Andrea Keane-Myers

Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

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Publications (28)153.13 Total impact

  • Andrea M Keane-Myers, Matt Bell, Drew Hannaman, Mark Albrecht
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    ABSTRACT: Effective multi-agent/multivalent vaccines that confer protection against more than one disease are highly desirable to the patient and to health-care professionals. Electroporation of DNA vaccines, whereby tissues injected with DNA are subjected to localized electrical currents, is an ideal platform technology that achieves protective immune responses to multivalent vaccination. Here, we describe an electroporation-based immunization technique capable of administering a cocktail of DNA vaccinations in vivo. Immune response measurements, including protection from pathogen challenge and induction of antigen-specific antibody responses and cell-mediated immune responses, are also discussed.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2014; 1121:325-36. · 1.29 Impact Factor
  • Andrea M Keane-Myers, Matt Bell
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    ABSTRACT: Vaccines have evolved for hundreds of years, but all utilize the premise that safely pre-exposing the host to some component of a pathogen allows for enhanced immune recognition, and potential protection from disease, upon encountering the pathogen at a later date. Early vaccination strategies used inactivated or attenuated vaccines, many of which contained toxins and other components that resulted in reactogenicity or risk of reversion to virulence. DNA vaccines supplant many of the issues associated with inactivated or attenuated vaccines, but these vaccines tend to provide weak immunological responses, particularly in primates. DNA Electroporation may prove to be the "missing link" in the evolution of DNA vaccines allowing for enhanced immune responses from DNA vaccination in humans thereby resulting in protection from disease post-pathogen exposure.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2014; 1121:269-78. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To enhance the immune activity of vaccine adjuvants polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) and CpG acetalated dextran (Ac-DEX) microparticles can be used. Ac-DEX is a biodegradable and water-insoluble polymer that degrades significantly faster at pH 5.0 (phagosomal pH) than at pH 7.4 and has tunable degradation rates that can range from hours to months. This is an ideal characteristic for delivery of an antigen and adjuvant within the lysosomal compartment of a phagocytic cell. We evaluated poly I:C and CpG encapsulated in Ac-DEX microparticles using RAW macrophages as a model antigen-presenting cell. These cells were cultured with poly I:C or CpG in their free form, encapsulated in a fast degrading Ac-DEX, in slow degrading Ac-DEX, or in the Food and Drug Administration-approved polymer poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA). Ac-DEX had higher encapsulation efficiencies for both poly I:C and CpG than PLGA. Furthermore, poly I:C or CpG encapsulated in Ac-DEX also showed, in general, a significantly stronger immunostimulatory response than PLGA and unencapsulated CpG or poly I:C, which was indicated by a higher rate of nitric oxide release and increased levels of cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10, and IFN-γ. Overall, we have illustrated a method for enhancing the delivery of these vaccine adjuvants to further enhance the development of Ac-DEX vaccine formulations.
    Molecular Pharmaceutics 06/2013; 10(8):2849–2857. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To enhance immune activity of vaccine adjuvants polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) and CpG acetalated dextran (Ac-DEX) microparticles can be used. Ac-DEX is a biodegradable and water-insoluble polymer that degrades significantly faster at pH 5.0 (phagosomal pH) as compared to pH 7.4 and has tunable degradation rates that can range from hours to months. This is an ideal characteristic for delivery of an antigen and adjuvant within the lysosomal compartment of a phagocytic cell. We evaluated poly I:C and CpG encapsulated in Ac-DEX microparticles using RAW macrophages as a model antigen presenting cell. These cells were cultured with poly I:C or CpG in their free form, encapsulated in a fast degrading Ac-DEX, in slow degrading Ac-DEX, or in the FDA approved polymer poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA). Ac-DEX had higher encapsulation efficiencies for both poly I:C and CpG than PLGA. Furthermore, poly I:C or CpG encapsulated in Ac-DEX also showed, in general, a significantly higher immunostimulatory response than PLGA and un-encapsulated CpG or poly I:C, which was indicated by higher nitric oxide release and increased levels of cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10, and IFN-γ. Overall, we have illustrated a method to enhance the delivery of these vaccine adjuvants to further enhance the development of Ac-DEX vaccine formulations.
    Molecular Pharmaceutics 06/2013; · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: A rapid immune response is required to prevent death from Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis. METHOD: We formulated a vaccine carrier comprised of acetalated dextran microparticles encapsulating recombinant protective antigen (rPA) and resiquimod (a toll-like receptor 7/8 agonist). RESULTS: We were able to protect against triplicate lethal challenge by vaccinating twice (Days 0, 7) and then aggressively challenging on Days 14, 21, 28. A significantly higher level of antibodies was generated by day 14 with the encapsulated group compared to the conventional rPA and alum group. Antibodies produced by the co-encapsulated group were only weakly-neutralizing in toxin neutralization; however, survival was not dependent on toxin neutralization, as all vaccine formulations survived all challenges except control groups. Post-mortem culture swabs taken from the hearts of vaccinated groups that did not produce significant neutralizing titers failed to grow B. anthracis. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that protective antibodies are not required for rapid protection; indeed, cytokine results indicate that T cell protection may play a role in protection from anthrax. We report the first instance of use of a particulate carrier to generate a rapid protective immunity against anthrax.
    Pharmaceutical Research 01/2013; · 4.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Electroporation of DNA vaccines represents a platform technology well positioned for the development of multivalent biodefense vaccines. To evaluate this hypothesis, three vaccine constructs were produced using codon-optimized genes encoding Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen (PA), and the Yersinia pestis genes LcrV and F1, cloned into pVAX1. A/J mice were immunized on a prime-boost schedule with these constructs using the electroporation-based TriGrid Delivery System. Immunization with the individual pDNA vaccines elicited higher levels of antigen-specific IgG than when used in combination. DNA vaccine effectiveness was proven, the pVAX-PA titers were toxin neutralizing and fully protective against a lethal B. anthracis spore challenge when administered alone or co-formulated with the plague pDNA vaccines. LcrV and F1 pVAX vaccines against plague were synergistic, resulting in 100% survival, but less protective individually and when co-formulated with pVAX-PA. These DNA vaccine responses were Th1/Th2 balanced with high levels of IFN-γ and IL-4 in splenocyte recall assays, contrary to complimentary protein Alum vaccinations displaying a Th2 bias with increased IL-4 and low levels of IFN-γ. These results demonstrate the feasibility of electroporation to deliver and maintain the overall efficacy of an anthrax-plague DNA vaccine cocktail whose individual components have qualitative immunological differences when combined.
    Vaccine 05/2012; 30(32):4872-83. · 3.77 Impact Factor
  • Mark T Albrecht, Jim E Eyles, Les W Baillie, Andrea M Keane-Myers
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of multi-agent DNA vaccines consisting of a truncated gene encoding Bacillus anthracis lethal factor (LFn) fused to either Yersinia pestis V antigen (V) or Y . pestis F1 was evaluated. A/J mice were immunized by gene gun and developed predominantly IgG1 responses that were fully protective against a lethal aerosolized B. anthracis spore challenge but required the presence of an additional DNA vaccine expressing anthrax protective antigen to boost survival against aerosolized Y. pestis.
    FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 04/2012; 65(3):505-9. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rapid presymptomatic diagnosis of Bacillus anthracis at early stages of infection plays a crucial role in prompt medical intervention to prevent rapid disease progression and accumulation of lethal levels of toxin. To detect low levels of the anthrax protective antigen (PA) exotoxin in biological fluids, we have developed a metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF)-PA assay using a combination of the MEF effect and microwave-accelerated PA protein surface absorption. The assay is based on a modified version of our "rapid catch and signal" (RCS) technology previously designed for the ultra-fast and sensitive analysis of genomic DNA sequences. Technologically, the proposed MEF-PA assay uses standard 96-well plastic plates modified with silver island films (SiFs) grown within the wells. It is shown that the fluorescent probe, covalently attached to the secondary antibody, plays a crucial role of indicating complex formation (i.e., shows a strong MEF response to the recognition event). Microwave irradiation rapidly accelerates PA deposition onto the surface ("rapid catch"), significantly speeding up the MEF-PA assay and resulting in a total assay run time of less than 40 min with an analytical sensitivity of less than 1 pg/ml PA.
    Analytical Biochemistry 03/2012; 425(1):54-61. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacillus cereus G9241 was isolated from a welder with a pulmonary anthrax-like illness. The organism contains two megaplasmids, pBCXO1 and pBC218. These plasmids are analogous to the Bacillus anthracis Ames plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 that encode anthrax toxins and capsule, respectively. Here we evaluated the virulence of B. cereus G9241 as well as the contributions of pBCXO1 and pBC218 to virulence. B. cereus G9241 was avirulent in New Zealand rabbits after subcutaneous inoculation and attenuated 100-fold compared to the published 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) values for B. anthracis Ames after aerosol inoculation. A/J and C57BL/6J mice were comparably susceptible to B. cereus G9241 by both subcutaneous and intranasal routes of infection. However, the LD(50)s for B. cereus G9241 in both mouse strains were markedly higher than those reported for B. anthracis Ames and more like those of the toxigenic but nonencapsulated B. anthracis Sterne. Furthermore, B. cereus G9241 spores could germinate and disseminate after intranasal inoculation into A/J mice, as indicated by the presence of vegetative cells in the spleen and blood of animals 48 h after infection. Lastly, B. cereus G9241 derivatives cured of one or both megaplasmids were highly attenuated in A/J mice. We conclude that the presence of the toxin- and capsule-encoding plasmids pBCXO1 and pBC218 in B. cereus G9241 alone is insufficient to render the strain as virulent as B. anthracis Ames. However, like B. anthracis, full virulence of B. cereus G9241 for mice requires the presence of both plasmids.
    Infection and immunity 05/2011; 79(8):3012-9. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many genes in Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis are under the control of the transcriptional regulator PlcR and its regulatory peptide, PapR. In Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, PlcR is inactivated by truncation, and consequently genes having PlcR binding sites are expressed at very low levels when compared with B. cereus. We found that activation of the PlcR regulon in B. anthracis by expression of a PlcR-PapR fusion protein does not alter sporulation in strains containing the virulence plasmid pXO1 and thereby the global regulator AtxA. Using comparative 2D gel electrophoresis, we showed that activation of the PlcR regulon in B. anthracis leads to upregulation of many proteins found in the secretome of B. cereus, including phospholipases and proteases, such as the putative protease BA1995. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated expression of BA1995 to be dependent on PlcR-PapR, even though the putative PlcR recognition site of the BA1995 gene does not exactly match the PlcR consensus sequence, explaining why this protein had escaped recognition as belonging to the PlcR regulon. Additionally, while transcription of major PlcR-dependent haemolysins, sphingomyelinase and anthrolysin O is enhanced in response to PlcR activation in B. anthracis, only anthrolysin O contributes significantly to lysis of human erythrocytes. In contrast, the toxicity of bacterial culture supernatants from a PlcR-positive strain towards murine macrophages occurred independently of anthrolysin O expression in vitro and in vivo.
    Microbiology 10/2010; 156(Pt 10):2982-93. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bone marrow stromal cells [BMSCs; also known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)] effectively suppress inflammatory responses in acute graft-versus-host disease in humans and in a number of disease models in mice. Many of the studies concluded that BMSC-driven immunomodulation is mediated by the suppression of proinflammatory Th1 responses while rebalancing the Th1/Th2 ratio toward Th2. In this study, using a ragweed induced mouse asthma model, we studied if BMSCs could be beneficial in an allergic, Th2-dominant environment. When BMSCs were injected i.v. at the time of the antigen challenge, they protected the animals from the majority of asthma-specific pathological changes, including inhibition of eosinophil infiltration and excess mucus production in the lung, decreased levels of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13) in bronchial lavage, and lowered serum levels of Th2 immunoglobulins (IgG1 and IgE). To explore the mechanism of the effect we used BMSCs isolated from a variety of knockout mice, performed in vivo blocking of cytokines and studied the effect of asthmatic serum and bronchoalveolar lavage from ragweed challenged animals on the BMSCs in vitro. Our results suggest that IL-4 and/or IL-13 activate the STAT6 pathway in the BMSCs resulting in an increase of their TGF-beta production, which seems to mediate the beneficial effect, either alone, or together with regulatory T cells, some of which might be recruited by the BMSCs. These data suggest that, in addition to focusing on graft-versus-host disease and autoimmune diseases, allergic conditions--specifically therapy resistant asthma--might also be a likely target of the recently discovered cellular therapy approach using BMSCs.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2010; 107(12):5652-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists induce potent innate immune responses and can be used in the development of novel vaccine adjuvants. However, access to TLRs can be challenging as exemplified by TLR 7, which is located intracellularly in endosomal compartments. To increase recognition and subsequent stimulatory effects of TLR 7, imiquimod was encapsulated in acetalated dextran (Ac-DEX) microparticles. Ac-DEX, a water-insoluble and biocompatible polymer, is relatively stable at pH 7.4, but degrades rapidly under acidic conditions, such as those found in lysosomal vesicles. To determine the immunostimulatory capacity of encapsulated imiquimod, we compared the efficacy of free versus encapsulated imiquimod in activating RAW 264.7 macrophages, MH-S macrophages, and bone marrow derived dendritic cells. Encapsulated imiquimod significantly increased IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha cytokine expression in macrophages relative to the free drug. Furthermore, significant increases were observed in classic macrophage activation markers (iNOS, PD1-L1, and NO) after treatment with encapsulated imiquimod over the free drug. Also, bone marrow derived dendritic cells produced significantly higher levels of IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-12p70, and MIP-1 alpha as compared to their counterparts receiving free imiquimod. These results suggest that encapsulation of TLR ligands within Ac-DEX microparticles results in increased immunostimulation and potentially better protection from disease when used in conjunction with vaccine formulations.
    Molecular Pharmaceutics 03/2010; 7(3):826-35. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DR3 (TRAMP, LARD, WSL-1, TNFRSF25) is a death-domain-containing tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-family receptor primarily expressed on T cells. TL1A, the TNF-family ligand for DR3, can costimulate T cells, but the physiological function of TL1A-DR3 interactions in immune responses is not known. Using DR3-deficient mice, we identified DR3 as the receptor responsible for TL1A-induced T cell costimulation and dendritic cells as the likely source for TL1A during T cell activation. Despite its role in costimulation, DR3 was not required for in vivo T cell priming, for polarization into T helper 1 (Th1), Th2, or Th17 effector cell subtypes, or for effective control of infection with Toxoplasma gondii. Instead, DR3 expression was required on T cells for immunopathology, local T cell accumulation, and cytokine production in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) and allergic lung inflammation, disease models that depend on distinct effector T cell subsets. DR3 could be an attractive therapeutic target for T cell-mediated autoimmune and allergic diseases.
    Immunity 08/2008; 29(1):79-89. · 19.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In humans, limited T-cell receptor repertoire and lymphopenia are associated with severe eosinophilic inflammatory disease. A model of lymphopenia and reduced T-cell repertoire was created; C57BL/6 Rag2-/- mice received limited (30,000) or large (2 million) numbers of CD4 T-cells. Three to five months post-transfer, mice that had received 30,000 T-cells, but not those that received 2 million, developed fulminant macrophage pneumonia with eosinophilia, Ym1 deposition. methacholine-induced airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophilic gastritis and esophagitis. These mice had strikingly elevated serum IgE (in CD3epsilon-/- hosts) and donor-cells were enriched for IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 producers. Th2 pathology and serum IgE were enhanced when transferred populations were depleted of CD25+ CD4 Tregs, but was more severe when the effector population was derived from limited as compared to the large effector population. Pretreatment of Rag2-/- mice with 300,000 CD25+ CD4 Tregs prior to effector cell transfer prevented disease while pretreatment with 30,000 did not, despite the fact that there were equal numbers of Tregs in the hosts at the time of transfer of effector cells. Limited repertoire complexity of Tregs may lead to a failure to control immunopathologic responses and limited repertoire complexity of conventional cells may be responsible for the Th2 phenotype.
    Journal of Autoimmunity 01/2008; 29(4):257-61. · 8.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: gp49B, an Ig-like receptor, negatively regulates the activity of mast cells and neutrophils through cytoplasmic immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibition motifs. To characterize the role of gp49B further in vivo, gp49B-deficient mice were tested in two allergic models. Responses to ragweed (RW) challenge in the lung and conjunctiva were assessed in models of allergic inflammation and during an infection with parasitic larvae of the nematode Ascaris suum. Infiltration by inflammatory cells into the lung during allergic responses was under negative control of the inhibitory receptor gp49B. Furthermore, an increase in conjunctival inflammation with a predominance of eosinophils, neutrophils, and degranulated mast cells was observed in RW-sensitized, gp49B-deficient mice, which had been challenged in the eye, as compared with C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) controls. Finally, an increase in allergic inflammation in the lungs of A. suum-infected, RW-sensitized mice was observed upon RW challenge, as compared with C57BL/6 WT controls. The observed influx of eosinophils into mucus membranes is characteristic of allergic asthma and allergic conjunctivitis and may contribute to airway hyper-responsiveness, airway remodeling, and mucus production. Expression of gp49B was detected on peripheral eosinophils of control mice and on eosinophils from lungs of mice treated with RW, suggesting a role for gp49B on eosinophils in dampening allergic inflammatory responses.
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology 01/2008; 82(6):1531-41. · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Marcus G Hodges, Andrea M Keane-Myers
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to summarize the clinical presentations associated with the classification of ocular allergy. This article also serves to summarize recent findings of pathophysiological mechanisms associated with ocular allergy and to highlight recently improved diagnostic methods for ocular allergic inflammation. The term allergic conjunctivitis may not sufficiently describe all forms of allergic eye disease, thus a new classification system is desirable, preferably derived from the varied pathophysiological mechanisms operating in the different forms of ocular allergy. Recent published material has further characterized the roles that inflammatory and structural cells have in ocular allergic inflammation. Improved diagnostic methods have also been developed to assess the underlying causes of ocular allergy. The underlying immune responses of ocular allergies are complex, indicating the critical need to understand the pathophysiology behind these diseases. Extensive research over the past several years has provided valuable insight into understanding the pathophysiology associated with the different forms of allergic conjunctivitis. Further clarification of the mechanisms associated with different forms of ocular allergy is essential for improved methods of classification, diagnosis, and treatment.
    Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 11/2007; 7(5):424-8. · 3.40 Impact Factor
  • Virgilio G Bundoc, Andrea Keane-Myers
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    ABSTRACT: IL-10 is a regulatory cytokine known to inhibit allergic and inflammatory events. Mast cells (MC) are effector cells which when stimulated release histamine, chemokines and cytokines that initiate the allergic inflammatory response. Recent studies have shown that IL-10 regulates MC function by affecting cytokine production and expression of FcvarepsilonR1 in in vitro assays. Using IL-10 knockout (IL10KO) mice, we examined the effect of its absence on MC susceptibility to degranulation by the basic secretagogue, Compound 48/80 (C48/80). C48/80 is a receptor mimetic that directly activates G proteins and stimulates vigorous MC degranulation. For these studies we stimulated conjunctival MC with C48/80 and found that conjunctival MC of IL10KO mice exhibit increased degranulation compared with wild type mice. Reconstitution of IL10KO mice by adding rIL-10 24h prior to challenge with C48/80 conferred increased resistance of MC to the degranulatory effects of C48/80. The protective effect therefore appears to be due to the presence of IL-10. This is the first in vivo rodent study which reports a novel role of IL-10 in stabilizing mast cells from degranulation by a secretagogue, by as of yet an unknown mechanism.
    Experimental Eye Research 11/2007; 85(4):575-9. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Development of persistent Th2 responses in asthma and chronic helminth infections are a major health concern. IL-10 has been identified as a critical regulator of Th2 immunity, but mechanisms for controlling Th2 effector function remain unclear. IL-10 also has paradoxical effects on Th2-associated pathology, with IL-10 deficiency resulting in increased Th2-driven inflammation but also reduced airway hyperreactivity (AHR), mucus hypersecretion, and fibrosis. We demonstrate that increased IL-13 receptor alpha 2 (IL-13Ralpha2) expression is responsible for the reduced AHR, mucus production, and fibrosis in BALB/c IL-10(-/-) mice. Using models of allergic asthma and chronic helminth infection, we demonstrate that IL-10 and IL-13Ralpha2 coordinately suppress Th2-mediated inflammation and pathology, respectively. Although IL-10 was identified as the dominant antiinflammatory mediator, studies with double IL-10/IL-13Ralpha2-deficient mice illustrate an indispensable role for IL-13Ralpha2 in the suppression of AHR, mucus production, and fibrosis. Thus, IL-10 and IL-13Ralpha2 are both required to control chronic Th2-driven pathological responses.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 11/2007; 117(10):2941-51. · 12.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphopenia and restricted T cell repertoires in humans are often associated with severe eosinophilic disease and a T cell Th2 bias. To examine the pathogenesis of this phenomenon, C57BL/6 Rag2-/- mice received limited (3 x 10(4)) or large (2 x 10(6)) numbers of CD4 T cells. Three to 5 months after transfer, mice that had received 3 x 10(4) T cells, but not those that received 2 x 10(6), developed fulminant macrophage pneumonia with eosinophilia, Ym1 deposition, and methacholine-induced airway hyperresponsiveness, as well as eosinophilic gastritis; esophagitis and other organ damage occurred in some cases. Donor cells were enriched for IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 producers. When 3 x 10(4) cells were transferred into CD3epsilon-/- hosts, the mice developed strikingly elevated serum IgE. Prior transfer of 3 x 10(5) CD25+ CD4 T cells into Rag2-/- recipients prevented disease upon subsequent transfer of CD25- CD4 T cells, whereas 3 x 10(4) regulatory T cells (Tregs) did not, despite the fact that there were equal total numbers of Tregs in the host at the time of transfer of CD25- CD4 T cells. Limited repertoire complexity of Tregs may lead to a failure to control induction of immunopathologic responses, and limitation in repertoire complexity of conventional cells may be responsible for the Th2 phenotype.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2007; 104(2):576-81. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Clinical Investigation - J CLIN INVEST. 01/2007; 117(10):2941-2951.

Publication Stats

762 Citations
153.13 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2012
    • Naval Medical Research Center
      Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Chemistry
      Berkeley, MO, United States
  • 2003–2007
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
      • Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases (LPD)
      Maryland, United States