Meredith Lee Heltzer

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (5)21.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Among previously healthy children with severe influenza, the mechanisms leading to increased pathology are not understood. We hypothesized that children with severe influenza would have high levels of circulating cytokines. To examine this, we recruited patients with severe influenza and examined plasma cytokine levels as well as the ability of peripheral blood cells to respond to stimuli. Ten patients with severe influenza were enrolled during the 2005-2007 influenza seasons. We evaluated plasma cytokine levels, circulating NK cells, and responses to TLR ligands during the illness. We compared these patients with five patients with moderate influenza, six patients with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and 24 noninfected controls. Patients with influenza showed depressed responses to TLR ligands when compared with RSV patients and healthy controls (P<0.05). These normalized when retested during a convalescent phase. Plasma levels of IL-6, IL-12, and IFN- were elevated in influenza patients compared with controls (P<0.05). A compromised ability to produce TNF- was reproduced by in vitro infection, and the magnitude of the effect correlated with the multiplicity of infection and induction of IFN regulatory factor 4 expression. Aberrant, systemic, innate responses to TLR ligands during influenza infection may be a consequence of specific viral attributes such as a high inoculum or rapid replication and may underlie the known susceptibility of influenza-infected patients to secondary bacterial infections.
    Journal of leukocyte biology 03/2009; 85(6):1036-43. · 4.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monosomy 1p36 is a subtelomeric deletion syndrome associated with congenital anomalies presumably due to haploinsufficiency of multiple genes. Although immunodeficiency has not been reported, genes encoding costimulatory molecules of the TNF receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) are within 1p36 and may be affected. In one patient with monosomy 1p36, comparative genome hybridization and fluorescence in- situ hybridization confirmed that TNFRSF member OX40 was included within the subtelomeric deletion. T cells from this patient had decreased OX40 expression after stimulation. Specific, ex vivo T cell activation through OX40 revealed enhanced proliferation, and reduced viability of patient CD4+ T cells, providing evidence for the association of monosomy 1p36 with reduced OX40 expression, and decreased OX40-induced T cell survival. These results support a role for OX40 in human immunity, and calls attention to the potential for haploinsufficiency deletions of TNFRSF costimulatory molecules in monosomy 1p36.
    Clinical Immunology 09/2008; 128(2):181-9. · 3.77 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 11/2007; 120(4):950-2. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IPEX syndrome is a rare, inherited condition characterized by immune dysfunction, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, and X-linked recessive inheritance. Patients typically present in infancy with severe diarrhea and failure to thrive. Most children die by 1 year of age without therapy. The diagnosis is established by genetic analysis, which often takes several weeks to complete and can sometimes delay crucial immunosuppressive treatment. We attempted to develop a screening tool that allows rapid identification of patients with IPEX syndrome using immunocytochemical staining of FOXP3+ cells in bowel biopsies. We found that 2 patients with classic IPEX syndrome due to protein-truncating mutations in FOXP3 had markedly decreased staining of FOXP3+ T cells in the lamina propria and lymphoid aggregates. One patient with a mild, late-onset presentation and a missense mutation in FOXP3 had intact staining of FOXP3+ cells. This screening test provides a valuable tool for diagnosing IPEX syndrome in extremely ill patients who may not tolerate a delay in therapeutic intervention.
    Pediatric and Developmental Pathology 01/2007; 10(2):98-105. · 0.86 Impact Factor
  • M. L. Heltzer, J. S. Orange
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology - J ALLERG CLIN IMMUNOL. 01/2006; 117(2).