M Willheim

Medical University of Vienna, Linz, Upper Austria, Austria

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Publications (90)418.14 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To investigate the clinical relevance of interleukin-6 (IL-6) serum levels in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD), single point IL-6 measurements in sera from consecutive CD patients and healthy donors (HD), as well as longitudinal measurements during the course of steroid therapy for active CD were performed. Patients with steroid-induced remission were followed until clinical relapse.METHODS:One hundred thirty-six CD patients without steroid or other immunosuppressive treatment within 2 months and surgical procedures within 3 months before study entry were investigated; 63 patients with active CD were enrolled into the follow-up program. Clinical activity was evaluated by the Crohn’s disease activity index (CDAI) and serum IL-6 levels measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.RESULTS:IL-6 serum levels were significantly elevated in CD patients compared to HD (p < 0.001). In individual patients serum IL-6 levels correlated with corresponding CDAI scores in a subgroup referred to as primarily inflammatory patients presenting without bowel stenosis, previous intestinal resection, or concomitant inflammatory disorders (r = 0.72, p < 0.001). Primarily inflammatory patients displayed higher serum IL-6 levels (median: 6.0 pg/ml; range: 1.3–25) than CD patients with bowel stenosis (median: 2.0; range: 1.3–4.9; p < 0.01) or extensive intestinal resection (median: 1.5; range: 1.3–13.7; p < 0.001). Longitudinally measured serum IL-6 levels reflected the clinical response during steroid therapy and predicted clinical relapse after steroid-induced remission at week 9 of the treatment protocol.CONCLUSIONS:Serum IL-6 is a clinically relevant parameter for CD that correlates with inflammatory activity and implies a prognostic value after steroid-induced remission.
    The American Journal of Gastroenterology 08/1999; · 7.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The frequency of cytokine-producing CD4-/CD8- mononuclear cells was assessed in patients of different age groups (29 infants, aged 1-5 years; 30 schoolchildren, aged 6-14 years, 26 adults, aged > 15 years) with acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria, from Gabon. Fifteen patients were followed up before antimalarial treatment (day 0), during parasite clearance (day 3) and after resolution of parasitemia (day 10). By using flow cytometry for intracellular detection of cytokines, a striking expansion of CD4-/CD8- cells producing the type 1 cytokines interleukin (IL)-2-/interferon (IFN)-gamma+, IL-2+/IFN-gamma+ and IL-2+/IFN-gamma- was observed in adults as compared with children. Type 2 cytokine expression (IL-4+/IFN-gamma-, IL-13+/IFN-gamma-) and type 0 cells (IL-4+/IFN-gamma+, IL-13+/IFN-gamma+) were not significantly different between the three age groups. Patients with severe malaria had a significantly increased frequency of type 2 cytokine-producing CD4-/CD8- cells. Drug-induced clearance of parasitemia was characterized by a decrease of IL-2+/IFN-gamma- and type 2 cytokine expressing CD4-/CD8- cells and by a gradual increase of IL-10+/IFN-gamma- expression. The type 1/type 2 dichotomy observed within the CD4-/CD8- cell population is likely to be of significance in the host response against P. falciparum malaria.
    European cytokine network 07/1999; 10(2):155-60. · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the past few years, the role of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) in specific immune responses has gained significance due to their ability to express a variety of immunoregulatory molecules. However, controversial results concerning the potential of neutrophils for cytokine production have been obtained by sensitive molecular biological techniques. This problem might be related to contaminating leukocytes in conventionally isolated neutrophil suspensions as outlined by our study. We have established a novel method yielding highly purified neutrophils by combining a discontinuous Percoll gradient with fluorescence activated cell sorting of CD16bright cells. The latter step exploits the exceptionally high expression of Fc gammaRIIIB on PMN. Neutrophils could be enriched to homogeneity (> 99.9%) with a viability exceeding 90%. Contamination with NK cells or other lymphocytes, monocytes and eosinophils could be excluded as evaluated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with primers for HLA-DR, c-fms and CD52. The transcriptional potential of such purified neutrophils was confirmed by their ability to express MHC class II molecules after stimulation with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Our method should permit studies of PMN at the mRNA level and future investigations concerning the specificity of immunoregulatory molecule synthesis by neutrophils.
    Journal of Immunological Methods 07/1999; 227(1-2):75-84. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Marrow stromal cells mediate the effect of 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on formation of osteoclast-like cells from undifferentiated hematopoetic precursors in bone marrow. Induction by the vitamin D hormone of multinucleated, calcitonin receptor- and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive cells in primary mouse bone marrow culture can be modulated by other members of the steroid/thyroid hormone family, such as triiodothyronine, which has a positive effect, as well as 17beta-estradiol and 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone, which both act as inhibitors of osteoclastogenesis. In an attempt to relate these effects of the steroid/thyroid hormones to the presence of their respective nuclear receptors, we studied expression of the vitamin D receptor (VDR), estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha and -beta, thyroid hormone receptor (TR)-alpha and -beta, and androgen receptor (AR) in total bone marrow as well as primary marrow stromal cell cultures. By using reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, in both cases amplification products were obtained, which were identified by multiple restriction fragment length analysis as transcripts from mRNA specific for the ligand-binding domains of the VDR, ER-alpha, ER-beta, TR-alpha, TR-beta, and AR. Specific immunostaining by indirect peroxidase labeling revealed that among the various cell types present in bone marrow, the steroid/ thyroid hormone receptors are abundant particularly in marrow stromal cells. In another series of experiments, we extended our survey on receptor expression also to stromal/osteoblastic cell lines. At the mRNA level, the complete repertoire of steroid/thyroid hormone receptors was present in preadipocytic ST2 cells as well as in osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. By immunocytochemical staining of the latter, it became apparent that single cells exhibit wide variations in intensity of specific signals for all the receptors investigated, so that, notably in contrast to primary stromal cells and ST2 cells, MC3T3-E1 display a mosaic pattern of receptor protein expression.
    Bone 06/1999; 24(5):465-73. · 3.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The frequency of cytokine-producing peripheral blood mononuclear cells was assessed in 28 subjects with microfilaremic loiasis and in 14 amicrofilaremic individuals. In addition, a subgroup of seven microfilaremic individuals coinfected with Plasmodium malariae was evaluated. By using flow cytometry for the intracellular detection of cytokines, a more pronounced T helper (Th)2 cell-type response with the expansion of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, and IL-13 expressing CD4+ cells in the microfilaremic compared with the amicrofilaremic group was noted. Expression of IL-5 was equivalent in both groups as was the frequency of Th2-type cytokines expressing CD8+ cells and of Th1-type cytokines (interferon [IFN]-gamma, IL-2, IFN-gamma/IL-2) producing CD4+ and CD8+ cells. Th0-type cytokine-expressing cells, represented by IL-4/IFN-gamma, IL-10/IFN-gamma, and IL-13/IFN-gamma, were equally distributed within groups. Coinfection of P. malariae did not significantly alter the cytokine expression compared with microfilaremic individuals without P. malariae infections. By identifying a large panel of cytokine-producing T cell subpopulations, a Th2-driven immune response in microfilaremic Loa loa patients was noted.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 05/1999; 60(4):680-6. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent data suggest that mast cells (MC) and their products (heparin, proteases) are involved in the regulation of coagulation and fibrino(geno)lysis. The key enzyme of fibrinolysis, plasmin, derives from its inactive progenitor, plasminogen, through catalytic action of plasminogen activators (PAs). In most cell systems, however, PAs are neutralized by plasminogen activator inhibitors (PAIs). We report that human tissue MC as well as the MC line HMC-1 constitutively produce, express, and release tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) without producing inhibitory PAIs. As assessed by Northern blotting, highly enriched lung MC (>98% pure) as well as HMC-1 expressed tPA mRNA, but did not express mRNA for PAI-1, PAI-2, or PAI-3. The tPA protein was detectable in MC-conditioned medium by Western blotting and immunoassay, and the MC agonist stem cell factor (c-Kit ligand) was found to promote the release of tPA from MC. In addition, MC-conditioned medium induced fibrin-independent plasmin generation as well as clot lysis in vitro. These observations raise the possibility that MC play an important role in endogenous fibrinolysis.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/1999; 162(2):1032-41. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The frequency of cytokine-producing T cells was assessed in patients of different age groups (29 infants, aged 1-5 years; 30 schoolchildren, aged 6-14 years; 26 adults, aged >15 years) with acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria from Gabon. By using flow cytometry for the intracellular detection of cytokines, a striking expansion was seen, in adults compared with children, of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells with the following profiles of type 1 cytokine production: interleukin (IL)-2-/interferon (IFN)-gamma+, IL-2+/IFN-gamma+, and IL-2+/IFN-gamma-. Patients with hyperparasitemia had a significantly lower frequency of IL-2-/IFN-gamma+ CD4+ cells. Type 2 cytokine expression (IL-4+/IFN-gamma-, IL-13+/IFN-gamma-) and type 0 cytokine expression (IL-4+/IFN-gamma+, IL-13+/IFN-gamma+) were also increased in adults within the CD4+ subset. Frequencies of IL-5+/IL-4+, IL-10+/IFN-gamma-, and IL-10+/IFN-gamma+ cells were similar in all groups. The increased frequency of both type 1 and type 2 cytokine-producing T cells in adults is likely to be of significance in the protection against P. falciparum malaria.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 02/1999; 179(1):209-16. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Flow cytometry for the intracellular detection of T-cell cytokines was performed for 15 Gabonese patients during acute uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. A striking expansion of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells producing gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) was found during drug-induced clearance of parasitemia, paralleled by a decrease of interleukin-2 (IL-2) production. The frequency of IL-4- and IL-13-producing CD4(+) cells gradually decreased, whereas the frequency of T cells producing IL-2(+)-IFN-gamma+, IL-4(-)-IL-5(+), and IL-4(+)-IL-5(+) cytokines as well as IL-4(+)-IFN-gamma+ and IL-13(+)-IFN-gamma+ cytokines was not significantly altered. The capacity for IL-10 production within the CD4(+) subset increased due to an expansion of both IL-10(+)-IFN-gamma- and IL-10(+)-IFN-gamma+ cytokine-expressing cells. Thus, a more pronounced Th2-driven immune response during acute untreated P. falciparum infection with a shift towards Th1 responsiveness induced by parasite clearance is suggested.
    Infection and Immunity 01/1999; 66(12):6040-4. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In mouse bone marrow cultures, the formation of osteoclast-like, that is, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive (TRAP+) and calcitonin (CT) receptor-positive multinucleated cells (MNCs), induced by 10(-10) to 10(-8) mol/L 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1alpha,25(OH)2D3], could be augmented by triiodothyronine (T3), which alone had no effect on osteoclast-like cell formation. The permissive effect of T3 increased the response to 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 by approximately one order of magnitude. Linear concentration dependence was observed between 10(-11) and 10(-8) mol/L T3. Importantly, inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis by indomethacin significantly impeded osteoclast-like cell formation by 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 and abrogated the effect of T3 thereon. Basal interleukin-6 (IL-6) production by cultured marrow cells was significantly stimulated by 1alpha,25(OH)2D3. However, even at an exceedingly high concentration of 20 ng/mL, IL-6 was ineffective in inducing osteoclast-like cell formation. Therefore, any hormonally induced rise in IL-6 release from bone marrow cells could not account for the observed changes in TRAP+ MNC numbers. Nevertheless, the stimulatory effect of 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 on osteoclastogenesis was partially dependent on IL-6 because it could be significantly blocked by a neutralizing monoclonal anti-IL-6 antibody, and to the same extent by a monoclonal anti-IL-6 receptor antibody. Unimpaired signaling through the IL-6/IL-6R system is also a prerequisite for the auxiliary effect of T3 on induction of osteoclast-like cells by 1alpha,25(OH)2D3. Our data provide evidence that 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 induces osteoclast-like cell formation, at least in part, in an IL-6-dependent mode of action, which is also subject to modulation by T3. The mechanism of interaction of the two hormones apparently involves joint stimulation of prostaglandin synthesis.
    Bone 05/1998; 22(4):341-6. · 3.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze the immunophenotype and functional properties of synovial mast cells (SyMC) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). Synovial tissue was obtained from 25 patients with RA and 17 patients with OA. Tissue was dispersed by enzymatic digestion using collagenase. Surface receptor expression on SyMC was analyzed by monoclonal antibodies (MAb) and indirect immunofluorescence staining. Histamine release experiments were performed using the MC agonist recombinant human (rHu) stem cell factor (SCF), the anaphylatoxin rHuC5a, and an anti-IgE antibody. In both groups of patients (RA and OA), SyMC were found to react with MAb to IgE, SCF receptor (c-kit, CD117), as well as CD antigens likewise expressed in lung MC (CD9, CD29, CD33, CD43, CD44, CD45). However, a significantly increased proportion of SyMC from RA patients reacted with MAb against C5a receptor (C5aR; CD88), compared with SyMC from OA (mean +/- SD percentage of SyMC reacting with CD88 MAb S5/1 in RA 27.5 +/- 8.6% versus 0.0% in OA, and with CD88 MAb W17/1 in RA 58.3 +/- 15.2% versus 12.5 +/- 15.0% in OA; P < 0.05). Furthermore, in RA, significant histamine release from SyMC above control was induced by rHuC5a, anti-IgE, and rHuSCF, whereas SyMC in OA released histamine after stimulation with anti-IgE and rHuSCF, but not rHuC5a. SyMC exhibit phenotypic and functional properties similar to MC in other tissues. In patients with RA, but not OA, SyMC express significant amounts of C5aR (CD88) and release histamine in response to rHuC5a. These results indicate a role for SyMC and C5a/C5aR in the pathogenesis of RA.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 02/1998; 41(2):233-45. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To analyze the immunophenotype and functional properties of synovial mast cells (SyMC) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).Methods Synovial tissue was obtained from 25 patients with RA and 17 patients with OA. Tissue was dispersed by enzymatic digestion using collagenase. Surface receptor expression on SyMC was analyzed by monoclonal antibodies (MAb) and indirect immunofluorescence staining. Histamine release experiments were performed using the MC agonist recombinant human (rHu) stem cell factor (SCF), the anaphylatoxin rHuC5a, and an anti-IgE antibody.ResultsIn both groups of patients (RA and OA), SyMC were found to react with MAb to IgE, SCF receptor (c-kit, CD117), as well as CD antigens likewise expressed in lung MC (CD9, CD29, CD33, CD43, CD44, CD45). However, a significantly increased proportion of SyMC from RA patients reacted with MAb against C5a receptor (C5aR; CD88), compared with SyMC from OA (mean ± SD percentage of SyMC reacting with CD88 MAb S5/1 in RA 27.5 ± 8.6% versus 0.0% in OA, and with CD88 MAb W17/1 in RA 58.3 ± 15.2% versus 12.5 ± 15.0% in OA; P < 0.05). Furthermore, in RA, significant histamine release from SyMC above control was induced by rHuC5a, anti-IgE, and rHuSCF, whereas SyMC in OA released histamine after stimulation with anti-IgE and rHuSCF, but not rHuC5a.Conclusion SyMC exhibit phenotypic and functional properties similar to MC in other tissues. In patients with RA, but not OA, SyMC express significant amounts of C5aR (CD88) and release histamine in response to rHuC5a. These results indicate a role for SyMC and C5a/C5aR in the pathogenesis of RA.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 01/1998; 41(2):233 - 245. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In studying human oral keratinocytes, it would be very helpful to obtain a pure population of cells without prior in vitro expansion. An immunomagnetic separation technique, or magnetic cell separation (MACS), was modified for efficient purification of human oral keratinocytes. Subsequent to two-step enzymatic digestion, the cell suspension was labelled with a mouse anti-CD45 (pan-leukocyte) monoclonal antibody (MoAb) to stain mononuclear cells. In a second step a rat anti-mouse antibody conjugated with colloidal superparamagnetic particles was used. Labelled cells were retained in the magnetic field of a permanent magnet on columns containing a ferromagnetic matrix. The unlabelled, unretained cells were further examined by flow cytometry analysis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction. After the MACS procedure, unretained cells showed a strong positivity for the lu-5 MoAb (as a marker for pan-cytokeratin) and were negative for anti-vimentin (to mark mesenchymal cells), for anti-CD45 MoAb and for melanocyte-detecting antibodies, thus representing pure keratinocytes (> 98%). Purified keratinocytes maintained full viability (> 91%) and functional capacities. [3H]thymidine uptake and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor expression were unaltered when compared with the non-separated cell population. Furthermore, interleukin-1 alpha was detected at the protein and RNA levels in keratinocytes immediately after MACS enrichment. Our findings show that MACS appears to be a useful tool for purification of oral keratinocytes and allows for further functional studies without prior subcultivation of cells.
    Archiv für Klinische und Experimentelle Ohren- Nasen- und Kehlkopfheilkunde 01/1998; 255(4):211-5. · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In mouse bone marrow cultures, the formation of osteoclast-like, that is, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive (TRAP+) and calcitonin (CT) receptor-positive multinucleated cells (MNCs), induced by 10−10 to 10−8 mol/L 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3], could be augmented by triiodothyronine (T3), which alone had no effect on osteoclast-like cell formation. The permissive effect of T3 increased the response to 1α,25(OH)2D3 by approximately one order of magnitude. Linear concentration dependence was observed between 10−11 and 10−8 mol/L T3. Importantly, inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis by indomethacin significantly impeded osteoclast-like cell formation by 1α,25(OH)2D3 and abrogated the effect of T3 thereon. Basal interleukin-6 (IL-6) production by cultured marrow cells was significantly stimulated by 1α,25(OH)2D3. However, even at an exceedingly high concentration of 20 ng/mL, IL-6 was ineffective in inducing osteoclast-like cell formation. Therefore, any hormonally induced rise in IL-6 release from bone marrow cells could not account for the observed changes in TRAP+ MNC numbers. Nevertheless, the stimulatory effect of 1α,25(OH)2D3 on osteoclastogenesis was partially dependent on IL-6 because it could be significantly blocked by a neutralizing monoclonal anti-IL-6 antibody, and to the same extent by a monoclonal anti-IL-6 receptor antibody. Unimpaired signaling through the IL-6/IL-6R system is also a prerequisite for the auxiliary effect of T3 on induction of osteoclast-like cells by 1α,25(OH)2D3. Our data provide evidence that 1α,25(OH)2D3 induces osteoclast-like cell formation, at least in part, in an IL-6-dependent mode of action, which is also subject to modulation by T3. The mechanism of interaction of the two hormones apparently involves joint stimulation of prostaglandin synthesis.
    Bone 01/1998; 22(4):341-346. · 3.82 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 01/1998; 114. · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In mouse bone marrow primary cultures, the formation of osteoclast-like, i.e. tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)- and calcitonin receptor-positive multinucleated cells (MNC), when induced by 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1alpha,25(OH)2D3), can be suppressed by 17beta-estradiol (17beta-E2), whereas 17alpha-E2 is without any effect. 17beta-E2, above 10(-11) M, significantly reduced 1alpha,25(OH)2D3-mediated TRAP+ MNC formation in cultured bone marrow cells from both female and male mice. The estrogen at 10(-8) M suppressed the peak response to the vitamin D sterol by 50%. 17beta-E2 significantly suppressed basal and 1alpha,25(OH)2D3-stimulated cellular production of interleukin (IL)-6. IL-6 alone, although bone marrow cells in hormone-free culture produced appreciable amounts of the cytokine, did not induce any TRAP+ MNC. Therefore, the changes in IL-6 production induced by the hormones could not be the sole determinant for the extent of TRAP+ MNC formation. However, the stimulatory effect of 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 on osteoclastogenesis nevertheless can be significantly reduced by a neutralizing monoclonal anti-IL-6 antibody. In the presence of 10(-8) M 17beta-E2, the anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody does not achieve any further suppression of 1alpha,25(OH)2D3-related osteoclast-like cell formation. Our data suggest that induction of osteoclastogenesis by 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 is partially dependent on IL-6 signaling and can be modulated by 17beta-E2 through interference with IL-6 receptor activation, in addition to inhibition of IL-6 production by marrow stromal cells.
    Endocrinology 12/1997; 138(11):4567-71. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent data suggest that mast cells (MC) are involved in the regulation of leukocyte accumulation in inflammatory reactions. In this study, expression of leukocyte-chemotactic peptides (chemokines) in purified human lung MC (n = 16) and a human mast cell line, HMC-1, was analyzed. Northern blotting and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed baseline expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 mRNA in unstimulated MC. Exposure of MC to recombinant stem cell factor (rhSCF, 100 ng/mL) or anti-IgE (10 microgram/mL) was followed by a substantial increase in expression of MCP-1 mRNA. Neither unstimulated nor stem cell factor (SCF )-stimulated lung MC expressed transcripts for interleukin-8 (IL-8), macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha), MIP-1beta, or RANTES by Northern blotting. The mast cell line HMC-1, which contains a mutated and intrinsically activated SCF-receptor, was found to express high levels of MCP-1 mRNA in a constitutive manner. Exposure of HMC-1 cells to rhSCF resulted in upregulation of MCP-1 mRNA expression, and de novo expression of MIP-1beta mRNA. The SCF-induced upregulation of MCP-1 mRNA in lung MC and HMC-1 was accompanied by an increase in immunologically detectable MCP-1 in cell supernatants (sup) (lung MC [<98%], control medium, 1 hour: 159 +/- 27 v SCF, 100 ng/mL, 1 hour: 398 +/- 46 pg/mL/10(6) cells; HMC-1: control, 1 hour: 894 +/- 116 v SCF, 1 hour: 1,536 +/- 265 pg/mL/10(6)). IgE-dependent activation was also followed by MCP-1 release from MC. MC-sup and HMC-1-sup induced chemotaxis in blood monocytes (Mo) (control: 100% +/- 12% v 2-hour-MC-sup: 463% +/- 38% v HMC-1-sup: 532% +/- 12%), and a monoclonal antibody (MoAb) to MCP-1 (but not MoAb to IL-8) inhibited Mo-chemotaxis induced by MC-sup or HMC-1-sup (39% to 55% inhibition, P < .05). In summary, our study identifies MCP-1 as the predominant CC-chemokine produced and released in human lung MC. MCP-1 may be a crucial mediator in inflammatory reactions associated with MC activation and accumulation of MCP-1-responsive leukocytes.
    Blood 12/1997; 90(11):4438-49. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms operative in specific immunotherapy (SIT) of Type I allergy are not completely understood. In the present study we evaluated immunological changes during SIT in pollinosis. Eight patients suffering from pollinosis (monosensitized to grass pollen) were treated with conventional SIT. All subjects had IgE specific for Phl p 1, a major allergen of timothy grass. In vitro changes in the immunological reactivity to grass pollen extract and to recombinant Phl p 1 were evaluated. Subjects were examined at three occasions: before, after 3 months and after 1 year of SIT. Serological analysis revealed a marked increase of grass pollen- and Phl p 1-specific IgG, titres of specific IgE did not change significantly. Lymphoproliferative responses to grass pollen extract and rPhl p 1 were reduced already after 3 months of treatment. Accordingly, the cloning efficiency for Phl p 1-specific T-cell clones (TCC) dropped markedly in all patients. The majority of allergen-specific TCC raised before SIT revealed a TH2-like pattern of cytokine production, TCC established after SIT revealed TH1 characteristics. This shift was due to a decrease in IL-4 rather than an increase in IFN-production by T cells. Investigations of the epitopes recognized by T cells before and after SIT did not reveal the outgrowth of new ('protecting') specificities. We could not observe induction of allergen-specific CD8+ lymphocytes (supressor cells). Our data indicate that -- on the level of TH lymphocytes -- SIT induces tolerance to the allergen and a modulation of the cytokine pattern produced in response to allergen stimulation.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 10/1997; 27(9):1007-15. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the possibility of using surface molecules as markers for human T helper cell subsets, we studied the expression of surface molecules on T cell clones (TCCs) specific for the major birch pollen allergen, Bet v 1. No difference in the expression of the respective receptors for interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), IL-4, IL-6, or IL-10 could be detected on T(H) subsets, nor did CD25 expression (IL-2R alpha-chain) differ significantly. However, high expression of CD26 antigen (dipeptidyl peptidase IV) correlated with a T(H1)/T(H0)-like phenotype, whereas T(H2)-like clones displayed a lower expression of CD26 antigen. Comparing cytokine production and CD26 expression simultaneously, we found a correlation between the IL-4/IFN-gamma ratio and the density of CD26 per cell. We could show that the amount of IL-4 secretion, and not of IFN-gamma secretion, was responsible for this correlation. To evaluate whether CD26 antigen expression is regulated by stimuli inducing a T(H1)- or T(H2)-like phenotype, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were cultured in the presence of IL-4, IFN-gamma, and IL-12, respectively. Incubation with IL-4 led to T cells with a T(H2)-like cytokine pattern and a significantly lower expression of CD26; IFN-gamma and IL-12 led to a T(H1) shift associated with an increased expression of CD26 on CD4+ T cells. By means of intracellular cytokine detection we analyzed expression of CD26 on CD4+ PBMC stimulated to produce IFN-gamma or IL-4 on a single cell level. All activated, cytokine-producing CD4+ T cells expressed CD26, but the increase in CD26 expression was higher in cells producing IFN-gamma. These data suggest that regulation of CD26 cell surface expression correlates with the production of T(H1)-like cytokines.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 10/1997; 100(3):348-55. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A number of structurally different allergens trigger the release of mediators from basophils by cross-linking of IgE receptors. In this study, we analyzed the effects of cyclosporine A (CSA) and FK-506 on allergen-induced histamine release in human blood basophils obtained from birch- or grass-pollen-allergic donors (n = 12). Preincubation of basophils with CSA (0.003-3 microg/ml) or FK-506 (0.003-3 microg/ml) led to inhibition of histamine release induced by purified recombinant tree pollen allergens (r Bet v 1, r Bet v 2) and timothy grass pollen allergens (r Ph1 p 1, r Ph1 p 2, r Ph1 p 5). The effects of CSA and FK-506 were dose dependent, with IC50 values ranging between 0.03 and 0.3 microg/ml for both CSA and FK-506. Cyclosporine H, an inactive CSA analog, did not show any effect on allergen-induced histamine secretion. IgE dependency of the reaction was demonstrated in passive transfer experiments using highly enriched human basophils (> 95% pure) and specific IgE from a patient allergic to Bet v 2. In summary, our data show that CSA and FK-506 inhibit recombinant-allergen-induced histamine release from peripheral blood basophils in allergic donors.
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 09/1997; 114(1):68-73. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The urokinase receptor system is involved in several biological processes including extracellular proteolysis, cell invasion, and chemotaxis. Mast cells are multifunctional perivascular cells that play an important role in the regulation of microenvironmental events. We report that primary human mast cells and the human mast cell line HMC-1 express the receptor for urokinase. As assessed by Northern blotting and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction technique, purified human lung mast cells and HMC-1 cells expressed urokinase receptor mRNA in a constitutive manner. Using a toluidine blue/immunofluorescence double staining technique and monoclonal antibodies, surface expression of urokinase receptor was demonstrable in lung, skin, uterus, heart, and tonsil mast cells, whereas the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein was not detectable. Binding of monoclonal antibody VIM5 (recognizing the urokinase binding domain of urokinase receptor) to HMC-1 could be blocked by high molecular weight but not low molecular weight urokinase. Binding analyses performed with 123I-urokinase revealed expression of 271,000 +/- 55,000 high affinity urokinase binding sites per HMC-1 cell, with a calculated dissociation constant of 1. 29 +/- 0.3 nM. Purified urokinase induced dose-dependent migration of primary mast cells and HMC-1 in a chemotaxis assay without inducing release of histamine. The mast cell agonist stem cell factor also induced migration of HMC-1 and caused up-regulation of expression of urokinase receptor mRNA. Together, our data show that human mast cells express functional receptors for urokinase. Expression of urokinase receptors on mast cells may have implications for mast cell-dependent microvascular processes associated with fibrinolysis, migration, or local tissue repair.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/1997; 272(12):7824-32. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
583 Downloads
418.14 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2000–2012
    • Medical University of Vienna
      • • Zentrum für Pathophysiologie, Infektiologie und Immunologie
      • • Department of Nuclear Medicine
      Linz, Upper Austria, Austria
  • 1992–2005
    • University of Vienna
      • • Department of Nuclear Medicine
      • • Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin I
      Wien, Vienna, Austria