S J Gebran

Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research, Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela

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Publications (10)23.63 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Ajoene, (E, Z) -4, 5, 9-trithiadeca-1, 6, 11-triene 9 oxide, is a compound originally isolated from ethanolic extracts of garlic that impairs platelet aggregation by inhibiting the functional exposure of platelet integrins GPIIb/IIIa. In vitro, Ajoene is toxic for several tumoral cell lines, and exert an antiproliferative effect on T. cruzi and murine malaria parasites. Here we show that Ajoene strongly inhibited the proliferation induced in human lymphocytes by the mitogens phytohemagglutinin (PHA), phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and anti-CD3, and the capping formation induced in B lymphocytes by anti-IgM antibodies. On macrophages, Ajoene was also found to partially inhibit the lypopolysaccharide-induced production of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), and to decrease the phagocytic activity of thioglycolate-elicited mouse peritoneal macrophages for IgG-opsonized, human erythrocytes. Ajoene also partially prevented the lytic effect of human and rabbit TNF on Actinomycin D-treated WEHI 164 cells. These results strongly suggest that Ajoene is a potent modulator of membrane-dependent functions of immune cells.
    Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 03/1997; 19(1):15-36. DOI:10.3109/08923979709038531 · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thioglycolate-elicited murine macrophages from genetically susceptible A/J mice activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and infected with Legionella pneumophila in vitro evince marked inhibition of intracellular growth of this bacterium. The mechanism of inhibition by LPS-activated macrophages in terms of replication of this intracellular pathogen is unclear. LPS activation of murine macrophages induced a downshift in transferrin receptor (TfR) expression and reduction in cellular iron content, and this was correlated with augmented intracellular growth of Legionella in the cells. When LPS-stimulated macrophages were first saturated with iron, partial reversion of L. pneumophila growth restriction was observed. However, an excess of exogenous L-tryptophan (Trp) did not reverse this growth inhibition, nor did supplementation of the macrophage culture medium with both iron and Trp. The antilegionella activity of the macrophages induced by LPS activation was independent of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI), since the scavengers catalase, superoxide dismutase, mannitol, and thiourea had no effect on growth restriction. Likewise, notwithstanding the ability of LPS-activated macrophages to synthesize reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI), which was inhibited by L-arginine analogs NG-monomethyl-L-arginine and L-aminoguanidine), as well as by incubation in arginine-free medium, their ability to inhibit the intracellular replication of L. pneumophila was not affected. Thus, we conclude that LPS-activated macrophages inhibit the intracellular growth of L. pneumophila partially by iron-dependent, Trp-independent, and ROI- and RNI-independent mechanisms. We also suggest that additional unknown mechanisms are involved, since complete reversion was not obtained.
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology 02/1995; 57(1):80-7. · 4.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A/J mouse macrophages infected with Legionella pneumophila and treated with gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) in vitro developed potent antimicrobial activity. This antilegionella activity was independent of the macrophage capacity to generate reactive oxygen intermediates, since the oxygen radical scavengers catalase, superoxide dismutase, mannitol, and thiourea had no effect on the antilegionella activity of IFN-gamma-activated macrophages. Likewise, whereas the ability of IFN-gamma-activated macrophages to synthesize reactive nitrogen intermediates was markedly inhibited by the L-arginine (Arg) analogs, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine and L-aminoguanidine, as well as by incubation in L-Arg-free medium, their ability to inhibit the intracellular growth of L. pneumophila remained intact. The intracellular growth of L. pneumophila in A/J macrophages was inhibited by the iron(III) chelator desferrioxamine and reversed by Fe-transferrin as well as by ferric salts. Additionally, IFN-gamma-activated macrophages incorporated 28% less 59Fe(III) compared with nonactivated cells. Nonetheless, only partial blocking of growth restriction was observed when IFN-gamma-stimulated macrophages were saturated with iron(III). Indole-propionic acid, which appears to inhibit the biosynthesis of L-tryptophan (L-Trp), was an L-Trp-reversible growth inhibitor of L. pneumophila in macrophages, implying that the intracellular replication of this pathogen is also L-Trp dependent. However, an excess of exogenous L-Trp did not reverse the growth inhibition due to IFN-gamma, though a small synergistic effect was observed when the culture medium was supplemented with both iron(III) and L-Trp. We conclude that IFN-gamma-activated macrophages inhibit the intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila by reactive oxygen intermediate- and reactive nitrogen intermediate-independent mechanisms and just partially by nutritionally dependent mechanisms. We also suggest that additional mechanisms, still unclear, may be involved, since complete reversion was never obtained and since at higher concentrations of IFN-gamma, iron(III) did not induce any significant reversion in the L. pneumophila growth inhibition.
    Infection and Immunity 09/1994; 62(8):3197-205. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Legionella pneumophila, a facultative intracellular pathogen, replicates within and kills thioglycolate-elicited (TG) macrophages from A/J mice, while growth is inhibited in TG macrophages from BALB/c mice which show no impaired viability. The role of iron in BALB/c and A/J macrophages regarding their permissiveness to L. pneumophila intracellular growth was investigated. We previously reported that TG macrophages from the A/J mouse strain readily supported the intracellular growth of L. pneumophila, while resident macrophages from the same strain of mice were not permissive. Recently we also found that such a difference in permissiveness between both A/J macrophage populations may be explained, at least in part, to intracellular availability of iron. In this report, differences in permissiveness to L. pneumophila growth between A/J TG macrophages and BALB/c TG macrophages was not due to intracellular iron availability. BALB/c and A/J TG macrophages exhibited similar expression of transferrin receptor and cellular iron content. The treatment of BALB/c TG macrophages with different iron compounds, namely ferric nitrilotriacetate (12.5-100 microM), ferric citrate (12.5-100 microM) and transferrin (0.5-5 mg ml-1), did not stimulate the intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila. The reduction of intracellular iron availability by treatment with antibodies against transferrin receptor or with desferrioxamine suppressed the growth of L. pneumophila within BALB/c TG macrophages, suggesting that these cells do not restrict L. pneumophila growth because of iron. The production of nitric oxide was also similar in both macrophage populations, as measured by the Griess reaction. However, the synthesis of oxygen reactive species was three times higher in non-permissive BALB/c macrophages.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 07/1994; 9(1):7-14. DOI:10.1111/j.1574-695X.1994.tb00467.x · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have investigated the modulation of iron in two populations of macrophages which differ in susceptibility to Legionella pneumophila intracellular proliferation. Previously, we reported that thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages obtained from the inbred A/J mouse strain readily support the intracellular growth of L. pneumophila, while resident macrophages from the same strain do not. In this study, we show that A/J elicited macrophages exhibit markedly higher expression of transferrin receptor and intracellular iron content than A/J resident macrophages. Furthermore, apotransferrin and desferrioxamine inhibited the intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila in elicited macrophages, and this suppression was reversed by the additions of Fe-transferrin or ferric nitrilotriacetate. Fe-transferrin and ferric nitrilotriacetate did not further increase the intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila in thioglycolate-elicited macrophages. However, ferric citrate and ferric nitrilotriacetate stimulated in a dose-dependent manner the growth of L. pneumophila in resident macrophages. Furthermore, equimolar concentrations of desferrioxamine reversed the stimulatory effect of iron in these resident cells. These data provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that differences in susceptibility to L. pneumophila growth between permissive elicited macrophages and nonpermissive resident macrophages from the A/J mouse strain are due to intracellular availability of iron.
    Infection and Immunity 03/1994; 62(2):564-8. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A rapid colorimetric technique for in vitro quantitation of Legionella pneumophila intracellular proliferation in macrophages is described. The assay is based on the electron transport activity of metabolically active L. pneumophila. The yellow tetrazolium salt 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) is cleaved by the mitochondrial activity of viable L. pneumophila, forming a dark formazan derivative with an absorption spectrum different from that of the native compound. The MTT method for measuring intracellular growth of L. pneumophila closely correlated with the CFU assay. The ability of macrophages from the A/J mouse strain to support intracellular growth of L. pneumophila and the ability of desferrioxamine to restrict L. pneumophila intracellular proliferation were confirmed by both methods. The MTT assay offers the advantages of rapidity, simplicity, and cost efficiency over the CFU assay, since it can be performed in the same flat-bottom microtiter plate with measurement in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay reader, allowing efficient processing of large numbers of samples.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 02/1994; 32(1):127-30. · 4.23 Impact Factor
  • S J Gebran, E L Romano, A Soyano
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    ABSTRACT: An inhibitory effect of iron salts on various immune functions in vitro has been reported in several laboratories during the last years. This work extends such observations by showing that iron citrate, but not sodium citrate, inhibits the function and maturation of murine macrophages (MOs). However, such inhibition is only observed in the presence of ferric citrate with a metal-to-ligand molar ratio of 1:1, but not with ferric citrate with a metal-to-ligand molar ratio of 1:10 in which the hydrolyzation and polymerization of iron in physiological solutions is prevented. Accumulation of ferric iron on the cytoplasm of MOs was observed, but only in the group of MOs treated with ferric citrate 1:1. Increasing the concentration of serum in the culture medium diminished the inhibitory effect of ferric citrate 1:1. The inhibitory capacity of iron polymer was probably associated to its ability to both interact with the cell constituents of the cytoplasm and stimulate lipid peroxidation.
    Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 09/1993; 15(4):397-414. DOI:10.3109/08923979309035236 · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A sensitive and rapid colorimetric method for the in vitro determination of phagocytic activity and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) is described. The assay uses red blood cells (RBC) as target cells and relies on the specific oxidation of 2,7-diaminofluorene (DAF) by the pseudoperoxidase activity of hemoglobin (Hb). Generation of fluorene blue (FB), the chromophore formed upon oxidation of DAF, was a linear function of erythrocyte concentration. The oxidation of DAF by peritoneal macrophages (M phi) containing myeloperoxidase was negligible, confirming that the development of color was exclusively due to the pseudoperoxidase activity of Hb. A positive correlation was observed between FB formation and increased phagocytosis of opsonized erythrocytes. Phagocytosis increased as a function of time, reaching a maximum at 90 min of incubation. The phagocytosis of IgG-opsonized erythrocytes was greater than non-opsonized erythrocytes and was inhibited by high concentrations of non-specific human or mouse IgG, showing that phagocytosis was mediated by the Fc gamma receptor of macrophages. The interaction between opsonized RBC and macrophages also evoked an antibody-dependent extracellular lysis, however this process was slower than ingestion. The DAF phagocytosis assay has shown to be very sensitive, simple, rapid and safe.
    Journal of Immunological Methods 08/1992; 151(1-2):255-60. DOI:10.1016/0022-1759(92)90125-D · 2.01 Impact Factor
  • S Gebran, E Romano, A Soyano
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    ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells are capable of self-replication and differentiation to lineage-committed progenitor cells. The progenitors proliferate and differentiate to lineage-specific, morphologically recognizable precursors and, finally, to terminal circulating blood cells. These homeostatic mechanisms are regulated by a complex set of interacting growth stimulatory and inhibitory factors that are produced by, or in collaboration with, the tissue's regulatory microenvironment. A number of well-characterized cytokines have been implicated in the negative regulation of hematopoiesis: ferritin H-subunit (HF), lactoferrin (Lf), prostaglandin E (PGE), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interferon (IFN), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF beta), acetyl-N-Ser-Asp-Lys-Pro (AcSDKP) or thymosin-beta 4, pyroGlu-Glu-Asp-Cys-Lys (pEEDCK), macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1 alpha), inhibin, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH) and others not well-known yet. The role of inhibitors in restraining stem cells from entering the cell cycle and protecting them from the toxic side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs is opening an alternate strategy for the treatment of cancer patients.
    Acta científica venezolana 02/1992; 43(5):255-68.
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