Luminita Pricop

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (25)124.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: This study evaluated the potential of functional imaging to monitor disease activity and response to treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) in DMARD-naive patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: The study involved 17 patients with active RA in whom combination therapy was initiated with methotrexate, sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine, and low-dose oral prednisolone. Clinical disease activity was assessed at screening, at baseline and after 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks of therapy. (18)F-FDG PET/CT of all joints was performed at baseline and after 2 and 4 weeks of therapy. RESULTS: (18)F-FDG maximum standardized uptake values showed a reduction of 22 ± 13 % in 76 % of patients from baseline to week 2 and a reduction of 29 ± 13 % in 81 % of patients from baseline to week 4. The percentage decrease in (18)F-FDG uptake from baseline to week 2 correlated with clinical outcome, as measured by the disease activity score (DAS-28) at week 12. In addition, changes in C-reactive protein levels and erythrocyte sedimentation rate were positively associated with changes shown by PET. CONCLUSION: (18)F-FDG PET/CT findings after 2 and 4 weeks of triple combination oral DMARD therapy correlated with treatment efficacy and clinical outcome in patients with early RA. (18)F-FDG PET/CT may help predict the therapeutic response to novel drug treatments.
    European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 11/2012; · 4.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TNF-alpha has both proinflammatory and immunoregulatory functions. Whereas a protective role for TNF administration in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-prone (New Zealand Black x New Zealand White)F(1) mice has been established, it remains uncertain whether this effect segregates at the individual TNFR. We generated SLE-prone New Zealand Mixed 2328 mice genetically deficient in TNFR1, in TNFR2, or in both receptors. Doubly-deficient mice developed accelerated pathological and clinical nephritis with elevated levels of circulating IgG anti-dsDNA autoantibodies and increased numbers of CD4(+) T lymphocytes, especially activated memory (CD44(high)CD62L(low)) CD4(+) T cells. We show that these cells expressed a Th17 gene profile, were positive for IL-17 intracellular staining by FACS, and produced exogenous IL-17 in culture. In contrast, immunological, pathological, and clinical profiles of mice deficient in either TNFR alone did not differ from those in each other or from those in wild-type controls. Thus, total ablation of TNF-alpha-mediated signaling was highly deleterious to the host in the New Zealand Mixed 2328 SLE model. These observations may have profound ramifications for the use of TNF and TNFR antagonists in human SLE and related autoimmune disorders, as well as demonstrate, for the first time, the association of the Th17 pathway with an animal model of SLE.
    The Journal of Immunology 03/2009; 182(4):2532-41. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In otherwise non-autoimmune-prone C57BL/6 (B6) mice rendered genetically deficient in CD152 (CTLA-4), polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia with increased levels of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-associated IgG autoantibodies, glomerular IgG and C3 deposition, and interstitial nephritis all developed by 3-5 wk of age. Remarkably, superimposing genetic deficiency of BAFF (B cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family) onto CD152 deficiency did not substantially attenuate humoral autoimmunity and immunopathology in these mice, despite the resulting marked reduction in B-lineage cells. Although superimposing a BAFF transgene (resulting in constitutive BAFF overexpression) onto CD152-deficient mice did lead to increases in B-lineage cells and serum levels of certain SLE-associated IgG autoantibodies, renal immunopathology remained largely unaffected. Taken together, these results demonstrate that global T cell dysregulation, even in an otherwise non-autoimmune-prone host, can promote systemic humoral autoimmunity and immunopathology in a BAFF-independent manner. Moreover, supraphysiologic expression of BAFF in the setting of ongoing autoimmunity does not necessarily lead to greater immunopathology. These findings may help explain the limited clinical efficacy appreciated to date of BAFF antagonists in human SLE.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2008; 181(1):833-41. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human neutrophils express both activating and inhibitory Fcgamma receptors (FcgammaR), and their relative expression determines the inflammatory response to immune complexes. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) up-regulates the expression of stimulatory FcgammaRIIa on neutrophils in vitro, and amplifies immune complex-induced activation of neutrophils in vivo. This study was undertaken to determine whether TNFalpha blockade in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) alters the balance of activating FcgammaR and inhibitory FcgammaR and thereby decreases inflammation. We used fluorescence-activated cell sorting and Western blotting to examine FcgammaR expression on neutrophils in 24 patients with RA, preceding their first infusion of infliximab and immediately prior to >or=3 subsequent infusions. In 13 of 24 patients (54.2%), there was a decrease in the expression of the predominant activating FcgammaR, FcgammaRIIa, after treatment with infliximab, an effect that persisted over >or=3 months of treatment. Although prior to initiation of infliximab therapy the inhibitory FcgammaR, FcgammaRIIb, was undetectable in neutrophils from 23 of 24 patients with RA, FcgammaRIIb protein was detected by Western blotting in 9 patients (37.5%) at the time of the third infliximab infusion. The induction of inhibitory FcgammaRIIb was always associated with decreased levels of FcgammaRIIa, and improvement following infliximab therapy, measured using the Health Assessment Questionnaire, was significantly associated with down-regulation of FcgammaRIIa. Our findings indicate that TNFalpha inhibition may reduce inflammation in patients with RA by restoring the balance of activating and inhibitory FcgammaR and thereby raising the threshold for immune complex-mediated activation of neutrophils.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 03/2008; 58(2):384-8. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inhibitory receptor FcgammaRIIb is a negative regulator of antibody production and inflammatory responses. The -343 G --> C polymorphism in the human FCGR2B promoter is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus. The -343 C mutant promoter has decreased transcriptional activity. In the present study, we show that the transcriptional change correlates with quantitative differences in the interaction of the activating protein 1 complex with the mutant FCGR2B promoter. Promoter pulldown and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated binding of c-Jun to the FCGR2B promoter. Phosphorylation of c-Jun was accompanied by transactivation of both FCGR2B promoter variants, whereas dephosphorylation of c-Jun by an inhibitor of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, markedly decreased the promoter activities. The -343 G --> C substitution enabled the specific interaction of the transcription factor Yin-Yang 1 with the mutant FCGR2B promoter. Yin-Yang 1 competed with activating protein 1 for binding at the -343 site, and contributed to the repression of the mutant FCGR2B promoter activity. This mechanism could be responsible for the decreased expression of FcgammaRIIb associated with the -343 C/C homozygous FCGR2B genotype in lupus patients. These findings provide a rationale for the transcriptional defect mediated by the -343 C/C FCGR2B promoter polymorphism associated with systemic lupus erythematosus, and add to our understanding of the complex transcriptional regulation of the human FCGR2B promoter.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2007; 282(3):1738-46. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Receptors for IgG (FcgammaR) expressed in dendritic cells (DCs) influence the initiation of Ab-mediated immunity. Dynamic variations in FcgammaR expression allow DCs to adjust their capacity to capture Ab-opsonized Ag. The current paradigm predicts a progressive decline in FcgammaR-mediated phagocytic function upon DC maturation. Surprisingly, we find that expression of the phagocytic receptor FcgammaRIIa is preserved in immature and mature DCs at comparable levels with macrophages. Moreover, phagocytosis of antigenic peptides directed to FcgammaRIIa on DCs leads to dramatic increases in Ag cross-presentation and T cell activation. In immature DCs, high expression of inhibitory FcgammaRIIb correlates with decreased uptake and cross-presentation of Ab-Ag complexes. In contrast, engagement of FcgammaRIIb is not associated with changes in cross-presentation in mature DCs. We provide evidence that FcgammaRIIb expression is patently reduced in mature DCs, an effect that is modulated by treatment with cytokines. The regulated expression of activating and inhibitory FcgammaRs in DCs emerges as a critical checkpoint in the process of Ag uptake and cross-presentation.
    The Journal of Immunology 01/2007; 177(12):8440-7. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Constitutive overexpression of B cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family (BAFF) promotes development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and treatment of SLE mice with BAFF antagonists ameliorates disease. To determine whether SLE can develop de novo in BAFF-deficient hosts, BAFF-deficient New Zealand Mixed (NZM) 2328 (NZM.Baff(-/-)) mice were generated. In NZM.Baff(-/-) mice, spleen B cells (including CD5(+) B1a and CD5(-) B1b B cells), germinal centers, Ig-secreting cells, and T cells were reduced in comparison to NZM.Baff(+/+) mice. Serum total Ig and autoantibody levels were reduced at 4-6 mo but approached wild-type levels with increasing age, indicating that autoreactive B cells can survive and secrete autoantibodies despite the complete absence of BAFF. At least some of these autoantibodies are nephrophilic in that glomerular deposition of total IgG and IgG1 (but not of IgG2a, IgG2b, or C3) was substantial in NZM.Baff(-/-) mice by 12-13 mo of age. Despite proliferative glomerulonephritis, highlighted by widespread glomerular hyaline thrombi, being common among NZM.Baff(-/-) mice by 6-7 mo of age, severe proteinuria and mortality were greatly attenuated. These results demonstrate that the lifelong absence of BAFF does not protect NZM 2328 mice from serological autoimmunity and renal pathology. Nevertheless, the character of the renal pathology is altered, and the mice are largely spared from clinically overt disease (severe proteinuria and premature death). These observations may have profound ramifications for the use of BAFF antagonists in human SLE and related diseases.
    The Journal of Immunology 09/2006; 177(4):2671-80. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of neutrophils by the interaction of immune complexes with Fc gamma receptors (FcgammaR) is amplified in tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha)-primed cells, whereas interleukin-10 (IL-10) has been reported to suppress cytokine-mediated neutrophil activation. We examined whether the expression and function of FcgammaR in human neutrophils is modulated by TNFalpha and IL-10 in vitro, and whether FcgammaRIIa expression is altered following treatment with the TNFalpha inhibitor infliximab in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in vivo. TNFalpha treatment induced upregulation of expression and function of the major activating Fc receptor, FcgammaRIIa, in neutrophils from healthy donors. Unexpectedly, treatment with IL-10 led to gain of FcgammaRIIa function in TNFalpha-primed neutrophils. In neutrophils from RA patients initiating infliximab therapy and followed longitudinally through consecutive treatments, FcgammaRIIa protein decreased during the course of TNFalpha blockade, indicating that FcgammaRIIa is a target of TNFalpha modulation in human neutrophils in vivo.
    Clinical Immunology 11/2005; 117(1):78-86. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role for inhibitory Fc gamma receptors class IIb (FcgammaRIIb) in the onset, progression and severity of several animal models of autoimmune diseases is well established. By contrast, the pathogenic potential of FcgammaRIIb in human autoimmune diseases remains largely unknown. Here we report the identification of a polymorphism in the human FCGR2B promoter (dbSNP no. rs3219018) that is associated in homozygosity with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) phenotype in European-Americans (OR=11.1, P=0.003). Experimental evidence correlates the polymorphism (a G-C substitution at position -343 relative to the start of transcription) with altered FcgammaRIIb expression and function. The G-C substitution correlated with decreased transcription of the FCGR2B promoter, and resulted in decreased binding of the AP1 transcription complex to the mutant promoter sequence. The surface expression of FcgammaRIIb receptors was significantly reduced in activated B cells from (-343 C/C) SLE patients. These findings suggest that genetic defects may lead to deregulated expression of the FCGR2B gene in -343 C/C homozygous subjects, and may play a role in the pathogenesis of human SLE.
    Human Genetics 08/2005; 117(2-3):220-7. · 4.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fc gamma receptors (Fc gammaR) trigger inflammatory reactions in response to immunoglobulin-opsonized pathogens and antigen-antibody complexes. The coordinate expression of activating and inhibitory Fc gammaR ensures the homeostasis of immune complex-driven inflammatory responses. In this study, we used antibodies with preferential binding for activating Fc gammaRIIa and inhibitory Fc gammaRIIb receptors to investigate the expression and regulation of Fc gammaRII isoforms in human monocytes. Cross-linking of Fc gammaRIIa triggered phagocytosis and cytokine production. Cross-linking of Fc gammaRIIb was associated with phosphorylation of the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif and with a marked reduction in monocyte effector functions. Our study revealed that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin (IL)-10, and IL-13 altered the transcriptional activity of the Fc gammaRIIB promoter in transfected cell lines and skewed the balance of activating versus inhibitory Fc gammaR in human monocytes. TNF-alpha decreased the expression of inhibitory Fc gammaRIIb. IL-10 up-regulated all classes of Fc gammaR and induced alternative activation in monocytes, an effect that was synergistic with that of TNF-alpha. In contrast, IL-4 and IL-13, in combination with TNF-alpha, decreased the expression of activating Fc gammaR and markedly down-regulated Fc gammaR-mediated function. Our findings suggest that the cytokine milieu can induce changes in the relative expression of Fc gammaR with opposing function and thus, may regulate the amplitude of Fc gammaR-mediated uptake and inflammation.
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology 06/2005; 77(5):767-76. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple lines of evidence have revealed a key role for inhibitory Fc gamma receptors class IIb (FcgammaRIIb) as negative modulators of innate and adaptive immune responses. Acquired and genetic factors regulate the expression of FcgammaRIIb receptors and modify their inhibitory potential. Recent advances have highlighted the importance of FcgammaRIIb receptors in influencing the development of cancer and autoimmunity. The association of increased FcgammaRIIb expression with tumor development is believed to operate at effector cell level resulting in inhibition of antitumor cytotoxicity. In autoimmune diseases, FcgammaRIIb receptors play a major role in controlling the amplitude of antibody- and immune complex-mediated reactions. Generally, FcgammaRIIb deficiency is associated with increased susceptibility and severity to organ-specific and systemic autoimmunity. This article discusses the proposed mechanisms for FcgammaRIIb deregulation associated with malignant and autoimmune pathology in animal models and human diseases.
    Journal of Clinical Immunology 08/2004; 24(4):315-26. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a potent deactivator of myeloid cells that limits the intensity and duration of immune and inflammatory responses. The activity of IL-10 can be suppressed during inflammation, infection, or after allogeneic tissue transplantation. We investigated whether inflammatory factors suppress IL-10 activity at the level of signal transduction. Out of many factors tested, only ligation of Fc receptors by immune complexes inhibited IL-10 activation of the Jak-Stat signaling pathway. IL-10 signaling was suppressed in rheumatoid arthritis joint macrophages that are exposed to immune complexes in vivo. Activation of macrophages with interferon-gamma was required for Fc receptor-mediated suppression of IL-10 signaling, which resulted in diminished activation of IL-10-inducible genes and reversal of IL-10-dependent suppression of cytokine production. The mechanism of inhibition involved decreased cell surface IL-10 receptor expression and Jak1 activation and was dependent on protein kinase C delta. These results establish that IL-10 signaling is regulated during inflammation and identify Fc receptors and interferon-gamma as important regulators of IL-10 activity. Generation of macrophages refractory to IL-10 can contribute to pathogenesis of inflammatory and infectious diseases characterized by production of interferon-gamma and immune complexes.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 07/2003; 197(11):1573-83. · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    L Pricop, L Li, J E Salmon, C O Jacob
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    ABSTRACT: FcgammaRIIA is a candidate gene involved in the predisposition to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The presence of low binding alleles in patients with SLE is not sufficient to explain the lower phagocytic capacity observed in SLE patients. We considered the possibility that nucleotide polymorphisms in the FcgammaRIIA promoter that cause alterations in receptor expression might be present in SLE patients. In the present study, a 2.0 kb region of the human FcgammaRIIA 5'UTR from 20 normal donors and 53 SLE patients was examined. The results demonstrate that the sequence of the human FcgammaRIIA 5' region differs from the published sequence. Two novel SNPs have been identified in the distal region of the FcgammaRIIA promoter. The polymorphisms are present in both disease-free and SLE donors and do not associate with quantitative changes in FcgammaRIIa phagocytic function.
    Genes and Immunity 11/2002; 3 Suppl 1:S47-50. · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • Luminita Pricop, Jane E Salmon
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    ABSTRACT: Recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate acute and chronic inflammatory responses have revealed a key role for reactive oxygen intermediates in modulating the activation of neutrophils. Opsonized microbes and immune complexes initiate the oxidative burst by the engagement of receptors for immunoglobulin G, termed Fcgamma receptors. The regulation of phagocytic cell function by oxidant-sensitive signaling pathways optimizes host defense capabilities, but it also amplifies tissue damage. This review will focus on the cross-talk between Fcgamma receptors and reactive oxygen intermediates at sites of inflammation and its role in microbial immunity.
    Antioxidants and Redox Signaling 03/2002; 4(1):85-95. · 7.19 Impact Factor
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    Jane E. Salmon, Luminita Pricop
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 04/2001; 44(4):739 - 750. · 7.48 Impact Factor
  • J E Salmon, L Pricop
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    ABSTRACT: The structural diversity of Fc gammaR provides a mechanism by which IgG can elicit a broad range of cell responses. Fc gammaR vary in their affinity for IgG, their preference for IgG subclasses, the cell types in which they are expressed, and the intracellular signals which they elicit--stimulatory or inhibitory. Expansion in our knowledge of structure-function relationships among Fc gammaR has identified them as heritable risk factors for disease susceptibility and valuable targets for therapeutic modulation of the immune system.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 04/2001; 44(4):739-50. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immune complex-mediated inflammatory responses are initiated by Fc gamma R on phagocytes. We report in this study that an inhibitory receptor, Fc gamma RIIb2, is expressed on circulating human monocytes, and when co-cross-linked with stimulatory Fc gamma R it down-regulates effector function. Fc gamma RIIb2 expression is increased by IL-4 and decreased by IFN-gamma, in contrast to the activating receptor, Fc gamma RIIa, which is increased by IFN-gamma and decreased by IL-4. Thus, Th1 and Th2 cytokines differentially regulate the opposing Fc gamma R systems, altering the balance of activating and inhibiting Fc gamma R. The detection and cytokine modulation of Fc gamma RIIb2 in human myeloid cells provide evidence of a negative regulator of immune complex-mediated responses in human phagocytes and offer a new approach to limit Ab-triggered inflammation in autoimmune disease.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/2001; 166(1):531-7. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Receptors for the Fc region of IgG (Fc gamma R) mediate internalization of opsonized particles by human neutrophils (PMN) and mononuclear phagocytes. Cross-linking of Fc gamma R leads to activation of protein tyrosine kinases and phosphorylation of immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs) within Fc gamma R subunits, both obligatory early signals for phagocytosis. Human PMN constitutively express two structurally distinct Fc gamma R, Fc gamma RIIa and Fc gamma RIIIb, and can be induced to express Fc gamma RI by IFN-gamma. We have previously shown that stimulation of PMN through Fc gamma RIIIb results in enhanced Fc gamma RIIa-mediated phagocytic activity that is inhibited by catalase. In the present study, we have tested the hypothesis that reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) have the capacity to regulate Fc gamma R responses and defined a mechanism for this effect. We show that H2O2 augmented phagocytosis mediated by Fc gamma RIIa and Fc gamma RI in PMN and amplified receptor-triggered tyrosine phosphorylation of Fc gamma R-associated ITAMs and signaling elements. Generation of endogenous oxidants in PMN by cross-linking Fc gamma RIIIb similarly enhanced phosphorylation of Fc gamma RIIa and Syk, a tyrosine kinase required for phagocytic function, in a catalase-sensitive manner. Our results provide a mechanism for priming phagocytes for enhanced responses to receptor-driven effects. ROI generated in an inflammatory milieu may stimulate quiescent cells to rapidly increase the magnitude of their effector function. Indeed, human monocytes incubated in the presence of stimulated PMN showed oxidant-induced increases in Fc gamma RIIa-mediated phagocytosis. Definition of the role of oxidants as amplifiers of Fc gamma R signaling identifies a target for therapeutic intervention in immune complex-mediated tissue injury.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/1999; 162(12):7041-8. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: activity that is inhibited by catalase. In the present study, we have tested the hypothesis that reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) have the capacity to regulate FcgR responses and defined a mechanism for this effect. We show that H2O2 augmented phagocytosis mediated by FcgRIIa and FcgRI in PMN and amplified receptor-triggered tyrosine phosphorylation of FcgR-associated ITAMs and signaling elements. Generation of endogenous oxidants in PMN by cross-linking FcgRIIIb similarly enhanced phosphoryla- tion of FcgRIIa and Syk, a tyrosine kinase required for phagocytic function, in a catalase-sensitive manner. Our results provide a mechanism for priming phagocytes for enhanced responses to receptor-driven effects. ROI generated in an inflammatory milieu may stimulate quiescent cells to rapidly increase the magnitude of their effector function. Indeed, human monocytes incubated in the presence of stimulated PMN showed oxidant-induced increases in FcgRIIa-mediated phagocytosis. Definition of the role of oxidants as amplifiers of FcgR signaling identifies a target for therapeutic intervention in immune complex-mediated tissue injury. The Journal of Immunology, 1999, 162: 7041-7048.
    The Journal of Immunology 06/1999; 162(12). · 5.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

616 Citations
124.09 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2009
    • Weill Cornell Medical College
      • Division of Hospital Medicine
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2001–2008
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Medicine
      Ithaca, New York, United States
  • 1997–2007
    • Hospital for Special Surgery
      • Research Division
      New York City, NY, United States