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See detailTranscriptomic biomarkers of human ageing in peripheral blood mononuclear cell total RNA
Duy Vo, Thy Kim; Godard, Patrice; de Saint-Hubert, Marie et al

in Experimental Gerontology (2010), 45

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See detailThymic self-antigens for the design of a negative/tolerogenic self-vaccination against type 1 diabetes.
Geenen, Vincent ULg; Mottet, Marie ULg; Dardenne, Olivier ULg et al

in Current Opinion in Pharmacology (2010), 10

Before being able to react against infectious non-self antigens, the immune system has to be educated in the recognition and tolerance of neuroendocrine proteins and this critical process takes place only ... [more ▼]

Before being able to react against infectious non-self antigens, the immune system has to be educated in the recognition and tolerance of neuroendocrine proteins and this critical process takes place only in the thymus. The development of the autoimmune diabetogenic response results from a thymus dysfunction in programming central self-tolerance to pancreatic insulin-secreting islet β cells, leading to the breakdown of immune homeostasis with an enrichment of islet β-cell reactive effector T cells and a deficiency of β-cell specific natural regulatory T cells (nTregs) in the peripheral T-lymphocyte repertoire. Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) is the dominant member of the insulin family expressed during fetal life by the thymic epithelium under the control of the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene/protein. The very low degree of insulin gene transcription in normal murine and human thymus explains why the insulin protein is poorly tolerogenic as evidenced in many studies, including the failure of all clinical trials that have attempted immune tolerance to islet β cells via various methods of insulin administration. Based on the close homology and cross-tolerance between insulin, the primary T1D autoantigen, and IGF-2, the dominant self-antigen of the insulin family, a novel type of vaccination, so-called “negative/tolerogenic self-vaccination”, is currently being developed for prevention and cure of T1D. If this approach were found to be effective for reprogramming immunological tolerance in T1D, it could pave the way for the design of other self-vaccines against autoimmune endocrine diseases, as well as other organ-specific autoimmune diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailLe tabac et ses effets sur le système endocrinien
VALDES SOCIN, Hernan Gonzalo ULg; VROONEN, Laurent ULg; Latta, A. et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2010), 65(9), 498-501

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See detailTranscriptomic biomarkers of the response of hospitalized geriatric patients with infectious diseases
Duy Vo, Thi Kim; Godard, Patrice; de Saint-Hubert, Marie et al

in Immunity & Ageing : I & A (2010), 17

Background: Infectious diseases are significant causes of morbidity and mortality among elderly populations. However, the relationship between oxidative stress, immune function and inflammatory response ... [more ▼]

Background: Infectious diseases are significant causes of morbidity and mortality among elderly populations. However, the relationship between oxidative stress, immune function and inflammatory response in acute phase of the infectious disease is poorly understood. Results: Herein the abundance of a selection of 148 transcripts involved in immunosenescence and stress response was compared in total RNA of PBMC of 28 healthy aged probands and 39 aged patients in acute phase of infectious disease (day 2-4 after hospitalization) or in convalescence phase (day 7-10). This study provides a list of 24 differentially abundant transcript species in the acute phase versus healthy aged. For instance, transcripts associated with inflammatory and anti-inflammatory reactions (TNFRSF1A, IL1R1, IL1R2, IL10RB) and with oxidative stress (HMOX1, GPX1, SOD2, PRDX6) were more abundant while those associated with T-cell functions (CD28, CD69, LCK) were less abundant in acute phase. The abundance of seven of these transcripts (CD28, CD69, LCK, CTSD, HMOX1, TNFRSF1A and PRDX6) was already known to be altered in healthy aged probands compared to healthy young ones and was further affected in aged patients in acute phase, compromising an efficient response. Conclusion: This work provides insights of the state of acute phase response to infections in elderly patients and could explain further the lack of appropriate response in the elderly compared to younger persons. [less ▲]

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See detailHuman Chorionic Gonadotropin: a hormone with immunological and angiogenic properties.
Tsampalas, M.; Gridelet, Virginie ULg; Berndt, Sarah ULg et al

in Journal of Reproductive Immunology (2010), 85(1), 93-8

The success of implantation depends on a receptive endometrium, a normal blastocyst and synchronized cross-talk at the maternal–fetal interface. The progression of pregnancy then requires immunological ... [more ▼]

The success of implantation depends on a receptive endometrium, a normal blastocyst and synchronized cross-talk at the maternal–fetal interface. The progression of pregnancy then requires immunological tolerance which allows conceptus survival. A cascade of cytokines mediates this dialogue and is crucial in the cross-talk between the immune and endocrine systems. The first known human embryo-derived signal is chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) by which the embryo profoundly influences immunological tolerance and angiogenesis at the maternal–fetal interface. hCG levels coincide with the development of trophoblast tolerance. Indeed, it increases the number of uterine natural killer cells that play a key role in the establishment of pregnancy. hCG also intervenes in the development of local immune tolerance through the cellular system of apoptosis via Fas/Fas-Ligand. It modulates the Th1/Th2 balance and acts on complement C3 and C4A/B factors modulating decidual immunity. The transient tolerance evident during gestation is at least partially achieved via the presence of regulatory T cells which are attracted by hCG at the fetal–maternal interface. Finally, hCG treatment of activated dendritic cells results in an up-regulation of MHC class II, IL-10 and IDO expression, reducing the ability to stimulate T cell proliferation. Successful implantation requires an extensive endometrial angiogenesis in the implantation site. Recent data demonstrate angiogenic effects of hCG via its interaction with endometrial and endothelial LH/hCG receptors. Our review focuses on these functions of hCG, giving new insight into the endocrine–immune dialogue that exists between the conceptus and immune cells within the receptive endometrium at the time of implantation. [less ▲]

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See detailCurrent Opinion in Pharmacology, Volume 10, Issue 4, Section Immunomodulation
Geenen, Vincent ULg

in Current Opinion in Pharmacology (2010), 10(Issue 4), 405-504

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See detailEuro-Thymaide - Final publishable report
Geenen, Vincent ULg

Report (2010)

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See detailReconstitution du système immunitaire après allogreffe de cellules souches hématopoïétiques
Castermans, Emilie ULg; Hannon, Muriel ULg; Drion, Pierre ULg et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2009), 64(S1), 2-8

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHCT) is frequently used as treatment for patients with hematological malignancies. Its efficacy depends in part on the destruction of recipient ... [more ▼]

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHCT) is frequently used as treatment for patients with hematological malignancies. Its efficacy depends in part on the destruction of recipient tumors cells by donor immune cells contained in the graft (graft-versus-tumor effects), underlying the interest of stydying donor immune recovery after alloHCT. Further, donor immune cells play an important role in the prevention and treatment of infections after allHCT, and are the cause of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). This article reviews the mechanisms of immune recovery after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT), as well as techniques currently used to monitor immune function following allHCT. [less ▲]

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See detailOxytocin: From milk ejection to maladaptation in stress response and psychiatric disorders. A psychoneuroendocrine perspective.
Scantamburlo, Gabrielle ULg; Ansseau, Marc ULg; Geenen, Vincent ULg et al

in Annales d'Endocrinologie (2009), 70(6), 449-54

Oxytocin (OT) is implicated in stress reduction as well as in social behavior. It inhibits the stress-induced activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis responsiveness. OT is involved in social ... [more ▼]

Oxytocin (OT) is implicated in stress reduction as well as in social behavior. It inhibits the stress-induced activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis responsiveness. OT is involved in social affiliation, sexual and maternal-infant binding, anxiety, mood, feeding control and memory. Several lines of evidence suggest a role of OT in psychiatric disorders. Various psychiatric disorders are strongly influenced by social variables, such as panic attacks, depression and early childhood autism, and seem to exhibit a particularly close connection with the brain dynamics that underlie social emotions. This paper proposes an overview of OT in psychiatric disorders through the links with the stress response and prosocial behavior. [less ▲]

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