Carlos A Guzmán

University of Wuerzburg, Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (177)547.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Exogenous HIV-1 matrix protein p17 (p17) deregulates the function of different cells after its N-terminal loop (AT20) binding to the chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2. One site within AT20 has been recently found to be the major determinant of viral fitness following transmission of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) to the human host. Therefore, we asked whether SIV matrix protein (SIV MA) was already capable of interacting with CXCR1 and CXCR2 and mimic p17 biological activities rather than being it a newly acquired function during host adaptation. Here we show that SIV MA binds with the same affinity of p17 to CXCR1 and CXCR2 and displays both p17 pro-angiogenic on human primary endothelial cells and chemotactic activity on human primary monocytes and B cells. However, SIV MA exhibited a higher degree of plasticity than p17 in the C-terminus, a region known to play a role in modulating B cell growth. Indeed, differently from p17, SIV MA was found to activate the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and strongly promote B cell proliferation and clonogenic activity. Interestingly, we have recently highlighted the existence of a Ugandan HIV-1 strain-derived p17 variant (S75X) with the same B cell growth-promoting activity of SIV MA. Computational modeling allowed us to hypothesize an altered C-terminus/core region interaction behind SIV MA and S75X activity. This finding points on the appearance of a structural constraint in the p17 C-terminus aimed to control B cell growth, which may offer the possibility of understanding the evolutionary trajectory of HIV-1. The HIV-1 matrix protein p17 (p17) deregulates the biological activities of different cells after binding to the chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2. The p17 functional domain responsible for receptors interaction includes an amino acid which is considered the major determinant of SIV replication in humans. Therefore, we asked whether SIV matrix protein (SIV MA) already had the capability to bind to both chemokine receptors rather than being a newly function acquired during host adaptation. Here we show that SIV MA binds to CXCR1 and CXCR2 and fully mimics the p17 pro-angiogenic and chemokine activity. However, it differs from p17 in its capability to signal into B cells and promote B cell growth and clonogenicity. Computational analysis suggests that accumulation of mutations in the C-terminal region may have led to a further SIV MA adaptation to the human host. This finding offers the possibility to understand the evolutionary trajectory of HIV-1.
    Journal of Virology 03/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIDS-related lymphomas are high grade and aggressively metastatic with poor prognosis. Lymphangiogenesis is essential in supporting proliferation and survival of lymphoma, as well as tumor dissemination. Data suggest that aberrant lymphangiogenesis relies on action of HIV-1 proteins rather than on a direct effect of the virus itself. HIV-1 matrix protein p17 was found to accumulate and persist in lymph nodes of patients even under highly active antiretroviral therapy. Because p17 was recently found to exert a potent proangiogenic activity by interacting with chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptors 1 and 2, we tested the prolymphangiogenic activity of the viral protein. Human primary lymph node-derived lymphatic endothelial cells were used to perform capillary-like structure formation, wound healing, spheroids, and Western blot assays after stimulation with or without p17. Here, we show that p17 promotes lymphangiogenesis by binding to chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor-1 and chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor-2 expressed on lymph node-derived lymphatic endothelial cells and activating the Akt/extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathway. In particular, it was found to induce capillary-like structure formation, sprout formation from spheroids, and increase lymph node-derived lymphatic endothelial cells motility. The p17 lymphangiogenic activity was, in part, sustained by activation of the endothelin-1/endothelin receptor B axis. A Matrigel plug assay showed that p17 was able to promote the outgrowth of lymphatic vessels in vivo, demonstrating that p17 directly regulates lymphatic vessel formation. Our results suggest that p17 may generate a prolymphangiogenic microenvironment and plays a role in predisposing the lymph node to lymphoma growth and metastasis. This finding offers new opportunities to identify treatment strategies in combating AIDS-related lymphomas.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 01/2014; · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Classic phylogenetic and modern population-based clustering methods were used to analyze hepatitis C virus (HCV) evolution in plasma and to assess viral compartmentalization within peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in 6 children during 3.2-9.6yr of follow-up. Population structure analysis of cloned amplicons encompassing hypervariable region 1 led to the distinction of two evolutionary patterns, one highly divergent and another one genetically homogeneous. Viral adaptability was reflected by co-evolution of viral communities switching rapidly from one to another in the context of divergence and stability associated with highly homogeneous communities which were replaced by new ones after long periods. Additionally, viral compartmentalization of HCV in PBMCs was statistically demonstrated, suggesting their role as a pool of genetic variability. Our results support the idea of a community-based structure of HCV viral populations during chronic infection and highlight a role of the PBMC compartment in the persistence of such structure.
    Virology 12/2013; 447(1-2):187-96. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Refractoriness to platelet (PLT) transfusion caused by alloimmunization against HLA class I antigens constitutes a significant clinical problem. Thus, it would be desirable to have PLT units lacking HLA antigens on the cell surface. Previously, we showed that the generation of functional HLA class I-silenced (HLA-universal) PLTs from CD34+ cells using a short hairpin (sh)RNA to target β2-microglobulin (β2m) transcripts is feasible. Here, we assessed the capacity of HLA-silenced PLTs to escape HLA-antibody-mediated cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Generation of megakaryocytes (MKs) and PLTs was performed by thrombopoietin-mediated differentiation of HLA-silenced CD34+ cells within 10 days. Lymphocytotoxicity and ADCC reporter assays using anti-HLA antibodies and a mouse model for PLT refractoriness were used to assess the immune-evasion capability of HLA-universal MKs and PLTs. To mimic PLT refractoriness in vivo, NOD/SCID/IL-2Rγc-/- mice were injected with specific anti-HLA antibodies followed by the infusion of 1x106 HLA-universal MKs. In vivo PLT generation was evaluated by flow cytometry using anti-CD42a and CD61 antibodies. Cells expressing a non-specific shRNA were used as control. Lymphocytotoxicity and ADCC reporter assays showed that HLA-silencing protects MKs against HLA-antibody-mediated complement-dependent and cell-mediated cytotoxicity, respectively. In lymphocytoxocity assays, 80-90% of HLA-expressing MKs but only 3% of HLA-silenced MKs were lysed. In the circulation of mice, HLA-expressing and HLA-silenced MKs showed PLT production in the absence of anti-HLA antibodies with human PLT frequencies of up to 0.5% within the PLT population. However, in presence of anti-HLA antibodies HLA-expressing MKs were rapidly cleared from the circulation of mice, whereas HLA-silenced MKs escaped HLA-antibody-mediated cytotoxicity and produced PLTs which were detectable up to 11 days. Our data show that HLA-silenced PLTs are efficiently protected against HLA-antibody-mediated cytotoxicity and prevent PLT refractoriness in vivo. Provision of HLA-silenced PLTs may become an important component in the management of patients refractory to PLT transfusion.
    Human gene therapy 10/2013; · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Following earlier studies on high-level intracellular production of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) using recombinant Pichia pastoris, we present here in detail an enhanced method for the purification of recombinant HBsAg virus-like particles (VLPs). We have screened various detergents for their ability to promote the solubilization of recombinant intracellular HBsAg. In addition, we have analyzed the effect of cell disruption and extraction regarding their impact on the release of HBsAg. Our results show that introduction of the mild nonionic detergent Tween 20 in the initial process of cell lysis at ∼600bars by high pressure homogenization leads to the best results. The subsequent purification steps involved polyethylene glycol precipitation of host cell contaminants, hydrophobic adsorption of HBsAg to colloidal silica followed by ion-exchange chromatography and either isopycnic density ultracentrifugation or size exclusion chromatography for the recovery of the VLPs. After final KSCN treatment and dialysis, a total yield of ∼3% with a purity of >99% was reached. The pure protein was characterized by electron microscopy, showing the presence of uniform VLPs which are the pre-requisite for immunogenicity. The intramuscular co-administration of HBsAg VLPs, with either alum or a PEGylated-derivative of the toll-like receptor 2/6 agonist MALP-2, to mice resulted in the elicitation of significantly higher HBsAg-specific IgG titers as well as a stronger cellular immune response compared to mice vaccinated with a gold standard vaccine (Engerix™). These results show that P. pastoris derived HBsAg VLPs exhibit a high potential as a superior biosimilar vaccine against hepatitis B.
    Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences 09/2013; 940C:104-111. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vaccines represent the most efficient tool for preventing diseases caused by infectious pathogens. During the last century significant progress has been made in vaccine development, resulting in the eradication or control of several diseases. However, the emergence of new pathogens and the inadequate protection conferred by some existing vaccines render necessary new vaccination strategies. Newly arising immunization approaches, such as subunit vaccines and mucosal administration, make the use of novel adjuvants essential. However, only a limited number of adjuvants are available on the market. The present review is focused on vaccine adjuvants approved for human vaccines and promising candidates which are currently under development. In this regard, emerging immune stimulators and combinations are discussed, together with their strengths, limitations and regulatory framework.
    Current topics in medicinal chemistry 09/2013; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transfollicular vaccination aims to reach the peri-follicular antigen presenting cells without impairing the stratum corneum (SC) barrier. This would be an optimal vaccination strategy under critical hygienic conditions. Nanoparticles (NPs) are the ideal vehicles for transfollicular delivery of vaccines as they are able to (i) penetrate deeper into the hair follicles than molecules in solution, (ii) can help to stabilize protein based antigen and (iii) improve and modulate the immune response. This study investigates the potential of transfollicular delivery of polymeric NPs using ovalbumin (OVA) as a model antigen. NPs were prepared by a double emulsion method from pharmaceutically well characterized biocompatible and biodegradable polymers poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) or chitosan-coated PLGA (Chit-PLGA) using polyvinyl alcohol as stabilizer. The NP formulations are available as freeze dried product which can be re-constituted with water or cell culture medium before use to yield any desired OVA/NP concentration. OVA was protected from cleavage or aggregation inside the NPs and retained its biological activity to 74% (PLGA) and 64% (Chit-PLGA). Thus, when applying a typical dose of 8.5μl/cm(2) NP formulation (50mg NPs/ml, 54.3±0.047 and 66.5±0.044μg OVA/mg NPs for PLGA and Chit-PLGA NPs, respectively) an effective dose of 17μg/cm(2) (PLGA) or 18μg/cm(2) (Chit-PLGA) of active OVA is administered. In a cell culture assay encapsulated OVA stimulated the proliferation of CD4+ (PLGA and Chit-PLGA) and CD8+ T-cells (only Chit-PLGA) to a larger extent than OVA in solution. An adoptive transfer experiment demonstrated that the model antigen OVA can be delivered via the transfollicular route. This preliminary experiment is a proof of concept that by this transfollicular immunization approach it is possible to deliver antigens, thereby stimulating antigen-specific T cells. Both NP formulations improved the delivery efficiency of OVA into the hair follicles on excised pig ears by a factor of 2-3 compared to OVA solution. This delivery efficiency could further be increased by increasing the number of NPs applied per skin area by a factor of ≈2-2.4. Consequently formulation of OVA into PLGA and Chit-PLGA NPs may offer to reduce the dose which needs to be applied for transfollicular immunization.
    Vaccine 01/2013; · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bordetella bronchiseptica is an important pathogen causing a number of veterinary respiratory syndromes in agriculturally important and food-producing confinement-reared animals, resulting in great economic losses annually amounting to billions of euros worldwide. Currently available live vaccines are incompletely satisfactory in terms of efficacy and safety. An efficient vaccine for livestock animals would allow reducing the application of antibiotics, thereby preventing the massive release of pharmaceuticals into the environment. Here, we describe two new potential vaccine strains based on the BB7865 strain. Two independent attenuating mutations were incorporated by homologous recombination in order to make negligible the risk of recombination and subsequent reversion to the virulent phenotype. The mutations are critical for bacterial metabolism, resistance to oxidative stress, intracellular survival and in vivo persistence. The resulting double mutants BB7865 risA aroA and BB7865 risA dapE were characterized as promising vaccine candidates, which are able to confer protection against colonization of the lower respiratory tract after sublethal challenge with the wild-type strain.
    Environmental Microbiology 01/2013; 15(1):64. · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inhibition of death-receptor apoptosis is a conserved viral function. The murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) gene M36 is a sequence and functional homologue of the human cytomegalovirus gene UL36, and it encodes an inhibitor of apoptosis that binds to caspase-8, blocks downstream signaling and thus contributes to viral fitness in macrophages and in vivo. Here we show a direct link between the inability of mutants lacking the M36 gene (ΔM36) to inhibit apoptosis, poor viral growth in macrophage cell cultures and viral in vivo fitness and virulence. ΔM36 grew poorly in RAG1 knockout mice and in RAG/IL-2-receptor common gamma chain double knockout mice (RAGγC(-/-)), but the depletion of macrophages in either mouse strain rescued the growth of ΔM36 to almost wild-type levels. This was consistent with the observation that activated macrophages were sufficient to impair ΔM36 growth in vitro. Namely, spiking fibroblast cell cultures with activated macrophages had a suppressive effect on ΔM36 growth, which could be reverted by z-VAD-fmk, a chemical apoptosis inhibitor. TNFα from activated macrophages synergized with IFNγ in target cells to inhibit ΔM36 growth. Hence, our data show that poor ΔM36 growth in macrophages does not reflect a defect in tropism, but rather a defect in the suppression of antiviral mediators secreted by macrophages. To the best of our knowledge, this shows for the first time an immune evasion mechanism that protects MCMV selectively from the antiviral activity of macrophages, and thus critically contributes to viral pathogenicity in the immunocompromised host devoid of the adaptive immune system.
    PLoS Pathogens 12/2012; 8(12):e1003062. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Please cite this paper as: Svindland et al. (2012) A study of Chitosan and c-di-GMP as mucosal adjuvants for intranasal influenza H5N1 vaccine. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 10.1111/irv.12056000(000), 000-000. Background  Highly pathogenic avian influenza A/H5N1 virus remains a potential pandemic threat, and it is essential to continue vaccine development against this subtype. A local mucosal immune response in the upper respiratory tract may stop influenza transmission. It is therefore important to develop effective intranasal pandemic influenza vaccines that induce mucosal immunity at the site of viral entry. Objectives  We evaluated the humoral and cellular immune responses of two promising mucosal adjuvants (Chitosan and c-di-GMP) for intranasal influenza H5N1 vaccine in a murine model. Furthermore, we evaluated the concept of co-adjuvanting an experimental adjuvant (c-di-GMP) with chitosan. Methods  BALB/c mice were intranasally immunised with two doses of subunit NIBRG-14 (H5N1) vaccine (7·5, 1·5 or 0·3 μg haemagglutinin (HA) adjuvanted with chitosan (CSN), c-di-GMP or both adjuvants. Results  All adjuvant formulations improved the serum and local antibody responses, with the highest responses observed in the 7·5 μg HA CSN and c-di-GMP-adjuvanted groups. The c-di-GMP provided dose sparing with protective single radial haemolysis (SRH), and haemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody responses found in the 0·3 μg HA group. CSN elicited a Th2 response, whereas c-di-GMP induced higher frequencies of virus-specific CD4(+) T cells producing one or more Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ(+) , IL-2(+) , TNF-α(+) ). A combination of the two adjuvants demonstrated effectiveness at 7·5 μg HA and triggered a more balanced Th cytokine profile. Conclusion  These data show that combining adjuvants can modulate the Th response and in combination with ongoing studies of adjuvanted intranasal vaccines will dictate the way forward for optimal mucosal influenza vaccines.
    Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 11/2012; · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    Christine Rueckert, Carlos A Guzmán
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    ABSTRACT: Infectious diseases are responsible for an overwhelming number of deaths worldwide and their clinical management is often hampered by the emergence of multi-drug-resistant strains. Therefore, prevention through vaccination currently represents the best course of action to combat them. However, immune escape and evasion by pathogens often render vaccine development difficult. Furthermore, most currently available vaccines were empirically designed. In this review, we discuss why rational design of vaccines is not only desirable but also necessary. We introduce recent developments towards specifically tailored antigens, adjuvants, and delivery systems, and discuss the methodological gaps and lack of knowledge still hampering true rational vaccine design. Finally, we address the potential and limitations of different strategies and technologies for advancing vaccine development.
    PLoS Pathogens 11/2012; 8(11):e1003001. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists have been described to beneficially modulate allergic airway inflammation. However, the efficiency of TLR agonists vary considerably and the exact cellular mechanisms, especially of TLR 2/6 agonists, are incompletely understood. We aimed to investigate at a cellular level, if administration of the pharmacologically improved TLR 2/6 agonist BPPcysMPEG (BPP) conjugated to antigenic peptide (BPP-OVA) could divert an existing Th2 response and influence airway eosinophilia. The effects of BPP-OVA on airway inflammation were assessed in a classical murine sensitization/challenge model and an adoptive transfer model, which involved adoptive transfer of in vitro differentiated OVA-specific Th2 cells. Functional T cell stimulation by lung dendritic cells (DC) was determined both, in vitro as well as in vivo combined with cytokine secretion analysis. A single mucosal BPP-OVA application efficiently delivered antigen, led to TLR2-mediated DC activation and resulted in OVA-specific T cell proliferation via lung DC in vivo. In alternative models of allergic airway disease, single administration of BPP-OVA before OVA challenge, but not BPP alone, significantly reduced airway eosinophilia, mostly likely through altered antigen-specific T cell stimulation via DC. Analysis of adoptively transferred Th2-biased cells after BPP-OVA administration in vivo, suggested that BPP-OVA guides antigen-specific Th2- cells to produce significantly higher amount of IFNγ upon allergen challenge. In conclusion, our data show for the first time that, a single mucosal administration of a TLR 2/6 agonist-allergen conjugate can provoke IFNγ-responses in Th2-biased cells and alleviate allergic airway inflammation.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 09/2012; · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular diseases supported by aberrant angiogenesis have increased incidence in HIV-1–infected patients. Several data suggest that endothelium dysfunction relies on action of HIV-1 proteins rather than on a direct effect of the virus itself. The HIV-1 matrix protein p17 is known to deregulate the biological activity of different immune cells. Recently, p17 was found to mimic IL-8 chemokine activity by binding to the IL-8 receptor CXCR1. Here we show that p17 binds with high affinity to CXCR2, a CXCR1-related receptor, and promotes the formation of capillary-like structures on human endothelial cells (ECs) by interacting with both CXCR1 and CXCR2 expressed on the EC surface. ERK signaling via Akt was defined as the pathway responsible for p17-induced tube formation. Ex vivo and in vivo experimental models confirmed the provasculogenic activity of p17, which was comparable to that induced by VEGF-A. The hypothesis of a major role for p17 in HIV-1–induced aberrant angiogenesis is enforced by the finding that p17 is detected, as a single protein, in blood vessels of HIV-1–patients and in particular in the nucleus of ECs. Localization of p17 in the nucleus of ECs was evidenced also in in vitro experiments, suggesting the internalization of exogenous p17 in ECs by mechanisms of receptor-mediated endocytosis. Recognizing p17 interaction with CXCR1 and CXCR2 as the key event in sustaining EC aberrant angiogenesis could help us to identify new treatment strategies in combating AIDS-related vascular diseases.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2012; 109(36):14580-14585. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages play an important role in the rejection of xenogeneic cells and therefore represent a major obstacle to generating chimeric mice with human xenografts that are useful tools for basic and preclinical medical research. The signal inhibitory regulatory protein α (SIRPα) receptor is a negative regulator of macrophage phagocytic activity and interacts in a species-specific fashion with its ligand CD47. Furthermore, SIRPα polymorphism in laboratory mouse strains significantly affects the extent of human CD47-mediated toleration of human xenotransplants. Aiming to minimize macrophage activity and thus optimize human cell engraftment in immunodeficient mice, we lentivirally transduced murine CD47 (Cd47) into human liver cells. Human HepG2 liver cells expressing Cd47 were less frequently contacted and phagocytosed by murine RAW264.7 macrophages in vitro than their Cd47-negative counterparts. For the generation of human-mouse chimeric livers in immunodeficient BALB-ΔRAG/γ(c) -uPA (urokinase-type plasminogen activator) mice, freshly thawed cryopreserved human hepatocytes were transduced with a lentiviral expression vector for Cd47 using a refined in vitro transduction protocol immediately before transplantation. In vivo, Cd47-positive human primary hepatocytes were selectively retained following engraftment in immunodeficient mice, leading to at least a doubling of liver repopulation efficiencies. Conclusion: We conclude that ectopic expression of murine Cd47 in human hepatocytes selectively favors engraftment upon transplantation into mice, a finding that should have a profound impact on the generation of robust humanized small animal models. Moreover, dominance of ectopically expressed murine Cd47 over endogenous human CD47 should also widen the spectrum of immunodeficient mouse strains suitable for humanization. (HEPATOLOGY 2012).
    Hepatology 04/2012; 56(4):1479-88. · 12.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) interact with different immune cells, including T cells within lymph nodes (LNs). However, direct interactions of LECs with immune cells have yet to be investigated. In vitro studies were performed to characterize primary cultures of human LECs derived from LNs in their capacity of interacting with T cells. The results show that LECs express HLA molecules and functional costimulatory molecules needed for T-cell activation. A direct binding of LECs and T cells was detected in cell cultures connected with a clustering of costimulatory molecules on the contact phase. LECs were also able to take up and process antigens. However, major histocompatibility complex class II(+) LECs fail to induce allogeneic T-cell proliferation. Interestingly, supernatants of IFN-γ activated LECs impair proliferation of T cells cocultured with allogeneic dendritic cells, suggesting an inhibitory role of LECs. Indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase was identified as one inhibitory molecule, which may be responsible for the impaired CD4(+) T-cell proliferation. Our observations suggest a regulatory function for activated LECs on CD4(+) T cells, which may play a role in vivo in the maintenance of the critical balance between tolerance and recall responses.
    The FASEB Journal 03/2012; 26(7):2835-46. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a previous study we demonstrated that intranasal (i.n.) vaccination promotes a Th17 biased immune response. Here, we show that co-administration of a pegylated derivative of α-galactosylceramide (αGCPEG) with an antigen, even in the presence of Th17-polarizing compounds, results in a strong blocking of Th17 differentiation. Additional studies demonstrated that this phenomenon is specifically dependent on soluble factors, like IL-4 and IFNγ, which are produced by NKT cells. Even NK1.1 negative NKT cells, which by themselves produce IL-17A, are able to block Th17 differentiation. It follows that the use of αGCPEG as adjuvant would enable to tailor Th17 responses, according to the specific clinical needs. This knowledge expands our understanding of the role played by NKT cells in overall control of the cytokine microenvironment, as well as in the overall shaping of adaptive immune responses.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e30382. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    Rimma Libanova, Pablo D Becker, Carlos A Guzmán
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    ABSTRACT: The implementation of vaccination as an empiric strategy to protect against infectious diseases was introduced even before the advent of hygiene and antimicrobials in the medical practice. Nevertheless, it was not until a few decades ago that we really started understanding the underlying mechanisms of protection triggered by vaccination. Vaccines were initially based on attenuated or inactivated organisms. Subunit vaccines were then introduced as more refined formulations, exhibiting improved safety profiles. However, purified antigens tend to be poorly immunogenic and often require the use of adjuvants to achieve adequate stimulation of the immune system. Vaccination strategies, such as mucosal administration, also require potent adjuvants to improve performance. In the 1990s, immunologists found that pathogens could be sensed as 'danger signals' by receptors recognizing conserved motifs. Although our knowledge is still limited, tremendous advances were made in the understanding of host defence mechanisms regulated by these evolutionary conserved receptors, and the molecular structures which are recognized by them. This opened a new era in adjuvant development. Some of the latest players arrived to this field are the cyclic di-nucleotides, which are ubiquitous prokaryotic intracellular signalling molecules. This review is focused on their potential for the development of vaccines and immunotherapies.
    Microbial Biotechnology 09/2011; 5(2):168-76. · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: New effective adjuvants are required to improve the performance of subunit vaccines. Here, we showed that bis-(3',5')-cyclic dimeric adenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP), a second messenger molecule in bacteria and archaea, exerts strong adjuvant activities when delivered by mucosal route. In vitro studies showed that c-di-AMP was able to both stimulate pre-activated murine macrophages and promote the activation and maturation of dendritic cells of murine and human origin. Co-administration of c-di-AMP with β-galactosidase (β-Gal) by intranasal route to BALB/c mice resulted in the elicitation of significantly higher serum antigen-specific IgG titres than in controls. The induction of local immune responses was shown by the production of antigen-specific secretory IgA in different mucosal territories. In addition, strong cellular immune responses were observed against both the β-Gal protein and a peptide encompassing its MHC class I-restricted epitope. The ratio of β-Gal-specific antibodies and the secreted cytokine profiles by in vitro re-stimulated splenocytes suggested that a balanced Th1/Th2/Th17 response pattern is promoted by c-di-AMP. When C57BL/6 mice were immunized with OVA and c-di-AMP, vigorous in vivo CTL responses were also observed. These results indicated that c-di-AMP exhibits a high potential as adjuvant for the development of mucosal vaccines, in particular when cellular immunity is needed.
    Vaccine 05/2011; 29(32):5210-20. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vaccination is the best available measure of limiting the impact of the next influenza pandemic. Ideally, a candidate pandemic influenza vaccine should be easy to administer and should elicit strong mucosal and systemic immune responses. Production of influenza subunit antigen in transient plant expression systems is an alternative to overcome the bottleneck in vaccine supply during influenza pandemic. Furthermore, a needle-free intranasal influenza vaccine is an attractive approach, which may provide immunity at the portal of virus entry. The present study investigated the detailed humoral and cellular immune responses in mice vaccinated intranasally or intramuscularly with plant-derived influenza H5N1 (A/Anhui/1/05) antigen alone or formulated with bis-(3',5')-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) as adjuvant. The use of c-di-GMP as intramuscular adjuvant did not enhance the immune response to plant-derived influenza H5 antigen. However, intranasal c-di-GMP-adjuvanted vaccine induced strong mucosal and systemic humoral immune responses. Additionally, the intranasal vaccine elicited a balanced Th1/Th2 profile and, most importantly, high frequencies of multifunctional Th1 CD4(+) cells. Our results highlight that c-di-GMP is a promising mucosal adjuvant for pandemic influenza vaccine development.
    Vaccine 05/2011; 29(31):4973-82. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytokine immunotherapies targeting T lymphocytes are attractive clinical interventions against viruses and tumors. In the mouse, the homeostasis of memory α/β CD8(+) T cells and natural killer (NK) cells is significantly improved with increased IL-15 bioavailability. In contrast, the role of "transpresented" IL-15 on human T-cell development and homeostasis in vivo is unknown. We found that both CD8 and CD4 T cells in human immune system (HIS) mice are highly sensitive to transpresented IL-15 in vivo, with both naïve (CD62L(+)CD45RA(+)) and memory phenotype (CD62L(-)CD45RO(+)) subsets being significantly increased following IL-15 "boosting." The unexpected global improvement in human T-cell homeostasis involved enhanced proliferation and survival of both naïve and memory phenotype peripheral T cells, which potentiated B-cell responses by increasing the frequency of antigen-specific responses following immunization. Transpresented IL-15 did not modify T-cell activation patterns or alter the global T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire diversity. Our results indicate an unexpected effect of IL-15 on human T cells in vivo, in particular on CD4(+) T cells. As IL-15 promotes human peripheral T-cell homeostasis and increases the frequency of neutralizing antibody responses in HIS mice, IL-15 immunotherapy could be envisaged as a unique approach to improve vaccine responses in the clinical setting.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2011; 108(15):6217-22. · 9.74 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
547.53 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • University of Wuerzburg
      Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2007–2013
    • Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
      • Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology
      Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany
    • Spanish National Research Council
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2004–2013
    • Hospital de Niños Ricardo Gutièrrez
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
    • Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
      • Department of Immunology
      Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany
  • 2006–2012
    • Università degli Studi di Brescia
      • Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences
      Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2011
    • King's College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • Lancaster University
      Lancaster, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009
    • University of Santiago, Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago, Chile
  • 1990–2009
    • National University of Cordoba, Argentina
      • • Institute of Science and Food Technology (ICTA)
      • • Institute of Cell Biology
      • • Faculty of Agriculture
      • • Cátedra de Química Inorgánica
      Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
  • 2008
    • Università degli Studi di Torino
      • Molecular Biotechnology Center
      Torino, Piedmont, Italy
    • ICTA
      Dijon, Bourgogne, France
  • 1997–2008
    • University of Wollongong
      • School of Biological Sciences
      Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2003
    • University of Verona
      • Section of Microbiology
      Verona, Veneto, Italy
  • 2002
    • National Center for Biotechnology (CNB)
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
    • University of Minnesota Duluth
      • Medical School
      Duluth, Minnesota, United States
  • 2000
    • Technische Universität Braunschweig
      Brunswyck, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • 1995
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      Genova, Liguria, Italy