R A Robins

University of Nottingham, Nottingham, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (29)109.72 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is an inflammatory disorder of the airways, which is associated with irreversible airway obstruction. The pathological hallmarks of COPD are destruction of the lung parenchyma (pulmonary emphysema), inflammation of the central airways (chronic bronchitis) and inflammation of the peripheral airways (respiratory bronchiolitis). Tobacco smoking is established as the main aetiological factor for COPD. A maladaptive modulation of inflammatory responses to inhalation of noxious particles and gases is generally accepted as being a key central pathogenic process; however, the precise regulatory mechanisms of the disease are poorly understood. Two cell types are known to be important in immune regulation, namely regulatory T-cells and the newly identified Th17 (T-helper 17) cells. Both types of cells are subsets of CD4 T-lymphocytes and modulate the immune response through secretion of cytokines, for example IL (interleukin)-10 and IL-17 respectively. The present review will begin by describing the current understanding of inflammatory cell involvement in the disease process, and then focus on the possible role of subsets of regulatory and helper T-cells in COPD.
    Clinical Science 07/2010; 119(2):75-86. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Th17 cells are thought to contribute to the immunopathology of allergic and autoimmune conditions. Their role in multiple sclerosis (MS) pathology remains to be fully elucidated. To assess peripheral blood Th17 responses in patients with MS compared to controls. We isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 41 MS patients and 23 healthy controls, which were then stimulated using phorbol ester and ionomycin, labelled for CD3, CD8, CD154, IL-17 and IFN-gamma and analysed using flow cytometry. Minimal IL-17 was detectable in unstimulated cells. Following stimulation with phorbol ester and ionomycin, PBMCs taken from MS patients in relapse developed a more inflammatory profile than those taken from controls or non-relapse patients, with greater expression of CD154, IL-17 and dual expression of IL-17/IFN-gamma. We suggest a greater tendency to Th17 and Th1/Th17 response to non-specific stimulation in MS patients in relapse compared to controls and non-relapse patients.
    Cytokine 04/2010; 50(1):19-23. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activity-dependent neuroprotector (ADNP) is a neuroprotective molecule containing an 8-amino acid peptide, NAPVSIPQ (NAP), that is sufficient for its neuroprotective effects. To assess the expression of ADNP in the human immune system in normal subjects and multiple sclerosis patients. MaterialsandMethods: ADNP expression was assessed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy donors and multiple sclerosis (MS) patients using staining with anti-ADNP (NAP) antibodies and markers for T cells, B cells, monocytes and natural killer cells. ADNP mRNA was determined in peripheral blood from MS patients (n = 24) and matched controls (n = 21). Expression of activation markers CD69 and CD154 and of IFN-gamma was assessed by flow cytometry in stimulated PBMCs. Effects of NAP on immune cell proliferation was assessed by tritiated thymidine incorporation. Monocytes, B cells and T cells, but not regulatory (CD4+CD25+) T cells expressed ADNP. NAP peptide decreased the expression of CD69, CD154 and IFN-gamma in PBMC and caused suppressed anti-CD3-/anti-CD28-stimulated PBMC proliferation. ADNP mRNA was reduced in MS compared to control peripheral blood. ADNP is expressed in many immune system cells. ADNP mRNA is reduced in PBMCs in MS. The peptide NAP, which plays an important role in neuroprotection, has potential immunomodulatory properties.
    NeuroImmunoModulation 11/2009; 17(2):120-5. · 1.84 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2009 International Conference, May 15-20, 2009 • San Diego, California; 04/2009
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether percentages of CD4(+)CD25(high) T cells (a group of regulatory T cells, Treg) differ in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in relapse vs remission after glucocorticoid treatment and whether treatment for relapses changes Treg population and the expression of Foxp3, a key Treg-associated molecule. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were obtained from 20 patients with MS during relapse, just before and 2 days after starting steroid treatment (i.v. methylprednisolone 1 g/day for 3 days) and then 6 weeks after treatment. CD4(+)CD25(hi) cells were analysed by using flow cytometry. Cytokines were measured by using an ELISA and Foxp3, CD3 and CD25 expression by using quantitative real-time PCR. The percentage of CD4(+)CD25(hi) cells, plasma IL-10 and Foxp3/CD3 ratio increased 48 h after methylprednisolone initiation and returned to baseline values by 6 weeks post-treatment. Results suggest that glucocorticoids increase Treg cell functional molecules and percentages. This may be a mechanism whereby steroids expedite recovery from MS relapses.
    Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 10/2008; 119(4):239-45. · 2.47 Impact Factor
  • R. Adrian Robins
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    ABSTRACT: As indicated in Chapter 33, flow cytometry has developed rapidly to provide a powerful means of characterizing complex cell populations, both in terms of quantitative analysis of functional cell-associated molecules, and, as is considered here in more detail, the simultaneous analysis of combinations of markers that can be used to identify functional subpopulations of cells. Many of the considerations discussed in the previous chapter are relevant, but issues particularly pertinent to this type of analysis relate to the independence of the markers used, both at the level of the labeling process and at the level of cytometric analysis.
    03/2008: pages 337-346;
  • R. Adrian Robins
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    ABSTRACT: Analysis of cell surface antigen density and, thus, the distribution of cell surface molecules among individual members of complex cell populations can be achieved rapidly and accurately by flow cytometry. This approach has been revolutionized over the last 20 yr by the codevelopment of monoclonal antibodies (MAb) to an ever-wider selection of cell-associated molecules, novel fluorochromes, and flow cytometric technology backed by increasingly powerful computers. This combination of technologies allows the simultaneous measurement of independent fluorochrome markers as well as light scatter parameters of individual cells as they pass through an intense focused light source. The multiple analysis of individual cells enabled by flow cytometry has facilitated the definition of functional subpopulations of many cell types, and some aspects of this approach are discussed in Chapter 34. In this article, the potential of flow cytometric analysis for quantitative purposes is considered, exemplified by discussion of factors important for the measurement of antigen density by quantitation of antibody binding.
    02/2008: pages 319-336;
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    ABSTRACT: IL-12 is an immunoregulatory cytokine, which promotes Th1 cell differentiation and is a major inducer of IFN-gamma. IFN-beta, a Type I IFN used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, has been shown to significantly increase the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, a major suppressor of Th1 cytokines. The beneficial immunomodulatory effects of IFN-beta may in part be a result of its ability to suppress IL-12. However, IL-12 and IFN-beta signal via the STAT4 pathway. Our aim was to investigate the relationship between IL-12 and IFN-beta by observing the effect of prior exposure to IL-12 or IFN-beta on the ability of T cells to subsequently respond to the other cytokine. We report that IFN-beta increases IL-12-induced STAT4 phosphorylation and up-regulates IL-12 receptor beta1 and beta2 expression. However, despite this up-regulation, IFN-beta suppressed IL-12-induced IFN-gamma expression. Our results suggest that this may be a result of the parallel induction of IL-10 by IFN-beta.
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology 07/2007; 81(6):1562-7. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Curcumin is a polyphenol derived from the dietary spice turmeric. It possesses diverse anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Curcumin has been shown to exhibit an inhibitory effect on the production of inflammatory cytokines by human monocytes and has inhibited the animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in association with a decrease in interleukin 12 (IL-12) production and signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) activation. The type I interferon (IFN) IFN-has the ability to suppress IL-12. Both IL-12 and IFN-alpha/beta signal through the activation by phosphorylation of STAT4. Our aim was to investigate the effects of curcumin on the ability of T cells to respond to IL-12 or IFN-alpha/beta. We report that curcumin decreases IL-12-induced STAT4 phosphorylation, IFN-gamma production, and IL-12 Rbeta1 and beta2 expression. IFN-beta-induced STAT4 phosphorylation, IL-10 production and IFN receptor (IFNAR) subunits 1 and 2 expression were enhanced by curcumin. Curcumin increased IFN-alpha-induced IL-10 and IFNAR1 expression. Prior exposure to curcumin decreased IFN-alpha-induced IFNAR2 expression and did not modify the level of IFN-alpha-induced pSTAT4 generation. Thus, the effect of curcumin on STAT4 activation in T cells is dependent upon the stimulus to which the T cells have been exposed.
    Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 01/2007; 11(5):1129-37. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids affect the immune system by a number of mechanisms, including modulation of cytokine production in lymphocytes. Glucocorticoids suppress T helper cell type 1 immune responses by decreasing the ability of T cells to respond to interleukin (IL)-12, a major inducer of interferon (IFN)-gamma. IFN-beta increases the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and suppresses IL-12. Signaling pathways through IFN-beta and the IL-12 receptor (IL-12R) involve activation by phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4). Our aim was to investigate the effects of dexamethasone on STAT4 activation by IFN-beta and IL-12 in human T cell blasts. We report that dexamethasone decreases IL-12-induced STAT4 phosphorylation and IFN-gamma production and enhances IFN-beta-induced STAT4 activation and IL-10 production. These effects are associated with a down-regulation of IL-12Rbeta1 expression but an up-regulation of IFN-betaR. These results indicate that the effect of glucocorticoids on the STAT4 signaling pathway depends on the stimulus activating that pathway.
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology 08/2006; 80(1):133-44. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-8, IL-10 and IL-12p70 in the plasma of patients with TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) in relation to CRP levels and treatment with etanercept. Cytokine concentrations were measured in sequential plasma samples obtained from eight patients with a C33Y mutation in TNFRSF1A and diagnosed with TRAPS, using cytokine bead array. The TRAPS samples were compared with samples from normal controls and rheumatoid arthritis patients. Levels of IL-6 were significantly elevated in C33Y TRAPS patients and these correlated with CRP levels in some of the patients. IL-8 levels were also significantly elevated in the TRAPS patients. However, neither TNF-alpha nor IL-1beta demonstrated a similar increase. This differed from the patients with rheumatoid arthritis, for whom levels of IL-6, IL-8, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-10 were significantly elevated. The levels of detectable TNF-alpha in the TRAPS patients' plasma were elevated during etanercept treatment. The cytokine profile of C33Y TRAPS differs from that of a typical autoimmune inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, as only IL-6 and IL-8 were elevated in C33Y TRAPS patients, as distinct from a generalized elevation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. However, only some of the C33Y patients tested showed a relationship between elevated IL-6 and CRP. This is consistent with clinical observations that there is marked heterogeneity between individuals with TRAPS, including those in the same family cohort. Although etanercept has a therapeutic effect in some TRAPS patients, it induces increased plasma concentrations of TNF-alpha, possibly by increasing TNF-alpha stability.
    Rheumatology 02/2006; 45(1):31-7. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Isolates with a tropism for the coreceptor CCR5 are the predominant viral strain transmitted following heterosexual transmission. We have investigated coreceptor expression levels within male and female genital epithelia to assess whether selective transmission can be explained by elevated CCR5 expression within the genital epithelia per se. Individuals attending a local genitourinary medicine unit were recruited, and samples of genital epithelia obtained using either a cytobrush (females) or urethral swab (males). Expression of coreceptor and cell marker mRNAs was then determined by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR. RNA was recovered from the epithelial cell samples then used as templates in competitive quantitative RT-PCR to measure mRNA expression of key chemokines, coreceptors and cell-type markers in the epithelial cell samples. Cell-surface coreceptor expression was also assessed in a sample of patients using fluorescent cell staining. CXCR4 and CCR3 coreceptors were expressed at significantly higher levels than CCR5 within the female endo- and ectocervix and distal end of the male urethra. Increased levels of cell surface expressed CXCR4 compared to CCR5 was confirmed in samples obtained from the female genital tract by FACS analysis. The selective transmission of CCR5-tropic viral variants is unlikely to result simply from differential coreceptor abundance at the genital epithelia.
    AIDS 09/2005; 19(12):1257-65. · 6.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the prevalence of autoantibodies in sera of Saudi diabetic patients including Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Apart from data on the prevalence of islet-cell antibodies in patients in Ryhadh (Al-Attas et al. Frequency of islet cell antibodies in adult newly diagnosed diabetic patients. Ann Saudi Med 1990; 10: 369-373) immunological markers of autoimmune diabetes have not been explored in Saudi Arabians. Autoantibodies to GAD65 (GADA) and IA-2 (IA-2A) were determined using radio-immunoprecipitation assays. In Type 1 DM patients, 54% were GADA+ and 27% were IA-2A+. A greater negative effect of disease duration was noted for IA-2A than for GADA positivity. Autoantibodies were more prevalent with younger age of onset. GADA were slightly more common in female Type 1 DM patients. In Type 2 DM, 8/99 patients were GADA+, and three of these patients with shorter disease duration were also IA-2A+. GADA, and particularly IA-2A, were associated with a younger age of onset of Type 2 DM and all the autoantibody-positive Type 2 DM patients were insulin-treated. GADA were detected in 2.2% of GDM patients, but none of these patients possessed IA-2A. The prevalence and associations of autoantibodies in Saudi diabetic patients are very similar to those reported for diabetic patients in other ethnic groups.
    Diabetic Medicine 05/2005; 22(4):448-52. · 3.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The novel, proinflammatory cytokine endothelial monocyte-activating polypeptide-II (EMAP-II) was first found in tumor cell supernatants. EMAP-II is closely related or identical to the p43 auxiliary protein of the multisynthase complex, which is involved in protein synthesis. In vitro, EMAP-II induces procoagulant activity, increased expression of E- and P-selectins and tumor necrosis factor receptor-1, and ultimately, programmed cell death (apoptosis) in cultured endothelial cells. EMAP-II is also chemotactic for monocytes and neutrophils. However, the role of the p43/EMAP-II cytokine form in tumors is not understood. We hypothesized an immune-regulatory role within neoplastic tissues and investigated its effects on lymphocytes. EMAP-II causes a dose-dependent inhibition of proliferation and apoptosis in Jurkat T cells and mitogen-activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Coculture with DLD-1 colorectal cancer cells or media conditioned by these cells induces apoptosis in Jurkat cells, which is partially reversed by antibodies against EMAP-II. Our data suggest that EMAP-II constitutes a component of a novel, immunosuppressive pathway in solid tumors, which is not normally expressed outside the cell but in tumors, may be subject to abnormal processing and released from tumor cells.
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology 06/2004; 75(5):772-6. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial monocyte-activating polypeptide-II (EMAP-II) was first isolated from cell growth medium conditioned by tumor cells, and is closely related or identical with the p43 component of the mammalian multisynthase complex. In its secreted form, EMAP-II has multiple cytokine-like activities in vitro, inducing procoagulant activity on the surface of endothelial cells, increasing expression of E- and P-selectins and TNF-R1, and directing migration of monocytes and neutrophils. EMAP-II has also been shown to induce apoptosis in endothelial cells, leading to the suggestion that it is a proinflammatory polypeptide with antiangiogenic activity. The role of secreted EMAP-II in tumors remains poorly understood, and we hypothesized that EMAP-II may play a role in immune evasion by tumor cells. We investigated its effects on lymphocytes, using recombinant protein, or colorectal cancer cell lines, as a source of native EMAP-II. Recombinant EMAP-II inhibits DNA synthesis and cell division, and induces apoptosis in mitogen-activated lymphocytes in PBMC preparations, and in Jurkat T cells. Native EMAP-II, released by or expressed on the surface of colorectal carcinoma cells, also induces activation of caspase 8 and apoptosis of PBLs and Jurkat cells, which are partially blocked by addition of Abs against EMAP-II. Thus, activated lymphocytes, along with proliferating endothelial cells, are targets for the cytotoxic activity of EMAP-II. Membrane-bound and soluble EMAP-II appear to play multiple roles in the tumor microenvironment, one of which is to assist in immune evasion.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/2004; 172(1):274-81. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phenotypic heterogeneity describes non-genetic variation that exists between individual cells within isogenic populations. The basis for such heterogeneity is not well understood, but it is evident in a wide range of cellular functions and phenotypes and may be fundamental to the fitness of microorganisms. Here we use a suite of novel assays applied to yeast, to provide an explanation for the classic example of heterogeneous resistance to stress (copper). Cell cycle stage and replicative cell age, but not mitochondrial content, were found to be principal parameters underpinning differential Cu resistance: cell cycle-synchronized cells had relatively uniform Cu resistances, and replicative cell-age profiles differed markedly in sorted Cu-resistant and Cu-sensitive subpopulations. From a range of potential Cu-sensitive mutants, cup1Delta cells lacking Cu-metallothionein, and particularly sod1Delta cells lacking Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase, exhibited diminished heterogeneity. Furthermore, age-dependent Cu resistance was largely abolished in cup1Delta and sod1Delta cells, whereas cell cycle-dependent Cu resistance was suppressed in sod1Delta cells. Sod1p activity oscillated approximately fivefold during the cell cycle, with peak activity coinciding with peak Cu-resistance. Thus, phenotypic heterogeneity in copper resistance is not stochastic but is driven by the progression of individual cells through the cell cycle and ageing, and is primarily dependent on only Sod1p, out of several gene products that can influence the averaged phenotype. We propose that such heterogeneity provides an important insurance mechanism for organisms; creating subpopulations that are pre-equipped for varied activities as needs may arise (e.g. when faced with stress), but without the permanent metabolic costs of constitutive expression.
    Molecular Microbiology 12/2003; 50(3):857-70. · 5.03 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 07/2003; 52(6):403-7. · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a re-activation infection associated with severely impaired T cell-mediated immunity. We describe a patient with long-standing Crohn's disease and thymoma who developed severe CMV retinitis. While thymoma can be associated with impaired humoral immunity and a quantitative CD4+ T helper cell deficiency, these were not evident in our patient. However, more detailed investigation of anti-CMV responses showed absence of specific T cell responses to CMV antigen. Normal CMV seropositive controls have detectable proliferation and interferon-gamma production by T cells in response to stimulation with CMV antigen, but this was absent in this patient both during the acute infection and in convalescence. Other measures of T cell function were normal. Since CMV retinitis is due to reactivation of latent CMV infection, it appears that selective loss of CMV-specific immunity had occurred, perhaps secondary to a thymoma. The causes of thymoma-associated immune impairment are not understood, but this case demonstrates that selective defects can occur in the absence of global T cell impairment. Opportunistic infections should therefore be suspected in patients with thymoma even in the absence of quantitative immune deficiencies.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 09/2002; 129(2):297-301. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    J P Morgan, R A Robins, H S Dua, P J Tighe
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    ABSTRACT: Effector T cell activation is particularly important in the initiation of autoimmune uveitis. This pilot study seeks to demonstrate activation of human peripheral effector T cells in response to the uveitis candidate autoantigen, retinal S antigen (SAg), using cytokine flow cytometry (CFC). Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) suspensions from uveitis patients and controls were stimulated with bovine SAg. Activation responses were detected by CFC. Electronic gating enabled analysis of CD69+, IFN-gamma+ CD4+ lymphocytes. An SAg specific response was detectable in four of 13 patients and four of eight controls. SAg specific, peripheral, effector T cell activation can be detected by CFC. Similar levels of responsiveness were seen in patient and control groups. More detailed cytokine profiling may demonstrate functional differences between the groups.
    British Journal of Ophthalmology 06/2002; 86(5):517-20. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of intrahepatic lymphocytes in the control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the pathology associated with it is not understood; most studies of the immunology of this infection use peripheral blood lymphocyte populations. To address this further, we examined in detail the IHL from HCV-infected patients and controls, focusing on the antigen-specific CD8(+) T lymphocyte component. Individual T cells from needle liver biopsies and peripheral blood were isolated from patients with chronic HCV infection and examined directly ex vivo. We used RT-PCR spectratyping to compare the breadth of the T cell receptor usage in the liver in comparison with the peripheral blood, and applied MHC class I tetramer technology to investigate the numbers of HCV-specific CD8(+) cells in the two compartments. T cell receptor usage in the liver of HCV-infected patients was broad, comparable with that in the peripheral blood of the same patients. A much higher proportion of liver CD8(+) cells expressed receptors specific for HCV antigens compared with paired peripheral blood CD8(+) cells. A greater proportion of the liver tetramer-positive cells expressed the activation marker CD69, compared with those in the periphery or other CD8(+) cells in the liver. In the course of chronic HCV infection, HCV-specific CD8 cells, which have been recently activated, appear to accumulate specifically in the livers of infected patients but are present in much lower numbers in the peripheral circulation. Further studies are needed to determine the function of these cells and their role in protection and immunopathology.
    European Journal of Immunology 09/2001; 31(8):2388-94. · 4.97 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

397 Citations
109.72 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1995–2009
    • University of Nottingham
      • • School of Clinical Sciences
      • • Division of Clinical Neurology
      • • Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre
      • • Centre for Sports Medicine
      • • Division of Pre-Clinical Oncology
      • • School of Molecular Medical Sciences
      Nottingham, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2002
    • The Queen's Medical Center
      Honolulu, Hawaii, United States