Publications by authors named "Veronica Rainone"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Cell-Mediated Immunity in HIV-Infected Males With Human Papillomavirus-Related Anal Dysplastic Lesions.

Clin Infect Dis 2016 11 30;63(10):1396-1398. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Department of Health Sciences, ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciw590DOI Listing
November 2016

Maraviroc Reduces Arterial Stiffness in PI-Treated HIV-infected Patients.

Sci Rep 2016 06 29;6:28853. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Chair of Immunology, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "L. Sacco", University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

The Δ32-CCR5 deletion of the CCR5 receptor is protective toward coronary artery pathology and myocardial infarction. Maraviroc (MVC), a CCR5 antagonist, was recently introduced in the therapy of HIV infection; we evaluated whether this drug could modulate the atherosclerotic burden in aviremic PI-treated HIV-positive individuals who underwent MVC intensification. Thus, the effect of MVC on intima media thickness, arterial stiffness, metabolic parameters, pro-inflammatory cytokines, endothelial dysfunction, and microbial traslocation markers was analyzed in 6 aviremic PI-treated HIV-positive individuals and were compared to those obtained in 9 additional aviremic PI-treated subjects that were enrolled retrospectively from our outpatients cohort. MVC intensification resulted in a significant reduction in intima media thickness, pulse wave velocity and triglycerides compared to baseline. Notably, MVC was also associated with a significant reduction of IL-6, microbial translocation indexes, sICAM and sVCAM; these changes were maintained throughout the 6 months of MVC intensification. No significant modifications were observed in CD4 counts, HIV viral load, and cholesterolemia. Results herein support a role of CCR5 antagonists in reducing the cardiovascular risk in HIV-infection. The hampering of inflammation, microbial translocation and the improvement of endothelial function could justify the protective role of CCR5 antagonists on atherosclerotic burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep28853DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926207PMC
June 2016

The NLRP3 and NLRP1 inflammasomes are activated in Alzheimer's disease.

Mol Neurodegener 2016 Mar 3;11:23. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

Don C. Gnocchi Foundation, IRCCS, Piazza Morandi, 3, 20121, Milan, Italy.

Background: Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and its key regulator, the inflammasome, are suspected to play a role in the neuroinflammation observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD); no conclusive data are nevertheless available in AD patients.

Results: mRNA for inflammasome components (NLRP1, NLRP3, PYCARD, caspase 1, 5 and 8) and downstream effectors (IL-1β, IL-18) was up-regulated in severe and MILD AD. Monocytes co-expressing NLRP3 with caspase 1 or caspase 8 were significantly increased in severe AD alone, whereas those co-expressing NLRP1 and NLRP3 with PYCARD were augmented in both severe and MILD AD. Activation of the NLRP1 and NLRP3 inflammasomes in AD was confirmed by confocal microscopy proteins co-localization and by the significantly higher amounts of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18 being produced by monocytes. In MCI, the expression of NLRP3, but not the one of PYCARD or caspase 1 was increased, indicating that functional inflammasomes are not assembled in these individuals: this was confirmed by lack of co-localization and of proinflammatory cytokines production.

Conclusions: The activation of at least two different inflammasome complexes explains AD-associated neuroinflammation. Strategies targeting inflammasome activation could be useful in the therapy of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13024-016-0088-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4778358PMC
March 2016

Immunological Characterization of Whole Tumour Lysate-Loaded Dendritic Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy.

PLoS One 2016 21;11(1):e0146622. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Segrate, Milan, Italy.

Introduction: Dendritic cells play a key role as initiators of T-cell responses, and even if tumour antigen-loaded dendritic cells can induce anti-tumour responses, their efficacy has been questioned, suggesting a need to enhance immunization strategies.

Matherials & Methods: We focused on the characterization of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells pulsed with whole tumour lysate (TAA-DC), as a source of known and unknown antigens, in a mouse model of breast cancer (MMTV-Ras). Dendritic cells were evaluated for antigen uptake and for the expression of MHC class I/II and costimulatory molecules and markers associated with maturation.

Results: Results showed that antigen-loaded dendritic cells are characterized by a phenotypically semi-mature/mature profile and by the upregulation of genes involved in antigen presentation and T-cell priming. Activated dendritic cells stimulated T-cell proliferation and induced the production of high concentrations of IL-12p70 and IFN-γ but only low levels of IL-10, indicating their ability to elicit a TH1-immune response. Furthermore, administration of Antigen loaded-Dendritic Cells in MMTV-Ras mice evoked a strong anti-tumour response in vivo as demonstrated by a general activation of immunocompetent cells and the release of TH1 cytokines.

Conclusion: Data herein could be useful in the design of antitumoral DC-based therapies, showing a specific activation of immune system against breast cancer.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146622PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4721657PMC
July 2016

Short Communication: Immune Activation Is Present in HIV-1-Exposed Seronegative Individuals and Is Independent of Microbial Translocation.

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2016 Feb 13;32(2):129-33. Epub 2015 Oct 13.

3 Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan , Milan, Italy .

Analyses of immune activation in HIV-exposed seronegative individuals (HESN) yielded discrepant results. To clarify this issue we performed an extensive investigation of immune parameters in HESN and, in particular, we analyzed in these individuals the possible presence of microbial translocation, the most widely accepted reason driving immune activation in HIV-infected patients. Results showed that immune activation, a skewing of T lymphocyte maturation, and increased responsiveness to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) characterize the HESN phenotype; this is not driven by alterations of the gastrointestinal barrier and microbial translocation. The activation state seen in HESN may influence the induction of stronger adaptive antiviral immune responses and may represent a virus exposure-induced innate immune protective phenotype against HIV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/AID.2015.0019DOI Listing
February 2016

Immunomodulatory activity of pidotimod administered with standard antibiotic therapy in children hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia.

J Transl Med 2015 Sep 3;13:288. Epub 2015 Sep 3.

Department of Physiopathology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Background: Several attempts to improve immune function in young children have been made and encouraging results have been collected with pidotimod (PDT), a synthetic dipeptide molecule that seems to have immunomodulatory activity on both innate and adaptive responses. Until now, the effects of PDT on the immune system have only been studied in vivo after long-term administration to evaluate whether its immunomodulatory activity might prevent the development of infections. This study was planned to evaluate the immunomodulatory activity of PDT administered together with standard antibiotic therapy in children hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).

Methods: A total of 20 children hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) were randomized at a 1:1 ratio to receive either standard antibiotics plus pidotimod (PDT) or standard antibiotics alone to evaluate the immunomodulatory activity of PDT. Blood samples for the evaluation of immunological parameters were drawn at the time of recruitment (T0) (i.e., before therapy administration), at T3 and T5 (i.e., 3 and 5 days after the initiation of therapy) as well as at T21 (i.e., 7 days after the therapy ended).

Results: Following pneumococcal polysaccharide stimulation, the percentage of dendritic cells (DCs) expressing activation and costimulatory molecules was significantly higher in children receiving PDT plus antibiotics than in the controls. A significant increase in tumor necrosis factor-α and/or interleukin-12 secretion and expression of toll like receptor 2 was observed in PDT-treated children compared with controls; this was followed by an increased release of proinflammatory cytokines by monocytes. In the PDT-treated group, mRNA expression of antimicrobial peptides and genes involved in the inflammatory response were also augmented in comparison with the controls.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate, for the first time, that PDT administered together with standard antibiotics is associated with a favorable persistent immunomodulatory effect in children with CAP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-015-0649-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4559022PMC
September 2015

Human papilloma virus vaccination induces strong human papilloma virus specific cell-mediated immune responses in HIV-infected adolescents and young adults.

AIDS 2015 Mar;29(6):739-43

aDepartment of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences 'L. Sacco', University of Milan bDepartment of Pediatrics, University of Milan, L. Sacco Hospital cDepartment of Pediatrics, University of Milan, Ospedale dei Bambini V. Buzzi dDepartment of Physiopathology Medical-Surgery and Transplantation, University of Milan eDon C. Gnocchi Foundation ONLUS, IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

The ability of a quadrivalent human papilloma virus (HPV)-16/18/6/11 virus-like particles vaccine (Gardasil) to elicit HPV-specific cell-mediated immune responses was evaluated in antiretroviral therapy (ART)-treated HIV-infected young adults. Results showed that, after three doses of vaccine, central memory and effector memory CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes, as well as HPV-specific interleukin (IL)2(+)/CD4(+), interferon-gamma (IFN-γ(+))/CD4(+), IFN-γ(+)/CD8(+) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α)(+)/CD8(+) T lymphocytes and Perforin and Granzyme B secreting CD8(+) T lymphocytes were significantly increased. Notably, results obtained in HIV-infected patients were comparable to those seen in HIV-uninfected age-matched healthy controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000000597DOI Listing
March 2015

Prospective immune dynamics during the first 24 weeks of efavirenz based-antiretroviral therapy in HIV-1-infected subjects, according to CD4+ T-cell counts at presentation: the IMMUNEF clinical trial.

PLoS One 2015 11;10(2):e0117118. Epub 2015 Feb 11.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, San Gerardo Hospital, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Background: Longitudinal characterization of immune recovery in the first-phase of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is poorly described. We compared immune kinetics in individuals who were diagnosed early or late with HIV-1 infection, (thus commencing ART with different CD4+ T-cell counts), in order to investigate possible mechanisms involved in subsequent poor immune recovery.

Methods: Immunophenotyping, immune activation, proliferation, apoptosis, regulatory T-cells and intracellular cytokine production were compared at baseline and during 24-week follow-up in two groups of HIV-1-infected patients initiating the same ART (tenofovir/emtricitabine/efavirenz) and divided according to baseline CD4+ T-cell counts (late: ≤200/μL; early: >200/μL). Wilcoxon-rank sum test and analysis for repeated measures were used to evaluate differences between groups over time.

Results: Twenty-four out of 30 enrolled subjects were evaluable for the analysis, 13 late and 11 early presenters. Significantly lower CD4+ naïve and memory T-cells, and higher plasma viral load, as well as augmented percentages of activated (CD4+/CD25+ cells), apoptotic (CD4+/AnnexinV+/7AAD-, CD4+/caspase 8+ and CD4+/caspase 9+), and proliferating (CD8+/Ki67+ cells) lymphocytes were present at baseline in late presenters; ART resulted in a reduction of apoptotic and proliferating lymphocytes within the follow-up period.

Conclusions: A skewing towards memory/activated/apoptotic phenotype is seen in HIV-1-infected subjects starting ART at low CD4+ T-cell counts; ART results in early (24 weeks) trend towards normalization of these parameters. Antiretroviral therapy may play a role in rapidly limiting aberrant immune exhaustion even in late presenters, while requiring more time for re-population of highly depleted naïve T-cells.

Trial Registration: EU Clinical Trial Register EUDRACT number 2008-006188-35 https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2008-006188-35/IT.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0117118PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4324909PMC
January 2016

A regulatory polymorphism in HAVCR2 modulates susceptibility to HIV-1 infection.

PLoS One 2014 2;9(9):e106442. Epub 2014 Sep 2.

Chair of Immunology, Department of Physiopathology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; Don C. Gnocchi Foundation ONLUS, IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

The HAVCR2 gene encodes TIM-3, an immunoglobulin superfamily member expressed by exhausted CD8+ T cells during chronic viral infection. We investigated whether genetic variation at HAVCR2 modulates the susceptibility to HIV-1 acquisition; specifically we focused on a 3' UTR variant (rs4704846, A/G) that represents a natural selection target. We genotyped rs4704846 in three independent cohorts of HIV-1 exposed seronegative (HESN) individuals with different geographic origin (Italy and Spain) and distinct route of exposure to HIV-1 (sexual and injection drug use). Matched HIV-1 positive subjects and healthy controls were also analyzed. In all case-control cohorts the minor G allele at rs4704846 was more common in HIV-1 infected individuals than in HESN, with healthy controls showing intermediate frequency. Results from the three association analyses were combined through a random effect meta-analysis, which revealed no heterogeneity among samples (Cochrane's Q, p value = 0.89, I2 = 0) and yielded a p value of 6.8 ×10(-4). The minor G allele at rs4704846 was found to increase HAVCR2 expression after in vitro HIV-1 infection. Thus, a positively selected polymorphism in the 3' UTR, which modulates HAVCR2 expression, is associated with the susceptibility to HIV-1 infection. These data warrant further investigation into the role of TIM-3 in the prevention and treatment of HIV-1/AIDS.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0106442PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152274PMC
May 2015

Safety and immunogenicity of a quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine in HIV-infected and HIV-negative adolescents and young adults.

Vaccine 2014 Sep 20;32(43):5657-61. Epub 2014 Aug 20.

Department of Pediatrics, Luigi Sacco Hospital, University of Milan, Italy.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is highly prevalent and can lead to cancer; the development of safe and efficacious vaccines for HPV is a major public health concern. The two licensed HPV vaccines contain recombinant virus-like particles of HPV 16 and 18; one of such vaccines also protects against HPV types 6 and 11 which cause genital warts. We determined safety and immunogenicity of quadrivalent HPV vaccine in HIV-infected and HIV-negative adolescents and young adults, aged 13-27 years. The seroconversion rate, assessed by antibody titers, 1 month after the administration of the third vaccine dose was 0.85 (95% CI 0.75-0.95) in the HIV-infected group and 0.91 (0.83-0.99) in the HIV-negative subjects (p=0.52). The vaccine was generally safe and well tolerated; the most common side effect was local pain and the most frequent systemic side effect was headache. This is the first report on response to HPV vaccination in both female and male HIV-infected adolescents and young adults and highlights that this population may benefit from HPV immunoprophylaxis. Further studies are needed to examine the long term efficacy of this vaccine in HIV-infected individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.08.011DOI Listing
September 2014

RIG-I-like receptors evolved adaptively in mammals, with parallel evolution at LGP2 and RIG-I.

J Mol Biol 2014 Mar 7;426(6):1351-65. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Scientific Institute, IRCCS Eugenio Medea, 23842 Bosisio Parini LC, Italy. Electronic address:

RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) are nucleic acid sensors that activate antiviral innate immune response. These molecules recognize diverse non-self RNA substrates and are antagonized by several viral inhibitors. We performed an evolutionary analysis of RLR genes (RIG-I, MDA5, and LGP2) in mammals. Results indicated that purifying selection had a dominant role in driving the evolution of RLRs. However, application of maximum-likelihood analyses identified several positions that evolved adaptively. Positively selected sites are located in all domains of MDA5 and RIG-I, whereas in LGP2 they are confined to the helicase domain. In both MDA5 and RIG-I, the linkers separating the caspase activation and recruitment domain and the helicase domain represented preferential targets of positive selection. Independent selective events in RIG-I and LGP2 targeted the corresponding site (Asp421 and Asp179, respectively) within a protruding α-helix that grips the V-shaped structure formed by the pincer. Most of the positively selected sites in MDA5 are in regions unique to this RLR, including a characteristic insertion within the helicase domain. Additional selected sites are located at the contact interface between MDA5 monomers, in spatial proximity to a positively selected human polymorphism (Arg843His) and immediately external to the parainfluenza virus 5 V protein binding region. Structural analyses suggested that the positively selected His834 residue is involved in parainfluenza virus 5 V protein binding. Data herein suggest that RLRs have been engaged in host-virus genetic conflict leading to diversifying selection and indicate parallel evolution at the same site in RIG-I and LGP2, a position likely to be of central importance in antiviral responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2013.10.040DOI Listing
March 2014

A complex proinflammatory role for peripheral monocytes in Alzheimer's disease.

J Alzheimers Dis 2014 ;38(2):403-13

Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology, Don C. Gnocchi ONLUS Foundation IRCCS, Milano, Italy.

An impairment of the microglial catabolic mechanisms allows amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation in plaques within the brain in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Monocytes/macrophages (M/M) are activated in AD and migrate thorough the blood-brain barrier (BBB) trying to improve Aβ clearing. In the attempt to shed light on the role of M/M in AD, these cells were analyzed in patients with AD or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and in age-matched healthy controls. Results obtained in Aβ42-stimulated cell cultures showed that significantly higher percentages of inflammatory M/M (CD14+ CD16-CCR2++CX3CR1low) expressing toll like receptors (TLR) 2 and 4, as well as IL-6 and CCR2, a chemokine favoring M/M migration through the BBB, are seen in AD. Confocal microscopy suggested the presence of MHC-II/Aβ42 complexes on AD M/M alone. Finally, TRL3- and TLR8-expressing and IL-23-producing M/M were increased in both AD and MCI compared to HC. These data indicate that M/M in AD are characterized by an inflammatory profile and are involved in the induction of both innate immune responses via TLR stimulation and of acquired immunity possibly secondarily to the presentation of Aβ peptides in an MHC-restricted fashion. Therapeutic approaches designed to interrupt these mechanism might prove beneficial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-131160DOI Listing
June 2014

Neurocognitive impairment in HIV-infected naïve patients with advanced disease: the role of virus and intrathecal immune activation.

Clin Dev Immunol 2012 27;2012:467154. Epub 2012 Mar 27.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, San Gerardo Hospital, University of Milan-Bicocca, 20900 Monza, Italy.

Objective: To investigate intrathecal immune activation parameters and HIV-RNA in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) of advanced naïve HIV-infected patients and to evaluate their dynamics before and after initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Methods: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of HIV RNA, proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-10, INF-γ, TNF-α, TGF-β1, and TGF-β2) and chemokines (MIP-1α, MIP-1β, and MCP-1) in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of HIV-infected patients with CD4 <200/μL.

Results: HAND was diagnosed at baseline in 6/12 patients. Baseline CSF HIV-RNA was comparable in patients with or without HAND, whereas CSF concentration of IL-6 and MIP-1β, proinflammatory cytokines, was increased in HAND patients. CSF evaluation at 12 weeks was available in 10/12 cases. ART greatly reduced HIV-RNA in all patients. Nevertheless, IL-6 and MIP-1β remained elevated after 12 weeks of therapy in HAND patients, in whom CSF HIV RNA decay was slower than the plasmatic one as well.

Conclusion: Immune activation, as indicated by inflammatory cytokines, but not higher levels of HIV-RNA is observed in advanced naïve HIV-infected patients with HAND. In HAND patients, ART introduction resulted in a less rapid clearance of CSF viremia compared to plasma and no modifications of intratechal immune activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/467154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3320013PMC
March 2013

CCL28 induces mucosal homing of HIV-1-specific IgA-secreting plasma cells in mice immunized with HIV-1 virus-like particles.

PLoS One 2011 31;6(10):e26979. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Mucosae-associated epithelial chemokine (MEC or CCL28) binds to CCR3 and CCR10 and recruits IgA-secreting plasma cells (IgA-ASCs) in the mucosal lamina propria. The ability of this chemokine to enhance migration of IgA-ASCs to mucosal sites was assessed in a mouse immunization model using HIV-1(IIIB) Virus-like particles (VLPs). Mice receiving either HIV-1(IIIB) VLPs alone, CCL28 alone, or the irrelevant CCL19 chemokine were used as controls. Results showed a significantly increased CCR3 and CCR10 expression on CD19(+) splenocytes of HIV-1(IIIB) VPL-CCL28-treated mice. HIV-1 Env-specific IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-5 production, total IgA, anti-Env IgA as well as gastro-intestinal mucosal IgA-secreting plasma cells were also significantly augmented in these mice. Notably, sera and vaginal secretions from HIV-1(IIIB) VLP-CCL28-treated mice exhibited an enhanced neutralizing activity against both a HIV-1/B-subtype laboratory strain and a heterologous HIV-1/C-subtype primary isolate. These data suggest that CCL28 could be useful in enhancing the IgA immune response that will likely play a pivotal role in prophylactic HIV vaccines.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0026979PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3205026PMC
March 2012

Immunomodulatory effects of unselected haematopoietic stem cells autotransplantation in refractory Crohn's disease.

Dig Liver Dis 2011 Dec 9;43(12):946-52. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Chair of Immunology, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies, University of Milano, Milano, Italy.

Background: Autologous haematopoietic stem cells transplantation (HSCT) has been shown to be effective in refractory Crohn's disease.

Aim: We analysed the effects of HSCT on the immune response of patients treated for moderate-severe Crohn's disease, refractory or intolerant to multiple drugs.

Methods: Unselected peripheral blood stem cells were collected after mobilisation with cyclophosphamide (CTX) and G-CSF. The conditioning regimen included CTX and rabbit antithymocyte globulin. Blood samples for immunological analyses were collected at baseline, after mobilisation, and 3, 6 and 12 months after transplantation. Immunological analyses evaluated: (1) CD4(+)/CD25(high+)/FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells (T-regs); (2) Toll-like receptor 2-(TLR2) and TRL4-expressing monocytes (CD14(+) cells); (3) IL-12, IL-10, TNF-alpha-production by mitogen-stimulated CD14(+) cells and IFN-gamma production by CD4(+) T cells. Immunological results were compared with healthy donors and associated with clinical and endoscopic response during 12 months of follow-up.

Results: Overall, T-regs increased, whilst TLR4-expressing cells, as well as TNF-alpha and IL-10, all higher than healthy donors at baseline, significantly decreased after transplantation. Full responders at T(3) had higher T-regs and lower IFN-gamma and IL12. T-regs decreased and IL12 and TLR2 increased in the only relapsed patient.

Conclusions: HSCT can induce and maintain clinical and endoscopic remission in refractory Crohn's disease, which is associated with immunomodulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dld.2011.07.021DOI Listing
December 2011

In vivo imaging of lymph node migration of MNP- and (111)In-labeled dendritic cells in a transgenic mouse model of breast cancer (MMTV-Ras).

Mol Imaging Biol 2012 Apr;14(2):183-96

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies, Section of Radiological Sciences, University of Milan, via di Rudinì 8, 20142 Milan, Italy.

Purpose: The authors present a protocol for the in vivo evaluation, using different imaging techniques, of lymph node (LN) homing of tumor-specific dendritic cells (DCs) in a murine breast cancer model.

Procedures: Bone marrow DCs were labeled with paramagnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) or (111)In-oxine. Antigen loading was performed using tumor lysate. Mature DCs were injected into the footpads of transgenic tumor-bearing mice (MMTV-Ras) and DC migration was tracked by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Ex vivo analyses were performed to validate the imaging data.

Results: DC labeling, both with MNPs and with (111)In-oxine, did not affect DC phenotype or functionality. MRI and SPECT allowed the detection of iron and (111)In in both axillary and popliteal LNs. Immunohistochemistry and γ-counting revealed the presence of DCs in LNs.

Conclusions: MRI and SPECT imaging, by allowing in vivo dynamic monitoring of DC migration, could further the development and optimization of efficient anti-cancer vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11307-011-0496-0DOI Listing
April 2012

Immunological effects of sublingual immunotherapy: clinical efficacy is associated with modulation of programmed cell death ligand 1, IL-10, and IgG4.

J Immunol 2010 Dec 12;185(12):7723-30. Epub 2010 Nov 12.

Department of Allergic Diseases and Clinical Immunology, L. Sacco Hospital, Milan, Italy.

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is an alternate route of administration of allergen-specific immunotherapy with an improved safety profile; to clarify the immune mechanisms elicited by this therapy, we analyzed the clinical and immunologic effects of SLIT in patients with a clinical history of ragweed sensitization. To analyze possible difference among immunotherapeutic protocols, we also compared patients receiving preseasonal, seasonal, or prolonged sublingual therapy (≥ 3 y); patients receiving symptomatic therapy alone were enrolled as well in the study. Clinical and immunological parameters were measured twice in and out of the pollination period. Clinical benefits, as measured by the visual analog scale for symptoms and for use of drugs, were evident in all three groups of individuals receiving immunotherapy, but were significantly better in patients undergoing prolonged SLIT. Immunologically, SLIT resulted in increased IL-10 production, programmed cell death ligand 1 expression, and concentration of allergen-specific IgG4, as well as in the reduction of CD80 and CD86 expression and IL-4 production. SLIT, thus, is associated with modulation of programmed cell death ligand 1 expression and IL-10 synthesis and favors the production of allergen-specific IgG4. These effects are evident from the first pollen season, independently from therapeutic regimen (preseasonal or seasonal) even if a prolonged treatment is necessary to obtain full clinical efficacy. A more detailed understanding of the interaction of allergen and APCs within the oral mucosa will allow improved targeting of allergy vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1002465DOI Listing
December 2010