[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Careful selection of dominant T cell epitope peptides of major allergens that display degeneracy for binding to a wide array of MHC class II molecules allows induction of clinical and immunological tolerance to allergen in a refined treatment strategy. From the original concept of peptide-induced T cell anergy arising from in vitro studies, proof-of-concept murine models and flourishing human trials followed. Current randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of mixtures of T cell-reactive short allergen peptides or long contiguous overlapping peptides are encouraging with intradermal administration into non-inflamed skin a preferred delivery. Definitive immunological mechanisms are yet to be resolved but specific anergy, Th2 cell deletion, immune deviation, and Treg induction seem implicated. Significant efficacy, particularly with short treatment courses, in a range of aeroallergen therapies (cat, house dust mite, grass pollen) with inconsequential non-systemic adverse events likely heralds a new class of therapeutic for allergy, Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulatory Epitopes (SPIRE).
Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Current Allergy and Asthma Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergic diseases are prevalent worldwide. Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is a current treatment for allergy, leading to modification of the natural course of disease. Mechanisms of efficacy include Treg through release of IL-10 and TGF-β and specific IgG4 blocking antibodies. Subcutaneous and sublingual routes are popular, but uptake is limited by inconvenience and safety concerns. Inclusion criteria limit application to a small proportion of allergic patients. New forms of immunotherapy are being investigated for more efficacious, convenient and safer options with promising advances in recent years. The rationale of reducing vaccine allergenicity to increase safety while improving immunogenicity led to investigation of T-cell epitope-based peptides and recombinant allergen derivatives. Additionally, different routes of administration and adjuvants and adjunct therapies are being explored. This review discusses the current status of AIT and recent advances to improve clinical efficacy, safety and long-term immune tolerance.
No preview · Article · May 2015 · Expert Review of Vaccines
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activin A, a member of the TGF-β superfamily of cytokines, was originally identified as an inducer of follicle hormone release, but has since been ascribed roles in normal physiological processes, as an immunoregulatory cytokine and as a driver of fibrosis. In the last 10-15 years it has also become abundantly clear that activin A plays an important role in the regulation of asthmatic inflammation and airway remodelling. This review provides a brief introduction to the activin A/TGF-β superfamily, focussing on the regulation of receptors and signalling pathways. We examine the contradictory evidence for generalised pro- versus anti-inflammatory effects of activin A in inflammation, before appraising its role in asthmatic inflammation and airway remodelling specifically by evaluating data from both murine models and clinical studies. We identify key issues to be addressed, paving the way for safe exploitation of modulation of activin A function for treatment of allergic asthma and other inflammatory lung diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) has been practised since 1911 and remains the only therapy proven to modify the natural history of allergic diseases. Although efficacious in carefully selected individuals, the currently licensed whole allergen extracts retain the risk of IgE-mediated adverse events, including anaphylaxis and occasionally death. This together with the need for prolonged treatment regimens results in poor patient adherence. The central role of the T cell in orchestrating the immune response to allergen informs the choice of T cell targeted therapies for down-regulation of aberrant allergic responses. Carefully mapped short synthetic peptides that contain the dominant T cell epitopes of major allergens and bind to a diverse array of HLA class II alleles, can be delivered intradermally into non-inflamed skin to induce sustained clinical and immunological tolerance. The short peptides from allergenic proteins are unable to cross-link IgE and possess minimal inflammatory potential. Systematic progress has been made from in vitro human models of allergen T cell epitope-based peptide anergy in the early 1990s, through proof-of-concept murine allergy models and early human trials with longer peptides, to the current randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials with the potential new class of synthetic short immune-regulatory T cell epitope peptide therapies. Sustained efficacy with few adverse events is being reported for cat, house dust mite and grass pollen allergy after only a short course of treatment. Underlying immunological mechanisms remain to be fully delineated but anergy, deletion, immune deviation and Treg induction all seem contributory to successful outcomes, with changes in IgG4 apparently less important compared to conventional AIT. T cell epitope peptide therapy is promising a safe and effective new class of specific treatment for allergy, enabling wider application even for more severe allergic diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common life-limiting genetically acquired respiratory disorder. Patients with CF have thick mucus obstructing the airways leading to recurrent infections, bronchiectasis and neutrophilic airway inflammation culminating in deteriorating lung function. Current management targets airway infection and mucus clearance, but despite recent advances in care, life expectancy is still only 40 years. We investigated whether activin A is elevated in CF lung disease and whether inhibiting activin A with its natural antagonist follistatin retards lung disease progression. We measured serum activin A levels, lung function and nutritional status in CF patients. We studied the effect of activin A on CF lung pathogenesis by treating newborn CF transgenic mice (β-ENaC) intranasally with the natural activin A antagonist follistatin. Activin A levels were elevated in the serum of adult CF patients, and correlated inversely with lung function and body mass index. Follistatin treatment of newborn β-ENaC mice, noted for respiratory pathology mimicking human CF, decreased the airway activin A levels and key features of CF lung disease including mucus hypersecretion, airway neutrophilia and levels of mediators that regulate inflammation and chemotaxis. Follistatin treatment also increased body weight and survival of β-ENaC mice, with no evidence of local or systemic toxicity. Our findings demonstrate that activin A levels are elevated in CF and provide proof-of-concept for the use of the activin A antagonist, follistatin, as a therapeutic in the long-term management of lung disease in CF patients.Immunology and Cell Biology advance online publication, 10 March 2015; doi:10.1038/icb.2015.7.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Immunology and Cell Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Food allergies are increasing worldwide, demonstrating a considerable public health concern. Shellfish allergy is one of the major food groups causing allergic sensitization among adults and children, affecting up to 2% of the general world population. Tropomyosin (TM) is the major allergen in shellfish and frequently used in the diagnosis of allergic sensitization and the detection of cross-contaminated food. To improve and establish better and more sensitive diagnostics for allergies and immunotherapeutics, large quantities of pure allergens are required. To establish a reproducible method for the generation of pure recombinant tropomyosin we utilized in this study different Escherichia coli strains (NM522, TOP10 and BL21(DE3)RIPL). In addition, isopropyl-β-d-thiogalactoside (IPTG) induction was compared with a novel auto-induction system to allow the generation of larger quantities of recombinant allergen. We demonstrated that the B-strain of E. coli is better for the expression of TM compared to the K-strain. Moreover, a higher yield could be achieved when using the auto-induction system, with up to 62 mg/l. High yield expressed recombinant TM from King prawn (KP) was compared to recombinant TM from Black tiger prawn (Pen m 1). We demonstrated that recombinant TM from KP and known isoallergen Pen m 1 have very similar molecular and immunological characteristics. Overall, we demonstrate that auto-induction can be used to express larger quantities of recombinant allergens for the development of diagnostic, to quantify allergens as well as immunotherapeutics employing isoallergens.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Immunological Methods
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prawn allergy is one of the leading causes of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity to food. Alterations of IgE-antibody reactivity to prawn allergens due to thermal processing are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of heating on prawn allergens using a comprehensive allergenomic approach.
Proteins from raw and heat-processed black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) extracts as well as recombinant tropomyosin (rPen m1) were analyzed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting using sera from 16 shellfish allergic patients. IgE antibody binding proteins were identified by advanced mass spectroscopy, characterized by molecular structure analysis and their IgE reactivity compared among the prepared black tiger prawn extracts. Heat processing enhanced the overall patient IgE binding to prawn extracts and increased recognition of a number of allergen variants and fragments of prawn allergens. Allergens identified were tropomyosin, myosin light chain, sarcoplasmic calcium binding protein, and putative novel allergens including triose phosphate isomerase, aldolase, and titin.
Seven allergenic proteins are present in prawns, which are mostly heat-stable and form dimers or oligomers. Thermal treatment enhanced antibody reactivity to prawn allergens as well as fragments and should be considered in the diagnosis of prawn allergy and detection of crustacean allergens in processed food.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural rubber latex (NRL; Hevea brasiliensis) allergy is an IgE-mediated reaction to latex proteins. When latex glove exposure is the main sensitizing agent, Hev b 5 is one of the major allergens. Dendritic cells (DC), the main antigen presenting cells, modulated with pharmacological agents can restore tolerance in several experimental models, including allergy. In the current study, we aimed to generate DC with tolerogenic properties from NRL-allergic patients and evaluate their ability to modulate allergen-specific T and B cell responses. Here we show that dexamethasone-treated DC (dxDC) differentiated into a subset of DC, characterized by low expression of MHC class II, CD40, CD80, CD86 and CD83 molecules. Compared with LPS-matured DC, dxDC secreted lower IL-12 and higher IL-10 after CD40L activation, and induced lower alloantigenic T cell proliferation. We also show that dxDC pulsed with the dominant Hev b 5 T-cell epitope peptide, Hev b 546-65 (,) inhibited both proliferation of Hev b 5-specific T-cell lines and the production of Hev b 5-specific IgE. Additionally, dxDC induced a subpopulation of IL-10-producing regulatory T cells that suppressed proliferation of Hev b 5-primed T cells. In conclusion, dxDC generated from NRL-allergic patients can modulate allergen-specific T-cell responses and IgE production, supporting their potential use in allergen-specific immunotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The antigen-presenting abilities of basophils and their role in initiating a Th2 phenotype is a topic of current controversy. We aimed to determine whether human basophils can be induced to express MHC Class II and act as antigen presenting cells for T cell stimulation. Isolated human basophils were exposed to a panel of cytokines and TLR-ligands and assessed for MHC Class II expression. MHC Class II was expressed in up to 17% of isolated basophils following incubation with a combination of IL-3, IFN-γ and GM-CSF for 72 hours. Costimulatory molecules (CD80 and CD86) were expressed at very low levels after stimulation. Gene expression analysis of MHC Class II-positive basophils confirmed up-regulation of HLA-DR, HLA-DM, CD74 and Cathepsin S. However, MHC Class II expressing basophils were incapable of inducing antigen-specific T cell activation or proliferation. This is the first report of significant cytokine-induced MHC Class II up-regulation, at both RNA and protein level, in isolated human basophils. By testing stimulation with relevant T cell epitope peptide as well as whole antigen, the failure of MHC Class II expressing basophils to induce T cell response was shown not to be solely due to inefficient antigen uptake and/or processing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Engineered nanoparticles (ENP), which could be composed of inorganic metals, metal oxides, metalloids, organic biodegradable and inorganic biocompatible polymers, are being used as carriers for vaccine and drug delivery. There is also increasing interest in their application as delivery agents for the treatment of a variety of lung diseases. Although many studies have shown ENP can be effectively and safely used to enhance the delivery of drugs and vaccines in the periphery, there is concern that some ENP could promote inflammation, with unknown consequences for lung immune homeostasis. In this study, we review research on the effects of ENP on lung immunity, focusing on recent studies using diverse animal models of human lung disease. We summarize how the inflammatory and immune response to ENP is influenced by the diverse biophysical and chemical characteristics of the particles including composition, size and mode of delivery. We further discuss newly described unexpected beneficial properties of ENP administered into the lung, where biocompatible polystyrene or silver nanoparticles can by themselves decrease susceptibility to allergic airways inflammation. Increasing our understanding of the differential effects of diverse types of nanoparticles on pulmonary immune homeostasis, particularly previously underappreciated beneficial outcomes, supports rational ENP translation into novel therapeutics for prevention and/or treatment of inflammatory lung disorders.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Drug Metabolism Reviews
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in the use of engineered particles for biomedical applications, although questions exist about their proinflammatory properties and potential adverse health effects. Lung macrophages and dendritic cells (DC) are key regulators of pulmonary immunity, but little is known about their uptake of different sized particles or the nature of the induced immunological imprint. We investigated comparatively the immunological imprints of inert nontoxic polystyrene nanoparticles 50 nm in diameter (PS50G) and 500 nm in diameter (PS500G). Following intratracheal instillation into naive mice, PS50G were preferentially taken up by alveolar and nonalveolar macrophages, B cells, and CD11b(+) and CD103(+) DC in the lung, but exclusively by DC in the draining lymph node (LN). Negligible particle uptake occurred in the draining LN 2 h postinstillation, indicating that particle translocation does not occur via lymphatic drainage. PS50G but not PS500G significantly increased airway levels of mediators that drive DC migration/maturation and DC costimulatory molecule expression. Both particles decreased frequencies of stimulatory CD11b(+)MHC class II(hi) allergen-laden DC in the draining LN, with PS50G having the more pronounced effect. These distinctive particle imprints differentially modulated induction of acute allergic airway inflammation, with PS50G but not PS500G significantly inhibiting adaptive allergen-specific immunity. Our data show that nanoparticles are taken up preferentially by lung APC stimulate cytokine/chemokine production and pulmonary DC maturation and translocate to the lung-draining LN via cell-associated transport. Collectively, these distinctive particle imprints differentially modulate development of subsequent lung immune responses. These findings support the development of lung-specific particulate vaccines, drug delivery systems, and immunomodulators.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Shellfish allergy is a major cause of food-induced anaphylaxis, but the allergens are not well characterized. This study examined the effects of heating on blue swimmer crab (Portunus pelagicus) allergens in comparison with those of black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) by testing reactivity with shellfish-allergic subjects' serum IgE. Cooked extracts of both species showed markedly increased IgE reactivity by ELISA and immunoblotting, and clinical relevance of IgE reactivity was confirmed by basophil activation tests. Inhibition IgE ELISA and immunoblotting demonstrated cross-reactivity between the crab and prawn extracts, predominantly due to tropomyosin, but crab-specific IgE-reactivity was also observed. The major blue swimmer crab allergen tropomyosin, Por p 1, was cloned and sequenced, showing strong homology with tropomyosin of other crustacean species but also sequence variation within known and predicted linear IgE epitopes. These findings will advance more reliable diagnosis and management of potentially severe food allergy due to crustaceans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Peanut allergy is a life-threatening condition; there is currently no cure. While whole allergen extracts are used for specific immunotherapy for many allergies, they can cause severe reactions and even fatalities in peanut allergy. OBJECTIVE: To identify short, HLA-degenerate CD4(+) T cell epitope-based peptides of the major peanut allergen Ara h 1 that target allergen-specific T cells without causing IgE-mediated inflammatory cell activation, as candidates for safe peanut-specific immunotherapy. METHODS: Ara h 1-specific CD4(+) T cell lines (TCL) were generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of peanut-allergic subjects using CFSE-based methodology. T cell epitopes were identified using CFSE and thymidine-based proliferation assays. Epitope HLA-restriction was investigated using blocking antibodies, HLA-genotyping and epitope prediction algorithms. Functional peanut-specific IgE reactivity to peptides was assessed by basophil activation assay. RESULTS: A total of 145 Ara h 1-specific TCL were generated from 18 HLA-diverse peanut-allergic subjects. The TCL recognized 20-mer peptides throughout Ara h 1. Nine 20-mers containing the most frequently recognized epitopes were selected and their recognition confirmed in 18 additional peanut-allergic subjects. Ten core epitopes were mapped within these 20-mers. These were HLA-DQ and/or HLA-DR restricted, with each presented on at least two different HLA-molecules. Seven short (≤ 20 aa) non-basophil-reactive peptides encompassing all core epitopes were designed and validated in peanut-allergic donor PBMC T cell assays. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Short CD4(+) T cell epitope-based Ara h 1 peptides were identified as novel candidates for a safe, T cell targeted peanut-specific immunotherapy for HLA-diverse populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergic diseases including asthma, rhinitis and eczema are a major health and economic burden worldwide. Specific immunotherapy (SIT) is potentially curative but restricted in use, e.g. for asthmatics, due to risk of serious adverse events. Safer, effective SIT preparations require elucidation of mechanisms and immunoregulatory factors. Allergen-specific T cells play a pivotal role. For allergic individuals, allergen-stimulated T cells largely secrete IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 (Th2-type cytokines), whereas non-allergics show predominant IFN-γ secretion (Th1-type). Clinically successful SIT is accompanied by altered allergen-specific T cell response, with decreased Th2/Th1 ratio, enhanced IL-10 secretion and regulatory T cell induction. Contributing factors include allergen concentration and form, adjuvant and antigen presenting cell type. In conventional SIT, high dose unfractionated allergen extracts are injected incrementally via the subcutaneous route. To avoid adverse IgE-mediated events but retain efficacy, hypoallergenic T cell-reactive allergen derivatives can be used. These include peptides containing dominant T cell epitopes of allergens, chemically-modified allergens, and recombinant whole or mutant allergens. Such approaches have been evaluated successfully in animal models and early phase clinical trials. Adjuvants and carriers including bacterial and viral components, liposomes and DNA vaccines also promote repolarisation of T cell response and regulatory T cell induction. However caution is needed as excessive IFN-γ secretion may invoke pathogenic inflammation. Sublingual administration has fewer adverse events and is gaining popularity for respiratory allergens, and other routes including intranasal and oral are under evaluation. T cell targeted strategies will facilitate wider clinical application of SIT and reliable laboratory assays for monitoring treatment.
No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents in Medicinal Chemistry (Formerly Cu rrent Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergy Agents)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbial contamination of grass pollens could affect sensitization, subsequent allergic response and efficacy of allergen-specific immunotherapy. We investigated whether bacterial immunomodulatory substances can direct PBMC responses of allergic and non-atopic subjects against ryegrass pollen (RGP) towards Th1, Th2 or regulatory T (Treg) cells. Aqueous extracts of RGP with high or low LPS were fractionated into large and small molecular weight (MW) components by diafiltration. CFSE-labelled PBMCs from allergic and non-atopic subjects were stimulated with RGP extracts (RGPEs) and analyzed for cytokine secretion and T-cell responses. High LPS RGPE increased IFN-γ(+) Th1 and IL-4(+) Th2 effector cell induction and consistently decreased CD4(+) Foxp3(hi) Treg-cell induction. IL-10-producing T-cell frequency was unaltered, but IL-10 secretion was increased by high LPS RGPE. RGPE-stimulation of TLR-transfected cell lines revealed that high LPS pollen also contained a TLR2-ligand, and both batches a TLR9-ligand. Beta-1,3-glucans were detected in large and small MW fractions and were also T-cell stimulatory. In conclusion, co-exposure to allergen and pro-inflammatory microbial stimuli does not convert an established Th2- into a Th1-response. Instead, pro-inflammatory responses are exacerbated and Foxp3(hi) Treg-cell induction is decreased. These findings show that adjuvants for specific immunotherapy should enhance Treg cells rather than target immune deviation from Th2 to Th1.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · European Journal of Immunology