Volume 4.11 | Mar 22

Human Immunology News 4.11 March 22, 2016
Human Immunology News
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Study Identifies Mechanism Explaining Female Bias in Autoimmunity
Possessing two X chromosomes is a double-edged sword, immunologically speaking. Females are better at fighting off infection than males, but they are also more susceptible to many autoimmune conditions, such as lupus. Researchers offer the first mechanistic explanation for why this is the case. [Press release from the University of Pennsylvania discussing online prepublication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Regional Specialization of T Cell Subsets and Apoptosis in the Human Gut Mucosa: Differences between Ileum and Colon in Healthy Intestine and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Scientists determined differences in immune compartmentalization between ileum and colon in healthy and inflamed mucosa. Healthy colon showed higher percentages of Treg, Th17, and double negative T cells, and lower numbers of double positive T cells compared to ileum. [J Crohns Colitis] Abstract

A Distinct Plasmablast and Naive B-Cell Phenotype in Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia
Experimental results indicated that an expanded population of CD95+ naive B-cells correlated with disease activity in immune thrombocytopenia patients regardless of treatment status. A population of CD21 naive B-cells was specifically expanded in autoantibody-positive immune thrombocytopenia patients. [Haematologica] Abstract | Full Article

Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells Foster Conversion of CD4+CD25Foxp3 T cells into CD4+Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells via Transforming Growth Factor-β
Investigators studied whether human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) induce the conversion of maternal T cells into regulatory T cells. Moreover, they assessed whether this response is changing according to the sex of the HUVECs. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Propranolol Attenuates Surgical Stress-Induced Elevation of the Regulatory T Cell Response in Patients Undergoing Radical Mastectomy
The authors present the first report of the effects of perioperative propranolol and/or parecoxib on peripheral regulatory T cells (Tregs) in breast cancer patients. Propranolol administration, rather than parecoxib, attenuated elevation of Tregs, indicating the critical roles for catecholamines in surgery-induced promotion of Tregs. [J Immunol] Abstract

Microarray Study Reveals a TGFβ-Dependent Mechanism of Fibrosis in Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
Scientists sought to identify contradistinctive signaling pathways and cellular signatures between two types of lupus, with a focus on the molecular mechanisms leading to fibrosis. Discoid lupus samples displayed a significant CD4 T cell enrichment with an imbalance towards Th1 cytokine predominance and a relative increased FOXp3 response. [Br J Dermatol] Abstract

PD-L1 Expression Is Associated with Tumor-Infiltrating T Cells and Favorable Prognosis in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer
Researchers investigated the primary source of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in epithelial ovarian cancer and its relationship to tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and associated gene products. [Gynecol Oncol] Abstract

Cistromic and Genetic Evidence that the Vitamin D Receptor Mediates Susceptibility to Latitude-Dependent Autoimmune Diseases
Researchers determined the vitamin D receptor (VDR) cistrome in monocytes and monocyte-derived inflammatory (DC1) and tolerogenic dendritic cells (DC2). Of the nearly 11,000 VDR-binding peaks identified across the genome in DC1s, 1317 were shared with DC2s and 1579 with monocytes. [Genes Immun] Full Article

Cyclosporine Restores Hematopoietic Function by Compensating for Decreased Tregs in Patients with Pure Red Cell Aplasia and Acquired Aplastic Anemia
Investigators established a reliable method for measuring the regulatory T cell (Treg) count using FoxP3 and Helios expression as markers and determined the balance between Tregs and other helper T cell subsets in 16 pure red cell aplasia and 29 aplastic anemia patients. [Ann Hematol] Full Article

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Barcelona Consensus on Biomarker-Based Immunosuppressive Drugs Management in Solid Organ Transplantation
Investigators aim to help tailor immunosuppression to the needs of the individual patient. They examine current knowledge on biomarkers associated with patient risk stratification and immunosuppression requirements that have been generally accepted as promising. [Ther Drug Monit] Full Article | Press Release

Targeting Dendritic Cells: A Promising Strategy to Improve Vaccine Effectiveness
The authors review the complexity of the dendritic cell (DC) subsets and the antigen presentation pathways that need to be considered in the settings of DC targeting. They also summarize current knowledge about antigen delivery to DCs via DEC-205, Clec9A and Clec12A, receptor targets that strongly enhance cellular and humoral immune responses. [Clin Transl Immunol] Full Article

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Kite Pharma Announces Clinical and Manufacturing Updates on KTE-C19 and MAGE-A3 Product Candidates
Kite Pharma, Inc. announced two oral presentations and two poster presentations to be delivered. The oral presentations will address KTE-C19, Kite’s lead chimeric antigen receptor product candidate, and, separately, an engineered T cell receptor product candidate targeting the cancer testis antigen MAGE-A3. [Press release from Kite Pharma, Inc. discussing research to be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2016, New Orleans] Press Release

Clinical Data of Medigene’s Dendritic Cell (DC) Vaccines in Prostate Cancer to Be Presented
Medigene AG announced that the academic group of Prof. Gunnar Kvalheim at the Department of Cellular Therapy at the Oslo University Hospital, Norway, will present preliminary clinical Phase I/II data on DC vaccines for the treatment of prostate cancer utilizing Medigene’s DC vaccine technology. [Press release from Medigene AG discussing research to be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2016, New Orleans] Press Release | Abstract

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Profectus and Vyriad Form Global Collaboration to Develop Oncolytic Recombinant VSV (RVSV) Vaccines for Cancer Immunotherapy
The two companies will combine and leverage their respective recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV)-derived oncolytic and vaccine platform technologies to develop novel cancer drugs that selectively destroy tumor cells while simultaneously boosting patients’ immune systems to continue killing any residual cancer cells that may survive the initial virus attack. [Vyriad] Press Release

Cellectis and MabQuest Announce Immunotherapy Partnership on New Class of PD-1 Antagonist Monoclonal Antibodies
Cellectis and MabQuest SA announced that they have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement pertaining to the development of a new class of monoclonal antibodies targeting PD-1. [Cellectis, Inc.] Press Release

U-M Neuroscientist Receives Javits Award to Continue Studying How Brain Tumors Thwart the Immune System
U-M neuroscientist Maria G. Castro, Ph.D., has been selected to receive the 2016 Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, an honor that provides up to seven years of research funding for her brain tumor work. These funds will support Castro’s research with the ultimate aim to develop novel immunotherapies for brain cancer, studying basic immune-biology mechanisms leading to clinical implementation. [University of Michigan] Press Release

Qu Biologics Announces Initial Results in Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Crohn’s Disease Clinical Trial
Qu Biologics Inc. announced initial results from the QBECO-01 study, a 68-patient randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease. [Qu Biologics Inc.] Press Release

MabVax Therapeutics Initiates Phase I Trial of HuMab-5B1 for Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer
MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. announced initiation of a Phase I clinical trial of HuMab-5B1 for patients with locally advanced or metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas or other CA19-9 positive malignancies. [MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (PR Newswire Association, LLC)] Press Release
National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW The Power of Our Cells to Revolutionize Medicine
March 24, 2016
Ottawa, Canada

NEW International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) 2016
May 25-28, 2016
Singapore, Singapore

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the human immunology community.
NEW Masters Student – Immunology (Trinity College Dublin)

NEW Research Associate – Immunology (University College London)

Senior Scientist – Immunology and Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunology (Cellectis Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position or Research Scientist – Mucosal Immunology (Qu Biologics)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunology (Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard)

Postdoctoral Researchers – Tumor Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy (University of California, Los Angeles)

Tenure-Track Position – Immunology (Massachusetts General Hospital)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Autoimmune, Inflammatory and Demyelinating Diseases (Queen’s University Belfast)

PhD Studentship – Regulation of Diabetes-Induced Inflammation (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen)

Senior/Principal Scientist – Antibody and Small Molecule Entities in Cellular Systems (UCB Pharma Ltd.)

Faculty Positions – Immunology (University of Texas Health Science Center)

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