Isaac Chiu

Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States

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Publications (14)128.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: An L-rhamnose-based hydrogelator self-assembles to form nanofibrils, which, contrasting to the properties of monomeric L-rhamnose, suppress the antibody response of mice to phycoerythrin (PE), a fluorescent protein antigen. As the first example of the supramolecular assemblies of a saccharide to suppress immunity, this work illustrates a new approach of immunomodulation.
    Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 07/2014; · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nociceptor sensory neurons are specialized to detect potentially damaging stimuli, protecting the organism by initiating the sensation of pain and eliciting defensive behaviours. Bacterial infections produce pain by unknown molecular mechanisms, although they are presumed to be secondary to immune activation. Here we demonstrate that bacteria directly activate nociceptors, and that the immune response mediated through TLR2, MyD88, T cells, B cells, and neutrophils and monocytes is not necessary for Staphylococcus aureus-induced pain in mice. Mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in mice is correlated with live bacterial load rather than tissue swelling or immune activation. Bacteria induce calcium flux and action potentials in nociceptor neurons, in part via bacterial N-formylated peptides and the pore-forming toxin α-haemolysin, through distinct mechanisms. Specific ablation of Nav1.8-lineage neurons, which include nociceptors, abrogated pain during bacterial infection, but concurrently increased local immune infiltration and lymphadenopathy of the draining lymph node. Thus, bacterial pathogens produce pain by directly activating sensory neurons that modulate inflammation, an unsuspected role for the nervous system in host-pathogen interactions.
    Nature 08/2013; · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microglia are resident immune cells of the CNS that are activated by infection, neuronal injury, and inflammation. Here, we utilize flow cytometry and deep RNA sequencing of acutely isolated spinal cord microglia to define their activation in vivo. Analysis of resting microglia identified 29 genes that distinguish microglia from other CNS cells and peripheral macrophages/monocytes. We then analyzed molecular changes in microglia during neurodegenerative disease activation using the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We found that SOD1(G93A) microglia are not derived from infiltrating monocytes, and that both potentially neuroprotective and toxic factors, including Alzheimer's disease genes, are concurrently upregulated. Mutant microglia differed from SOD1(WT), lipopolysaccharide-activated microglia, and M1/M2 macrophages, defining an ALS-specific phenotype. Concurrent messenger RNA/fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis revealed posttranscriptional regulation of microglia surface receptors and T cell-associated changes in the transcriptome. These results provide insights into microglia biology and establish a resource for future studies of neuroinflammation.
    Cell Reports 07/2013; · 7.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The peripheral nervous and immune systems are traditionally thought of as serving separate functions. The line between them is, however, becoming increasingly blurred by new insights into neurogenic inflammation. Nociceptor neurons possess many of the same molecular recognition pathways for danger as immune cells, and, in response to danger, the peripheral nervous system directly communicates with the immune system, forming an integrated protective mechanism. The dense innervation network of sensory and autonomic fibers in peripheral tissues and high speed of neural transduction allows rapid local and systemic neurogenic modulation of immunity. Peripheral neurons also seem to contribute to immune dysfunction in autoimmune and allergic diseases. Therefore, understanding the coordinated interaction of peripheral neurons with immune cells may advance therapeutic approaches to increase host defense and suppress immunopathology.
    Nature Neuroscience 01/2012; 15(8):1063-7. · 15.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coronary artery occlusion resulting in ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is a major cause of mortality in the western world. Circulating natural IgM has been shown to play a significant role in reperfusion injury, leading to the notion of a pathogenic response against self by the innate immune system. A specific self-antigen (non-muscle myosin heavy chain II) was recently identified as the major target of pathogenic natural IgM. Therefore, we hypothesized that a synthetic peptide mimetope (N2) or monoclonal antibodies directed against the self-antigen would prevent specific IgM binding to the self-antigen and reduce reperfusion injury in the heart. We find that treatment with N2 peptide reduces infarct size by 47% and serum cardiac troponin-I levels by 69% following 1 h ischaemia and 24 h reperfusion. N2 peptide or an anti-N2 F(ab')(2) (21G6) is also effective at preventing IgM and complement deposition. Additionally, N2 peptide treatment significantly reduces monocyte and neutrophil infiltration at 24 h and collagen deposition at 5 days. Finally, we show that human IgM (hIgM) also includes specificity for the highly conserved self-antigen and that myocardial injury in antibody-deficient mice reconstituted with hIgM is blocked by treatment with N2 peptide or 21G6 F(ab')(2). The findings in this study identify potential therapeutics [i.e. N2 peptide or 21G6 F(ab')(2)] that prevent specific IgM binding to ischaemic antigens in the heart, resulting in a significant reduction in cardiac I/R injury.
    Cardiovascular Research 06/2010; 87(4):618-27. · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During injury to the nervous system, innate immune cells mediate phagocytosis of debris, cytokine production, and axon regeneration. In the neuro-degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), innate immune cells in the CNS are activated. However, the role of innate immunity in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) has not been well defined. In this study, we characterized robust activation of CD169/CD68/Iba1+ macrophages throughout the PNS in mutant SOD1(G93A) and SOD1(G37R) transgenic mouse models of ALS. Macrophage activation occurred pre-symptomatically, and expanded from focal arrays within nerve bundles to a tissue-wide distribution following symptom onset. We found a striking dichotomy for immune cells within the spinal cord and PNS. Flow cytometry and GFP bone marrow chimeras showed that spinal cord microglia were mainly tissue resident derived, dendritic-like cells, whereas in peripheral nerves, the majority of activated macrophages infiltrated from the circulation. Humoral antibodies and complement localized to PNS tissue in tandem with macrophage recruitment, and deficiency in complement C4 led to decreased macrophage activation. Therefore, cross-talk between nervous and immune systems occurs throughout the PNS during ALS disease progression. These data reveal a progressive innate and humoral immune response in peripheral nerves that is separate and distinct from spinal cord immune activation in ALS transgenic mice.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2009; 106(49):20960-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset, progressive, motor neuron degenerative disease, in which the role of inflammation is not well established. Innate and adaptive immunity were investigated in the CNS of the Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1)(G93A) transgenic mouse model of ALS. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells infiltrated SOD1(G93A) spinal cords during disease progression. Cell-specific flow cytometry and gene expression profiling showed significant phenotypic changes in microglia, including dendritic cell receptor acquisition, and expression of genes linked to neuroprotection, cholesterol metabolism and tissue remodeling. Microglia dramatically up-regulated IGF-1 and down-regulated IL-6 expression. When mutant SOD1 mice were bred onto a TCRbeta deficient background, disease progression was significantly accelerated at the symptomatic stage. In addition, microglia reactivity and IGF-1 levels were reduced in spinal cords of SOD1(G93A) (TCRbeta-/-) mice. These results indicate that T cells play an endogenous neuroprotective role in ALS by modulating a beneficial inflammatory response to neuronal injury.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2008; 105(46):17913-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Molecular Immunology - MOL IMMUNOL. 01/2008; 45(16):4163-4163.
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    ABSTRACT: Increased expression of adhesion molecules by activated endothelium is a critical feature of vascular inflammation associated with the several diseases such as endotoxin shock and sepsis/septic shock. Our data demonstrated complement regulatory protein C1 inhibitor (C1INH) prevents endothelial cell injury. We hypothesized that C1INH has the ability of an anti-endothelial activation associated with suppression of expression of adhesion molecule(s). C1INH blocked leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cell monolayer in both static assay and flow conditions. In inflammatory condition, C1INH reduced vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1) expression associated with its cytoplasmic mRNA destabilization and nuclear transcription level. Studies exploring the underlying mechanism of C1INH-mediated suppression in VCAM-1 expression were related to reduction of NF-kappaB activation and nuclear translocation in an IkappaBalpha-dependent manner. The inhibitory effects were associated with reduction of inhibitor IkappaB kinase activity and stabilization of the NF-kappaB inhibitor IkappaB. These findings indicate a novel role for C1INH in inhibition of vascular endothelial activation. These observations could provide the basis for new therapeutic application of C1INH to target inflammatory processes in different pathologic situations.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 08/2007; 358(4):1120-7. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complement activation augments myocardial cell injury and apoptosis during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), whereas complement system inhibition with C1 inhibitor (C1INH), a serine protease inhibitor, exerts markedly cardioprotective effects. Our recent data demonstrate that C1INH prevents vascular endothelial cell apoptosis and a "modified" form of the reactive center loop-cleaved, inactive C1INH (iC1INH) plays an anti-inflammatory role in endotoxin shock. The aim of this study was to determine whether C1INH protects against myocardial cell injury via an anti-apoptotic activity or anti-inflammatory effect. In a rat model of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) induced by I/R, administration of C1INH protected against cardiomyocytic apoptosis via normalization of ratio of the Bcl-2/Bax expression in the myocardial infarct area. C1INH improved parameters of cardiac function and hemodynamics and reduced myocardial infarct size (MIS). In addition, myocardial and blood myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, a marker of neutrophil infiltration, was decreased by treatment of C1INH. In cultured H9c2 rat cardiomyocytic cells, C1INH blocked hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis in the absence of sera associated with inhibition of cytochrome c translocation and suppression of caspase-3 activation. The proportion of Bcl-2/Bax expression induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation was reversed by C1INH. Importantly, iC1INH also revealed these similar effects, indicating that C1INH has a direct anti-apoptotic activity. Therefore, these studies support the hypothesis that C1INH, in addition to inhibition of activation of the complement and contact systems, improves outcome in I/R-mediated myocardial cell injury via an anti-apoptotic activity independent of serine protease inhibitory activity.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 11/2006; 349(2):504-12. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Toll receptors in Drosophila melanogaster function in morphogenesis and host defense. Mammalian orthologues of Toll, the Toll-like receptors (TLRs), have been studied extensively for their essential functions in controlling innate and adaptive immune responses. We report that TLR8 is dynamically expressed during mouse brain development and localizes to neurons and axons. Agonist stimulation of TLR8 in cultured cortical neurons causes inhibition of neurite outgrowth and induces apoptosis in a dissociable manner. Our evidence indicates that such TLR8-mediated neuronal responses do not involve the canonical TLR-NF-kappaB signaling pathway. These findings reveal novel functions for TLR8 in the mammalian nervous system that are distinct from the classical role of TLRs in immunity.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 11/2006; 175(2):209-15. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reperfusion injury (RI), a potential life-threatening disorder, represents an acute inflammatory response after periods of ischemia resulting from myocardial infarction, stroke, surgery, or trauma. The recent identification of a monoclonal natural IgM that initiates RI led to the identification of nonmuscle myosin heavy chain type II A and C as the self-targets in two different tissues. These results identify a novel pathway in which the innate response to a highly conserved self-antigen expressed as a result of hypoxic stress results in tissue destruction.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 02/2006; 203(1):141-52. · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reperfusion injury of ischemic tissue represents an acute inflammatory response that can cause significant morbidity and mortality. The mechanism of injury is not fully elucidated, but recent studies indicate an important role for natural antibody and the classical pathway of complement. To test the hypothesis that injury is initiated by specific IgM, we have screened a panel of IgM-producing hybridomas prepared from peritoneal cells enriched in B-1 cells. One clone, CM22, was identified that could restore pathogenic injury in RAG-1(-/-) mice in an intestinal model of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). In situ activation of the classical pathway of complement was evident by deposition of IgM, complement C4, and C3 in damaged tissue after passive transfer of CM22 IgM. Sequence analysis of CM22 Ig heavy and light chains showed germ-line configurations with high homology to a V(H) sequence from the B-1 repertoire and a V(K) of a known polyreactive natural IgM. These data provide definitive evidence that I/R injury can be initiated by clonally specific natural IgM that activates the classical pathway of complement. This finding opens an avenue for identification of I/R-specific self-antigen(s) and early prevention of injury.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2004; 101(11):3886-91. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences - PNAS.