Robert N Barker

University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, SCT, United Kingdom

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Publications (78)386.97 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Although it is widely believed that IL-27 is anti-inflammatory, its role in controlling human immune responses is not fully established. In particular, its interactions with Th17 cytokines are unclear. Our aims were to establish the relationships between IL-27 and pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-17A, in human sera and cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Plasma IL-27 levels in 879 healthy humans from 163 families varied widely, but with relatively low heritability (19%). Despite IL-27 including a subunit encoded by Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 3 (EBI3), there was no correlation of levels with serological evidence of infection with the virus. Although IL-27 has been reported to inhibit IL-17A production, we demonstrated a strong positive correlation in sera, but lower correlations of IL-27 with other pro-inflammatory cytokines. We verified that IL-27 inhibited IL-17A production by human peripheral blood T cells in vitro, but not that it stimulated IL-10 secretion. Importantly, addition of IL-17A decreased IL-27 production by stimulated T cells but had the opposite effect on resting T cells. Together, these data suggest a model whereby IL-27 and IL-17A exerts complex reciprocal effects to boost inflammatory responses, but restrain resting cells to prevent inappropriate activation.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 06/2014; · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The offspring from pregnancies of women who have developed anti-D blood group antibodies are at risk of hemolytic disease of the newborn. We have previously mapped four peptides containing immunodominant T-helper cell epitopes from the RhD protein and the purpose of the work was to develop these into a product for suppression of established anti-D responses. A panel of each of the four immunodominant RhD peptides was synthesized with modifications to improve manufacturability and solubility, and screened for retention of recognition by human T-helper cells. A selected version of each sequence was combined in a mixture (RhDPmix), which was tested for suppressive ability in a humanized murine model of established immune responses to RhD protein. After HLA-DR15 transgenic mice had been immunized with RhD protein, a single dose of RhDPmix, given either intranasally (p=0.008, Mann-Whitney rank sum test) or subcutaneously (p=0.043), rapidly and significantly suppressed the ongoing antibody response. This was accompanied by reduced T-helper cell responsiveness, although this change was less marked for subcutaneous RhDPmix delivery, and by the recruitment of cells with a regulatory T-cell phenotype. The results support human trials of RhDPmix peptide immunotherapy in women with established antibody responses to the RhD blood group.
    Haematologica 01/2014; · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Candida albicans remains the fungus most frequently associated with nosocomial bloodstream infection. In disseminated candidiasis, the role of Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells remain largely unexplored. Our aims were to characterize Foxp3(+) Treg-cell activation in a murine intravenous challenge model of disseminated C. albicans infection, and determine the contribution to disease. Flow cytometric analyses demonstrated that C. albicans infection drove in vivo expansion of a splenic CD4(+) Foxp3(+) population that correlated positively with fungal burden. Depletion from Foxp3(hCD2) reporter mice in vivo confirmed that Foxp3(+) cells exacerbated fungal burden and inflammatory renal disease. The CD4(+) Foxp3(+) population expanded further after in vitro stimulation with C. albicans antigens, and included at least three cell types. These arose from proliferation of the natural Treg-cell subset, together with conversion of Foxp3(-) cells to the induced Treg-cell form, and to a cell type sharing effector Th17-cell characteristics, expressing ROR-γt and secreting IL-17A. The expanded Foxp3(+) T cells inhibited Th1 and Th2 responses, but enhanced Th17-cell responses to C. albicans antigens in vitro, and in vivo depletion confirmed their ability to enhance the Th17-cell response. These data lead to a model for disseminated candidiasis whereby expansion of Foxp3(+) T cells promotes Th17-cell responses that drive pathology. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    European Journal of Immunology 01/2014; · 4.97 Impact Factor
  • Lekh N Dahal, Robert N Barker, Frank J Ward
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    ABSTRACT: Autoreactive CD4(+) helper T cells specific for a range of nucleoprotein-derived autoantigens are an important feature of systemic lupus erythematosus, driving B cell differentiation and autoantibody production and contributing to the inflammatory lesions caused by immune complex deposition. Several peptide epitopes from nucleoprotein antigens have been identified and offer a means selectively to manipulate T cell responses by skewing toward a profile of cytokines that is less pro-inflammatory.Antigen-specific T cell lines and clones can be useful in the study of helper T cell subsets because their life span is prolonged and many individual cells can be generated, allowing particular phenotypes to be studied in detail. Magnetic beads offer a robust and convenient method for the isolation, polarization, and expansion of T cells, which can be adapted for a broad range of applications.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2014; 1134:237-47. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages respond to their microenvironment and develop polarized functions critical for orchestrating appropriate inflammatory responses. Classical (M1) activation eliminates pathogens while alternative (M2) activation promotes regulation and repair. M1 macrophage activation is strongly associated with suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 (SOCS3) expression in vitro, but the functional consequences of this are unclear and the role of SOCS3 in M1-macrophage polarization in vivo remains controversial. To address these questions, we defined the characteristics and function of SOCS3-expressing macrophages in vivo and identified potential mechanisms of SOCS3 action. Macrophages infiltrating inflamed glomeruli in a model of acute nephritis show significant up-regulation of SOCS3 that co-localizes with the M1-activation marker, inducible nitric oxide synthase. Numbers of SOCS3hi-expressing, but not SOCS1hi-expressing, macrophages correlate strongly with the severity of renal injury, supporting their inflammatory role in vivo. Adoptive transfer of SOCS3-short interfering RNA-silenced macrophages into a peritonitis model demonstrated the importance of SOCS3 in driving production of pro-inflammatory IL-6 and nitric oxide, while curtailing expression of anti-inflammatory IL-10 and SOCS1. SOCS3-induced pro-inflammatory effects were due, at least in part, to its role in controlling activation and nuclear accumulation of nuclear factor-κB and activity of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. We show for the first time that SOCS3 also directs the functions of human monocyte-derived macrophages, including efficient M1-induced cytokine production (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-23, IL-12), attenuated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 activity and ability of antigen-loaded macrophages to drive T-cell responses. Hence, M1-associated SOCS3 was a positive regulator of pro-inflammatory responses in our rodent models and up-regulated SOCS3 is essential for effective M1-macrophage activation and function in human macrophages.
    Immunology 01/2014; 141(1). · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA) is caused by autoantibodies against RBC surface antigens that render RBC susceptible to Fc-mediated phagocytosis and complement-mediated lysis. Experimental AIHA can be induced by injection of rat RBC to naïve mice but a lymphocyte-mediated regulatory mechanism eventually suppresses the production of autoantibodies specific for mouse RBC. Critically, this tolerogenic response can be transferred to naïve mice by splenocytes from the rat RBC immunized mouse. Here we investigate whether Indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) or the initiators of IDO cascade, including the CTLA-4 receptor and its soluble isoform contribute to this tolerogenic mechanism. Splenocytes from experimental AIHA mice were adoptively transferred to naive mice under the cover of anti-CTLA-4, anti-soluble CTLA-4 antibodies or IDO inhibitor 1-Methyl Tryptophan (1-MT). Recipient mice were immunized with rat RBC and levels of antibody against self-RBC and rat-RBC were monitored. Our results indicate that transfer of tolerance to naïve recipients is dependent on IDO mediated immunosuppression as mice receiving previously tolerized splenocytes under the cover of 1-MT were refractory to tolerance and developed haemolytic disease upon further challenge with rat RBC. Initiators of IDO activity, CTLA-4 or soluble CTLA-4 did not mediate this tolerogenic process but on their blockade, boosted antigen-specific effector immune responses.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 02/2013; · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CTLA-4 is a crucial immune regulator that mediates both negative costimulation signals to T cells, and regulatory T (Treg)-cell extrinsic control of effector responses. Here we present evidence supporting a novel mechanism for this extrinsic suppression, executed by the alternatively spliced soluble CTLA-4 isoform (sCTLA-4). Analyses of human T cells in vitro show that sCTLA-4 secretion can be increased during responses, and has potent inhibitory properties, since isoform-specific blockade of its activity significantly increased Ag-driven proliferation and cytokine (IFN-γ, IL-17) secretion. Treg cells were demonstrated to be a prominent source of sCTLA-4, which contributed to suppression in vitro when their numbers were limiting. The soluble isoform was also produced by, and inhibited, murine T cells responding to Ag in vitro, and blockade of its activity in vivo protected against metastatic spread of melanoma in mice. We conclude that sCTLA-4 is an important immune regulator, responsible for at least some of the inhibitory effects previously ascribed to the membrane-bound isoform. These results suggest that the immune system exploits the different CTLA-4 isoforms for either intrinsic or extrinsic regulation of T-cell activity.
    European Journal of Immunology 02/2013; · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence points to the T helper subset Th17 as key in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, but cells of this type in lesions remain to be fully characterized. Here we isolated, enumerated, functionally tested, and clonotyped, the CD4(+) Th cell population ex vivo from lesional biopsies and paired peripheral blood samples from psoriasis patients. Th17 cells were dramatically over-represented in lesions from all patients, representing 49 to 93% of CD4(+) Th cells compared with 3 to 18% in blood. Most lesional Th17 cells produced IL-17A ex vivo without further stimulation and expressed the CD45RO(+) phenotype characteristic of activated or memory cells. There was no increase in "natural" (CD25(hi) Foxp3(+) ) regulatory T cells in lesions versus peripheral blood, but there was enrichment of "induced" IL-10(+) regulatory T cell numbers in biopsies from some patients. The lesional Th17 cells exhibited a bias in T cell receptor Vβ chain usage, suggestive of specific expansion by antigen. The therapeutic challenge is to overcome the dominance of overwhelming numbers of such antigen-specific Th17 cells in psoriatic lesions.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 02/2013; · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low maternal dietary vitamin E (but not vitamin C) intake during pregnancy has been associated with increased in vitro cord blood mononuclear cell (CBMC) proliferative responses, childhood wheezing and asthma. We investigated whether these associations reflect direct effects of vitamin E by investigating the effects of supplementing CBMC cultures with physiological concentrations of vitamin E. CBMC from seventy neonates were cultured supplemented with either nothing, α-tocopherol or ascorbic acid. Proliferative, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10 and TGF-β responses were measured. In general, vitamin E supplementation was associated with a trend for reduced proliferative responses after stimulation with antigens and house dust mite, and with increased proliferation after stimulation with timothy grass allergen. There was a trend for CBMC cultures to exhibit decreased secretion of IFN-γ, IL-10 and IL-4. Supplementation with vitamin C had no effect on CBMC proliferation, but increased IFN-γ and IL-4 production, and decreased IL-10 production. In conclusion, in vitro vitamin E and C supplementation of CBMC modifies neonatal immune function, but not in a manner predicted by observational epidemiological studies. The observed associations between vitamin E and childhood respiratory disease are complex, and the nature and form of nutritional intervention need to be carefully considered before inclusion in trials.
    Nutrients 01/2013; 5(9):3337-51. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD22, an inhibitory co-receptor of the BCR, has been identified as a potential candidate gene for the development of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia in mice. In this study, we have examined Cd22(tm1Msn) CD22-deficient mice and identified an increase in RBC turnover and stress erythropoiesis, which might be consistent with haemolysis. We then, however, eliminated CD22 deficiency as the cause of accelerated RBC turnover and established that enhanced RBC turnover occurs independently of B cells and anti-RBC autoanti-bodies. Accelerated RBC turnover in this particular strain of CD22-deficient mice is red cell intrinsic and appears to be the consequence of a defective allele of glucose phosphate isomerase, Gpi1(c) . This form of Gpi1 was originally derived from wild mice and results in a substantial reduction in enzyme activity. We have identified the polymorphism that causes impaired catalytic activity in the Gpi1(c) allele, and biochemically confirmed an approximate 75% reduction of GPI1 activity in Cd22(-/-) RBCs. The Cd22(-/-) .Gpi1(c) congenic mouse provides a novel animal model of GPI1-deficiency, which is one of the most common causes of chronic non-spherocytic haemolytic anaemia in humans.
    European Journal of Immunology 08/2012; · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many immune-mediated diseases are associated with low levels of vitamin D and sunlight. UV light or supplementation with vitamin D can increase regulatory T-cell activity and prevent animal models of autoimmune disease. Increasing population vitamin D levels may therefore alleviate the burden of human immune-mediated disease. To determine the responses of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels, regulatory T-cell numbers, and immune function to UV light exposure in patients being treated for skin disease. Twenty-four subjects with skin disease from the North of Scotland were recruited between December and March. At baseline, and after 2 and 4 weeks of narrowband UV light exposure, we measured peripheral blood 25(OH)D level, numbers of regulatory T cells (CD4(+)CD25(hi)FoxP3(+)), and T-cell proliferative and cytokine responses to anti-CD3/CD28 stimulation. Median (interquartile range) narrowband UV-B received during the study was 39.1 (30.9) as standard erythema dose, comparable to a quarter of the median summer sunlight exposure received locally. This increased the 25(OH)D level from a mean ± SD of 34 ± 17 nmol/L to 58 ± 16 nmol/L after 2 weeks and 78 ± 19 nmol/L after 4 weeks. The mean proportion of circulating regulatory T cells increased from 0.5% to 1.6% CD3(+) cells, which significantly correlated with the increased 25(OH)D level. UV treatment was also followed by reduced proliferative and IL-10 responses to anti-CD3/CD28 independent of the 25(OH)D level. Narrowband UV light reduces systemic immune responsiveness via the induction of regulatory T cells. Light and 25(OH)D levels may affect particular immune functions independently. The levels of serum 25(OH)D over which these effects are apparent should guide future interventions.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 04/2012; 129(6):1554-61. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The K blood group remains an important target in hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN), with no immune prophylaxis available. The aim was to characterize the Th response to K as a key step in designing specific immunotherapy and understanding the immunogenicity of the Ag. PBMCs from K-negative women who had anti-K Abs after incompatible pregnancy, and PBMCs from unimmunized controls, were screened for proliferative responses to peptide panels spanning the K or k single amino acid polymorphism. A dominant K peptide with the polymorphism at the C terminus elicited proliferation in 90% of alloimmunized women, and it was confirmed that responding cells expressed helper CD3(+)CD4(+) and "memory" CD45RO(+) phenotypes, and were MHC class II restricted. A relatively high prevalence of background peptide responses independent of alloimmunization may contribute to K immunogenicity. First, cross-reactive environmental Ag(s) pre-prime Kell-reactive Th cells, and, second, the K substitution disrupts an N-glycosylation motif, allowing the exposed amino acid chain to stimulate a Th repertoire that is unconstrained by self-tolerance in K-negative individuals. The dominant K peptide was effective in inducing linked suppression in HLA-transgenic mice and can now be taken forward for immunotherapy to prevent HDN because of anti-K responses.
    Blood 04/2012; 119(23):5563-74. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Interleukin-17A is the signature cytokine of the Th17 subset and drives inflammatory pathology, but its relevance to autoantibody-mediated diseases is unclear. Th1 cells secreting interferon-γ have been implicated in autoimmune hemolytic anemia, so the aim was to determine which cytokine is more closely associated with disease severity. DESIGN AND METHODS: Interferon-γ and interleukin-17A were measured in the sera of patients with autoimmune hemolytic anemia and healthy donors, and in peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures stimulated with autologous red blood cells, or a panel of peptides spanning red blood cell autoantigen. RESULTS: Serum interleukin-17A, but not interferon-γ, was significantly raised in patients with autoimmune hemolytic anemia (P <0.001), and correlated with the degree of anemia. Interleukin-17A was also more prominent in the responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with autoimmune hemolytic anemia to red blood cells, and, again unlike interferon-γ, significantly associated with more severe anemia (P <0.005). There were no interleukin-17A responses to red blood cells by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors. Specific autoantigenic peptides were identified that elicit patients' interleukin-17A responses. Conclusions Interleukin-17A makes a previously unrecognized contribution to the autoimmune response in autoimmune hemolytic anemia, challenging the model that the disease is driven primarily by Th1 cells. This raises the possibility that Th17, rather than Th1, cells should be the target for therapy.
    Haematologica 03/2012; 97(10):1494-500. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages become activated by their environment and develop polarized functions: classically activated (M1) macrophages eliminate pathogens but can cause tissue injury, whereas alternatively activated (M2) macrophages promote healing and repair. Mechanisms directing polarized activation, especially in vivo, are not understood completely, and here, we examined the role of SOCS proteins. M2 macrophages activated in vitro or elicited by implanting mice i.p. with the parasitic nematode Brugia malayi display a selective and IL-4-dependent up-regulation of SOCS1 but not SOCS3. Using siRNA-targeted knockdown in BMDM, we reveal that the enhanced SOCS1 is crucial for IL-4-induced M2 characteristics, including a high arginase I:iNOS activity ratio, suppression of T cell proliferation, attenuated responses to IFN-γ/LPS, and curtailed SOCS3 expression. Importantly, SOCS1 was essential in sustaining the enhanced PI3K activity that drives M2 activation, defining a new regulatory mechanism by which SOCS1 controls M2 polarization. By contrast, for M1 macrophages, SOCS1 was not only an important regulator of proinflammatory mediators (IL-6, IL-12, MHC class II, NO), but critically, for M1, we show that SOCS1 also restricted IL-10 secretion and arginase I activity, which otherwise would limit the efficiency of M1 macrophage proinflammatory responses. Together, our results uncover SOCS1, not only as a feedback inhibitor of inflammation but also as a critical molecular switch that tunes key signaling pathways to effectively program different sides of the macrophage balance.
    Journal of leukocyte biology 05/2011; 90(5):845-54. · 4.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pathogenicity of the opportunistic human fungal pathogen Candida albicans depends on its ability to escape destruction by the host immune system. Using mutant strains that are defective in cell surface glycosylation, cell wall protein synthesis, and yeast-hypha morphogenesis, we have investigated three important aspects of C. albicans innate immune interactions: phagocytosis by primary macrophages and macrophage cell lines, hyphal formation within macrophage phagosomes, and the ability to escape from and kill macrophages. We show that cell wall glycosylation is critically important for the recognition and ingestion of C. albicans by macrophages. Phagocytosis was significantly reduced for mutants deficient in phosphomannan biosynthesis (mmn4Delta, pmr1Delta, and mnt3 mnt5Delta), whereas O- and N-linked mannan defects (mnt1Delta mnt2Delta and mns1Delta) were associated with increased ingestion, compared to the parent wild-type strains and genetically complemented controls. In contrast, macrophage uptake of mutants deficient in cell wall proteins such as adhesins (ece1Delta, hwp1Delta, and als3Delta) and yeast-locked mutants (clb2Delta, hgc1Delta, cph1Delta, efg1Delta, and efg1Delta cph1Delta), was similar to that observed for wild-type C. albicans. Killing of macrophages was abrogated in hypha-deficient strains, significantly reduced in all glycosylation mutants, and comparable to wild type in cell wall protein mutants. The diminished ability of glycosylation mutants to kill macrophages was not a consequence of impaired hyphal formation within macrophage phagosomes. Therefore, cell wall composition and the ability to undergo yeast-hypha morphogenesis are critical determinants of the macrophage's ability to ingest and process C. albicans.
    Infection and immunity 04/2010; 78(4):1650-8. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA) is characterised by the production of autoantibodies that target determinants on red blood cells. Current treatments rely on generalised immunosupression or cytotoxic treatments that may have potentially harmful side effects. Whilst the underlying cause of disease remains unknown, recent advances in our understanding of CD4+ helper T cell (Th) subsets that drive and control the autoimmune response have important implications for the development of novel immunotherapy. The effector arm of the adaptive immune response is now known to include at least three Th subsets: Th1, Th2 and the recently described Th17. In human AIHA, the targets of the autoimmune response in most patients, the Rhesus (Rh) proteins, have been identified and sequenced, providing the opportunity to study antigen specific responses. The effector Th response is dominated by Th1 cells that are under the control of IL-10 dependent regulatory cells (Tr1). These Th1 responses can be suppressed, with synthetic peptides that are recognised by the Tr1 cells. Such specificity would provide an extremely potent tool in the treatment of autoimmune disease. This review discusses the recent advances in our understanding of helper T cell subsets and the implications for the development of specific immunotherapy in autoimmune disease, using the well characterised responses in AIHA as an example.
    Cardiovascular & hematological disorders drug targets. 10/2009; 9(3):159-66.
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    ABSTRACT: In neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, almost all human platelet antigen (HPA)-1b1b mothers who produce anti-HPA-1a antibody through carrying an HPA-1a fetus are human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB3*0101 positive. It is predicted that the HPA-1a Leu(33) polymorphism forms part of an HLA-DRB3*0101-restricted T-helper epitope, and acts as an anchor residue for binding this class II molecule. However, it is not known whether any corresponding peptides are naturally processed and presented from platelet glycoprotein. In this study, peptides displayed by a homozygous HLA-DRB3*0101 antigen-presenting cell line were identified after pulsing with recombinant HPA-1a (Leu(33) plexin-semaphorin-integrin domain). The peptides were eluted from HLA-DR molecules, fractionated by high performance liquid chromatography, and analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry. A "nested set" of naturally presented HPA-1a-derived peptides, each containing the Trp(25)-Leu(33) core epitope, was identified, with the most abundant member being the 16-mer Met(22)-Arg(37). These peptides may provide the basis for novel treatments to tolerize the corresponding T-helper response in women at risk of neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia.
    Blood 07/2009; 114(9):1954-7. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis is now recognised as a chronic inflammatory disease occurring within the artery wall and ultimately responsible for myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. A crucial step in atherogenesis is the infiltration of monocytes into the subendothelial space of large arteries where they differentiate into macrophages and become functionally active. Macrophage accumulation within plaques is a hallmark of all stages of atherosclerosis, indeed recent studies have shown their presence has the potential to act as a non-invasive marker of disease activity and plaque stability. Activated macrophages are major players in all stages of lesion development. They not only accumulate lipids but also express effector molecules that are pro-inflammatory, cytotoxic and chemotactic. Furthermore, they secrete enzymes that degrade extracellular matrix leading to plaque destabilisation and increased risk of rupture. However, macrophages are heterogeneous and when appropriately activated they have the potential to drive tissue remodelling and ultimately vascular repair. Pharmacological modulation of macrophage activities therefore represents an important strategy for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases. The aim of this review is to give a brief overview of our current understanding of macrophage activation, distribution and function within inflamed tissue. This will provide the basis for highlighting already available and future methods to exploit specifically activated macrophages as diagnostic and therapeutic targets for atherosclerosis.
    Current Vascular Pharmacology 05/2009; 7(2):234-43. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antiphospholipid syndrome is an important cause of recurrent thrombotic events. The pathogenesis of the thrombosis remains unclear, but it has been suggested that anti-phospholipid Abs, which are laboratory markers for the disease and include species capable of binding to vascular endothelial cells, play an important role. We hypothesized that these anti-endothelial Abs promote thrombosis through interference with clearance of dying cells. We show that healthy endothelial cell monolayers effectively remove apoptotic endothelial cells, but this clearance is markedly inhibited by serum or IgG from patients with antiphospholipid syndrome and anti-endothelial Abs. In addition, patient sera or IgG opsonize apoptotic endothelial cells and cause enhanced Fc-mediated uptake by professional phagocytes. Importantly, the delayed clearance of apoptotic cells by healthy endothelial cells and the enhanced Fc-mediated macrophage uptake each result in procoagulant consequences, as judged by increased thrombin generation. The effects on apoptotic cell clearance were reproduced by a mAb derived from a patient with antiphospholipid syndrome, which binds to endothelial cells and is thrombogenic in experimental models. Taken together, our data support a novel, dual mechanism by which anti-endothelial Abs are prothrombotic in antiphospholipid syndrome by inhibiting removal of procoagulant apoptotic cells and by diverting their clearance to provoke inflammatory and prothrombotic changes in professional phagocytes.
    The Journal of Immunology 03/2009; 182(3):1756-62. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regulatory T (Treg) cells contribute to immune evasion by malignancies. To investigate their importance in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), we enumerated Treg cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and involved tissues from 30 patients. CD25(+)FoxP3(+)CD127(low)CD4(+) Treg cells were increased markedly in PBMCs (median = 20.4% CD4 T cells, n = 20) versus healthy controls (median = 3.2%, n = 13, P < .001) regardless of lymphoma subtype, and correlated with disease stage and serum lactate dehydrogenase (R(s) = 0.79, P < .001). T-cell hyporesponsiveness was reversed by depleting CD25(+) cells, or by adding anti-CTLA-4, supporting the view that Treg cells explain the systemic immunosuppression seen in NHL. A high proportion of Treg cells was also present in involved tissues (median = 38.8% CD4 T cells, n = 15) versus reactive nodes (median = 11.6%, n = 2, P = .02). When autologous CD25(-) PBMC fractions were incubated with tumor cells from patients (n = 6) in vitro, there was consistent strong induction and then expansion of cells with the CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) phenotype of classic "natural" Treg cells. This population was confirmed to be suppressive in function. Direct cell-cell interaction of tumor cells with CD25(-) PBMCs was important in Treg induction, although there was heterogeneity in the mechanisms responsible. We conclude that NHL cells are powerful inducers of Treg cells, which may represent a new therapeutic target.
    Blood 06/2008; 111(11):5359-70. · 9.78 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
386.97 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–2013
    • University of Aberdeen
      • • Division of Applied Medicine
      • • Institute of Medical Sciences
      Aberdeen, SCT, United Kingdom
  • 1991–2005
    • University of Bristol
      • • Medical School
      • • School of Veterinary Sciences
      Bristol, England, United Kingdom
  • 2001
    • Institute of Occupational Medicine
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1996
    • University College London
      • Division of Medicine
      London, ENG, United Kingdom