[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetic macular edema represents the main cause of visual loss in diabetic retinopathy. Besides inner blood retinal barrier breakdown, the role of the outer blood retinal barrier breakdown has been poorly analyzed. We characterized the structural and molecular alterations of the outer blood retinal barrier during the time course of diabetes, focusing on PKCζ, a critical protein for tight junction assembly, known to be overactivated by hyperglycemia.
Studies were conducted on a type2 diabetes Goto-Kakizaki rat model. PKCζ level and subcellular localization were assessed by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. Cell death was detected by TUNEL assays. PKCζ level on specific layers was assessed by laser microdissection followed by Western blotting. The functional role of PKCζ was then evaluated in vivo, using intraocular administration of its specific inhibitor.
PKCζ was localized in tight junction protein complexes of the retinal pigment epithelium and in photoreceptors inner segments. Strikingly, in outer segment PKCζ staining was restricted to cone photoreceptors. Short-term hyperglycemia induced activation and delocalization of PKCζ from both retinal pigment epithelium junctions and cone outer segment. Outer blood retinal barrier disruption and photoreceptor cone degeneration characterized long-term hyperglycemia. In vivo, reduction of PKCζ overactivation using a specific inhibitor, restored its tight-junction localization and not only improved the outer blood retinal barrier, but also reduced photoreceptor cell-death.
In the retina, hyperglycemia induced overactivation of PKCζ is associated with outer blood retinal barrier breakdown and photoreceptor degeneration. In vivo, short-term inhibition of PKCζ restores the outer barrier structure and reduces photoreceptor cell death, identifying PKCζ as a potential target for early and underestimated diabetes-induced retinal pathology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DC) can achieve cross-presentation of naturally-occurring tumor-associated antigens after phagocytosis and processing of dying tumor cells. They have been used in different clinical settings to vaccinate cancer patients. We have previously used gamma-irradiated MART-1 expressing melanoma cells as a source of antigens to vaccinate melanoma patients by injecting irradiated cells with BCG and GM-CSF or to load immature DC and use them as a vaccine. Other clinical trials have used IFN-gamma activated macrophage killer cells (MAK) to treat cancer patients. However, the clinical use of MAK has been based on their direct tumoricidal activity rather than on their ability to act as antigen-presenting cells to stimulate an adaptive antitumor response. Thus, in the present work, we compared the fate of MART-1 after phagocytosis of gamma-irradiated cells by clinical grade DC or MAK as well as the ability of these cells to cross present MART-1 to CD8+ T cells. Using a high affinity antibody against MART-1, 2A9, which specifically stains melanoma tumors, melanoma cell lines and normal melanocytes, the expression level of MART-1 in melanoma cell lines could be related to their ability to stimulate IFN-gamma production by a MART-1 specific HLA-A*0201-restricted CD8+ T cell clone. Confocal microscopy with Alexa Fluor®647-labelled 2A9 also showed that MART-1 could be detected in tumor cells attached and/or fused to phagocytes and even inside these cells as early as 1 h and up to 24 h or 48 h after initiation of co-cultures between gamma-irradiated melanoma cells and MAK or DC, respectively. Interestingly, MART-1 was cross-presented to MART-1 specific T cells by both MAK and DC co-cultured with melanoma gamma-irradiated cells for different time-points. Thus, naturally occurring MART-1 melanoma antigen can be taken-up from dying melanoma cells into DC or MAK and both cell types can induce specific CD8+ T cell cross-presentation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) rituximab has been used successfully for lymphoma therapy for more than 10 years. Although several direct mechanisms by which anti-CD20 mAbs act have been characterized in vitro, their specific role in clinical efficacy is still debated. Little is known about the possible antitumor immune response that they may induce in patients, despite clinical data suggesting a "vaccinal" effect. We show here that an initial treatment with anti-CD20 induces protection against human CD20-expressing tumor cells and allows immunocompetent mice to survive tumor challenge. This long-lasting protection requires the presence of the Fc portion of the anti-CD20 mAb and is achieved through the induction of a cellular immune response. Only CD4(+) cells were needed at the beginning of the treatment, but both CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells were required after tumor challenge to achieve protection. Finally, we show that interleukin-2 treatment, given after tumor challenge, improves the overall survival rate, compared with that obtained by anti-CD20 treatment alone. These findings demonstrate that anti-CD20 mAbs exert therapeutic effects through the induction of an adaptive cellular immune response, aside from any direct mechanisms involving effectors from innate immunity.