Lucila G G Pacífico

Federal University of Minas Gerais, Cidade de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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Publications (13)37.12 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Schistosoma mansoni tegument is involved in essential functions for parasite survival and represents a target for screening candidates for vaccine and diagnosis. Our group using reverse vaccinology selected six candidates, previously demonstrated by proteomics studies to be expressed in the parasite tegument, among them was Sm200. In this work we have cloned and expressed a recombinant form of Sm200 C-terminal (1069-1520) region. The efficacy of rSm200 (1069-1520) in the diagnosis of schistosomiasis and in the formulation of a vaccine against S. mansoni was assessed respectively in an ELISA based diagnostic assay and immunization protocols in mice. Significant differences between non-infected and acutely infected or chronically infected animals were observed and no cross-recognition was observed with sera from Ascaris suum or Ancylostoma ceylanicum infected mice. rSm200-ELISA test could also discriminate infected individuals from healthy donors not living in endemic area for schistosomiasis but failed to discriminate between individuals from a low endemic area for schistosomiasis known to have positive or negative stools after examination. Recombinant Sm200 also failed to induce protection against schistosomiasis, demonstrating that the C-terminal part of Sm200 is unable to induce protective immune response in mice. Therefore rSm200 (1069-1520)-ELISA represents an important tool to be used in the diagnosis of schistosomiasis.
    Experimental Parasitology 01/2014; · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of novel mucosal adjuvants will help to develop new formulations to control infectious and allergic diseases. In this work we demonstrate that U-Omp16 from Brucella spp. delivered by the nasal route (i.n.) induced an inflammatory immune response in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung tissues. Nasal co-administration of U-Omp16 with the model antigen (Ag) ovalbumin (OVA) increased the amount of Ag in lung tissues and induced OVA-specific systemic IgG and T helper (Th) 1 immune responses. The usefulness of U-Omp16 was also assessed in a mouse model of food allergy. U-Omp16 i.n. administration during sensitization ameliorated the hypersensitivity responses of sensitized mice upon oral exposure to Cow's Milk Protein (CMP), decreased clinical signs, reduced anti-CMP IgE serum antibodies and modulated the Th2 response in favor of Th1 immunity. Thus, U-Omp16 could be used as a broad Th1 mucosal adjuvant for different Ag formulations.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e69438. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Around 300 million people world-wide suffer from asthma, and the prevalence of allergic diseases has increased. Much effort has been used in the study of mechanisms involved in the immune response observed in asthma to intervene for the treatment of this condition. During inflammation in asthma, Th2 cytokines and eosinophils are essential components of the host immune system. Furthermore, for therapeutic interventions against this disease, IL-10 is an important cytokine because it has a central role in the regulation of inflammatory cascades. To evaluate the immunomodulatory effect of Lactococcus lactis strains expressing recombinant IL-10 in a mouse model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced acute airway inflammation. L. lactis expressing recombinant IL-10 in a cytoplasmic (LL-CYT) or secreted form (LL-SEC) and wild-type (LL-WT) were used. IL-10 production by the recombinant strains was evaluated by ELISA. After an intranasal administration of L. lactis producing recombinant IL-10 and the induction of acute allergic airway inflammation in mice, blood samples were collected to detect IgE anti-OVA, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was harvested for eosinophil count. Additionally, the lungs were collected for the detection of the eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) activity, measurement of cytokines and chemokines and evaluation of pathology. Mice that received LL-CYT and LL-SEC strains showed a significant decrease in eosinophils numbers, EPO activity, anti-OVA IgE and IgG1 levels, IL-4 and CCL3 production and pulmonary inflammation and mucus hypersecretion, compared with the asthmatic group. Only the LL-CYT/OVA group showed reduced levels of IL-5, CCL2, CCL5 and CCL11. Treatment with L. lactis producing recombinant IL-10 used in this study (LL-CYT and LL-SEC) modulated experimental airway inflammation in the mouse model independently of Treg cells. Additionally, the LL-CYT strain was more efficient in the suppression of lung inflammation.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 10/2010; 40(10):1541-51. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schistosoma mansoni infection has been associated with protection against allergies. The mechanisms underlying this association may involve regulatory cells and cytokines. We evaluated the immune response induced by the S. mansoni antigens Sm22.6, PIII and Sm29 in a murine model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced airway inflammation. BALB/c mice were sensitized with subcutaneously injected OVA-alum and challenged with aerolized OVA. Mice were given three doses of the different S. mansoni antigens. Lung histopathology, cellularity of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and eosinophil peroxidase activity in lung were evaluated. Immunoglobulin (Ig)E levels in serum and cytokines in BAL were also measured. Additionally, we evaluated the frequency of CD4+forkhead box P3 (FoxP3)+ T cells in cultures stimulated with OVA and the expression of interleukin (IL)-10 by these cells. The number of total cells and eosinophils in BAL and the levels of OVA-specific IgE were reduced in the immunized mice. Also, the levels of IL-4 and IL-5 in the BAL of mice immunized with PIII and Sm22.6 were decreased, while the levels of IL-10 were higher in mice immunized with Sm22.6 compared to the non-immunized mice. The frequency of CD4+FoxP3+ T cells was higher in the groups of mice who received Sm22.6, Sm29 and PIII, being the expression of IL-10 by these cells only higher in mice immunized with Sm22.6. We concluded that the S. mansoni antigens used in this study are able to down-modulate allergic inflammatory mediators in a murine model of airway inflammation and that the CD4+FoxP3+ T cells, even in the absence of IL-10 expression, might play an important role in this process.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 05/2010; 160(2):266-74. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In areas where schistosomiasis is endemic, a negative correlation is observed between atopy and helminth infection, associated with a low prevalence of asthma. We investigated whether Schistosoma mansoni infection or injection of parasite eggs can modulate airway allergic inflammation in mice, examining the mechanisms of such regulation. We infected BALB/c mice with 30 S. mansoni cercariae or intraperitoneally injected 2,500 schistosome eggs, and experimental asthma was induced by ovalbumin (OVA). The number of eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was higher in the asthmatic group than in asthmatic mice infected with S. mansoni or treated with parasite eggs. Reduced Th2 cytokine production, characterized by lower levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, and immunoglobulin E, was observed in both S. mansoni-treated groups compared to the asthmatic group. There was a reduction in the number of inflammatory cells in lungs of S. mansoni-infected and egg-treated mice, demonstrating that both S. mansoni infection and the egg treatment modulated the lung inflammatory response to OVA. Only allergic animals that were treated with parasite eggs had increased numbers of CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) T cells and increased levels of IL-10 and decreased production of CCL2, CCL3, and CCL5 in the lungs compared to the asthmatic group. Neutralization of IL-10 receptor or depletion of CD25(+) T cells in vivo confirmed the critical role of CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells in experimental asthma modulation independent of IL-10.
    Infection and immunity 10/2008; 77(1):98-107. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sm14 and paramyosin are two major Schistosoma mansoni vaccine candidate antigens. Recently, we have identified Sm14 and paramyosin epitopes that are recognized by T cells of resistant individuals living in endemic areas for schistosomiasis. Herein, mice were immunized with these peptides separately or in association in order to evaluate their vaccine potential. Immunization of mice with Sm14 peptides alone or mixed with paramyosin peptides was able to induce 26%-36.7% or 28%-29.2% of worm burden reduction, 67% or 46% of intestinal eggs reduction and also 54%-61% or 43%-52% of liver pathology reduction, respectively. Protection was associated with a Th1 type of immune response induced by Sm14 peptide immunization. In contrast, paramyosin peptide vaccination did not engender protective immunity or liver pathology reduction and immunization was associated with a Th2 type of immune response.
    Acta Tropica 07/2008; 106(3):162-7. · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant proteins expressed in Escherichia coli vectors are generally contaminated with endotoxin. In this study, we evaluated the ability of Polymyxin B to neutralize the effect of LPS present as contaminant on Schistosoma mansoni recombinant proteins produced in E. coli in inducing TNF-alpha and IL-10. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from individuals chronically infected with S. mansoni were stimulated in vitro with recombinant Sm22.6, Sm14 and P24 antigens (10 microg/mL) in the presence of Polymyxin B (10 microg/mL). The levels of cytokines were measured using ELISA. There was greater than 90% reduction (p < 0.05) in the levels of TNF-alpha and IL-10 when Polymyxin B was added to the cultures stimulated with LPS. In cultures stimulated with S. mansoni recombinant proteins in the presence of Polymyxin B, a reduction in the levels of TNF-alpha and IL-10 was also observed. However, the percentage of reduction was lower when compared to the cultures stimulated with LPS, probably because these proteins are able to induce the production of these cytokines by themselves. This study showed that Polymyxin B was able to neutralize the effect of endotoxin, as contaminant in S. mansoni recombinant antigens produced in E. coli, in inducing TNF-alpha and IL-10 production.
    Microbial Cell Factories 02/2007; 6:1. · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Asthmatics infected with Schistosoma mansoni have a less severe course of asthma and an inhibition of the Th2 inflammatory response that seems to be mediated by interleukin (IL-10). The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of some S. mansoni antigens to stimulate IL-10 production in vitro by cells of asthmatic infected individuals. Peripheral bloods mononuclear cells were stimulated with the S. mansoni recombinant antigens Sm22.6, Sm14, P24, and PIII antigen. IL-10 was measured in the supernatants of cultures. As the recombinant antigens were cloned in Escherichia coli, we blocked contaminant endotoxin with polymyxin B added to the cultures. We demonstrated that all antigens used drove high production of IL-10 in S. mansoni infected individuals (n = 13, 408 +/- 514 and 401 +/- 383 pg/ml, 484 +/- 245 pg/ml, 579 +/- 468 pg/ml, respectively). In asthmatics infected with S. mansoni (n = 21) rP24 induced higher levels of IL-10 (565 +/- 377 pg/ml) when compared to PIII, rSm14 and rSm22.6 (184 +/- 209 pg/ml; 292 +/- 243 pg/ml; 156 +/- 247 pg/ml, respectively). Conclusion: the S. mansoni antigens evaluated in this study stimulated IL-10 production by cells from infected individuals and therefore they have the potential to be used as a modulator of the inflammatory response in asthma.
    Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 10/2006; 101 Suppl 1:339-43. · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The need to develop a vaccine against schistosomiasis led several researches and our group to investigate proteins from Schistosoma mansoni as vaccine candidates. Sm22.6 is a protein from S. mansoni that shows high identity with Sj22.6 and Sh22.6 (79 and 91%, respectively). These proteins are associated with high levels of IgE and protection to reinfection. Previously, we have shown that Sm22.6 induced a partial protection of 34.5% when used together with Freund's adjuvant and produced a Th0 type of immune response with interferon-g and interleukin-4. In this work, mice were immunized with Sm22.6 alone or with aluminum hydroxide adjuvant and high levels of IgG, IgG1, and IgG2a were measured. Unfortunately, no protection was detected. Since IL-10 is a modulating cytokine in schistosomiasis, we also observed a high level of this molecule in splenocytes of vaccinated mice. In conclusion, we did not observe the adjuvant effect of aluminum hydroxide associated with rSm22.6 in protective immunity.
    Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 10/2006; 101 Suppl 1:365-8. · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schistosomiasis is an endemic disease that affects 200 million people worldwide. DNA-based vaccine is a promising strategy to induce protective immunity against schistosomiasis, since both humoral and cellular immune responses are involved in parasite elimination. In this study, we evaluated the ability of Sm14 cDNA alone or in association with a plasmid expressing murine interleukin (IL)-12 to induce protection against challenge infection. Mice were immunized with four doses of the DNA vaccine and the levels of protection were determined by worm burden recovery after challenge infection. Specific antibody production to rSm14 was determined by ELISA, and cytokine production was measured in splenocyte culture supernatants stimulated with rSm14 and in bronchoalveolar lavage of vaccinated mice after challenge infection. DNA immunization with pCI/Sm14 alone induced 40.5% of worm reduction. However, the use of pCI/IL-12 as adjuvant to pCI/Sm14 immunization failed to enhance protection against challenge infection. Protection induced by pCI/Sm14 immunization correlates with specific IgG antibody production against Sm14, Th1 type of immune response with high levels of interferon (IFN)-gamma and low levels of IL-4 in splenocyte culture supernatants and in bronchoalveolar lavage after challenge infection. IL-12 co-administration with pCI/Sm14 induced a significant production of nitric oxide in splenocyte culture supernatants and also lymphocyte suppression, with reduced percentage of T cells producing IFN-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
    Microbes and Infection 09/2006; 8(9-10):2509-16. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are no reports in literature about functional roles of fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF-9) in tooth development in animals with complete tooth pattern. The classical model for studying tooth development is the mouse, which has small number of teeth and distinctive incisor and molar patterns. The opossum Didelphis albiventris with five upper and four lower incisors, one canine, three premolars, and four molars, on each side of the jaw, seems to be a convenient model to test results obtained in the mouse. Molecular expression studies indicate that FGF-9 participates in murine tooth initiation and regulation of morphogenesis. Searching for similarities and differences in FGF-9 expression between the opossum and the mouse, amino acid sequence and expression pattern of FGF-9 in the developing first molars of D. albiventris were characterised. FGF-9 cDNA sequence was obtained using RT-PCR and expressed in bacterial system for recombinant protein production and analysis of immunoreactivity. FGF-9 expression during tooth development was investigated by immunoperoxidase method. FGF-9 protein consists in a 209-residue polypeptide with a predicted molecular mass of 23.5 kDa. FGF-9 amino acid sequence has 98% of sequence identity to human and 97% to rodents. During tooth development, epithelial FGF-9 expression was seen at the dental lamina stage. Mesenchymal expression was seen at the bud stage and at the cap stage. No significant expression was found in the enamel knot. While in rodents FGF-9 is involved in initiation and regulation of tooth shape, it is suggested that it is only involved in tooth initiation in D. albiventris.
    Archives of Oral Biology 05/2006; 51(4):263-72. · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schistosomiasis is a major public health problem that affects mainly developing countries. There are 200 million people worldwide infected with schistosomes resulting in more than 250,000 deaths per year. Although schistosomicidal drugs exist, the advent of an efficacious vaccine remains the most potentially powerful means for controlling this disease. In this study we isolated a cDNA clone encoding the Schistosoma mansoni lung-stage Sm22.6 protein, which is 100% and 79% identical with the 22.6 kDa adult worm tegument antigen of S. mansoni and S. japonicum, respectively. Further, we produced recombinant (r) Sm22.6 and constructed an Sm22.6 DNA vaccine. Western blot analysis confirmed the identity of purified MBP-Sm22.6 fusion protein using anti-MBP (maltose binding protein) and anti-rSm22.6 antibodies. Additionally, C57BL/6 mice were immunized and specific anti-Sm22.6 IgG responses were produced when both vaccination strategies were used. Importantly, only rSm22.6 vaccine provided levels of protection against challenge infection (34.5%). Mice immunized with rSm22.6 induced production of IgG1 and IgG2a and synthesis of IFN-gamma and IL-4 in cultured mouse splenocytes. Finally, rSm22.6 vaccination induced a Th0 type of immune response and protective immunity that suggests Sm22.6 as a potential candidate to compose an anti-schistosome vaccine.
    Immunobiology 02/2006; 211(1-2):97-104. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was the molecular cloning of toxins active on calcium channels expressed by the spider Phoneutria nigriventer. Clones encoding the toxins Pn3-3A, Pn3-4A, Tx3-5, Pn3-5A, Tx3-6, Pn3-6A and Pn3-6B were identified from a cDNA library derived from the venom gland of this spider, revealing toxins of 49, 76, 45, 39, 55 and 58 amino acids residues, respectively, with polypeptide precursors being composed of three major portions: a signal peptide, a propeptide and finally, the mature toxin. A high degree of homology with the amino acid sequence was found between Pn3-3A and the neurotoxin Tx3-3 (identity of 79%), and between Pn3-4A and the neurotoxin Tx3-4 (identity of 95%). The deduced amino acid sequence for the mature polypeptides Tx3-5 and Tx3-6 confirms the polypeptide sequence previously published for these neurotoxins. In addition, the toxin Pn3-5A showed 58% identity to the Tx3-5 amino acid sequence, and the toxins Pn3-6A and Pn3-6B showed 85 and 33% identity, respectively, to the Tx3-6 amino acid sequence.
    Toxicon 07/2003; 41(7):755-63. · 2.92 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

248 Citations
37.12 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2013
    • Federal University of Minas Gerais
      • • Institute of Biological Sciences
      • • Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia
      Cidade de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 2007
    • Universidade Federal da Bahia
      Bahia, Estado de Bahía, Brazil