Johnthomas Kang

University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, United States

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Publications (2)14.31 Total impact

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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. · 9.74 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. · 4.57 Impact Factor