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Shamji M.H.,Imperial College London | Layhadi J.A.,Imperial College London | Scadding G.W.,Imperial College London | Cheung D.K.M.,Imperial College London | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Background Immunotherapy inhibits basophil histamine release, but the assay is cumbersome, and no one has studied the effects of immunotherapy withdrawal. Objective Intracellular fluorochrome-labeled diamine oxidase (DAO) was used as a novel functional readout of basophil histamine release after immunotherapy. Results were compared with conventional basophil surface expression of activation markers. Methods Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT)-treated patients (n = 14), sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)-treated patients (n = 12), participants who completed 3 years of treatment with grass pollen sublingual immunotherapy (the SLIT-TOL group; n = 6), patients with untreated seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR; n = 24), and nonatopic control subjects (n = 12) were studied. Intracellularly labeled DAO+ and surface expression of CD203cbright, CD63+, and CD107a+ on chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on TH2 lymphocytes (CRTh2)-positive basophils were measured by means of flow cytometry. Serum IgG4 levels and serum inhibitory activity for IgE-allergen complex binding to B cells (IgE-FAB) and basophil histamine release were also determined. Results Proportions of allergen-stimulated DAO+CRTh2+ basophils were higher in participants in the SCIT, SLIT, and SLIT-TOL groups (all P <.0001) compared with those in patients in the SAR group. Similarly, there were lower proportions of CRTh2+ basophils expressing surface CD203cbright (all P <.001), CD63 (all P <.001), and CD107a (all P <.01). Rhinitis symptoms were lower in the SCIT, SLIT, and SLIT-TOL groups (P <.001) compared with those in the SAR group. Serum inhibitory activity for IgE-FAB and basophil histamine release were also significantly greater in all immunotherapy groups (P <.05) compared with the SAR group. Conclusion These results support long-term clinical and immunologic tolerance during and after grass pollen immunotherapy. Intracellularly labeled DAO expression by basophils merits further investigation as a surrogate biomarker for monitoring efficacy and tolerance after immunotherapy. © 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Rigby M.R.,Indiana University | Ehlers M.R.,Immune Tolerance Network
Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity | Year: 2014

Purpose of Review: Although insulin is lifesaving and sustaining for those with type 1 diabetes (T1D), curing the disease will be much more complex than simple replacement of this hormone. T1D is an autoimmune disease orchestrated by T cells, and includes many arms of the immune response. Tremendous effort has gone into understanding its underlying immune, genetic, and environmental causes, and this progress has led to immunologically based clinical trials in T1D. This review will focus primarily on the clinical trials of the past decade that have attempted to translate these fundamental findings. Recent Findings: It is known that powerful, nonspecific immune suppressants can temporarily slow the course of newly diagnosed T1D, yet are too toxic for long-term use, especially in children. Recent clinical trials to reverse T1D have used newly developed therapies that target specific components of the immune process believed to be involved with T1D. Although well justified and designed, no recent approach has resulted in clinical remission and few have had any effect on disease course. SUMMARY: Advances in our fundamental understanding of how the human diabetes immune response is activated and regulated coupled with lessons that have been learnt from the most recent era of completed trials are guiding us toward the development of more effective, multipronged therapies to ablate diabetes autoimmunity, restore immune tolerance, preserve β cells, and, ultimately, improve the lives of patients with T1D. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Specks U.,Mayo Medical School | Merkel P.A.,Boston University | Seo P.,Johns Hopkins University | Spiera R.,Hospital for Special Surgery | And 27 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND: The 18-month efficacy of a single course of rituximab as compared with conventional immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide followed by azathioprine in patients with severe (organ-threatening) antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)- associated vasculitis is unknown. METHODS: In a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, noninferiority trial, we compared rituximab (375 mg per square meter of body-surface area administered once a week for 4 weeks) followed by placebo with cyclophosphamide administered for 3 to 6 months followed by azathioprine for 12 to 15 months. The primary outcome measure was complete remission of disease by 6 months, with the remission maintained through 18 months. RESULTS: A total of 197 patients were enrolled. As reported previously, 64% of the patients in the rituximab group, as compared with 53% of the patients in the cyclophosphamide-azathioprine group, had a complete remission by 6 months. At 12 and 18 months, 48% and 39%, respectively, of the patients in the rituximab group had maintained the complete remissions, as compared with 39% and 33%, respectively, in the comparison group. Rituximab met the prespecified criteria for noninferiority (P<0.001, with a noninferiority margin of 20%). There was no significant difference between the groups in any efficacy measure, including the duration of complete remission and the frequency or severity of relapses. Among the 101 patients who had relapsing disease at baseline, rituximab was superior to conventional immunosuppression at 6 months (P = 0.01) and at 12 months (P = 0.009) but not at 18 months (P = 0.06), at which time most patients in the rituximab group had reconstituted B cells. There was no significant between-group difference in adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with severe ANCA-associated vasculitis, a single course of rituximab was as effective as continuous conventional immunosuppressive therapy for the induction and maintenance of remissions over the course of 18 months. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; RAVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00104299.) Copyright © 2013 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Herold K.C.,Yale University | Gitelman S.E.,University of California at San Francisco | Ehlers M.R.,Immune Tolerance Network | Gottlieb P.A.,Aurora University | And 9 more authors.
Diabetes | Year: 2013

Trials of immune therapies in new-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D) have shown success, but not all subjects respond, and the duration of response is limited. Our aim was to determine whether two courses of teplizumab, an Fc receptor-nonbinding anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, reduces the decline in C-peptide levels in patients with T1D 2 years after disease onset. We also set out to identify characteristics of responders. We treated 52 subjects with new-onset T1D with teplizumab for 2 weeks at diagnosis and after 1 year in an open-label, randomized, controlled trial. In the intent to treat analysis of the primary end point, patients treated with teplizumab had a reduced decline in C-peptide at 2 years (mean 20.28 nmol/L [95% CI 20.36 to 20.20]) versus control (mean 20.46 nmol/L [95% CI 20.57 to 20.35]; P = 0.002), a 75% improvement. The most common adverse events were rash, transient upper respiratory infections, headache, and nausea. In a post hoc analysis we characterized clinical responders and found that metabolic (HbA1c and insulin use) and immunologic features distinguished this group from those who did not respond to teplizumab. We conclude that teplizumab treatment preserves insulin production and reduces the use of exogenous insulin in some patients with new-onset T1D. Metabolic and immunologic features at baseline can identify a subgroup with robust responses to immune therapy. © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.

Newell K.A.,Emory University | Asare A.,University of California at San Francisco | Kirk A.D.,Emory University | Gisler T.D.,University of California at San Francisco | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2010

Establishing long-term allograft acceptance without the requirement for continuous immunosuppression, a condition known as allograft tolerance, is a highly desirable therapeutic goal in solid organ transplantation. Determining which recipients would benefit from withdrawal or minimization of immunosuppression would be greatly facilitated by biomarkers predictive of tolerance. In this study, we identified the largest reported cohort to our knowledge of tolerant renal transplant recipients, as defined by stable graft function and receiving no immunosuppression for more than 1 year, and compared their gene expression profiles and peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets with those of subjects with stable graft function who are receiving immunosuppressive drugs as well as healthy controls. In addition to being associated with clinical and phenotypic parameters, renal allograft tolerance was strongly associated with a B cell signature using several assays. Tolerant subjects showed increased expression of multiple B cell differentiation genes, and a set of just 3 of these genes distinguished tolerant from nontolerant recipients in a unique test set of samples. This B cell signature was associated with upregulation of CD20 mRNA in urine sediment cells and elevated numbers of peripheral blood naive and transitional B cells in tolerant participants compared with those receiving immunosuppression. These results point to a critical role for B cells in regulating alloimmunity and provide a candidate set of genes for wider-scale screening of renal transplant recipients.

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