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Publications (3)10.57 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) regulates the egress of T cells from lymphoid organs; levels of S1P in the tissues are controlled by S1P lyase (Sgpl1). Hence, Sgpl1 offers a target to block T cell-dependent inflammatory processes. However, the involvement of Sgpl1 in models of disease has not been fully elucidated yet, since Sgpl1 KO mice have a short life-span. We generated inducible Sgpl1 KO mice featuring partial reduction of Sgpl1 activity and analyzed them with respect to sphingolipid levels, T-cell distribution, and response in models of inflammation. The partially Sgpl1 deficient mice are viable but feature profound reduction of peripheral T cells, similar to the constitutive KO mice. While thymic T cell development in these mice appears normal, mature T cells are retained in thymus and lymph nodes, leading to reduced T cell numbers in spleen and blood, with a skewing towards increased proportions of memory T cells and T regulatory cells. The therapeutic relevance of Sgpl1 is demonstrated by the fact that the inducible KO mice are protected in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). T cell immigration into the CNS was found to be profoundly reduced. Since S1P levels in the brain of the animals are unchanged, we conclude that protection in EAE is due to the peripheral effect on T cells, leading to reduced CNS immigration, rather than on local effects in the CNS. The data suggest Sgpl1 as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e59630. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Safety of human therapeutic Abs is generally assessed in nonhuman primates. Whereas IgG1 shows identical FcγR interaction and effector function profile in both species, fundamental differences in the IgG2 and IgG4 Ab subclasses were found between the two species. Granulocytes, the main effector cells against IgG2- and IgG4-opsonized bacteria and parasites, do not express FcγRIIIb, but show higher levels of FcγRII in cynomolgus monkey. In humans, IgG2 and IgG4 adapted a silent Fc region with weak binding to FcγR and effector functions, whereas, in contrast, cynomolgus monkey IgG2 and IgG4 display strong effector function as well as differences in IgG4 Fab arm exchange. To balance this shift toward activation, the cynomolgus inhibitory FcγRIIb shows strongly increased affinity for IgG2. In view of these findings, in vitro and in vivo results for human IgG2 and IgG4 obtained in the cynomolgus monkey have to be cautiously interpreted, whereas effector function-related effects of human IgG1 Abs are expected to be predictable for humans.
    The Journal of Immunology 03/2012; 188(9):4405-11. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The GDP exchange factor (GEF) Vav1 is a central signal transducer downstream of the T cell receptor and has been identified as a key factor for T cell activation in the context of allograft rejection. Vav1 has been shown to transduce signals both dependent and independent of its GEF function. The most promising approach to disrupt Vav1 activity by pharmacological inhibition would be to target its GEF function. However, the contribution of Vav1 GEF activity for allogeneic T cell activation has not been clarified yet. To address this question, we used knock-in mice bearing a mutated Vav1 with disrupted GEF activity but intact GEF-independent functions. T cells from these mice showed strongly reduced proliferation and activation in response to allogeneic stimulation. Furthermore, lack of Vav1 GEF activity strongly abrogated the in vivo expansion of T cells in a systemic graft-versus-host model. In a cardiac transplantation model, mice with disrupted Vav1 GEF activity show prolonged allograft survival. These findings demonstrate a strong requirement for Vav1 GEF activity for allogeneic T cell activation and graft rejection suggesting that disruption of Vav1 GEF activity alone is sufficient to induce significant immunosuppression.
    Transplant Immunology 03/2012; 26(4):212-9. · 1.52 Impact Factor