• Elevated expression of VEGFR-3 in lymphatic endothelial cells from lymphangiomas.

      Norgall, Susanne; Papoutsi, Maria; Rössler, Jochen; Schweigerer, Lothar; Wilting, Jörg; Weich, Herbert A; Department Gene Regulation and Differentiation, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. susannenorgall@gmx.de <susannenorgall@gmx.de> (2007)
      BACKGROUND: Lymphangiomas are neoplasias of childhood. Their etiology is unknown and a causal therapy does not exist. The recent discovery of highly specific markers for lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) has permitted their isolation and characterization, but expression levels and stability of molecular markers on LECs from healthy and lymphangioma tissues have not been studied yet. We addressed this problem by profiling LECs from normal dermis and two children suffering from lymphangioma, and also compared them with blood endothelial cells (BECs) from umbilical vein, aorta and myometrial microvessels. METHODS: Lymphangioma tissue samples were obtained from two young patients suffering from lymphangioma in the axillary and upper arm region. Initially isolated with anti-CD31 (PECAM-1) antibodies, the cells were separated by FACS sorting and magnetic beads using anti-podoplanin and/or LYVE-1 antibodies. Characterization was performed by FACS analysis, immunofluorescence staining, ELISA and micro-array gene analysis. RESULTS: LECs from foreskin and lymphangioma had an almost identical pattern of lymphendothelial markers such as podoplanin, Prox1, reelin, cMaf and integrin-alpha1 and -alpha9. However, LYVE-1 was down-regulated and VEGFR-2 and R-3 were up-regulated in lymphangiomas. Prox1 was constantly expressed in LECs but not in any of the BECs. CONCLUSION: LECs from different sources express slightly variable molecular markers, but can always be distinguished from BECs by their Prox1 expression. High levels of VEGFR-3 and -2 seem to contribute to the etiology of lymphangiomas.
    • Essential role of CCL2 in clustering of splenic ERTR-9+ macrophages during infection of BALB/c mice by Listeria monocytogenes.

      Jablonska, Jadwiga; Dittmar, Kurt E; Kleinke, Tanja; Buer, Jan; Weiss, Siegfried; Molecular Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. jja@gbf.de (2007-01)
      Early interactions between pathogens and host cells are often decisive for the subsequent course of infection. Here we investigated early events during infection by Listeria monocytogenes, a ubiquitously occurring facultative intracellular microorganism that exhibits severe pathogenicity, mainly in immunocompromised individuals. We show that the inflammatory chemokine CCL2 is highly up-regulated early after Listeria infection in spleens of BALB/c mice. ERTR-9+ macrophages of the marginal zone were identified as the only infected cells and exclusive producers of CCL2 at the early time point. Consequently, clusters of different cell types were formed around infected ERTR-9+ cells. Metallophilic MOMA-1+ marginal zone macrophages were, however, excluded from the clusters and migrated into the B-cell follicles. Depletion of CCL2 during infection resulted in a different composition of cell clusters in the spleen and increased the mortality rate of treated mice. Interestingly, ERTR-9+ macrophages no longer were part of clusters in such mice but remained at their original location in the marginal zone.
    • Whole-blood flow-cytometric analysis of antigen-specific CD4 T-cell cytokine profiles distinguishes active tuberculosis from non-active states.

      Sester, Urban; Fousse, Mathias; Dirks, Jan; Mack, Ulrich; Prasse, Antje; Singh, Mahavir; Lalvani, Ajit; Sester, Martina; Department of Internal Medicine IV, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany. (2011)
      T-cell based IFN-γ release assays do not permit distinction of active tuberculosis (TB) from successfully treated disease or latent M. tuberculosis infection. We postulated that IFN-γ and IL-2 cytokine profiles of antigen-specific T cells measured by flow-cytometry ex vivo might correlate with TB disease activity in vivo. Tuberculin (PPD), ESAT-6 and CFP-10 were used as stimuli to determine antigen-specific cytokine profiles in CD4 T cells from 24 patients with active TB and 28 patients with successfully treated TB using flow-cytometry. Moreover, 25 individuals with immunity consistent with latent M. tuberculosis infection and BCG-vaccination, respectively, were recruited. Although the frequency of cytokine secreting PPD reactive CD4 T cells was higher in patients with active TB compared to patients with treated TB (median 0.81% vs. 0.39% of CD4 T cells, p = 0.02), the overlap in frequencies precluded distinction between the groups on an individual basis. When assessing cytokine profiles, PPD specific CD4 T cells secreting both IFN-γ and IL-2 predominated in treated TB, latent infection and BCG-vaccination, whilst in active TB the cytokine profile was shifted towards cells secreting IFN-γ only (p<0.0001). Cytokine profiles of ESAT-6 or CFP-10 reactive CD4 T cells did not differ between the groups. Receiver operator characteristics (ROC) analysis revealed that frequencies of PPD specific IFN-γ/IL-2 dual-positive T cells below 56% were an accurate marker for active TB (specificity 100%, sensitivity 70%) enabling effective discrimination from non-active states. In conclusion, a frequency lower than 56% IFN-γ/IL-2 dual positive PPD-specific circulating CD4 T-cells is strongly indicative of active TB.