Geoffrey R Hill

Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Publications (93)813.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a tumor of terminally differentiated B cells that arises in the bone marrow. Immune interactions appear as key determinants of MM progression. While myeloid cells foster myeloma-promoting inflammation, Natural Killer cells and T lymphocytes mediate protective anti-myeloma responses. The profound immune deregulation occurring in MM patients may be involved in the transition from a premalignant to a malignant stage of the disease. In the last decades, the advent of stem cell transplantation and new therapeutic agents including proteasome inhibitors and immunoregulatory drugs has dramatically improved patient outcomes, suggesting potentially key roles for innate and adaptive immunity in disease control. Nevertheless, MM remains largely incurable for the vast majority of patients. A better understanding of the complex interplay between myeloma cells and their immune environment should pave the way for designing better immunotherapies with the potential of very long term disease control. Here, we review the immunological microenvironment in myeloma. We discuss the role of naturally arising anti-myeloma immune responses and their potential corruption in MM patients. Finally, we detail the numerous promising immune-targeting strategies approved or in clinical trials for the treatment of MM.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is critical for controlling many intracellular infections, but can also contribute to inflammation. It can promote the destruction of important cell populations and trigger dramatic tissue remodeling following establishment of chronic disease. Therefore, a better understanding of TNF regulation is needed to allow pathogen control without causing or exacerbating disease. IL-10 is an important regulatory cytokine with broad activities, including the suppression of inflammation. IL-10 is produced by different immune cells; however, its regulation and function appears to be cell-specific and context-dependent. Recently, IL-10 produced by Th1 (Tr1) cells was shown to protect host tissues from inflammation induced following infection. Here, we identify a novel pathway of TNF regulation by IL-10 from Tr1 cells during parasitic infection. We report elevated Blimp-1 mRNA levels in CD4+ T cells from visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients, and demonstrate IL-12 was essential for Blimp-1 expression and Tr1 cell development in experimental VL. Critically, we show Blimp-1-dependent IL-10 production by Tr1 cells prevents tissue damage caused by IFNγ-dependent TNF production. Therefore, we identify Blimp-1-dependent IL-10 produced by Tr1 cells as a key regulator of TNF-mediated pathology and identify Tr1 cells as potential therapeutic tools to control inflammation.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · PLoS Pathogens
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    ABSTRACT: The interplay between the inflammatory infiltrate and tissue resident cell populations invokes fibrogenesis. However, the temporal and mechanistic contributions of these cells to fibrosis are obscure. To address this issue, liver inflammation, ductular reaction (DR), and fibrosis were induced in C57BL/6 mice by thioacetamide administration for up to 12 weeks. Thioacetamide treatment induced two phases of liver fibrosis. A rapid pericentral inflammatory infiltrate enriched in F4/80(+) monocytes co-localized with SMA(+) myofibroblasts resulted in early collagen deposition, marking the start of an initial fibrotic phase (1 to 6 weeks). An expansion of bone marrow-derived macrophages preceded a second phase, characterized by accelerated progression of fibrosis (>6 weeks) after DR migration from the portal tracts to the centrilobular site of injury, in association with an increase in DR/macrophage interactions. Although chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) mRNA was induced rapidly in response to thioacetamide, CCL2 deficiency only partially abrogated fibrosis. In contrast, colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor blockade diminished C-C chemokine receptor type 2 [CCR2(neg) (Ly6C(lo))] monocytes, attenuated the DR, and significantly reduced fibrosis, illustrating the critical role of colony-stimulating factor 1-dependent monocyte/macrophage differentiation and linking the two phases of injury. In response to liver injury, colony-stimulating factor 1 drives early monocyte-mediated myofibroblast activation and collagen deposition, subsequent macrophage differentiation, and their association with the advancing DR, the formation of fibrotic septa, and the progression of liver fibrosis to cirrhosis.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · American Journal Of Pathology
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    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Haematologica
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    ABSTRACT: IL-17-producing cells are important mediators of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Here we demonstrate that a distinct CD8(+) Tc17 population develops rapidly after SCT but fails to maintain lineage fidelity such that they are unrecognizable in the absence of a fate reporter. Tc17 differentiation is dependent on alloantigen presentation by host-DC together with IL-6. Tc17 cells express high levels of multiple prototypic lineage-defining transcription factors (e.g. RORγt, T-bet) and cytokines (e.g. IL-17A, IL-22, IFNγ, GM-CSF, IL-13). Targeted depletion of Tc17 early after transplant protects from lethal acute GVHD, however Tc17 cells are non-cytolytic and fail to mediate graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effects. Thus, the Tc17 differentiation program during GVHD culminates in a highly plastic, hyper-inflammatory, poorly-cytolytic effector population which we term inflammatory Tc17 (iTc17). Since iTc17 mediate GVHD without contributing to GVL, therapeutic inhibition of iTc17 development in a clinical setting represents an attractive approach for separating GVHD and GVL. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Hematology.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: The primacy of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in dictating the outcome of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is broadly accepted; however, the mechanisms controlling this effect are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that GVHD markedly enhances alloantigen presentation within the mesenteric lymph nodes (mLNs), mediated by donor CD103(+)CD11b(-) dendritic cells (DCs) that migrate from the colon under the influence of CCR7. Expansion and differentiation of donor T cells specifically within the mLNs is driven by profound levels of alloantigen, IL-12, and IL-6 promoted by Toll-like receptor (TLR) and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) signals. Critically, alloantigen presentation in the mLNs imprints gut-homing integrin signatures on donor T cells, leading to their emigration into the GI tract where they mediate fulminant disease. These data identify a critical, anatomically distinct, donor DC subset that amplifies GVHD. We thus highlight multiple therapeutic targets and the ability of GVHD, once initiated by recipient antigen-presenting cells, to generate a profound, localized, and lethal feed-forward cascade of donor DC-mediated indirect alloantigen presentation and cytokine secretion within the GI tract.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Experimental Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Viral infection is a common, life-threatening complication after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT), particularly in the presence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Using cytomegalovirus (CMV) as the prototypic pathogen, we have delineated the mechanisms responsible for the inability to mount protective anti-viral responses in this setting. While CMV infection was self-limiting after syngeneic BMT, in the presence of GVHD after allogeneic BMT, CMV induced a striking cytopathy resulting in universal mortality in conjunction with a fulminant necrotizing hepatitis. Critically, GVHD induced a profound DC defect that led to a failure in the generation of CMV-specific CD8(+) T cell responses. This was accompanied by a defect in anti-viral CD8(+) T cells. In combination, these defects dramatically limited anti-viral T cell responses. The transfer of virus-specific cells circumvented the DC defects and provided protective immunity, despite concurrent GVHD. These data demonstrate the importance of avoiding GVHD when reconstructing anti-viral immunity after BMT, and highlight the mechanisms by which the adoptive transfer of virus-specific T cells overcome the endogenous defects in priming invoked by GVHD. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Hematology.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Blood
  • Andrea S Henden · Geoffrey R Hill
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    ABSTRACT: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation whereby transplanted naive and marrow-derived T cells damage recipient tissue through similar mechanisms to those that allow destruction of malignant cells, the therapeutic intent of bone marrow transplantation. The manifestations and severity of GVHD are highly variable and are influenced by the proportions of naive cells maturing along regulatory T cell, Th1, Th2, or Th17 phenotypes. This maturation is largely influenced by local cytokines, which, in turn, activate transcription factors and drive development toward a dominant phenotype. In addition, proinflammatory cytokines exert direct effects on GVHD target tissues. Our knowledge of the role that cytokines play in orchestrating GVHD is expanding rapidly and parallels other infective and inflammatory conditions in which a predominant T cell signature is causative of pathology. Because a broad spectrum of cytokine therapies is now routinely used in clinical practice, they are increasingly relevant to transplant medicine. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Immunological synapse formation between antigen-specific T cells and antigen presenting cells (APC) involves reorganization of the cellular cytoskeleton (polymerization of filamentous actin) and recruitment of adhesion molecules (e.g. LFA-1, ICAM-1). This engagement is critical for the generation of specific immune responses. Until recently, quantitative, high-throughput measurements of these interactions have not been possible. Instead, previous assessment was reliant on qualitative microscopy of live cells, where typically the APC is adhered to a surface and the suspended T cell is required to migrate to facilitate synapse formation. While this methodology can demonstrate the capacity for synapse formation, it cannot accommodate quantification of large numbers of interacting cell pairs, nor does it allow for statistically robust comparison between test conditions. We have developed a method for assessing immunological synapse formation between purified ex vivo dendritic cells (DC) and responder antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells using imaging flow cytometry, allowing us to quantify LFA-1 and f-actin rearrangement at the interface between DC/T cell pairs. This novel application of imaging flow cytometry represents a major advance in dendritic cell function and immunological synapse research as it facilitates quantitative, high throughput analysis of the interaction between live, ex-vivo DC and T cells. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of immunological methods
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    ABSTRACT: Background: A variant in the IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) gene increases asthma risk and is predicted to decrease IL-6 classic signaling and increase IL-6 trans-signaling. This suggests that inhibition of IL-6 trans-signaling, but not classic signaling, might suppress allergic airway inflammation. Objectives: We sought to determine whether IL-6 signaling contributes to (1) acute experimental asthma induced by clinically relevant allergens and (2) variation in asthma clinical phenotypes in asthmatic patients. Methods: Mice were sensitized to house dust mite (HDM) or cockroach at day 0, treated with IL-6R inhibitors at day 13, and challenged with the same allergen at days 14 to 17. End points were measured 3 hours after the final challenge. IL-6 and soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) expression in induced sputum of asthmatic patients was correlated with asthma clinical phenotypes. Results: Both HDM and cockroach induced a type 2/type 17 cytokine profile and mixed granulocytic inflammation in the airways. Both allergens increased IL-6 expression in the airways, but only cockroach induced sIL-6R expression. Therefore HDM challenge promoted IL-6 classic signaling but not trans-signaling; in this model treatment with anti-IL-6R did not suppress airway inflammation. In contrast, cockroach-induced inflammation involved activation of IL-6 trans-signaling and production of IL-17A by γδ T cells. Anti-IL-6R, selective blockade of sIL-6R, or γδ T-cell deficiency significantly attenuated cockroach-induced inflammation. Asthmatic patients with high airway IL-6 and sIL-6R levels were enriched for the neutrophilic and mixed granulocytic subtypes. Conclusion: Experimental asthma associated with both high IL-6 and high sIL-6R levels in the airways is attenuated by treatment with IL-6R inhibitors.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Natural killer (NK) cells are naturally circulating innate lymphoid cells that protect against tumor initiation and metastasis and contribute to immunopathology during inflammation. The signals that prime NK cells are not completely understood, and, although the importance of IFN type I is well recognized, the role of type III IFN is comparatively very poorly studied. IL-28R-deficient mice were resistant to LPS and cecal ligation puncture-induced septic shock, and hallmark cytokines in these disease models were dysregulated in the absence of IL-28R. IL-28R-deficient mice were more sensitive to experimental tumor metastasis and carcinogen-induced tumor formation than WT mice, and additional blockade of interferon alpha/beta receptor 1 (IFNAR1), but not IFN-γ, further enhanced metastasis and tumor development. IL-28R-deficient mice were also more susceptible to growth of the NK cell-sensitive lymphoma, RMAs. Specific loss of IL-28R in NK cells transferred into lymphocyte-deficient mice resulted in reduced LPS-induced IFN-γ levels and enhanced tumor metastasis. Therefore, by using IL-28R-deficient mice, which are unable to signal type III IFN-λ, we demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, the ability of IFN-λ to directly regulate NK cell effector functions in vivo, alone and in the context of IFN-αβ.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple myeloma (MM) is an age-dependent hematological malignancy. Evaluation of immune interactions that drive MM relies on in vitro experiments that do not reflect the complex cellular stroma involved in MM pathogenesis. Here we used Vk*MYC transgenic mice, which spontaneously develop MM, and demonstrated that the immune system plays a critical role in the control of MM progression and the response to treatment. We monitored Vk*MYC mice that had been crossed with Cd226 mutant mice over a period of 3 years and found that CD226 limits spontaneous MM development. The CD226-dependent anti-myeloma immune response against transplanted Vk*MYC MM cells was mediated both by NK and CD8+ T cells through perforin and IFN-γ pathways. Moreover, CD226 expression was required for optimal antimyeloma efficacy of cyclophosphamide (CTX) and bortezomib (Btz), which are both standardly used to manage MM in patients. Activation of costimulatory receptor CD137 with mAb (4-1BB) exerted strong antimyeloma activity, while inhibition of coinhibitory receptors PD-1 and CTLA-4 had no effect. Taken together, the results of this study provide in vivo evidence that CD226 is important for MM immunosurveillance and indicate that specific immune components should be targeted for optimal MM treatment efficacy. As progressive immunosuppression associates with MM development, strategies aimed to increase immune functions may have important therapeutic implications in MM.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · The Journal of clinical investigation
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    ABSTRACT: Novel therapies for chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) are needed. Aberrant B cell activation has been demonstrated in mice and humans with cGVHD. Having previously found that human cGVHD B cells are activated and primed for survival, we sought to further evaluate the role of the spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) in cGVHD in multiple murine models and human peripheral blood cells. In a murine model of multi-organ system, non-sclerodermatous disease with bronchiolitis obliterans where cGVHD is dependent on antibody and germinal center (GC) B cells, we found that activation of Syk was necessary in donor B cells but not T cells for disease progression. BM-specific Syk deletion in vivo was effective in treating established cGVHD as was a small molecule inhibitor of Syk, fostamatinib which normalized GC formation and decreased activated CD80/86+ dendritic cells. In multiple distinct models of sclerodermatous cGVHD, clinical and pathological disease manifestations were not eliminated when mice were therapeutically treated with fostamatinib, though both clinical and immunological effects could be observed in one of these scleroderma models. We further demonstrated that Syk inhibition was effective at inducing apoptosis of human cGVHD B cells. Together these data demonstrate a therapeutic potential of targeting B-cell Syk signaling in cGVHD. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Hematology.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is widely used clinically to prevent neutropenia after cytotoxic chemotherapy and mobilize hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) for transplantation. Autophagy, a process of cytoplasmic component recycling, maintains cellular homeostasis and protects the cell during periods of metabolic stress or nutrient deprivation. We have observed that G-CSF activates autophagy in neutrophils and HSC from both mouse and human donors. Furthermore, G-CSF induced neutrophil and HSC mobilization is impaired in the absence of autophagy. In contrast, autophagy is dispensable for direct HSC mobilization in response to the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100. Altogether, these data demonstrate an important role for G-CSF in invoking autophagy within hematopoietic and myeloid cells and suggest that this pathway is critical for ensuring cell survival in response to clinically relevant cytokine-induced stress. These findings have direct relevance to HSC transplantation and the increasing clinical use of agents that modulate autophagy. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Hematology.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative therapy for various hematopoietic disorders. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and infections are the major obstacles of HSCT, and their close relationship has been suggested. Although roles of bacterial and viral infections in the pathophysiology of GVHD are well described, impacts of fungal infection on GVHD remain to be elucidated. In mouse models of GVHD, injection of α-Mannan, a major component of fungal cell wall, or heat-killed Candida albicans exacerbated GVHD, particularly in the lung. α-Mannan induced donor T cell polarization towards Th17 and lung specific chemokine environment in GVHD led to accumulation of Th17 cells in the lung. The detrimental effects of α-Mannan on GVHD depended on donor IL-17A production and host c-type lectin receptor Dectin-2. These results suggest a previously unrecognized link between pulmonary GVHD and fungal infection following allogeneic HSCT. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Hematology.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Idiopathic Pneumonia Syndrome (IPS) is a relatively common, frequently fatal clinical entity characterized by non-infectious acute lung inflammation following allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT), the mechanisms of which are unclear. Here we demonstrate that immune suppression with cyclosporin after SCT limits Th1 differentiation and IFNγ secretion by donor T cells which is critical for inhibiting IL-6 generation from lung parenchyma during an alloimmune response. Thereafter, local IL-6 secretion induces donor alloantigen-specific Th17 cells to preferentially expand within the lung and blockade of IL-17A or transplantation of grafts lacking the IL-17 receptor prevents disease. Studies using IL-6(-/-) recipients or IL-6 blockade demonstrate that IL-6 is the critical driver of donor Th17 differentiation within the lung. Importantly, IL-6 is also dysregulated in patients undergoing clinical SCT and was present at very high levels in the plasma of patients with IPS compared to SCT recipients without complications. Furthermore, at the time of diagnosis, plasma IL-6 levels were higher in a subset of IPS patients who were non-responsive to steroids and anti-TNF therapy. In sum, pulmonary-derived IL-6 promotes IPS via the induction of Th17 differentiation and strategies that target these cytokines represent logical therapeutic approaches for IPS. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Hematology.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: ro-inflammatory IL-17-producing T cells termed Th17 are actively involved in the pathogenesis of GVHD. The development and function of Th17 cells is dependent on activation of STAT3, RORgt and IRF4 transcription factors. Aberrant activation of Rho-associated kinase 2 (ROCK2) leads to induction of IL-17 and IL-21 secretion via IRF4-dependent mechanism. KD025, is a potent and selective ROCK2 inhibitor, which when given to healthy human subjects down-regulated the ability of T cells to secrete IL-21 and IL-17, but not interferon (IFN)-g, in response to TCR stimulation in vitro (Figure 1). KD025 inhibits STAT3 phosphorylation which supports RORgt, Th17 generation, and IL-21 production. Concurrently, KD025 increases STAT5 phosphorylation and Treg suppressor function in a dose-responsive fashion. KD025 treatment therefore shifts Th17/Treg balance. Th17 cells have been linked to in vivo pro-inflammatory responses, antibody production, and fibrosis. Conversely, Tregs can offset these pathogenic responses. Given the profile of KD025, we tested the effects of this inhibitor on cGVHD pathogenesis in a multi-organ system rodent model of disease that is driven by IL-21 responses and is associated with lung, liver and intestinal fibrosis. We observed that Th17/Rorc deficient T cells are unable to mediate cGVHD pathogenesis. In mice with established cGVHD, therapy was initiated with 30, 100, or 150 mg/kg/dose of KD025 daily from d28-56. Treated mice had a dose dependent decrease in the development of pathogenic pulmonary function as determined by whole body plethysmography (Figure 2) which correlated with a marked reduction of antibody deposition in the lungs of treated mice to levels comparable to non-cGVHD controls. KD025 administration also resulted in a 2-fold decrease in collagen deposition in the lungs of mice treated with the highest dose of KD025. The spleens of mice treated with 150 mg/kg dose of KD025 had a decrease in the frequency of germinal centers compared to the vehicle treated mice. To determine the selective role of STAT3 on T cells, mice were transplanted with wildtype (WT) bone marrow (BM) and WT or inducible STAT3 deficient T cells. In parallel cohorts, the role of STAT3 in BM-derived B cells, precursors of germinal center B cells, was examined using WT vs inducible STAT3 deficient BM cells + WT T cells. We demonstrate here that mice transplanted with inducible STAT3 deficient T cells or BM cells had pulmonary function comparable to the healthy negative controls, suggesting that STAT3 is a potential therapeutic target in both T and B cells is necessary for the development of cGVHD and providing mechanistic insight into how KD025 may ameliorate active cGVHD. Studies are in progress to test KD025 administration in a murine scleroderma model using a minor histocompatibility antigen disparate donor-recipient strain that we have shown to be dependent upon STAT3 expressing donor T cells and a STAT3 inhibitor in both cGVHD models described here. Together, these data demonstrate that KD025 is effective at decreasing STAT3-dependent production of IL-21 and IL-17 and the use of KD025 is a potentially novel therapeutic intervention for the treatment of cGVHD. Fig 1 Download figure Open in new tab Download powerpoint Fig 1 Oral administration of KD025 down-regulates the IL-17 and IL-21 secretion in human PBMCs upon stimulation ex vivo. Human PBMCs were purified from healthy human subjects before and after oral administration of KD025 at doses 40, 120, 240, 320 and stimulated ex vivo. Cytokine secretion was determined after 48 hours by ELISA. Fig 2 Download figure Open in new tab Download powerpoint Fig 2 KD025 is an effective therapy for established murine cGVHD. Mice were given KD025 (150 mg/kg) d.28-56. PFTs indicate normal resistance, elastance and better compliance. Lung Ig deposition and fibrosis were comparable to BM controls.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Dec 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive and lethal blood cancer maintained by rare populations of leukemia stem cells (LSCs). Selective targeting of LSCs is a promising approach for treating AML and preventing relapse following chemotherapy, and developing such therapeutic modalities is a key priority. Here, we show that targeting telomerase activity eradicates AML LSCs. Genetic deletion of the telomerase subunit Terc in a retroviral mouse AML model induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis of LSCs, and depletion of telomerase-deficient LSCs is partially rescued by p53 knockdown. Murine Terc(-/-) LSCs express a specific gene expression signature that can be identified in human AML patient cohorts and is positively correlated with patient survival following chemotherapy. In xenografts of primary human AML, genetic or pharmacological inhibition of telomerase targets LSCs, impairs leukemia progression, and delays relapse following chemotherapy. Altogether, these results establish telomerase inhibition as an effective strategy for eliminating AML LSCs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Cell Stem Cell
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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin 6 mediates graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in experimental allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (allogeneic SCT) and represents an attractive therapeutic target. We aimed to assess whether the humanised anti-interleukin-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, tocilizumab, could attenuate the incidence of acute GVHD. We undertook a single-group, single-institution phase 1/2 study at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Bone Marrow Transplantation unit, QLD, Australia. Eligible patients were 18-65 years old and underwent T-replete HLA-matched allogeneic SCT with either total body irradiation-based myeloablative or reduced-intensity conditioning from unrelated or sibling donors. One intravenous dose of tocilizumab (8 mg/kg, capped at 800 mg, over 60 mins' infusion) was given the day before allogeneic SCT along with standard GVHD prophylaxis (cyclosporin [5 mg/kg per day on days -1 to +1, then 3 mg/kg per day to maintain therapeutic levels (trough levels of 140-300 ng/mL) for 100 days plus methotrexate [15 mg/m(2) on day 1, then 10 mg/m(2) on days 3, 6, and 11]). The primary endpoint was incidence of grade 2-4 acute GVHD at day 100, assessed and graded as per the Seattle criteria. Immunological profiles were compared with a non-randomised group of patients receiving allogeneic SCT, but not treated with tocilizumab. This trial is registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, number ACTRN12612000726853. Between Jan 19, 2012, and Aug 27, 2013, 48 eligible patients receiving cyclosporin and methotrexate as GVHD prophylaxis were enrolled into the study. The incidence of grade 2-4 acute GVHD in patients treated with tocilizumab at day 100 was 12% (95% CI 5-24), and the incidence of grade 3-4 acute GVHD was 4% (1-13). Grade 2-4 acute GVHD involving the skin developed in five (10%) patients of 48 treated with tocilizumab, involving the gastrointestinal tract in four (8%) patients; there were no reported cases involving the liver. Low incidences of grade 2-4 acute GVHD were noted in patients receiving both myeloablative total body irradiation-based conditioning (12% [95% CI 2-34) and fludarabine and melphalan reduced-intensity conditioning (12% [4-27]). Immune reconstitution was preserved in recipients of interleukin-6 receptor inhibition, but qualitatively modified with suppression of known pathogenic STAT3-dependent pathways. Interleukin 6 is the main detectable and dysregulated cytokine secreted after allogeneic SCT and its inhibition is a potential new and simple strategy to protect from acute GVHD despite robust immune reconstitution; a randomised, controlled trial assessing tocilizumab in addition to standard GVHD prophylaxis in these patients is warranted. National Health and Medical Research Council and Queensland Health. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · The Lancet Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: Allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) represents the only curative therapy for the majority of bone marrow-derived cancers. Unfortunately, HSCT can result in serious complications such as graft-versus-host disease, graft failure and infection. In the last decade, there have been major advances in the understanding of the role of autophagy in many diseases and cellular processes. Recent findings have demonstrated a crucial role for autophagy in haematopoietic stem cell survival and function, antigen presentation, T-cell differentiation and response to cytokine stimulation. Given the critical requirement for each of these processes in HSCT and subsequent complications, it is surprising that the contribution of autophagy to HSCT per se is relatively unexplored. In addition, the increasing use of autophagy-modulating drugs in the clinic further highlights the need to understand the role of autophagy in allogeneic HSCT. This review will cover established and implicated roles of autophagy in HSCT, suggesting this pathway as an important therapeutic target for improving transplant outcomes.Immunology and Cell Biology advance online publication, 4 November 2014; doi:10.1038/icb.2014.95.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Immunology and Cell Biology

Publication Stats

3k Citations
813.52 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005-2016
    • Queensland Institute of Medical Research
      • Bone Marrow Transplantation Laboratory
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2007-2015
    • University of Queensland
      • Department of Medicine
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    • University of Adelaide
      Tarndarnya, South Australia, Australia
  • 2003-2015
    • Royal Brisbane Hospital
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2002
    • Mater Research
      South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2001
    • Concordia University–Ann Arbor
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 1999-2001
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Pediatric Oncology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2000
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States