Stephanie Dillon

Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States

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Publications (5)33.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Activation of MAPK ERK1/2 has been shown to play an important role in Th1/Th2 polarization and in regulating cytokine production from APCs. The ERK family consists of two members ERK1 and ERK2, which share approximately 84% identity at the amino acid level and can compensate for each other for most functions. Despite these features, ERK1 and ERK2 do serve different functions, but there is very little information on the contribution of individual forms of ERK on innate and adaptive immune responses. In this study, we describe that ERK1(-/-) mice display a bias toward Th1 type immune response. Consistent with this observation, dendritic cells from ERK1(-/-) mice show enhanced IL-12p70 and reduced IL-10 secretion in response to TLR stimulation. Furthermore, serum from ERK1(-/-) mice had 100-fold higher total IgG2b and 10-fold higher total IgG2a and IgG1 Ab isotype titers, and enhanced levels of Ag-specific IgG2b Ab titers, compared with wild-type mice. Consistent with this enhanced Th1 bias, ERK1(-/-) mice showed enhanced susceptibility to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35-55 peptide-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and developed EAE earlier, and with increased severity, compared with wild-type mice. Importantly, there was a profound skewing toward Th1 responses in ERK1(-/-) mice, with higher IFN-gamma production and lower IL-5 production in MOG35-55-primed T cells, as well as an augmentation in the MOG-specific IgG2a and IgG2b Th1 Ab isotypes. Finally, increased infiltrating cells and myelin destruction was observed in the spinal cord of ERK1(-/-) mice. Taken together, our data suggest that deficiency of ERK1 biases the immune response toward Th1 resulting in increased susceptibility to EAE.
    The Journal of Immunology 06/2006; 176(10):5788-96. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests critical roles for APCs in suppressing immune responses. Here, we show that zymosan, a stimulus for TLR2 and dectin-1, regulates cytokine secretion in DCs and macrophages to induce immunological tolerance. First, zymosan induces DCs to secrete abundant IL-10 but little IL-6 and IL-12(p70). Induction of IL-10 is dependent on TLR2- and dectin-1-mediated activation of ERK MAPK via a mechanism independent of the activation protein 1 (AP-1) transcription factor c-Fos. Such DCs stimulate antigen-specific CD4+ T cells poorly due to IL-10 and the lack of IL-6. Second, zymosan induces F4-80+ macrophages in the splenic red pulp to secrete TGF-beta. Consistent with these effects on APCs, injection of zymosan plus OVA into mice results in OVA-specific T cells that secrete little or no Th1 or Th2 cytokines, but secrete robust levels of IL-10, and are unresponsive to challenge with OVA plus adjuvant. Finally, coinjection of zymosan with OVA plus LPS suppresses the response to OVA via a mechanism dependent on IL-10, TGF-beta, and lack of IL-6. Together, our data demonstrate that zymosan stimulates IL-10+ IL-12(p70)- IL-6low regulatory DCs and TGF-beta+ macrophages to induce immunological tolerance. These data suggest several targets for pharmacological modulation of immune responses in various clinical settings.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 05/2006; 116(4):916-28. · 12.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The adaptive immune system can generate distinct classes of responses, but the mechanisms that determine this are poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate that different Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands induce distinct dendritic cell (DC) activation and immune responses in vivo. Thus, Escherichia coli LPS (TLR-4 stimulus), activates DCs to produce abundant IL-12(p70), but little IL-10, and stimulates Th1 and Tc1 responses. In contrast, Pam-3-cys (TLR-2 stimulus) elicits less IL-12(p70), but abundant IL-10, and favors Th2 and T cytotoxic 2 (Tc2) responses. These distinct responses likely occur via differences in extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling in DCs. Thus, Pam-3-cys induces enhanced extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling, compared with LPS, resulting in suppressed IL-12(p70) and enhanced IL-10 production, as well as enhanced induction of the transcription factor, c-Fos. Interestingly, DCs from c-fos(-/-) mice produce more IL-12(p70), but less IL-10, compared with control DCs. Therefore, different TLR ligands induce distinct cytokines and signaling in DCs, and differentially bias Th responses in vivo.
    The Journal of Immunology 05/2004; 172(8):4733-43. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DC) comprise a system of professional antigen-presenting cells, which induce the stimulation of very rare antigen-specific naive T cells. DC progenitors can be stimulated to differentiate into immature DC by various growth factors, including GM-CSF and IL-4. Here we show that IL-15, in combination with GM-CSF, is a growth factor for murine DC. Murine bone marrow cells, depleted of T cells, B cells, I-A+ cells and Gr-1+ granulocytes, and cultured in the presence of GM-CSF plus IL-15 (IL-15 DC), yielded DC expressing high levels of CD11c and MHC class II molecules, as well as CD11b. These cells expressed significant levels of CD40, CD80 and CD86, and could stimulate allogeneic CD4+ T cells efficiently. Interestingly, IL-15 DC were far superior to DC generated with GM-CSF plus IL-4 in stimulating allogeneic CD8+ T cells in vitro. Consistent with this, IL-15 DC induced much more potent antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses with high levels of Th1 cytokines in vivo, compared to DC generated with GM-CSF plus IL-4, or with GM-CSF plus TGF-beta, or with GM-CSF alone. Together, these data suggest that IL-15 promotes the development of DC, which induce potent Th1 and Tc1 responses in vivo. This suggests potential roles for these IL-15 DC cells in the immunotherapy of tumors and infectious diseases.
    European Journal of Immunology 02/2004; 34(1):66-73. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In allergy and asthma, the fine balance between the T helper (Th) 1, Th2 and T regulatory cytokine responses appears to be shifted towards Th2. Here, we report that synthetic lipopeptides which contain the typical lipid part of the lipoprotein of gram-negative bacteria stimulate a distinct regulatory cytokine pattern and inhibit several Th2 cell-related phenomena. The most potent analogue of synthetic lipopeptides, lipopeptide CGP 40774 (LP40) was not active in MyD88-deficient mice and stimulated Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2, but not TLR-4. LP40 potentiated the production of IFN-gamma and IL-10, but not IL-4 and IL-5 by human T cells. In addition, triggering of TLR-2 by lipopeptides promoted the in vitro differentiation of naive T cells towards IL-10- and IFN-gamma-producing T cells and suppressed IL-4 production by Th2 cells. Accordingly, LP40 inhibited IgE production induced by allergen, anti-IgD antibody, Nippostrongylus brasiliensis or murine acquired immunodeficiency virus. Furthermore, ovalbumin-induced lung eosinophilic inflammation was abolished and Schistosoma mansoni egg-induced granuloma size and eosinophil counts were suppressed in mice by LP40. These results demonstrate that stimulation of TLR-2 by lipopeptides represents a novel way for possible treatment of allergy and asthma by regulating the disrupted cytokine balance.
    European Journal of Immunology 11/2003; 33(10):2717-26. · 4.97 Impact Factor