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See detailAltered alpha-defensin 5 expression in cervical squamocolumnar junction: implication in the formation of a viral/tumour-permissive microenvironment.
Hubert, Pascale ULg; Herman, Ludivine; Roncarati, Patrick et al

in The Journal of pathology (2014)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, particularly type 16, is causally associated with cancer of the uterine cervix, which mainly develops at the squamocolumnar (SC) junction. The progression of cervical ... [more ▼]

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, particularly type 16, is causally associated with cancer of the uterine cervix, which mainly develops at the squamocolumnar (SC) junction. The progression of cervical HPV infections into (pre)neoplastic lesions suggests that viral antigens are not adequately recognized by innate immunity or presented to the adaptive immune system. Members of the defensin family have recently been found to inhibit viral and bacterial pathogens, to stimulate the migration of immune cells and to play a role in anticancer responses. In the present study, we focused on the poorly characterized human alpha-defensin 5 (HD-5) and its possible role in these processes. We showed that HD-5 was able to prevent HPV virion entry into cervical keratinocytes and to influence adaptive immunity. Indeed, this peptide specifically induced the chemoattraction and proliferation of both activated T lymphocytes and immature dendritic cells in a CCR2/CCR6-dependent manner and stimulated the infiltration of these professional antigen-presenting cells in a (pre)neoplastic epithelium transplanted in vivo in immunodeficient mice. No chemotactic effect was observed with plasmacytoid dendritic cells, macrophages or natural killer cells. Proliferative and angiogenic effects of HD-5 were also assessed in vitro and in vivo. However there was a striking regional disparity in expression of HD-5, being prominent in ectocervical, vaginal and vulvar neoplasia, while absent, or nearly so, in the cervical SC junction. Taken together, these results suggest one possible explanation for why the SC junction is uniquely vulnerable to both high-risk HPV infection (via reduced HD-5 expression and viral entry) and progression of neoplasia (via altered cell-mediated immune responses and altered microenvironment). Copyright (c) 2014 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailUnique recurrence patterns of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia following excision of the squamo-columnar junction.
Herfs, Michael ULg; SOMJA, Joan ULg; Howitt, Brooke E. et al

in International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer (2014)

Recent studies have identified a putative cell of origin for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer at the squamo-columnar junction (SCJ) and suggest that these cells may not ... [more ▼]

Recent studies have identified a putative cell of origin for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer at the squamo-columnar junction (SCJ) and suggest that these cells may not regenerate following excision (LEEP). This study addressed the impact of SCJ excision on the temporal dynamics, histologic and viral (HPV) characteristics of recurrent CIN. One hundred thirty one consecutive patients treated by excision and attending follow-up visits were enrolled. We compared recurrent and initial CIN with attention to excision margins, timing of recurrence, CIN grade, HPV types, p16 immunophenotype, and SCJ immunophenotype. During the follow-up period (up to four years), sixteen (12.2%) recurrences were identified. Four (25%) were identified at the first follow-up visit, closely resembled the initial CIN 2/3 in grade and HPV type, and were typically SCJ marker positive [SCJ(+)], suggesting non-excised (residual) disease. Twelve (75%) manifested after the first postoperative visit and all were in the ectocervix or in mature metaplastic epithelium. All of the 12 delayed recurrences were classified as CIN 1 and were SCJ (-). Nine of 11 SCJ (-) recurrences (82%) followed regressed spontaneously. Taken together, these results show that new lesions developing from any HPV infection are delayed and occur within the ectocervix or metaplastic epithelium. This dramatically lower risk of CIN 2/3 following successful SCJ excision suggests that removal of the SCJ could be a critical variable in reducing the risk of subsequent CIN 2/3 and cervical cancer. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailDeltaNp63 isoform-mediated beta-defensin family up-regulation is associated with (lymph)angiogenesis and poor prognosis in patients with squamous cell carcinoma.
Suarez-Carmona, Meggy ULg; Hubert, Pascale ULg; Gonzalez, Arnaud ULg et al

in Oncotarget (2014), sous presse

Beside a role in normal development/differentiation, high p63 immunoreactivity is also frequently observed in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Due to the complexity of the gene, the role of each p63 isotype ... [more ▼]

Beside a role in normal development/differentiation, high p63 immunoreactivity is also frequently observed in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Due to the complexity of the gene, the role of each p63 isotype in tumorigenesis is still confusing. Constitutively produced or induced in inflammatory conditions, human beta-defensins (HbetaDs) are cationic peptides involved in host defenses against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Here, we investigated both the role of p63 proteins in the regulation of HbetaDs and the implication of these antimicrobial peptides in tumor (lymph)angiogenesis. Thus, in contrast to TAp63 isotypes, we observed that DeltaNp63 proteins (alpha, beta, gamma) induce HbetaD1, 2 and 4 expression. Similar results were observed in cancer tissues and cell lines. We next demonstrated that DeltaNp63-overexpressing SCC are associated with both a poor prognosis and a high tumor vascularisation and lymphangiogenesis. Moreover, we showed that HbetaDs exert a chemotactic activity for (lymphatic) endothelial cells in a CCR6-dependent manner. The ability of HbetaDs to enhance (lymph)angiogenesis in vivo was also evaluated. We observed that HbetaDs increase the vessel number and induce a significant increase in relative vascular area compared to negative control. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that DeltaNp63-regulated HbetaD could promote tumor (lymph)angiogenesis in SCC microenvironment. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of anti-HPV lipoplexes for the treatment of cervical cancer
Lechanteur, Anna ULg; Furst, Tania ULg; Evrard, Brigitte ULg et al

Conference (2013, December 03)

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See detailDevelopment of anti-HPV lipoplexes for the treatment of cervical cancer
Lechanteur, Anna ULg; Furst, Tania ULg; Evrard, Brigitte ULg et al

Conference (2013, October 17)

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See detailTumor microenvironment converts plasmacytoid dendritic cells into immunosuppressive/tolerogenic cells: insight into the molecular mechanisms
Demoulin, Stéphanie ULg; Herfs, Michael ULg; Delvenne, Philippe ULg et al

in Journal of Leukocyte Biology (2013), 93(3), 343-352

Human pDCs represent a rare population of circulating cells characterized by a rapid and massive TLR-dependent secretion of type I IFN in response to pathogenic agents or danger signals. Through their ... [more ▼]

Human pDCs represent a rare population of circulating cells characterized by a rapid and massive TLR-dependent secretion of type I IFN in response to pathogenic agents or danger signals. Through their capacity to bring together innate and adaptive immunity and to secrete soluble factors controlling cancer development, these cells could represent important actors in antitumor immunity. However, accumulating evidence suggests that pDCs recruited to the tumor microenvironment often display a nonactivated state and are associated with the development and maintenance of immunosuppression. Here, we present an overview of neoplastic lesions associated with an infiltration of immunosuppressive/ tolerogenic pDC. Moreover, as the proper response of pDC against cancer depends on a critical balance between immune-activating and immune-suppressing mechanisms, we summarize current knowledge about the molecular pathways developed by tumors to prevent antitumoral pDC immune responses. A better understanding of the mechanisms regulating pDC function in tumors could aid in the development of new therapies. Indeed, effective cancer vaccines or therapies could combine immunoactivating strategies (i.e., TLR agonists) with elimination of immune-suppressing mechanisms, leading to pDC reprogramming and thus, allowing tumor rejection in a clinical setting. [less ▲]

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See detailWhole organ culture in rotating bioreactor: the rat embryonic inner ear
Renauld, Justine ULg; Johnen, Nicolas ULg; Hubert, Pascale ULg et al

Poster (2013, January 28)

In eutherian mammals, the organ responsible for the transduction of sound waves into nerve impulses is called the organ of Corti. This structure located within the cochlea, a portion of the inner ear, is ... [more ▼]

In eutherian mammals, the organ responsible for the transduction of sound waves into nerve impulses is called the organ of Corti. This structure located within the cochlea, a portion of the inner ear, is composed by two types of cells: sensory hair cells and non-sensory supporting cells. All these cells are distributed according to a specific arrangement along the whole length of the cochlea. So far, the mammalian inner ear is very sensitive to damage, with no hair cell replacement or cell proliferation occurring in the cochlea. That is why understanding the mechanisms that regulate the mammalian cochlear development is important for pursuing strategies to induce sensory hair cells regeneration. Here, we present a technique of whole embryonic inner ear culture in rotating bioreactors. Besides, we compare two different culture media, DMEM and Neurobasal-A. Rat inner ears are sampled at the 16th embryonic day (E16) and grown in rotating bioreactors during 48h or six days. After 48h, semithin sections realized in the growing cochlea show the development of the ventral epithelium and ultrathin sections confirm the differentiation of the sensory hair cells. Using immunochemistry techniques on our material after 48h or six days in vitro, we show that all the cells of the organ of Corti are differentiating, whichever the culture medium used. Our preliminary results demonstrate that organ culture of the embryonic inner ear in rotating bioreactor is possible. Such a method provides an in vitro model for the investigation of developmental, regulatory, and differentiation processes that could be helpful in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of the mammalian cochlea. [less ▲]

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See detailInterleukin-32 expression is associated with a poorer prognosis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Guenin, Samuel; Mouallif, Mustapha ULg; Hubert, Pascale ULg et al

in Molecular Carcinogenesis (2013), 53(8), 667-673

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) represent the sixth most common malignancy diagnosed worldwide. Patient's survival is low due the high frequency of tumor recurrence. Inflammation promotes ... [more ▼]

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) represent the sixth most common malignancy diagnosed worldwide. Patient's survival is low due the high frequency of tumor recurrence. Inflammation promotes carcinogenesis as well as the formation of metastasis. Indeed, proinflammatory mediators are known to stimulate the expression of specific transcription factors such as Snai1 and to increase the ability of tumor cells to migrate into distant organs. The atypical interleukin-32 (IL32) was mainly described to exacerbate inflammatory responses in rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. IL32 is expressed in various cancers but its role in HNSCC physiology is still unexplored. Here, we analyzed the expression of IL32 and its implication on HNSCC aggressiveness. We showed that patients with tumor expressing high amounts of IL32 exhibit decreased disease-free periods (20.5 mo vs. 41 mo, P = 0.0041) and overall survival (P = 0.0359) in comparison with individuals with weak IL32 tumor expression. This overexpression was negatively correlated with gender (P = 0.0292) and p53 expression (P = 0.0307). In addition, in vitro data linked IL32 expression to metastasis formation since IL32 inhibition decreased Snai1 expression and tumor cell migration in a Boyden chamber assay. Our data provide new insight into the role of IL32 in HNSCC aggressiveness. (c) 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [less ▲]

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