Publications by authors named "Maria Carollo"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Multicentre Harmonisation of a Six-Colour Flow Cytometry Panel for Naïve/Memory T Cell Immunomonitoring.

J Immunol Res 2020 12;2020:1938704. Epub 2020 Apr 12.

Department of Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), Rome 00161, Italy.

Background: Personalised medicine in oncology needs standardised immunological assays. Flow cytometry (FCM) methods represent an essential tool for immunomonitoring, and their harmonisation is crucial to obtain comparable data in multicentre clinical trials. The objective of this study was to design a harmonisation workflow able to address the most effective issues contributing to intra- and interoperator variabilities in a multicentre project.

Methods: The Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, ISS) managed a multiparametric flow cytometric panel harmonisation among thirteen operators belonging to five clinical and research centres of Lazio region (Italy). The panel was based on a backbone mixture of dried antibodies (anti-CD3, anti-CD4, anti-CD8, anti-CD45RA, and anti-CCR7) to detect naïve/memory T cells, recognised as potential prognostic/predictive immunological biomarkers in cancer immunotherapies. The coordinating centre distributed frozen peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and fresh whole blood (WB) samples from healthy donors, reagents, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to participants who performed experiments by their own equipment, in order to mimic a real-life scenario. Operators returned raw and locally analysed data to ISS for central analysis and statistical elaboration.

Results: Harmonised and reproducible results were obtained by sharing experimental set-up and procedures along with centralising data analysis, leading to a reduction of cross-centre variability for naïve/memory subset frequencies particularly in the whole blood setting.

Conclusion: Our experimental and analytical working process proved to be suitable for the harmonisation of FCM assays in a multicentre setting, where high-quality data are required to evaluate potential immunological markers, which may contribute to select better therapeutic options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/1938704DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7153001PMC
February 2021

Cell Propagation of Cholera Toxin CTA ADP-Ribosylating Factor by Exosome Mediated Transfer.

Int J Mol Sci 2018 May 19;19(5). Epub 2018 May 19.

National Center for Global Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.

In this study, we report how the cholera toxin (CT) A subunit (CTA), the enzyme moiety responsible for signaling alteration in host cells, enters the exosomal pathway, secretes extracellularly, transmits itself to a cell population. The first evidence for long-term transmission of CT's toxic effect via extracellular vesicles was obtained in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. To follow the CT intracellular route towards exosome secretion, we used a novel strategy for generating metabolically-labeled fluorescent exosomes that can be counted by flow cytometry assay (FACS) and characterized. Our results clearly show the association of CT with exosomes, together with the heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) and Protein Disulfide Isomerase (PDI) molecules, proteins required for translocation of CTA across the ER membrane into the cytoplasm. Confocal microscopy showed direct internalization of CT containing fluorescent exo into CHO cells coupled with morphological changes in the recipient cells that are characteristic of CT action. Moreover, Me665 cells treated with CT-containing exosomes showed an increase in Adenosine 3',5'-Cyclic Monophosphate (cAMP) level, reaching levels comparable to those seen in cells exposed directly to CT. Our results prompt the idea that CT can exploit an exosome-mediated cell communication pathway to extend its pathophysiological action beyond an initial host cell, into a multitude of cells. This finding could have implications for cholera disease pathogenesis and epidemiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051521DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5983816PMC
May 2018

Conditioned medium from human umbilical vein endothelial cells markedly improves the proliferation and differentiation of circulating endothelial progenitors.

Blood Cells Mol Dis 2016 10 18;61:58-65. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 200, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been suggested as a precious source for generating functionally competent endothelial cells (ECs), candidate for various clinical applications. However, the paucity of these progenitor cells and the technical difficulties for their in vitro growth represent a main limitation to their use. In the present study we hypothesized that the paracrine effects of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) may improve endothelial cell generation from cord blood (CB) EPCs. In line with this hypothesis we showed that HUVEC conditioned medium (CM) or co-culture with HUVECs markedly improved the proliferation and differentiation and delayed the senescence of CB EPCs. The endothelial-promoting effect of CM seems to be related to smaller vesicles including exosomes (sEV/exo) contained in this medium and transferred to CB CD34(+) EPCs: in fact, purified preparations of sEV/exo isolated from CM mimicked the effect of CM to sustain endothelial formation. These observations provided the interesting indication that mature ECs exert a stimulatory effect on endothelial cell differentiation from CD34(+) cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcmd.2016.07.007DOI Listing
October 2016

Parents as source of pertussis transmission in hospitalized young infants.

Infection 2017 Apr 10;45(2):171-178. Epub 2016 Sep 10.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic, and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy.

Purpose: This study was planned to collect evidences of familial pertussis transmission to infants younger than 6 months of age. Understanding the dynamics of transmission of pertussis in families is essential to plan effective prevention strategies that could be integrated in pertussis control.

Methods: The seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to pertussis toxin (PT-IgG) and prolonged cough symptoms were evaluated in parents of 55 infants aged <6 months hospitalized for confirmed pertussis. Parents of 33 infants with lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) and parents of 57 healthy infants admitted as outpatients for hip ultrasound examination (HE) were enrolled as controls.

Results: Parents of pertussis cases had PT-IgG levels significantly higher as compared to LRTI and HE parents. More than 40 % were compatible as transmitters of pertussis to their babies, since they had a level of PT-IgG ≥ 100 IU/ml, which is considered diagnostic for a recent pertussis episode. Based on serology, the percentage of pertussis cases that had at least one parent as source of infection was 49.1 %. When cough symptoms were taken into account, the percentage of parents putative transmitters of the infection to their infants increased to 56.4 %.

Conclusions: Parents are scarcely aware of the household transmission of pertussis to their newborns. Our study highlights the need to advise parents about the likelihood of transmission to the newborn and to be particularly aware of coughing symptoms in the household. Since infection can be asymptomatic, a serological survey of family members should also be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s15010-016-0943-6DOI Listing
April 2017

T-cell polarization: Potential serological markers in preterm and term infants.

Early Hum Dev 2016 10 11;101:69-71. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-Mediate Disease, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Background: The immaturity of immune system characterizes newborn infants. Possible serological markers of Th1 and Th2 immune response are the lymphocyte activation gene-3 (CD223) and soluble CD30, respectively (sCD30).

Aims: The aim of our study was to evaluate the relationship between Th1 and Th2 immune response and gestational age (GA), comparing data in preterm and term neonates.

Study Design: Cord blood from 20 preterm (GA: 33±2weeks, BW 1950±490g) and 20 term infants (GA: 38±1weeks, BW: 3177±330g) were tested for sCD30 and CD223 levels by ELISA. IFNγ levels produced by cord blood lymphocytes were also analyzed, both before and after stimulation with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA).

Results: sCD30 resulted significantly higher in preterm neonates when compared with term neonates (60±7.6 vs 42.6±3.9U/ml p<0.05). CD223 was undetectable in preterm neonates while resulting at a level of 176.1±112.6ng/ml in term neonates. After stimulation with PHA, a significant increase in IFNγ levels was only observed in term neonates (326.6±72.7pg/ml p<0.05).

Conclusions: Our findings show that sCD30 is present and measurable in term and preterm infants, while CD223 is detectable only in term infants and that Th-cell polarization could also depend on gestational age. Our data suggest that a Th2 immune response seems predominant in preterm neonates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2016.03.013DOI Listing
October 2016

Evidence of increased circulation of Bordetella pertussis in the Italian adult population from seroprevalence data (2012-2013).

J Med Microbiol 2016 Jul 13;65(7):649-657. Epub 2016 Apr 13.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Incidence data on pertussis cases in Italy do not show pertussis resurgence as recently described in other European countries. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to pertussis toxin (PT-IgG) in selected adult age groups, who can serve as a reservoir of Bordetella pertussis and be responsible for onward transmission to vulnerable infants. The seroprevalence of PT-IgG was studied in sera collected in 2012-2013 in three age groups: 20-29 years and 30-39 years (reproductive age), and ≥60 years. These data were compared to those from sera collected in similar age groups in 1996-1997. More than 80 % of the adult population analysed in the 2012-2013 group presented detectable levels of PT-IgG (>5 IU ml). PT-IgG titres of 50-99 IU ml, considered indicative of infection in the last few years, and PT-IgG titres of  ≥100 IU ml, considered indicative of recent infection (i.e.within the last year), reached 9.1 % [95 % confidence interval (CI) 6.9-11.3‌  %; 58/639] and 5 % (95 % CI 3.3-6.7 %; 32/639) seroprevalence, respectively. Notably, the proportion of subjects with a seroprevalence indicative of recent infection increased significantly from 9.3 % (95 % CI 7.5-11.1 %; 96/1037) in 1996-1997 to 14.1 % (95 % CI 11.4-16.8 %; 90/639) in 2012-2013. Overall, our data clearly indicate a significant increase in the circulation of B. pertussis in adults in Italy; therefore, it is likely that the statutory notification system underestimates the real incidence of the disease. These findings have implications for preventive strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.000264DOI Listing
July 2016

Persistence of T-cell immune response induced by two acellular pertussis vaccines in children five years after primary vaccination.

New Microbiol 2016 Jan;39(1):35-47

Anti-Infectious Immunity Unit, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and immune-mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

The resurgence of pertussis suggests the need for greater efforts to understand the long-lasting protective responses induced by vaccination. In this paper we dissect the persistence of T memory responses induced by primary vaccination with two different acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines, hexavalent Hexavac® vaccine (Hexavac) (Sanofi Pasteur MSD) and Infanrix hexa® (Infanrix) (Glaxo-SmithKline Biologicals). We evaluated magnitude and duration of T-cell responses to pertussis toxin (PT) by measuring T-cell proliferation, cytokines (IL-2 and IFNγ) production and memory subsets in two groups of children 5 years after primary vaccination. Some of the enrolled children received only primary vaccination, while others had the pre-school boost dose. Positive T-cell responses to PT were detected in 36% of children. Percentage of responsive children, T-cell proliferation and CD4IL-2+ cells were significantly higher in the children primed with Hexavac than in those who received Infanrix vaccine. No major effects of the boost on PT-specific proliferation were observed. Overall, our data documented a persistence of T-cell memory against PT in a minor fraction of children 5 years after primary vaccination. The different responses induced by Hexavac and Infanrix vaccine could rely on differences in PT inactivation process or excipients/adjuvants formulations.
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January 2016

Identification of pertussis-specific effector memory T cells in preschool children.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2015 May 18;22(5):561-9. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Center for Infectious Diseases Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.

Whooping cough remains a problem despite vaccination, and worldwide resurgence of pertussis is evident. Since cellular immunity plays a role in long-term protection against pertussis, we studied pertussis-specific T-cell responses. Around the time of the preschool acellular pertussis (aP) booster dose at 4 years of age, T-cell memory responses were compared in children who were primed during infancy with either a whole-cell pertussis (wP) or an aP vaccine. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated and stimulated with pertussis vaccine antigens for 5 days. T cells were characterized by flow-based analysis of carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) dilution and CD4, CD3, CD45RA, CCR7, gamma interferon (IFN-γ), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) expression. Before the aP preschool booster vaccination, both the proliferated pertussis toxin (PT)-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell fractions (CFSE(dim)) were higher in aP- than in wP-primed children. Post-booster vaccination, more pertussis-specific CD4(+) effector memory cells (CD45RA(-) CCR7(-)) were induced in aP-primed children than in those primed with wP. The booster vaccination did not appear to significantly affect the T-cell memory subsets and functionality in aP-primed or wP-primed children. Although the percentages of Th1 cytokine-producing cells were alike in aP- and wP-primed children pre-booster vaccination, aP-primed children produced more Th1 cytokines due to higher numbers of proliferated pertussis-specific effector memory cells. At present, infant vaccinations with four aP vaccines in the first year of life result in pertussis-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) effector memory T-cell responses that persist in children until 4 years of age and are higher than those in wP-primed children. The booster at 4 years of age is therefore questionable; this may be postponed to 6 years of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00695-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4412945PMC
May 2015

Humoral and B-cell memory responses in children five years after pertussis acellular vaccine priming.

Vaccine 2014 Apr 18;32(18):2093-9. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

Anti-Infectious Immunity Unit, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), Viale Regina Elena 299, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

The resurgence of pertussis suggests the need for greater efforts in understanding the long-lasting protective responses induced by vaccination. In this paper we dissect the persistence of humoral and B-cell memory responses induced by primary vaccination with two different acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines, hexavalent Hexavac(®) vaccine (Hexavac) (Sanofi Pasteur MSD) and Infanrix hexa(®) (Infanrix) (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals). We evaluated the specific immune responses in the two groups of children, 5 years after primary vaccination by measuring the persistence of IgG and antibody secreting cells (ASC) specific for vaccine antigens. Part of the enrolled children received only primary vaccination, while others had the pre-school boost dose. A similar level of antigen-specific IgG and ASC was found in Infanrix and Hexavac vaccinated children. The mean IgG levels were significantly higher in children that received the pre-school boost as compared with children that did not receive the boost dose. A longer persistence after the pre-school boost of IgG-Pertussis Toxin (PT) and IgG-pertactin levels was observed in Infanrix primed children, but it was not statistically significant. More than 80% of children presented a positive ASC B memory response. Around 50% of children still presented protective IgG-PT levels which are reduced to 36% in no-boosted children. The pre-school booster dose restores the percentage of protected children above 50%. In conclusion our data underline the importance of giving a booster dose 5 years after primary vaccination and suggest the need for a new vaccine able to induce a long lasting protective response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.02.005DOI Listing
April 2014

Different T cell memory in preadolescents after whole-cell or acellular pertussis vaccination.

Vaccine 2013 Dec 29;32(1):111-8. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Laboratory of Vaccinology and Mucosal Immunity, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium; Immunobiology Clinic, Hôpital Erasme, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:

To better understand vaccine-induced protection and its potential failure in light of recent whooping cough resurgence, we evaluated quantity as well as quality of memory T cell responses in B. pertussis-vaccinated preadolescent children. Using a technique based on flow cytometry to detect proliferation, cytokine production and phenotype of antigen-specific cells, we evaluated residual T cell memory in a cohort of preadolescents who received a whole-cell pertussis (wP; n=11) or an acellular pertussis vaccine (aP; n=13) during infancy, and with a median of 4 years elapsed from the last pertussis booster vaccine, which was aP for all children. We demonstrated that B. pertussis-specific memory T cells are detectable in the majority of preadolescent children several years after vaccination. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferation in response to pertussis toxin and/or filamentous hemagglutinin was detected in 79% and 60% of the children respectively, and interferon-γ or tumor necrosis factor-α producing CD4(+) T cells were detected in 65% and 53% of the children respectively. Phenotyping of the responding cells showed that the majority of antigen-specific cells, whether defined by proliferation or cytokine production, were CD45RA(-)CCR7(-) effector memory T cells. Although the time since the last booster vaccine was significantly longer for wP-compared to aP-vaccinated children, their proliferation capacity in response to antigenic stimulation was comparable, and more children had a detectable cytokine response after wP- compared to aP-vaccination. This study supports at the immunological level recent epidemiological studies indicating that infant vaccination with wP induces longer lasting immunity than vaccination with aP-vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.10.056DOI Listing
December 2013

Hepatitis B specific T cell immunity induced by primary vaccination persists independently of the protective serum antibody level.

Vaccine 2013 Jan 19;31(3):506-13. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

Anti-Infectious Immunity Unit, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, Rome, Italy.

In 2005, in accordance with recommendations made by the European Medicines Agency, the Italian Drug Agency ordered withdrawal of the hexavalent Hexavac(®) vaccine (Sanofi Pasteur MSD) from the market. Concerns had been raised about the low immunogenicity of the hepatitis B virus component of the vaccine, assessed by measurement of serum antibody levels, and its potential consequences on long-term protection against hepatitis B infection. We evaluated memory T cell response to establish whether there are differences in the protective mechanisms among children who had received either Hexavac(®) or Infanrix-hexa(®) (GlaxoSmithKline) as their primary vaccination. Immunological memory was determined by measuring the ability of T cells to proliferate and secrete IFNγ by ELISA and intracellular cytokines (IFNγ and IL-2) when cultured with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). The different memory subsets of T cells were also measured. The results indicate that, although they generate different serum antibody levels, both vaccines are efficient in generating T recall responses in vitro five years after the primary vaccination. The less immunogenic Hexavac(®) vaccine induces a strong T antigen response, as indicated by increased blast proliferation and the enhanced presence of memory subsets after HBsAg recall stimulation. These findings suggest that cellular immune response should be considered alongside serological markers as a surrogate of protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.11.029DOI Listing
January 2013

Chlamydia pneumoniae modulates human monocyte-derived dendritic cells functions driving the induction of a Type 1/Type 17 inflammatory response.

Microbes Infect 2013 Feb 16;15(2):105-14. Epub 2012 Nov 16.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Chlamydia pneumoniae is a respiratory pathogen involved in the onset of chronic inflammatory pathologies. Dendritic cells (DC), are major players in spreading of C. pneumoniae from the lungs, a crucial step leading to disseminated infections. Less is known concerning modulation of DC functions consequent to encounter with the bacterium. In order to address this aspect, human monocyte-derived (MD)DC were infected with C. pneumoniae. After internalization bacterial counts increased in MDDC, as well as the expression of CPn1046, a gene involved in bacterial metabolism, with a peak 48 h after the infection. Infected MDDC switched to the mature stage, produced IL-12p70, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10, and drove a mixed Type 1/Type 17 polarization. Intracellular pathways triggered by C. pneumoniae involved Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2. Indeed, TLR2 was activated by C. pneumoniae in transfected HEK 293 cells, and C. pneumoniae-mediated phosphorylation of ERK1/2 was inhibited by an anti-TLR2 antibody in MDDC. When an ERK1/2 inhibitor was used, IL-12p70 and IL-10 release by MDDC was reduced and T cell polarization shifted towards a Type 2 profile. Overall, our findings unveiled the role played by TLR2 and ERK1/2 induced by C. pneumoniae to affect DC functions in a way that contributes to a Type 1/Type 17 pro-inflammatory response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2012.11.004DOI Listing
February 2013

Assessment of glycemic control among diabetic residents in nursing homes.

Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2012 Jun 23;96(3):e80-3. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Fondazione Maria Teresa Mioni Onlus, Italy.

We assessed hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) among 88 diabetic residents in three Italian nursing homes, and compared figures with current guidelines and reports in the literature. Mean HbA1c was 6.5%; this paper from Southern Europe confirms recent findings in nursing homes on HbA1c values well below recommended targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2012.02.026DOI Listing
June 2012

Antigen-specific responses assessment for the evaluation of Bordetella pertussis T cell immunity in humans.

Vaccine 2012 Feb 9;30(9):1667-74. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Measurement of antigen-specific T cell responses is an adjunctive parameter to evaluate protection induced by a previous Bordetella pertussis infection or vaccination. The assessment of T cell responses is technically complex and usually performed on fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The objective of this study was to identify simplified methods to assess pertussis specific T cell responses and verify if these assays could be performed using frozen/thawed (frozen) PBMC. Three read-outs to measure proliferation were compared: the fluorescent dye 5,6-carboxylfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) dilution test, the number of blast cells defined by physical parameters, and the incorporation of (3)H-thymidine. The results of pertussis-specific assays performed on fresh PBMC were compared to the results on frozen PBMC from the same donor. High concordance was obtained when the results of CFSE and blast read-outs were compared, an encouraging result since blast analysis allows the identification of proliferating cells and does not require any use of radioactive tracer as well as any staining. The results obtained using fresh and frozen PBMC from the same donor in the different T cell assays, including IFNγ and TNFα cytokine production, did not show significant differences, suggesting that a careful cryopreservation process of PBMC would not significantly influence T cell response evaluation. Adopting blast analysis and frozen PBMC, the possibility to test T cell responses is simplified and might be applied in population studies, providing for new instruments to better define correlates of protection still elusive in pertussis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.12.104DOI Listing
February 2012

Bovine lactoferrin counteracts Toll-like receptor mediated activation signals in antigen presenting cells.

PLoS One 2011 25;6(7):e22504. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Lactoferrin (LF), a key element in mammalian immune system, plays pivotal roles in host defence against infection and excessive inflammation. Its protective effects range from direct antimicrobial activities against a large panel of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, to antinflammatory and anticancer activities. In this study, we show that monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MD-DCs) generated in the presence of bovine LF (bLF) fail to undergo activation by up-modulating CD83, co-stimulatory and major histocompatibility complex molecules, and cytokine/chemokine secretion. Moreover, these cells are weak activators of T cell proliferation and retain antigen uptake activity. Consistent with an impaired maturation, bLF-MD-DC primed T lymphocytes exhibit a functional unresponsiveness characterized by reduced expression of CD154 and impaired expression of IFN-γ and IL-2. The observed imunosuppressive effects correlate with an increased expression of molecules with negative regulatory functions (i.e. immunoglobulin-like transcript 3 and programmed death ligand 1), indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, and suppressor of cytokine signaling-3. Interestingly, bLF-MD-DCs produce IL-6 and exhibit constitutive signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 activation. Conversely, bLF exposure of already differentiated MD-DCs completely fails to induce IL-6, and partially inhibits Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist-induced activation. Cell-specific differences in bLF internalization likely account for the distinct response elicited by bLF in monocytes versus immature DCs, providing a mechanistic base for its multiple effects. These results indicate that bLF exerts a potent anti-inflammatory activity by skewing monocyte differentiation into DCs with impaired capacity to undergo activation and to promote Th1 responses. Overall, these bLF-mediated effects may represent a strategy to block excessive DC activation upon TLR-induced inflammation, adding further evidence for a critical role of bLF in directing host immune function.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0022504PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3143167PMC
December 2011

Role of endogenous interferon and LPS in the immunomodulatory effects of bovine lactoferrin in murine peritoneal macrophages.

J Leukoc Biol 2007 Aug 2;82(2):347-53. Epub 2007 May 2.

Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Lactoferrin (Lf) plays an important role in host defense against infection and excessive inflammation. Although the mechanisms underlying its immunomodulatory properties have not been fully elucidated yet, recent evidence suggests that some of these effects may be related to its capacity to form complexes with LPS. We report that the culture of resting mouse peritoneal macrophages (PM) with bovine Lf (bLf), prior to infection with the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), resulted in a significant reduction of virus yield with respect to control cultures. The antiviral activity of bLF was related to its capacity of inducing IFN-alpha/beta expression, which in turn inhibited VSV replication. Indeed, the accumulation of IFN-beta but not of IFNalpha(1-2) transcripts was up-modulated markedly early after bLf addition. Furthermore, bLf did not exert any antiviral activity in the presence of neutralizing antibodies to IFN-alpha/beta in PM from wild-type mice, as well as in PM from mice genetically defective for the response to IFN. The antiviral activity of bLf relied on its intrinsic capacity to bind LPS, as this protein did not induce IFN expression in PM from LPS-hyporesponsive mice. It is interesting that this LPS-binding property was dispensable for the production of TNF-alpha, which also occurred in LPS-hyporesponsive mice. Overall, these results indicate that some of the immunomodulatory effects ascribed to Lf may be related to its capacity to favor Type I IFN expression and argue in favor of an important role of the LPS-binding feature and TLR4 in some of the effects ascribed to this molecule.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1189/jlb.1106688DOI Listing
August 2007

IL-2 induces expression and secretion of IFN-gamma in murine peritoneal macrophages.

J Leukoc Biol 2005 Sep 10;78(3):686-95. Epub 2005 Jun 10.

Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.

We investigated the effect of interleukin (IL)-2, a T cell growth factor capable of activating certain macrophage functions, on interferon (IFN)-gamma expression in resting mouse peritoneal macrophages (PM). IL-2 addition to PM from different mouse strains up-modulated IFN-gamma mRNA and protein secretion. It is notable that endogenous type I and II IFNs did not play any role in the IL-2-mediated effect, as comparable levels of secreted IFN-gamma were observed upon IL-2 stimulation of PM from deficient mice. In contrast, endogenous IFN-gamma was requested for the IL-12-induced IFN-gamma production. It is interesting that blocking of each component of the IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) by neutralizing antibodies almost completely abolished IL-2-induced IFN-gamma production, suggesting that all IL-2R chains contribute to the PM biological response to IL-2. The simultaneous treatment of PM with IL-2 and IL-12 resulted in a higher IFN-gamma secretion with respect to that obtained upon treatment with IL-2 or IL-12 alone. It is notable that IFN-gamma protein was expressed intracellularly in the majority of cells exhibiting a macrophage phenotype (i.e., F4/80+) and was secreted upon IL-2 stimulation. Overall, these findings demonstrate that IL-2 regulates at different levels IFN-gamma expression in macrophages, highlighting the crucial role of these cells and their regulated responsiveness to key cytokines in the cross-talk between innate and adaptive immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1189/jlb.0105035DOI Listing
September 2005