skip to main content

Title: Immune Relevant Animal Models: Opportunities and Challenges
Valid interpretation of preclinical animal models in immunology-related clinical challenges is important to solve outstanding clinical needs. Given the overall complexity of the immune system and both species- and tissue-specific immune peculiarities, the selection and design of appropriate immune-relevant animal models is, however, not following a straightforward path. The topics in this issue of the ILAR Journal provide assessments of immune-relevant animal models used in oncology, hematopoietic-, CAR-T cell- and xenotransplantation, adjuvants and infectious diseases, and immune privileged inflammation that are providing key insights into unmet human clinical needs.
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Jungersen, Gregers; Piedrahita, Jorge.
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
ILAR journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (SFDI) can provide longitudinal, label-free, and widefield hemodynamic and scattering measurements of murine tumors in vivo. Our previous work has shown that the reduced scattering coefficient (μ′s) at 800 nm, as well as the wavelength dependence of scattering, both have prognostic value in tracking apoptosis and proliferation during treatment with anti-cancer therapies. However, there is limited work in validating these optical biomarkers in clinically relevant tumor models that manifest specific treatment resistance mechanisms that mimic the clinical setting. It was recently demonstrated that metronomic dosing of cyclophosphamide induces a strong anti-tumor immune response and tumor volume reduction in the E0771 murine breast cancer model. This immune activation mechanism can be blocked with an IFNAR-1 antibody, leading to treatment resistance. Here we present a longitudinal study utilizing SFDI to monitor this paired responsive-resistant model for up to 30 days of drug treatment. Mice receiving the immune modulatory metronomic cyclophosphamide schedule had a significant increase in tumor optical scattering compared to mice receiving cyclophosphamide in combination with the IFNAR-1 antibody (9% increase vs 10% decrease on day 5 of treatment, p < 0.001). The magnitude of these differences increased throughout the duration of treatment. Additionally, scattering changes on day 4 of treatmentmore »could discriminate responsive versus resistant tumors with an accuracy of 78%, while tumor volume had an accuracy of only 52%. These results validate optical scattering as a promising prognostic biomarker that can discriminate between treatment responsive and resistant tumor models.

    « less
  2. Abstract

    Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) are major infectious diseases of ruminants caused by mycoplasmas in Africa and Asia. In contrast with the limited pathology in the respiratory tract of humans infected with mycoplasmas, CBPP and CCPP are devastating diseases associated with high morbidity and mortality. Beyond their obvious impact on animal health, CBPP and CCPP negatively impact the livelihood and wellbeing of a substantial proportion of livestock-dependent people affecting their culture, economy, trade and nutrition. The causative agents of CBPP and CCPP areMycoplasma mycoidessubspeciesmycoidesandMycoplasma capricolumsubspeciescapripneumoniae, respectively, which have been eradicated in most of the developed world. The current vaccines used for disease control consist of a live attenuated CBPP vaccine and a bacterin vaccine for CCPP, which were developed in the 1960s and 1980s, respectively. Both of these vaccines have many limitations, so better vaccines are urgently needed to improve disease control. In this article the research community prioritized biomedical research needs related to challenge models, rational vaccine design and protective immune responses. Therefore, we scrutinized the current vaccines as well as the challenge-, pathogenicity- and immunity models. We highlight research gaps and provide recommendations towards developing safer and more efficacious vaccines against CBPP andmore »CCPP.

    « less
  3. 2938 Using a Human Liver Tissue Equivalent (hLTE) Platform to Define the Functional Impact of Liver-Directed AAV Gene Therapy 63rd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition, December 11-14, 2021, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts Session: 801. Gene Therapies: Poster II Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways: Bleeding and Clotting, Biological, Translational Research, Hemophilia, Genetic Disorders, Clinically Relevant, Diseases, Gene Therapy, Therapies Sunday, December 12, 2021, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM Ritu M Ramamurthy1*, Wen Ting Zheng2*, Sunil George, PhD1*, Meimei Wan1*, Yu Zhou, PhD1*, Baisong Lu, PhD1*, Colin E Bishop, PhD1*, Anthony Atala, M.D.1*, Christopher D Porada, PhD1* and M. Graca Almeida-Porada, MD3 1Fetal Research and Therapy Program, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 2Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 3Fetal Research and Therapy Program, Wake Forest Institute For Regenerative Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC Clinical trials employing AAV vectors for hemophilia A have been hindered by unanticipated immunological and/or inflammatory responses in some of the patients. Also, these trials have often yielded lower levels of transgene expression than were expected based upon preclinical studies, highlighting the poor correlation between the transduction efficiency observed in traditional 2D cultures of primary cells in vitro, and that observed inmore »those same cell types in vivo. It has been also recognized that there are marked species-specific differences in AAV-vector tropism, raising the critical question of the accuracy with which various animal models will likely predict tropism/vector transduction efficiency, and eventual treatment success in humans. Human liver tissue equivalents (hLTEs) are comprised of major cell types in the liver in physiologically relevant frequencies and possess the ability to recapitulate the biology and function of native human liver. Here, we hypothesize that hLTEs can be used as a better model to predict the efficacy and safety of AAV gene therapy in humans. We fabricated hLTEs using 75% hepatocytes, 10% stellate cells, 10% Kupffer cells, and 5% liver sinusoid-derived endothelial cells in 96-well Elplasia plates with 79 microwells per well. hLTEs were transduced at an MOI of 105vg/cell, on the day of fabrication, with the clinically relevant serotypes AAV5 (hLTE-5) or AAV3b (hLTE-3b), both encoding a GFP reporter. After 4 days of self-aggregation, live/dead assay was performed to confirm viability. Non-transduced hLTEs served as negative controls (hLTE(-)), and hLTEs exposed to 20 mM acetaminophen were used as positive controls for liver inflammation/damage. Incucyte® Live-Cell Imaging system was used to track the aggregation and GFP expression of hLTEs. Over the course of the next 5 days, media was collected to determine hepatic functionality, RNA was isolated to assess dysregulation of genes involved in inflammation and fibrosis, DNA was isolated to determine whether AAV vectors integrate into the genome of human hepatocytes and, if so, to define the frequency at which this occurs and the genomic loci of integration, and hLTEs were fixed and processed at appropriate times for histological analyses and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM analysis revealed that all groups exhibited microvilli and bile-canaliculus-like structures, demonstrating the formation of a rudimentary biliary system and, more importantly, proving that hLTEs resemble native liver structure. Incucyte® imaging showed that AAV5 and AAV3b transduction impaired formation of hLTEs (57.57 ± 2.42 and 24.57 ± 4.01 spheroids/well, respectively) in comparison with hLTE(-) (74.86 ± 3.8 spheroids/well). Quantification of GFP expression demonstrated that AAV5 yielded the most efficient transduction of hLTEs (fold change in GFP expression compared to control: 2.73 ± 0.09 and 1.19 ± 0.03 for hLTE-5 and hLTE-3b, respectively). Chromogenic assays showed decreased urea production in cell culture supernatants of AAV transduced groups compared to the non-transduced hLTEs on days 6 and 10 of culture, demonstrating decreased hepatocyte functionality. However, ALT and AST levels were similar in all groups. On day 10, hLTEs were either used for RNA isolation or fixed in 4% PFA and processed for histology. Masson’s Trichrome and Alcian Blue/Sirius Red staining was performed to detect fibrosis, which was then quantified using ImageJ. These analyses showed no significant increase in fibrosis in either hLTE-5 or hLTE-3b compared to hLTE(-). Nevertheless, RT2 PCR Array for Human Fibrosis detected dysregulation of several genes involved in fibrosis/inflammation in both hLTE-5 and hLTE-3b (16/84 and 26/84, respectively). In conclusion, data collected thus far show successful recapitulation of native liver biology and demonstrate that AAV5 transduces hLTEs more efficiently than AAV3b. However, impaired self-aggregation and decreased hepatocyte functionality was observed in both AAV-transduced groups. Studies to address the incidence and location(s) of AAV integration are ongoing. We have thus shown that the hLTE system can provide critical new knowledge regarding the efficacy and safety of AAV gene therapy in the human liver. Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.« less
  4. Abstract

    In the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) continuum, the prodromal state of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) precedes AD dementia and identifying MCI individuals at risk of progression is important for clinical management. Our goal was to develop generalizable multivariate models that integrate high-dimensional data (multimodal neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, genetic factors, and measures of cognitive resilience) for identification of MCI individuals who progress to AD within 3 years. Our main findings were i) we were able to build generalizable models with clinically relevant accuracy (~93%) for identifying MCI individuals who progress to AD within 3 years; ii) markers of AD pathophysiology (amyloid, tau, neuronal injury) accounted for large shares of the variance in predicting progression; iii) our methodology allowed us to discover that expression ofCR1(complement receptor 1), an AD susceptibility gene involved in immune pathways, uniquely added independent predictive value. This work highlights the value of optimized machine learning approaches for analyzing multimodal patient information for making predictive assessments.

  5. Abstract

    The study of free-living animal populations is necessary to understand life history trade-offs associated with immune investment. To investigate the role of life history strategies in shaping proinflammatory cell-mediated immune function, we analyzed age, sex, and reproductive status as predictors of urinary neopterin in 70 sexually mature chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. In the absence of clinical signs of acute infectious disease, neopterin levels significantly increased with age in both male and female chimpanzees, as observed in humans and several other vertebrate species. Furthermore, males exhibited higher neopterin levels than females across adulthood. Finally, females with full sexual swellings, pregnant females, and post-reproductive females, the oldest individuals in our sample, exhibited higher neopterin levels than lactating females and cycling females without full swellings. Variation in females’ neopterin levels by reproductive status is consistent with post-ovulatory and pregnancy-related immune patterns documented in humans. Together, our results provide evidence of ample variation in chimpanzee immune activity corresponding to biodemographic and physiological variation. Future studies comparing immune activity across ecological conditions and social systems are essential for understanding the life histories of primates and other mammals.