Tomasz Maj

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

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Publications (19)71.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Aerobic glycolysis regulates T cell function. However, whether and how primary cancer alters T cell glycolytic metabolism and affects tumor immunity in cancer patients remains a question. Here we found that ovarian cancers imposed glucose restriction on T cells and dampened their function via maintaining high expression of microRNAs miR-101 and miR-26a, which constrained expression of the methyltransferase EZH2. EZH2 activated the Notch pathway by suppressing Notch repressors Numb and Fbxw7 via trimethylation of histone H3 at Lys27 and, consequently, stimulated T cell polyfunctional cytokine expression and promoted their survival via Bcl-2 signaling. Moreover, small hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of human EZH2 in T cells elicited poor antitumor immunity. EZH2(+)CD8(+) T cells were associated with improved survival in patients. Together, these data unveil a metabolic target and mechanism of cancer immune evasion.
    Nature Immunology 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/ni.3313 · 20.00 Impact Factor
  • Tomasz Maj · Weiping Zou ·
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    ABSTRACT: A recently paper published in Cell reports that dendritic cells (DCs) are dysfunctional in the tumor environment. Tumor impairs DC function through induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress response and subsequent disruption of lipid metabolic homeostasis.
    Cell Research 07/2015; 25(9). DOI:10.1038/cr.2015.93 · 12.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) promote tumor growth by inhibiting T cell immunity and promoting malignant cell proliferation and migration. The therapeutic potential of blocking MDSC in tumors has been limited by their heterogeneity, plasticity, and resistance to various chemotherapy agents. Recent studies have highlighted the role of energy metabolic pathways in the differentiation and function of immune cells; however, the metabolic characteristics regulating MDSC remain unclear. We aimed to determine the energy metabolic pathway(s) used by MDSC, establish its impact on their immunosuppressive function, and test whether its inhibition blocks MDSC and enhances anti-tumor therapies. Using several murine tumor models, we found that tumor-infiltrating MDSC (T-MDSC) increased fatty acid uptake and activated fatty acid oxidation (FAO). This was accompanied by an increased mitochondrial mass, upregulation of key FAO enzymes, and increased oxygen consumption rate. Pharmacological inhibition of FAO blocked immune inhibitory pathways and functions in T-MDSC and decreased their production of inhibitory cytokines. FAO inhibition alone significantly delayed tumor growth in a T cell-dependent manner and enhanced the anti-tumor effect of adoptive T cell therapy. Furthermore, FAO inhibition combined with low-dose chemotherapy completely inhibited T-MDSC immunosuppressive effects and induced a significant anti-tumor effect. Interestingly, a similar increase in fatty acid uptake and expression of FAO-related enzymes was found in human MDSC in peripheral blood and tumors. These results support the possibility of testing FAO inhibition as a novel approach to block MDSC and enhance various cancer therapies. Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.
    05/2015; 3(Suppl 2). DOI:10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-15-0036

  • Cancer Research 10/2014; 74(19 Supplement):4078-4078. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2014-4078 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Combating bacterial infections with bacteriophages has been practiced almost since the discovery of these viruses at the begining of the 20th century. In recent years, interest in the concept of page therapy has significantly increased. Although bacteriophages are bacteria-specific viruses, it was demonstrated that they may interact with eukaryotic cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of phage preparations on migration of human granulocytes. Phagocytes are one of the most important components of the immune system. Migratory abilities are one of the most important features of phagocytes determining their effective struggle with pathogens. Our studies have consequences especially in phage therapy, during which bacteria are the target of both bacteriophages and phagocytes, and their mutual interactions are of great importance. In our studies we used 20 phage preparations (mostly preparations used directly in phage therapy). Most phage preparations did not influence migration of granulocytes. Although the results of our study are preliminary, they seem to be in line with previous data indicating safety of phage therapy.
    Industrial, medical and environmental applications of microorganisms: current status and trends, First edited by Antonio Méndez-Vilas, 05/2014: chapter Medical microbiology - antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy - resistance: pages 529-534; Wageningen Academic Publishers., ISBN: 978-90-8686-243-6
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    Tomasz Maj · Anna Slawek · Anna Chelmonska-Soyta ·
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    ABSTRACT: Immune phenomena during the preimplantation period of pregnancy are poorly understood. The aim of our study was to assess the capacity for antigen presentation of splenic antigen-presenting cells (APCs) derived from pregnant and pseudopregnant mice in in vitro conditions. Therefore, sorted CD11c(+) dendritic cells and macrophages F4/80(+) and CD11b(+) presenting ovalbumin (OVA) were cocultured with CD4(+) T cells derived from OT-II mice's (C57BL6/J-Tg(TcraTcrb)1100Mjb/J) spleen. After 132 hours of cell culture, proliferation of lymphocytes (ELISA-BrdU), activation of these cells (flow cytometry), cytokine profile (ELISA), and influence of costimulatory molecules blocking on these parameters were measured. We did not detect any differences in regulation of Th1/Th2 cytokine balance. CD86 seems to be the main costimulatory molecule involved in the proliferation response but CD80 is the main costimulatory molecule influencing cytokine secretion in pregnant mice. In conclusion, this study showed that CD80 and CD86 costimulatory molecules regulate OT-II CD4(+) T lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine response in cocultures with antigen-presenting cells derived from pregnant and pseudopregnant mice. The implications of these changes still remain unclear.
    Mediators of Inflammation 03/2014; 2014:769239. DOI:10.1155/2014/769239 · 3.24 Impact Factor
  • Tomasz Maj · Shuang Wei · Ted Welling · Weiping Zou ·
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    ABSTRACT: Optimal T cell response is dependent not only on T cell receptor activation, but also on additional signaling from coreceptors. The main coreceptors include B7 and tumor necrosis factor family members. They exert costimulatory or coinhibitory effects, and their balance determines the fate of T cell response. In normal conditions, costimulators facilitate the development of protective immune response, whereas coinhibitors dampen inflammation to avoid organ/tissue damage from excessive immune reaction. In the tumor microenvironment, the balance is garbled: inhibitory pathways predominate, and T cell response is impaired. The importance of cosignaling in the tumor immune response has been experimentally and clinically demonstrated. New therapeutic strategies targeting T cell cosignaling, especially coinhibitory molecules, are under active experimental and clinical investigation. This review summarizes the functions of main T cell cosignaling axes and discusses their clinical application.
    The Cancer Journal 11/2013; 19(6):473-482. DOI:10.1097/PPO.0000000000000002 · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacteriophage therapy is considered one of the most attractive alternatives to antibiotic treatment, which may be significant due to the rising number of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Patients with cancer frequently suffer bacterial infections resulting from immunosuppression caused by anticancer treatment; thus they constitute a considerable group of patients subjected to phage therapy. In this study, we investigated the influence of bacteriophages on the migration of human leukemia (HL-60) cells. Results of these studies provide data regarding phage treatment of patients with cancer, especially with this type of leukemia. The influence of phage preparation on migration of HL-60 leukemia cells was evaluated with BD Bioscience Migration Chambers. Bacteriophages have no influence on migration of HL-60 cells. The only phage preparation which stimulated migration of HL-60 cells was Staph.liz, specific to S. aureus, however, the molecular basis of these interactions cannot be currently explained. Results of our studies may be in line with previous data indicating that phage therapy is safe for patients with cancer.
    Anticancer research 04/2013; 33(4):1569-74. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. It was shown that bacteriophage therapy is an effective method of combating bacterial infections, including infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. One of the main obstacles to widespread use of phage preparations is limited knowledge regarding the influence of bacteriophages on human organisms. In our study, we evaluated whether application of phage preparations impair bactericidal activities of human phagocytes (granulocytes and monocytes). In our study, we used preparations of phages T2 and T4 specific to Escherichia coli and A3 phage specific to Staphylococcus aureus. We found that bacteriophage preparations do not influence intracellular killing of bacteria by human phagocytes. The effect is irrespective of phage preparation type (lysate, purified phage preparation), phage titer of the preparation, and whether bacteria phagocytosed by phagocyte cells are sensitive or insensitive to phage (bacteriophages homologous and heterologous to bacteria). Although the results of our study are preliminary, they support previous data indicating safety of therapeutic application of phages.
    Viral immunology 03/2013; 26(2). DOI:10.1089/vim.2012.0071 · 1.45 Impact Factor
  • Anna Slawek · Tomasz Maj · Anna Chelmonska-Soyta ·
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    ABSTRACT: Problem: The object of the study was to investigate the costimulatory phenotype of spleen antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in mice after mating and the influence of costimulatory signal blocking on pregnancy outcome, cytokine production, and Treg cell concentration. Method of study: The levels of CD40, CD80, and CD86 on spleen APCs at day 0.5 and 3.5 after mating (C57BL/6Jx DBA/2J and C57BL/6JxBalb/c) were assessed by flow cytometry and RT-PCR. Blocking antibodies against costimulatory molecules were given i.p. at day 3.5 after mating. Pregnancy outcomes, blood cytokine (ELISA), and spleen Treg (flow cytometry) concentrations were examined at day 10.5 after mating. Results: Differential expression of costimulatory molecules on spleen APCs of mated v. pseudopregnant mice was observed mainly at day 3.5 after conception. Administration of anti-CD86 antibody lowered pregnancy outcome. Cytokine expression was modulated after administration of anti-CD86, anti-CD80 and anti-CD40 antibodies, whereas only anti-CD40 antibody changed the concentration of Treg lymphocytes and the level of Foxp3 protein expression. Conclusion: Costimulatory phenotype of female spleen APCs is distinctly modulated after mating. Alteration of costimulatory signal derived from APCs during pre-implantation period of pregnancy may have an adverse effect on pregnancy outcome and the tolerogenic immune response.
    American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 02/2013; 70(2). DOI:10.1111/aji.12108 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    Anna Sławek · Tomasz Maj · Anna Chełmonska-Soyta ·
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    ABSTRACT: Success of pregnancy depends on many factors. Three phenomena inducing immune tolerance against semi-allogeneic conceptus may play a crucial role in the pre-implantation period of pregnancy: influence of sex hormones in sex cycle, presence of oocyte or embryo and the presence of semen in the female reproductive tract. On the other hand dendritic cells are the most effective antigen-presenting cells in regulation of immune phenomena and also are considered as potent participants in inducing immune tolerance in the pregnancy. They communicate with T cells in cell contact-dependent manner or via cytokines. During cell-cell contacts, costimulatory molecules play a key role and their expression is often dependent on cytokines milieu. Both costimulatory molecules and cytokines influence generation of T regulatory cells. Interactions of these molecules are closely related. In this paper we would like to pay attention to the importance of antigen presenting cells costimulatory potency in immune regulation during a pre-implantation period of pregnancy.
    Postępy Higieny i Medycyny Doświadczalnej (Advances in Hygiene and Experimental Medicine) 09/2012; 66:674-82. · 0.57 Impact Factor
  • A. Chelmonska-Soyta · A. Slawek · T. Maj ·

    Journal of Reproductive Immunology 05/2012; 94(1):11–12. DOI:10.1016/j.jri.2012.03.257 · 2.82 Impact Factor

  • Journal of Reproductive Immunology 05/2012; 94(1):63-64. DOI:10.1016/j.jri.2012.03.354 · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immunoregulatory activity of type I interferons (IFNs) and estrogen is convergent in some cases of autoimmune disorders. The aim of our study was to determine whether a potent interaction of IFN and estradiol (E2) has an influence on immune response and estrogen receptor alpha (ER-?) expression in antigen-presenting cells in a model of experimental autoimmune orchitis (EAO). C3H/He/W male mice were immunized with testicular germ cells (TGCs) and orally treated with interferon tau (IFN-?), E2, or both simultaneously. The delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction was intensified after the administration of either IFN-? or E2, but their co-administration had no effect. IFN-? treatment increased immunoglobulin G2a (IgG2a) and decreased IgG1 levels of TGC-specific antibodies, whereas E2 abolished the effects of the used cytokine. The total splenic cellularity and the number of spleen CD11c+MHC II+ and F4/80+MHC II? cells were increased after IFN-? treatment, whereas E2 antagonized this effect. After IFN-? administration the level of ER-? was significantly higher in F4/80+MHC II? cells, whereas E2 had no effect. However, the administration of E2 significantly reduced the ER-? level in F4/80+MHC II+ and CD11c+MHC II+ cells in comparison with the IFN-??treated groups. In the EAO model, the type I IFN and E2 cooperated at the general and cellular levels of immune response, but E2 treatment usually abolished the effects exerted by the cytokine.
    Journal of interferon & cytokine research: the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research 07/2011; 31(11):825-37. DOI:10.1089/jir.2010.0147 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Estrogens and estrogen receptors (ERs) are potent regulators of the immune response. Disruption of ERα or modulation of its function by selective ligands during experimental autoimmune conditions changes the course of disease by influencing specific humoral and cellular responses. However, it is not known whether fluctuation in the ERα level and the variable accessibility to its ligands in immune cells influence the development of specific immune responses against auto-antigens. This study was designed to evaluate the expression level of ERα in splenic immune cells and the specific humoral immune response in male C3H/He/W mice immunized with syngeneic testicular germ cells (TGC) in the presence of tamoxifen. Levels of ERα protein in immune cell subpopulations of immunized mice (assessed by flow cytometry) increased in MHCII(+)CD86(+), MHCII(+)CD86(- ), F4/80(+)MHCII(+), immature macrophages (F4/80(+)/MHCII(- )), and CD3(+)CD4(+) T cells. Addition of tamoxifen decreased the level of ERα in MHCII(+)CD86(+), MHCII(+)CD86(- ), F4/80(+)MHCII(+), immature macrophages (F4/80(+)/MHCII(- )), and the CD19(+)CD3(- ) cell subpopulation of immunized mice. Therefore, immunization with syngeneic antigen and tamoxifen treatment evoked cell-type specific changes in the level of ERα. Irrespective of tamoxifen treatment the humoral response in immunized animals toward TGCs was similar, suggesting that modulation of the level of ERα in immune cells is not directly related to specific auto-antibody production.
    Autoimmunity 02/2011; 44(6):520-30. DOI:10.3109/08916934.2010.549529 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    Anna Piesta · Tomasz Maj · Anna Chełmońska-Soyta ·
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages are antigen-presenting cells that have a key role in the regulation of immune phenomena and are responsible for the recognition of paternal antigens during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in the estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) protein level in splenic and uterine mature (F4/80(+)MHC II(+)) and immature (F4/80(+)MHC II(-) ) macrophages in female mice during time corresponding to the preimplantation period. C57BL/6J females in estrus were mated with Balb/c male mice or were mechanically stimulated through the vagina to achieve pseudopregnancy. Uterine and spleen cells were isolated on days 0.5 and 3.5 after mating or after uterine cervix stimulation. ERalpha content in macrophages was measured by flow cytometry and expressed as mean fluorescence intensity (MFI). The ERalpha level in splenic macrophages on 0.5 day after mating was higher than that in splenic macrophages of pseudopregnant mice on 0.5 day after stimulation. The ERalpha level was also higher in mature than in immature macrophages present in both the spleen and uterus, especially in mated mice. In the spleen, a correlation was found between the percentage of mature macrophages and ERalpha level in these cells. In conclusion, the elevated alpha level observed shortly after mating in splenic but not in uterine macrophages indicates an early systemic response to male antigens.
    Reproductive biology 11/2009; 9(3):225-40. DOI:10.1016/S1642-431X(12)60028-X · 1.52 Impact Factor

  • Journal of Reproductive Immunology 09/2009; 81(2):139-140. DOI:10.1016/j.jri.2009.06.184 · 2.82 Impact Factor
  • A. CheŁmońska-Soyta · T. Maj ·
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    ABSTRACT: Autoimmune disorders are connected with the actions of sex hormones. Clinical observations have shown that especially estrogens are involved in these phenomena. In some cases the administration of estrogens can increase the pathological symptoms of a disorder, while in others they can cause disease remission. In multiple autoimmune diseases, type I interferons, a family of cytokines acting through the common receptor IFNAR1/IFNAR2, seem to have action convergent with that of estrogens. We hypothesize that this coincidence is not accidental and type I interferons can regulate the level of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and consequently change the sensitivity of immune cells to estrogen's action. There is evidence that ERα is responsible for the effects exerted by estrogens and that this phenomenon mainly involves antigen-presenting cells. On the other hand, research on IFN-tau, a type I interferon family members, showed that this cytokine can modulate ERα levels in ovine endometrium. Because of the common receptor for these interferons, we suspect that other type I interferons can act in this way not only in endometrial cells, but also in immune cells. If there is such a mechanism, it can be exploited in the therapy of immune disorders, especially autoimmune disease, for example through simultaneous administration of less toxic interferons and estrogens.
    Bioscience Hypotheses 01/2009; 2(2):102-106. DOI:10.1016/j.bihy.2008.10.014
  • T Maj · A Chelmonska-Soyta ·
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    ABSTRACT: Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) are a group of proteins involved in signal transduction from numerous bioactive substances. Hormones and cytokines such as leukaemia inhibitory factor, interferon-tau and prolactin, which play key roles during early pregnancy, activate the Janus kinase (JAK)/STAT signalling pathway. The STATs are thus involved in the regulation of implantation, establishing uterine receptivity and regulation of the maternal immune response. It seems that STATs can orchestrate signals from hormones and cytokines in different cell types and may therefore generate numerous biological effects, despite the relatively small number of receptors activating the JAK/STAT pathway. This review summarizes the participation of STATs in the main processes of early pregnancy, especially regarding their pleiotropy and redundancy.
    Reproduction in Domestic Animals 09/2007; 42(4):343-53. DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0531.2006.00787.x · 1.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

28 Citations
71.70 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • University of Michigan
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2009-2014
    • Polish Academy of Sciences
      • • Department of Reproductive Immunology and Pathology
      • • Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy
      Warszawa, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland