Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Human cells


The aim was to describe the regulatory B and T cells (Breg and Treg) and T helper 17 (Th17) lymphocytes before and under treatment with biologic drugs, and to assess their potential predictive value as biomarkers of response in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Concepts: Human cells, Thymus, Rheumatology, White blood cell, T helper cell, B cell, Rheumatoid arthritis, T cells


Regulatory T cells (Tregs) prevent autoimmunity but limit antitumor immunity. The canonical NF-κB signaling pathway both activates immunity and promotes thymic Treg development. Here, we report that mature Tregs continue to require NF-κB signaling through IκB-kinase β (IKKβ) after thymic egress. Mice lacking IKKβ in mature Tregs developed scurfy-like immunopathology due to death of peripheral FoxP3(+) Tregs. Also, pharmacological IKKβ inhibition reduced Treg numbers in the circulation by ∼50% and downregulated FoxP3 and CD25 expression and STAT5 phosphorylation. In contrast, activated cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) were resistant to IKKβ inhibition because other pathways, in particular nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFATc1) signaling, sustained their survival and expansion. In a melanoma mouse model, IKKβ inhibition after CTL cross-priming improved the antitumor response and delayed tumor growth. In conclusion, prolonged IKKβ inhibition decimates circulating Tregs and improves CTL responses when commenced after tumor vaccination, indicating that IKKβ represents a druggable checkpoint.

Concepts: Mouse, Improve, Human cells, Immunology, T cells, Autoimmunity, Regulatory T cell, Immune system


Along with their immunogenic role, dendritic cells (DCs) are also critical in maintaining tolerance to self-antigens by inducing regulatory T cells (Tregs) via the expression of the immunomodulatory enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1). In turn, Tregs modulate the maturation and/or function of DCs. In immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), the interaction between DCs and Tregs has never been investigated although decreased number/function of Tregs as well as altered DCs have been described. Here, we ask whether, in ITP: (1) IDO1 expression/activity is decreased in mature DCs; (2) IDO1-mediated Treg generation is impaired; and (3) DC maturation is abnormally modulated by Tregs. We found that in ITP, DCs show reduced capability of upregulating the expression/activity of IDO1. This finding results in the reduced ability of mature DCs of converting T cells into Tregs. In turn, Tregs are characterized by decreased interleukin-10 production and show lower ability of inhibiting DC maturation. In conclusion, these data point out the role of IDO1 in the impaired regulatory T cell development of ITP patients and suggest that the cross-talk between Tregs and DCs is hampered and plays a pathogenetic role.

Concepts: Thrombocytopenia, T cell, Enzyme, Human cells, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, Autoimmunity, Regulatory T cell, T cells


Basophils account for only 0.1-1% of all peripheral blood leukocytes. They were considered to be a redundant cell type for a long time. However, several findings show a non-redundant role for basophils in type 2 T-helper cell (Th2) immune responses in helminth infections, allergy and autoimmunity. Both immunoglobulin-E-dependent and -independent pathways have been described to contribute to basophil activation. In addition, several recent studies reported that basophils can function as antigen-presenting cells and are important in the initiation of Th2 immune responses. However, there are also conflicting studies that do not corroborate the importance of basophils in Th2 immune responses. This review discusses the role of basophils in Th2 immune responses in view of these recent findings.

Concepts: Immunology, AIDS, Human cells, Asthma, White blood cell, T helper cell, Immune system, Allergy


The concept of regulatory T cell (Treg) therapy in transplantation is now a reality. Significant advances in science and technology have enabled us to isolate human Tregs, expand them to clinically relevant numbers and infuse them into human transplant recipients. With several Phase I/II trials underway investigating Treg safety and efficacy it is now more crucial than ever to understand their complex biology. However, our journey is by no means complete, results from these trials will undoubtedly provoke both further knowledge and enquiry, which, alongside evolving science will continue to drive the optimization of Treg therapy in the pursuit of transplantation tolerance. In this review we will summarize current knowledge of Treg biology, explore novel technologies in the setting of Treg immunotherapy and address key prerequisites surrounding the clinical application of Tregs in transplantation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Copyright, Organ, Technology, Human cells, Autoimmunity, Regulatory T cell, Organ transplant, T cells


Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) are highly specialized endothelial cells representing the interface between blood cells on the one side and hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells on the other side. LSECs represent a permeable barrier. Indeed, the association of fenestrae, absence of diaphragm and lack of basement membrane make them the most permeable endothelial cells of the mammalian body. They also have the highest endocytosis capacity of human cells. In physiological conditions, LSECs regulate hepatic vascular tone contributing to the maintenance of a low portal pressure despite the major changes in hepatic blood flow occurring during digestion. LSECs maintain hepatic stellate cell quiescence, thus inhibiting intrahepatic vasoconstriction and fibrosis development. In pathological conditions, LSECs play a key role in the initiation and progression of chronic liver diseases. Indeed, they become capillarized and lose their protective properties, and they promote angiogenesis and vasoconstriction. LSECs are implicated in liver regeneration following acute liver injury or partial hepatectomy since they renew from LSECs and/or LSEC progenitors, they sense changes in shear stress resulting from surgery, and they interact with platelets and inflammatory cells. LSECs also play a role in hepatocellular carcinoma development and progression, in aging, and in liver lesions related to inflammation and infection. This review also presents a detailed analysis of the technical aspects relevant for LSEC analysis including the markers these cells express, the available cell lines and the transgenic mouse models. Finally, this review provides an overview of the strategies available for a specific targeting of LSECs.

Concepts: Pancreatic stellate cell, Human cells, Stellate cell, Cancer, Hepatic stellate cell, Cirrhosis, Inflammation, Liver


Biofunctionalization of nanoparticles (NPs) is an essential component in targeted drug delivery. However, current nanotechnology remains inadequate to imitate complex intercellular interactions existing in physiological conditions in human bodies. Emerging concepts have been explored to utilize human cells to generate cell membrane-formed NPs because cells retain inherent abilities to interact with human tissues compared with synthetic nanomaterials. Neutrophils, red blood cells (RBCs), platelets and monocytes have been employed to form therapeutic NPs to treat vascular disease and cancer, and these novel drug delivery platforms show the translation potential to improve patient quality of life. In this review, we will discuss the concept of cell membrane-formed NPs, the molecular mechanisms of their disease targeting and the potential of personalized nanomedicine.

Concepts: Liver, Cell membrane, Nanotechnology, Bone marrow, Human cells, Blood, Cell nucleus, Red blood cell


Regulatory T cells (Tregs) infiltrate into a variety of tumour tissues and associate with poor prognosis in humans. However, data on association of Treg infiltration with prognosis is limited in canine tumours. The purpose of this study was to examine the number of tumour-infiltrating Tregs and its association with overall survival (OS) in dogs with malignant tumours. The following 168 canine tumours were included: 37 oral malignant melanomas (OMMs); 14 oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs); 16 pulmonary adenocarcinomas (PAs); 37 mammary carcinomas (MCs); 36 mast cell tumours (MCTs) and 28 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). Normal tissues were obtained from 8 healthy dogs as controls. The number of forkhead box P3 (Foxp3)-positive Tregs in intratumoral and peritumoral areas was investigated by immunohistochemistry. OS was compared between high and low Treg groups. The number of intratumoral and peritumoral Foxp3-positive Tregs was significantly higher in OMM, OSCC, PA and MC compared with each normal tissue. There were few Foxp3-positive Tregs in MCT and HCC. With intratumoral Tregs, the OS in the high Treg group was significantly shorter than that in the low Treg group in OMM, OSCC and PA. With peritumoral Tregs, there was no significant difference for OS between the 2 groups in each tumour type. These results suggest that Tregs infiltrate into a variety of canine tumours and the abundance of Tregs are associated with poor prognosis in some solid tumour types.

Concepts: Lung cancer, Human cells, Oncology, T cells, Squamous cell carcinoma, Anatomical pathology, Cancer


Neovascular retinopathies are major causes of vision loss; yet treatments to prevent the condition are inadequate. The role of regulatory T cells in neovascular retinopathy is unknown. Here we show that in retinopathy regulatory T cells are transiently increased in lymphoid organs and the retina, but decline when neovascularization is established. The decline is prevented following regulatory T cells expansion with an IL-2/anti-IL-2 mAb complex or the adoptive transfer of regulatory T cells. Further, both approaches reduce vasculopathy (vaso-obliteration, neovascularization, vascular leakage) and alter the activation of Tmem119(+) retinal microglia. Our in vitro studies complement these findings, showing that retinal microglia co-cultured with regulatory T cells exhibit a reduction in co-stimulatory molecules and pro-inflammatory mediators that is attenuated by CTLA-4 blockade. Collectively, we demonstrate that regulatory T cells are recruited to the retina and, when expanded in number, repair the vasculature. Manipulation of regulatory T cell numbers is a previously unrecognized, and promising avenue for therapies to prevent blinding neovascular retinopathies.The local immune responses in the eye are attenuated to preserve sight. Surprisingly, Deliyanti et al. show that regulatory T cells (Tregs) take an active role in protecting the eye from neovascularization in oxygen-induced retinopathy, and that interventions that augment the retinal Treg numbers reduce neovascular retinopathy in mice.

Concepts: Eye, Human cells, Organ, Regulatory T cell, Medicine, Immune system, T cells, Autoimmunity


In obesity, macrophages and other immune cells accumulate in insulin target tissues, promoting a chronic inflammatory state and insulin resistance. Galectin-3 (Gal3), a lectin mainly secreted by macrophages, is elevated in both obese subjects and mice. Administration of Gal3 to mice causes insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, whereas inhibition of Gal3, through either genetic or pharmacologic loss of function, improved insulin sensitivity in obese mice. In vitro treatment with Gal3 directly enhanced macrophage chemotaxis, reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in myocytes and 3T3-L1 adipocytes and impaired insulin-mediated suppression of glucose output in primary mouse hepatocytes. Importantly, we found that Gal3 can bind directly to the insulin receptor (IR) and inhibit downstream IR signaling. These observations elucidate a novel role for Gal3 in hepatocyte, adipocyte, and myocyte insulin resistance, suggesting that Gal3 can link inflammation to decreased insulin sensitivity. Inhibition of Gal3 could be a new approach to treat insulin resistance.

Concepts: Inflammation, Human cells, Adipose tissue, Diabetes mellitus, Insulin resistance, Obesity, Insulin, Immune system