Research, Innovation and Commercialisation - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 30
Deserters on the atopic march: Risk factors, immune profile and clinical outcomes of food sensitized-tolerant infants
BACKGROUND: A few studies have investigated the antecedents and outcomes of infants who demonstrate IgE sensitization to foods that they clinically tolerate. Improved understanding of this sensitized-tolerant phenotype may inform strategies for the prevention of food allergy. METHODS: In an Australian birth cohort (n = 1074), assembled using an unselected antenatal sampling frame, participants were categorized as nonsensitized (NS), sensitizedtolerant (ST), or food allergic (FA) based on skin prick testing and food challenge at 12 months of age. Environmental exposures were recorded throughout. Cord blood regulatory T-cell populations were measured at birth. Subsequent childhood allergic disease was assessed by parent report, clinical examination, and repeat skin prick testing. RESULTS: The covariates of interest varied between NS (n = 698), ST (n = 27), and FA (n = 61) groups as follows, suggesting that across these measures, the ST group was more similar to the NS than the FA group: family history of eczema NS 44.6%, ST. 44.6%, FA 65.6%; pet ownership at 12 months: NS 71.5%, ST 81.5%, FA 45.8%; eczema during the first 12 months: NS 19%, ST 32%, FA 64%; and aeroallergen sensitization at 4 years: NS 19.1%, ST 28.6%, FA 44.4%. At birth, a higher proportion of activated regulatory T cells was associated with ST (OR = 2.89, 95% CI 1.03-8.16, P = .045). CONCLUSION: Food-sensitized-tolerance in infancy appears to be associated with a similar pattern of exposures, immunity, and outcomes to nonsensitized infants. In addition, we found some evidence that an elevated proportion of activated regulatory T cells at birth was specific to the sensitized-tolerant infants, which may be relevant to suppression of clinical disease.
CD8+TISSUE-RESIDENT MEMORY T CELLS ARE TUMOUR REACTIVE AND INCREASE AFTER IMMUNOTHERAPY IN A CASE OF METASTATIC MUCOSAL MELANOMA
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-11-01)
<jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>Mucosal melanoma is a rare subtype of melanoma originating from mucosal tissues (1), metastases are very aggressive and respond poorly to therapy, including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) such as anti-CTLA4 and anti-PD1 antibodies (2–5). CD8+ T cells constitute the most abundant immune infiltrate in metastatic melanoma, of which the Tissue Resident Memory subset (TRM) is of particular interest (6). CD8+ TRM cells express the highest levels of immune checkpoint receptors, proliferate in response to ICI and correlate with longer disease-free and overall survival (6–8). The immune landscape in mucosal melanoma remains poorly characterized. We aimed to: 1) phenotype CD8+ T cells and TRM infiltrating metastatic mucosal melanoma, 2) characterize the clonality of TRM in relation to other CD8+ T cell subsets and 3) define the capacity of CD8+ T cells and TRM to respond to melanoma cells and to in vivo and in vitro anti-PD1 treatment.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>We investigated the CD8+ T and TRM cells infiltrating two temporally- and spatially-distant subcutaneous metastases, these originated from a primary vaginal mucosal melanoma. One metastasis was excised prior to anti-PD1 treatment and one was anti-PD1 refractory, having progressed on treatment. We used mass cytometry and single-cell RNA and TCR sequencing to characterise the phenotype and clonality of the T cells, multiplex immunohistochemistry to define their spatial relationship with tumour cells and other T cells, and functional assays to determine TRM response to tumour cells (figure 1).</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>CD8+ TRM frequency increased with time and anti-PD1 treatment, forming clusters at the tumour margin. T cells in the anti-PD1 refractory lesion were more activated than T cells in the first tumour and were bound by anti-PD1 antibody in vivo. T cells could not be stimulated by anti-PD1 directly ex vivo. Both metastatic lesions shared common T cell clusters including TRM. Furthermore, TRM in each tumour shared T cell clones, suggesting the presence of common antigens between metastatic sites. Indeed, the two metastases had a similar mutational profile. In vitro expanded tumour infiltrating lymphocytes from both lesions recognized tumour cells from both lesions and the same neoantigen generated from a single point mutation in the gene CDKN1C. Finally, tumour cells stimulated TRM cells more robustly than other T cells subsets.</jats:p><jats:fig id="F1" position="float" orientation="portrait"><jats:label>Abstract 548 Figure 1</jats:label><jats:caption><jats:p>Graphical depiction of the methods used to characterise T cells in mucosal metastatic melanoma</jats:p></jats:caption><jats:graphic xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xlink:href="ABS_548_F001" position="float" orientation="portrait" /></jats:fig></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title><jats:p>In this patient with vaginal mucosal melanoma, subsequent melanoma metastases of clonal origin attracted CD8+ T cells of similar specificity, among which TRM cells responded more vigorously to tumour cells than other T cells subsets.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Acknowledgements</jats:title><jats:p>The authors would like to acknowledge imCORE La Hoffmann- Roche Ltd. for funding.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Ethics Approval</jats:title><jats:p>Patients diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 metastatic melanoma and undergoing clinically indicated surgery were enrolled in prospective studies approved by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre human ethics research committee (13/141). All experimental protocols have been approved and clinical data has been collected prospectively.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>References</jats:title><jats:list list-type="order"><jats:list-item><jats:p>Carvajal RD, Hamid O, Ariyan C. Mucosal Melanoma. [cited 2020 Apr 1]; Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/mucosal-melanoma</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>Del Vecchio M, Di Guardo L, Ascierto PA, Grimaldi AM, Sileni VC, Pigozzo J, et al. Efficacy and safety of ipilimumab 3 mg/kg in patients with pretreated, metastatic, mucosal melanoma. <jats:italic>Eur J Cancer Oxf Engl</jats:italic> 1990; 2014 Jan;50(1):121–7.</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>Postow MA, Luke JJ, Bluth MJ, Ramaiya N, Panageas KS, Lawrence DP, et al. Ipilimumab for patients with advanced mucosal melanoma. <jats:italic>The Oncologist</jats:italic> 2013 Jun;18(6):726–32.</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>D’Angelo SP, Larkin J, Sosman JA, Lebbé C, Brady B, Neyns B, et al. Efficacy and safety of nivolumab alone or in combination with ipilimumab in patients with mucosal melanoma: a pooled analysis. <jats:italic>J Clin Oncol Off J Am Soc Clin Oncol</jats:italic>. 2017 Jan 10;35(2):226–35.</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>Hamid O, Robert C, Ribas A, Hodi FS, Walpole E, Daud A, et al. Antitumour activity of pembrolizumab in advanced mucosal melanoma: a post-hoc analysis of KEYNOTE-001, 002, 006. <jats:italic>Br J Cancer</jats:italic> 2018;119(6):670–4.</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>Boddupalli CS, Bar N, Kadaveru K, Krauthammer M, Pornputtapong N, Mai Z, <jats:italic>et al</jats:italic>. Interlesional diversity of T cell receptors in melanoma with immune checkpoints enriched in tissue-resident memory T cells. JCI Insight [Internet]. 2016 Dec 22 [cited 2019 Apr 24];1(21). Available from: https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/88955</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>Edwards J, Wilmott JS, Madore J, Gide TN, Quek C, Tasker A, et al. CD103+ Tumor-resident CD8+ T cells are associated with improved survival in immunotherapy-naïve melanoma patients and expand significantly during anti-PD-1 treatment. <jats:italic>Clin Cancer Res Off J Am Assoc Cancer Res</jats:italic> 2018 Jul 1;24(13):3036–45.</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>Savas P, Virassamy B, Ye C, Salim A, Mintoff CP, Caramia F, et al. Single-cell profiling of breast cancer T cells reveals a tissue-resident memory subset associated with improved prognosis. <jats:italic>Nat Med</jats:italic> 2018 Jul;24(7):986–93.</jats:p></jats:list-item></jats:list></jats:sec>
Sex-Dependent Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Spatial Memory and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Signaling in a Developmental "Two-Hit" Mouse Model Combining BDNF Haploinsufficiency and Chronic Glucocorticoid Stimulation
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2018-10-09)
Neurodevelopmental disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of adverse genetic and environmental insults. The "two-hit" hypothesis suggests that an early first "hit" primes the developing brain to be vulnerable to a second "hit" during adolescence which triggers behavioral dysfunction. We have previously modeled this scenario in mice and found that the combined effect of a genetic hapolinsuffuciency in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene (1st hit) and chronic corticosterone (CORT) treatment during adolescence (2nd hit), caused spatial memory impairments in adulthood. Environmental enrichment (EE) protocols are designed to stimulate experience-dependent plasticity and have shown therapeutic actions. This study investigated whether EE can reverse these spatial memory impairments. Wild-type (WT) and BDNF heterozygous (HET) mice were treated with corticosterone (CORT) in their drinking water (50 mg/L) from weeks 6 to 8 and exposed to EE from 7 to 9 weeks. Enriched housing included open top cages with additional toys, tunnels, housing, and platforms. Y-maze novel preference testing, to assess short-term spatial memory, was performed at 10 weeks of age. At week 16 dorsal hippocampus tissue was obtained for Western blot analysis of expression levels of BDNF, the BDNF receptor TrkB, and NMDA receptor subunits, GluNR1, 2A and 2B. As in our previous studies, spatial memory was impaired in our two-hit (BDNF HET + CORT) mice. Simultaneous EE prevented these impairments. However, EE appeared to worsen spatial memory performance in WT mice, particularly those exposed to CORT. While BDNF levels were lower in BDNF HET mice as expected, there were no further effects of CORT or EE in males but a close to significant female CORT × EE × genotype interaction which qualitatively corresponded with Y-maze performance. However, EE caused both sex- and genotype-specific effects on phosphorylated TrkB residues and GluNR expression within the dorsal hippocampus, with GluNR2B levels in males changing in parallel with spatial memory performance. In conclusion, beneficial effects of EE on spatial memory emerge only following two developmental disruptions. The mechanisms by which EE exerts its effects are likely via regulation of multiple activity-dependent pathways, including TrkB and NMDA receptor signaling.
Cytoplasmic ATP inhibition of CLC-1 is enhanced by low pH.
(Rockefeller University Press, 2007-08)
The CLC-1 Cl(-) channel is abundantly expressed on the plasma membrane of muscle cells, and the membrane potential of muscle cells is largely controlled by the activity of this Cl(-) channel. Previous studies showed that low intracellular pH increases the overall open probability of recombinant CLC-1 channels in various expression systems. Low intracellular pH, however, is known to inhibit the Cl(-) conductance on the native muscle membrane, contradicting the findings from the recombinant CLC-1 channels in expressed systems. Here we show that in the presence of physiological concentrations of ATP, reduction of the intracellular pH indeed inhibits the expressed CLC-1, mostly by decreasing the open probability of the common gate of the channel.
Glucocorticoids in T cell apoptosis and function
(SPRINGER BASEL AG, 2006-01-01)
Glucocorticoids (GCs) are a class of steroid hormones which regulate a variety of essential biological functions. The profound anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activity of synthetic GCs, combined with their power to induce lymphocyte apoptosis place them among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide. Endogenous GCs also exert a wide range of immunomodulatory activities, including the control of T cell homeostasis. Most, if not all of these effects are mediated through the glucocorticoid receptor, a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. However, the signaling pathways and their cell type specificity remain poorly defined. In this review, we summarize our present knowledge on GC action, the mechanisms employed to induce apoptosis and the currently discussed models of how they may participate in thymocyte development. Although our knowledge in this field has substantially increased during recent years, we are still far from a comprehensive picture of the role that GCs play in T lymphocytes.
Sequential Induction of Effector Function, Tissue Migration and Cell Death during Polyclonal Activation of Mouse Regulatory T-Cells
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-11-30)
The ability of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T-cells (Treg) to produce interleukin (IL)-10 is important for the limitation of inflammation at environmental interfaces like colon or lung. Under steady state conditions, however, few Tregs produce IL-10 ex vivo. To investigate the origin and fate of IL-10 producing Tregs we used a superagonistic mouse anti-mouse CD28 mAb (CD28SA) for polyclonal in vivo stimulation of Tregs, which not only led to their numeric expansion but also to a dramatic increase in IL-10 production. IL-10 secreting Tregs strongly upregulated surface receptors associated with suppressive function as compared to non-producing Tregs. Furthermore, polyclonally expanding Tregs shifted their migration receptor pattern after activation from a CCR7(+)CCR5(-) lymph node-seeking to a CCR7(-)CCR5(+) inflammation-seeking phenotype, explaining the preferential recruitment of IL-10 producers to sites of ongoing immune responses. Finally, we observed that IL-10 producing Tregs from CD28SA stimulated mice were more apoptosis-prone in vitro than their IL-10 negative counterparts. These findings support a model where prolonged activation of Tregs results in terminal differentiation towards an IL-10 producing effector phenotype associated with a limited lifespan, implicating built-in termination of immunosuppression.
Patents Associated with High-Cost Drugs in Australia
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-04-05)
Australia, like most countries, faces high and rapidly-rising drug costs. There are longstanding concerns about pharmaceutical companies inappropriately extending their monopoly position by "evergreening" blockbuster drugs, through misuse of the patent system. There is, however, very little empirical information about this behaviour. We fill the gap by analysing all of the patents associated with 15 of the costliest drugs in Australia over the last 20 years. Specifically, we search the patent register to identify all the granted patents that cover the active pharmaceutical ingredient of the high-cost drugs. Then, we classify the patents by type, and identify their owners. We find a mean of 49 patents associated with each drug. Three-quarters of these patents are owned by companies other than the drug's originator. Surprisingly, the majority of all patents are owned by companies that do not have a record of developing top-selling drugs. Our findings show that a multitude of players seek monopoly control over innovations to blockbuster drugs. Consequently, attempts to control drug costs by mitigating misuse of the patent system are likely to miss the mark if they focus only on the patenting activities of originators.
Biosecurity interceptions of an invasive lizard: origin of stowaways and human-assisted spread within New Zealand
Globalization, and the resultant movement of animals beyond their native range, creates challenges for biosecurity agencies. Limited records of unintentional introductions inhibit our understanding of the trade pathways, transport vectors and mechanisms through which hitchhiker organisms are spread as stowaways. Here, we adopt a phylogeographic approach to determine the source and human-mediated dispersal pathways of New Zealand's only invasive lizard, the delicate skink (Lampropholis delicata), intercepted by biosecurity agencies in New Zealand. Biosecurity agencies correctly predicted the source region of 77% of stowaways, which were usually solitary adults, arriving via air or sea pathways during the cooler months, evading initial border checks and alive when detected. New arrivals from Australia comprised 16% of detections originating from the region between Brisbane and Sydney. Our analyses indicate human-mediated dispersal has driven the post-border spread of L. delicata within New Zealand. Propagule pressure was substantially greater for L. delicata compared with the noninvasive, congeneric Lampropholis guichenoti. Our results highlight the transport pathways, spread mechanisms, and stowaway characteristics of Lampropholis lizards entering New Zealand, which could enhance current biosecurity protocols and prevent the establishment of additional lizard species.
A clustered randomised trial examining the effect of social marketing and community mobilisation on the age of uptake and levels of alcohol consumption by Australian adolescents
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013-01-01)
INTRODUCTION: Throughout the world, alcohol consumption is common among adolescents. Adolescent alcohol use and misuse have prognostic significance for several adverse long-term outcomes, including alcohol problems, alcohol dependence, school disengagement and illicit drug use. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether randomisation to a community mobilisation and social marketing intervention reduces the proportion of adolescents who initiate alcohol use before the Australian legal age of 18, and the frequency and amount of underage adolescent alcohol consumption. METHOD AND ANALYSIS: The study comprises 14 communities matched with 14 non-contiguous communities on socioeconomic status (SES), location and size. One of each pair was randomly allocated to the intervention. Baseline levels of adolescent alcohol use were estimated through school surveys initiated in 2006 (N=8500). Community mobilisation and social marketing interventions were initiated in 2011 to reduce underage alcohol supply and demand. The setting is communities in three Australian states (Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia). Students (N=2576) will complete school surveys in year 8 in 2013 (average age 12). PRIMARY OUTCOMES: (1) lifetime initiation and (2) monthly frequency of alcohol use. Reports of social marketing and family and community alcohol supply sources will also be assessed. Point estimates with 95% CIs will be compared for student alcohol use in intervention and control communities. Changes from 2006 to 2013 will be examined; multilevel modelling will assess whether random assignment of communities to the intervention reduced 2013 alcohol use, after accounting for community level differences. Analyses will also assess whether exposure to social marketing activities increased the intervention target of reducing alcohol supply by parents and community members. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12612000384853.
Genome-Wide Association Scan Identifies a Risk Locus for Preeclampsia on 2q14, Near the Inhibin, Beta B Gene
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-03-14)
Elucidating the genetic architecture of preeclampsia is a major goal in obstetric medicine. We have performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for preeclampsia in unrelated Australian individuals of Caucasian ancestry using the Illumina OmniExpress-12 BeadChip to successfully genotype 648,175 SNPs in 538 preeclampsia cases and 540 normal pregnancy controls. Two SNP associations (rs7579169, p = 3.58×10(-7), OR = 1.57; rs12711941, p = 4.26×10(-7), OR = 1.56) satisfied our genome-wide significance threshold (modified Bonferroni p<5.11×10(-7)). These SNPs reside in an intergenic region less than 15 kb downstream from the 3' terminus of the Inhibin, beta B (INHBB) gene on 2q14.2. They are in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with each other (r(2) = 0.92), but not (r(2)<0.80) with any other genotyped SNP ±250 kb. DNA re-sequencing in and around the INHBB structural gene identified an additional 25 variants. Of the 21 variants that we successfully genotyped back in the case-control cohort the most significant association observed was for a third intergenic SNP (rs7576192, p = 1.48×10(-7), OR = 1.59) in strong LD with the two significant GWAS SNPs (r(2)>0.92). We attempted to provide evidence of a putative regulatory role for these SNPs using bioinformatic analyses and found that they all reside within regions of low sequence conservation and/or low complexity, suggesting functional importance is low. We also explored the mRNA expression in decidua of genes ±500 kb of INHBB and found a nominally significant correlation between a transcript encoded by the EPB41L5 gene, ∼250 kb centromeric to INHBB, and preeclampsia (p = 0.03). We were unable to replicate the associations shown by the significant GWAS SNPs in case-control cohorts from Norway and Finland, leading us to conclude that it is more likely that these SNPs are in LD with as yet unidentified causal variant(s).
Drosophila Rbp6 Is an Orthologue of Vertebrate Msi-1 and Msi-2, but Does Not Function Redundantly with dMsi to Regulate Germline Stem Cell Behaviour
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-11-27)
The vertebrate RNA-binding proteins, Musashi-1 (Msi-1) and Musashi-2 (Msi-2) are expressed in multiple stem cell populations. A role for Musashi proteins in preventing stem cell differentiation has been suggested from genetic analysis of the Drosophila family member, dMsi, and both vertebrate Msi proteins function co-operatively to regulate neural stem cell behaviour. Here we have identified a second Drosophila Msi family member, Rbp6, which shares more amino acid identity with vertebrate Msi-1 and Msi-2 than dMsi. We generated an antibody that detects most Rbp6 splice isoforms and show that Rbp6 is expressed in multiple tissues throughout development. However, Rbp6 deletion mutants generated in this study are viable and fertile, and show only minor defects. We used Drosophila spermatogonial germline stem cells (GSC's) as a model to test whether Drosophila Msi proteins function redundantly to regulate stem cell behaviour. However, like vertebrate Msi-1 and Msi-2, Rbp6 and Msi do not appear to be co-expressed in spermatogenic GSC's and do not function co-operatively in the regulation of GSC maintenance. Thus while two Msi family members are present in Drosophila, the function of the family members have diverged.
Enhanced Auditory Neuron Survival Following Cell-Based BDNF Treatment in the Deaf Guinea Pig
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2011-04-15)
Exogenous neurotrophin delivery to the deaf cochlea can prevent deafness-induced auditory neuron degeneration, however, we have previously reported that these survival effects are rapidly lost if the treatment stops. In addition, there are concerns that current experimental techniques are not safe enough to be used clinically. Therefore, for such treatments to be clinically transferable, methods of neurotrophin treatment that are safe, biocompatible and can support long-term auditory neuron survival are necessary. Cell transplantation and gene transfer, combined with encapsulation technologies, have the potential to address these issues. This study investigated the survival-promoting effects of encapsulated BDNF over-expressing Schwann cells on auditory neurons in the deaf guinea pig. In comparison to control (empty) capsules, there was significantly greater auditory neuron survival following the cell-based BDNF treatment. Concurrent use of a cochlear implant is expected to result in even greater auditory neuron survival, and provide a clinically relevant method to support auditory neuron survival that may lead to improved speech perception and language outcomes for cochlear implant patients.