Lymph node germinal centers form in the absence of follicular dendritic cell networks. (1/1752)

Follicular dendritic cell networks are said to be pivotal to both the formation of germinal centers (GCs) and their functions in generating antigen-specific antibody affinity maturation and B cell memory. We report that lymphotoxin beta-deficient mice form GC cell clusters in the gross anatomical location expected of GCs, despite the complete absence of follicular dendritic cell networks. Furthermore, antigen-specific GC generation was at first relatively normal, but these GCs then rapidly regressed and GC-phase antibody affinity maturation was reduced. Lymphotoxin beta-deficient mice also showed substantial B cell memory in their mesenteric lymph nodes. This memory antibody response was of relatively low affinity for antigen at week 4 after challenge, but by week 10 after challenge was comparable to wild-type, indicating that affinity maturation had failed in the GC phase but developed later.  (+info)

Immunization of mice with DNA-based Pfs25 elicits potent malaria transmission-blocking antibodies. (2/1752)

Immunological intervention, in addition to vector control and malaria chemotherapy, will be needed to stop the resurgence of malaria, a disease with a devastating impact on the health of 300 to 500 million people annually. We have pursued a vaccination strategy, based on DNA immunization in mice with genes encoding two antigens present on the sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum, Pfs25 and Pfg27, to induce biologically important antibodies that can block development of the parasite in the Anopheles mosquito and thus transmission of the disease. DNA encoding Pfs25 when administered by the intramuscular route, either alone or with DNA encoding Pfg27, had the most potent transmission-blocking effects, resulting in up to a 97% decrease in oocyst numbers in mosquito midguts and a 75% decrease in rate of infection. Immunization with DNA encoding a Pfg27-Pfs25 fusion protein was less effective and DNA encoding Pfg27 elicited antibodies in sera that had only modest effects on the infectivity of the parasite. These results show for the first time that DNA vaccination can result in potent transmission-blocking antibodies in mice and suggest that the Pfs25 gene should be included as part of a multicomponent DNA vaccine.  (+info)

Eradication of established tumors by a fully human monoclonal antibody to the epidermal growth factor receptor without concomitant chemotherapy. (3/1752)

A fully human IgG2kappa monoclonal antibody (MAb), E7.6.3, specific to the human epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFr) was generated from human antibody-producing XenoMouse strains engineered to be deficient in mouse antibody production and to contain the majority of the human antibody gene repertoire on megabase-sized fragments from the human heavy and kappa light chain loci. The E7.6.3 MAb exhibits high affinity (KD = 5 x 10(-11) M) to the receptor, blocks completely the binding of both EGF and transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-a) to various EGFr-expressing human carcinoma cell lines, and abolishes EGF-dependent cell activation, including EGFr tyrosine phosphorylation, increased extracellular acidification rate, and cell proliferation. The antibody (0.2 mg i.p. twice a week for 3 weeks) prevents completely the formation of human epidermoid carcinoma A431 xenografts in athymic mice. More importantly, the administration of E7.6.3 without concomitant chemotherapy results in complete eradication of established tumors as large as 1.2 cm3. Tumor eradication of A431 xenografts was achieved in nearly all of the mice treated with total E7.6.3 doses as low as 3 mg, administered over the course of 3 weeks, and a total dose of 0.6 mg led to tumor elimination in 65% of the mice. No tumor recurrence was observed for more than 8 months after the last antibody injection, which further indicated complete tumor cell elimination by the antibody. The potency of E7.6.3 in eradicating well-established tumors without concomitant chemotherapy indicates its potential as a monotherapeutic agent for the treatment of multiple EGFr-expressing human solid tumors, including those for which no effective chemotherapy is available. Being a fully human antibody, E7.6.3 is expected to exhibit minimal immunogenicity and a longer half-life as compared with mouse or mouse-derivatized MAbs, thus allowing repeated antibody administration, including in immunocompetent patients. These results suggest E7.6.3 as a good candidate for assessing the full therapeutic potential of anti-EGFr antibody in the therapy of multiple patient populations with EGFr-expressing solid tumors.  (+info)

Efficient screening for catalytic antibodies using a short transition-state analog and detailed characterization of selected antibodies. (4/1752)

One of the major obstacles to acquiring catalytic antibodies is that it requires labor-intensive procedures to select catalytic antibodies from huge repertories of antibodies. Here, we selected potential catalytic Abs by utilizing their affinity towards a short transition-state analog which contained only the transition-state structural element, and evaluated in detail its efficiency to enrich catalytic Abs. Hybridoma supernatants elicited against a phosphonate derivative, the TSA1, were screened by a three-step screening process: step 1, ELISA for TSA1-BSA; step 2, ELISA for the short TSA4; and step 3, competitive-inhibition by the short TSA2. Only 22. 8% of positive mAbs from step 1 were found to be catalytic. The rate of catalytic Abs increased to 45.7% using screening steps 1 plus 2, and reached 83.3% using all three screening steps. This clearly suggests that our screening protocol is an efficient method to select potential catalytic Abs. Furthermore, we characterized the properties of both the catalytic Abs and the noncatalytic Abs in detail. The catalytic Abs tended to have lower Kd for TSA1 and the short TSA2 than noncatalytic Abs. It was also observed that catalytic Abs showed clear enantiospecificity toward substrate 6 containing d-phenylalanine while noncatalytic Abs did not. The detailed analysis of kinetic and binding parameters for these antibodies gives us further insight into catalytic antibodies.  (+info)

Mice with IFN-gamma receptor deficiency are less susceptible to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. (5/1752)

IFN-gamma can either adversely or beneficially affect certain experimental autoimmune diseases. To study the role of IFN-gamma in the autoantibody-mediated experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG), an animal model of myasthenia gravis in humans, IFN-gammaR-deficient (IFN-gammaR-/-) mutant C57BL/6 mice and congenic wild-type mice were immunized with Torpedo acetylcholine receptor (AChR) plus CFA. IFN-gammaR-/- mice exhibited significantly lower incidence and severity of muscle weakness, lower anti-AChR IgG Ab levels, and lower Ab affinity to AChR compared with wild-type mice. Passive transfer of serum from IFN-gammaR-/- mice induced less muscular weakness compared with serum from wild-type mice. In contrast, numbers of lymph node cells secreting IFN-gamma and of those expressing IFN-gamma mRNA were strongly augmented in the IFN-gammaR-/- mice, reflecting a failure of negative feedback circuits. Cytokine studies by in situ hybridization revealed lower levels of lymphoid cells expressing AChR-reactive IL-1beta and TNF-alpha mRNA in AChR + CFA-immunized IFN-gammaR-/- mice compared with wild-type mice. No differences were found for AChR-reactive cells expressing IL-4, IL-10, or TGF-beta mRNA. These results indicate that IFN-gamma promotes systemic humoral responses in EAMG by up-regulating the production and the affinity of anti-AChR autoantibodies, thereby contributing to susceptibility to EAMG in C57BL/6-type mice.  (+info)

Reconciling repertoire shift with affinity maturation: the role of deleterious mutations. (6/1752)

The shift in Ab repertoire, from Abs dominating certain primary B cell responses to genetically unrelated Abs dominating subsequent "memory" responses, challenges the accepted paradigm of affinity maturation. We used mathematical modeling and computer simulations of the dynamics of B cell responses, hypermutation, selection, and memory cell formation to test hypotheses attempting to explain repertoire shift. We show that repertoire shift can be explained within the framework of the affinity maturation paradigm, only when we recognize the destructive nature of hypermutation: B cells with a high initial affinity for the Ag are less likely to improve through random mutations.  (+info)

Production of high affinity autoantibodies in autoimmune New Zealand Black/New Zealand white F1 mice targeted with an anti-DNA heavy chain. (7/1752)

Lupus-prone, anti-DNA, heavy (H) chain "knock-in" mice were obtained by backcrossing C57BL/6 mice, targeted with a rearranged H chain from a VH11(S107)-encoded anti-DNA hybridoma (D42), onto the autoimmune genetic background of New Zealand Black/New Zealand White (NZB/NZW) F1 mice. The targeted female mice developed typical lupus serologic manifestations, with the appearance of transgenic IgM anti-DNA autoantibodies at a young age (2-3 mo) and high affinity, somatically mutated IgM and IgG anti-DNA Abs at a later age (6-7 mo). However, they did not develop clinical, lupus-associated glomerulonephritis and survived to at least 18 mo of age. L chain analysis of transgenic anti-DNA Abs derived from diseased NZB/NZW mouse hybridomas showed a very restricted repertoire of Vkappa utilization, different from that of nonautoimmune (C57BL/6 x BALB/c)F1 transgenic anti-DNA Abs. Strikingly, a single L chain was repetitively selected by most anti-DNA, transgenic NZB/NZW B cells to pair with the targeted H chain. This L chain had the same Vkappa-Jkappa rearrangement as that expressed by the original anti-DNA D42 hybridoma. These findings indicate that the kinetics of the autoimmune serologic manifestations are similar in wild-type and transgenic lupus-prone NZB/NZW F1 mice and suggest that the breakdown of immunologic tolerance in these mice is associated with the preferential expansion and activation of B cell clones expressing high affinity anti-DNA H/L receptor combinations.  (+info)

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclass distribution and IgG1 avidity of antibodies in human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals after revaccination with tetanus toxoid. (8/1752)

In human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals the amount of antibodies formed after vaccination with T-cell-dependent recall antigens such as tetanus toxoid is proportional to the peripheral blood CD4(+) T-lymphocyte counts. To investigate whether the immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclass distribution and avidity of the antibodies produced after vaccination are affected as well, we gave 13 HIV-infected adults with low CD4(+) T-lymphocyte counts (<200 x 10(6)/liter; group I), 11 HIV-infected adults with intermediate CD4(+) T-lymphocyte counts (>/=200 x 10(6)/liter; group II), and 5 healthy controls booster immunizations with tetanus toxoid. The prevaccination antibody concentrations against tetanus toxoid were similar in the HIV-infected and healthy adults. After vaccination the total IgG and the IgG1 anti-tetanus toxoid antibody concentrations were significantly lower in group I than in group II and the controls. The avidity of the IgG1 anti-tetanus toxoid antibodies formed by HIV-infected adults was within the range for healthy controls, irrespective of their CD4(+) T-lymphocyte counts.  (+info)