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Fajara, Gambia

Sutherland J.S.,Vaccinology Theme Group | Hill P.C.,Vaccinology Theme Group | Hill P.C.,University of Otago | Adetifa I.M.,Vaccinology Theme Group | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Determining what constitutes protective immunity to TB is critical for the development of improved diagnostics and vaccines. The comparison of the immune system between contacts of TB patients, who later develop TB disease (progressors), versus contacts who remain healthy (non-progressors), allows for identification of predictive markers of TB disease. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of the immune system of progressors and non-progressors using a well-characterised TB case-contact (TBCC) platform in The Gambia, West Africa. 22 progressors and 31 non-progressors were analysed at recruitment, 3 months and 18 months (time to progression: median[IQR] of 507[187-714] days). Immunophenotyping of PBMC, plasma cytokine levels and RT-MLPA analysis of whole blood-derived RNA was performed to capture key immune system parameters. At recruitment, progressors had lower PBMC proportions of CD4+ T cells, NKT cells and B cells relative to non-progressors. Analysis of the plasma showed higher levels of IL-18 in progressors compared to non-progressors and analysis of the RNA showed significantly lower gene expression of Bcl2 but higher CCR7 in progressors compared to non-progressors. This study shows several markers that may predict the onset of active TB at a very early stage after infection. Once these markers have been validated in larger studies, they provide avenues to prospectively identify people at risk of developing TB, a key issue in the testing of new TB vaccines. © 2011 Sutherland et al. Source

Pettengill M.,Boston Childrens Hospital | Pettengill M.,Harvard University | Robson S.,Harvard University | Robson S.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | And 17 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2013

Extracellular adenosine, a key regulator of physiology and immune cell function that is found at elevated levels in neonatal blood, is generated by phosphohydrolysis of adenine nucleotides released from cells and catabolized by deamination to inosine. Generation of adenosine monophosphate (AMP) in blood is driven by cell-associated enzymes, whereas conversion of AMP to adenosine is largely mediated by soluble enzymes. The identities of the enzymes responsible for these activities in whole blood of neonates have been defined in this study and contrasted to adult blood. We demonstrate that soluble 5'-nucleotidase (5'-NT) and alkaline phosphatase (AP) mediate conversion of AMP to adenosine, whereas soluble adenosine deaminase (ADA) catabolizes adenosine to inosine. Newborn blood plasma demonstrates substantially higher adenosine-generating 5'-NT and AP activity and lower adenosine-metabolizing ADA activity than adult plasma. In addition to a role in soluble purine metabolism, abundant AP expressed on the surface of circulating neonatal neutrophils is the dominant AMPase on these cells. Plasma samples from infant observational cohorts reveal a relative plasma ADA deficiency at birth, followed by a gradual maturation of plasma ADA through infancy. The robust adenosine-generating capacity of neonates appears functionally relevant because supplementation with AMP inhibited whereas selective pharmacologic inhibition of 5'-NT enhanced Toll-like receptor-mediated TNF-α production in neonatal whole blood. Overall, we have characterized previously unrecognized age-dependent expression patterns of plasma purine-metabolizing enzymes that result in elevated plasma concentrations of anti-inflammatory adenosine in newborns. Targeted manipulation of purine-metabolizing enzymes may benefit this vulnerable population. © 2013 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Source

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