Xueqing Liang

University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, United States

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Publications (7)43.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: With recent approval of the first dendritic cell (DC) vaccine for patient use, many other DC vaccine approaches are now being tested in clinical trials. Many of these DC vaccines employ tumor cell lysates (TL) generated from cells cultured in atmospheric oxygen (∼20% O₂) that greatly exceeds levels found in tumors in situ. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that TLs generated from tumor cells cultured under physiologic oxygen (∼5% O₂) would be more effective as a source for DC antigens. Gene expression patterns in primary glioma cultures established at 5% O₂ more closely paralleled patient tumors in situ and known immunogenic antigens were more highly expressed. DCs treated with TLs generated from primary tumor cells maintained in 5% O₂ took up and presented antigens to CD8 T cells more efficiently. Moreover, CD8 T cells primed in this manner exhibited superior tumoricidal activity against target cells cultured in either atmospheric 20% O₂ or physiologic 5% O₂. Together, these results establish a simple method to greatly improve the effectiveness of DC vaccines in stimulating the production of tumoricidal T cells, with broad implications for many of the DC-based cancer vaccines being developed for clinical application.
    Cancer Research 09/2011; 71(21):6583-9. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most prevalent human leukemia and is characterized by the progressive accumulation of long-lived malignant B cells. Here we show that human B-CLL cells selectively express high levels of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) mRNA and proteins. Treating B-CLL cells with TLR9 agonists, type B CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-B ODNs), induces significant morphologic and phenotypic activation, altered cytokine production, reversal of signal transducer, and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) phosphorylation state, followed by profound apoptosis of B-CLL cells that is CpG-B ODN treatment time- and dose-dependent. TLR9-CpG ODN ligation-induced apoptosis of B-CLL cells is confirmed by viable cell counts, annexin V/propidium iodide and tetramethyl-rhodamine ethylester staining, Western blots of the activation, and cleaved caspases and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. Triggering TLR9 by CpG-B ODN leads to nuclear factor-kappaB-dependent production of autocrine interleukin-10, which activates JAK/STAT pathway-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1 proteins and thereby provokes an apoptosis pathway in B-CLL cells. Treating B-CLL cells in vitro or in vivo with CpG-B ODN reduces the number of leukemia cells that engraft in NOD-scid mice. These findings provide new understanding of CpG ODN-mediated antitumor effects and support for the development of TLR9-targeted therapy for human CLL.
    Blood 03/2010; 115(24):5041-52. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs) can drive naive, allogeneic CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells to differentiate into CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs). However, the intracellular mechanism or mechanisms underlying PDC-induced Treg generation are unknown. In this study, we show that human PDCs express high levels of IDO, an intracellular enzyme that catabolizes tryptophan degradation. Triggering of TLR 9 with CpG oligodeoxynucleotides activates PDCs to up-regulate surface expression of B7 ligands and HLA-DR Ag, but also significantly increases the expression of IDO and results in the generation of inducible Tregs from CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells with potent suppressor cell function. Blocking IDO activity with the pharmacologic inhibitor 1-methyl-D-tryptophan significantly abrogates PDC-driven inducible Treg generation and suppressor cell function. Adding kynurenine, the immediate downstream metabolite of tryptophan, bypasses the 1-methyl-D-tryptophan effect and restores PDC-driven Treg generation. Our results demonstrate that the IDO pathway is essential for PDC-driven Treg generation from CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells and implicate the generation of kynurenine pathway metabolites as the critical mediator of this process.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2008; 181(8):5396-404. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) are key effectors in innate immunity and play critical roles in triggering adaptive immune responses. FLT3 ligand (FLT3-L) is essential for DC development from hematopoietic progenitors. In a phase I clinical trial, we demonstrated that immunotherapy with subcutaneous injection of FLT3-L is safe and well tolerated in cancer patients recovering from autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). FLT3-L administration significantly increased the frequency and absolute number of blood DC precursors without affecting other mature cell lineages during the 6-week course of FLT3-L therapy. After 14 days of FLT3-L administration, the number of blood CD11c + DCs, plasmacytoid DCs (PDCs), and CD14 + monocytes increased by 5.3-, 2.9-, 3.8-fold, respectively, and was maintained at increased levels throughout FLT3-L therapy. FLT3-L-increased blood DCs in HCT patients were immature and had modest enhancing effects on in vitro T-cell proliferation to antigens and natural killer (NK) cell function. The addition of type B CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) to peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from HCT patients receiving FLT3-L therapy induced rapid maturation of both CD11c + DCs and PDCs and enhanced T-cell proliferative responses. In addition, CpG ODN induced potent activation of NK cells from FLT3-L-treated patients with increased surface CD69 expression and augmented cytotoxicity. CpG ODN-induced activation of NK cells was primarily via an indirect mechanism through PDCs. These findings suggest that FLT3-L mobilization of DC precursors followed by a specific DC stimulus such as CpG ODN may provide a novel strategy to manipulate antitumor immunity in patients after HCT.
    Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 02/2005; 11(1):23-34. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs) are key effectors in host innate immunity and orchestrate adaptive immune responses. CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) have potent immunostimulatory effects on PDCs through TLR9 recognition and signaling. Little is known about the effects of CpG ODN on human PDC-mediated T cell priming. Here we show that type B CpG ODN effectively promotes PDCs to prime allogeneic naive CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells to differentiate into CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells. The CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells induced by CpG ODN-activated PDCs express forkhead transcription factor 3 and produce IL-10, TGF-beta, IFN-gamma, and IL-6, but low IL-2 and IL-4. These CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells are hyporesponsive to secondary alloantigen stimulation and strongly inhibit proliferation of autologous or allogeneic naive CD4(+) T cells in an Ag-nonspecific manner. CpG ODN-activated PDCs require direct contact with T cells to induce CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells. Interestingly, IL-10 and TGF-beta were undetectable in the supernatants of CpG ODN-stimulated PDC cultures. Both CpG-A and CpG-C ODN-activated PDCs similarly induced the generation of CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells with strong immune suppressive function. This study demonstrates that TLR9 stimulation can promote PDC-mediated generation of CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells and suggests PDCs may play an important role in the maintenance of immunological tolerance.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2004; 173(7):4433-42. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type 1 interferon-producing cells (IPCs), also known as plasmacytoid dendritic cell (DC) precursors, represent the key effectors in antiviral innate immunity and triggers for adaptive immune responses. IPCs play important roles in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and in modulating immune responses after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Understanding IPC development from hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) may provide critical information in controlling viral infection, autoimmune SLE, and graft-versus-host disease. FLT3-ligand (FLT3-L) represents a key IPC differentiation factor from HPCs. Although hematopoietic cytokines such as interleukin-3 (IL-3), IL-7, stem cell factor (SCF), macrophage-colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), and granulocyte M-CSF (GM-CSF) promote the expansion of CD34+ HPCs in FLT3-L culture, they strongly inhibit HPC differentiation into IPCs. Here we show that thrombopoietin (TPO) cooperates with FLT3-L, inducing CD34+ HPCs to undergo a 400-fold expansion in cell numbers and to generate more than 6 x 10(6) IPCs per 10(6) CD34+ HPCs within 30 days in culture. IPCs derived from HPCs in FLT3-L/TPO cultures display blood IPC phenotype and have the capacity to produce large amounts of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) and to differentiate into mature DCs. This culture system, combined with the use of adult peripheral blood CD34+ HPCs purified from G-CSF-mobilized donors, permits the generation of more than 10(9) IPCs from a single blood donor.
    Blood 05/2004; 103(7):2547-53. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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