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How particular bone marrow niche factors contribute to the leukemogenic activities of leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) remains largely unknown. Here, we showed that ATP levels were markedly increased in the bone marrow niches of mice with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and LICs preferentially localized to the endosteal niche with relatively high ATP levels, as indicated by a sensitive ATP indicator. ATP could efficiently induce the influx of ions into LICs in an MLL-AF9–induced murine AML model via the ligand-gated ion channel P2X7. P2x7 deletion led to notably impaired homing and self-renewal capacities of LICs and contributed to an approximately 5-fold decrease in the number of functional LICs but had no effect on normal hematopoiesis. ATP/P2X7 signaling enhanced the calcium flux–mediated phosphorylation of CREB, which further transactivated phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (Phgdh) expression to maintain serine metabolism and LIC fates. P2X7 knockdown resulted in a markedly extended survival of recipients transplanted with either human AML cell lines or primary leukemia cells. Blockade of ATP/P2X7 signaling could efficiently inhibit leukemogenesis. Here, we provide a perspective for understanding how ATP/P2X7 signaling sustains LIC activities, which may benefit the development of specific strategies for targeting LICs or other types of cancer stem cells.
Xiaoxiao He, Jiangbo Wan, Xiaona Yang, Xiuze Zhang, Dan Huang, Xie Li, Yejun Zou, Chiqi Chen, Zhuo Yu, Li Xie, Yaping Zhang, Ligen Liu, Shangang Li, Yuzheng Zhao, Hongfang Shao, Ye Yu, Junke Zheng
Total views: 10456
Recent studies have shown T cell cross-recognition of SARS-CoV-2 and common cold coronavirus spike proteins. However, the effect of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines on T cell responses to common cold coronaviruses remain unknown. In this study, we analyzed CD4+ T cell responses to spike peptides from SARS-CoV-2 and 3 common cold coronaviruses (HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-OC43) before and after study participants received Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) or Moderna (mRNA-1273) mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine recipients made broad T cell responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and we identified 23 distinct targeted peptides in 9 participants including one peptide that was targeted by 6 individuals. Only 4 out of these 23 targeted peptides would potentially be affected by mutations in the UK (B.1.1.7) and South African (B.1.351) variants and CD4+ T cells from vaccine recipients recognized the 2 variant spike proteins as effectively as the spike protein from the ancestral virus. Interestingly, we saw a 3-fold increase in the CD4+ T cell responses to HCoV-NL63 spike peptides post-vaccination. Our results suggest that T cell responses elicited or enhanced by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines may be able to control SARS-CoV-2 variants and lead to cross-protection from some endemic coronaviruses.
Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Caroline C. Garliss, Joel N. Blankson
Total views: 6810
Background. Recent studies have reported T cell immunity to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in unexposed donors, possibly due to cross-recognition by T-cells specific for common cold coronaviruses (CCCs). True T-cell cross-reactivity, defined as the recognition by a single TCR of more than one distinct peptide-MHC ligand, has never been shown in the context of SARS-CoV-2. Methods. We used the ViraFEST platform to identify T cell responses cross-reactive for the spike (S) glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs at the T cell receptor (TCR) clonotype level in convalescent COVID-19 patients (CCPs) and SARS-CoV-2-unexposed donors. Confirmation of SARS-CoV-2/CCC cross-reactivity and assessments of functional avidity were performed using a TCR cloning and transfection system. Results. Memory CD4+ T-cell clonotypes that cross-recognized the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and at least one other CCC were detected in 65% of CCPs and unexposed donors. Several of these TCRs were shared among multiple donors. Cross-reactive T-cells demonstrated significantly impaired SARS-CoV-2-specific proliferation in vitro relative to mono-specific CD4+ T-cells, which was consistent with lower functional avidity of their TCRs for SARS CoV-2 relative to CCC. Conclusions. For the first time, our data confirm the existence of unique memory CD4+ T cell clonotypes cross-recognizing SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs. The lower avidity of cross-reactive TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 may be the result of antigenic imprinting, such that pre-existing CCC-specific memory T cells have reduced expansive capacity upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies are needed to determine how these cross-reactive T-cell responses impact clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.
Arbor G. Dykema, Boyang Zhang, Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Caroline C. Garliss, Laurene S. Cheung, Dilshad Choudhury, Jiajia Zhang, Luis Aparicio, Sadhana Bom, Rufiaat Rashid, Justina X. Caushi, Emily Han-Chung Hsiue, Katherine Cascino, Elizabeth A. Thompson, Abena K. Kwaa, Dipika Singh, Sampriti Thapa, Alvaro A. Ordonez, Andrew Pekosz, Franco R. D'Alessio, Jonathan D. Powell, Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian, Shibin Zhou, Drew M. Pardoll, Hongkai Ji, Andrea L. Cox, Joel N. Blankson, Kellie N. Smith
Total views: 2496
Immune checkpoint blockade therapy has demonstrated promising clinical outcomes for multiple cancer types. However, the emergence of resistance as well as inadequate biomarkers for patient stratification have largely limited the clinical benefits. Here, we showed that tumors with high TYRO3 expression exhibited anti–programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death ligand 1 (anti–PD-1/PD-L1) resistance in a syngeneic mouse model and in patients who received anti–PD-1/PD-L1 therapy. Mechanistically, TYRO3 inhibited tumor cell ferroptosis triggered by anti–PD-1/PD-L1 and facilitated the development of a protumor microenvironment by reducing the M1/M2 macrophage ratio, resulting in resistance to anti–PD-1/PD-L1 therapy. Inhibition of TYRO3 promoted tumor ferroptosis and sensitized resistant tumors to anti–PD-1 therapy. Collectively, our findings suggest that TYRO3 could serve as a predictive biomarker for patient selection and a promising therapeutic target to overcome anti–PD-1/PD-L1 resistance.
Zhou Jiang, Seung-Oe Lim, Meisi Yan, Jennifer L. Hsu, Jun Yao, Yongkun Wei, Shih-Shin Chang, Hirohito Yamaguchi, Heng-Huan Lee, Baozhen Ke, Jung-Mao Hsu, Li-Chuan Chan, Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, Liuqing Yang, Chunru Lin, Dihua Yu, Mien-Chie Hung
Total views: 2006
Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in genes encoding components of the primary cilium and is characterized by hyperphagic obesity. To investigate the molecular basis of obesity in human BBS, we developed a cellular model of BBS using induced pluripotent stem cell–derived (iPSC-derived) hypothalamic arcuate-like neurons. BBS mutations BBS1M390R and BBS10C91fsX95 did not affect neuronal differentiation efficiency but caused morphological defects, including impaired neurite outgrowth and longer primary cilia. Single-cell RNA sequencing of BBS1M390R hypothalamic neurons identified several downregulated pathways, including insulin and cAMP signaling and axon guidance. Additional studies demonstrated that BBS1M390R and BBS10C91fsX95 mutations impaired insulin signaling in both human fibroblasts and iPSC-derived neurons. Overexpression of intact BBS10 fully restored insulin signaling by restoring insulin receptor tyrosine phosphorylation in BBS10C91fsX95 neurons. Moreover, mutations in BBS1 and BBS10 impaired leptin-mediated p-STAT3 activation in iPSC-derived hypothalamic neurons. Correction of the BBS mutation by CRISPR rescued leptin signaling. POMC expression and neuropeptide production were decreased in BBS1M390R and BBS10C91fsX95 iPSC–derived hypothalamic neurons. In the aggregate, these data provide insights into the anatomic and functional mechanisms by which components of the BBSome in CNS primary cilia mediate effects on energy homeostasis.
Liheng Wang, Yang Liu, George Stratigopoulos, Sunil Panigrahi, Lina Sui, Yiying Zhang, Charles A. Leduc, Hannah J. Glover, Maria Caterina De Rosa, Lisa C. Burnett, Damian J. Williams, Linshan Shang, Robin Goland, Stephen H. Tsang, Sharon Wardlaw, Dieter Egli, Deyou Zheng, Claudia A. Doege, Rudolph L. Leibel
Total views: 1941
Aberrant lipid metabolism promotes the development of skeletal muscle insulin resistance, but the exact identity of lipid-mediated mechanisms relevant to human obesity remains unclear. A comprehensive lipidomic analysis of primary myocytes from individuals who were insulin-sensitive and lean (LN) or insulin-resistant with obesity (OB) revealed several species of lysophospholipids (lyso-PLs) that were differentially abundant. These changes coincided with greater expression of lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 3 (LPCAT3), an enzyme involved in phospholipid transacylation (Lands cycle). Strikingly, mice with skeletal muscle–specific knockout of LPCAT3 (LPCAT3-MKO) exhibited greater muscle lysophosphatidylcholine/phosphatidylcholine, concomitant with improved skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. Conversely, skeletal muscle–specific overexpression of LPCAT3 (LPCAT3-MKI) promoted glucose intolerance. The absence of LPCAT3 reduced phospholipid packing of cellular membranes and increased plasma membrane lipid clustering, suggesting that LPCAT3 affects insulin receptor phosphorylation by modulating plasma membrane lipid organization. In conclusion, obesity accelerates the skeletal muscle Lands cycle, whose consequence might induce the disruption of plasma membrane organization that suppresses muscle insulin action.
Patrick J. Ferrara, Xin Rong, J. Alan Maschek, Anthony R.P. Verkerke, Piyarat Siripoksup, Haowei Song, Thomas D. Green, Karthickeyan C. Krishnan, Jordan M. Johnson, John Turk, Joseph A. Houmard, Aldons J. Lusis, Micah J. Drummond, Joseph M. McClung, James E. Cox, Saame Raza Shaikh, Peter Tontonoz, William L. Holland, Katsuhiko Funai
Total views: 1884
BACKGROUND The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) rapidly progressed to a global pandemic. Although some patients totally recover from COVID-19 pneumonia, the disease’s long-term effects on the brain still need to be explored.METHODS We recruited 51 patients with 2 subtypes of COVID-19 (19 mild and 32 severe) with no specific neurological manifestations at the acute stage and no obvious lesions on the conventional MRI 3 months after discharge. Changes in gray matter morphometry, cerebral blood flow (CBF), and white matter (WM) microstructure were investigated using MRI. The relationship between brain imaging measurements and inflammation markers was further analyzed.RESULTS Compared with healthy controls, the decrease in cortical thickness/CBF and the changes in WM microstructure were more severe in patients with severe disease than in those with mild disease, especially in the frontal and limbic systems. Furthermore, changes in brain microstructure, CBF, and tract parameters were significantly correlated (P < 0.05) with the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, and interleukin 6.CONCLUSION Indirect injury related to inflammatory storm may damage the brain, altering cerebral volume, CBF, and WM tracts. COVID-19–related hypoxemia and dysfunction of vascular endothelium may also contribute to neurological changes. The abnormalities in these brain areas need to be monitored during recovery, which could help clinicians understand the potential neurological sequelae of COVID-19.FUNDING Natural Science Foundation of China.
Yuanyuan Qin, Jinfeng Wu, Tao Chen, Jia Li, Guiling Zhang, Di Wu, Yiran Zhou, Ning Zheng, Aoling Cai, Qin Ning, Anne Manyande, Fuqiang Xu, Jie Wang, Wenzhen Zhu
Total views: 1827
BACKGROUND Since December 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in Wuhan, and is now becoming a global threat. We aimed to delineate and compare the immunological features of severe and moderate COVID-19.METHODS In this retrospective study, the clinical and immunological characteristics of 21 patients (17 male and 4 female) with COVID-19 were analyzed. These patients were classified as severe (11 cases) and moderate (10 cases) according to the guidelines released by the National Health Commission of China.RESULTS The median age of severe and moderate cases was 61.0 and 52.0 years, respectively. Common clinical manifestations included fever, cough, and fatigue. Compared with moderate cases, severe cases more frequently had dyspnea, lymphopenia, and hypoalbuminemia, with higher levels of alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, ferritin, and D-dimer as well as markedly higher levels of IL-2R, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α. Absolute numbers of T lymphocytes, CD4+ T cells, and CD8+ T cells decreased in nearly all the patients, and were markedly lower in severe cases (294.0, 177.5, and 89.0 × 106/L, respectively) than moderate cases (640.5, 381.5, and 254.0 × 106/L, respectively). The expression of IFN-γ by CD4+ T cells tended to be lower in severe cases (14.1%) than in moderate cases (22.8%).CONCLUSION The SARS-CoV-2 infection may affect primarily T lymphocytes, particularly CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, resulting in a decrease in numbers as well as IFN-γ production by CD4+ T cells. These potential immunological markers may be of importance because of their correlation with disease severity in COVID-19.TRIAL REGISTRATION This is a retrospective observational study without a trial registration number.FUNDING This work is funded by grants from Tongji Hospital for the Pilot Scheme Project, and partly supported by the Chinese National Thirteenth Five Years Project in Science and Technology for Infectious Disease (2017ZX10202201).
Guang Chen, Di Wu, Wei Guo, Yong Cao, Da Huang, Hongwu Wang, Tao Wang, Xiaoyun Zhang, Huilong Chen, Haijing Yu, Xiaoping Zhang, Minxia Zhang, Shiji Wu, Jianxin Song, Tao Chen, Meifang Han, Shusheng Li, Xiaoping Luo, Jianping Zhao, Qin Ning
Total views: 1670
Melanomas commonly undergo a phenotype switch, from a proliferative to an invasive state. Such tumor cell plasticity contributes to immunotherapy resistance; however, the mechanisms are not completely understood and thus are therapeutically unexploited. Using melanoma mouse models, we demonstrated that blocking the MNK1/2-eIF4E axis inhibited melanoma phenotype switching and sensitized melanoma to anti–PD-1 immunotherapy. We showed that phospho-eIF4E–deficient murine melanomas expressed high levels of melanocytic antigens, with similar results verified in patient melanomas. Mechanistically, we identified phospho-eIF4E–mediated translational control of NGFR, a critical effector of phenotype switching. Genetic ablation of phospho-eIF4E reprogrammed the immunosuppressive microenvironment, exemplified by lowered production of inflammatory factors, decreased PD-L1 expression on dendritic cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and increased CD8+ T cell infiltrates. Finally, dual blockade of the MNK1/2-eIF4E axis and the PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint demonstrated efficacy in multiple melanoma models regardless of their genomic classification. An increase in the presence of intratumoral stem-like TCF1+PD-1+CD8+ T cells, a characteristic essential for durable antitumor immunity, was detected in mice given a MNK1/2 inhibitor and anti–PD-1 therapy. Using MNK1/2 inhibitors to repress phospho-eIF4E thus offers a strategy to inhibit melanoma plasticity and improve response to anti–PD-1 immunotherapy.
Fan Huang, Christophe Gonçalves, Margarita Bartish, Joelle Rémy-Sarrazin, Mark E. Issa, Brendan Cordeiro, Qianyu Guo, Audrey Emond, Mikhael Attias, William Yang, Dany Plourde, Jie Su, Marina Godoy Gimeno, Yao Zhan, Alba Galán, Tomasz Rzymski, Milena Mazan, Magdalena Masiejczyk, Jacek Faber, Elie Khoury, Alexandre Benoit, Natascha Gagnon, David Dankort, Fabrice Journe, Ghanem E. Ghanem, Connie M. Krawczyk, H. Uri Saragovi, Ciriaco A. Piccirillo, Nahum Sonenberg, Ivan Topisirovic, Christopher E. Rudd, Wilson H. Miller Jr., Sonia V. del Rincón
Total views: 1633
Adoptive T cell therapies (ACTs) hold great promise in cancer treatment, but low overall response rates in patients with solid tumors underscore remaining challenges in realizing the potential of this cellular immunotherapy approach. Promoting CD8+ T cell adaptation to tissue residency represents an underutilized but promising strategy to improve tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) function. Here, we report that deletion of the HIF negative regulator von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) in CD8+ T cells induced HIF-1α/HIF-2α–dependent differentiation of tissue-resident memory–like (Trm-like) TILs in mouse models of malignancy. VHL-deficient TILs accumulated in tumors and exhibited a core Trm signature despite an exhaustion-associated phenotype, which led to retained polyfunctionality and response to αPD-1 immunotherapy, resulting in tumor eradication and protective tissue-resident memory. VHL deficiency similarly facilitated enhanced accumulation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells with a Trm-like phenotype in tumors. Thus, HIF activity in CD8+ TILs promotes accumulation and antitumor activity, providing a new strategy to enhance the efficacy of ACTs.
Ilkka Liikanen, Colette Lauhan, Sara Quon, Kyla Omilusik, Anthony T. Phan, Laura Barceló Bartrolí, Amir Ferry, John Goulding, Joyce Chen, James P. Scott-Browne, Jason T. Yustein, Nicole E. Scharping, Deborah A. Witherden, Ananda W. Goldrath
Total views: 1622
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a monogenic disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of severe bone pain, multi-organ failure, and early mortality. Although medical progress over the past several decades has improved clinical outcomes and offered cures for many affected individuals living in high-income countries, most SCD patients still experience substantial morbidity and premature death. Emerging technologies to manipulate somatic cell genomes and insights into the mechanisms of developmental globin gene regulation are generating potentially transformative approaches to cure SCD by autologous hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation. Key components of current approaches include ethical informed consent, isolation of patient HSCs, in vitro genetic modification of HSCs to correct the SCD mutation or circumvent its damaging effects, and reinfusion of the modified HSCs following myelotoxic bone marrow conditioning. Successful integration of these components into effective therapies requires interdisciplinary collaborations between laboratory researchers, clinical caregivers, and patients. Here we summarize current knowledge and research challenges for each key component, emphasizing that the best approaches have yet to be developed.
Phillip A. Doerfler, Akshay Sharma, Jerlym S. Porter, Yan Zheng, John F. Tisdale, Mitchell J. Weiss
Total views: 2074
As part of the centennial celebration of insulin’s discovery, this review summarizes the current understanding of the genetics, pathogenesis, treatment, and outcomes in type 1 diabetes (T1D). T1D results from an autoimmune response that leads to destruction of the β cells in the pancreatic islet and requires lifelong insulin therapy. While much has been learned about T1D, it is now clear that there is considerable heterogeneity in T1D with regard to genetics, pathology, response to immune-based therapies, clinical course, and susceptibility to diabetes-related complications. This Review highlights knowledge gaps and opportunities to improve the understanding of T1D pathogenesis and outlines emerging therapies to treat or prevent T1D and reduce the burden of T1D.
Alvin C. Powers
Total views: 2021
Tumor metastasis is a singularly important determinant of survival in most cancers. Historically, radiation therapy (RT) directed at a primary tumor mass was associated infrequently with remission of metastasis outside the field of irradiation. This away-from-target or “abscopal effect” received fringe attention because of its rarity. With the advent of immunotherapy, there are now increasing reports of abscopal effects upon RT in combination with immune checkpoint inhibition. This sparked investigation into underlying mechanisms and clinical trials aimed at enhancement of this effect. While these studies clearly attribute the abscopal effect to an antitumor immune response, the initial molecular triggers for its onset and specificity remain enigmatic. Here, we propose that DNA damage–induced inflammation coupled with neoantigen generation is essential during this intriguing phenomenon of systemic tumor regression and discuss the implications of this model for treatment aimed at triggering the abscopal effect in metastatic cancer.
Timothy P. Lippert, Roger A. Greenberg
Total views: 1122
Scientific progress and discovery of preventions and cures for life-threatening diseases depend on the vitality of the biomedical research workforce. We analyzed the workforce of cancer researchers applying for and receiving R01 awards from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) from fiscal years 1990 to 2016, the last year prior to implementation of the Next Generation Researchers Initiative. Here we report that the NCI R01 Principal Investigator (PI) workforce expanded 1.4-fold and aged over this time frame. We tracked 9 age groups and found that the number of PIs in the 3 oldest groups increased dramatically, in contrast with the younger groups. Sustained increases in the number of funded older PIs stemmed from increases in the number of older PIs submitting applications, rather than higher funding rates for older PIs. The decline in the number of funded younger PIs was driven in part by (a) a marked increase in time from PhD degree to first R01 application and award, as well as (b) a decrease in retention of PIs in the funded R01 workforce beyond their first R01 award. The NCI is using these and other analyses to inform strategies and policies for attracting, supporting, and retaining meritorious early-career researchers.
Melissa D. Antman, Roman Gorelik, Amy Kennedy, Grace F. Liou, Eddie N. Billingslea, James G. Corrigan, L. Michelle Bennett
Total views: 1088
The immunoprevention of cancer and cancer recurrence is an important area of concern for the scientific community and society as a whole. Researchers have been working for decades to develop vaccines with the potential to alleviate these health care and economic burdens. So far, vaccines have made more progress in preventing cancer than in eliminating already established cancer. In particular, vaccines targeting oncogenic viruses, such as the human papillomavirus and the hepatitis B virus, are exceptional examples of successful prevention of virus-associated cancers, such as cervical cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer-preventive vaccines targeting nonviral antigens, such as tumor-associated antigens and neoantigens, are also being extensively tested. Here, we review the currently approved preventive cancer vaccines; discuss the challenges in this field by covering ongoing preclinical and clinical human trials in various cancers; and address various issues related to maximizing cancer vaccine benefit.
Tomohiro Enokida, Alvaro Moreira, Nina Bhardwaj
Total views: 1071
Since the discovery of myostatin (MSTN; also known as GDF-8) as a critical regulator of skeletal muscle mass in 1997, there has been an extensive effort directed at understanding the cellular and physiological mechanisms underlying MSTN activity, with the long-term goal of developing strategies and agents capable of blocking MSTN signaling to treat patients with muscle loss. Considerable progress has been made in elucidating key components of this regulatory system, and in parallel with this effort has been the development of numerous biologics that have been tested in clinical trials for a wide range of indications, including muscular dystrophy, sporadic inclusion body myositis, spinal muscular atrophy, cachexia, muscle loss due to aging or following falls, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Here, I review what is known about the MSTN regulatory system and the current state of efforts to target this pathway for clinical applications.
Total views: 1002
Diabetes mellitus is a major public health problem, affecting about 10% of the population. Pharmacotherapy aims to protect against microvascular complications, including blindness, end-stage kidney disease, and amputations. Landmark clinical trials have demonstrated that intensive glycemic control slows progression of microvascular complications (retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy). Long-term follow-up has demonstrated that intensive glycemic control also decreases risk of macrovascular disease, albeit rigorous evidence of macrovascular benefit did not emerge for over a decade. The US FDA’s recent requirement for dedicated cardiovascular outcome trials ushered in a golden age for understanding the clinical profiles of new type 2 diabetes drugs. Some clinical trials with sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) receptor agonists reported data demonstrating cardiovascular benefit (decreased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events and hospitalization for heart failure) and slower progression of diabetic kidney disease. This Review discusses current guidelines for use of the 12 classes of drugs approved to promote glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. The Review also anticipates future developments with potential to improve the standard of care: availability of generic dipeptidylpeptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors and SGLT2 inhibitors; precision medicine to identify the best drugs for individual patients; and new therapies to protect against chronic complications of diabetes.
Simeon I. Taylor, Zhinous Shahidzadeh Yazdi, Amber L. Beitelshees
Total views: 931
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spurred a global health crisis. To date, there are no proven options for prophylaxis for those who have been exposed to SARS–CoV-2, nor therapy for those who develop COVID-19. Immune (i.e., “convalescent”) plasma refers to plasma that is collected from individuals following resolution of infection and development of antibodies. Passive antibody administration through transfusion of convalescent plasma may offer the only short-term strategy for conferring immediate immunity to susceptible individuals. There are numerous examples in which convalescent plasma has been used successfully as postexposure prophylaxis and/or treatment of infectious diseases, including other outbreaks of coronaviruses (e.g., SARS-1, Middle East respiratory syndrome [MERS]). Convalescent plasma has also been used in the COVID-19 pandemic; limited data from China suggest clinical benefit, including radiological resolution, reduction in viral loads, and improved survival. Globally, blood centers have robust infrastructure for undertaking collections and constructing inventories of convalescent plasma to meet the growing demand. Nonetheless, there are nuanced challenges, both regulatory and logistical, spanning donor eligibility, donor recruitment, collections, and transfusion itself. Data from rigorously controlled clinical trials of convalescent plasma are also few, underscoring the need to evaluate its use objectively for a range of indications (e.g., prevention vs. treatment) and patient populations (e.g., age, comorbid disease). We provide an overview of convalescent plasma, including evidence of benefit, regulatory considerations, logistical work flow, and proposed clinical trials, as scale-up is brought underway to mobilize this critical resource.
Evan M. Bloch, Shmuel Shoham, Arturo Casadevall, Bruce S. Sachais, Beth Shaz, Jeffrey L. Winters, Camille van Buskirk, Brenda J. Grossman, Michael Joyner, Jeffrey P. Henderson, Andrew Pekosz, Bryan Lau, Amy Wesolowski, Louis Katz, Hua Shan, Paul G. Auwaerter, David Thomas, David J. Sullivan, Nigel Paneth, Eric Gehrie, Steven Spitalnik, Eldad A. Hod, Lewis Pollack, Wayne T. Nicholson, Liise-anne Pirofski, Jeffrey A. Bailey, Aaron A.R. Tobian
Total views: 896
Androgens and estrogens are known to be critical regulators of mammalian physiology and development. While these two classes of steroids share similar structures (in general, estrogens are derived from androgens via the enzyme aromatase), they subserve markedly different functions via their specific receptors. In the past, estrogens such as estradiol were thought to be most important in the regulation of female biology, while androgens such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone were believed to primarily modulate development and physiology in males. However, the emergence of patients with deficiencies in androgen or estrogen hormone synthesis or actions, as well as the development of animal models that specifically target androgen- or estrogen-mediated signaling pathways, have revealed that estrogens and androgens regulate critical biological and pathological processes in both males and females. In fact, the concept of “male” and “female” hormones is an oversimplification of a complex developmental and biological network of steroid actions that directly impacts many organs. In this Review, we will discuss important roles of estrogens in males and androgens in females.
Stephen R. Hammes, Ellis R. Levin
Total views: 633
The field of gene therapy has made considerable progress over the past several years. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have emerged as promising and attractive tools for in vivo gene therapy. Despite the recent clinical successes achieved with recombinant AAVs (rAAVs) for therapeutics, host immune responses against the vector and transgene product have been observed in numerous preclinical and clinical studies. These outcomes have hampered the advancement of AAV gene therapies, preventing them from becoming fully viable and safe medicines. The human immune system is multidimensional and complex. Both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system seem to play a concerted role in the response against rAAVs. While most efforts have been focused on the role of adaptive immunity and developing ways to overcome it, the innate immune system has also been found to have a critical function. Innate immunity not only mediates the initial response to the vector, but also primes the adaptive immune system to launch a more deleterious attack against the foreign vector. This Review highlights what is known about innate immune responses against rAAVs and discusses potential strategies to circumvent these pathways.
Manish Muhuri, Yukiko Maeda, Hong Ma, Sanjay Ram, Katherine A. Fitzgerald, Phillip W.L. Tai, Guangping Gao
Total views: 627