Clinical evaluation of therapeutic tumor vaccines has resulted in examination and comparison of the types of immune function assays required to monitor tumor antigen-stimulated T cell effector function in immunized patients. Three of the most commonly used assays include ELISPOT, tetramer assay, and cytokine flow cytometry (CFC). Discussed are the method and principles for each assay and an assessment of important methodological, reagent, and data acquisition issues that are relevant for the accurate and effective use of the assays. The sensitivity and utility of the assays and present arguments advocating their integrated use in future immunomonitoring studies are also discussed.
Redirecting T cells by transferring T cell receptor (TCR) genes from tumor- associated antigen (TAA)-reactive T cell clones into human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) has therapeutic potential for the treatment of diseases, including cancer. T cell specificity can be altered using retroviruses encoding TCRalpha and TCRbeta chain genes, or chimeric immunoglobulin (cIg) genes containing signaling domains of CD3 zeta or FcepsivRIgamma. This review evaluates recent studies using TCRs and cIgs to redirect T cell specificity and discusses some of the technical and biological hurdles that need to be addressed before these approaches can be successfully used to treat patients.
Chemokines play an important role in the generation of the immune system and in virtually every aspect of an immune response. The role of chemokines in antitumor immunity has been less straightforward to discern. A dichotomy exists in the field. One area of research has focused on the impact of tumor-derived chemokines, implicating them in everything from metastases to immune suppression. Another area of research has been dedicated to the introduction of chemokines into tumor cells in order to facilitate immune cell recruitment. In this review these two areas of investigation will be explored.
The human immune system is under constant challenge from many viruses, some of which the body is successfully able to clear. Other viruses have evolved to escape the host immune responses and thus persist, leading to the development of chronic diseases. Dendritic cells are professional antigen-presenting cells that play a major role in both innate and adaptive immunity against different pathogens. This review focuses on the interaction of different chronic viruses with dendritic cells and the viruses’ ability to exploit this critical cell type to their advantage so as to establish persistence within the host.
Fibrinogen-like protein 2 (Fgl2), a member of the fibrinogen family, can be expressed as a membrane-associated protein with coagulation activity or in a secreted form possessing unique immune suppressive functions. The biological importance of Fgl2 is evident within viral-induced fibrin depositing inflammatory diseases and malignancies and provides a compelling rationale for Fgl2 expression to not only be considered as a disease biomarker but also as a therapeutic target. This article will provide a comprehensive review of the currently known biological properties of Fgl2 and clarifies future scientific directives.
Despite the progress made in the clinical management of sepsis, sepsis morbidity and mortality rates remain high. The inflammatory pathogenesis and organ injury leading to death from sepsis are not fully understood for vital organs, especially the liver. Only recently has the role of the liver in sepsis begun to be revealed. Pre-existing liver dysfunction is a risk factor for the progression of infection to sepsis. Liver dysfunction after sepsis is an independent risk factor for multiple organ dysfunction and sepsis-induced death. The liver works as a lymphoid organ in response to sepsis. Acting as a double-edged sword in sepsis, the liver-mediated immune response is responsible for clearing bacteria and toxins but also causes inflammation, immunosuppression, and organ damage. Attenuating liver injury and restoring liver function lowers morbidity and mortality rates in patients with sepsis. This review summarizes the central role of liver in the host immune response to sepsis and in clinical outcomes.
The impact of the endogenous cannabinoids (AEA, 2-AG, PEA, and virodamine) on the immune cell expressed cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2, TRPV-1, and GPR55) and consequent regulation of immune function is an exciting area of research with potential implications in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Despite significant advances in understanding the mechanisms through which cannabinoids regulate immune functions, not much is known about the role of endocannabinoids in the pathogenesis or prevention of autoimmune diseases. Inasmuch as CB2 expression on immune cells and its role has been widely reported, the importance of CB1 in immunological disorders has often been overlooked especially because it is not highly expressed on naive immune cells. Therefore, the current review aims at delineating the effect of endocannabinoids on CB1 receptors in T cell driven autoimmune diseases. This review will also highlight some autoimmune diseases in which there is evidence indicating a role for endocannabinoids in the regulation of autoimmune pathogenesis. Overall, based on the evidence presented using the endocannabinoids, specifically AEA, we propose that the peripheral CB1 receptor is involved in the regulation and amelioration of inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases.
Neutropenia frequently occurs in patients with Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Causes for neutropenia during HIV infection are multifactoral, including the viral toxicity to hematopoietic tissue, the use of myelotoxic agents for treatment, complication with secondary infections and malignancies, as well as the patient’s association with confounding factors which impair myelopoiesis. An increased prevalence and severity of neutropenia is commonly seen in advanced stages of HIV disease. Decline of neutrophil phagocytic defense in combination with the failure of adaptive immunity renders the host highly susceptible to developing fatal secondary infections. Neutropenia and myelosuppression also restrict the use of many antimicrobial agents for treatment of infections caused by HIV and opportunistic pathogens. In recent years, HIV infection has increasingly become a chronic disease because of progress in antiretroviral therapy (ART). Prevention and treatment of severe neutropenia becomes critical for improving the survival of HIV-infected patients.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Although the etiology of MS is unknown, genetic and environmental factors play a role. Infectious pathogens are the likely environmental factors involved in the development of MS. Pathogens associated with the development or exacerbation of MS include bacteria, such asMycoplasma pneumoniaeandChlamydia pneumoniae, theStaphylococcus aureus-produced enterotoxins that function as superantigens, viruses of the herpes virus (Epstein-Barr virus and human herpesvirus 6) and human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) families and the protozoaAcanthamoeba castellanii. Evidence, from studies with humans and animal models, supporting the association of these various pathogens with the development and/or exacerbation of MS will be discussed along with the potential mechanisms including molecular mimicry, epitope spreading and bystander activation. In contrast, infection with certain parasites such as helminthes (Schistosoma mansoni,Fasciola hepatica,Hymenolepis nana,Trichuris trichiura,Ascaris lumbricoides,Strongyloides stercolaris,Enterobius vermicularis) appears to protect against the development or exacerbation of MS. Evidence supporting the ability of parasitic infections to protect against disease will be discussed along with a brief summary of a recent Phase I clinical trial testing the ability ofTrichuris suisova treatment to improve the clinical course of MS. A complex interaction between the CNS (including the blood-brain barrier), multiple infections with various infectious agents (occurring in the periphery or within the CNS), and the immune response to those various infections may have to be deciphered before the etiology of MS can be fully understood.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic relapsing immune-mediated inflammatory disorder that affects millions of people around the world. Leptin is a satiety hormone produced primarily by adipose tissue and acts both centrally and peripherally. Leptin has been shown to play a major role in regulating metabolism, which increases during IBD progression. Leptin mediates several physiological functions including elevated blood pressure, tumorogenesis, cardiovascular pathologies and enhanced immune response in many autoimmune diseases. Recent development of a leptin mutant antagonist that blocks leptin activity raises great hope and opens up new possibilities for therapy in many autoimmune diseases including IBD. To this end, preliminary data from an ongoing study in our laboratory on pegylated leptin antagonist mutant L39A/D40A/F41A (PEG-MLA) treatment shows an inhibition of chronic colitis in IL-10?/?mice. PEG-MLA effectively attenuates the overall clinical scores, reverses colitis-associated pathogenesis including a decrease in body weight, and decreases systemic leptin level. PEG-MLA induces both central and peripheral leptin deficiency by mediating the cellular immune response. In summary, after blocking leptin activity, the correlative outcome between leptin-mediated cellular immune response, systemic leptin levels, and amount of adipose tissue together may provide new strategies for therapeutic intervention in autoimmune diseases, especially for intestinal inflammation.
Patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) are usually treated by a multimodal approach with surgery and/or radiochemotherapy as the mainstay of local–regional treatment in cases with advanced disease. Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy have the disadvantage of causing severe side effects, while the clinical outcome of patients diagnosed with HNSCC has remained essentially unchanged over the last decade. The potential of immunotherapy is still largely unexplored. Here the authors review the current status of the art and discuss the future challenges in HNSCC treatment and prevention.
As the second most common cause of cancer-related death in women, human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines have been a major step in decreasing the morbidity and mortality associated with cervical cancer. An estimated 490,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Increasing knowledge of the HPV role in the etiology of cervical cancer has led to the development and introduction of HPV-based vaccines for active immunotherapy of cervical cancer. Immunotherapies directed at preventing HPV-persistent infections. These vaccines are already accessible for prophylaxis and in the near future, they will be available for the treatment of preexisting HPV-related neoplastic lesions.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be divided into two major categories, ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn disease (CD). While the main cause(s) of IBD remain unknown, a number of interventional and preventive strategies have been proposed for use against CD and UC. Many reports have focused on the use of alternative natural medicines as potential therapeutic interventions in IBD patients with minimal side effects. While the use of alternative medicines may be effective in IBD patients that are refractory to corticosteroids or thiopurins, alternative treatment strategies are limited and require extensive clinical testing before being optimized for use in patients.
Cross-talk within the innate immune pathways is highly complex and contains many unknowns. Here, we discuss the different combinations of PAMPs, together with the sequence, order, and dosage of consecutive PAMP challenges, which determine the nature of the immune response by macrophages. The engagement of different Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands leads to quantitatively and qualitatively unique cytokine production, showing that TLR pathway crosstalk enables the innate immune system to orchestrate immediate local and global responses. It is likely that multiple pathways are involved in the regulation of cytokine synergy, including many that have yet to be discovered.
Cancer immunotherapy is a thriving field, but its clinical achievements are modest so far. One of its major hurdles seems to be finding a feasible cancer antigen as a target for immune response. After many years of research, three major criteria for choice of tumor antigens emerged. An antigen should be: (i) immunogenic; (ii) essential for cancers cells (to avoid its loss through immunoediting), but dispensable for normal tissues to reduce the risk of toxicity, and (iii) overexpressed in tumors as compared to the normal tissues. Here we argue that p62 (SQSTM1), a protein involved in autophagy and signal transduction, fits all the above criteria and can be chosen as a novel cancer antigen. Accordingly, we carried out an extensive study and found antitumor and antimetastatic activity of p62-encoding DNA vaccine in five types of commonly used transplantable tumor models of mice and rats, and spontaneous tumors in several dogs. Given that toxicity of p62 vaccine was minimal, if any, we believe that p62-encoding vaccine merits further clinical development.