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

Concept: Spleen


The splenic marginal zone is a unique microenvironment where resident immune cells are exposed to the open blood circulation. Even though it has an important role in responses against blood-borne antigens, lymphocyte migration in the marginal zone has not been intravitally visualized due to challenges associated with achieving adequate imaging depth in this abdominal organ. Here we develop a two-photon microscopy procedure to study marginal zone and follicular B-cell movement in the live mouse spleen. We show that marginal zone B cells are highly motile and exhibit long membrane extensions. Marginal zone B cells shuttle between the marginal zone and follicles with at least one-fifth of the cells exchanging between compartments per hour, a behaviour that explains their ability to deliver antigens rapidly from the open blood circulation to the secluded follicles. Follicular B cells also transit from follicles to the marginal zone, but unlike marginal zone B cells, they fail to undergo integrin-mediated adhesion, become caught in fluid flow and are carried into the red pulp. Follicular B-cell egress via the marginal zone is sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1PR1)-dependent. This study shows that marginal zone B cells migrate continually between marginal zone and follicles and establishes the marginal zone as a site of S1PR1-dependent B-cell exit from follicles. The results also show how adhesive differences of similar cells critically influence their behaviour in the same microenvironment.

Concepts: Lymphocyte, Protein, Lymphatic system, Hematology, Marginal zone, Blood, Spleen, Immune system


Background: Canova activates macrophages and indirectly induces lymphocyte proliferation. Here we evaluated the effects of Canova in cyclophosphamide-treated non-human primates. Methods: Twelve Cebus apella were evaluated. Four animals were treated with Canova only. Eight animals were treated with two doses of cyclophosphamide (50mg/kg) and four of these animals received Canova. Body weight, biochemistry and hematologic analyses were performed for 40days. Micronucleus and comet assays were performed for the evaluation of DNA damage. Results: We observed that cyclophosphamide induced abnormal WBC count in all animals. However, the group treated with cyclophosphamide plus Canova presented a higher leukocyte count than that which received only cyclophosphamide. Cyclophosphamide induced micronucleus and DNA damage in all animals. The frequency of these alterations was significantly lower in the Canova group than in the group without this medicine. Conclusions: Our results demonstrated that Canova treatment minimizes cyclophosphamide myelotoxicity in C. apella.

Concepts: Allergy, Spleen, Hematology, Capuchin monkey, Primate, White blood cell, Immune system, Leukemia


A recognized paradigm for the therapeutic action of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) involves up-regulation of the inhibitory Fcγ receptor (FcγRIIB) in splenic macrophages. However, published data have indicated that opposing results are obtained when using FcγRIIB-deficient mice on different strain backgrounds. Herein we show BALB/c FcγRIIB(-/-) and wild-type, with or without spleens, all recover ITP with similar dynamics after IVIG (1 g/kg) treatment; however, this was not the case for C57BL/6 (B6) FcγRIIB(-/-). In investigating this conundrum, we found that wild-type B6 mice are much less sensitive than BALB/c to IVIG-mediated amelioration of ITP, requiring approximately 2- to 2.5-fold more IVIG than BALB/c. When using 2.5 g/kg IVIG in FcγRIIB(-/-) B6 mice, amelioration of ITP was as in wild-type in all animals. Our findings led us to the conclusion that different strains of mice respond differently to IVIG and that FcγRIIB plays no role in the mechanism of effect of IVIG in experimental ITP.

Concepts: X-linked agammaglobulinemia, Platelet, White blood cell, Spleen, Antibody, Intravenous immunoglobulin, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, Immune system


Because of the increasing prevalence and changing microbiological spectrum of invasive fungal infections, some form of amphotericin B still provides the most reliable and broad spectrum therapeutic alternative. However, the use of amphotericin B deoxycholate is accompanied by dose-limited toxicities, most importantly, infusion-related reactions and nephrotoxicity. In an attempt to improve the therapeutic index of amphotericin B, three lipid-associated formulations were developed, including amphotericin B lipid complex (ABLC), liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB), and amphotericin B colloidal dispersion (ABCD). The lipid composition of all three of these preparations differs considerably and contributes to substantially different pharmacokinetic parameters. ABLC is the largest of the lipid preparations. Because of its size, it is taken up rapidly by macrophages and becomes sequestered in tissues of the mononuclear phagocyte system such as the liver and spleen. Consequently, compared with the conventional formulation, it has lower circulating amphotericin B serum concentrations, reflected in a marked increase in volume of distribution and clearance. Lung levels are considerably higher than those achieved with other lipid-associated preparations. The recommended therapeutic dose of ABLC is 5 mg/kg/day. Because of its small size and negative charge, L-AmB avoids substantial recognition and uptake by the mononuclear phagocyte system. Therefore, a single dose of L-AmB results in a much higher peak plasma level (Cmax) than conventional amphotericin B deoxycholate and a much larger area under the concentration-time curve. Tissue concentrations in patients receiving L-AmB tend to be highest in the liver and spleen and much lower in kidneys and lung. Recommended therapeutic dosages are 3-6 mg/kg/day. After intravenous infusion, ABCD complexes remain largely intact and are rapidly removed from the circulation by cells of the macrophage phagocyte system. On a milligram-to-milligram basis, the Cmax achieved is lower than that attained by conventional amphotericin B, although the larger doses of ABCD that are administered produce an absolute level that is similar to amphotericin B. ABCD exhibits dose-limiting, infusion-related toxicities; consequently, the administered dosages should not exceed 3-4 mg/kg/day. The few comparative clinical trials that have been completed with the lipid-associated formulations have not demonstrated important clinical differences among these agents and amphotericin B for efficacy, although there are significant safety benefits of the lipid products. Furthermore, only one published trial has ever compared one lipid product against another for any indication. The results of these trials are particularly difficult to interpret because of major heterogeneities in study design, disease definitions, drug dosages, differences in clinical and microbiological endpoints as well as specific outcomes examined. Nevertheless, it is possible to derive some general conclusions given the available data. The most commonly studied syndrome has been empiric therapy for febrile neutropenic patients, where the lipid-associated preparations did not appear to provide a survival benefit over conventional amphotericin B deoxycholate, but did offer a significant advantage for the prevention of various breakthrough invasive fungal infections. For treatment of documented invasive fungal infections that usually involved hematological malignancy patients, no individual randomized trial has demonstrated a mortality benefit due to therapy with one of the lipid formulations. Results from meta-analyses have been contradictory, with one demonstrating a mortality benefit from all-cause mortality and one that did not demonstrate a mortality benefit. In the only published study to examine HIV-infected patients with disseminated histoplasmosis, clinical success and mortality were significantly better with L-AmB compared with amphotericin B deoxycholate; there were no differences in microbiological outcomes between treatment groups. The lipid-associated preparations were not significantly better than amphotericin B deoxycholate for treatment of AIDS-associated acute cryptococcal meningitis for either clinical or microbiological outcomes that were studied. In all of the trials that specifically examined renal toxicity, the lipid-associated formulations were significantly less nephrotoxic than amphotericin B deoxycholate. Infusion-related reactions occurred less frequently with L-AmB when compared with amphotericin B deoxycholate; however, ABCD had equivalent or more frequent infusion-related reactions than conventional amphotericin B, and this resulted in the cessation of at least one clinical trial. At the present time, this particular lipid formulation is no longer commercially available. For the treatment of most invasive fungal infections, an amphotericin B lipid formulation provides a safer alternative than conventional amphotericin B, with at least equivalent efficacy. As the cost of therapy with these agents continues to decline, these drugs will likely maintain their important role in the antifungal drug armamentarium because of their efficacy and improved safety profile.

Concepts: Liver, Monocyte, Medical statistics, Clinical trial, Epidemiology, Spleen, Amphotericin B, Pharmacology


Although almost any non-Hodgkin lymphoma can involve the spleen or an extranodal site as part of more widely disseminated disease, there is a group of small B-cell lymphomas that specifically arise in these locations. These are important to recognise as some appear to have a behaviour and prognosis that is distinct from their nodal counterparts. In addition, there are entities that are specific to extranodal locations (such as extranodal marginal zone lymphoma) and to the red or white pulp of the spleen. In this review, the characteristics of these entities will be presented as well as clues to help distinguish lymphoma from reactive infiltrates in extranodal sites and measure to distinguish between small B-cell lymphomas encountered in the spleen and at extranodal locations.

Concepts: White pulp, B-cell lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma, Lymphatic system, Marginal zone, Types of cancer, Spleen, Lymphoma


Dengue is the most prevalent human arbovirus disease in the world. Dengue infection has a large spectrum of clinical manifestations, from self-limited febrile illness to severe syndromes accompanied by bleeding and shock. Thrombocytopenia and vascular leak with altered cytokine profiles in plasma are features of severe dengue. Although monocytes have been recognized as important sources of cytokines in dengue, the contributions of platelet-monocyte interactions to inflammatory responses in dengue have not been addressed. Patients with dengue were investigated for platelet-monocyte aggregate formation. Platelet-induced cytokine responses by monocytes and underlying mechanisms were also investigated in vitro. We observed increased levels of platelet-monocyte aggregates in blood samples from patients with dengue, especially patients with thrombocytopenia and increased vascular permeability. Moreover, the exposure of monocytes from healthy volunteers to platelets from patients with dengue induced the secretion of the cytokines IL-1β, IL-8, IL-10 and MCP-1, whereas exposure to platelets from healthy volunteers only induced the secretion of MCP-1. In addition to the well-established modulation of monocyte cytokine responses by activated platelets through P-selectin binding, we found that interaction of monocytes with apoptotic platelets mediate IL-10 secretion through phosphatidylserine recognition in platelet-monocyte aggregates. Moreover, IL-10 secretion required platelet-monocyte contact but not phagocytosis. Together, our results demonstrate that activated and apoptotic platelets aggregate with monocytes during dengue infection and signal specific cytokine responses that may contribute to the pathogenesis of dengue.

Concepts: TGF beta 1, Spleen, Blood, Thrombocytopenia, Platelet, Apoptosis, Inflammation, Immune system


We have developed a new strategy to temporarily blunt the reticuloendothelial system uptake of nanodrugs, a major challenge for nanodrug delivery and causing off-target toxicities, using an FDA approved nutrition supplement, Intralipid. We have tested our methodology in rats using an experimental platinum-containing anti-cancer nanodrug and three FDA approved nanodrugs, Abraxane, Marqibo, and Onivyde, to determine their toxicities in liver, spleen, and kidney, with and without the addition of Intralipid. Our method illustrates its potentials to deliver nanodrugs with an increase in the bioavailability and a decrease in toxicities. Our study shows that Intralipid treatment exhibits no harmful effect on tumor growing and no negative effect on the anti-tumor efficacy of the platinum-containing nanodrug, as well as animal survival rate in a HT-29 xenograft mouse model. Our methodology could also be a valuable complement/supplement to the “stealth” strategies. Our approach is a general one applicable to any approved and in-development nanodrugs without additional modification of the nanodrugs, thus facilitating its translation to clinical settings.

Concepts: Negative feedback, Strategy, Methodology, Effectiveness, Dietary supplement, Liver, Spleen, Reticuloendothelial system


Uncaria tomentosa (Willdenow ex Roemer & Schultes) DC. (Rubiaceae) is a Peruvian thorny liana, commonly known as “cat’s claw”, and traditionally used in folk medicine to deal with several inflammatory diseases. Mitraphylline (MTP) is the most abundant pentacyclic oxindolic alkaloid (POA) from U. Tomentosa and has been reported to modify the inflammatory response. Herein, we have sought to identify the mechanisms underlying this modulatory effect of MTP on primary human monocytes and its ability to regulate differentiation processes on human primary monocyte and monocyte-derived macrophages.

Concepts: Anti-inflammatory, Spleen, Uncaria, Uncaria tomentosa, Immune system, Inflammation, Atherosclerosis, Monocyte


In an effort to reduce risk, some surgeons promote a limited dissection abdominoplasty technique. They believe that preserving musculocutaneous perforators improves blood supply to the overlying abdominal tissue and that improved vascularity avoids seromas and reduces wound healing problems. Laser fluorescence imaging is a new method that allows quantitative measurements of perfusion.

Concepts: Skin, Improve, Light, Spleen, Tissue, Scar, Wound healing, Blood


Hematological cytometers with a biological fluid module could potentially correct the limitations of the manual chamber method. This study evaluates the agreement between the manual technique and the Sysmex XN-1000 analyzer for white blood cell (WBC) and red blood cell (RBC) counts, as well as for leukocyte differentiation in different types of fluids. This study also evaluates the advantages of incorporating the technique in routine laboratory work.

Concepts: Spleen, Blood transfusion, Leukemia, White blood cell, Red blood cell, Hematology, Bone marrow, Blood