Danice E C Wilkins

University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, Nevada, United States

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Publications (8)49.17 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cancer commonly occurs in the elderly and immunotherapy (IT) is being increasingly applied to this population. However, the majority of preclinical mouse tumor models assessing potential efficacy and toxicities of therapeutics use young mice. We assessed the impact of age on responses to systemic immune stimulation. In contrast to young mice, systemic cancer IT regimens or LPS given to aged mice resulted in rapid and lethal toxicities affecting multiple organs correlating with heightened proinflammatory cytokines systemically and within the parenchymal tissues. This inflammatory response and increased morbidity with age was independent of T cells or NK cells. However, prior in vivo depletion of macrophages in aged mice resulted in lesser cytokine levels, increased survival, and decreased liver histopathology. Furthermore, macrophages from aged mice and normal human elderly volunteers displayed heightened TNF and IL-6 production upon in vitro stimulation. Treatment of both TNF knockout mice and in vivo TNF blockade in aged mice resulted in significant increases in survival and lessened pathology. Importantly, TNF blockade in tumor-bearing, aged mice receiving IT displayed significant anti-tumor effects. These data demonstrate the critical role of macrophages in the age-associated hyper-inflammatory cytokine responses to systemic immunostimulation and underscore the importance of performing preclinical assessments in aged mice.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 09/2013; · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary viral infections induce activation of CD8(+) T cells responsible for effective resistance. We sought to characterize the nature of the CD8(+) T cell expansion observed after primary viral infection with influenza. Infection of naïve mice with different strains of influenza resulted in rapid expansion of memory CD8(+) T cells exhibiting a unique bystander phenotype with significant up-regulation of NKG2D, but not CD25, on the CD44(high) CD8(+) T cells, suggesting an antigen-nonspecific phenotype. We further confirmed the non-specificity of this phenotype on Ovalbumin-specific (OT-I) CD8(+) T cells, which are not specific to influenza. These nonspecific CD8(+) T cells also displayed increased lytic capabilities and were primarily observed in the lung. Thus, influenza infection was shown to induce a rapid, antigen-nonspecific memory T cell expansion which is restricted to the specific site of inflammation. In contrast, CD8(+) T cells of a similar phenotype could be observed in other organs following administration of systemic agonistic anti-CD40 and interleukin-2 immunotherapy demonstrating that bystander expansion in multiple sites is possible depending on whether the nature of activation is either acute or systemic. Finally, intranasal blockade of NKG2D resulted in a significant increase in viral replication early during the course of infection suggesting that NKG2D is a critical mediator of anti-influenza responses prior to the initiation of adaptive immunity. These results further characterize the local bystander expansion of tissue-resident, memory CD8(+) T cells, which, due to their early induction, may play an important NKG2D-mediated, antigen-nonspecific role during the early stages of viral infection.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 08/2013; · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Memory T cells exhibit tremendous antigen specificity within the immune system and accumulate with age. Our studies reveal an antigen-independent expansion of memory, but not naive, CD8(+) T cells after several immunotherapeutic regimens for cancer resulting in a distinctive phenotype. Signaling through T-cell receptors (TCRs) or CD3 in both mouse and human memory CD8(+) T cells markedly up-regulated programmed death-1 (PD-1) and CD25 (IL-2 receptor α chain), and led to antigen-specific tumor cell killing. In contrast, exposure to cytokine alone in vitro or with immunotherapy in vivo did not up-regulate these markers but resulted in expanded memory CD8(+) T cells expressing NKG2D, granzyme B, and possessing broadly lytic capabilities. Blockade of NKG2D in mice also resulted in significantly diminished antitumor effects after immunotherapy. Treatment of TCR-transgenic mice bearing nonantigen expressing tumors with immunotherapy still resulted in significant antitumor effects. Human melanoma tissue biopsies obtained from patients after topically applied immunodulatory treatment resulted in increased numbers of these CD8(+) CD25(-) cells within the tumor site. These findings demonstrate that memory CD8(+) T cells can express differential phenotypes indicative of adaptive or innate effectors based on the nature of the stimuli in a process conserved across species.
    Blood 01/2012; 119(13):3073-83. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The primary tumor represents a potential source of antigens for priming immune responses for disseminated disease. Current means of debulking tumors involves the use of cytoreductive conditioning that impairs immune cells or removal by surgery. We hypothesized that activation of the immune system could occur through the localized release of tumor antigens and induction of tumor death due to physical disruption of tumor architecture and destruction of the primary tumor in situ. This was accomplished by intratumor injection of magneto-rheological fluid (MRF) consisting of iron microparticles, in Balb/c mice bearing orthotopic 4T1 breast cancer, followed by local application of a magnetic field resulting in immediate coalescence of the particles, tumor cell death, slower growth of primary tumors as well as decreased tumor progression in distant sites and metastatic spread. This treatment was associated with increased activation of DCs in the draining lymph nodes and recruitment of both DCs and CD8(+)T cells to the tumor. The particles remained within the tumor and no toxicities were observed. The immune induction observed was significantly greater compared to cryoablation. Further anti-tumor effects were observed when MRF/magnet therapy was combined with systemic low dose immunotherapy. Thus, mechanical disruption of the primary tumor with MRF/magnetic field application represents a novel means to induce systemic immune activation in cancer.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e48049. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Danice E. C. Wilkins, William J. Murphy
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    ABSTRACT: CD40–CD40L interactions play an important role in the generation of humoral and cell-mediated immunity. Due to the expression of CD40 on antigen presenting cells, it has become an attractive target for immunotherapy against cancer. Recent studies have focused on using CD40 stimulation as an adjuvant, and in conjunction with cytokines and other factors to elicit antitumor responses. However, due to the pleiotropic effects of CD40 stimulation, and the wide array of cell types upon which it is expressed, new studies are also focusing on the nonimmune related consequences of systemic and local CD40 stimulation. Systemic administration of immunotherapy regimens containing CD40 stimulation via soluble ligands and agonist antibodies has been associated with some toxicities, and direct stimulation of CD40 expressed on various malignancies and vascular endothelium has elucidated a possible role for CD40 in the transformation and progression of malignancies. This review focuses on the role of CD40 stimulation in the generation of innate and adaptive antitumor responses, as well as the direct effects of CD40 stimulation on tumor survival, death, and angiogenesis.
    01/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, our laboratory reported that secondary CD8+ T cell-mediated antitumor responses were impaired following successful initial antitumor responses using various immunotherapeutic approaches. Although immunotherapy stimulated significant increases in CD8+ T cell numbers, the number of CD4+ T cells remained unchanged. The current investigation revealed a marked differential expansion of CD4+ T cell subsets. Successful immunotherapy surprisingly resulted in an expansion of CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells concurrent with a reduction of conventional CD4+ T (Tconv) cells, despite the marked antitumor responses. Following immunotherapy, we observed differential up-regulation of PD-1 on the surface of CD4+Foxp3+ Treg cells and CD4+Foxp3- Tconv cells. Interestingly, it was the ligand for PD-1, B7-H1 (PDL-1), that correlated with Tconv cell loss after treatment. Furthermore, IFN-gamma knockout (IFN-gamma-/-) and IFN-gamma receptor knockout (IFN-gammaR-/-) animals lost up-regulation of surface B7-H1 even though PD-1 expression of Tconv cells was not changed, and this correlated with CD4+ Tconv cell increases. These results suggest that subset-specific expansion may contribute to marked shifts in the composition of the T cell compartment, potentially influencing the effectiveness of some immunotherapeutic approaches that rely on IFN-gamma.
    The Journal of Immunology 04/2008; 180(5):2981-8. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) still remains one of the life-threatening complications following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Immunomodulation of alloreactive donor T cell responses, as well as cytokine secretion is a potential therapeutic approach for the prevention of aGVHD. The synthetic triterpenoid, CDDO (2-cyano-3, 12-dioxooleana-1, 9-dien-28-oic acid), exhibits potent antitumor activity and has also been shown to mediate anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. We therefore wanted to assess the effects of CDDO on early lethal aGVHD. In this study, we found that CDDO significantly inhibited in vitro mixed lymphocyte responses and preferentially promoted the apoptosis of proliferating but not resting alloreactive T cells. Using a full major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-disparate murine aGVHD model, we found that the administration of CDDO immediately after transplantation significantly decreased liver pathology as determined by histologic assessment and prolonged survival in mice. Importantly, administration of CDDO did not adversely impair donor myeloid reconstitution as determined by peripheral blood cell count and the extent of donor chimerism. These findings indicate that CDDO has a significant immunomodulatory effects in vitro and on early lethal aGVHD development, particularly affecting the liver, in a murine allo-HSCT model.
    Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 06/2007; 13(5):521-9. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have recently demonstrated that the proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, administered immediately following murine allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) resulted in marked inhibition of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) with retention of graft-versus-tumor effects. We now assessed the effects of delayed bortezomib administration (5 or more days after BMT) on GVHD. Recipient C57BL/6 (H2b) mice were lethally irradiated and given transplants of bone marrow cells and splenocytes from major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-disparate BALB/c (H2d) donors. In marked contrast to the effects of bortezomib on GVHD prevention when administered immediately after BMT, delayed bortezomib administration resulted in significant acceleration of GVHD-dependent morbidity. No toxicity was observed following delayed bortezomib administration in models where donor T cells were not coadministered, indicating that these deleterious effects were critically dependent on GVHD induction. The increase in GVHD susceptibility even occurred when late administration of bortezomib was preceded by early administration. Pathologic assessment revealed that significant increases in gastrointestinal lesions occurred following delayed bortezomib administration during GVHD. This pathology correlated with significant increases of type 1 tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) receptor transcription in gastrointestinal cells and with significant increases of TNF-alpha, interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta), and IL-6 levels in the serum. These results indicate that the differential effects of proteasome inhibition with bortezomib on GVHD are critically dependent on the timing of bortezomib administration.
    Blood 12/2005; 106(9):3293-9. · 9.78 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

98 Citations
49.17 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012–2013
    • University of Nevada School of Medicine
      Reno, Nevada, United States
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Dermatology
      Davis, CA, United States
  • 2005–2013
    • University of Nevada, Reno
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Reno, Nevada, United States