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Publications (3)9.41 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is widely expressed in neural and non-neural tissues, but its function is unknown. Elucidation of the part played by PrP(C) in adaptive immunity has been a particular conundrum: increased expression of cell surface PrP(C) has been documented during T-cell activation, yet the functional significance of this activation remains unclear, with conflicting data on the effects of Prnp gene knockout on various parameters of T-cell immunity. We show here that Prnp mRNA is highly inducible within 8-24 h of T-cell activation, with surface protein levels rising from 24 h. When measured in parallel with CD69 and CD25, PrP(C) is a late activation antigen. Consistent with its up-regulation being a late activation event, PrP deletion did not alter T-cell-antigen presenting cell conjugate formation. Most important, activated PrP(0/0) T cells demonstrated much reduced induction of several T helper (Th) 1, Th2, and Th17 cytokines, whereas others, such as TNF-alpha and IL-9, were unaffe
    FASEB J. 06/2009; 23:1672-1684.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is widely expressed in neural and non-neural tissues, but its function is unknown. Elucidation of the part played by PrP(C) in adaptive immunity has been a particular conundrum: increased expression of cell surface PrP(C) has been documented during T-cell activation, yet the functional significance of this activation remains unclear, with conflicting data on the effects of Prnp gene knockout on various parameters of T-cell immunity. We show here that Prnp mRNA is highly inducible within 8-24 h of T-cell activation, with surface protein levels rising from 24 h. When measured in parallel with CD69 and CD25, PrP(C) is a late activation antigen. Consistent with its up-regulation being a late activation event, PrP deletion did not alter T-cell-antigen presenting cell conjugate formation. Most important, activated PrP(0/0) T cells demonstrated much reduced induction of several T helper (Th) 1, Th2, and Th17 cytokines, whereas others, such as TNF-alpha and IL-9, were unaffected. These changes were investigated in the context of an autoimmune model and a bacterial challenge model. In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, PrP-knockout mice showed enhanced disease in the face of reduced IL-17 responses. In a streptococcal sepsis model, this constrained cytokine program was associated with poorer local control of infection, although with reduced bacteremia. The findings indicate that PrP(C) is a potentially important molecule influencing T-cell activation and effector function.
    The FASEB Journal 03/2009; 23(6):1672-84. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Post-translational modification of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is intimately associated with the pathogenesis of prion disease, yet the normal function of the protein remains unclear. PrP(C) is expressed in lymphoid cells and is known to be a T-cell activation antigen. Further, transcription profiling studies of regulatory T cells have shown preferential overexpression of PrP(C), suggesting a possible role in regulatory function. We report that both the expression of PrP message and cell surface PrP(C) levels are increased in murine CD4(+) CD25(+) regulatory T cells compared with CD4(+) CD25(-) cells. However, PrP(0/0) mice do not show altered regulatory T-cell numbers or forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) expression levels, or impaired regulatory T-cell function in vitro. Nevertheless, the preferential expression of surface PrP(C) by regulatory T cells raises the possibility that therapeutic ligation of PrP(C) might alter immune regulation.
    Immunology 06/2008; 125(3):313-9. · 3.71 Impact Factor