Urban Sester

Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany

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Publications (102)502.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Graft survival in transplant recipients depends on pharmacokinetics and on individual susceptibility towards immunosuppressive drugs. Nevertheless, pharmacodynamic changes in T-cell functionality in response to drugs and in relation to pharmacokinetics are poorly characterized. We therefore investigated the immunosuppressive effect of calcineurin inhibitors and steroids on general T-cell functionality after polyclonal stimulation of whole blood samples. General T-cell functionality in the absence or presence of immunosuppressive drugs was determined in vitro directly from whole blood based on cytokine induction after stimulation with the polyclonal stimulus Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B. In addition, diurnal changes in leukocyte and lymphocyte subsets, and on T-cell function after intake of immunosuppressive drugs were analyzed in 19 patients during one day and compared to respective kinetics in six immunocompetent controls. Statistical analysis was performed using non-parametric and parametric tests. Susceptibility towards calcineurin inhibitors showed interindividual differences. When combined with steroids, tacrolimus led to more pronounced increase in the inhibitory activity as compared to cyclosporine A. While circadian alterations in leukocyte subpopulations and T-cell function in controls were related to endogenous cortisol levels, T-cell functionality in transplant recipients decreased after intake of the morning medication, which was more pronounced in patients with higher drug-dosages. Interestingly, calcineurin inhibitors differentially affected circadian rhythm of T-cell function, as patients on cyclosporine A showed a biphasic decrease in T-cell reactivity after drug-intake in the morning and evening, whereas T-cell reactivity in patients on tacrolimus remained rather stable. The whole blood assay allows assessment of the inhibitory activity of immunosuppressive drugs in clinically relevant concentrations. Circadian alterations in T-cell function are determined by dose and type of immunosuppressive drugs and show distinct differences between cyclosporine A and tacrolimus. In future these findings may have practical implications to estimate the net immunosuppressive effect of a given drug-regimen that daily acts in an individual patient, and may contribute to individualize immunosuppression.
    Journal of Translational Medicine 12/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1186/s12967-015-0420-5 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Comparative assessment of the tuberculin skin testing (TST) and commercial IFN-γ release-assays (IGRAs) is hampered by the use of different antigens (tuberculin PPD in TST vs. ESAT-6/CFP-10 in IGRAs). Thus, PPD was used as a common stimulus to compare performance of the TST and three IGRAs in 72 controls, 101 hemodialysis patients and 100 renal transplant recipients. Results of the TST were compared with PPD-induced IFN-γ induction in vitro detected by ELISPOT, ELISA or a flow-cytometric FACS assay. Percentages of positive tests were significantly lower in TST (9.2%) compared to ELISA (55.3%), ELISPOT (45.3%) and FACS (44.9%, p < 0.0001). Agreement between TST and IGRAs was highest for controls (κ = 0.19–0.32) and poor in immunocompromised patients (κ = 0 for transplant patients, κ = 0.06–0.13 for hemodialysis patients). Discrepant results were largely TST negative and IGRA positive. Among IGRAs, agreement was highest between ELISPOT and FACS (κ = 0.61). Unlike TST, all IGRAs were associated with variables of mycobacterial exposure. Among IGRAs, the FACS assay was least affected by the level of immunosuppression. In conclusion, both the percentage of positive results and between-test-agreement were higher with IGRAs as compared to TST. This indicates superiority of IGRAs in detecting a PPD-specific immune response which may also apply for immunity toward Mycobacterium tuberculosis–specific antigens.
    American Journal of Transplantation 05/2015; DOI:10.1111/ajt.13330 · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DC) play an important role in the induction of immune responses. Patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) suffer from chronic inflammation, leading to a secondary, uremic immunodeficiency associated with alterations in monocyte subpopulations with increased proinflammatory capacities. The aim of this study was to examine, under isolated conditions, whether alterations in monocyte subpopulations may affect in vitro maturation of dendritic cells (DC) in patients with ESRD, thus allowing us to draw conclusions for the situation in vivo. Monocytes from 30 patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD) and 15 healthy volunteers were enriched from peripheral blood leukocytes, differentiated into immature DC (iDC) in medium containing IL-4 and GM-CSF, and were induced with LPS to differentiate into mature DC (mDC). Monocyte subpopulations and DC maturation stages were phenotypically characterized using flow-cytometry. Although phenotypically indistinguishable, the number of both iDC and mDC that were generated from uremic monocytes was significantly higher compared to those from healthy controls (p = 0.02 and p = 0.03, respectively). This was associated with an increased number of CD14+ CD16+ monocytes (p = 0.02) and by a higher maturation efficiency of mDC in patients (p = 0.04). A high percentage of CD14+ CD16+ monocytes in patients with ESRD is associated with an increased propensity to differentiate into DC. This indicates that chronic inflammation may substantiate the biased consistence of monocyte subpopulations leading to profound alteration in DC generation and maturation in ESRD.
    03/2015; 24(2):257-66. DOI:10.17219/acem/40463
  • Transplantation 11/2014; 98(10):e87-8. DOI:10.1097/TP.0000000000000475 · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Varicella zoster virus (VZV) establishes lifelong persistence and may reactivate in individuals with impaired immune function. To investigate immunologic correlates of protection and VZV-reactivation, specific immunity was characterized in 207 non-symptomatic immunocompetent and 132 immunocompromised individuals and compared to patients with acute herpes-zoster. VZV-specific CD4-T-cells were quantified flow-cytometrically after stimulation and characterized for expression of IFNγ, IL-2, and TNFα and surface-markers for differentiation (CD127) and anergy (CTLA-4, PD-1). IgG- and IgA-levels were quantified using ELISA. In healthy individuals, VZV-specific antibody- and T-cell-levels were age-dependent with highest median VZV-specific CD4-T-cell-frequencies of 0.108% (IQR 0.121%) during adolescence. VZV-specific T-cell-profiles were multifunctional with predominant expression of all three cytokines, CD127-positivity and low expression of CTLA-4 and PD-1. Non-symptomatic immunocompromised patients had similar VZV-specific immunological properties except for lower T-cell-frequencies (p<0.001) and restricted cytokine-expression. In contrast, significantly elevated antibody- and VZV-specific CD4-T-cell-levels were found in zoster-patients. Their specific T-cells showed a shift in cytokine-expression towards IFNγ-single-positivity, an increase in CTLA-4- and PD-1-, and a decrease in CD127-expression (all p<0.0001). This phenotype normalized after resolution of symptoms. In conclusion, VZV-specific CD4-T-cells in zoster-patients bear typical features of anergy. This phenotype is reversible and may serve as adjunct tool for monitoring VZV-reactivations in high-risk-patients.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2014; 211(4). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiu500 · 5.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: After kidney transplantation, immunosuppressive therapy causes impaired cellular immune defense leading to an increased risk of viral complications. Trough level monitoring of immunosuppressants is insufficient to estimate the individual intensity of immunosuppression. We have already shown that virus-specific T cells (Tvis) correlate with control of virus replication as well as with the intensity of immunosuppression. The multicentre IVIST01-trial should prove that additional steering of immunosuppressive and antiviral therapy by Tvis levels leads to better graft function by avoidance of over-immunosuppression (for example, viral infections) and drug toxicity (for example, nephrotoxicity).Methods/design: The IVIST-trial starts 4 weeks after transplantation. Sixty-four pediatric kidney recipients are randomized either to a non-intervention group that is only treated conservatively or to an intervention group with additional monitoring by Tvis. The randomization is stratified by centre and cytomegalovirus (CMV) prophylaxis. In both groups the immunosuppressive medication (cyclosporine A and everolimus) is adopted in the same target range of trough levels. In the non-intervention group the immunosuppressive therapy (cyclosporine A and everolimus) is only steered by classical trough level monitoring and the antiviral therapy of a CMV infection is performed according to a standard protocol. In contrast, in the intervention group the dose of immunosuppressants is individually adopted according to Tvis levels as a direct measure of the intensity of immunosuppression in addition to classical trough level monitoring. In case of CMV infection or reactivation the antiviral management is based on the individual CMV-specific immune defense assessed by the CMV-Tvis level. Primary endpoint of the study is the glomerular filtration rate 2 years after transplantation; secondary endpoints are the number and severity of viral infections and the incidence of side effects of immunosuppressive and antiviral drugs.
    Trials 08/2014; 15(1):324. DOI:10.1186/1745-6215-15-324 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell-mediated immunity assays could be valuable for risk assessment of organ donors, but no data exist on their feasibility in deceased donors. In this study, 105 deceased donors (52.3 ± 16.9 years) were screened at the time of organ procurement. Pathogen-specific stimulation was performed using a cytomegalovirus (CMV) lysate, tuberculin (purified protein derivative [PPD]) and soluble Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific ESAT-6/CFP-10 proteins in combination with an in-house fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) assay or commercial assay formats (QuantiFERON-CMV/TB for ELISA, T-SPOT.TB for ELISPOT). CMV-IgG antibody titers were determined as gold standard for CMV infection; 51.4% of samples were CMV seropositive. Indeterminate results were observed in 47.6% of ELISA, 12.5% of FACS and 0% of ELISPOT assays. Agreement with serology was highest for FACS (95.6%, κ = 0.91), followed by ELISPOT (84.0%, κ = 0.68) and ELISA (80.0%, κ = 0.60). Agreement between ELISA and serology increased if the CMV lysate was used as stimulus (96.7%, κ = 0.92). Among the T cell assays, agreement between ELISPOT and FACS was highest (κ = 0.70). PPD-positive results among valid samples differed between assays (26.5% for ELISA, 23.1% for FACS and 50.5% for ELISPOT); 2.0% were QuantiFERON-TB positive, 3.3% were ESAT-6/CFP-10-positive in FACS and 13.4% were positive in the T-SPOT.TB assay. In conclusion, cellular immunity may be analyzed from samples of deceased donors, although the assays differ in the rate of positivity and indeterminate results.
    American Journal of Transplantation 07/2014; 14(9). DOI:10.1111/ajt.12787 · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) infection is widespread and typically asymptomatic during childhood, but may cause nephropathy in kidney transplant recipients. However, there is only limited knowledge on BKPyV-specific immunity in children and adults, and its role in BKPyV-replication and disease posttransplant. We therefore characterized BKPyV-specific immunity from 122 immunocompetent individuals (1–84 years), 38 adult kidney recipients with (n = 14) and without BKPyV-associated complications (n = 24), and 25 hemodialysis (HD) patients. Blood samples were stimulated with overlapping peptides of BKPyV large-T antigen and VP1 followed by flow-cytometric analysis of activated CD4 T cells expressing interferon-γ, IL-2 and tumor necrosis factor-α. Antibody-levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Both BKPyV-IgG levels and BKPyV-specific CD4 T cell frequencies were age-dependent (p = 0.0059) with maximum levels between 20 and 30 years (0.042%, interquartile range 0.05%). Transplant recipients showed a significantly higher BKPyV-specific T cell prevalence (57.9%) compared to age-matched controls (21.7%) or HD patients (28%, p = 0.017). Clinically relevant BKPyV-replication was associated with elevated frequencies of BKPyV-specific T cells (p = 0.0002), but decreased percentage of cells expressing multiple cytokines (p = 0.009). In conclusion, BKPyV-specific cellular immunity reflects phases of active BKPyV-replication either after primary infection in childhood or during reactivation after transplantation. Combined analysis of BKPyV-specific T cell functionality and viral loads may improve individual risk assessment.
    American Journal of Transplantation 04/2014; 14(6). DOI:10.1111/ajt.12689 · 6.19 Impact Factor
  • The Journal of Urology 04/2014; 191(4):e823. DOI:10.1016/j.juro.2014.02.2240 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    Frontiers in Physiology 01/2014; 5:16. DOI:10.3389/fphys.2014.00016
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    ABSTRACT: Expression of the inhibitory receptor programmed death 1 (PD-1) on cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific CD4 T cells defines a phenotype associated with CMV viremia in transplant recipients. Moreover, CD28(-) CD27(-) double negativity is known as a typical phenotype of CMV-specific CD4 T cells. Therefore, the co-expression of inhibitory receptors on CD28(-) CD27(-) CD4 T cells was assessed as a rapid, stimulation-independent parameter for monitoring CMV complications after transplantation. Ninety-three controls, 67 hemodialysis patients and 81 renal transplant recipients were recruited in a cross-sectional and longitudinal manner. CMV-specific CD4 T cell levels quantified after stimulation were compared to levels of CD28(-) CD27(-) CD4 T cells. PD-1 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) expression on CD28(-) CD27(-) CD4 T cells were related to viremia. A percentage of ≥0.44% CD28(-) CD27(-) CD4 T cells defined CMV seropositivity (93.3% sensitivity, 97.1% specificity), and their frequencies correlated strongly with CMV-specific CD4 T cell levels after stimulation (r = 0.73, p < 0.0001). Highest PD-1 expression levels on CD28(-) CD27(-) CD4 T cells were observed in patients with primary CMV viremia and reactivation (p < 0.0001), whereas CTLA-4 expression was only elevated during primary CMV viremia (p < 0.05). Longitudinal analysis showed a significant increase in PD-1 expression in relation to viremia (p < 0.001), whereas changes in nonviremic patients were nonsignificant. In conclusion, increased PD-1 expression on CD28(-) CD27(-) CD4 T cells correlates with CMV viremia in transplant recipients and may serve as a specific, stimulation-independent parameter to guide duration of antiviral therapy.
    American Journal of Transplantation 10/2013; 13(12). DOI:10.1111/ajt.12480 · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Specific T cell immunity in patients with active tuberculosis is associated with a decrease in multifunctionality. However, it is unknown whether cytokine profiles differ in patients with primary infection and those with prior contact. We therefore used intravesical immunotherapy with attenuated live Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in patients with urothelial carcinoma as a model to characterise the induction of systemic immunity towards purified protein derivate (PPD) and to study whether cytokine profiles differ depending on pre-existing immunity. Eighteen patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer were recruited during the BCG-induction course. Fifty-four healthy individuals served as controls. Interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-2 producing PPD-specific CD4 T cells were analysed longitudinally before each instillation using a rapid flow-cytometric whole blood immunoassay. Baseline levels of IFN-γ producing PPD-specific T cells were comparable to controls. T cells showed a 5-fold increase to 0.23% by week 2/3, and further increased 8-fold by week 4/5 (to 0.42%, p=0.0007). Systemic immunity was induced in all patients, although the increase was less pronounced in patients with pre-existing immunity. As in active TB, cytokine profiling during therapy revealed a lower percentage of multifunctional IFN-γ/IL-2 double-positive T cells compared to controls (60.2% vs. 71.9%, p=0.0003). Of note, when comparing patients with and without pre-existing immunity, cytokine profiles in patients with primary immunity were shifted towards IL-2 single producing T cells (p=0.02), whereas those in patients with pre-existing immunity were shifted towards IFN-γ single-positivity (p=0.01). In conclusion, systemic T cell responses were induced after BCG-therapy, and their kinetics and cytokine profile depended on pre-existing immunity. Decreased functionality is a typical feature of specific immunity in both patients with active tuberculosis and BCG-therapy. Among patients with active infection, a shift towards IL-2 or IFN-γ single-positive cells may allow distinction between patients with primary infection and cases with boosted immunity after prior contact, respectively.
    PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e69892. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0069892 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate correlates for the well-known impaired response of haemodialysis-patients to a variety of recommended vaccinations, the induction of antigen-specific cellular and humoral immunity was characterised after influenza-vaccination in two following seasons where the identical vaccine-composition was used. Influenza-specific T-cells were flow-cytometrically characterised from whole blood of 24 healthy controls and 26 haemodialysis-patients by proliferation-assays, induction of IFN-γ and TNF-α, and maturation markers. Antibody-titres were quantified using ELISA and hemagglutination-inhibition test. Influenza-specific CD4 T-cells were recently activated CD45RO+/CD27+ Th1-cells. Specific T-cell frequencies significantly increased 1-2 weeks after the first vaccination in both controls (mean increase by 0.50±0.64%, max: 3.01%) and haemodialysis-patients (by 0.55±0.71%, max: 3.44%). Thereafter, T-cell levels continuously decreased to pre-vaccination levels within approximately 7 weeks, whereas antibody-titres were more stable over time. By 6 months, haemodialysis-patients had significantly lower precursor-frequencies of proliferating influenza-specific memory T-cells (p=0.006). In the following season, memory-maintainance in immunocompetent individuals led to a significantly less pronounced increase in cellular immunity after re-vaccination (by only 0.12±0.09%, p=0.003), whereas the vaccine induced a strong increase in a second group of vaccination-naïve controls. Of note, haemodialysis-patients responded like vaccination-naïve individuals, as they showed a strong increase in cellular immunity after re-vaccination that was as pronounced as in the year before. In conclusion, the less pronounced T-cell increase after re-vaccination in controls may indicate maintainance of sufficient immunological memory. In contrast, the more rapid loss of proliferating cells in haemodialysis-patients may represent a sign of relative immunodeficiency and contribute to an increased incidence of recurrent infectious complications.
    Vaccine 07/2013; 31(38). DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.06.076 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Serological identification of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) status in children <18 months of age is complicated by the variable persistence of maternal antibodies. As T cells are not passively transferred, we attempted to assess whether CMV-specific cellular immunity may be superior to determine the actual CMV-status; we also performed a functional characterisation of T-cell immunity in childhood. Antibodies from 59 mothers and 168 children were determined, and specific CD4(+) T cells were identified by induction of IFN-γ, IL-2, TNF-α, IL-4 and IL-17 after CMV-specific and polyclonal stimulation. Agreement between both tests was perfect for mothers and children >18 months. Among infants <18 months, 17/30 were concordantly negative. Interestingly, 8/13 seropositive children had detectable CMV-specific T cells, whereas only 5/13 were T-cell negative, indicating passive immunity. CMV-specific T cells from young infants differed in cytokine profiles from that of older age groups, and polyclonal effector T-cell frequencies were higher in young infants with detectable CMV-specific T cells compared with those without. In conclusion, the majority of young infants with CMV-specific antibodies show evidence of true infection, which indicates that passive immunity is overestimated. Our data may have important implications for improved risk stratification and CMV management in infants in the setting of transplantation.
    European Journal of Immunology 04/2013; 43(4). DOI:10.1002/eji.201243100 · 4.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial injury and dysfunction (ED) represent a link between cardiovascular risk factors promoting hypertension and atherosclerosis, the leading cause of death in Western populations. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is considered antiatherogenic and known to prevent ED. Using HDL from children and adults with chronic kidney dysfunction (HDLCKD), a population with high cardiovascular risk, we have demonstrated that HDLCKD in contrast to HDLHealthy promoted endothelial superoxide production, substantially reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability, and subsequently increased arterial blood pressure (ABP). We have identified symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) in HDLCKD that causes transformation from physiological HDL into an abnormal lipoprotein inducing ED. Furthermore, we report that HDLCKD reduced endothelial NO availability via toll-like receptor-2 (TLR-2), leading to impaired endothelial repair, increased proinflammatory activation, and ABP. These data demonstrate how SDMA can modify the HDL particle to mimic a damage-associated molecular pattern that activates TLR-2 via a TLR-1- or TLR-6-coreceptor-independent pathway, linking abnormal HDL to innate immunity, ED, and hypertension.
    Immunity 03/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2013.02.009 · 19.75 Impact Factor
  • European Urology Supplements 03/2013; 12(1):e703. DOI:10.1016/S1569-9056(13)61185-9 · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) compromises cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific T-cell responses and has been linked to CMV viremia after transplantation. An impaired functional and proliferative capacity of PD-1-positive CMV-specific T cells may be reversed by the antibody-mediated blockade of PD-1 signaling. However, knowledge is limited on changes in "cytokinome" expression profiles associated with reversal of functional exhaustion. METHODS: The "cytokinome" was analyzed by 27-plex Luminex technology comparing renal transplant recipients with low (n = 5) and high (n = 5) PD-1 expression on CMV-specific T cells. The effect of blocking PD-1 by PD-ligand (PD-L) antibodies on restoration of cytokine expression was examined. RESULTS: CMV-specific cytokine release and proliferation was lower in patients with high PD-1 expression on CMV-specific T cells. Antibody-mediated blockade of PD-L in CMV-stimulated samples restored expression levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-9, IL-10, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, interferon-γ, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, and tumor necrosis factor-α. By contrast, no profound effect was observed for controls or patients with low PD-1 expression, or in staphylococcal enterotoxin B-stimulated cells. CONCLUSION: Taken together, this pilot study provides evidence that a high PD-1 expression on CMV-specific T cells actively impairs proliferation and "cytokinome" responses in an antigen-specific manner. Importantly, blockade of PD-L restores CMV-specific T-cell proliferation and expression of a panel of different proinflammatory and/or type 1 cytokines, suggesting a common but as yet unknown regulatory principle. We conclude that PD-1 exhaustion is reversible and potentially amenable to therapeutic ex vivo and possibly in vivo manipulation. However, detailed knowledge of the differential effects on the "cytokinome" will be necessary to increase the safety and the efficacy of such manipulations.
    Transplant Infectious Disease 11/2012; 15(1). DOI:10.1111/tid.12025 · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Circadian rhythms play an important role in modulating cellular immune responses. The present study was performed to characterise circadian variations in lymphocyte numbers and antigen-specific T-cell functionality in healthy individuals under physiological conditions. METHODS: Blood leukocyte populations of six healthy volunteers were quantified over 24 h. In addition, antigen-specific T-cell functionality was analysed directly ex vivo from whole blood using flow cytometry based on intracellular cytokine induction after a 6-hour stimulation with adenovirus antigen and Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B (SEB), respectively. RESULTS: T-cell numbers and reactivity were stable during daytime, whereas a significant increase was observed during late evening and early morning hours. The percentage of T cells reacting towards adenovirus antigen and SEB showed a 1.76 ± 0.55-fold (p = 0.0002) and a 1.42 ± 0.33-fold (p = 0.0002) increase, respectively. Dynamics in T-cell reactivity were independent of the mode of antigen stimulation and inversely correlated with plasma levels of endogenous cortisol. Interestingly, peak frequencies of reactive T cells occurred late in the evening and did not directly coincide with peak numbers of bulk T cells that were observed in the early morning hours. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data reveal a circadian regulation of T-cell immune responses in the peripheral blood of humans under physiological conditions. This knowledge may be of practical consequence for the timing of blood sampling for functional T-cell assays as well as for immunosuppressive drug intake after organ transplantation, where T-cell function may be influenced not only by drug-mediated inhibition but also by circadian fluctuations in T-cell reactivity.
    Journal of Clinical Immunology 07/2012; 32(6). DOI:10.1007/s10875-012-9730-z · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antigen-specific antibodies are well characterized after vaccination with pandemic H1N1 or seasonal influenza vaccines. However, knowledge on cellular immunity toward pandemic H1N1 after vaccination and infection and cross-reactivities toward seasonal antigens is limited. Nineteen individuals were vaccinated with the pandemic H1N1 vaccine. Among those, ten had been prevaccinated against seasonal influenza. CD4(+) T cells specific for pandemic H1N1 and for seasonal vaccine, and antibodies were monitored using flow cytometry and ELISA/neutralization assays, respectively. In addition, seven patients with acute pandemic influenza infection were analyzed. Pandemic H1N1 vaccination induced a strong 4.63-fold (IQR 4.16) increase in antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells that was more pronounced in individuals not prevaccinated with seasonal influenza (p = 0.01). T-cell levels toward seasonal vaccine concomitantly rose by 2.71-fold (IQR 2.26). Likewise, prevaccination with seasonal influenza induced a less pronounced increase in specific antibodies. Influenza-specific T cells in vaccinees had a Th1 phenotype mainly coexpressing IFN-γ and IL-2, whereas patients with active pandemic influenza showed a shift toward cells predominantly expressing IFN-γ. In conclusion, T cells toward seasonal influenza antigens cross-react with pandemic H1N1 antigens and affect induction of specific T cells after pandemic influenza vaccination. In addition, the cytokine patterns of specific T cells during acute H1N1 infection and after vaccination differ, and the predominantly dual-positive cytokine profile of vaccine-induced T cells suggests sufficient functionality to confer successful virus control.
    European Journal of Immunology 07/2012; 42(7):1755-66. DOI:10.1002/eji.201242393 · 4.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis (TB) is a possible complication of solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The identification of candidates for preventive chemotherapy is an effective intervention to protect transplant recipients with latent infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis from progressing to active disease. The best available proxy for diagnosing latent infection with M. tuberculosis is the identification of an adaptive immune response by the tuberculin skin test or an interferon-γ based ex vivo assay. Risk assessment in transplant recipients for the development of TB depends on, among other factors, the locally expected underlying prevalence of infection with M. tuberculosis in the target population. In areas of high prevalence, preventive chemotherapy for all transplant recipients may be justified without immunodiagnostic testing while in areas of medium and low prevalence, preventive chemotherapy should only be offered to candidates with positive M. tuberculosis-specific immune responses. The diagnosis of TB in transplant recipients can be challenging. Treatment of TB is often difficult due to substantial interactions between anti-TB drugs and immunosuppressive medications. This management guideline summarises current knowledge on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB related to solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and provides an expert consensus on questions where scientific evidence is still lacking.
    European Respiratory Journal 04/2012; 40(4):990-1013. DOI:10.1183/09031936.00000712 · 7.13 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
502.52 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2015
    • Universität des Saarlandes
      • • Institut für Virologie
      • • Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene
      Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany
  • 2006
    • Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes
      Homburg, Saarland, Germany
  • 2004
    • University of Oxford
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1998
    • Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
      Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany