Johnthomas Kang

University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, United States

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Publications (5)28.04 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an effective treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) that often fails standard antibiotic therapy. Despite its widespread recent use, however, little is known about the stability of the fecal microbiota following FMT. Here we report on short- and long-term changes and provide kinetic visualization of fecal microbiota composition in patients with multiply recurrent CDI that were refractory to antibiotic therapy and treated using FMT. Fecal samples were collected from four patients before and up to 151 days after FMT, with daily collections until 28 days and weekly collections until 84 days post-FMT. The composition of fecal bacteria was characterized using high throughput 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, compared to microbiota across body sites in the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) database, and visualized in a movie-like, kinetic format. FMT resulted in rapid normalization of bacterial fecal sample composition from a markedly dysbiotic state to one representative of normal fecal microbiota. While the microbiome appeared most similar to the donor implant material 1 day post-FMT, the composition diverged variably at later time points. The donor microbiota composition also varied over time. However, both post-FMT and donor samples remained within the larger cloud of fecal microbiota characterized as healthy by the HMP. Dynamic behavior is an intrinsic property of normal fecal microbiota and should be accounted for in comparing microbial communities among normal individuals and those with disease states. This also suggests that more frequent sample analyses are needed in order to properly assess success of FMT procedures.
    12/2015; 3(1):10. DOI:10.1186/s40168-015-0070-0
  • Gastroenterology 05/2014; 146(5):S-838. DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(14)63045-6 · 13.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recurrent group A Streptococcus (GAS) tonsillitis and associated autoimmune diseases indicate that the immune response to this organism can be ineffective and pathological. TGF-beta1 is recognized as an essential signal for generation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and T helper (Th) 17 cells. Here, the impact of TGF-beta1 induction on the T-cell response in mouse nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) following intranasal (i.n.) infections is investigated. ELISA and TGF-beta1-luciferase reporter assays indicated that persistent infection of mouse NALT with GAS sets the stage for TGF-beta1 and IL-6 production, signals required for promotion of a Th17 immune response. As predicted, IL-17, the Th17 signature cytokine, was induced in a TGF-beta1 signaling-dependent manner in single-cell suspensions of both human tonsils and NALT. Intracellular cytokine staining and flow cytometry demonstrated that CD4(+) IL-17(+) T cells are the dominant T cells induced in NALT by i.n. infections. Moreover, naive mice acquired the potential to clear GAS by adoptive transfer of CD4(+) T cells from immunized IL-17A(+)/(+) mice but not cells from IL-17A(-)/(-) mice. These experiments link specific induction of TGF-beta1 by a bacterial infection to an in vivo Th17 immune response and show that this cellular response is sufficient for protection against GAS. The association of a Th17 response with GAS infection reveals a potential mechanism for destructive autoimmune responses in humans.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2010; 107(13):5937-42. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0904831107 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although regulatory CD4+CD25+ forkhead box p3+ (Foxp3+) T cells (Tregs) are generally thought to arise in the thymus as a separate lineage of CD4 T cells, they can also be induced de novo in the periphery. Peripheral development of Tregs from naïve T cells is favored by low-intensity activation and absence of inflammation. We show here that absence of CD28 costimulation results in a modest decrease in activation of naïve, antigen-specific CD4 T cells under noninflammatory conditions and benefits their initial Foxp3 induction. However, expression of Foxp3 following T cell activation without CD28 costimulation remains sensitive to the antigen dose. Furthermore, basal CD28 costimulation is critical for survival of the induced Foxp3+ CD4 T cells, and their accumulation is abrogated in the absence of CD28. In contrast, pharmacologic blockade of mammalian target of rapamycin enhances lasting induction of Tregs, irrespective of the initial antigen dose used to activate the antigen-specific T cells. This finding may have important practical, clinical implication in development of tolerance protocols.
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology 06/2008; 83(5):1230-9. DOI:10.1189/jlb.1207851 · 4.30 Impact Factor
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    Chaodong Wu · David A Okar · Johnthomas Kang · Alex J Lange
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    ABSTRACT: There has been an alarming increase in the population diagnosed with diabetes worldwide. Although there is an ongoing debate as to the role of liver in the pathogenesis of diabetes, reduction of hepatic glucose production has been targeted as a strategy for diabetes treatment. Indeed, reduction of hepatic glucose production can be achieved through modulation of both hepatic and extra-hepatic targets. This review describes the role of the liver in the control of glucose homeostasis. Gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis are pathways for glucose production, whereas glycolysis and glycogenesis are pathways for glucose utilization/storage. At the biochemical and molecular level, the metabolic and regulatory enzymes integrate hormonal and nutritional signals and regulate glucose flux in the liver. Modulating either activities of or gene expression of these metabolic enzymes can control hepatic glucose production. Dysfunction of one or several enzyme(s) due to insulin deficiency or resistance results in increases in fluxes of glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis and/or decreases in fluxes of glycolysis and glycogenesis, which thereby lead to glucose generation exceeding glucose consumption/disposal, as well as dysregulation of lipid metabolism. Activation of enzymes that promote glucose utilization/storage and/or inhibition of enzymes that reduce glucose generation achieve reduction of hepatic glucose production, and hence lower levels of plasma glucose in diabetes. This is also beneficial for the correction of dyslipidemia. Therefore, many enzymes are viable therapeutic targets for diabetes.
    Current Drug Targets - Immune Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders 04/2005; 5(1):51-9. DOI:10.2174/1568008053174769