In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (15)

Articles by Wilfried Posch in JoVE

Other articles by Wilfried Posch on PubMed

Complement As an Endogenous Adjuvant for Dendritic Cell-mediated Induction of Retrovirus-specific CTLs

PLoS Pathogens. Apr, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20442876

Previous studies have demonstrated the involvement of complement (C) in induction of efficient CTL responses against different viral infections, but the exact role of complement in this process has not been determined. We now show that C opsonization of retroviral particles enhances the ability of dendritic cells (DCs) to induce CTL responses both in vitro and in vivo. DCs exposed to C-opsonized HIV in vitro were able to stimulate CTLs to elicit antiviral activity significantly better than non-opsonized HIV. Furthermore, experiments using the Friend virus (FV) mouse model illustrated that the enhancing role of complement on DC-mediated CTL induction also occurred in vivo. Our results indicate that complement serves as natural adjuvant for DC-induced expansion and differentiation of specific CTLs against retroviruses.

Error, Reproducibility and Sensitivity: a Pipeline for Data Processing of Agilent Oligonucleotide Expression Arrays

BMC Bioinformatics. Jun, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20576120

Expression microarrays are increasingly used to obtain large scale transcriptomic information on a wide range of biological samples. Nevertheless, there is still much debate on the best ways to process data, to design experiments and analyse the output. Furthermore, many of the more sophisticated mathematical approaches to data analysis in the literature remain inaccessible to much of the biological research community. In this study we examine ways of extracting and analysing a large data set obtained using the Agilent long oligonucleotide transcriptomics platform, applied to a set of human macrophage and dendritic cell samples.

Inhibition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Replication by Cell Membrane-crossing Oligomers

Molecular Medicine (Cambridge, Mass.). 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22105607

Although rapidly becoming a valuable tool for gene silencing, regulation or editing in vitro, the direct transfer of small interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNAs) into cells is still an unsolved problem for in vivo applications. For the first time, we show that specific modifications of antisense oligomers allow autonomous passage into cell lines and primary cells without further adjuvant or coupling to a cell-penetrating peptide. For this reason, we termed the specifically modified oligonucleotides "cell membrane-crossing oligomers" (CMCOs). CMCOs targeted to various conserved regions of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 were tested and compared with nontargeting CMCOs. Analyses of uninfected and infected cells incubated with labeled CMCOs revealed that the compounds were enriched in infected cells and some of the tested CMCOs exhibited a potent antiviral effect. Finally, the CMCOs did not exert any cytotoxicity and did not inhibit proliferation of the cells. In vitro, our CMCOs are promising candidates as biologically active anti-HIV reagents for future in vivo applications.

Antibodies Attenuate the Capacity of Dendritic Cells to Stimulate HIV-specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Dec, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23063584

Control of HIV is suggested to depend on potent effector functions of the virus-specific CD8(+) T-cell response. Antigen opsonization can modulate the capture of antigen, its presentation, and the priming of specific CD8(+) T-cell responses.

Protein Kinase C Overexpression Does Not Enhance Immune-stimulatory Surface Markers of Vaccinia-infected Dendritic Cells and DC Cell Lines

Immunological Investigations. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23323525

One of the shortcomings of vaccinia virus (VACV) as immunization vector is the down-regulation of HLA and costimulatory molecules in antigen presenting cells. To overcome this problem we investigated the use of protein kinase C (PKC) as immune stimulatory agent. Thus several classical and atypical PKCs were inserted into wild-type or attenuated VACV using recombination into the hemagglutinin gene and the expression driven by the VACV 7,5K-IE gene promoter. Recombinant constructs expressing PKC-alpha, -beta, -theta as well as wild-type, constitutive active or dominant negative PKC-zeta constructs were generated. Additional constructs expressing PKB/Akt1 and ICAM-1 were used for comparison. Immature and mature peripheral blood derived-dendritic cells (DC) as well as lymphoid cell lines capable of obtaining a DC-like phenotype upon mitogen stimulation were infected. Disappointingly, VACV-driven PKC overexpression did not significantly enhance expression of various activation markers or costimulatory molecules tested. Neither CD86 nor HLA-DR expression was upregulated and also no influence on the maturation of DC, as measured by DC-SIGN and CD83, was observed. However, VACV did not interfere with LPS induced up-regulation of CD83 and did not lead to substantial apoptosis of infected DC within the first 24 hours.

Shiga Toxin 2 Reduces Complement Inhibitor CD59 Expression on Human Renal Tubular Epithelial and Glomerular Endothelial Cells

Infection and Immunity. Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23690395

Infections with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are a primary cause of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Recently, Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2), the major virulence factor of EHEC, was reported to interact with complement, implying that the latter is involved in the pathogenesis of EHEC-induced HUS. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of Stx2 on the expression of membrane-bound complement regulators CD46, CD55, and CD59 on proximal tubular epithelial (HK-2) and glomerular endothelial (GEnC) cells derived from human kidney cells that are involved in HUS. Incubation with Stx2 did not influence the amount of CD46 or CD55 on the surface of HK-2 and GEnC cells, as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. In contrast, CD59 was significantly reduced by half on GEnC cells, but the reduction on HK-2 cells was less pronounced. With increasing amounts of Stx2, reduction of CD59 also reached significance in HK-2 cells. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analyses showed that CD59 was not present in the supernatant of Stx2-treated cells, implying that CD59 reduction was not caused by cleavage from the cell surface. In fact, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR analyses showed downregulation of CD59 mRNA as the likely reason for CD59 cell surface reduction. In addition, a significant increase in terminal complement complex deposition on HK-2 cells was observed after treatment with Stx2, as a possible consequence of CD59 downregulation. In summary, Stx2 downregulates CD59 mRNA and protein levels on tubular epithelial and glomerular endothelial cells, and this downregulation likely contributes to complement activation and kidney destruction in EHEC-associated HUS.

Hepcidin As a Predictive Factor and Therapeutic Target in Erythropoiesis-stimulating Agent Treatment for Anemia of Chronic Disease in Rats

Haematologica. Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24895335

Anemia of chronic disease is a multifactorial disorder, resulting mainly from inflammation-driven reticuloendothelial iron retention, impaired erythropoiesis, and reduced biological activity of erythropoietin. Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents have been used for the treatment of anemia of chronic disease, although with varying response rates and potential adverse effects. Serum concentrations of hepcidin, a key regulator of iron homeostasis, are increased in patients with anemia of chronic disease and linked to the pathogenesis of this disease, because hepcidin blocks cellular iron egress, thus limiting availability of iron for erythropoiesis. We tested whether serum hepcidin levels can predict and affect the therapeutic efficacy of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent treatment using a well-established rat model of anemia of chronic disease. We found that high pre-treatment hepcidin levels correlated with an impaired hematologic response to an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent in rats with anemia of chronic disease. Combined treatment with an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent and an inhibitor of hepcidin expression, LDN-193189, significantly reduced serum hepcidin levels, mobilized iron from tissue stores, increased serum iron levels and improved hemoglobin levels more effectively than did the erythropoiesis-stimulating agent or LDN-193189 monotherapy. In parallel, both the erythropoiesis-stimulating agent and erythropoiesis-stimulating agent/LDN-193189 combined reduced the expression of cytokines known to inhibit erythropoiesis. We conclude that serum hepcidin levels can predict the hematologic responsiveness to erythropoiesis-stimulating agent therapy in anemia of chronic disease. Pharmacological inhibition of hepcidin formation improves the erythropoiesis-stimulating agent's therapeutic efficacy, which may favor a reduction of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent dosages, costs and side effects.

The Viral Make-up Makes a World of Difference

AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. Jul, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24984236

Immediate T-Helper 17 Polarization Upon Triggering CD11b/c on HIV-Exposed Dendritic Cells

The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25583169

Early on in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection, gut T-helper (Th) 17 cells are massively depleted leading eventually to compromised intestinal barrier function and excessive immune activation. In contrast, the functional Th17 cell compartment of the gut is well-maintained in nonpathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus infection as well as HIV-1 long-term nonprogressors. Here, we show that dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with HIV-1 bearing high surface complement levels after incubation in plasma from HIV-infected individuals secreted significantly higher concentrations of Th17-polarizing cytokines than DCs exposed to nonopsonized HIV-1. The enhanced Th17-polarizing capacity of in vitro-generated and BDCA-1(+) DCs directly isolated from blood was linked to activation of ERK. In addition, C3a produced from DCs exposed to complement-opsonized HIV was associated with the higher Th17 polarization. Our in vitro and ex vivo data, therefore, indicate that complement opsonization of HIV-1 strengthens DC-mediated antiviral immune functions by simultaneously triggering Th17 expansion and intrinsic C3 formation via DC activation.

Blocking Hsp70 Enhances the Efficiency of Amphotericin B Treatment Against Resistant Aspergillus Terreus Strains

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25870060

The polyene antifungal amphotericin B (AmB) is widely used to treat life-threatening fungal infections. Even though AmB resistance is exceptionally rare in fungi, most Aspergillus terreus isolates exhibit an intrinsic resistance against the drug in vivo and in vitro. Heat shock proteins perform a fundamental protective role against a multitude of stress responses, thereby maintaining protein homeostasis in the organism. In this study, we elucidated the role of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) family members and compared resistant and susceptible A. terreus clinical isolates. The upregulation of cytoplasmic Hsp70 members at the transcriptional as well as translational levels was significantly higher with AmB treatment than without AmB treatment, particularly in resistant A. terreus isolates, thereby indicating a role of Hsp70 proteins in the AmB response. We found that Hsp70 inhibitors considerably increased the susceptibility of resistant A. terreus isolates to AmB but exerted little impact on susceptible isolates. Also, in in vivo experiments, using the Galleria mellonella infection model, cotreatment of resistant A. terreus strains with AmB and the Hsp70 inhibitor pifithrin-μ resulted in significantly improved survival compared with that achieved with AmB alone. Our results point to an important mechanism of regulation of AmB resistance by Hsp70 family members in A. terreus and suggest novel drug targets for the treatment of infections caused by resistant fungal isolates.

Amphotericin B Resistance in Aspergillus Terreus Is Overpowered by Coapplication of Pro-oxidants

Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. Dec, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26054424

Invasive fungal infections have significantly increased over the past decades in immunocompromised individuals and high-risk patients. Amphotericin B (AmB) exerts a powerful and broad activity against a vast array of fungi and has a remarkably low rate of microbial resistance. However, most isolates of Aspergillus terreus developed an intrinsic resistance against AmB, and during this study, we characterized the mode of action of this polyene antifungal drug in more detail in resistant (ATR) and rare susceptible (ATS) clinical isolates of A. terreus.

Complement-Opsonized HIV-1 Overcomes Restriction in Dendritic Cells

PLoS Pathogens. Jun, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26121641

DCs express intrinsic cellular defense mechanisms to specifically inhibit HIV-1 replication. Thus, DCs are productively infected only at very low levels with HIV-1, and this non-permissiveness of DCs is suggested to go along with viral evasion. We now illustrate that complement-opsonized HIV-1 (HIV-C) efficiently bypasses SAMHD1 restriction and productively infects DCs including BDCA-1 DCs. Efficient DC infection by HIV-C was also observed using single-cycle HIV-C, and correlated with a remarkable elevated SAMHD1 T592 phosphorylation but not SAMHD1 degradation. If SAMHD1 phosphorylation was blocked using a CDK2-inhibitor HIV-C-induced DC infection was also significantly abrogated. Additionally, we found a higher maturation and co-stimulatory potential, aberrant type I interferon expression and signaling as well as a stronger induction of cellular immune responses in HIV-C-treated DCs. Collectively, our data highlight a novel protective mechanism mediated by complement opsonization of HIV to effectively promote DC immune functions, which might be in the future exploited to tackle HIV infection.

Aspergillus Fumigatus Responds to Natural Killer (NK) Cells with Upregulation of Stress Related Genes and Inhibits the Immunoregulatory Function of NK Cells

Oncotarget. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27738337

Natural Killer (NK) cells are active against Aspergillus fumigatus, which in turn is able to impair the host defense. Unfortunately, little is known on the mutual interaction of NK cells and A. fumigatus. We coincubated human NK cells with A. fumigatus hyphae and assessed the gene expression and protein concentration of selected molecules. We found that A. fumigatus up-regulates the gene expression of pro-inflammatory molecules in NK cells, but inhibited the release of these molecules resulting in intracellular accumulation and limited extracellular availability. A. fumigatus down-regulatedmRNA levels of perforin in NK cells, but increased its intra- and extracellular protein concentration. The gene expression of stress related molecules of A. fumigatus such as heat shock protein hsp90 was up-regulated by human NK cells. Our data characterize for the first time the immunosuppressive effect of A. fumigatus on NK cells and may help to develop new therapeutic antifungal strategies.

A Cinnamon-Derived Procyanidin Compound Displays Anti-HIV-1 Activity by Blocking Heparan Sulfate- and Co-Receptor- Binding Sites on Gp120 and Reverses T Cell Exhaustion Via Impeding Tim-3 and PD-1 Upregulation

PloS One. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27788205

Amongst the many strategies aiming at inhibiting HIV-1 infection, blocking viral entry has been recently recognized as a very promising approach. Using diverse in vitro models and a broad range of HIV-1 primary patient isolates, we report here that IND02, a type A procyanidin polyphenol extracted from cinnamon, that features trimeric and pentameric forms displays an anti-HIV-1 activity against CXCR4 and CCR5 viruses with 1-7 μM ED50 for the trimer. Competition experiments, using a surface plasmon resonance-based binding assay, revealed that IND02 inhibited envelope binding to CD4 and heparan sulphate (HS) as well as to an antibody (mAb 17b) directed against the gp120 co-receptor binding site with an IC50 in the low μM range. IND02 has thus the remarkable property of simultaneously blocking gp120 binding to its major host cell surface counterparts. Additionally, the IND02-trimer impeded up-regulation of the inhibitory receptors Tim-3 and PD-1 on CD4+ and CD8+ cells, thereby demonstrating its beneficial effect by limiting T cell exhaustion. Among naturally derived products significantly inhibiting HIV-1, the IND02-trimer is the first component demonstrating an entry inhibition property through binding to the viral envelope glycoprotein. These data suggest that cinnamon, a widely consumed spice, could represent a novel and promising candidate for a cost-effective, natural entry inhibitor for HIV-1 which can also down-modulate T cell exhaustion markers Tim-3 and PD-1.

Exposure of Juvenile Turbot (Scophthalmus Maximus) to Silver Nanoparticles and 17α-ethinylestradiol Mixtures: Implications for Contaminant Uptake and Plasma Steroid Hormone Levels

Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987). Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27692975

Combined exposure to engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) and anthropogenic contaminants can lead to changes in bioavailability, uptake and thus effects of both groups of contaminants. In this study we investigated effects of single and combined exposures of silver (Ag) nanoparticles (AgNPs) and the synthetic hormone 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on tissue uptake of both contaminants in juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). Silver uptake and tissue distribution (gills, liver, kidney, stomach, muscle and bile) were analyzed following a 14-day, 2-h daily pulsed exposure to AgNPs (2 μg L(-1) and 200 μg L(-1)), Ag(+) (50 μg L(-1)), EE2 (50 ng L(-1)) and AgNP + EE2 (2 or 200 μg L(-1)+50 ng L(-1)). Effects of the exposures on plasma vitellogenin (Vtg) levels, EE2 and steroid hormone concentrations were investigated. The AgNP and AgNP + EE2 exposures resulted in similar Ag concentrations in the tissues, indicating that combined exposure did not influence Ag uptake in tissues. The highest Ag concentrations were found in gills. For the Ag(+) exposed fish, the highest Ag concentrations were measured in the liver. Our results show dissolution processes of AgNPs in seawater, indicating that the tissue concentrations of Ag may partly originate from ionic release. Plasma EE2 concentrations and Vtg induction were similar in fish exposed to the single contaminants and the mixed contaminants, indicating that the presence of AgNPs did not significantly alter EE2 uptake. Similarly, concentrations of most steroid hormones were not significantly altered due to exposures to the combined contaminants versus the single compound exposures. However, high concentrations of AgNPs in combination with EE2 caused a drop of estrone (E1) (female fish) and androstenedione (AN) (male and female fish) levels in plasma below quantification limits. Our results indicate that the interactive effects between AgNPs and EE2 are limited, with only high concentrations of AgNPs triggering synergistic effects on plasma steroid hormone concentrations in juvenile turbots.

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