Carolina Obregon

University of Amsterdam, Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (13)40.88 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Airway epithelial cells were shown to drive the differentiation of monocytes into dendritic cells (DCs) with a suppressive phenotype. In this study, we investigated the impact of virus-induced inflammatory mediator production on the development of DCs. Monocyte differentiation into functional DCs, as reflected by the expression of CD11c, CD123, BDCA-4, and DC-SIGN and the capacity to activate T cells, was similar for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-infected and mock-infected BEAS-2B and A549 cells. RSV-conditioned culture media resulted in a partially mature DC phenotype, but failed to up-regulate CD80, CD83, CD86, and CCR7, and failed to release proinflammatory mediators upon Toll-like receptor (TLR) triggering. Nevertheless, these DCs were able to maintain an antiviral response by the release of Type I IFN. Collectively, these data indicate that the airway epithelium maintains an important suppressive DC phenotype under the inflammatory conditions induced by infection with RSV.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 05/2011; 44(5):655-64. · 4.15 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 14-19, 2010 • New Orleans; 05/2010
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) can release hundreds of membrane vesicles, called exovesicles, which are able to activate resting DCs and distribute antigen. Here, we examined the role of mature DC-derived exovesicles in innate and adaptive immunity, in particular their capacity to activate epithelial cells. Our analysis of exovesicle contents showed that exovesicles contain major histocompatibility complex-II, CD40, and CD83 molecules in addition to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptors, TNFRI and TNFRII, and are important carriers of TNF-alpha. These exovesicles are rapidly internalized by epithelial cells, inducing the release of cytokines and chemokines, but do not transfer an alloantigen-presenting capacity to epithelial cells. Part of this activation appears to involve the TNF-alpha-mediated pathway, highlighting the key role of DC-derived exovesicles, not only in adaptive immunity, but also in innate immunity by triggering innate immune responses and activating neighboring epithelial cells to release cytokines and chemokines, thereby amplifying the magnitude of the innate immune response.
    American Journal Of Pathology 09/2009; 175(2):696-705. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low molecular weight dextran sulfate (DXS) has been reported to inhibit the classical, alternative pathway as well as the mannan-binding lectin pathway of the complement system. Furthermore, it acts as an endothelial cell protectant inhibiting complement-mediated endothelial cell damage. Endothelial cells are covered with a layer of heparan sulfate (HS), which is rapidly released under conditions of inflammation and tissue injury. Soluble HS induces maturation of dendritic cells (DC) via TLR4. In this study, we show the inhibitory effect of DXS on human DC maturation. DXS significantly prevents phenotypic maturation of monocyte-derived DC and peripheral myeloid DC by inhibiting the up-regulation of CD40, CD80, CD83, CD86, ICAM-1, and HLA-DR and down-regulates DC-SIGN in response to HS or exogenous TLR ligands. DXS also inhibits the functional maturation of DC as demonstrated by reduced T cell proliferation, and strongly impairs secretion of the proinflammatory mediators IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-12p70, and TNF-alpha. Exposure to DXS leads to a reduced production of the complement component C1q and a decreased phagocytic activity, whereas C3 secretion is increased. Moreover, DXS was found to inhibit phosphorylation of IkappaB-alpha and activation of NF-kappaB. These findings suggest that DXS prevents TLR-induced maturation of human DC and may therefore be a useful reagent to impede the link between innate and adaptive immunity.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2008; 181(2):878-90. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells in the human lung and are now recognized as crucial initiators of immune responses in general. They are arranged as sentinels in a dense surveillance network inside and below the epithelium of the airways and alveoli, where they are ideally situated to sample inhaled antigen. DCs are known to play a pivotal role in maintaining the balance between tolerance and active immune response in the respiratory system. It is no surprise that the lungs became a main focus of DC-related investigations as this organ provides a large interface for interactions of inhaled antigens with the human body. During recent years there has been a constantly growing body of lung DC-related publications that draw their data from in vitro models, animal models and human studies. This review focuses on the biology and functions of different DC populations in the lung and highlights the advantages and drawbacks of different models with which to study the role of lung DCs. Furthermore, we present a number of up-to-date visualization techniques to characterize DC-related cell interactions in vitro and/or in vivo.
    Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine 04/2008; 2(2):215-33.
  • Molecular Immunology 09/2007; 44(16):3911-3911. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IL-15 has recently been shown to induce the differentiation of functional dendritic cells (DCs) from human peripheral blood monocytes. Since DCs lay in close proximity to epithelial cells in the airway mucosa, we investigated whether airway epithelial cells release IL-15 in response to inflammatory stimuli and thereby induce differentiation and maturation of DCs. Alveolar (A549) and bronchial (BEAS-2B) epithelial cells produced IL-15 spontaneously and in a time- and dose-dependent manner after stimulation with IL-1beta, IFN-gamma, or TNF-alpha. Airway epithelial cell supernatants induced an increase of IL-15Ralpha gene expression in ex vivo monocytes, and stimulated DCs enhanced their IL-15Ralpha gene expression up to 300-fold. Airway epithelial cell-conditioned media induced the differentiation of ex vivo monocytes into partially mature DCs (HLA-DR+, DC-SIGN+, CD14+, CD80-, CD83+, CD86+, CCR3+, CCR6(+), CCR7-). Based on their phenotypic (CD123+, BDCA2+, BDCA4+, BDCA1(-), CD1a-) and functional properties (limited maturation upon stimulation with LPS and limited capacity to induce T cell proliferation), these DCs resembled plasmacytoid DCs. The effects of airway epithelial cell supernatants were largely blocked by a neutralizing monoclonal antibody to IL-15. Thus, our results demonstrate that airway epithelial cell-conditioned media have the capacity to differentiate monocytes into functional DCs, a process substantially mediated by epithelial-derived IL-15.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 08/2007; 37(1):75-84. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) can release microvesicles, but the latter's numbers, size, and fate are unclear. Fluorescently labeled DCs were visualized by laser-scanning microscopy. Using a Surpass algorithm, we were able to identify and quantify per cell several hundred microvesicles released from the surface of stimulated DCs. We show that most of these microvesicles are not of endocytic origin but result from budding of the plasma membrane, hence their name, exovesicle. Using a double vital staining, we show that exovesicles isolated from activated DCs can fuse with the membrane of resting DCs, thereby allowing them to present alloantigens to lymphocytes. We concluded that, within a few hours from their release, exovesicles may amplify local or distant adaptive immunological response.
    American Journal Of Pathology 01/2007; 169(6):2127-36. · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Molecular Immunology 01/2007; 44(1):243-243. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Live attenuated Salmonella are attractive vaccine candidates for mucosal application because they induce both mucosal immune responses and systematic immune responses. After breaking the epithelium barrier, Salmonella typhimurium is found within dendritic cells (DC) in the Peyer's patches. Although there are abundant data on the interaction of S. typhimurium with murine epithelial cells, macrophages and DC, little is known about its interaction with human DC. Live attenuated S. typhimurium have recently been shown to efficiently infect human DC in vitro and induce production of cytokines. In this study, we have analysed the morphological consequences of infection of human DC by the attenuated S. typhimurium mutant strains designated PhoPc, AroA and SipB and the wild-type strains of the American Type Culture Collection (Manassas, VA, USA), ATCC 14028 and ATCC C53, by electron microscopy at 30 min, 3 h and 24 h after exposure. Our results show that genetic background of the strains profoundly influence DC morphology following infection. The changes included (i) membrane ruffling; (ii) formation of tight or spacious phagosomes; (iii) apoptosis; and (iv) spherical, pedunculated membrane-bound microvesicles that project from the plasma membrane. Despite the fact that membrane ruffling was much more pronounced with the two virulent strains, all mutants were taken up by the DC. The microvesicles were induced by all the attenuated strains, including SipB, which did not induce apoptosis in the host cell. These results suggest that Salmonella is internalized by human DC, inducing morphological changes in the DC that could explain immunogenicity of the attenuated strains.
    Immunology and Cell Biology 11/2006; 84(5):475-81. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent publications have demonstrated that the protease caspase-1 is responsible for the processing of pro-interleukin 18 (IL-18) into the active form. Studies on cell lines and murine macrophages have shown that the bacterial invasion factor SipB activates caspase-1, triggering cell death. Thus, we investigated the role of SipB in the activation and release of IL-18 in human alveolar macrophages (AM), which are the first line of defense against inhaled pathogens. Under steady-state conditions, AM are a more important source of IL-18 than are dendritic cells (DC) and monocytes. Cytokine production by AM and DC was compared after both types of cells had been infected with a virulent strain of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and an isogenic sipB mutant, which were used as an infection model. Infection with virulent Salmonella led to marked cell death with features of apoptosis while both intracellular activation and release of IL-18 were demonstrated. In contrast, the sipB mutant did not induce such cell death or the release of active IL-18. The specific caspase-1 inhibitor Ac-YVAD-CMK blocked the early IL-18 release in AM infected with the virulent strain. However, the type of Salmonella infection did not differentially regulate IL-18 gene expression. We concluded that the bacterial virulence factor SipB plays an essential posttranslational role in the intracellular activation of IL-18 and the release of the cytokine in human AM.
    Infection and Immunity 09/2003; 71(8):4382-8. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin-18 (IL-18) plays an important role in innate and acquired immunity, in particular against intracellular pathogens. However, little is known about the microbial factors that trigger IL-18 secretion by dendritic cells (DCs). To determine the influence of bacterial virulence factors on the activation and release of IL-18, we infected human monocyte-derived DCs with virulence mutants of the facultative intracellular pathogen Salmonella typhimurium. Our results show that infection by S. typhimurium causes caspase-1-dependent activation of IL-18 and triggers the release of IL-18 in human DCs. The secretion of IL-18 by the DCs was closely correlated with the ability of the S. typhimurium strains to induce apoptosis. We demonstrate that activation and release of IL-18 are blocked by mutations in the Salmonella sipB gene, which encodes a virulence factor that activates caspase-1 to induce apoptosis. These findings indicate that the activation and release of IL-18 induced by bacterial virulence factors may represent one component of innate immunity against the intracellular bacteria.
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology 11/2002; 72(4):743-51. · 4.57 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

145 Citations
40.88 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011
    • University of Amsterdam
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2009–2011
    • University Hospital of Lausanne
      • Service de pneumologie
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 2008
    • Universität Bern
      • Department of Clinical Research
      Bern, BE, Switzerland
  • 2002–2007
    • University of Nairobi
      Nairoba, Nairobi Area, Kenya
  • 2002–2003
    • University of Geneva
      • Division of Pneumology
      Genève, GE, Switzerland