The Immunotherapy Center is a center of research excellence at Augusta University. Many diseases develop because the immune system is over-active, as in autoimmune diseases (e.g. type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus etc.), or under-active, as in cancer and chronic infectious diseases (e.g. HIV, Hepatitis, TB, Listeria, etc.). The primary role of the immune system is to eliminate microbial infections that cause pathogenic disease.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Melanoma Cell Expression of CD200 Inhibits Tumor Formation and Lung Metastasis via Inhibition of Myeloid Cell Functions

    Talebian, Fatemeh; Liu, Jin-Qing; Liu, Zhenzhen; Khattabi, Mazin; He, Yukai; Ganju, Ramesh; Bai, Xue-Feng; Immunotherapy Center (2012-02-3)
    CD200 is a cell surface glycoprotein that functions through engaging CD200 receptor on cells of the myeloid lineage and inhibits their functions. Expression of CD200 has been implicated in a variety of human cancer cells including melanoma cells and has been thought to play a protumor role. To investigate the role of cancer cell expression of CD200 in tumor formation and metastasis, we generated CD200-positive and CD200-negative B16 melanoma cells. Subcutaneous injection of CD200-positive B16 melanoma cells inhibited tumor formation and growth in C57BL/6 mice but not in Rag1-/- C57BL/6 mice. However, i.v. injection of CD200-positive B16 melanoma cells dramatically inhibited tumor foci formation in the lungs of both C57BL/6 and Rag1-/- C57BL6 mice. Flow cytometry analysis revealed higher expression of CD200R in Gr1+ myeloid cells in the lung than in peripheral myeloid cells. Depletion of Gr1+ cells or stimulation of CD200R with an agonistic antibody in vivo dramatically inhibited tumor foci formation in the lungs. In addition, treatment with tumor antigen specific CD4 or CD8 T cells or their combination yielded a survival advantage for CD200 positive tumor bearing mice over mice bearing CD200-negative tumors. Taken together, we have revealed a novel role for CD200-CD200R interaction in inhibiting tumor formation and metastasis. Targeting CD200R may represent a novel approach for cancer immunotherapy.
  • Kynurenine is a novel endothelium-derived vascular relaxing factor produced during inflammation

    Wang, Yutang; Liu, Hanzhong; McKenzie, Gavin; Witting, Paul K; Stasch, Johannes-Peter; Hahn, Michael; Jackman, Katherine A; Changsirivathanathamrong, Dechaboon; Wu, Ben J; Ball, Helen J; et al. (2009-08-11)
  • Viral infection prevents diabetes by inducing regulatory T cells through NKT cellâ plasmacytoid dendritic cell interplay

    Diana, Julien; Brezar, Vedran; Beaudoin, Lucie; Dalod, Marc; Mellor, Andrew L.; Tafuri, Anna; von Herrath, Matthias; Boitard, Christian; Mallone, Roberto; Lehuen, Agnes; et al. (2011-04-11)
    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease resulting from T cellâ mediated destruction of insulin-producing β cells, and viral infections can prevent the onset of disease. Invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells) exert a regulatory role in T1D by inhibiting autoimmune T cell responses. As iNKT cellâ plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC) cooperation controls viral replication in the pancreatic islets, we investigated whether this cellular cross talk could interfere with T1D development during viral infection. Using both virus-induced and spontaneous mouse models of T1D, we show that upon viral infection, iNKT cells induce TGF-βâ producing pDCs in the pancreatic lymph nodes (LNs). These tolerogenic pDCs convert naive anti-islet T cells into Foxp3+ CD4+ regulatory T cells (T reg cells) in pancreatic LNs. T reg cells are then recruited into the pancreatic islets where they produce TGF-β, which dampens the activity of viral- and islet-specific CD8+ T cells, thereby preventing T1D development in both T1D models. These findings reveal a crucial cooperation between iNKT cells, pDCs, and T reg cells for prevention of T1D by viral infection.