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  • 1.
    Adam, Lucille
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    López-González, Moisés
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Björk, Albin
    Pålsson, Sandra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Poux, Candice
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Wahren-Herlenius, Marie
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Spetz, Anna-Lena
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Early Resistance of Non-virulent Mycobacterial Infection in C57BL/6 Mice Is Associated With Rapid Up-Regulation of Antimicrobial Cathelicidin Camp2018In: Frontiers in Immunology, ISSN 1664-3224, E-ISSN 1664-3224, Vol. 9, article id 1939Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Early clearance of tuberculosis is the successful eradication of inhaled bacteria before the development of an adaptive immune response. We previously showed, by utilizing a non-virulent mycobacteria infection model, that C57BL/6 mice are more efficient than BALB/c in their control of bacterial growth in the lungs during the first weeks of the infection. Here, we assessed early (within 1-3 days) innate immune events locally in the lungs to identify factors that may contribute to the control of non-virulent mycobacterial burden. We confirmed that C57BL/6 mice are more resistant to infection compared with BALB/c after intranasal inoculation with mycobacterium. Transcriptomic analyses revealed a remarkably silent signature in C57BL/6 mice despite effective control of bacterial growth. In contrast, BALB/c mice up-regulated genes associated with neutrophil and myeloid cell chemotaxis and migration. Flow cytometry analyses corroborated the transcriptomic analyses and demonstrated influx of both neutrophil and myeloid cell populations in BALB/c mice, while these did not increase in C57BL/6 mice. We further detected increased release of TNF-alpha from BALB/c lung cells but limited release from C57BL/6-derived cells. However, C57BL/6 mice showed a marked early up-regulation of the Camp gene, encoding the cathelicidin CRAMP peptide, post-mycobacterial exposure. CRAMP (LL-37 in human) expression in the lungs was confirmed using immunofluorescence staining. Altogether, these findings show that C57BL/6 mice can clear the mycobacterial infection early and that this early control is associated with high CRAMP expression in the lungs without concomitant influx of immune cells. The role of CRAMP/LL-37 during mycobacterial infection may be relevant for novel protective strategies, and warrants further studies of human cohorts.

  • 2.
    Arama, Charles
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Assefaw-Redda, Y.
    Rodriguez, A.
    Fernández, C.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Corradin, G.
    Kaufmann, S. H.
    Reece, S. T.
    Troye-Blomberg, Marita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Heterologous prime–boost regimen adenovector 35-circumsporozoite protein vaccine/recombinant Bacillus Calmette-Guérin expressing the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite induces enhanced long-term memory immunity in BALB/c miceManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Arama, Charles
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Assefaw-Redda, Yohannes
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Rodriguez, Ariane
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Corradin, Giampietro
    Kaufmann, Stefan H. E.
    Reece, Stephen T.
    Troye-Blomberg, Marita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Heterologous prime-boost regimen adenovector 35-circumsporozoite protein vaccine/recombinant Bacillus Calmette-Guerin expressing the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite induces enhanced long-term memory immunity in BALB/c mice2012In: Vaccine, ISSN 0264-410X, E-ISSN 1873-2518, Vol. 30, no 27, p. 4040-4045Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Sustained antibody levels are a hallmark of immunity against many pathogens, and induction of long-term durable antibody titers is an essential feature of effective vaccines. Heterologous prime-boost approaches with vectors are optimal strategies to improve a broad and prolonged immunogenicity of malaria vaccines. Results: In this study, we demonstrate that the heterologous prime-boost regimen Ad35-CS/BCG-CS induces stronger immune responses by enhancing type 1 cellular producing-cells with high levels of CSp-specific IFN-gamma and cytophilic IgG2a antibodies as compared to a homologous BCG-CS and a heterologous BCG-CS/CSp prime-boost regimen. Moreover, the heterologous prime-boost regimen elicits the highest level of LLPC-mediated immune responses. Conclusion: The increased IFN-gamma-producing cell responses induced by the combination of Ad35-CS/BCG-CS and sustained type 1 antibody profile together with high levels of LLPCs may be essential for the development of long-term protective immunity against liver-stage parasites.

  • 4.
    Arko-Mensah, John
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Rahman, Muhammad J
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Dégano, Irene R
    Chuquimia, Olga D
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Fotio, Agathe L
    Garcia, Irene
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Resistance to mycobacterial infection: a pattern of early immune responses leads to a better control of pulmonary infection in C57BL/6 compared with BALB/c mice.2009In: Vaccine, ISSN 0264-410X, E-ISSN 1873-2518, Vol. 27, no 52, p. 7418-27Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study, we have compared the immunological responses associated with early pulmonary mycobacterial infection in two mouse strains, BALB/c and C57BL/6 known to exhibit distinct differences in susceptibility to infection with several pathogens. We infected mice via the intranasal route. We have demonstrated that BALB/c was less able to control mycobacterial growth in the lungs during the early phase of pulmonary infection. Our results showed that during the early phase (day 3 to week 1), BALB/c mice exhibited a delay in the production of TNF and IFN-gamma in the lungs compared to C57BL/6 mice. Levels of IL-12 and soluble TNF receptors (sTNFR) were comparable between the mouse strains. The cellular subset distribution in these mice before and after infection showed a higher increase in CD11b+ cells in the lungs of C57BL/6, compared to BALB/c as early as day 3 postinfection. At early time points, higher levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and macrophage inflammatory protein 1 (MIP)-alpha were detected in C57BL/6 than BALB/c mice. In vitro, BCG-infected bone marrow derived macrophages (BMM) from both mouse strains displayed similar capacities to either phagocytose bacteria or produce soluble mediators such as TNF, IL-12 and nitric oxide (NO). Although IFN-gamma stimulation of infected BMM in both mouse strains resulted in the induction of antimycobacterial activity, BALB/c mice had a reduced capacity to kill ingested bacteria. The above observations indicate that the chain of early, possibly innate immunological events occurring during pulmonary mycobacterial infection may directly impact on increased susceptibility or resistance to infection.

  • 5. Arko-Mensah, John
    et al.
    Rahman, Muhammad Jubayer
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Julián, Eshter
    Horner, Gudron
    Singh, Mahavir
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Increased levels of immunological markers in the respiratory tract but not in serum correlate with active pulmonary mycobacterial infection in mice2009In: Clinical Microbiology and Infection, ISSN 1198-743X, E-ISSN 1469-0691, Vol. 15, no 8, p. 777-786Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Immunological tests for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) have relied mostly on detection of immune markers in serum or release of cytokines by mononuclear cells in vitro. These tests, although useful, sometimes fail to discriminate between active infection and contact with mycobacteria or vaccination. TB is primarily a disease of the lung, and therefore identification of immunological markers in the respiratory tract will be more likely to reflect the infection status or disease activity. In this study, it is demonstrated that active infection of mice with Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), but not exposure to heat-killed BCG, induced production of interleukin-12 (IL-12), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) or soluble tumour necrosis factor receptors (sTNFRs) locally in the lungs, as detected in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. There was a strong correlation between bacterial growth in the lung and levels of sTNFRs, and to some extent IL-12 and IFN-gamma, in BAL fluid. Furthermore, sTNFR levels increased significantly in BAL fluid after reactivation of controlled infection with dexamethasone, and this correlated with increased bacterial growth in the lungs. Finally, infection, but not exposure to non-replicating mycobacteria, induced specific IgG and IgA in BAL fluid. Elevated levels of all biomarkers measured were also detected in the serum, but correlation with infection was not as clear as in the case of BAL fluid. Taken together, the detection of sTNFRs and mycobacterium-specific antibodies, especially IgA, locally in the lungs could be used as immunological markers for the diagnosis of TB.

  • 6.
    Calla-Magarinos, Jacqueline
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Immunology. National University Hospital of Iceland.
    Fernandez, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Immunology.
    Troye-Blomberg, Marita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Immunology.
    Freysdottir, Jona
    Alkaloids from Galipea longiflora Krause modify the maturation of human dendritic cells and their ability to stimulate allogeneic CD4(+) T cells2013In: International Immunopharmacology, ISSN 1567-5769, E-ISSN 1878-1705, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 79-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Alkaloids obtained from the plant Evanta have been shown to have dual effects in Leishmania infection; a direct leishmanicidal effect on the parasite and more importantly, the alkaloids affect both polyclonal and Leishmania-specific stimulation of T-cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) play a pivotal role in stimulation and polarization of naive T cells towards a Th1, Th2, Th17 or regulatory phenotype. In leishmaniasis, the interactions between the parasites and DCs are complex and involve contradictory functions that can stimulate or suppress T cell responses, leading to the control of infection or progression of disease. In this study the effect of an alkaloid extract of Evanta (AEE) or the purified alkaloid 2-phenilquinoline (2Ph) on the activation of human DCs and their ability to stimulate allogeneic CD4(+) T cells was analyzed. The expression of surface activation molecules was not affected on DCs stimulated in the presence of AEE or 2Ph nor did AEE-DCs or 2Ph-CDs affect the expression of activation surface molecules on allogeneic CD4(+) T cells. In contrast, as compared with control, the secretion of IL-12p40, IL-23 and IL-6 was lower from AEE-DCs and 2Ph-CDs and allogeneic CD4(+) T cells co-cultured with these DCs secreted lower levels of IFN-gamma and IL-10 but the same levels of IL-17. These results demonstrate that AEE and 2Ph affect the stimulation of DCs and their ability to stimulate allogeneic CD4(+) T cells by reducing the production of IFN-gamma, IL-12 p40, IL-6 and IL-23. This suggests that AEE and 2Ph may take part in regulation of inflammation.

  • 7.
    Calla-Magariños, Jacqueline
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Fernádez, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Troye-Blomberg, Marita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Freysdottir, Jona
    Alkaloids from Galipea longiflora Krause modify the maturation of human dendritic cells and their ability to stimulate allogeneic CD4+ T cellsArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Alkaloids obtained from the plant Evanta have been shown to have dual effects in Leishmania infection; a direct leishmanicidal effect on the parasite and more importantly, the alkaloids affect both polyclonal and Leishmania-specific stimulation of T-cells.  

    Dendritic cells (DCs) play a pivotal role in stimulation and polarization of naïve T cells towards a Th1, Th2, Th17 or regulatory phenotype. In leishmaniasis, the interactions between the parasites and DCs are complex and involve contradictory functions that can stimulate or suppress T cell responses, leading to the control of infection or progression of disease.

     In this study the effect of an alkaloid extract of Evanta (AEE) or the purified alkaloid 2-phenilquinoline (2Ph) on the activation of human DCs and their ability to stimulate allogeneic CD4+ T cells was analyzed. The expression of surface activation molecules was not affected on DCs stimulated in the presence of AEE or 2Ph nor did AEE-DCs or 2Ph-CDs affect the expression of activation surface molecules on allogeneic CD4+ T cells. In contrast, as compared with control, the secretion of IL-12p40, IL-23 and IL-6 was lower from AEE-DCs and 2Ph-CDs and allogeneic CD4+ T cells co-cultured with these DCs secreted lower levels of IFN-γ and IL-10 but the same levels of IL-17.

    These results demonstrate that AEE and 2Ph affect the stimulation of DCs and their ability to stimulate allogeneic CD4+ T cells by reducing the production of IFN-g, IL-12 p40, IL-6 and IL-23. This suggests that AEE and 2Ph may take part in regulation of inflammation.

  • 8.
    Calla-Magariños, Jacqueline
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Gimenez, A.
    Troye-Blomberg, Marita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Fernandez, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    An alkaloid extract of Evanta, traditionally used as anti-Leishmania agent in Bolivia, inhibits cellular proliferation and interferon-g production in polyclonally activated cells2009In: Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, ISSN 0300-9475, E-ISSN 1365-3083, Vol. 69, no 3, p. 251-258Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditional medicine and scientific studies have shown that the raw extract ofEvanta [Galipea longiflora, Angostura longiflora (Krause) Kallunki] exhibits antileishmanialactivity. We hypothesized that the healing observed when usingthis plant might not only be due to the direct action on the parasite, but possiblyto a parallel effect on the host immune response to the parasite involvedin the healing process. We show here that an alkaloid extract of Evanta (AEE)directly killed the parasite already at a dose of 10 lg ⁄ ml, but at this low concentration,AEE did not have a major effect on viability and proliferation ofeukaryotic cells. The whole extract was also found to be stronger than 2-phenylquinoline,the most prominent alkaloid in AEE. AEE was not directlystimulating B or T cells or J774 macrophages. However, it interfered with theactivation of both mouse and human T cells, as revealed by a reduction of invitro cellular proliferation and interferon-gamma (IFN-c) production. The effectwas more evident when the cells were pretreated with AEE and subsequentlystimulated with the polyclonal T-cell activators Concanavalin A and anti-CD3.Taken together, our results suggest that Evanta have a direct leishmanicidaleffect and due to the effect on IFN-c production it might contribute to controlthe chronic inflammatory reaction that characterize Leishmania infectionpathology, but in vivo studies are necessary to corroborate this finding.

  • 9.
    Calla-Magariños, Jacqueline
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Quispe, T.
    Giménez, A.
    Freysdottir, J.
    Troye-Blomberg, Marita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Quinolinic Alkaloids from Galipea longiflora Krause Suppress Production of Proinflammatory Cytokines in vitro and Control Inflammation in vivo upon Leishmania Infection in Mice2013In: Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, ISSN 0300-9475, E-ISSN 1365-3083, Vol. 77, no 1, p. 30-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An antileishmanial activity of quinolinic alkaloids from Galipea longiflora Krause, known as Evanta, has been demonstrated. We have previously shown that, apart from its leishmanicidal effect, in vitro pretreatment of spleen cells with an alkaloid extract of Evanta (AEE) interfered with the proliferation and interferon-γ production in lymphocytes polyclonally activated either with concanavalin A or anti-CD3. In the present study, we investigated if AEE could interfere with antigen-specific lymphocyte activation. We found that in vitro and in vivo treatment reduced recall lymphocyte responses, as measured by IFN-γ production (55% and 63% reduction compared to untreated cells, respectively). Apart from IFN-γ, the production of IL-12 and TNF was also suppressed. No effects were observed for meglumine antimoniate (SbV), the conventional drug used to treat leishmaniasis. When mice infected with Leishmania braziliensis promastigotes in the hind footpad were treated with AEE, the dynamics of the infection changed and the footpath thickness was efficiently controlled. The parasite load was also reduced but to a lesser extent than upon treatment with SbV. Combined treatment efficiently controlled both the thickness and parasite load as smaller lesions during the entire course of the infection were seen in the mice treated with AEE plus SbV compared with AEE or SbV alone. We discuss the benefits of combined administration of AEE plus SbV.

  • 10.
    Calla-Magariños, Jacqueline
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Quispe, Teddy
    Giménez, Alberto
    Freysdottir, Jona
    Troye-Blomberg, Marita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Quinolinic alkaloids from Galipea longiflora suppress inflammatory cytokine production in vitro and control inflammatory reaction in vivo upon Leishmania infectionIn: Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, ISSN 0300-9475, E-ISSN 1365-3083Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An antileishmanial activity of quinolinic alkaloids from Galipea longiflora Krause, known as Evanta, has been demonstrated. We have previously shown that, apart from its leishmanicidal effect, in vitro pretreatment of spleen cells with an alkaloid extract of Evanta (AEE) interfered with the proliferation and interferon-g production in lymphocytes polyclonally activated either with concanavalin A or anti-CD3. In the present study, we investigated if AEE could interfere with antigen-specific lymphocyte activation. We found that in vitro and in vivo treatment reduced recall lymphocyte responses, as measured by IFN-g production (55 % and 63 % reduction compared to untreated cells, respectively). Apart from IFN-g, the production of IL-12 and TNF were also suppressed. No effects were observed for meglumine antimoniate (SbV), the conventional drug used to treat leishmaniasis. When mice infected with Leishmania braziliensis promastigotes in the hind footpad were treated with AEE, the dynamics of the infection changed and the footpath thickness was efficiently controlled. The parasite load was also reduced but to a lesser extent than upon treatment with SbV. Combined treatment efficiently controlled both the thickness and parasite load since smaller lesions during the entire course of the infection were seen in the mice treated with AEE plus SbV compared with AEE or SbV alone. We discuss the benefits of combined administration of AEE plus SbV.

  • 11.
    Chuquimia, Olga D.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Immunology.
    Petursdottir, Dagbjort H.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Immunology.
    Periolo, Natalia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Immunology.
    Fernandéz, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Immunology.
    Alveolar epithelial cells are critical in protection of the respiratory tract by secretion of factors able to modulate the activity of pulmonary macrophages and directly control bacterial growth2013In: Infection and Immunity, ISSN 0019-9567, E-ISSN 1098-5522, Vol. 81, no 1, p. 381-389Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The respiratory epithelium is a physical and functional barrier actively involved in the clearance of environmental agents. The alveolar compartment is lined with membranous pneumocytes known as type I alveolar epithelial cells (AEC I), and granular pneumocytes, type II alveolar epithelial cells (AEC II). AEC II are responsible for epithelial reparation upon injury and ion transport and are very active immunologically contributing to lung defense by secreting antimicrobial factors. AEC II also secrete a broad variety of factors such as cytokines and chemokines involved in activation and differentiation of immune cells and are able to present antigen to specific T cells. Another cell type important in lung defense is the pulmonary macrophage (PuM). Considering the architecture of the alveoli, a good communication between the external and the internal compartments is crucial to mount effective responses. Our hypothesis is that being in the interface; AEC may play an important role in transmitting signals from the external to the internal compartment and in modulating the activity of PuM. For this, we collected supernatants from AEC unstimulated or stimulated in vitro with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). These AEC-conditioned media were used in various setups to test for the effect on a number of macrophage functions: a) migration; b) phagocytosis and intracellular control of bacterial growth and c) phenotypic changes and morphology. Finally, we tested the direct effect of AEC-conditioned media on bacterial growth. We found that AEC-secreted factors had a dual effect, in one hand controlling bacterial growth and on the other hand increasing macrophage activity.

  • 12. Dorlo, Thomas P. C.
    et al.
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Troye-Blomberg, Marita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    De Vries, Peter J.
    Boraschi, Diana
    Mbacham, Wilfred F.
    Poverty-Related Diseases College: a virtual African-European network to build research capacity2016In: BMJ global health, ISSN 2059-7908, Vol. 1, no 1, article id e000032Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Poverty-Related Diseases College was a virtual African-European college and network that connected young African and European biomedical scientists working on poverty-related diseases. The aim of the Poverty-Related Diseases College was to build sustainable scientific capacity and international networks in poverty-related biomedical research in the context of the development of Africa. The Poverty-Related Diseases College consisted of three elective and mandatory training modules followed by a reality check in Africa and a science exchange in either Europe or the USA. In this analysis paper, we present our experience and evaluation, discuss the strengths and encountered weaknesses of the programme, and provide recommendations to policymakers and funders.

  • 13.
    Haileselassie, Yeneneh
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Johansson, Maria A.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Zimmer, Christine L.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Björkander, Sophia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Petursdottir, Dagbjort H.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Dicksved, Johan
    Petersson, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
    Persson, Jan-Olov
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Roos, Stefan
    Holmlund, Ulrika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Sverremark-Ekström, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Lactobacilli Regulate Staphylococcus aureus 161:2-Induced Pro-Inflammatory T-Cell Responses In Vitro2013In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There seems to be a correlation between early gut microbiota composition and postnatal immune development. Alteration in the microbial composition early in life has been associated with immune mediated diseases, such as autoimmunity and allergy. We have previously observed associations between the presence of lactobacilli and Staphylococcus (S.) aureus in the early-life gut microbiota, cytokine responses and allergy development in children. Consistent with the objective to understand how bacteria modulate the cytokine response of intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) lines and immune cells, we exposed IEC lines (HT29, SW480) to UV-killed bacteria and/or culture supernatants (-sn) from seven Lactobacillus strains and three S. aureus strains, while peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMC) from healthy donors were stimulated by bacteria-sn or with bacteria conditioned IEC-sn. Although the overall IEC response to bacterial exposure was characterized by limited sets of cytokine and chemokine production, S. aureus 161: 2-sn induced an inflammatory response in the IEC, characterized by CXCL1/GROa and CXCL8/IL-8 production, partly in a MyD88-dependent manner. UV-killed bacteria did not induce a response in the IEC line, and a combination of both UV-killed bacteria and the bacteria-sn had no additive effect to that of the supernatant alone. In PBMC, most of the Lactobacillus-sn and S. aureus-sn strains were able to induce a wide array of cytokines, but only S. aureus-sn induced the T-cell associated cytokines IL-2, IL-17 and IFN-gamma, independently of IEC-produced factors, and induced up regulation of CTLA-4 expression and IL-10 production by T-regulatory cells. Notably, S. aureus-sn-induced T-cell production of IFN-gamma and IL-17 was down regulated by the simultaneous presence of any of the different Lactobacillus strains, while the IEC CXCL8/IL-8 response was unaltered. Thus these studies present a possible role for lactobacilli in induction of immune cell regulation, although the mechanisms need to be further elucidated.

  • 14. Khan, Md Kawsar
    et al.
    Zaman, Shabnam
    Chakraborty, Sajib
    Chakravorty, Rajib
    Alam, Mohammad Murshid
    Bhuiyan, Taufiqur Rahman
    Rahman, Muhammad Jubayer
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Qadri, Firdausi
    Seraj, Zeba I.
    In silico predicted mycobacterial epitope elicits in vitro T-cell responses2014In: Molecular Immunology, ISSN 0161-5890, E-ISSN 1872-9142, Vol. 61, no 1, p. 16-22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Epitope-based vaccines permit the selection of only a specific subset of epitopes to induce the necessary immune response, thus providing a rational alternative to conventional design approaches. Using a range of immunoinformatics tools, we identified a novel, contiguous 28 amino acid multi-epitope cluster within the highly conserved secretory protein Ag85B of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB. This cluster, named Ep85B, is composed of epitopes which bind to three HLA Class I and 15 Class II molecules, and harbors the potential to generate 99% population coverage in TB-endemic regions. We experimentally evaluated the capacity of Ep85B to elicit T-cell immune responses using whole blood cells and, as predicted, observed significant increases in populations of both CD4+ and memory CD4+ CD45RO+ T-cells. Our results demonstrate the practical utility of an epitope-based design methodology - a strategy that, following further evaluation, may serve as an additional tool for the development of novel vaccine candidates against TB and other diseases.

  • 15.
    Rahman, Muhammad J
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Chuquimia, Olga D
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Petursdottir, Dagbjort H
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Periolo, Natalia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Singh, Mahavir
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Impact of Toll-like receptor 2 deficiency on immune responses to mycobacterial antigens2011In: Infection and Immunity, ISSN 0019-9567, E-ISSN 1098-5522, Vol. 79, no 11, p. 4649-4656Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the present study, we addressed the question of whether Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)-mediated innate immunity can contribute to the development of acquired immune responses. We immunized TLR2(-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice three times subcutaneously with the mycobacterial antigen (Ag19kDa) (a TLR2 ligand) or Ag85A (not a TLR2 ligand). One week after the last immunization, sera and spleens were collected. To evaluate cellular responses, we measured gamma interferon (IFN-γ) after in vitro restimulation of spleen cells with antigen alone or antigen-pulsed bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM(Ag)) or pulmonary macrophages (PuM(Ag)). Antibody responses were comparable in the two mouse strains, but we observed differences in the cellular responses. Recall responses to Ag85A were similar in the two strains, but responses to Ag19kDa given alone or presented by BMM or PuM were lower in TLR2(-/-) than in WT mice. The largest differences in cellular responses were observed when Ag19kDa was presented by PuM. To understand this, we analyzed phenotypic and functional differences between BMM and PuM upon stimulation with various ligands. Generally, PuM had a lower response to the TLR2 ligand Pam(3)Cys-Ser-(Lys)(4) trihydrochloride and to anti-CD40 than BMM, as measured by cytokine secretion and upregulation of costimulatory molecules. This might provide a partial explanation for the lower capacity of PuM when pulsed with Ag19kDa, also a TLR2 ligand. Altogether, our results revealed weaknesses in the T cell and antigen-presenting cell (APC) compartments of the Ag19kDa-immunized TLR2(-/-) mice but indicated that specific immune responses could be generated in the absence of TLR2 regardless of the characteristics of the antigen used.

  • 16.
    Rahman, Muhammad Jubayer
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Department of Immunology.
    Chuquimia, Olga D
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Department of Immunology.
    Singh, Mahavir
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Department of Immunology.
    Immunization with mycobacterial antigens: a role for innate immunity in antigen presentationManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    We have found that toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 was important in the control of mycobacterial infection in the lungs. However, it is unclear how the TLR2-mediated innate immunity contributes to the development of acquired immune responses upon immunization with mycobacterial antigens. In the present study, we addressed this issue by immunizing TLR2 knockout (TLR2-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice with mycobacterial 19kDa (TLR2 ligand) or Ag85A (non-TLR2 ligand) antigens. We compared both humoral and cellular immune responses in the two mouse strains. Interferon gamma (IFN-g) responses were measured in the culture supernatants after in vitro restimulation of spleen cells with antigen alone, antigen-pulsed bone marrow derived macrophages (BMMAg) or BCG-infected BMM (BMMBCG). We found that the magnitude of antigen-specific antibody responses in serum was comparable in the two mouse strains. With regard to the two antigens, immunization with 19kDa induces more Th1 type immune responses compared to the immunization with Ag85A. We observed differences in the response of the two strains upon restimulation with antigen alone or with BMMAg regarding 19kDa. Recall IFN-g responses to 19kDa were significantly lower in the TLR2-/- mice compared to the WT mice. Interestingly, IFN-g responses to BMMBCG were similar in both strains probably due to the fact that BCG targets other cell surface molecules. The expression of CD86 in the BMMBCG was found to be TLR2-independent whereas in the BMMAg it was TLR2-dependent.

    Altogether, results from this study indicate that specific immune responses could be generated in the absence of TLR2 regardless of the characteristics of the antigens (TLR2 dependent or independent) used for immunization. We discuss the relevance of innate immunity for the induction of acquired immune responses.

  • 17.
    Rahman, Muhammad Jubayer
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Dégano, Irene Roman
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Singh, Mahavir
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Immunology.
    Influence of maternal gestational treatment with mycobacterial antigens on postnatal immunity in an experimental murine model2010In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 5, no 3, p. e9699-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been proposed that the immune system could be primed as early as during the fetal life and this might have an impact on postnatal vaccination. Therefore, we addressed in murine models whether gestational treatment with mycobacterial antigens could induce better immune responses in the postnatal life. METHODS/FINDINGS: BALB/c mice were treated subcutaneously (s.c.) at the second week of gestation with antigen (Ag)85A or heparin-binding hemagglutinin (HBHA) in the absence of adjuvant. Following birth, offspring mice were immunized intranasally (i.n.) with the same antigens formulated with the adjuvant cholera toxin (CT) at week 1 and week 4. One week after the last immunization, we assessed antigen-specific recall interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) responses by in vitro restimulation of lung-derived lymphocytes. Protection against infection was assessed by challenge with high dose Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) given i.n. We found that recall IFN-gamma responses were higher in the offspring born to the treated mother compared to the untreated-mother. More importantly, we observed that the offspring born to the treated mother controlled infection better than the offspring born to the untreated mother. Since the gestational treatment was done in absence of adjuvant, essentially there was no antibody production observed in the pregnant mice and therefore no influence of maternal antibodies was expected. We hypothesized that the effect of maternal treatment with antigen on the offspring occurred due to antigen transportation through placenta. To trace the antigens, we conjugated fluorescent nanocrystals with Ag85A (Qdot-ITK-Ag85A). After inoculation in the pregnant mice, Qdot-ITK-Ag85A conjugates were detected in the liver, spleen of pregnant females and in all the fetuses and placentas examined. CONCLUSION: The fetal immune system could be primed in utero by mycobacterial antigens transported through the placenta.

  • 18.
    Rahman, Muhammad Jubayer
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Department of Immunology.
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute , Department of Immunology.
    Neonatal vaccination with Mycobacterium bovis BCG: potential effects as a priming agent shown in a heterologous prime-boost immunization protocol2009In: Vaccine, ISSN 0264-410X, E-ISSN 1873-2518, Vol. 27, no 30, p. 4038-4046Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In general prime-boost immunization including Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) as a priming agent has been a recent successful strategy in animal models. However, the effects of BCG as a priming vaccine have not been investigated systematically. Thus, we modelled a heterologous prime-boost immunization in mice with BCG administered at the neonatal period and mycobacterial heparin-binding hemagglutinin (HBHA) at adult ages. Mice were challenged with a high dose of BCG (10(7) colony forming units) via intranasal (i.n.) route. We addressed whether the route of administration and addition of adjuvants could be of importance in HBHA-immunizations while animals were primed with BCG. Our results showed that prime-boost immunization induced significantly higher levels of protection in animals compared to the group vaccinated with BCG alone. Most importantly, the levels of protection were comparable between the i.n. and subcutaneous (s.c.) boostings with native (n) HBHA and the coadministration of adjuvant was not necessary. Moreover, priming with BCG improved also the protection promoted by the recombinant form of HBHA, even if to a lower degree to that observed after nHBHA boosting. In general, vaccination with BCG prior to the HBHA administration was found to contribute in two ways: it primed the immune system and provided adjuvant effect. We discuss the several outcomes following neonatal BCG priming and HBHA boosting for better protection against tuberculosis

  • 19.
    Rodriguez, Ariane
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Tjärnlund, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Ivanyi, Juraj
    Singh, Mahavir
    García, Irene
    Williams, Ann
    Marsh, Philip
    Troye-Blomberg, Marita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute .
    Role of IgA in the defense against respiratory infections: IgA deficient mice exhibited increased susceptibility to intranasal infection with Mycobacterium bovis BCG2005In: Vaccine, ISSN 0264-410X, E-ISSN 1873-2518, Vol. 23, no 20, p. 2565-2572Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    IgA is the predominant Ig isotype in mucosal tissue and is believed to be involved in defense against viral and bacterial infections at these sites. Here, we examined the role of IgA in the protection against intranasal (i.n.) infection with Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). IgA deficient (IgA−/−) mice and wild type non-targeted littermate (IgA+/+) mice were immunized by i.n. route with the mycobacterium surface antigen PstS-1 formulated with cholera toxin (CT). Our data showed that IgA−/− mice were more susceptible to BCG infection compared to IgA+/+ mice, as revealed by the higher bacterial loads in the lungs and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Analysis of the Ig levels and the antibody responses to PstS-1 showed that IgA−/− mice had no detectable IgA either in the saliva or in the BAL. However, these mice displayed higher levels of total and specific IgM than IgA+/+ mice in both mucosal fluids. More importantly, analysis of the cytokine responses revealed a reduction in the IFN-γ and TNF-α production in the lungs of IgA−/− compared to IgA+/+ mice. Altogether, our results suggest that IgA may play a role in protection against mycobacterial infections in the respiratory tract by blocking the pathogen entrance and/or by modulating the pro-inflammatory responses.

  • 20.
    Wang, Xiao
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Sjölinder, Michael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Wan, Yi
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Rovere, Marco De
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Petursdottir, Dagbjört
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Fernández, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Sjölinder, Hong
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
    Protective role of CD46 against mycobacterial infection through functional modulation of macrophagesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
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