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Special Issue "Immunological Investigations in Hematology"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 17 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Athanasia Mouzaki
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Patras Medical School, Patras, Greece
Interests: cellular and molecular immunology; immunohematology; T-cells; cytokines; transcription; HIV-1; autoimmunity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This thematic Special Issue will focus on the immune system as an active participant in hematology and hematologic diseases. Immune cells and soluble mediators are major components of blood and lymphoid tissues, are involved directly in immune-mediated hematologic diseases, and are used as diagnostic and therapeutic tools in all aspects of hematology.

We welcome research or review papers on immune system involvement in hematology, including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  1. The role of immune cells and cytokines in hematology and hematologic diseases;
  2. Immune biomarkers for hematologic diseases;
  3. Immunomodulators in hematology and hematologic diseases;
  4. Immunotherapeutic approaches to hematologic diseases (including CAR T-cells);
  5. Immunodiagnostic tools for hematologic diseases.

Prof. Dr. Athanasia Mouzaki
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Antibodies
  • Antigen-presenting cells
  • Autoantigens
  • Autoimmune hematologic diseases
  • B-cells
  • CAR T-cells
  • Cytokines
  • Diagnosis
  • Gene expression
  • Genetically engineered molecules
  • Immune cell malignancies
  • Immune hemolytic anemia
  • Immune therapy
  • Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • Inherited blood disorders
  • Post-translational modifications
  • T-cells
  • Thalassemias
  • Therapy
  • Transplantation

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Human CD22-Transgenic, Primary Murine Lymphoma Challenges Immunotherapies in Organ-Specific Tumor Microenvironments
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(19), 10433; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910433 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Targeted immunotherapies have greatly changed treatment of patients with B cell malignancies. To further enhance immunotherapies, research increasingly focuses on the tumor microenvironment (TME), which differs considerably by organ site. However, immunocompetent mouse models of disease to study immunotherapies targeting human molecules within [...] Read more.
Targeted immunotherapies have greatly changed treatment of patients with B cell malignancies. To further enhance immunotherapies, research increasingly focuses on the tumor microenvironment (TME), which differs considerably by organ site. However, immunocompetent mouse models of disease to study immunotherapies targeting human molecules within organ-specific TME are surprisingly rare. We developed a myc-driven, primary murine lymphoma model expressing a human-mouse chimeric CD22 (h/mCD22). Stable engraftment of three distinct h/mCD22+ lymphoma was established after subcutaneous and systemic injection. However, only systemic lymphoma showed immune infiltration that reflected human disease. In this model, myeloid cells supported lymphoma growth and showed a phenotype of myeloid-derived suppressor cells. The human CD22-targeted immunotoxin Moxetumomab was highly active against h/mCD22+ lymphoma and similarly reduced infiltration of bone marrow and spleen of all three models up to 90-fold while efficacy against lymphoma in lymph nodes varied substantially, highlighting relevance of organ-specific TME. As in human aggressive lymphoma, anti-PD-L1 as monotherapy was not efficient. However, anti-PD-L1 enhanced efficacy of Moxetumomab suggesting potential for future clinical application. The novel model system of h/mCD22+ lymphoma provides a unique platform to test targeted immunotherapies and may be amenable for other human B cell targets such as CD19 and CD20. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Investigations in Hematology)
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Article
The Role of Leptin in Childhood Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP): An Anti-Inflammatory Agent?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(14), 7636; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22147636 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 584
Abstract
To investigate the effect of leptin in childhood ITP, we measured plasma leptin in 39 children with acute ITP, after treatment and in remission, and in 33 healthy age/BMI-matched controls. We also cultured ITP and control peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with recombinant [...] Read more.
To investigate the effect of leptin in childhood ITP, we measured plasma leptin in 39 children with acute ITP, after treatment and in remission, and in 33 healthy age/BMI-matched controls. We also cultured ITP and control peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with recombinant leptin to assess its direct effect on pro/anti-inflammatory cytokine gene expression. A significant increase in leptin was observed in children with active disease compared to controls. A significant inverse correlation of leptin with platelet count was also observed in children with acute ITP. Leptin remained high after treatment with IVIg, whereas steroid treatment lowered leptin below control levels. In remission, leptin was in the control range. Cytokine gene expression was significantly increased in children with acute ITP compared with controls, with highest expression for IFN-γ and IL-10. IVIg/steroid treatment significantly decreased IFN-γ and IL-10 expression. In remission, IFN-γ and IL-10 expression remained low. Addition of leptin to PBMCs isolated from patients in remission resulted in a significant increase in IL-10 gene expression compared to controls. Further experiments with purified T-cells and monocytes identified monocytes as the source of leptin-induced IL-10. We suggest that leptin acts as an active anti-inflammatory agent in childhood ITP by promoting IL-10 secretion by monocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Investigations in Hematology)
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Article
Detailed Structure and Pathophysiological Roles of the IgA-Albumin Complex in Multiple Myeloma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 1766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22041766 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 922
Abstract
Immunoglobulin A (IgA)-albumin complexes may be associated with pathophysiology of multiple myeloma, although the etiology is not clear. Detailed structural analyses of these protein–protein complexes may contribute to our understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease. We analyzed the structure of the IgA-albumin [...] Read more.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA)-albumin complexes may be associated with pathophysiology of multiple myeloma, although the etiology is not clear. Detailed structural analyses of these protein–protein complexes may contribute to our understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease. We analyzed the structure of the IgA-albumin complex using various electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, and in silico techniques. The data based on the electrophoresis and mass spectrometry showed that IgA in the sera of patients was dimeric, linked via the J chain. Only dimeric IgA can bind to albumin molecules leading to IgA-albumin complexes, although both monomeric and dimeric forms of IgA were present in the sera. Molecular interaction analyses in silico implied that dimeric IgA and albumin interacted not only via disulfide bond formation, but also via noncovalent bonds. Disulfide bonds were predicted between Cys34 of albumin and Cys311 of IgA, resulting in an oxidized form of albumin. Furthermore, complex formation prolongs the half-life of IgA molecules in the IgA-albumin complex, leading to excessive glycation of IgA molecules and affects the accumulation of IgA in serum. These findings may demonstrate why complications such as hyperviscosity syndrome occur more often in patients with IgA dimer producing multiple myeloma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Investigations in Hematology)
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Article
Delayed NK Cell Reconstitution and Reduced NK Activity Increased the Risks of CMV Disease in Allogeneic-Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103663 - 22 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1217
Abstract
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has a significant impact in patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We investigated natural killer (NK) cell reconstitution and cytotoxic/cytokine production in controlling CMV infection, especially severe CMV disease in HSCT patients. Fifty-eight patients with acute myeloid leukemia [...] Read more.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has a significant impact in patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We investigated natural killer (NK) cell reconstitution and cytotoxic/cytokine production in controlling CMV infection, especially severe CMV disease in HSCT patients. Fifty-eight patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who received allo-HSCT were included. We monitored NK reconstitution and NK function at baseline, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 days after HSCT, and compared the results in recipients stratified on post-HSCT CMV reactivation (n = 23), non-reactivation (n = 24) versus CMV disease (n = 11) groups. The CMV disease group had a significantly delayed recovery of CD56dim NK cells and expansion of FcRγ-CD3ζ+NK cells started post-HSCT 150 days. Sequential results of NK cytotoxicity, NK cell-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (NK-ADCC), and NK-Interferon-gamma (NK-IFNγ) production for 180 days demonstrated delayed recovery and decreased levels in the CMV disease group compared with the other groups. The results within 1 month after CMV viremia also showed a significant decrease in NK function in the CMV disease group compared to the CMV reactivation group. It suggests that NK cells’ maturation and cytotoxic/IFNγ production contributes to CMV protection, thereby revealing the NK phenotype and functional NK monitoring as a biomarker for CMV risk prediction, especially CMV disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Investigations in Hematology)
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Review

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Review
Therapeutic Implications of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Their Extracellular Vesicles in Autoimmune Diseases: From Biology to Clinical Applications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(18), 10132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221810132 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 501
Abstract
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are perivascular multipotent stem cells originally identified in the bone marrow (BM) stroma and subsequently in virtually all vascularized tissues. Because of their ability to differentiate into various mesodermal lineages, their trophic properties, homing capacity, and immunomodulatory functions, MSCs [...] Read more.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are perivascular multipotent stem cells originally identified in the bone marrow (BM) stroma and subsequently in virtually all vascularized tissues. Because of their ability to differentiate into various mesodermal lineages, their trophic properties, homing capacity, and immunomodulatory functions, MSCs have emerged as attractive candidates in tissue repair and treatment of autoimmune disorders. Accumulating evidence suggests that the beneficial effects of MSCs may be primarily mediated via a number of paracrine-acting soluble factors and extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are membrane-coated vesicles that are increasingly being acknowledged as playing a key role in intercellular communication via their capacity to carry and deliver their cargo, consisting of proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids to recipient cells. MSC-EVs recapitulate the functions of the cells they originate, including immunoregulatory effects but do not seem to be associated with the limitations and concerns of cell-based therapies, thereby emerging as an appealing alternative therapeutic option in immune-mediated disorders. In the present review, the biology of MSCs will be outlined and an overview of their immunomodulatory functions will be provided. In addition, current knowledge on the features of MSC-EVs and their immunoregulatory potential will be summarized. Finally, therapeutic applications of MSCs and MSC-EVs in autoimmune disorders will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Investigations in Hematology)
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Review
The Biology of Classic Hairy Cell Leukemia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 7780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22157780 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
Classic hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare mature B-cell malignancy associated with pancytopenia and infectious complications due to progressive infiltration of the bone marrow and spleen. Despite tremendous therapeutic advances achieved with the implementation of purine analogues such as cladribine into clinical [...] Read more.
Classic hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare mature B-cell malignancy associated with pancytopenia and infectious complications due to progressive infiltration of the bone marrow and spleen. Despite tremendous therapeutic advances achieved with the implementation of purine analogues such as cladribine into clinical practice, the culprit biologic alterations driving this fascinating hematologic disease have long stayed concealed. Nearly 10 years ago, BRAF V600E was finally identified as a key activating mutation detectable in almost all HCL patients and throughout the entire course of the disease. However, additional oncogenic biologic features seem mandatory to enable HCL transformation, an open issue still under active investigation. This review summarizes the current understanding of key pathogenic mechanisms implicated in HCL and discusses major hurdles to overcome in the context of other BRAF-mutated malignancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Investigations in Hematology)
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Review
The Role of CTLA4 and Its Polymorphisms in Solid Organ and Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 3081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22063081 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
HLA matching, transplantation technique, or underlying disease greatly influences the probability of long-term transplantation success. It has been hypothesised that genetic variation affecting antigen presentation also contributes to the outcomes of both solid organ transplantation and allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT). Those [...] Read more.
HLA matching, transplantation technique, or underlying disease greatly influences the probability of long-term transplantation success. It has been hypothesised that genetic variation affecting antigen presentation also contributes to the outcomes of both solid organ transplantation and allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT). Those genes, along with those responsible for innate and adaptive immunity, have become targets of investigation. In this review, we focus on the role of CTLA4 in the process of acute graft rejection and summarise the progress in our understanding of its role in predicting the outcome. We present the results of the latest studies investigating the link between CTLA4 gene variability and AHSCT, as well as organ transplantation outcomes. While some studies found a link between +49 A/G and −318 C/T and transplantation outcomes, comprehensive meta-analyses have failed to present any association. The most recent field reviews suggest that the −1772 T/C (rs733618) CC genotype is weakly associated with a lower risk of acute graft rejection, while +49 A/G might be clinically meaningful when investigated in the context of combinations with other polymorphisms. Studies verifying associations between 12 CTLA4 gene SNPs and AHSCT outcomes present inexplicit results. Some of the most commonly studied polymorphisms in this context include +49 A/G (rs231775) and CT60 A/G (rs3087243). The results signify that, in order to understand the role of CTLA4 and its gene polymorphisms in transplantology, further studies must be conducted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Investigations in Hematology)
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Review
A New Era in Endothelial Injury Syndromes: Toxicity of CAR-T Cells and the Role of Immunity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113886 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Immunotherapy with chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T cells) has been recently approved for patients with relapsed/refractory B-lymphoproliferative neoplasms. Along with great efficacy in patients with poor prognosis, CAR-T cells have been also linked with novel toxicities in a significant portion of patients. Cytokine [...] Read more.
Immunotherapy with chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T cells) has been recently approved for patients with relapsed/refractory B-lymphoproliferative neoplasms. Along with great efficacy in patients with poor prognosis, CAR-T cells have been also linked with novel toxicities in a significant portion of patients. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurotoxicity present with unique clinical phenotypes that have not been previously observed. Nevertheless, they share similar characteristics with endothelial injury syndromes developing post hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Evolution in complement therapeutics has attracted renewed interest in these life-threatening syndromes, primarily concerning transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (TA-TMA). The immune system emerges as a key player not only mediating cytokine responses but potentially contributing to endothelial injury in CAR-T cell toxicity. The interplay between complement, endothelial dysfunction, hypercoagulability, and inflammation seems to be a common denominator in these syndromes. As the indications for CAR-T cells and patient populations expand, there in an unmet clinical need of better understanding of the pathophysiology of CAR-T cell toxicity. Therefore, this review aims to provide state-of-the-art knowledge on cellular therapies in clinical practice (indications and toxicities), endothelial injury syndromes and immunity, as well as potential therapeutic targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Investigations in Hematology)
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