Anna Majowicz

Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (4)6.82 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Muscle represents an important tissue target for adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated gene transfer in muscular, metabolic or blood related genetic disorders. However, several studies demonstrated the appearance of immune responses against the transgene product after intramuscular AAV vector delivery which resulted in a limited efficacy of the treatment. Use of microRNAs (miRNAs) that are specifically expressed in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) is a promising approach to avoid those immune responses. Cellular mir-142-3p, which is APC-specific, is able to repress translation of its target cellular transcripts by binding to a specific target sequences. METHODS: In this study we explored the potential of mir-142-3p specific target sequences to reduce or abolish immune responses directed against ovalbumin (OVA), a highly immunogenic protein, expressed as transgene and delivered by AAV1 vector administered intramuscularly. RESULTS: The occurrence of immune responses against OVA transgene following intramuscular delivery by AAV have been previously described and resulted in loss of OVA protein expression. In our study we demonstrate that OVA protein expression was maintained when mir-142-3pT sequences were incorporated in the expression cassette. The sustained expression of OVA protein over time correlated with a reduced increase in anti-OVA antibody level. Furthermore, no cellular infiltrates were observed in the muscle tissue when AAV1 vectors containing 4 or 8 repeats of mir-142-3p target sequences after OVA sequence were used. CONCLUSIONS: Our data provides the evidence that humoral and cellular immune responses that rise against OVA protein after intramuscular delivery can be efficiently reduced by use of mir-142-3p target sequences. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    The Journal of Gene Medicine 05/2013; · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Induced regulatory T (iTreg) lymphocytes show promise for application in the treatment of allergic, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. iTreg cells demonstrate advantages over natural Treg (nTreg) cells in terms of increased number of starting population and greater potential to proliferate. Different activation methods to generate iTreg cells result in iTreg cells that are heterogeneous in phenotype and mechanisms of suppression. Therefore it is of interest to explore new techniques to generate iTreg cells and to determine their physiological relevance. METHODS: Using phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)/ionomycin and anti-CD3 activation of CD4+CD25- cells we generated in vitro functional CD4+CD25+ iTreg (TregPMA) cells. Functionality of the generated TregPMA cells was tested in vivo in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - CD45RB transfer colitis model. RESULTS: TregPMA cells expressed regulatory markers and proved to ameliorate the disease phenotype in murine CD45RB transfer colitis model. The body weight loss and disease activity scores for TregPMA treated mice were reduced when compared to diseased control group. Histological assessment of colon sections confirmed amelioration of the disease phenotype. Additionally, cytokine analysis showed decreased levels of proinflammatory colonic and plasma IL-6, colonic IL-1 beta and higher levels of colonic IL-17 when compared to diseased control group. CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies a new method to generate in vitro iTreg cells (TregPMA cells) which physiological efficacy has been demonstrated in vivo.
    BMC Gastroenterology 12/2012; 12(1):172. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To explore the anti-inflammatory potential of adeno-associated virus-mediated delivery of Tregitope 167 in an experimental colitis model. The trinitrobenzene sulfonate (TNBS) model of induced colitis was used in Balb/c mice. Subsequently after intravenous adeno-associated virus-mediated regulatory T-cell epitopes (Tregitope) delivery, acute colitis was initiated by intra-rectal administration of 1.5 mg TNBS in 40% ethanol followed by a second treatment with TNBS (0.75 mg in 20% ethanol) 8 d later. Control groups included mice not treated with TNBS (healthy control group) and mice treated by TNBS only (diseased group). At the time of sacrifice colon weight, the disease activity index and histology damage score were determined. Immunohistochemical staining of the colonic tissues was performed to asses the cellular infiltrate and the presence of transcription factor forkhead Box-P3 (Foxp3). Thymus, mesenteric lymph nodes, liver and spleen tissue were collected and the corresponding lymphocyte populations were further assessed by flow cytometry analysis for the expression of CD4+ T cell and regulatory T cell associated markers. The Tregitope 167 treated mice gained an average of 4% over their initial body weight at the time of sacrifice. In contrast, the mice treated with TNBS alone (no Tregitope) developed colitis, and lost 4% of their initial body weight at the time of sacrifice (P < 0.01). The body weight increase that had been observed in the mice pre-treated with Tregitope 167 was substantiated by a lower disease activity index and a decreased colon weight as compared to the diseased control group (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively). Immunohistochemical staining of the colonic tissues for CD4+ showed that inflammatory cell infiltrates were present in TNBS treated mice with or without administration with tregitope 167 and that these cellular infiltrates consisted mainly of CD4+ cells. For both TNBS treated groups CD4+ T cell infiltrates were observed in the sub-epithelial layer and the lamina propria. CD4+ T cell infiltrates were also present in the muscularis mucosa layer of the diseased control mice, but were absent in the Tregitope 167 treated group. Numerous Foxp3 positive cells were detected in the lamina propria and sub-epithelium of the colon sections from mice treated with Tregitope 167. Furthermore, the Foxp3 and glycoprotein A repetitions predominant markers were significantly increased in the CD4+ T lymphocyte population in the thymus of the mice pre-treated with adeno-associated virus serotype 5 (cytomegalovirus promoter-Tregitope 167), as cytomegalovirus promoter compared to lymphocyte populations in the thymus of diseased and the healthy control mice (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). This study identifies adeno-associated virus-mediated delivery of regulatory T-cell epitope 167 as a novel anti-inflammatory approach with the capacity to decrease intestinal inflammation and induce long-term remission in inflammatory bowel disease.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 08/2012; 18(32):4288-99. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are a group of chronic inflammatory disorders most commonly affecting young adults. Currently available therapies can result in induction and maintenance of remission, but are not curative and have sometimes important side effects. Advances in basic research in IBD have provided new therapeutic opportunities to target the inflammatory process involved. Gene and cell therapy approaches are suitable to prevent inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and show therefore potential in the treatment of IBD. In this review, we present the current progress in the field of both gene and cell therapy and future prospects in the context of IBD. Regarding gene therapy, we focus on viral vectors and their applications in preclinical models. The focus for cell therapy is on regulatory T lymphocytes and mesenchymal stromal cells, their potential for the treatment of IBD and the progress made in both preclinical models and clinical trials.
    World journal of gastrointestinal pathophysiology. 12/2011; 2(6):114-22.