John Iacomini

Medical University of Vienna, Wien, Vienna, Austria

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Publications (98)643.45 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Studies on liver regeneration following partial hepatectomy (PH) have identified several microRNAs (miRNAs) that show a regulated expression pattern. These studies involve major surgery to access the liver, which is known to have intrinsic effects on hepatic gene expression and may also affect miRNA screening results. We performed two-third PH or sham laparotomy (SL) in Wistar rats to investigate the effect of both procedures on miRNA expression in liver tissue and corresponding plasma samples by microarray and qRT-PCR analyses. As control groups, non-treated rats and rats undergoing anesthesia only were used.
    BMC Research Notes 10/2014; 7(1):702.
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    ABSTRACT: Summary The T cell receptor (3 (TCR(3) chain controls the developmental transition from CD4-CD8- to CD4+8+thymocytes. We show that the extracellular constant region and the transmembrane region, but not the variable domain or cytoplasmic tail of the TCPq3 chain are required for this differentiation step. TCI
    07/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The transplantation of allergens (e.g. Phl p 5 or Bet v 1) expressed on bone marrow cells as membrane-anchored full-length proteins leads to permanent tolerance at the T-cell, B-cell and effector-cell levels. Since the exposure of complete allergens bears the risk of inducing anaphylaxis, we investigated here whether expression of Phl p 5 in the cytoplasm (rather than on the cell surface) is sufficient for tolerance induction. Transplantation of BALB/c bone marrow retrovirally transduced to express Phl p 5 in the cytoplasm led to stable and durable molecular chimerism in syngeneic recipients (∼20% chimerism at 6 months). Chimeras showed allergen-specific T-cell hyporesponsiveness. Further Phl p 5-specific TH 1-dependent humoral responses were tolerized in several chimeras. Surprisingly, Phl p 5-specific IgE and IgG1 -levels were significantly reduced but still detectable in sera of chimeric mice, indicating incomplete B-cell tolerance. No Phl p 5-specific sIgM developed in cytoplasmic chimeras which is in marked contrast to mice transplanted with bone marrow expressing membrane-anchored Phl p 5. Thus the expression site of the allergen substantially influences the degree and quality of tolerance achieved with molecular chimerism in IgE-mediated allergy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    European Journal of Immunology 06/2013; · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular chimerism is a promising strategy to induce tolerance to disease-causing antigens expressed on genetically modified haematopoietic stem cells. The approach was employed successfully in models of autoimmunity and organ transplantation. Recently, we demonstrated that molecular chimerism induces robust and lasting tolerance towards the major grass pollen allergen Phl p 5. Since allergens are a group of antigens differing widely in their function, origin and structure we further examined the effectiveness of molecular chimerism using the Phl p 5-unrelated major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1, co-expressed with the reporter GFP. Besides, inhibition of CD26 was used to promote engraftment of modified stem cells. Retrovirus VSV-Betv1-GFP was generated to transduce 5-FU-mobilized BALB/c hematopoietic cells to express membrane-bound Bet v 1 (VSV-GFP virus was used as control). Myeloablated BALB/c mice received Betv1-GFP or GFP expressing bone marrow cells, pre-treated with a CD26 inhibitor. Chimerism was followed by flow cytometry. Tolerance was assessed by measuring allergen-specific isotype levels in sera, RBL assays and T-cell proliferation assays. Mice transplanted with transduced BMC developed multi-lineage molecular chimerism which remained stable long-term (>8 months). After repeated immunizations with Bet v 1 and Phl p 5 serum levels of Bet v 1-specific antibodies (IgE, IgG1, IgG2a, IgG3 and IgA) remained undetectable in Betv1-GFP chimeras while high levels of Phl p 5-specific antibodies developed. Likewise, basophil degranulation was induced in response to Phl p 5 but not to Bet v 1 and specific non-responsiveness to Bet v 1 was observed in proliferation assays. These data demonstrate successful tolerization towards Bet v 1 by molecular chimerism. Stable long-term chimerism was achieved under inhibition of CD26. These results provide evidence for the broad applicability of molecular chimerism as tolerance strategy in allergy.
    Immunobiology 03/2013; · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Development of antigen-specific preventive strategies is a challenging goal in IgE-mediated allergy. We have recently shown in proof-of-concept experiments that allergy can be successfully prevented by induction of durable tolerance via molecular chimerism. Transplantation of syngeneic hematopoietic stem cells genetically modified to express the clinically relevant grass pollen allergen Phl p 5 into myeloablated recipients led to high levels of chimerism (i.e. macrochimerism) and completely abrogated Phl p 5-specific immunity despite repeated immunizations with Phl p 5. It was unclear, however, whether microchimerism (drastically lower levels of chimerism) would be sufficient as well which would allow development of minimally toxic tolerance protocols. Bone marrow cells were transduced with recombinant viruses integrating Phl p 5 to be expressed in a membrane-anchored fashion. The syngeneic modified cells were transplanted into non-myeloablated recipients that were subsequently immunized repeatedly with Phl p 5 and Bet v 1 (control). Molecular chimerism was monitored using flow cytometry and PCR. T cell, B-cell and effector-cell tolerance were assessed by allergen-specific proliferation assays, isotype levels in sera and RBL assays. Here we demonstrate that transplantation of Phl p 5-expressing bone marrow cells into recipients having received non-myeloablative irradiation resulted in chimerism persisting for the length of follow-up. Chimerism levels, however, declined from transient macrochimerism levels to persistent levels of microchimerism (followed for 11 months). Notably, these chimerism levels were sufficient to induce B-cell tolerance as no Phl p 5-specific IgE and other high affinity isotypes were detectable in sera of chimeric mice. Furthermore, T-cell and effector-cell tolerance were achieved. Low levels of persistent molecular chimerism are sufficient to induce long-term tolerance in IgE-mediated allergy. These results suggest that it will be possible to develop minimally toxic conditioning regimens sufficient for low level engraftment of genetically modified bone marrow.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 08/2012; 42(8):1282-92. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Induction of molecular chimerism through genetic modification of bone marrow is a powerful tool for the induction of tolerance. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that expression of an allogeneic MHC class II gene in autologous bone marrow cells, resulting in a state of molecular chimerism, induces tolerance to MHC class II mismatched skin grafts, a stringent test of transplant tolerance. Reconstitution of recipients with syngeneic bone marrow transduced with retrovirus encoding H-2I-A(b) (I-A(b)) resulted the long-term expression of the retroviral gene product on the surface of MHC class II-expressing bone marrow-derived cell types. Mechanistically, tolerance was maintained by the presence of regulatory T cells, which prevented proliferation and cytokine production by alloreactive host T cells. Thus, the introduction of MHC class II genes into bone marrow-derived cells through genetic engineering results in tolerance. These results have the potential to extend the clinical applicability of molecular chimerism for tolerance induction.Gene Therapy advance online publication, 26 July 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.57.
    Gene therapy 07/2012; · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 plays an important role in controlling T-cell differentiation, especially the development of Th17 and regulatory T cells. To determine the function of IL-6 in regulating allograft rejection and tolerance, BALB/c cardiac grafts were transplanted into wild-type or IL-6-deficient C57BL/6 mice. We observed that production of IL-6 and IFN-γ was upregulated during allograft rejection in untreated wild-type mice. In IL-6-deficient mice, IFN-γ production was greater than that observed in wild-type controls, suggesting that IL-6 production affects Th1/Th2 balance during allograft rejection. CD28-B7 blockade by CTLA4-Ig inhibited IFN-γ production in C57BL/6 recipients, but had no effect on the production of IL-6. Although wild-type C57BL/6 recipients treated with CTLA4-Ig rejected fully MHC-mismatched BALB/c heart transplants, treatment of IL-6-deficient mice with CTLA4-Ig resulted in graft acceptance. Allograft acceptance appeared to result from the combined effect of costimulatory molecule blockade and IL-6-deficiency, which limited the differentiation of effector cells and promoted the migration of regulatory T cells into the grafts. These data suggest that the blockade of IL-6, or its signaling pathway, when combined with strategies that inhibit Th1 responses, has a synergistic effect on the promotion of allograft acceptance. Thus, targeting the effects of IL-6 production may represent an important part of costimulation blockade-based strategies to promote allograft acceptance and tolerance.
    American Journal of Transplantation 01/2012; 12(1):90-101. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is a leading cause of acute kidney injury, a common problem worldwide associated with significant morbidity and mortality. We have recently examined the role of microRNAs (miRs) in renal IRI using expression profiling. Here we conducted mathematical analyses to determine if differential expression of miRs can be used to define a biomarker of renal IRI. Principal component analysis (PCA) was combined with spherical geometry to determine whether samples that underwent renal injury as a result of IRI can be distinguished from controls based on alterations in miR expression using our data set consisting of time series measuring 571 miRs. Using PCA, we examined whether changes in miR expression in the kidney following IRI have a distinct direction when compared to controls based on the trajectory of the first three principal components (PCs) for our time series. We then used Monte Carlo methods and spherical geometry to assess the statistical significance of these directions. We hypothesized that if IRI and control samples exhibit distinct directions, then miR expression can be used as a biomarker of injury. Our data reveal that the pattern of miR expression in the kidney following IRI has a distinct direction based on the trajectory of the first three PCs and can be distinguished from changes observed in sham controls. Analyses of samples from immunodeficient mice indicated that the changes in miR expression observed following IRI were lymphocyte independent, and therefore represent a kidney intrinsic response to injury. Together, these data strongly support the notion that IRI results in distinct changes in miR expression that can be used as a biomarker of injury.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e23011. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) actively regulate alloimmune responses and promote transplantation tolerance. Thymoglobulin, a rabbit polyclonal antithymocyte globulin (ATG), is a widely used induction therapy in clinical organ transplantation that depletes peripheral T cells. However, resistance to tolerance induction is seen with certain T-cell depleting strategies and is attributed to alterations in the balance of naive, memory and Tregs. The exact mechanism of action of ATG and its effects on the homeostasis and balance between Tregs and T-effector-memory cells (Tem) are unknown. A novel antibody reagent, rabbit polyclonal anti-murine thymocyte globulin (mATG), generated by the same process used to manufacture thymoglobulin, was used alone or in combination with CTLA4Ig or sirolimus (SRL) in a stringent fully major histocompatibility complex-mismatched murine skin allograft model to study graft survival and mechanisms involved. mATG depletes T cells but preferentially spares CD25+ natural Tregs which limit skewing of T-cell repertoire toward Tem phenotype among the recovering T cells. T-cell depletion with mATG combined with CTLA4Ig and SRL synergize to prolong graft survival by tipping the Treg/Tem balance further in favor of Tregs by preserving Tregs, facilitating generation of new Tregs by a conversion mechanism and limiting Tem expansion in response to alloantigen and homeostatic proliferation. Simultaneous T-cell depletion with ATG and costimulatory blockade, combined with SRL, synergizes to promote regulation and prolong allograft survival in a stringent transplant model. These results provide the rationale for translating such novel combination therapy to promote regulation in primate and human organ transplantation.
    Transplantation 08/2010; 90(3):260-9. · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Renal ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Given the importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in regulating gene expression, we examined expression profiles of miRNAs following renal IRI. Global miRNA expression profiling on samples prepared from the kidneys of C57BL/6 mice that underwent unilateral warm ischemia revealed nine miRNAs (miR-21, miR-20a, miR-146a, miR-199a-3p, miR-214, miR-192, miR-187, miR-805, and miR-194) that are differentially expressed following IRI when compared with sham controls. These miRNAs were also differently expressed following IRI in immunodeficient RAG-2/common gamma-chain double-knockout mice, suggesting that the changes in expression observed are not significantly influenced by lymphocyte infiltration and therefore define a lymphocyte-independent signature of renal IRI. In vitro studies revealed that miR-21 is expressed in proliferating tubular epithelial cells (TEC) and up-regulated by both cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic mechanisms resulting from ischemia and TGF-beta signaling, respectively. In vitro, knockdown of miR-21 in TEC resulted in increased cell death, whereas overexpression prevented cell death. However, overexpression of miR-21 alone was not sufficient to prevent TEC death following ischemia. Our findings therefore define a molecular fingerprint of renal injury and suggest miR-21 may play a role in protecting TEC from death.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2010; 107(32):14339-44. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: T cell activation requires signaling through the TCR and costimulatory molecules, such as CD28. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression posttranscriptionally and are also known to be involved in lymphocyte development and function. In this paper, we set out to examine potential roles of miRNAs in T cell activation, using genome-wide expression profiling to identify miRNAs differentially regulated following T cell activation. One of the miRNAs upregulated after T cell activation, miR-214, was predicted to be capable of targeting Pten based on bioinformatics and reports suggesting that it targets Pten in ovarian tumor cells. Upregulation of miR-214 in T cells inversely correlated with levels of phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10. In vivo, transcripts containing the 3' untranslated region of Pten, including the miR-214 target sequence, were negatively regulated after T cell activation, and forced expression of miR-214 in T cells led to increased proliferation after stimulation. Blocking CD28 signaling in vivo prevented miR-214 upregulation in alloreactive T cells. Stimulation of T cells through the TCR alone was not sufficient to result in upregulation of miR-214. Thus, costimulation-dependent upregulation of miR-214 promotes T cell activation by targeting the negative regulator Pten. Thus, the requirement for T cell costimulation is, in part, related to its ability to regulate expression of miRNAs that control T cell activation.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2010; 185(2):990-7. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Induction of transplantation tolerance has the potential to allow for allograft acceptance without the need for life-long immunosuppression. Here we describe a novel approach that uses delivery of alloantigen by mature T cells to induce tolerance to fully allogeneic cardiac grafts. Adoptive transfer of mature alloantigen-expressing T cells into myeloablatively conditioned mice results in long-term acceptance of fully allogeneic heart transplants without evidence of chronic rejection. Since myeloablative conditioning is clinically undesirable we further demonstrated that adoptive transfer of mature alloantigen-expressing T cells alone into mice receiving non-myeloablative conditioning resulted in long-term acceptance of fully allogeneic heart allografts with minimal evidence of chronic rejection. Mechanistically, tolerance induction involved both deletion of donor-reactive host T cells and the development of regulatory T cells. Thus, delivery of alloantigen by mature T cells induces tolerance to fully allogeneic organ allografts in non-myeloablatively conditioned recipients, representing a novel approach for tolerance induction in transplantation.
    Clinical Immunology 05/2010; 136(2):174-87. · 3.77 Impact Factor
  • Xueli Yuan, Mohamed H Sayegh, John Iacomini
    Transplantation 11/2009; 88(10):1159-60. · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to induce durable transplantation tolerance predictably and consistently in the clinic is a highly desired but elusive goal. Progress is hampered by lack of appropriate experimental models in which to study resistance to transplantation tolerance. Here, we demonstrate that T helper 1-associated T box 21 transcription factor (Tbet) KO recipients exhibit allograft tolerance resistance specifically mediated by IL-17-producing CD8 T (T17) cells. Neutralization of IL-17 facilitates long-term cardiac allograft survival with combined T cell co-stimulation (CD28-CD80/86 and CD154-CD40) blockade in Tbet KO recipients. We have used this T17-biased Tbet KO model of allograft tolerance resistance to study the impact of targeting a T cell-co-stimulatory pathway, and demonstrate that targeting T cell Ig and mucin domain-1 (Tim-1) with anti-Tim-1 overcomes this resistance by specifically inhibiting the pathogenic IL-17-producing CD8 T17 cells. These data indicate that in the absence of Th1 immunity, CD8 T17 alloreactivity constitutes a barrier to transplantation tolerance. Targeting TIM-1 provides an approach to overcome resistance to tolerance in clinical transplantation.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2009; 106(26):10734-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: T-bet plays a crucial role in Th1 development. We investigated the role of T-bet in the development of allograft rejection in an established MHC class II-mismatched (bm12 into B6) model of chronic allograft vasculopathy (CAV). Intriguingly, and in contrast to IFN-gamma(-/-) mice that are protected from CAV, T-bet(-/-) recipients develop markedly accelerated allograft rejection accompanied by early severe vascular inflammation and vasculopathy, and infiltration by predominantly IL-17-producing CD4 T cells. Concurrently, T-bet(-/-) mice exhibit a T helper type 1 (Th1)-deficient environment characterized by profound IFN-gamma deficiency, a Th2 switch characterized by increased production of interleukin (IL) 4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13 cytokines, as well as increased production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-12p40, and IL-17. Neutralization of IL-17 inhibits accelerated allograft rejection and vasculopathy in T-bet(-/-) mice. Interestingly, CD4 but not CD8 T cell deficiency in T-bet(-/-) mice affords dramatic protection from vasculopathy and facilitates long-term graft acceptance. This is the first study establishing that in the absence of Th1-mediated alloimmune responses, CD4 Th17 cells mediate an aggressive proinflammatory response culminating in severe accelerated allograft rejection and vasculopathy. These results have important implications for the development of novel therapies to target this intractable problem in clinical solid organ transplantation.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 01/2009; 205(13):3133-44. · 13.21 Impact Factor
  • Tokihiko Sawada, Tony Friedman, John Iacomini
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to reconstitute RAG-1 deficient (R-) mice with human peripheral blood cells was examined using four different host preparative regimens. Our results indicate that while untreated R- mice could be reconstituted with human cells, pre-conditioning with either 5Gy whole body irradiation (WBI) or anti-asialo GM1 rabbit anti-serum led to an increase in the frequency of CD45+ human cells that could be detected in the circulation. Pre-conditioning with both anti-asialo GM1 and WBI led to a further increase in the frequency of circulating human cells in reconstituted R- mice. Human CD45+ cells were detected in the spleen and lymph nodes, but not the thymus of reconstituted mice pre-conditioned with WBI and anti-asialo GM1. Our results suggest that mouse NK cells and a limitation in physical space are limiting factors mediating resistance I to human cell engraftment in R- mice.
    Xenotransplantation 11/2008; 4(4):245 - 251. · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Allergy represents a hypersensitivity disease that affects >25% of the population in industrialized countries. The underlying type I allergic immune reaction occurs in predisposed atopic individuals in response to otherwise harmless Ags (i.e., allergens) and is characterized by the production of allergen-specific IgE, an allergen-specific T cell response, and the release of biologically active mediators such as histamine from mast cells and basophils. Regimens permanently tolerizing an allergic immune response still need to be developed. We therefore retrovirally transduced murine hematopoietic stem cells to express the major grass pollen allergen Phl p 5 on their cell membrane. Transplantation of these genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells led to durable multilineage molecular chimerism and permanent immunological tolerance toward the introduced allergen at the B cell, T cell, and effector cell levels. Notably, Phl p 5-specific serum IgE and IgG remained undetectable, and T cell nonresponsiveness persisted throughout follow-up (40 wk). Besides, mediator release was specifically absent in in vitro and in vivo assays. B cell, T cell, and effector cell responses to an unrelated control allergen (Bet v 1) were unperturbed, demonstrating specificity of this tolerance protocol. We thus describe a novel cell-based strategy for the prevention of allergy.
    The Journal of Immunology 06/2008; 180(12):8168-75. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The observation that bone marrow derived hematopoietic cells are potent inducers of tolerance has generated interest in trying to establish transplantation tolerance by inducing a state of hematopoietic chimerism through allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. However, this approach is associated with serious complications that limit its utility for tolerance induction. Here we describe the development of a novel approach that allows for tolerance induction without the need for an allogeneic bone marrow transplant by combining non-myeloablative host conditioning with delivery of donor alloantigen by adoptively transferred T cells. CBA/Ca mice were administered 2.5 Gy whole body irradiation (WBI). The following day the mice received K(b) disparate T cells from MHC class I transgenic CBK donor mice, as well as rapamycin on days 0-13 and anti-CD40L monoclonal antibody on days 0-5, 8, 11 and 14 relative to T cell transfer. Mice treated using this approach were rendered specifically tolerant to CBK skin allografts through a mechanism involving central and peripheral deletion of alloreactive T cells. These data suggest robust tolerance can be established without the need for bone marrow transplantation using clinically relevant non-myeloablative conditioning combined with antigen delivery by T cells.
    Clinical Immunology 06/2008; 127(2):130-7. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Natural Abs specific for the carbohydrate Ag Galalpha1-3Galbeta1-4GlcNAc-R (alphaGal) play an important role in providing protective host immunity to various pathogens; yet little is known about how production of these or other anti-carbohydrate natural Abs is regulated. In this study, we describe the generation of Ig knock-in mice carrying functionally rearranged H chain and L chain variable region genes isolated from a B cell hybridoma producing alphaGal-specific IgM Ab that make it possible to examine the development of B cells producing anti-carbohydrate natural Abs in the presence or absence of alphaGal as a self-Ag. Knock-in mice on a alphaGal-deficient background spontaneously developed alphaGal-specific IgM Abs of a sufficiently high titer to mediate rejection of alphaGal expressing cardiac transplants. In the spleen of these mice, B cells expressing alphaGal-specific IgM are located in the marginal zone. In knock-in mice that express alphaGal, B cells expressing the knocked in BCR undergo negative selection via receptor editing. Interestingly, production of low affinity alphaGal-specific Ab was observed in mice that express alphaGal that carry two copies of the knocked in H chain. We suggest that in these mice, receptor editing functioned to lower the affinity for self-Ag below a threshold that would result in overt pathology, while allowing development of low affinity anti-self Abs.
    The Journal of Immunology 04/2008; 180(6):3839-48. · 5.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
643.45 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2013
    • Medical University of Vienna
      • Zentrum für Pathophysiologie, Infektiologie und Immunologie
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2007–2013
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Pathology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1991–2011
    • Tufts University
      Georgia, United States
  • 2002–2010
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Division of Renal Medicine
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2005–2008
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1997–2008
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • • Transplantation Biology Research Center
      • • Department of Pathology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 1998
    • Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 1995
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States