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Rothchild A.C.,Harvard University | Rothchild A.C.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Jayaraman P.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Nunes-Alves C.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens

Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are activated during infection, but how they limit microbial growth is unknown in most cases. We investigated how iNKT cells suppress intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) replication. When co-cultured with infected macrophages, iNKT cell activation, as measured by CD25 upregulation and IFNγ production, was primarily driven by IL-12 and IL-18. In contrast, iNKT cell control of Mtb growth was CD1d-dependent, and did not require IL-12, IL-18, or IFNγ. This demonstrated that conventional activation markers did not correlate with iNKT cell effector function during Mtb infection. iNKT cell control of Mtb replication was also independent of TNF and cell-mediated cytotoxicity. By dissociating cytokine-driven activation and CD1d-restricted effector function, we uncovered a novel mediator of iNKT cell antimicrobial activity: GM-CSF. iNKT cells produced GM-CSF in vitro and in vivo in a CD1d-dependent manner during Mtb infection, and GM-CSF was both necessary and sufficient to control Mtb growth. Here, we have identified GM-CSF production as a novel iNKT cell antimicrobial effector function and uncovered a potential role for GM-CSF in T cell immunity against Mtb. © 2014 Rothchild et al. Source

Iannitti R.G.,University of Perugia | Carvalho A.,University of Perugia | Carvalho A.,University of Minho | Carvalho A.,ICVS 3Bs PT Government Associate Laboratory | Romani L.,University of Perugia
Trends in Immunology

Fungal infections and related diseases have a high morbidity and mortality rate. Human antifungal vaccines are therefore of great interest, however, their development is challenging. Major hurdles include fungal species-specific differences in pathogenic mechanisms and strategies to escape immune surveillance, as well as the fact that individuals susceptible to infection do not necessarily share the same risk factors. Progress in antifungal vaccines demands the integration of immunology with systems biology, immunogenetics and bioinformatics in the arena of both fungal and host biology. Bridging the fields of basic immunology and vaccine research is needed to create individualized host immune profiles that will direct the rational development of customized adjuvants and vaccines with a predicted efficacy in each target population. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Lucassen P.J.,University of Amsterdam | Pruessner J.,McGill University | Sousa N.,University of Minho | Sousa N.,ICVS 3Bs PT Government Associate Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
Acta Neuropathologica

Environmental challenges are part of daily life for any individual. In fact, stress appears to be increasingly present in our modern, and demanding, industrialized society. Virtually every aspect of our body and brain can be influenced by stress and although its effects are partly mediated by powerful corticosteroid hormones that target the nervous system, relatively little is known about when, and how, the effects of stress shift from being beneficial and protective to becoming deleterious. Decades of stress research have provided valuable insights into whether stress can directly induce dysfunction and/or pathological alterations, which elements of stress exposure are responsible, and which structural substrates are involved. Using a broad definition of pathology, we here review the "neuropathology of stress" and focus on structural consequences of stress exposure for different regions of the rodent, primate and human brain. We discuss cytoarchitectural, neuropathological and structural plasticity measures as well as more recent neuroimaging techniques that allow direct monitoring of the spatiotemporal effects of stress and the role of different CNS structures in the regulation of the hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal axis in human brain. We focus on the hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens, prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex, key brain regions that not only modulate emotions and cognition but also the response to stress itself, and discuss disorders like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, Cushing syndrome and dementia. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Silva-Correia J.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Correia S.I.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Oliveira J.M.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Reis R.L.,ICVS 3Bs PT Government Associate Laboratory
Biotechnology Advances

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common painful conditions that lead to work absenteeism, medical visits, and hospitalization. The majority of cases showing signs of LBP are due to age-related degenerative changes in the intervertebral disk (IVD), which are, in fact, associated with multiple spine pathologies. Traditional and more conservative procedures/clinical approaches only treat the symptoms of disease and not the underlying pathology, thus limiting their long-term efficiency. In the last few years, research and development of new approaches aiming to substitute the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus tissue and stimulate its regeneration has been conducted. Regeneration of the damaged IVD using tissue engineering strategies appears particularly promising in pre-clinical studies. Meanwhile, surgical techniques must be adapted to this new approach in order to be as minimally invasive as possible, reducing recovering time and side effects associated to traditional surgeries. In this review, the current knowledge on IVD, its associated pathologies and current surgical procedures are summarized. Furthermore, it also provides a succinct and up-to-date overview on regenerative medicine research, especially on the newest tissue engineering strategies for IVD regeneration. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Silva M.T.,University of Porto | Correia-Neves M.,University of Minho | Correia-Neves M.,ICVS 3Bs PT Government Associate Laboratory
Frontiers in Immunology

Biological cellular systems are groups of cells sharing a set of characteristics, mainly key function and origin. Phagocytes are crucial in the host defense against microbial infection. The previously proposed phagocyte cell systems including the most recent and presently prevailing one, the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS), grouped mononuclear cells but excluded neutrophils, creating an unacceptable situation. As neutrophils are archetypical phagocytes that must be members of comprehensive phagocyte systems, Silva recently proposed the creation of a myeloid phagocyte system (MYPS) that adds neutrophils to the MPS. The phagocytes grouped in the MYPS include the leukocytes neutrophils, inflammatory monocytes, macrophages, and immature myeloid DCs. Here the justifications behind the inclusion of neutrophils in a phagocyte system is expanded and the MYPS are further characterized as a group of dedicated phagocytic cells that function in an interacting and cooperative way in the host defense against microbial infection. Neutrophils and macrophages are considered the main arms of this system. Source

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