German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin

Berlin, Germany

German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin

Berlin, Germany
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Lang A.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Lang A.,German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin | Schulz A.,German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin | Ellinghaus A.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Schmidt-Bleek K.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin
Laboratory Animals | Year: 2016

Fracture healing is a complex regeneration process which produces new bone tissue without scar formation. However, fracture healing disorders occur in approximately 10% of human patients and cause severe pain and reduced quality of life. Recently, the development of more standardized, sophisticated and commercially available osteosynthesis techniques reflecting clinical approaches has increased the use of small rodents such as rats and mice in bone healing research dramatically. Nevertheless, there is no standard for pain assessment, especially in these species, and consequently limited information regarding the welfare aspects of osteotomy models. Moreover, the selection of analgesics is restricted for osteotomy models since nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are known to affect the initial, inflammatory phase of bone healing. Therefore, opioids such as buprenorphine and tramadol are often used. However, dosage data in the literature are varied. Within this review, we clarify the background of osteotomy models, explain the current status and challenges of animal welfare assessment, and provide an example score sheet including model specific parameters. Furthermore, we summarize current refinement options and present a brief outlook on further 3R research. © The Author(s) 2016.


Bacher P.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Kniemeyer O.,Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology | Kniemeyer O.,University Hospital | Schonbrunn A.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | And 9 more authors.
Mucosal Immunology | Year: 2014

Foxp3 + regulatory T cells (Treg) have a central role for keeping the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory immune responses against chronically encountered antigens at mucosal sites. However, their antigen specificity especially in humans is largely unknown. Here we used a sensitive enrichment technology for antigen-reactive T cells to directly compare the conventional vs. regulatory CD4 + T-cell response directed against two ubiquitous mucosal fungi, Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans. In healthy humans, fungus-specific CD4 + CD25 + CD127 - Foxp3 + Treg are strongly expanded in peripheral blood and possess phenotypic, epigenetic and functional features of thymus-derived Treg. Intriguingly, for A. fumigatus, the strong Treg response contrasts with minimal conventional T-cell memory, indicating selective Treg expansion as an effective mechanism to prevent inappropriate immune activation in healthy individuals. By contrast, in subjects with A. fumigatus allergies, specific Th2 cells were strongly expanded despite the presence of specific Treg. Taken together, we demonstrate a largely expanded Treg population specific for mucosal fungi as part of the physiological human T-cell repertoire and identify a unique capacity of A. fumigatus to selectively generate Treg responses as a potentially important mechanism for the prevention of allergic reactions. © 2014 Society for Mucosal Immunology.


Van Der Heijde D.,Leiden University | Van Der Helm-Van Mil A.H.M.,Leiden University | Aletaha D.,Medical University of Vienna | Bingham C.O.,Johns Hopkins University | And 15 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2013

The aim of this report was to propose a definition for erosive disease in the context of inflammatory arthritis in light of the 2010 American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) rheumatoid arthritis (RA) criteria for use in clinical practice and studies. A EULAR task force was formed including 16 rheumatologists and one rheumatology fellow. The process was both evidence based and consensus based, and included, between March 2010 and April 2012, analyses of data from two cohorts, two face-to-face meetings, one online voting and one teleconference. The Leiden Early Arthritis Cohort and the French ESPOIR cohort were used for the evidence-based part. The outcome measures, which were initiation of methotrexate therapy, or any disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy within the first year of disease and arthritis persistency over 5 years, were studied with the aim to give the best definition of erosive disease. A decision was made to select a definition with a high specificity and focus on patients who did not otherwise fulfil the 2010 ACR/EULAR RA criteria (<6 points). By a unanimous vote the following definition was selected: erosive disease for use in the 2010 ACR/EULAR RA classification criteria is defined when an erosion (defined as a cortical break) is seen in at least three separate joints at any of the following sites: the proximal interphalangeal, the metacarpophalangeal, the wrist (counted as one joint) and the metatarsophalangeal joints on radiographs of both hands and feet. A highly specific definition for erosive disease has thus been formulated.


Casati A.,Miltenyi Biotec GmbH | Varghaei-Nahvi A.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Feldman S.A.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Assenmacher M.,Miltenyi Biotec GmbH | And 4 more authors.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2013

The adoptive transfer of lymphocytes genetically engineered to express tumor-specific antigen receptors is a potent strategy to treat cancer patients. T lymphocyte subsets, such as naïve or central memory T cells, selected in vitro prior to genetic engineering have been extensively investigated in preclinical mouse models, where they demonstrated improved therapeutic efficacy. However, so far, this is challenging to realize in the clinical setting, since good manufacturing practices (GMP) procedures for complex cell sorting and genetic manipulation are limited. To be able to directly compare the immunological attributes and therapeutic efficacy of naïve (TN) and central memory (TCM) CD8+ T cells, we investigated clinical-scale procedures for their parallel selection and in vitro manipulation. We also evaluated currently available GMP-grade reagents for stimulation of T cell subsets, including a new type of anti-CD3/anti-CD28 nanomatrix. An optimized protocol was established for the isolation of both CD8+ TN cells (CD4-CD62L+CD45RA +) and CD8+ TCM (CD4-CD62L +CD45RA-) from a single patient. The highly enriched T cell subsets can be efficiently transduced and expanded to large cell numbers, sufficient for clinical applications and equivalent to or better than current cell and gene therapy approaches with unselected lymphocyte populations. The GMP protocols for selection of TN and TCM we reported here will be the basis for clinical trials analyzing safety, in vivo persistence and clinical efficacy in cancer patients and will help to generate a more reliable and efficacious cellular product. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


PubMed | University of Marburg, Australian National University, Institute of Infection Immunology, German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin and University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
Type: | Journal: Nature communications | Year: 2016

Regulatory T-cells induced via IL-2 and TGF in vitro (iTreg) suppress immune cells and are potential therapeutics during autoimmunity. However, several reports described their re-differentiation into pathogenic cells in vivo and loss of their key functional transcription factor (TF) FOXP3 after T-cell antigen receptor (TCR)-signalling in vitro. Here, we show that TCR-activation antagonizes two necessary TFs for foxp3 gene transcription, which are themselves regulated by phosphorylation. Although the tyrosine phosphatase PTPN2 is induced to restrain IL-2-mediated phosphorylation of the TF STAT5, expression of the TF FOXO1 is downregulated and miR-182, a suppressor of FOXO1 expression, is upregulated. TGF counteracts the FOXP3-depleting TCR-signal by reassuring FOXO1 expression and by re-licensing STAT5 phosphorylation. Overexpressed phosphorylation-independent active versions of FOXO1 and STAT5 or knockdown of PTPN2 restores FOXP3 expression despite TCR-signal and absence of TGF. This study suggests novel targets for stabilisation and less dangerous application of iTreg during devastating inflammation.


PubMed | Hannover Medical School, Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, HELIOS Klinikum Krefeld, Charité - Medical University of Berlin and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.) | Year: 2016

To investigate the clinical presentation and medical treatment of patients with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) during the first year of illness. Our study focused on 3-year outcomes in a subsample of patients who were followed up longitudinally.From 2000 to 2013, 597 patients with systemic JIA and a disease duration of 12 months were recorded in the National Pediatric Rheumatologic Database. Among those patients, 3-year outcome data were available for 133. These data included the clinical Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score in 10 joints (JADAS-10) and the physicians global assessment score (on a numerical rating scale), as well as assessment of joint involvement, growth retardation, and patient-reported outcomes.The median clinical JADAS-10 declined significantly, from 7 in 2000 to 2 in 2013, while the proportion of patients with inactive disease increased from 19% in 2000 to 41% in 2013. The rate of treatment with systemic glucocorticoids and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) remained stable from 2000 to 2013. By 2013, the proportion of patients with systemic JIA who were treated with biologic DMARDs had increased to 20%. At 3-year follow-up, 72% of patients with systemic JIA had inactive disease, and 77% had no functional limitations. Growth retardation was associated with persistently high disease activity and continuing treatment with systemic glucocorticoids. At the 3-year follow-up, one-third of patients were still being treated with systemic glucocorticoids.The proportion of patients with inactive disease has increased over the past decade. Possible explanations may include improved access to specialized care, additional treatment options, and earlier or faster step-up treatment. However, challenges in the management of systemic JIA remain, as 30% of patients continue to present with ongoing active disease.


Tokoyoda K.,German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin | Tokoyoda K.,Chiba University | Radbruch A.,German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2012

Established views on the maintenance of immunological memory have been challenged recently by the description of memory plasma cells and memory T helper (Th) lymphocytes residing in the bone marrow (BM) in dedicated survival niches, resting in terms of proliferation and migration. While memory plasma cells are no longer reactive to antigen, memory Th lymphocytes are in a state of attentive rest, and can be reactivated fast and efficiently. Here, we discuss the signals controlling these resting states, which the memory lymphocytes receive from their microenvironment. © 2011 Springer Basel AG.


Matic J.,Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (Stuttgart) | Matic J.,University of Heidelberg | Deeg J.,Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (Stuttgart) | Deeg J.,University of Heidelberg | And 6 more authors.
Nano Letters | Year: 2013

Anti-CD3 (aCD3) nanoarrays fabricated by self-assembled nanopatterning combined with site-directed protein immobilization techniques represent a novel T cell stimulatory platform that allows tight control over ligand orientation and surface density. Here, we show that activation of primary human CD4+ T cells, defined by CD69 upregulation, IL-2 production and cell proliferation, correlates with aCD3 density on nanoarrays. Immobilization of aCD3 through nanopatterning had two effects: cell activation was significantly higher on these surfaces than on aCD3-coated plastics and allowed unprecedented fine-tuning of T cell response. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Alexander T.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Alexander T.,German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin | Sattler A.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Templin L.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | And 10 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2013

Objectives: Recent data debate the suitability of Helios, an Ikaros family member, as a marker for thymic-derived regulatory T cells (Treg). Nevertheless, Foxp3+ Helios+ Treg may be of particular relevance in mediating immune tolerance in chronic autoimmunity, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as they possess enhanced suppressive function, compared to Foxp3+ Helios. Treg. Methods: Multicolour flow cytometry was performed to analyse Foxp3 and Helios expression in peripheral blood CD4 T cells from SLE patients, compared to healthy controls (HC) and systemic sclerosis (SSc) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Cytokine production, chemokine receptor expression for CXCR3 and CCR4, basal signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5)a phosphorylation levels and T-cell receptor (TCR) Vâ repertoire were analysed by flow cytometry, and the methylation status of the Foxp3 locus (Treg-specific demethylated region, TSDR) by real-time PCR. Results: Frequencies of Foxp3+ Helios+ Treg, unlike Foxp3+ Helios. T cells, were significantly increased in SLE patients and positively correlated with disease activity, whereas they were unaltered in SSc and RA patients. Compared to HC, Foxp3+ Helios+ Treg in SLE predominantly displayed a CD45RA./CD31./FoxP3low memory phenotype with increased Ki-67 expression, enhanced basal pSTAT5a levels and a restricted TCR repertoire. Nonetheless, similar to HC, Foxp3+ Helios+ Treg in SLE lacked effector cytokine production, possessed a highly demethylated TSDR and expressed comparable levels of CXCR3 and CCR4. Conclusions: Our data suggest that Helios-expressing Foxp3+ Treg with functional suppressive capacity and migratory potential into inflamed tissues are expanded in active SLE, presumably through γ-chain signalling cytokines and TCR stimulation, to compensate for autoreactive effector responses.

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