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Publications (6)37.66 Total impact

  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 10/2010; 126(4):791-7. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inverse correlation of mycobacterial infection with asthma prevalence and the inhibitory effects of vaccination with Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) on airway hyperreactivity in asthma models suggest modulation of dendritic cell (DC) and T cell functions by mycobacterial compounds. To delineate these immunological effects, the immunogenicity of BCG Copenhagen, BCG Chicago and BCG Pasteur was compared in a mouse model. Bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) from BALB/c mice were stimulated with ovalbumin (OVA) with or without BCG. BMDCs were phenotypically characterized by flow cytometry, and we used ELISA to measure the cytokine production of BMDCs as well as of co-cultivated allergen-specific T cells in response to OVA-pulsed. Immunomodulatory effects of BCG were studied in a model of allergic airway inflammation by adoptive transfer of allergen-pulsed BMDCs. Immunomodulation with BCG induced production of IL-10 and IL-12 by BMDCs. Co-cultured allergen-specific T cells produced less IL-5, IL-13 and IFN-gamma but more IL-10. Also the number of FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells was enhanced. Strongest effects were seen with BCG Chicago and BCG Pasteur. In vivo, administration of BCG modulated OVA-pulsed BMDCs then reduced eosinophilic airway inflammation but enhanced infiltration with granulocytes. Airway hyperreactivity and mucus production were reduced and more FoxP3(+) T cells were observed. BCG-induced suppression of Th2-type allergic airway inflammation was associated with enhancement of regulatory T cell function but also of Th1-associated neutrophilic airway inflammation. These findings raise concerns regarding the safety profile of BCG as a potential tool for prevention and therapy of allergic airway disease.
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 07/2009; 150(3):210-20. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary prevention strategies of allergy so far have been aimed to fight allergy causes, by avoiding risk factors and inhibiting their mechanisms of action. The results of trials testing food or airborne allergen avoidance as a prevention strategy were, however, rather disappointing. A reverse approach for primary prevention of allergies aims to facilitate exposure to protecting factors which promote the induction of immunologic tolerance against innocuous antigens. These factors are associated with farming environment and a 'traditional lifestyle', but identification of these factors is quite difficult. Major candidates include food-borne microbes, helminths or their components, which are able to stimulate mucosal immunity, particularly in the gut. Similarly, new preventive and therapeutic strategies are being tested to induce specific food-allergen oral tolerance through the ingestion of progressively increasing doses of the offending food. This shifting of allergy prevention research from avoidance to tolerance induction will hopefully allow us to reverse the epidemic trend of allergy diseases.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 03/2008; 38(2):233-45. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: There are frequent concerns about early immunizations among the parents of children at heightened risk for atopy. The study assessed the effect of vaccine immunization before the first birthday on eczema severity and allergic sensitization in the second year of life.Methods: A total of 2184 infants, aged 1–2 years, with established atopic dermatitis and a family history of allergy, from 97 study centres in 10 European countries, South Africa and Australia were included. Exposure to vaccines (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae Type B, hepatitis B, mumps, measles, rubella, varicella, BCG, meningococci and pneumococci) and immunization dates were recorded from immunization cards. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) was determined by RAST and eczema severity was assessed by scoring atopic dermatitis (SCORAD).Results: Immunization against any target was not associated with an increased risk of allergic sensitization to food or inhalant allergens. Varicella immunization (only 0.7% immunized) was inversely associated with total IgE > 30 kU/l (OR 0.27; 95% CI 0.08–0.87) and eczema severity (OR 0.34; 95% CI 0.12–0.93). Pertussis immunization (only 1.7% nonimmunized) was inversely associated with eczema severity (OR 0.30; 95% CI 0.10–0.89). Cumulative received vaccine doses were inversely associated with eczema severity (P = 0.0107). The immunization coverage of infants before and after the onset of atopic dermatitis was similar.Conclusion: In children at heightened risk for atopy, common childhood immunization in the first year is not associated with an increased risk of more severe eczema or allergic sensitization. Parents of atopic children should be encouraged to fully immunize their children.
    Allergy 01/2008; · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory skin disorder and a major manifestation of allergic disease. AD typically presents in early childhood often preceding the onset of an allergic airway disease, such as asthma or hay fever. We previously mapped a susceptibility locus for AD on Chromosome 3q21. To identify the underlying disease gene, we used a dense map of microsatellite markers and single nucleotide polymorphisms, and we detected association with AD. In concordance with the linkage results, we found a maternal transmission pattern. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the same families contribute to linkage and association. We replicated the association and the maternal effect in a large independent family cohort. A common haplotype showed strong association with AD (p = 0.000059). The associated region contained a single gene, COL29A1, which encodes a novel epidermal collagen. COL29A1 shows a specific gene expression pattern with the highest transcript levels in skin, lung, and the gastrointestinal tract, which are the major sites of allergic disease manifestation. Lack of COL29A1 expression in the outer epidermis of AD patients points to a role of collagen XXIX in epidermal integrity and function, the breakdown of which is a clinical hallmark of AD.
    PLoS Biology 10/2007; 5(9):e242. · 12.69 Impact Factor