Publications by authors named "Vivian W Lau"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The kinase IRAK4 promotes endosomal TLR and immune complex signaling in B cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells.

Sci Signal 2020 06 2;13(634). Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Research, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

The dysregulation of multiple signaling pathways, including those through endosomal Toll-like receptors (TLRs), Fc gamma receptors (FcγR), and antigen receptors in B cells (BCR), promote an autoinflammatory loop in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here, we used selective small-molecule inhibitors to assess the regulatory roles of interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R)-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) and Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) in these pathways. The inhibition of IRAK4 repressed SLE immune complex- and TLR7-mediated activation of human plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Correspondingly, the expression of interferon (IFN)-responsive genes (IRGs) in cells and in mice was positively regulated by the kinase activity of IRAK4. Both IRAK4 and BTK inhibition reduced the TLR7-mediated differentiation of human memory B cells into plasmablasts. TLR7-dependent inflammatory responses were differentially regulated by IRAK4 and BTK by cell type: In pDCs, IRAK4 positively regulated NF-κB and MAPK signaling, whereas in B cells, NF-κB and MAPK pathways were regulated by both BTK and IRAK4. In the pristane-induced lupus mouse model, inhibition of IRAK4 reduced the expression of IRGs during disease onset. Mice engineered to express kinase-deficient IRAK4 were protected from both chemical (pristane-induced) and genetic (NZB/W_F1 hybrid) models of lupus development. Our findings suggest that kinase inhibitors of IRAK4 might be a therapeutic in patients with SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aaz1053DOI Listing
June 2020

A Cross-Reactive Small Protein Binding Domain Provides a Model to Study Off-Tumor CAR-T Cell Toxicity.

Mol Ther Oncolytics 2020 Jun 14;17:278-292. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada.

Tumor-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered T lymphocytes (CAR-T cells) have demonstrated striking clinical success, but their use has been associated with a constellation of toxicities. A better understanding of the pathogenesis of these toxicities is required to improve the safety profile of CAR-T cells. Herein, we describe a xenograft model of off-tumor CAR-T cell-associated toxicity. Human CAR-T cells targeted against HER2 using a small-protein binding domain induced acute, dose-dependent toxicities in mice. The inclusion of a CD28 or 4-1BB co-stimulatory domain in the CAR was required to produce toxicity; however, co-stimulation through CD28 was most toxic on a per-cell basis. CAR-T cell activation in the lungs and heart was associated with a systemic cytokine storm. The severity of observed toxicities was dependent upon the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) donor used as a T cell source and paralleled the CD4-to-CD8 T cell ratio in the adoptive transfer product. CD4 CAR-T cells were determined to be the primary contributors to CAR-T cell-associated toxicity. However, donor-specific differences persisted after infusion of a purified CD4 CAR-T cell product, indicating a role for additional variables. This work highlights the contributions of CAR-T cell-intrinsic variables to the pathogenesis of off-tumor toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.omto.2020.04.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7191649PMC
June 2020

The chimeric TAC receptor co-opts the T cell receptor yielding robust anti-tumor activity without toxicity.

Nat Commun 2018 08 3;9(1):3049. Epub 2018 Aug 3.

Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L8, Canada.

Engineering T cells with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) is an effective method for directing T cells to attack tumors, but may cause adverse side effects such as the potentially lethal cytokine release syndrome. Here the authors show that the T cell antigen coupler (TAC), a chimeric receptor that co-opts the endogenous TCR, induces more efficient anti-tumor responses and reduced toxicity when compared with past-generation CARs. TAC-engineered T cells induce robust and antigen-specific cytokine production and cytotoxicity in vitro, and strong anti-tumor activity in a variety of xenograft models including solid and liquid tumors. In a solid tumor model, TAC-T cells outperform CD28-based CAR-T cells with increased anti-tumor efficacy, reduced toxicity, and faster tumor infiltration. Intratumoral TAC-T cells are enriched for Ki-67 CD8 T cells, demonstrating local expansion. These results indicate that TAC-T cells may have a superior therapeutic index relative to CAR-T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05395-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6076291PMC
August 2018

Human iNPC therapy leads to improvement in functional neurologic outcomes in a pig ischemic stroke model.

Brain Behav 2018 05 18;8(5):e00972. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Regenerative Bioscience Center University of Georgia Athens GA USA.

Introduction: Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States but current therapies are limited with no regenerative potential. Previous translational failures have highlighted the need for large animal models of ischemic stroke and for improved assessments of functional outcomes. The aims of this study were first, to create a post-stroke functional outcome assessment scale in a porcine model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and second, to use this scale to determine the effect of human-induced-pluripotent-cell-derived neural progenitor cells (iNPCs) on functional outcome in this large animal stroke model.

Materials And Methods: Eight 6-month-old Landrace mix pigs underwent permanent MCAO. Five days following MCAO, pigs received intraparenchymal injections of either iNPCs or PBS. A post-stroke assessment scale was developed to measure functional outcome. Evaluations were performed at least 1-3 days prior to MCAO and repeated 1 day, 3 days, and 5 days post-stroke as well as 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 9 weeks, and 12 weeks post-injection. Comparisons of scores between animals receiving iNPCs or PBS only were compared using a two-way ANOVA and a Tukey's post-hoc test.

Results: The developed scale was able to consistently determine differences between healthy and stroked pigs at all time points. iNPC-treated pigs showed a significantly faster recovery in their overall scores relative to PBS-only treated pigs with the parameters of appetite and body posture exhibiting the most improvement in the iNPC-treated group.

Conclusions: We developed a robust and repeatable functional assessment tool that can reliably detect stroke and recovery, while also showing for the first time that iNPC therapy leads to functional recovery in a translational pig ischemic stroke model. These promising results suggest that iNPCs may 1 day serve as a first in class cell therapeutic for ischemic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.972DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5943801PMC
May 2018

Pharmacokinetic evaluation of novel midazolam gel formulations following buccal administration to healthy dogs.

Am J Vet Res 2018 Jan;79(1):73-82

OBJECTIVE To determine the physiochemical properties and pharmacokinetics of 3 midazolam gel formulations following buccal administration to dogs. ANIMALS 5 healthy adult hounds. PROCEDURES In phase 1 of a 2-phase study, 2 gel formulations were developed that contained 1% midazolam in a poloxamer 407 (P1) or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (H1) base and underwent rheological and in vitro release analyses. Each formulation was buccally administered to 5 dogs such that 0.3 mg of midazolam/kg was delivered. Each dog also received midazolam hydrochloride (0.3 mg/kg, IV). There was a 3-day interval between treatments. Blood samples were collected immediately before and at predetermined times for 8 hours after drug administration for determination of plasma midazolam concentration and pharmacokinetic analysis. During phase 2, a gel containing 2% midazolam in a hydroxypropyl methylcellulose base (H2) was developed on the basis of phase 1 results. That gel was buccally administered such that midazolam doses of 0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg were delivered. Each dog also received midazolam (0.3 mg/kg, IV). All posttreatment procedures were the same as those for phase 1. RESULTS The H1 and H2 formulations had lower viscosity, greater bioavailability, and peak plasma midazolam concentrations that were approximately 2-fold as high, compared with those for the P1 formulation. The mean peak plasma midazolam concentration for the H2 formulation was 187.0 and 106.3 ng/mL when the midazolam dose administered was 0.6 and 0.3 mg/kg, respectively. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that buccal administration of gel formulations might be a viable alternative for midazolam administration to dogs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.79.1.73DOI Listing
January 2018

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Stem Cell Therapy Enhances Recovery in an Ischemic Stroke Pig Model.

Sci Rep 2017 08 30;7(1):10075. Epub 2017 Aug 30.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 30602, USA.

Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells (iNSCs) have significant potential as an autologous, multifunctional cell therapy for stroke, which is the primary cause of long term disability in the United States and the second leading cause of death worldwide. Here we show that iNSC transplantation improves recovery through neuroprotective, regenerative, and cell replacement mechanisms in a novel ischemic pig stroke model. Longitudinal multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) following iNSC therapy demonstrated reduced changes in white matter integrity, cerebral blood perfusion, and brain metabolism in the infarcted tissue. The observed tissue level recovery strongly correlated with decreased immune response, enhanced neuronal protection, and increased neurogenesis. iNSCs differentiated into neurons and oligodendrocytes with indication of long term integration. The robust recovery response to iNSC therapy in a translational pig stroke model with increased predictive potential strongly supports that iNSCs may be the critically needed therapeutic for human stroke patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10406-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577218PMC
August 2017

The kinase TPL2 activates ERK and p38 signaling to promote neutrophilic inflammation.

Sci Signal 2017 Apr 18;10(475). Epub 2017 Apr 18.

Genentech Research, Genentech Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Tumor progression locus 2 (TPL2; also known as MAP3K8) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase (MAP3K) that phosphorylates the MAPK kinases MEK1 and MEK2 (MEK1/2), which, in turn, activate the MAPKs extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1) and ERK2 (ERK1/2) in macrophages stimulated through the interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R), Toll-like receptors (TLRs), or the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR). We describe a conserved and critical role for TPL2 in mediating the effector functions of neutrophils through the activation of the p38 MAPK signaling pathway. Gene expression profiling and functional studies of neutrophils and monocytes revealed a MEK1/2-independent branch point downstream of TPL2 in neutrophils. Biochemical analyses identified the MAPK kinases MEK3 and MEK6 and the MAPKs p38α and p38δ as downstream effectors of TPL2 in these cells. Genetic ablation of the catalytic activity of TPL2 or therapeutic intervention with a TPL2-specific inhibitor reduced the production of inflammatory mediators by neutrophils in response to stimulation with the TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in vitro, as well as in rodent models of inflammatory disease. Together, these data suggest that TPL2 is a drug target that activates not only MEK1/2-dependent but also MEK3/6-dependent signaling to promote inflammatory responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aah4273DOI Listing
April 2017

Immunogenicity of Varicella Vaccine and Immunologic Predictors of Response in a Cohort of Elderly Nursing Home Residents.

J Infect Dis 2016 Dec 5;214(12):1905-1910. Epub 2016 Oct 5.

Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine.

Background:  Little is known about the immunogenicity of live-attenuated Oka/Merck varicella zoster virus (VZV)-containing vaccine (hereafter, "varicella vaccine") in frail nursing homes residents nor about immune phenotypes associated with a response.

Methods:  A cohort of 190 frail nursing home residents aged 80-102 years and a cohort of 50 community-dwelling seniors aged 60-75 years (a comparison group) received varicella vaccine. Interferon γ (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunospot assays were performed before and 6 weeks after vaccination. Cellular markers of immunosenescence were measured in the nursing home elderly.

Results:  The average number of IFN-γ spot-forming cells at baseline was significantly lower in the elderly nursing home residents than in the community-dwelling seniors. However, following vaccination, the VZV immune response increased in both cohorts, and no difference was noted in the fold difference of the response between the 2 cohorts. Upon further examination of the elderly nursing home residents, we found that higher frequencies of regulatory T cells and cytomegalovirus-specific CD4 T cells correlated negatively with the magnitude of VZV-specific responses.

Conclusions:  The Oka/Merck varicella vaccine induces VZV immunity in elderly nursing home residents that is similar to that produced in community-dwelling seniors.

Clinical Trials Registration:  NCT01328548.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiw462DOI Listing
December 2016

Immunotherapy for peanut allergy.

Hong Kong Med J 2014 Aug 20;20(4):325-30. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

Department of Pathology, Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, 2 Village Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong.

Peanut allergy is one of the commonest food hypersensitivities causing fatal or near-fatal reactions. There is, currently, no preventive treatment and the incidence of severe allergic reactions during peanut desensitisation has limited its clinical use. Anti-immunoglobulin E therapy has been shown to be effective in preventing peanut-induced reactions but it does not result in long-term tolerance. Two important advances have recently been reported. One involves gradual oral introduction of peanut protein to desensitise, whereas the other approach uses a combination of anti-immunoglobulin E and oral peanut immunotherapy. Both approaches could offer a way to desensitise with a far greater margin of safety than has, hitherto, been reported. This article provides an overview of the literature on peanut immunotherapy and describes the experience in a small group of children in Hong Kong who were treated successfully using anti-immunoglobulin E combined with oral peanut desensitisation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12809/hkmj144243DOI Listing
August 2014

Development and characterization of a Yucatan miniature biomedical pig permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion stroke model.

Exp Transl Stroke Med 2014 Mar 23;6(1). Epub 2014 Mar 23.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

Background: Efforts to develop stroke treatments have met with limited success despite an intense need to produce novel treatments. The failed translation of many of these therapies in clinical trials has lead to a close examination of the therapeutic development process. One of the major factors believed to be limiting effective screening of these treatments is the absence of an animal model more predictive of human responses to treatments. The pig may potentially fill this gap with a gyrencephalic brain that is larger in size with a more similar gray-white matter composition to humans than traditional stroke animal models. In this study we develop and characterize a novel pig middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) ischemic stroke model.

Methods: Eleven male pigs underwent MCAO surgery with the first 4 landrace pigs utilized to optimize stroke procedure and 7 additional Yucatan stroked pigs studied over a 90 day period. MRI analysis was done at 24 hrs and 90 days and included T2w, T2w FLAIR, T1w FLAIR and DWI sequences and associated ADC maps. Pigs were sacrificed at 90 days and underwent gross and microscopic histological evaluation. Significance in quantitative changes was determined by two-way analysis of variance and post-hoc Tukey's Pair-Wise comparisons.

Results: MRI analysis of animals that underwent MCAO surgery at 24 hrs had hyperintense regions in T2w and DWI images with corresponding ADC maps having hypointense regions indicating cytotoxic edema consistent with an ischemic stroke. At 90 days, region of interest analysis of T1 FLAIR and ADC maps had an average lesion size of 59.17 cc, a loss of 8% brain matter. Histological examination of pig brains showed atrophy and loss of tissue, consistent with MRI, as well as glial scar formation and macrophage infiltration.

Conclusions: The MCAO procedure led to significant and consistent strokes with high survivability. These results suggest that the pig model is potentially a robust system for the study of stroke pathophysiology and potential diagnostics and therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2040-7378-6-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3977938PMC
March 2014

Evaluation of therapeutic phenobarbital concentrations and application of a classification system for seizures in cats: 30 cases (2004-2013).

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2014 Jan;244(2):195-9

Department of Medical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53711.

Objective: To determine the percentage of cats with a phenobarbital (PB) concentration between 15 and 45 μg/mL that had a ≥ 50% reduction in the number of seizures and to investigate applicability of the 2011 International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) classification system in cats.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Animals: 30 cats with suspected or confirmed epilepsy.

Procedures: Medical records for 2004 to 2013 at 3 veterinary hospitals were searched. Information collected included signalment, duration of observation before treatment, frequency of seizures before PB administration, seizure phenotype, dose of PB, serum PB concentration, number of seizures after PB administration, duration of follow-up monitoring, and survival time. A modified 2011 ILAE classification system was applied to all cats.

Results: Seizure control was achieved in 28 of 30 (93%) cats with a serum PB concentration of 15 to 45 μg/mL. This comprised 10 of 11 cats with structural epilepsy, 14 of 15 cats with unknown epilepsy, and 4 of 4 cats with presumptive unknown epilepsy. Thirteen cats had no additional seizures after initiation of PB treatment.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: Seizure control was achieved in most cats with a serum PB concentration between 15 and 45 μg/mL, regardless of the cause of the seizures. A modified 2011 ILAE classification was applied to cats with seizures and enabled classification of cats without specific genetic testing and without identified structural or inflammatory disease. This classification system should be incorporated into veterinary neurology nomenclature to standardize communication between veterinarians and improve comparisons among species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.244.2.195DOI Listing
January 2014

Plant sterols are efficacious in lowering plasma LDL and non-HDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic type 2 diabetic and nondiabetic persons.

Am J Clin Nutr 2005 Jun;81(6):1351-8

School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Canada.

Background: Because of hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, diabetic persons have higher cholesterol synthesis and lower cholesterol absorption rates than do nondiabetic persons. Differences in plant sterol efficacy between diabetic and nondiabetic persons have not been examined.

Objective: The objective was to compare the degree of response of plasma lipid concentrations and glycemic control to plant sterol consumption in a controlled diet between hypercholesterolemic type 2 diabetic and nondiabetic subjects.

Design: Fifteen nondiabetic subjects and 14 diabetic subjects participated in a double-blinded, randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled feeding trial. The diet included 1.8 g/d of either plant sterols or cornstarch placebo over 21 d, separated by a 28-d washout period.

Results: Plant sterol consumption significantly reduced (P < 0.05) LDL-cholesterol concentrations from baseline in both nondiabetic and diabetic subjects by 15.1% and 26.8%, respectively. The diabetic subjects had significantly (P < 0.05) lower absolute concentrations of total cholesterol after treatment than did the nondiabetic subjects; however, there was no significant difference in the percentage change from the beginning to the end of the trial. There was also a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in absolute non-HDL-cholesterol concentrations after treatment in both groups.

Conclusions: The results showed that plant sterols are efficacious in lowering LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol in both diabetic and nondiabetic persons. Plant sterol consumption may exist as a dietary management strategy for hypercholesterolemia in persons with type 2 diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/81.6.1351DOI Listing
June 2005