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See detailInfluenza H3N2 infection of the collaborative cross founder strains reveals highly divergent host responses and identifies a unique phenotype in CAST/EiJ mice.
Leist, Sarah R.; Pilzner, Carolin; van den Brand, Judith M. A. et al

in BMC genomics (2016), 17(1), 143

BACKGROUND: Influenza A virus is a zoonotic pathogen that poses a major threat to human and animal health. The severe course of influenza infection is not only influenced by viral virulence factors but ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Influenza A virus is a zoonotic pathogen that poses a major threat to human and animal health. The severe course of influenza infection is not only influenced by viral virulence factors but also by individual differences in the host response. To determine the extent to which the genetic background can modulate severity of an infection, we studied the host responses to influenza infections in the eight genetically highly diverse Collaborative Cross (CC) founder mouse strains. RESULTS: We observed highly divergent host responses between the CC founder strains with respect to survival, body weight loss, hematological parameters in the blood, relative lung weight and viral load. Mouse strain was the main factor with highest effect size on body weight loss after infection, demonstrating that this phenotype was highly heritable. Sex represented another significant main effect, although it was less strong. Analysis of survival rates and mean time to death suggested three groups of susceptibility phenotypes: highly susceptible (A/J, CAST/EiJ, WSB/EiJ), intermediate susceptible (C57BL/6J, 129S1/SvImJ, NOD/ShiLtJ) and highly resistant strains (NZO/HlLtJ, PWK/PhJ). These three susceptibility groups were significantly different with respect to death/survival counts. Viral load was significantly different between susceptible and resistant strains but not between intermediate and highly susceptible strains. CAST/EiJ mice showed a unique phenotype. Despite high viral loads in their lungs, CAST/EiJ mice exhibited low counts of infiltrating granulocytes and showed increased numbers of macrophages in the lung. Histological studies of infected lungs and transcriptome analyses of peripheral blood cells and lungs confirmed an abnormal response in the leukocyte recruitment in CAST/EiJ mice. CONCLUSIONS: The eight CC founder strains exhibited a large diversity in their response to influenza infections. Therefore, the CC will represent an ideal mouse genetic reference population to study the influence of genetic variation on the susceptibility and resistance to influenza infections which will be important to understand individual variations of disease severity in humans. The unique phenotype combination in the CAST/EiJ strain resembles human leukocyte adhesion deficiency and may thus represent a new mouse model to understand this and related abnormal immune responses to infections in humans. [less ▲]

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See detailPLAU inferred from a correlation network is critical for suppressor function of regulatory T cells.
He, Feng UL; Chen, Hairong; Probst-Kepper, Michael et al

in Molecular Systems Biology (2012), 8

Human FOXP3(+)CD25(+)CD4(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) are essential to the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Several genes are known to be important for murine Tregs, but for human Tregs the genes and ... [more ▼]

Human FOXP3(+)CD25(+)CD4(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) are essential to the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Several genes are known to be important for murine Tregs, but for human Tregs the genes and underlying molecular networks controlling the suppressor function still largely remain unclear. Here, we describe a strategy to identify the key genes directly from an undirected correlation network which we reconstruct from a very high time-resolution (HTR) transcriptome during the activation of human Tregs/CD4(+) T-effector cells. We show that a predicted top-ranked new key gene PLAU (the plasminogen activator urokinase) is important for the suppressor function of both human and murine Tregs. Further analysis unveils that PLAU is particularly important for memory Tregs and that PLAU mediates Treg suppressor function via STAT5 and ERK signaling pathways. Our study demonstrates the potential for identifying novel key genes for complex dynamic biological processes using a network strategy based on HTR data, and reveals a critical role for PLAU in Treg suppressor function. [less ▲]

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See detail1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 is a potent suppressor of interferon gamma-mediated macrophage activation.
Helming, Laura; Bose, Jens; Ehrchen, Jan et al

in Blood (2005), 106(13), 4351-8

1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1alpha,25(OH)2D3), the activated vitamin D3 hormone, is a key regulator of calcium homeostasis and thereby indispensable for bone metabolism. In addition, 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 ... [more ▼]

1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1alpha,25(OH)2D3), the activated vitamin D3 hormone, is a key regulator of calcium homeostasis and thereby indispensable for bone metabolism. In addition, 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 is known to mediate predominantly immunosuppressive responses in vitro and in vivo. It has been demonstrated that macrophages can produce 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 on activation with interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), although little is understood about the biologic significance of this response. We show here that 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 can selectively suppress key effector functions of IFN-gamma-activated macrophages. Among these are the suppression of listericidal activity, the inhibition of phagocyte oxidase-mediated oxidative burst, and the suppression of important IFN-gamma-induced genes, including Ccl5, Cxcl10, Cxcl9, Irf2, Fcgr1, Fcgr3, and Tlr2. The deactivation of IFN-gamma-stimulated macrophages is dependent on a functional vitamin D receptor and 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 acts specifically on IFN-gamma-activated macrophages, whereas the steroid has no effects on resting macrophages. Therefore, the 1alpha,25(OH)2D3-mediated suppression of macrophage functions is distinct from previously described macrophage deactivation mechanisms. In conclusion, our data indicate that the production of 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 by IFN-gamma-stimulated macrophages might be an important negative feedback mechanism to control innate and inflammatory responses of activated macrophages. [less ▲]

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