Med. Sci.2014, 2(1), 51-69; doi:10.3390/medsci2010051 - published online 20 February 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tracking vaccine components from the site of injection to their destination in lymphatic tissue, and simultaneously monitoring immune effects, sheds light on the influence of vaccine components on particle and immune cell trafficking and therapeutic efficacy. In this study, we create a hybrid particle vaccine platform comprised of porous silicon (pSi) and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs). The impact of nanoparticle size and mode of presentation on magnetic resonance contrast enhancement are examined. SPION-enhanced relaxivity increased as the core diameter of the nanoparticle increased, while encapsulation of SPIONs within a pSi matrix had only minor effects on T2 and no significant effect on T2* relaxation. Following intravenous injection of single and hybrid particles, there was an increase in negative contrast in the spleen, with changes in contrast being slightly greater for free compared to silicon encapsulated SPIONs. Incubation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDC) with pSi microparticles loaded with SPIONs, SIINFEKL peptide, and lipopolysaccharide stimulated immune cell interactions and interferon gamma production in OT-1 TCR transgenic CD8+ T cells. Overall, the hybrid particle platform enabled presentation of a complex payload that was traceable, stimulated functional T cell and BMDC interactions, and resolved in cellular activation of T cells in response to a specific antigen.
Med. Sci.2014, 2(1), 37-50; doi:10.3390/medsci2010037 - published online 18 February 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Effects of tobacco smoke on hematologic derangements have received little attention. This study employed a mouse model of cigarette smoke exposure to explore the effects on bone marrow niche function. While lung cancer is the most widely studied consequence of tobacco smoke exposure, other malignancies, including leukemia, are associated with tobacco smoke exposure. Animals received cigarette smoke exposure for 6 h/day, 5 days/week for 9 months. Results reveal that the hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) pool size is reduced by cigarette smoke exposure. We next examined the effect of cigarette smoke exposure on one supporting cell type of the niche, the mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Smoke exposure decreased the number of MSCs. Transplantation of naïve HSPCs into irradiated mice with cigarette smoke exposure yielded fewer numbers of engrafted HSPCs. This result suggests that smoke-exposed mice possess dysfunctional niches, resulting in abnormal hematopoiesis. Co-culture experiments using MSCs isolated from control or cigarette smoke-exposed mice with naïve HSPCs in vitro showed that MSCs from cigarette smoke-exposed mice generated marked expansion of naïve HSPCs. These data show that cigarette smoke exposure decreases in vivo MSC and HSC number and also increases pro-proliferative gene expression by cigarette smoke-exposed MSCs, which may stimulate HSPC expansion. These results of this investigation are clinically relevant to both bone marrow donors with a history of smoking and bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipients with a history of smoking.
Med. Sci.2014, 2(1), 23-36; doi:10.3390/medsci2010023 - published online 28 January 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are increasingly being used in clinical trials to treat a variety of malignant conditions and recent results with CD19-specific CARs showing complete tumor regressions has sparked the interest of researchers and the public alike. Traditional CARs have been generated using single-chain variable fragments (scFv), often derived from murine monoclonal antibodies, for antigen specificity. As the clinical experience with CAR T cells grows, so does the potential for unwanted immune responses against the foreign transgene. Strategies that may reduce the immunogenicity of CAR T cells are humanization of the scFv and the use of naturally occurring receptor ligands as antigen-binding domains. Herein, we review the experience with alternatively designed CARs that contain receptor ligands rather than scFv. While most of the experiences have been in the pre-clinical setting, clinical data is also emerging.
Med. Sci.2014, 2(1), 1-22; doi:10.3390/medsci2010001 - published online 27 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The mechanisms by which natural dietary compounds exert their antitumor effects have been the focus of a large number of research efforts in recent years. Induction of apoptosis by inhibition of cell proliferative pathways is one of the common means of cell death employed by these dietary compounds. However, agents that can activate an antitumor immune response in addition to a chemotherapeutic effect may be useful adjuvants or alternative therapies for the treatment of cancer. The focus of this review is to highlight representative dietary compounds, namely Withania somnifera, Panax ginseng, curcumin and resveratrolwith special emphasis on their antitumor immune mechanism of action. Each of these dietary compounds and their sources has a history of safe human use as food or in herbal medicine traditions, potentially making them ideal therapeutics. Here we report the recent advances in the cellular immune mechanisms utilized by these compounds to induce antitumor immunity. Taken together, these findings provide a new perspective for exploiting novel dietary compounds as chemoimmunotherapeutic anti-cancer agents.
Med. Sci.2013, 1(1), 37-48; doi:10.3390/medsci1010037 - published online 15 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A goal of cancer immunologists is to harness cellular immune responses to achieve anti-cancer responses. One of the strongest activating stimuli for the immune system is the encounter with cells expressing allogeneic HLA molecules. While alloreactive responses can negatively impact of the outcome of hematopoietic stem cell transplant because of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), these same responses can have anti-leukemic effects. Donor lymphocyte infusions have been used in an attempt to harness alloreactive responses to achieve anti-leukemic responses. Because this protocol is usually carried out in the absence of recipient anti-donor responses, this protocol often induces GVHD as well as anti-leukemic responses. A recent study indicated the infusion of large number of haploidentical donor cells (1–2 × 108 CD3+ cells/kg) into patients with refractory hematological malignancies (100 cGy total body irradiation) resulted in 14 (7 major) responses/26 patients. A rapidly developing cytokine storm was observed, while no persisting donor cells could be detected at two weeks after infusion eliminating the possibility of GVHD. Characterization of the effector mechanisms responsible for the anti-leukemic responses in this protocol, should guide new approaches for achieving enhanced anti-leukemic responses using this protocol.
Med. Sci.2013, 1(1), 20-36; doi:10.3390/medsci1010020 - published online 13 August 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) play a critical role in diverse physiological processes and the pathogenesis of diseases. Integrins are involved in FGF signaling, since integrin antagonists suppress FGF signaling. This is called integrin-FGF crosstalk, while the specifics of the crosstalk are unclear. This review highlights recent findings that FGF1 directly interacts with integrin αvβ3, and the resulting integrin-FGF-fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) ternary complex formation is essential for FGF1-induced cell proliferation, migration and angiogenesis. An integrin-binding defective FGF1 mutant (Arg-50 to Glu, R50E) is defective in ternary complex formation and in inducing cell proliferation, migration and angiogenesis, while R50E still binds to the FGF receptor and heparin. In addition, R50E suppressed tumorigenesis in vivo, while wild-type (WT) FGF1 enhanced it. Thus, the direct interaction between FGF1 and integrin αvβ3 is a potential therapeutic target, and R50E is a potential therapeutic agent.