivorous yeasts. © FEMS 2015. Source

Vluymans S.,Ghent University | Vluymans S.,Flemish Institute for Biotechnology | Saeys Y.,Inflammation Research Center Flemish Institute for Biotechnology | Saeys Y.,Ghent University | And 3 more authors.
Fundamenta Informaticae | Year: 2015

Data used in machine learning applications is prone to contain both vague and incomplete information. Many authors have proposed to use fuzzy rough set theory in the development of new techniques tackling these characteristics. Fuzzy sets deal with vague data, while rough sets allow to model incomplete information. As such, the hybrid setting of the two paradigms is an ideal candidate tool to confront the separate challenges. In this paper, we present a thorough review on the use of fuzzy rough sets in machine learning applications. We recall their integration in preprocessing methods and consider learning algorithms in the supervised, unsupervised and semi-supervised domains and outline future challenges. Throughout the paper, we highlight the interaction between theoretical advances on fuzzy rough sets and practical machine learning tools that take advantage of them. Source

Coquet J.M.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | Coquet J.M.,Flemish Institute for Biotechnology | Middendorp S.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | Middendorp S.,University Utrecht | And 6 more authors.
Immunity | Year: 2013

T helper 17 (Th17) cells protect against infection but also promote inflammation and autoimmunity. Therefore, the factors that govern Th17 cell differentiation are of special interest. The CD27 and CD70 costimulatory pathway impeded Th17 effector cell differentiation and associated autoimmunity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. CD27 or CD70 deficiency exacerbated disease, whereas constitutive CD27 signaling strongly reduced disease incidence and severity. CD27 signaling did not impact master regulators of T helper cell lineage commitment but selectively repressed transcription of the key effector molecules interleukin-17 (IL-17) and the chemokine receptor CCR6 in differentiating Th17 cells. CD27 mediated this repression at least in part via the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway that restrained IL-17 and CCR6 expression in differentiating Th17 cells. CD27 signaling also resulted in epigenetic silencing of the Il17a gene. Thus, CD27 costimulation via JNK signaling, transcriptional, and epigenetic effects suppresses Th17 effector cell function and associated pathological consequences. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

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