R Wank

Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, München, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (81)441.93 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In previous studies we found that several Neurotransmitters and Neuropeptides among them: Glutamate, Dopamine, Gonadotropin-releasing-hormone (GnRH) I and II, Somatostatin, CGRP and Neuropeptide Y, can each by itself, at low physiological concentration (~10 nM) bind its receptors in human T cells and trigger several key T cell functions. These findings showed that the nervous system, via Neurotransmitters and Neuropeptides, can 'talk' directly to the immune system, and stimulate what we coined 'Nerve-Driven Immunity': immune responses dictated by the nervous system. In various human cancers, the immune system of the patients, and their T cells in particular, are not functioning well enough against the cancer due to several reasons, among them the suppressive effects on the immune system induced by: (1) the cancer itself, (2) the chemotherapy and radiotherapy, (3) the ongoing/chronic stress, anxiety, depression and pain felt by the cancer patients. In Head and Neck Cancer (HNC), 5-year survival rate remains below 50 %, primarily because of local recurrences or second primary tumors. Two-thirds of HNC patients are diagnosed at advanced clinical stage and have significantly poorer prognosis. Most HNC patients have multiple severe immunological defects especially in their T cells. A major defect in T cells of patients with HNC or other types of cancer is low CD3zeta expression that correlates with poor prognosis, decreased proliferation, apoptotic profile, abnormal cytokine secretion and poor abilities of destructing cancer cells. T cells of cancer patients are often also unable to migrate properly towards the tumor. In this study we asked if Glutamate, Dopamine or GnRH-II can augment the spontaneous migration, chemotactic migration and towards autologous HNC migration, and also increase CD3zeta and CD3epsilon expression, of peripheral T cells purified from the blood of five HNC patients. These HNC patients had either primary tumor or recurrence, and have been already treated by surgery and/or radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy without satisfactory outcomes. We found that Glutamate, Dopamine and GnRH-II, each by itself, at 10 nM, and during 30 min incubation only with the peripheral T cells of the HNC patients increased substantially their: (1) spontaneous migration (up to 4.4 fold increase), (2) chemotactic migration towards the key chemokine SDF-1 (up to 2.3 fold increase), (3) migration towards the autologous HNC tumor removed surgically ~48 h earlier in a pre-planned operation (up to 3.5 fold increase). Each of the Neurotransmitters even 'allowed' the T cells of one HNC patient to overcome completely the suppressive anti-migration effect of his autologous tumor, (4) cell surface CD3zeta expression (up to 4.3 fold increase), (5) cell surface CD3epsilon expression (up to 1.9 fold increase). If the absolutely essential larger scale subsequent studies would validate our present findings, Glutamate, Dopamine and GnRH-II could be used for a completely novel indication: adoptive T cell immunotherapy for some patients with HNC and maybe also other types of cancer. We coin here a novel term-'Neuroimmunotherapy' for this new form of T cell immunotherapy, based on the direct activation of the patient's own T cells by Neurotransmitters. Such 'Neuroimmunotherapy' could be reduced to practice by rather simple, painless and repeated/periodical removal of peripheral T cells from the cancer patients, activating them ex vivo for 30 min by either Glutamate, Dopamine or GnRH-II, and infusing them back to the patients by intravenous and/or intratumoral injection. The 'rejuvenated' Neurotransmitter-treated T cells are expected to have significantly improved abilities to reach and eradicate the cancer, and also combat infectious organisms that cancer patients often suffer from. Since the T cells are autologous, since the Neurotransmitters are physiological molecules, and since the ex vivo 'parking period' is very short, such Neuroimmunotherapy is expected to be very safe.
    Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996). 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A growing body of evidence shows that immune cells are pivotal in the fight against cancer. First, association studies have identified immune-protective immune response genes against cancer. Second, the presence of immune cells in the respective malignant tumor correlated with a better prognosis for the patients. Third, adoptive cell therapy (ACT) showed, in recent reports, an efficient reduction or even cure for malignant tumors. The focus of this review is a novel in vitro ACT technique, using the patient's cascade-primed immune cells. The cascade-priming procedure stimulates APCs from the peripheral blood. Stimulated APCs digest and present tumor material better and differentiate naive cytotoxic T-lymphocyte effector cells against the patient's cancer. The principle and the impressive results of the cascade-primed immune cell treatment in patient case series is compared with the ACT concepts of lymphokine-activated killer, macrophage-activated killer, macrophage-activated killer-dendritic cell, cytokine-induced killer and tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte methods.
    Immunotherapy 03/2014; 6(3):269-82. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite newer treatment modalities, few patients with non-small cell lung cancer in stages IIIB and IV survive the median of one year. We present four patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with an adjuvant therapy with cascade primed immune cells. The in vitro stimulated expression of cancer information on the patients' monocytes matures and activates T lymphocytes to destroy cancer cells. The cascade primed immune cell therapy significantly improved the quality of life and the lifespan of all four patients; thus far, three patients survived 40, 55 and 120 months, respectively; and one patient died 39 months after diagnosis. Patient 1, stage IV (T4N2M1): The adenocarcinoma of the 67-year-old German Caucasian man infiltrated into the mediastinal lymph nodes and iliosacral bones. Chemotherapy modalities were started immediately after diagnosis of cancer, and cascade primed immune cell therapy one year later. The patient survived 39 months.Patient 2, stage IV (T3N3M1a): The 62-year-old German Caucasian woman presented with adenocarcinoma of the lower lobe with infiltrated lymph nodes of the mediastinum and malignant pleural effusion. Chemotherapy, radiation and the cascade primed immune cell therapy were administered together. The patient is still alive after 40 months.Patient 3, stage IIIB (T4N1-2M0): The 75-year-old German Caucasian woman presented with an undifferentiated tumor and a separate tumor nodule in the ipsilateral lobe. The patient received only cascade primed immune cell therapy after tumor resection and has survived for the last 55 months.Patient 4, pancoast tumor (IIIB, T3N3M0): The 77-year-old German Caucasian man presented with an undifferentiated tumor that infiltrated the lymph nodes, the clavicle, one rib and the plexus brachialis. In addition to chemotherapy and radiation, cascade primed immune cells were administered every weekday for one year. After four months, no living tumor cell was detected in the resected lung, the lymph nodes or the bone material. The patient is still alive after 120 months. The novel adoptive cell therapy with cascade primed immune cells significantly increased the survival rate and maintained the quality of life for four patients with non-small cell lung cancer in stages IIIB and IV. Our findings indicate that tumor resection, chemotherapy and radiation appear to support the cascade primed immune cell therapy.
    Journal of Medical Case Reports 12/2013; 7(1):266.
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    ABSTRACT: Neuronal MHC/HLA regulates the synapses of the central nervous system (CNS). The expression of MHC/HLA is, in turn, regulated by immune cytokines. We were therefore interested in the regulation of schizophrenia-associated HLA antigens, specifically their regulation of expression by interferons. We had previously observed a moderately increased frequency of HLA-A10 expression in schizophrenic patients. While searching for the "true" disease gene near the HLA-A gene, we discovered that homozygosity of the HLA-J M80469 pseudogene allele, in combination with HLA-A10 or HLA-A9, was associated with a high risk of schizophrenia (HLA-A10 relative risk=29.33, p=0.00019, patients N=77, controls N=214). The allele HLA-J M80468, which codes for interferon-inducible mRNA, conferred protection on carriers of HLA-A9 and HLA-A10 (HLA-A10 relative risk=0.022, p=0.00017). Functional analysis revealed that interferon γ (IFNγ) downregulated the expression of HLA-A9 and HLA-A10 in monocytes from HLA-J M80469 homozygous patients but not from carriers of the HLA-J M80468 allele. This is the first demonstration of an inverse effect of IFNγ on HLA expression that is associated with non-coding gene variants and schizophrenia. Our findings suggest that the interferons secreted during acute and chronic infections may interfere in synaptic regulation via neuronal HLA and that this disturbance in synaptic regulation may induce the symptoms of mental illness.
    Immunobiology 09/2012; · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    B Laumbacher, S Gu, R Wank
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    ABSTRACT: It has not been considered so far that antigen-presenting cells (APC) may phagocytose immunogenic material from autologous cancer cells. Assuming the presence of cancer-immunogenic material in APC, we developed a novel autologous priming method that does not require tumour cells or identified peptides. Cancer-immunogenic information came from CD14+ monocytes. When stimulated with CD3-activated T cells, monocytes primed CD3+ CD4+ and CD3+ CD8+ resting/naïve T cells to become powerful effector cells within 24 h. During priming, depletion of CD14+ monocytes but not CD1a+ CD83+ dendritic cells prevented T cell priming. During cancer cell destruction, dendritic cells, but not monocytes, enhanced cancer cell lysis. The cascade-primed (CAPRI) immune cell quartet comprising monocytes, dendritic cells, CD4+ T and CD8+ T cells induced a significant decrease in the number of suppressive CD25(high) FoxP3+ CD4+ T cells. CAPRI cells induced a marked upregulation of MHC class I and class II expression in cancer cells, which is crucial for autoimmune-like lysis. We show in vivo evidence of the CAPRI cell concept in nude mice. In humans, we present circumstantial clinical evidence showing the efficacy of CAPRI cells in an adjuvant treatment attempt for breast cancer patients with metastasis (N = 42). Compared to patients at the Munich Tumor Center (no CAPRI treatment N = 428), almost double the expected number of patients survived 5 years (P =1.36 × 10⁻¹⁴). The CAPRI method is a safe procedure without negative side effects. High numbers of cancer-specific CAPRI cells can be obtained within a week against different cancer types for efficient adoptive cell therapy.
    Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 03/2012; 75(3):314-28. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An 82-year-old Caucasian woman had remained in a persistent vegetative state after a coma of seven months duration, which occurred after a stroke with hemiplegia, nine years previously. The persistent vegetative state could be reversed in part by weekly injections with activated immune cells. After therapy, our patient responded to commands in addition to regaining spontaneous movements of both arms and the ability to swallow. This is the first report on the treatment with activated immune cells of a patient in a persistent vegetative state after a coma. An 82-year-old Caucasian woman presented with a persistent vegetative state subsequent to a coma. She retained respiratory and autonomic functions. As contact was not possible, physiotherapy was passive. Her skin was yellowish, and our patient did not move by herself. Vomiting repeatedly resulted from tube feeding. After a once-weekly treatment with activated immune cells sampled from our patient's blood and activated in vitro, several of her functions gradually returned. Our patient opened her eyes in the requested direction and turned her head toward people entering the room. She 'supported' nursing efforts, as the nurse noted a loss of spastic motions. The strength in both her arms returned, and she spontaneously moved her arm on the side experiencing hemiplegia. After three months, our patient could stick out her tongue upon demand. Finally, the swallow reflexes of our patient started to return. However, tube feeding was continued, and our patient died after aspiration of vomit following a feeding. The success of treatment with autologous activated immune cells in this patient may have resulted from the production of neuroactive substances, such as neurotrophin-3 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, by activated immune cells. The deterioration of our patient could be reversed, as demonstrated by the restoration of motor strength in her hemiplegic side. In addition, our patient was able to induce motor responses upon request. It seems reasonable to conclude that activated immune cells may improve the chronic vegetative state in some patients.
    Journal of Medical Case Reports 01/2012; 6:6.
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    ABSTRACT: Destruction of cancer cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes depends on immunogenic tumor peptides generated by proteasomes and presented by human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules. Functional differences arising from alleles of immunoproteasome subunits have not been recognized so far. We analyzed the genetic polymorphism of the immunoproteasome subunits LMP2 and LMP7 and of the transporters associated with antigen processing (TAP1 and TAP2) in two independently collected panels of colorectal carcinoma patients (N(1) = 112, N(2) = 62; controls, N = 165). High risk of colon cancer was associated with the LMP7-K/Q genotype (OR = 8.10, P = 1.10 × 10(-11)) and low risk with the LMP7-Q/Q genotype (OR = 0.10, P = 5.97 × 10(-13)). The basis for these distinct associations of LMP7 genotypes was functionally assessed by IFN-γ stimulation of colon carcinoma cell lines (N = 10), followed by analyses of mRNA expression of HLA class I, TAP1, TAP2, and LMP7, with real-time PCR. Whereas induction of HLA-B, TAP1, and TAP2 was comparable in all cell lines, transcript amounts of LMP7-Q increased 10-fold, but of LMP7-K only 3.8-fold. This correlated with a reduced transcript stability of LMP7-K (t(1/2) ≈ 7 minutes) compared with LMP7-Q (t(1/2) ≈ 33 minutes). In addition, LMP7-Q/Q colon carcinoma cells increased (the peptide based) HLA class I surface expression significantly after IFN-γ stimulation, whereas LMP7-Q/K and LMP7-K/K carcinoma cells showed minimal (<20%) changes. These results suggest that the presence of LMP7-K can reduce the formation of immunoproteasomes and thus peptide processing, followed by reduced peptide-HLA presentation, a crucial factor in the immune response against cancer.
    Cancer Research 12/2011; 71(23):7145-54. · 9.28 Impact Factor
  • Barbara Fellerhoff, Rudolf Wank
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    ABSTRACT: Infection can initiate symptoms of mental illness. It has been shown previously that Chlamydophila DNA is present six times more often in the blood of patients with schizophrenia than in the blood of control individuals. Monocytes, the main targets of Chlamydiaceae infection, are microglia precursors. We identified Chlamydiaceae infection using blinded brain DNA samples derived from the frontal cortex. Using PCR and sequence analysis, we found Chlamydophila DNA to be four times greater in patients with schizophrenia than in controls (schizophrenia: N=34, microbial DNA frequency 23.5%; controls: N=35, microbial DNA frequency 5.7%; P=0.045, OR=5.08). Persistent Chlamydophila-infected microglia or neuronal cells may impair neuronal circuits and thus be a mechanism for causing psychiatric illness in these patients.
    Schizophrenia Research 07/2011; 129(2-3):191-5. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Collecting duct carcinoma (CDC) or Bellini duct carcinoma of the kidney is a rare, but highly aggressive renal epithelial malignancy, with an extremely poor prognosis. Modified cytokine-induced killer (mCIK) cells were injected into the pleural cavity to treat pleural metastasis of CDC. The patient, a 33-year-old male, was admitted to hospital for further treatment for severe pleural metastasis of CDC. We cured the pleural metastasis through intrapleural infusion with mCIK cells. After receiving this innovative treatment, the patient exhibited a positive response: the cough, dyspnea, chest distress and thoracalgia were evidently relieved, while the pleural fluid became clear after exhibiting haematodes and its level decreased significantly. The patient achieved partial success. This novel immunotherapy method is a promising treatment for patients with refractory pleural metastasis.
    Oncology letters 11/2010; 1(6):955-958. · 0.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several microbes have been suspected as pathogenetic factors in schizophrenia. We have previously observed increased frequencies of chlamydial infections and of human lymphocyte antigen (HLA)-A10 in independent studies of schizophrenia. Our aim here was to analyze frequencies of three types of Chlamydiaceae in schizophrenic patients (n=72), random controls (n=225) and hospital-patient controls (n=36), together with HLA-A genotypes. Patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV. Blood samples were collected at the beginning of hospitalization and analyzed with Chlamydiaceae species-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Control panels consisted of randomly selected volunteers and hospitalized, non-schizophrenic patients. We found chlamydial infection in 40.3% of the schizophrenic patients compared to 6.7% in the controls. The association of schizophrenia with Chlamydiaceae infections was highly significant (P=1.39 x 10(-10), odds ratio (OR)=9.43), especially with Chlamydophila psittaci (P=2.81 x 10(-7), OR=24.39). Schizophrenic carriers of the HLA-A10 genotype were clearly most often infected with Chlamydophila, especially C. psittaci (P=8.03 x 10(-5), OR=50.00). Chlamydophila infections represent the highest risk factor yet found to be associated with schizophrenia. This risk is even further enhanced in carriers of the HLA-A10 genotype.
    Molecular Psychiatry 04/2007; 12(3):264-72. · 15.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We ask consulting patients regularly whether they keep pets in order to identify zoonotic factors. It became apparent that patients with breast carcinoma (N=69) owned significantly more often dogs but not cats compared to age matched female controls. We compared the frequencies of dog and pet ownership with data from public available statistics on women (N=1320) of the same age group in Bavaria. The most striking result was that more than twice the number of patients kept dogs permanently in the last 10 years and at the time of interrogation as compared to control individuals at the time of interrogation (p=0.0000003, relative risk 3.5). Further internet search on the morbidity of breast carcinoma showed in dogs a protracted course of disease and metastases into lung, liver and bones, resembling the course of disease in human breast cancer. In contrast with this, breast cancer presented in cats a dramatically short course and the main but unusual location of metastasis presents in the hind legs. A recent publication in Norway reported on a high frequency (53.3%) of breast carcinomas in 14,401 investigated dogs. Which transmissible factor or factors come into question? Variants of the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) can productively replicate in human cells and in different animals, including dogs. Many investigators, but not all, could identify MMTV-like sequences in sporadic human breast cancer. MMTV or MMTV-like sequences have not been investigated in canine breast carcinomas until now. It is also conceivable that other microbes from the dog, for example bacteria, could participate in the first steps of carcinogenesis in human. It was recently shown that bartonella species promote vascularization and prevent apoptosis of infected cells with the same methods as helicobacter pylori. Our considerations require further research. Epidemiologic cohort studies and identification of potential carcinogenic microbial factors will prove or disprove our hypothesis that risk factors from dogs could contribute to the carcinogenesis of human breast cancer.
    Medical Hypotheses 02/2006; 67(1):21-6. · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many microbial factors have been implicated as pathogenic factors in mental disorders. Occurrence of such microbial factors also in the mentally unaffected population raised skepticism against such findings, although each microbial factor may cause mental problems only in some individuals, depending on the individual's immunogenetic disposition. Skepticism against the role of infection in schizophrenia was also fostered by the low impact of antiinfections treatment on the course of disease progression in schizophrenia. We discovered previously that neurotrophins like neurotrophin3 (NT-3) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), involved in processes of neuroplasticity, are also secreted by immune cells, but only by subpopulations of immune cells. Therefore, infection of the immune cell subpopulation, specialized in secreting BDNF, or of another subpopulation, specialized in secreting NT-3, could distort communication of immune cells with the central nervous system (CNS). Chlamydiaceae could cause disbalancement of immune cell sub-populations and, in some individuals with a vulnerable disposition, symptoms of mental illness. Based on previous observations of persisting IgA titers in some patients with mental illness we hypothesize that the intracellular parasites Chlamydiaceae are main pathogenic factors in schizophrenia. We hypothesize furthermore that antiinfectious treatment has to be accompanied by adoptive immunotherapy because antibiotics alone will not restore the balance of immune subpopulations. Our hypothesis is supported by examination of patients with schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Using nested PCR we found a significant prevalence of the intracellular parasites Chlamydophila psittaci, C. pneumoniae and Chlamydia trachomatis (9/18, 50%), as compared to controls (8/115, 6.97%) (chi(2)=25.86, Fisher's exact p two-tailed=5x10(-5)). Treatment with in vitro-activated immune cells together with antibiotic modalities showed sustained mental improvements in patients that did not depend on treatment with antipsychotic drugs. Future controlled studies including sham treatment of patients have to be carried out to prove our hypotheses.
    Medical Hypotheses 02/2005; 65(2):243-52. · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Medical Genetics 04/2003; 40(3):217-9. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Medical Genetics 11/2002; 39(10):767-8. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Rudolf Wank
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    ABSTRACT: Many different microbial factors seem to contribute to the pathogenesis of schizophrenic and other psychiatric disorders. Activation of all T lymphocytes reactivates those downregulated by low-grade chronic infections and restores equilibrium in immune cell subpopulations. Different immune cell subpopulations express different neurotrophin receptors and produce different cytokines, particularly brain-derived neurotrophin (BDNF) and neurotrophin 3 (NT3) [M. Besser, R. Wank, J. Immunol. 162 (1998) 6303-6306] that appear to play a key role in schizophrenic and bipolar disorders [E. Jonsson, S. Brene, X.R. Zhang, et al., Acta Psychiatr. Scand. 95 (1997) 414-419; R.S. Duman, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 54 (1997) 597-606; J.A. Siuciak, D.R. Lewis, S.J. Wiegand, R.M. Lindsay, Pharmacol. Biochem. Be 56 (1997) 131-137]. The hypothesis that adoptive immunotherapy is effective in psychiatric disorders will be supported by three case reports, in a patient with bipolar disorder, a patient with schizophrenia, and a patient with autism.
    Medical Hypotheses 09/2002; 59(2):154-8. · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The viral CC chemokine macrophage inhibitory protein-II (vMIP-II) encoded by human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) binds to multiple chemokine receptors, however, its ability to control the initial recruitment of specific leukocyte subtypes from the peripheral circulation has not been fully clarified. Here we show that vMIP-II blocks the firm arrest and transmigration of monocytes or Th1-like T lymphocytes triggered by RANTES immobilized on activated human microvascular endothelium (HMVEC) under flow conditions. The internalization of the receptors CCR1 and CCR5 that mediate arrest and transmigration of these cells in response to RANTES was prevented by vMIP-II, supporting its role as an antagonist of CCR1 and CCR5. In contrast, vMIP-II triggered the firm arrest of eosinophils and Th2-like T cells by engaging CCR3, as confirmed by its down-regulation. Immunohistochemical analysis of HHV-8-associated Kaposi's sarcoma lesions marked by vMIP-II expression and mononuclear cell infiltration revealed a predominance of Th2-type CCR3(+) lymphocytes over Th1-type CXCR3(+)/CCR5(+) leukocytes, indicating that as a CCR3 agonist vMIP-II can drive a Th2-type immune response in vivo. Thus, our data provide evidence for a immunomodulatory role of vMIP-II in directing inflammatory cell recruitment away from a Th1-type towards a Th2-type response and thereby facilitating evasion from cytotoxic reactions.
    European Journal of Immunology 09/2001; 31(8):2458-66. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The viral CC chemokine macrophage inhibitory protein-II (vMIP-II) encoded by human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) binds to multiple chemokine receptors, however, its ability to control the initial recruitment of specific leukocyte subtypes from the peripheral circulation has not been fully clarified. Here we show that vMIP-II blocks the firm arrest and transmigration of monocytes or Th1-like T lymphocytes triggered by RANTES immobilized on activated human microvascular endothelium (HMVEC) under flow conditions. The internalization of the receptors CCR1 and CCR5 that mediate arrest and transmigration of these cells in response to RANTES was prevented by vMIP-II, supporting its role as an antagonist of CCR1 and CCR5. In contrast, vMIP-II triggered the firm arrest of eosinophils and Th2-like T cells by engaging CCR3, as confirmed by its down-regulation. Immunohistochemical analysis of HHV-8-associated Kaposi's sarcoma lesions marked by vMIP-II expression and mononuclear cell infiltration revealed a predominance of Th2-type CCR3+ lymphocytes over Th1-type CXCR3+/CCR5+ leukocytes, indicating that as a CCR3 agonist vMIP-II can drive a Th2-type immune responsein vivo. Thus, our data provide evidence for a immunomodulatory role of vMIP-II in directing inflammatory cell recruitment away from a Th1-type towards a Th2-type response and thereby facilitating evasion from cytotoxic reactions.
    European Journal of Immunology 08/2001; 31(8):2458 - 2466. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemokines and their receptors control the emigration of leukocytes during inflammation. The role of the RANTES (regulated on activation normal T-cell expressed and secreted) receptors CCR1 and CCR5 in the selective recruitment of monocytes, T(H)1-like T-cell clones, and peripheral T cells enriched for CD45RO(+) "memory" cells were tested in a system in which arrest under flow conditions is triggered by RANTES immobilized to activated endothelium. With the use of selective nonpeptide receptor antagonists or blocking antibodies, it was found that the RANTES-induced arrest of these cells was mediated predominantly by CCR1. In contrast, CCR5 mainly contributed to the spreading in shear flow, and both CCR1 and CCR5 supported transendothelial chemotaxis toward RANTES. The data in this study reveal specialized roles of apparently redundant receptors in distinct steps of leukocyte trafficking and suggest that not all receptors currently used to define mononuclear cell subsets are involved in their direct recruitment from the circulation.
    Blood 03/2001; 97(4):1144-6. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to define the molecular specificity of glutamic acid decarboxylase-specific T-cells isolated from a patient (patient 40) with recent onset Type I (insulin-depent) diabetes mellitus. The peptide epitope was defined using synthetic peptides to identify the minimal sequence required for T-cell activation and to determine the amino acids that contribute either to MHC binding or T-cell receptor signaling. The MHC class II-restricted peptide presentation was determined using a panel of allogeneic antigen-presenting cells and murine fibroblast-cell lines transfected to express individual human class II alleles and by blocking studies with monoclonal antibodies. The T-cell receptor was also molecularly characterized. Despite that patient 40 carries high-risk alleles of the DRB1 and DQB1 loci, his T-cells recognize a glutamic acid decarboxylase-derived peptide in association with class II, DR53, molecules. Although anchor residues for DR53 molecules have not yet been determined, it was possible to model epitope binding based on sequence comparisons with other class II molecules associated with susceptibility or protection for Type I diabetes. The complete molecular specification of the MHC-peptide ligand and the T-cell receptor complex of glutamic acid decarboxylase-specific T-cells will enable analysis of strategies designed to alter T-cell function. For example, the role of altered peptide ligands or T-cell receptor-specific peptides can be studied using a model whose components reflect the natural affinities of MHC-peptide and T-cell receptor-ligand interactions selected in response to this important autoantigen.
    Diabetologia 02/2001; 44(1):70-80. · 6.49 Impact Factor
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    M Besser, R Wank
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    ABSTRACT: Neurotrophins, such as neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), are potent regulators of neuronal functions. Here we show that human immune cells also produce NT-3 mRNA, secrete BDNF, and express their specific receptors trkB and trkC. The truncated trkB receptor, usually expressed in sensory neurons of the central nervous system, was also constitutively expressed in unstimulated Th cells. Full-length trkB was detectable in stimulated PBMC, B cell lines, and Th1, but not in Th2 and Th0 cell clones. Clonally restricted expression was also observed for trkC, until now not detected on blood cells. The Th1 cytokine IL-2 stimulated production of trkB mRNA but not of trkC, whereas the Th2 cytokine IL-4 enhanced NT-3 but not BDNF mRNA expression. Microbial Ags, which influence the Th1/Th2 balance, could therefore modulate the neurotrophic system and thereby affect neuronal synaptic activity of the central nervous system.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/1999; 162(11):6303-6. · 5.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
441.93 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1981–2011
    • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich
      • Institute for Immunology
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1998–2002
    • University Hospital München
      München, Bavaria, Germany
    • Institut für Immunologie und Genetik
      Kaiserlautern, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
  • 1980
    • National Institutes of Health
      Maryland, United States
  • 1978–1979
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      New York City, New York, United States