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See detailExpression of growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis during Balb/c ontogeny and effects of GH upon ex-vivo T-cell differentiation
Kermani, Hamid; Goffinet, Lindsay ULg; Mottet, Marie ULg et al

in Neuroimmunomodulation (2012), 19

Aims: We here address the question of expression and role of GH/IGF axis in the thymus. Methods: Using RT-qPCR, the expression profile of various components of the somatotrope GH/IGF axis was measured in ... [more ▼]

Aims: We here address the question of expression and role of GH/IGF axis in the thymus. Methods: Using RT-qPCR, the expression profile of various components of the somatotrope GH/IGF axis was measured in different thymic cell types and during thymus embryogenesis in Balb/c mice. Effect of GH on T-cell differentiation was explored through thymic organotypic culture. Results: Transcription of Gh, Igf1, Igf2 and their related receptors predominantly occurred in thymic epithelial cells (TEC), while a low level of Gh and Igf1r transcription was also evidenced in thymic T cells (thymocytes). Gh, Ghr, Ins2, Igf1, Igf2, and Igfr1, displayed distinct expression profiles depending on the developmental stage. The protein concentration of IGF-1 and IGF-2 were in accordance with the profile of their gene expression. In fetal thymus organ cultures (FTOC) derived from Balb/c mice, treatment with exogenous GH resulted in a significant increase of double negative CD4-CD8- T cells and CD4+ T cells, together with a decrease in double positive CD4+CD8+ T cells. These changes were inhibited by concomitant treatment with GH and GHR antagonist pegvisomant. However, GH treatment also induced a significant decrease in FTOC Gh, Ghr and Igf1 expression. Conclusion: These data show that the thymotropic properties of the somatotrope GH/IGF-1 axis involve an interaction between exogenous GH and GHR expressed by TEC. Since thymic IGF-1 is not increased by GH treatment, the effects of GH upon T-cell differentiation could implicate a different local growth factor or cytokine. [less ▲]

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See detailPreliminary characterisation of a transgenic mouse with selective Igf2 depletion in the thymic epithelium
Mottet, Marie ULg; Martens, Henri ULg; Renard-Charlet, Chantal et al

in Scandinavian Journal of Immunology (2011, April)

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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 detailThe Gene Encoding the Low-Affinity Penicillin-Binding Protein 3r in Enterococcus Hirae S185r Is Borne on a Plasmid Carrying Other Antibiotic Resistance Determinants
Raze, Dominique; Dardenne, Olivier ULg; Hallut, Séverine et al

in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (1998), 42(3), 534-539

Two plasmid-derived NcoI DNA fragments of 14 and 4.5 kb, respectively, have been isolated from the multidrug-resistant strain Enterococcus hirae S185R and analyzed. The 14-kb fragment contains two ... [more ▼]

Two plasmid-derived NcoI DNA fragments of 14 and 4.5 kb, respectively, have been isolated from the multidrug-resistant strain Enterococcus hirae S185R and analyzed. The 14-kb fragment contains two inverted (L and R) IS1216 insertion modules of the ISS1 family. These modules define a Tn5466 transposon-like structure that contains one copy of the methylase-encoding ermAM conferring erythromycin resistance and one copy of the adenylyl-transferase-encoding aadE conferring streptomycin resistance. Immediately on the left side of IS1216L there occurs a copy of pbp3r encoding the low-affinity penicillin-binding protein (PBP) PBP3r, itself preceded by a psr-like gene (psr3r) that controls the synthesis of PBP3r. ermAM, aadE, and the transposase gene (tnp) of IS1216R have the same polarities, and these are opposite those of psr3r, pbp3r, and the tnp gene of IS1216L. The 4.5-kb fragment is a copy of the 4.5-kb sequence at the 5' end of the 14-kb fragment, although it is not a restriction product of the 14-kb fragment. It contains three genes with the same polarity: psr3r, pbp3r, and tnp in an IS1216 element. Because of the very high degree of identity (99%) with the chromosomal psrfm and pbp5fm genes of Enterococcus faecium D63R, it is proposed that both the psr3r and pbp3r genes were transferred from an E.faecium strain and inserted in a plasmid of E. hirae. E. hirae is the first known bacterial species in which a low-affinity PBP-encoding gene has been found to be plasmid borne. [less ▲]

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