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Milhano N.,Health Vectors | Saito T.B.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Bechelli J.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Fang R.,University of Texas Medical Branch | And 3 more authors.
Medical and Veterinary Entomology | Year: 2015

Animal models have been developed for the study of rickettsial pathogenesis. However, to understand what occurs during the natural route of rickettsial transmission via the tick bite, the role of tick saliva should be considered in these models. To address this, we analysed the role of tick saliva in the transmission of Rickettsia conorii (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) in a murine host by intradermally (i.d.) inoculating two groups of susceptible C3H/HeJ mice with this Rickettsia, and infesting one group with nymphal Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (Ixodida: Ixodidae) ticks. Quantification of bacterial loads and mRNA levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-10 and NF-κB was performed in C3H/HeJ lung samples by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time reverse transcriptase PCR, respectively. Lung histology was examined to evaluate the pathological manifestations of infection. No statistically significant difference in bacterial load in the lungs of mice was observed between these two groups; however, a statistically significant difference was observed in levels of IL-1β and NF-κB, both of which were higher in the group inoculated with rickettsiae but not infected with ticks. Lung histology in both groups of animals revealed infiltration of inflammatory cells. Overall, this study showed that i.d. inoculation of R.conorii caused infection in the lungs of C3H/HeJ mice and tick saliva inhibited proinflammatory effects. © 2015 The Royal Entomological Society.

Weller P.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Bankfalvi A.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Gu X.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Dominas N.,University of Duisburg - Essen | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Cancer | Year: 2014

Expression of the forkhead transcription factor (FoxP3) - an established marker of regulatory T cells - has been found in other cell types as well, including tumour cells. Recent studies indicated that high tumour FoxP3 expression might be associated with a poor outcome of patients with several types of solid cancers. Here, we investigated the role of FoxP3 expressed by the tumour cells in the prognosis of larynx and oro-hypopharynx squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC and OHSCC) - two major subtypes of head and neck cancer. To this end, we analysed by immunohistochemistry the expression of tumour FoxP3 in tissues from 83 LSCC and 89 OHSCC patients in relation to overall survival. In multivariate analysis we found that high tumour FoxP3 expression significantly associated with poor survival in OHSCC but not in LSCC patients. In further studies, we combined the prognostic value of FoxP3 with selected markers of inflammation (cyclooxygenase-2; COX2) or with markers of enhanced tumour migration/invasion (AHNAK and CORTACTIN). Interestingly, we found that the combination of FoxP3 and AHNAK (in LSCC) or FoxP3 and CORTACTIN (in OHSCC) had significantly stronger prognostic values than either marker analysed individually. Combination of FoxP3 and COX2 enhanced the prognostic accuracy only in OHSCC. Thus, our study identifies novel individual and combination markers that might have enhanced and distinct prognostic relevance in different subtypes of head and neck cancer. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Wagner F.M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Brizic I.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Prager A.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Trsan T.,University of Rijeka | And 12 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2013

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) forms two gH/gL glycoprotein complexes, gH/gL/gO and gH/gL/pUL(128,130,131A), which determine the tropism, the entry pathways and the mode of spread of the virus. For murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), which serves as a model for HCMV, a gH/gL/gO complex functionally homologous to the HCMV gH/gL/gO complex has been described. Knock-out of MCMV gO does impair, but not abolish, virus spread indicating that also MCMV might form an alternative gH/gL complex. Here, we show that the MCMV CC chemokine MCK-2 forms a complex with the glycoprotein gH, a complex which is incorporated into the virion. We could additionally show that mutants lacking both, gO and MCK-2 are not able to produce infectious virus. Trans-complementation of these double mutants with either gO or MCK-2 showed that both proteins can promote infection of host cells, although through different entry pathways. MCK-2 has been extensively studied in vivo by others. It has been shown to be involved in attracting cells for virus dissemination and in regulating antiviral host responses. We now show that MCK-2, by forming a complex with gH, strongly promotes infection of macrophages in vitro and in vivo. Thus, MCK-2 may play a dual role in MCMV infection, as a chemokine regulating the host response and attracting specific target cells and as part of a glycoprotein complex promoting entry into cells crucial for virus dissemination. © 2013 Wagner et al.

Hammoud A.A.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Kirstein N.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Mournetas V.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Darracq A.,Lebanese University | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) are expanded and maintained pluripotent in vitro in the presence of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), an IL6 cytokine family member which displays pleiotropic functions, depending on both cell maturity and cell type. LIF withdrawal leads to heterogeneous differentiation of mESCs with a proportion of the differentiated cells apoptosising. During LIF withdrawal, cells sequentially enter a reversible and irreversible phase of differentiation during which LIF addition induces different effects. However the regulators and effectors of LIF-mediated reprogramming are poorly understood. By employing a LIF-dependent 'plasticity' test, that we set up, we show that Klf5, but not JunB is a key LIF effector. Furthermore PI3K signaling, required for the maintenance of mESC pluripotency, has no effect on mESC plasticity while displaying a major role in committed cells by stimulating expression of the mesodermal marker Brachyury at the expense of endoderm and neuroectoderm lineage markers. We also show that the MMP1 metalloproteinase, which can replace LIF for maintenance of pluripotency, mimics LIF in the plasticity window, but less efficiently. Finally, we demonstrate that mESCs maintain plasticity and pluripotency potentials in vitro under hypoxic/physioxic growth conditions at 3% O2 despite lower levels of Pluri and Master gene expression in comparison to 20% O2. © 2016 Hammoud et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

De Carvalho I.L.,New University of Lisbon | De Carvalho I.L.,Health Vectors | Rocha D.K.,New University of Lisbon | Almeida A.P.G.,New University of Lisbon
In Vivo | Year: 2011

A serological survey was conducted in Macao, China, in 753 individuals, with the objective of looking for antibodies to the mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse 1894) (Diptera: Culicidae), and to dengue, before the occurrence of any autochthonous dengue cases. Blood samples were collected at several public health services, a questionnaire was answered, and enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) and Western blot techniques were performed with extracts of mosquito head and thorax (HT). And-Aedes albopictus IgG antibodies were present in titres 1:102-1:103 in 9%, and in titres 1.-10 4-1:105 in 42% of the sera tested. This reactivity was more frequent (59%) in the population which had resided only in Macao in the 2 years previous to the survey, as opposed to those that had also resided in other areas (50%). From the 230 reactive sera selected for immunoblot, 48 (21%) reacted with a wide range of proteins from above 224 kDa to 21 kDa, with different patterns according to individual sera. Proteins in the intervals 35.3-28.7 kDa and 28.7-21.1 kDa were labelled by the greatest number of sera, 15 and 19 respectively. The presence of anti-Aedes albopictus antibodies presented a statistical relation to skin reaction to mosquito bites, but immunoblot patterns did not. Anti-dengue IgG antibodies were found in 48% of the subjects, with a higher proportion in people who had resided out of Macao, or who were nationals from dengue-endemic neighboring countries. Anti-dengue reactivity was in agreement with anti-mosquito reactivity in half of the population. It would be interesting to see if this proportion has changed since dengue became endemic in Macao in 2001.

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