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Micronized progesterone pretreatment affects the inflammatory response of human gestational tissues and the cervix to lipopolysaccharide stimulation.

Vaginal administration of micronized progesterone (utrogestan capsule, UG) reduces the risk of preterm birth (PTB) in asymptomatic women with a sonographic short cervix at mid-trimester or with a prior history of spontaneous PTB; however, its exact mechanisms remain unclear. We hypothesized that UG limits the inflammatory processes within the gestational tissues and the cervix.

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Patterns of inflammatory responses and parasite tolerance vary with malaria transmission intensity.

In individuals living in malaria-endemic regions, parasitaemia thresholds for the onset of clinical symptoms vary with transmission intensity. The mechanisms that mediate this relationship are however, unclear. Since inflammatory responses to parasite infection contribute to the clinical manifestation of malaria, this study investigated inflammatory cytokine responses in children with malaria from areas of different transmission intensities (ranging from low to high).

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Changes in HPBMC markers of immmune function following controlled short-term inhalation exposures of humans to hardwood smoke.

Previous studies have shown that complex mixtures containing particulate matter (PM) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) produce systemic immunotoxicity in animal models following inhalation exposures. While we and others have shown that emissions associated with hardwood smoke (HWS), cigarette smoke and diesel exhaust can suppress the immune systems of animals in vitro and in vivo, there have been few immune function studies on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (HPBMC) following exposure of humans to HWS. Our work shows that T cells are an important targets of PM and PAH immunotoxicity. These studies were conducted on HPBMC from 14 human volunteers receiving four 2 h nightly exposures to clean air or HWS at a concentration of 500 ug/m(3). We measured anti-CD3/anti-CD28 stimulated T-cell proliferation and HPBMC cytokine production in cell supernatants, including interleukin 1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 8 (IL-8), TH1 cytokines γIFN and IL-2, TH2 cytokine IL-4, Th17 cytokine interleukin 17A (IL-17A) and interleukin 10 (IL-10). We analyzed results using analysis of variance (ANOVA), t-tests and Pearson correlation. Results showed that there was significant variation in the amount of T-cell proliferation observed following polyclonal activation with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 antibodies in both the air and HWS-exposed groups. There was not a significant effect of HWS on T-cell proliferation. However, we did find a strong relationship between the presence of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, but not IL-8) and the amount of T-cell proliferation seen in individual donors, demonstrating that brief exposures of humans to HWS can produce changes in systemic immunity that is associated with proinflammatory cytokines.

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BMP-7 Treatment Increases M2 Macrophage Differentiation and Reduces Inflammation and Plaque Formation in Apo E-/- Mice.

Inflammation plays a fundamental role in the inception and development of atherosclerosis (ATH). Mechanisms of inflammation include the infiltration of monocytes into the injured area and subsequent differentiation into either pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages or anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. We have previously published data suggesting bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) enhances M2 macrophage differentiation and anti-inflammatory cytokine secretion in vitro. In this regard, we hypothesized BMP-7 would inhibit plaque formation in an animal model of ATH through monocytic plasticity mediation. ATH was generated in male and female Apo E(-/-) mice via partial left carotid artery (PLCA) ligation and mice were divided into 3 groups: Sham, PLCA, and PLCA+BMP-7 (200 ug/kg; i.v.). Our data suggest that BMP-7 inhibits plaque formation and increases arterial systolic velocity. Furthermore, we report inhibition of monocyte infiltration and a decrease in associated pro-inflammatory cytokines (MCP-1, TNF-α, and IL-6) in the PLCA+BMP-7 mice. In contrast, our data suggest a significant (p<0.05) increase in M2 macrophage populations with consequential enhanced anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1RA, IL-10, and Arginase 1) expression following BMP-7 treatment. We have also observed that mechanisms promoting monocyte into M2 macrophage differentiation by BMP-7 involve the upregulation and activation of the BMP-7 receptor (BMP-7RII). In conclusion, we report that BMP-7 has the potential to mediate cellular plasticity and mitigate the inflammatory immune response, which results in decreased plaque formation and improved blood velocity.

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Elevated Biomarkers of Inflammation and Coagulation in Patients with HIV Are Associated with Higher Framingham and VACS Risk Index Scores.

Biomarkers of inflammation and altered coagulation are of increasing interest as predictors of chronic disease and mortality in HIV patients, as well as the use of risk stratification scores such as the Framingham index and the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) score.

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CCL20 and Beta-Defensin 2 Production by Human Lung Epithelial Cells and Macrophages in Response to Brucella abortus Infection.

Both CCL20 and human β-defensin 2 (hBD2) interact with the same membrane receptor and display chemotactic and antimicrobial activities. They are produced by airway epithelia in response to infectious agents and proinflammatory cytokines. Whereas Brucella spp. can infect humans through inhalation, their ability to induce CCL20 and hBD2 in lung cells is unknown. Here we show that B. abortus induces CCL20 expression in human alveolar (A549) or bronchial (Calu-6) epithelial cell lines, primary alveolar epithelial cells, primary human monocytes, monocyte-derived macrophages and the monocytic cell line THP-1. CCL20 expression was mainly mediated by JNK1/2 and NF-kB in both Calu-6 and THP-1 cells. CCL20 secretion was markedly induced in A549, Calu-6 and THP-1 cells by heat-killed B. abortus or a model Brucella lipoprotein (L-Omp19) but not by the B. abortus lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Accordingly, CCL20 production by B. abortus-infected cells was strongly TLR2-dependent. Whereas hBD2 expression was not induced by B. abortus infection, it was significantly induced in A549 cells by conditioned media from B. abortus-infected THP-1 monocytes (CMB). A similar inducing effect was observed on CCL20 secretion. Experiments using blocking agents revealed that IL-1β, but not TNF-α, was involved in the induction of hBD2 and CCL20 secretion by CMB. In the in vitro antimicrobial assay, the lethal dose (LD) 50 of CCL20 for B. abortus (>50 μg/ml) was markedly higher than that against E. coli (1.5 μg/ml) or a B. abortus mutant lacking the O polysaccharide in its LPS (8.7 ug/ml). hBD2 did not kill any of the B. abortus strains at the tested concentrations. These results show that human lung epithelial cells secrete CCL20 and hBD2 in response to B. abortus and/or to cytokines produced by infected monocytes. Whereas these molecules do not seem to exert antimicrobial activity against this pathogen, they could recruit immune cells to the infection site.

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Cytokine response to selected MTB antigens in Ghanaian TB patients, before and at 2 weeks of anti-TB therapy is characterized by high expression of IFN-γ and Granzyme B and inter- individual variation.

There has been a long held belief that patients with drug-susceptible TB are non-infectious after two weeks of therapy. Recent microbiological and epidemiological evidence has challenged this dogma, however, the nature of the Mtb-specific cellular immune response during this period has not been adequately investigated. This knowledge could be exploited in the development of immunological biomarkers of early treatment response.

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Decreased chronic morbidity but elevated HIV associated cytokine levels in HIV-infected older adults receiving HIV treatment: benefit of enhanced access to care?

The association of HIV with chronic morbidity and inflammatory markers (cytokines) in older adults (50+years) is potentially relevant for clinical care, but data from African populations is scarce.

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Silencing of insulin receptor substrate-1 increases cell death in retinal Müller cells.

To determine whether β-adrenergic receptors require insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 activity to regulate apoptosis in retinal Müller cells.

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Gene delivery of SOCS3 protects mice from lethal endotoxic shock.

Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) was reported as a feedback inhibitor of cytokine receptor signaling by inhibiting the JAK-STAT signal transduction pathway. We sought to test the anti-endotoxic septic shock effect of liposome mediated gene delivery of SOCS3 in a lethal endotoxic shock mouse model. BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with 200 microg pcDNA3.1-SOCS3 cationic liposomes, while pcDNA3.1-IL-10 and empty vector as positive and negative control respectively. Forty-eight hours after gene delivery, mice were challenged with 4 microg of E.coli 0127:B8 LPS and 18 mg D-GalN administered i.p. 90 min later, serum TNF-alpha level was determined. Survival over the next 48 h was evaluated. Peritoneal macrophages from survival mice were stimulated in vitro with 1 ug/ml LPS for 18 h, and the supernatants were harvested for determination of the amount of TNF-alpha. We found that gene delivery of SOCS3 significantly increase the mouse survival rate from 27.8 +/- 9.6% of control group to 61.1 +/- 9.6% (p < 0.01). In comparison with control group (218 +/- 13 pg/ml) and sham delivery group (2,122 pg/ml), gene delivery of SOCS3 reduced the level of serum TNF-alpha (68 +/- 9 pg/ml) significantly (p < 0.01). Furthermore, gene delivery of SOCS3 displayed the capacity of prevention of tolerance of peritoneal macrophages to LPS. These findings suggest that gene delivery of SOCS3 mediated by liposome is a promising approach for endotoxic septic shock treatment.

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