Preferential amplification of CD8 effector-T cells after transcutaneous application of an inactivated influenza vaccine: a randomized phase I trial
Sylvie van der Werf
- Background: Current conventional vaccination approaches do not induce potent CD8 T-cell responses for fighting mostly variable viral diseases such as influenza, avian influenza viruses or HIV. Following our recent study on vaccine penetration by targeting of vaccine to human hair follicular ducts surrounded by Langerhans cells, we tested in the first randomized Phase-Ia trial based on hair follicle penetration (namely transcutaneous route) the induction of virus-specific CD8 T cell responses. Methods and Findings: We chose the inactivated influenza vaccine – a conventional licensed tetanus/influenza (TETAGRIP®) vaccine – to compare the safety and immunogenicity of transcutaneous (TC) versus IM immunization in two randomized controlled, multi-center Phase I trials including 24 healthy-volunteers and 12 HIV-infected patients. Vaccination was performed by application of inactivated influenza vaccine according to a standard protocol allowing the opening of the hair duct for the TC route or needle-injection for the IM route. We demonstrated that the safety of the two routes was similar. We showed the superiority of TC application, but not the IM route, to induce a significant increase in influenza-specific CD8 cytokine-producing cells in healthy-volunteers and in HIV-infected patients. However, these routes did not differ significantly for the induction of influenza-specific CD4 responses, and neutralizing antibodies were induced only by the IM route. The CD8 cell response is thus the major immune response observed after TC vaccination. Conclusions: This Phase Ia clinical trial (Manon05) testing an anti-influenza vaccine demonstrated that vaccines designed for antibody induction by the IM route, generate vaccine-specific CD8 T cells when administered transcutaneously. These results underline the necessity of adapting vaccination strategies to control complex infectious diseases when CD8 cellular responses are crucial. Our work opens up a key area for the development of preventive and therapeutic vaccines for diseases in which CD8 cells play a crucial role.
New histone deacetylase inhibitors as potential therapeutic tools for advanced prostate carcinoma
Steffen Alexander Wedel
Piero Del Soldato
Roman A. Blaheta
- The anti-epileptic drug valproic acid is also under trial as an anti-cancer agent due to its histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitory properties. However, the effects of valproic acid (VPA) are limited and concentrations required for exerting anti-neoplastic effects in vitro may not be reached in tumour patients. In this study, we tested in vitro and in vivo effects of two VPA-derivatives (ACS2, ACS33) on pre-clinical prostate cancer models. PC3 and DU-145 prostate tumour cell lines were treated with various concentrations of ACS2 or ACS33 to perform in vitro cell proliferation 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays and to evaluate tumour cell adhesion to endothelial cell monolayers. Analysis of acetylated histones H3 and H4 protein expression was performed by western blotting. In vivo tumour growth was conducted in subcutaneous xenograft mouse models. Tumour sections were assessed by immunohistochemistry for histone H3 acetylation and proliferation. ACS2 and ACS33 significantly up-regulated histone H3 and H4 acetylation in prostate cancer cell lines. In micromolar concentrations both compounds exerted growth arrest in PC3 and DU-145 cells and prevented tumour cell attachment to endothelium. In vivo, ACS33 inhibited the growth of PC3 in subcutaneous xenografts. Immunohistochemistry and western blotting confirmed increased histone H3 acetylation and reduced proliferation. ACS2 and ACS33 represent novel VPA derivatives with superior anti-tumoural activities, compared to the mother compound. This investigation lends support to the clinical testing of ACS2 or ACS33 for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Publication of original research in urologic journals - a neglected orphan?
Roman A. Blaheta
- The pathophysiologic mechanisms behind urologic disease are increasingly being elucidated. The object of this investigation was to evaluate the publication policies of urologic journals during a period of progressively better understanding and management of urologic disease. Based on the ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports and the PubMed database, the number and percentage of original experimental, original clinical, review or commentarial articles published between 2002–2010 in six leading urologic journals were analyzed. “British Journal of Urology International”, “European Urology”, “Urologic Oncology-Seminars and Original Investigations” (“Urologic Oncology”), “Urology”, “The Journal of Urology”, and “World Journal of Urology” were chosen, because these journals publish articles in all four categories. The publication policies of the six journals were very heterogeneous during the time period from 2002 to 2010. The percentage of original experimental and original clinical articles, related to all categories, remained the same in “British Journal of Urology International”, “Urologic Oncology”, “Urology” and “The Journal of Urology”. The percentage of experimental reports in “World Journal of Urology” between 2002–2010 significantly increased from 10 to 20%. A distinct elevation in the percentage of commentarial articles accompanied by a reduction of clinical articles became evident in “European Urology” which significantly correlated with a large increase in the journal’s impact factor. No clearly superior policy could be identified with regard to a general increase in the impact factors from all the journals. The publication policy of urologic journals does not expressly reflect the increase in scientific knowledge, which has occurred over the period 2002–2010. One way of increasing the exposure of urologists to research and expand the interface between experimental and clinical research, would be to enlarge the percentage of experimental articles published. There is no indication that such policy would be detrimental to a journal’s impact factor.
Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration associated with lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the tonsil
- Background: Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD) is a classical tumor-associated, immune-mediated disease typically associated with gynecological malignancies, small-cell lung-cancer or lymphoma.
Case presentation: Here we present the case of a 38-year old male with an over 12 months rapidly progressive cerebellar syndrome. Extensive diagnostic workup revealed selective hypermetabolism of the right tonsil in whole-body PET. Histological examination after tonsillectomy demonstrated a lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the tonsil and the tongue base strongly suggesting a paraneoplastic cause of the cerebellar syndrome. To the best of our knowledge this is the first case of an association of a lymphoepithelial carcinoma, a rare pharyngeal tumor, with PCD.
Conclusions: In cases of classical paraneoplastic syndromes an extensive search for neoplasms should be performed including whole-body PET to detect tumors early in the course of the disease.
Phospholipid metabolites in recurrent glioblastoma: in vivo markers detect different tumor phenotypes before and under antiangiogenic therapy
Stella Byol-Hanna Blasel
Joachim Peter Steinbach
- Purpose: Metabolic changes upon antiangiogenic therapy of recurrent glioblastomas (rGBMs) may provide new biomarkers for treatment efficacy. Since in vitro models showed that phospholipid membrane metabolism provides specific information on tumor growth we employed in-vivo MR-spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) of human rGBMs before and under bevacizumab (BVZ) to measure concentrations of phosphocholine (PCho), phosphoethanolamine (PEth), glycerophosphocholine (GPC), and glyceroethanolamine (GPE).
Methods: 1H and 31P MRSI was prospectively performed in 32 patients with rGBMs before and under BVZ therapy at 8 weeks intervals until tumor progression. Patients were dichotomized into subjects with long overall survival (OS) (>median OS) and short OS (<median OS) survival time from BVZ-onset. Metabolite concentrations from tumor tissue and their ratios were compared to contralateral normal-appearing tissue (control).
Results: Before BVZ, 1H-detectable choline signals (total GPC and PCho) in rGBMs were elevated but significance failed after dichotomizing. For metabolite ratios obtained by 31P MRSI, the short-OS group showed higher PCho/GPC (p = 0.004) in rGBMs compared to control tissue before BVZ while PEth/GPE was elevated in rGBMs of both groups (long-OS p = 0.04; short-OS p = 0.003). Under BVZ, PCho/GPC and PEth/GPE in the tumor initially decreased (p = 0.04) but only PCho/GPC re-increased upon tumor progression (p = 0.02). Intriguingly, in normal-appearing tissue an initial PEth/GPE decrease (p = 0.047) was followed by an increase at the time of tumor progression (p = 0.031).
Conclusion: An elevated PCho/GPC ratio in the short-OS group suggests that it is a negative predictive marker for BVZ efficacy. These gliomas may represent a malignant phenotype even growing under anti-VEGF treatment. Elevated PEth/GPE may represent an in-vivo biomarker more sensitive to GBM infiltration than MRI.
Differential utilization of ketone bodies by neurons and glioma cell lines: a rationale for ketogenic diet as experimental glioma therapy
Gabriele Dorothea Maurer
Daniel P. Brucker
Patrick Nikolaus Harter
Joachim Peter Steinbach
- Background: Even in the presence of oxygen, malignant cells often highly depend on glycolysis for energy generation, a phenomenon known as the Warburg effect. One strategy targeting this metabolic phenotype is glucose restriction by administration of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet. Under these conditions, ketone bodies are generated serving as an important energy source at least for non-transformed cells. Methods: To investigate whether a ketogenic diet might selectively impair energy metabolism in tumor cells, we characterized in vitro effects of the principle ketone body 3-hydroxybutyrate in rat hippocampal neurons and five glioma cell lines. In vivo, a non-calorie-restricted ketogenic diet was examined in an orthotopic xenograft glioma mouse model. Results: The ketone body metabolizing enzymes 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (BDH1 and 2), 3-oxoacid-CoA transferase 1 (OXCT1) and acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase 1 (ACAT1) were expressed at the mRNA and protein level in all glioma cell lines. However, no activation of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) pathway was observed in glioma cells, consistent with the absence of substantial 3-hydroxybutyrate metabolism and subsequent accumulation of succinate. Further, 3-hydroxybutyrate rescued hippocampal neurons from glucose withdrawal-induced cell death but did not protect glioma cell lines. In hypoxia, mRNA expression of OXCT1, ACAT1, BDH1 and 2 was downregulated. In vivo, the ketogenic diet led to a robust increase of blood 3-hydroxybutyrate, but did not alter blood glucose levels or improve survival. Conclusion: In summary, glioma cells are incapable of compensating for glucose restriction by metabolizing ketone bodies in vitro, suggesting a potential disadvantage of tumor cells compared to normal cells under a carbohydrate-restricted ketogenic diet. Further investigations are necessary to identify co-treatment modalities, e.g. glycolysis inhibitors or antiangiogenic agents that efficiently target non-oxidative pathways.
The longtime behavior of branching random walk in a catalytic medium
- Consider a countable collection of particles located on a countable group, performing a critical branching random walk where the branching rate of a particle is given by a random medium fluctuating both in space and time. Here we study the case where the time-space random medium (called catalyst) is also a critical branching random walk evolving autonomously while the local branching rate of the reactant process is proportional to the number of catalytic particles present at a site. The catalyst process and the reactant process typically have different underlying motions.
Alpha-synuclein deficiency leads to increased glyoxalase I expression and glycation stress
- The presynaptic protein alpha-synuclein has received much attention because its gain-of-function is associated with Parkinson’s disease. However, its physiological function is still poorly understood. We studied brain regions of knock-out mice at different ages with regard to consistent upregulations of the transcriptome and focused on glyoxalase I (GLO1). The microarray data were confirmed in qPCR, immunoblot, enzyme activity, and behavior analyses. GLO1 induction is a known protective cellular response to glucose stress, representing efforts to decrease toxic levels of methylglyoxal (MG), glyoxal and advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). Mass spectrometry quantification demonstrated a ubiquitous increase in MG and fructosyl-lysine as consequences of glucose toxicity, and consistent enhancement of certain AGEs. Thus, GLO1 induction in KO brain seems insufficient to prevent AGE formation. In conclusion, the data demonstrate GLO1 expression and glycation damage to be induced by alpha-synuclein ablation. We propose that wild-type alpha-synuclein modulates brain glucose metabolism.
Staphylococcus aureus Proteins Sbi and Efb Recruit Human Plasmin to Degrade Complement C3 and C3b
Tina K. Koch
Jean van den Elsen
Peter F. Zipfel
- Upon host infection, the human pathogenic microbe Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) immediately faces innate immune reactions such as the activated complement system. Here, a novel innate immune evasion strategy of S. aureus is described. The staphylococcal proteins surface immunoglobulin-binding protein (Sbi) and extracellular fibrinogen-binding protein (Efb) bind C3/C3b simultaneously with plasminogen. Bound plasminogen is converted by bacterial activator staphylokinase or by host-specific urokinase-type plasminogen activator to plasmin, which in turn leads to degradation of complement C3 and C3b. Efb and to a lesser extend Sbi enhance plasmin cleavage of C3/C3b, an effect which is explained by a conformational change in C3/C3b induced by Sbi and Efb. Furthermore, bound plasmin also degrades C3a, which exerts anaphylatoxic and antimicrobial activities. Thus, S. aureus Sbi and Efb comprise platforms to recruit plasmin(ogen) together with C3 and its activation product C3b for efficient degradation of these complement components in the local microbial environment and to protect S. aureus from host innate immune reactions.
Complement factor H-related proteins CFHR2 and CFHR5 represent novel ligands for the infection-associated CRASP proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi
Peter F. Zipfel
- Background: One virulence property of Borrelia burgdorferi is its resistance to innate immunity, in particular to complement-mediated killing. Serum-resistant B. burgdorferi express up to five distinct complement regulator-acquiring surface proteins (CRASP) which interact with complement regulator factor H (CFH) and factor H-like protein 1 (FHL1) or factor H-related protein 1 (CFHR1). In the present study we elucidate the role of the infection-associated CRASP-3 and CRASP-5 protein to serve as ligands for additional complement regulatory proteins as well as for complement resistance of B. burgdorferi. Methodology/Principal Findings: To elucidate whether CRASP-5 and CRASP-3 interact with various human proteins, both borrelial proteins were immobilized on magnetic beads. Following incubation with human serum, bound proteins were eluted and separated by Glycine-SDS-PAGE. In addition to CFH and CFHR1, complement regulators CFHR2 and CFHR5 were identified as novel ligands for both borrelial proteins by employing MALDI-TOF. To further assess the contributions of CRASP-3 and CRASP-5 to complement resistance, a serum-sensitive B. garinii strain G1 which lacks all CFH-binding proteins was used as a valuable model for functional analyses. Both CRASPs expressed on the B. garinii outer surface bound CFH as well as CFHR1 and CFHR2 in ELISA. In contrast, live B. garinii bound CFHR1, CFHR2, and CFHR5 and only miniscute amounts of CFH as demonstrated by serum adsorption assays and FACS analyses. Further functional analysis revealed that upon NHS incubation, CRASP-3 or CRASP-5 expressing borreliae were killed by complement. Conclusions/Significance: In the absence of CFH and the presence of CFHR1, CFHR2 and CFHR5, assembly and integration of the membrane attack complex was not efficiently inhibited indicating that CFH in co-operation with CFHR1, CFHR2 and CFHR5 supports complement evasion of B. burgdorferi.