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See detailDo Bovine Lymphocytes Express a Peculiar Prion Protein?
Mélot, France ULg; Thielen, Caroline ULg; Labiet, T. et al

in Developmental Immunology (2002), 9(4), 245-52

The cellular prion protein (PrPc) is a glycolipid-anchored cell surface protein that usually exhibits three glycosylation states. Its post-translationally modified isoform, PrPsc, is involved in the ... [more ▼]

The cellular prion protein (PrPc) is a glycolipid-anchored cell surface protein that usually exhibits three glycosylation states. Its post-translationally modified isoform, PrPsc, is involved in the pathogenesis of various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). In bovine species, BSE infectivity appears to be restricted to the central nervous system; few or no detectable infectivity is found in lymphoid tissues in contrast to scrapie or variant CJD. Since expression of PrPc is a prerequisite for prion replication, we have investigated PrPc expression by bovine immune cells. Lymphocytes from blood and five different lymph organs were isolated from the same animal to assess intra- and interindividual variability of PrPc expression, considering six individuals. As shown by flow cytometry, this expression is absent or weak on granulocytes but is measurable on monocytes, B and T cells from blood and lymph organs. The activation of the bovine cells produces an upregulation of PrPc. The results of our in vitro study of PrPc biosynthesis are consistent with previous studies in other species. Interestingly, western blotting experiments showed only one form of the protein, the diglycosylated band. We propose that the glycosylation state could explain the lack of infectivity of the bovine immune cells. [less ▲]

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See detailHuman Fdc Express Prpc in Vivo and in Vitro
Thielen, Caroline ULg; Antoine, Nadine ULg; Mélot, France ULg et al

in Developmental Immunology (2001), 8(3-4), 259-66

Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by accumulation of abnormal prion protein (protease-resistant prion, PrPres). PrPres accumulation is also detected in lymphoid organs after ... [more ▼]

Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by accumulation of abnormal prion protein (protease-resistant prion, PrPres). PrPres accumulation is also detected in lymphoid organs after peripheral infection. Several studies suggest that follicular dendritic cells (FDC) could be the site of PrPres retention and amplification. Here we show that human follicular dendritic cells can express normal cellular prion protein (PrPc) both in situ and in vitro. When tonsillar cryosections were treated with anti-PrP antibody, the label was found on some very delicate cell extensions inside the lymphoid follicles, especially in the germinal centres. These extensions react with DRC1 antibody, used frequently to label FDC. Other structures labelled with anti-PrP antibody were the keratinocytes. To confirm the ability of FDC to synthesise PrPc, we isolated FDC by a non-enzymatic procedure and cultured them. By cytochemistry and flow cytometry it was clearly shown that FDC do produce PrPc. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression of Growth Hormone Receptors by Lymphocyte Subpopulations in the Human Tonsil
Thellin, Olivier ULg; Coumans, Bernard ULg; Zorzi, Willy ULg et al

in Developmental Immunology (1998), 6(3-4), 295-304

The ability of human tonsillar lymphoid cells to express growth hormone receptor (hGH-N-R) was analyzed by flow cytometry. FITC-coupled recombinant human growth hormone (hGH-N) was used to reveal the ... [more ▼]

The ability of human tonsillar lymphoid cells to express growth hormone receptor (hGH-N-R) was analyzed by flow cytometry. FITC-coupled recombinant human growth hormone (hGH-N) was used to reveal the receptors, in combination with phenotype markers. Unlike T cells, tonsillar B cells constitutively express the hGH-N receptor. Quiescent cells separated from activated cells by Percoll-gradient centrifugation bear fewer receptors than activated ones. Activated T cells express hGH-N-R, but the typical germinal centre CD4+ CD57+ T cells do not. These latter thus appear not to be fully activated. Inside the lymph follicles, the germinal centre CD38+ B-cell population and the mantle-zone CD39+ B-cell population display similar levels of hGH-N-R expression, but receptor density is lower on dividing dark-zone CD38+ CD10+ B cells. Different lymphoid-cell populations thus differ markedly in their ability to express the growth hormone receptor, in relation notably to their activation status. This highlights the link between the neuroendocrine system and the active immune defense. [less ▲]

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See detailHuman germinal center CD4+CD57+ T cells act differently on B cells than do classical T-helper cells.
Bouzahzah, F.; Bosseloir, A.; Heinen, Ernst ULg et al

in Developmental Immunology (1995), 4(3), 189-97

We have isolated two subtypes of helper T cells from human tonsils: CD4+CD57+ cells, mostly located in the germinal center (GC), and CD4+CD57- cells, distributed through the interfollicular areas but also ... [more ▼]

We have isolated two subtypes of helper T cells from human tonsils: CD4+CD57+ cells, mostly located in the germinal center (GC), and CD4+CD57- cells, distributed through the interfollicular areas but also present in the GC. In a functional study, we have compared the capacities of these T-cell subtypes to stimulate B cells in cocultures. In order to block T-cell proliferation while maintaining their activation level, we pretreated isolated T cells with mitomycin C prior to culture in the presence of B cells and added polyclonal activators such as PHA and Con A, combined or not with IL-2. Contrary to CD4+ CD57- cells, CD4+CD57+ cells did not markedly enhance B-cell proliferation. Even when sIgD.B cells typical of germinal center cells were tested, the CD4+CD57+ cells had no significant effect. This is in accordance with the location of these cells: They mainly occupy the light zones of the GC where few B cells divide. Even when added to preactivated, actively proliferating cells, CD4+CD57 cells failed to modulate B-cell multiplication. On the supernatants of B-cell-T-cell cocultures, we examined by the ELISA technique the effect of T cells on Ig synthesis. Contrary to CD57+ T cells, whose effect was strong, CD57- T cells weakly stimulated Ig synthesis. More IgM than IgG was generally found. Because CD57 antigen is a typical marker of natural killer cells, we tested the cytolytic activity of tonsillar CD4+CD57+ cells on K562 target cells. Unlike NK cells, neither CD4+CD57+ nor CD4+CD57- cells exhibit any cytotoxicity. Thus, germinal center CD4+CD57+ cells are not cytolytic and do not strongly stimulate either B-cell proliferation or Ig secretion. CD4+CD57- cells, however, enhance B-cell proliferation and differentiation, thus acting like the classical helper cells of the T-dependent areas. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysis by in Situ Hybridization of Cells Expressing Mrna for Tumor-Necrosis Factor in the Developing Thymus of Mice
Deman, Johanne; Martin, M arie Thérèse; Delvenne, Philippe ULg et al

in Developmental Immunology (1992), 2(2), 103-9

We have used in situ hybridization to investigate the expression of TNF-alpha genes by thymic cells during fetal development in mice. In 14-day-old fetal thymuses, very scarce cells produce TNF-alpha mRNA ... [more ▼]

We have used in situ hybridization to investigate the expression of TNF-alpha genes by thymic cells during fetal development in mice. In 14-day-old fetal thymuses, very scarce cells produce TNF-alpha mRNA. A second phase of cytokine gene expression starts on day 16. The density of positive cells progressively increases up to day 20. Thymuses at 15 days of gestation and after birth do not express detectable cytokine mRNA. In an attempt to identify the nature of the TNF-alpha mRNA-producing cells, acid phosphatase activity, which is characteristic of the macrophage lineage, was studied in the same thymuses. Acid phosphatase-positive cells only appear on day 15. Their frequency increases up to birth. However, no correlation can be established between acid phosphatase--and TNF alpha mRNA--positive cells. The results indicate that a small subset of thymic cells is responsible for TNF-alpha mRNA production during ontogeny: These cells are not yet identified. The possible role of TNF-alpha in thymic ontogeny is discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Recognition of Hypothalamo-Neurohypophysial Functions by Developing T Cells
Robert, F. R.; Martens, Henri ULg; Cormann, N. et al

in Developmental Immunology (1992), 2(2), 131-40

Neuropeptide signals and specific neuropeptide receptors have been described in the thymus supporting the concept of a close dialogue between the neuroendocrine and the immune systems at the level of ... [more ▼]

Neuropeptide signals and specific neuropeptide receptors have been described in the thymus supporting the concept of a close dialogue between the neuroendocrine and the immune systems at the level of early T-cell differentiation. In this paper, we review recent data about neurohypophysial (NHP)-related peptides detected in the thymus from different species. We suggest that we are dealing in fact with other member(s) of the NHP hormone family, which seems to exert its activity locally through a novel model of cell-to-cell signaling, that of cryptocrine communication. This model involves exchange of signals between thymic epithelial cells and developing thymocytes. The NHP-related peptides have been shown to trigger thymocyte proliferation and could induce immune tolerance of this highly conserved neuroendocrine family. [less ▲]

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