Doctor of Philosophy, University of Illinois Chicago (2010)
Bachelor of Science, Pennsylvania State University (2003)
Eugene Butcher, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Chemerin is a protein ligand for the G protein-coupled receptor CMKLR1 and also binds to two atypical heptahelical receptors, CCRL2 and GPR1. Chemerin is a leukocyte attractant, adipokine, and antimicrobial protein. Although chemerin was initially identified as a highly expressed gene in healthy skin keratinocytes that was downregulated during psoriasis, the regulation of chemerin and its receptors in the skin by specific cytokines and microbial factors remains unexplored. Here we show that chemerin, CMKLR1, CCRL2 and GPR1 are expressed in human and mouse epidermis, suggesting that this tissue may be both a source and target for chemerin mediated effects. In human skin cultures, chemerin is significantly downregulated by IL-17 and IL-22, key cytokines implicated in psoriasis, whereas it is upregulated by acute phase cytokines oncostatin M and IL-1β. Moreover, we show that human keratinocytes in vitro and mouse skin in vivo respond to specific microbial signals to regulate expression levels of chemerin and its receptors. Furthermore, in a cutaneous infection model, chemerin is required for maximal bactericidal effects in vivo. Together, our findings reveal previously uncharacterized regulators of chemerin expression in skin and identify a physiologic role for chemerin in skin barrier defense against microbial pathogens.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0117830
View details for PubMedID 25659101
Due to low numbers of endogenous dendritic cells (DCs) in vivo, exogenous DC-poietin Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3-ligand (FLT3L) is routinely used to generate DC for subsequent studies. We engineered a novel FLT3L-FC DNA construct that, when combined with hydrodynamic gene transfer (HDT), induced robust DC expansion in mice. DC generated in vivo by FLT3L-FC HDT produced cytokines in response to stimulation by an array of TLR agonists and promoted T cell proliferation. The FLT3L-FC protein produced in vivo spontaneously homodimerized to enable effective FLT signaling and the FC-domain enhanced its plasma half-life, providing an improved reagent and method to boost DC numbers.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jim.2014.07.008
View details for Web of Science ID 000345819500008
View details for PubMedID 25066631
Ag-presenting dendritic cells (DCs) interpret environmental signals to orchestrate local and systemic immune responses. They govern the balance between tolerance and inflammation at epithelial surfaces, where the immune system must provide robust pathogen responses while maintaining tolerance to commensal flora and food Ags. The Wnt family of secreted proteins, which control epithelial and hematopoietic development and homeostasis, is emerging as an important regulator of inflammation. In this study, we show that canonical and noncanonical Wnts directly stimulate murine DC production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Wnt3A triggers canonical β-catenin signaling and preferentially induces DC TGF-β and VEGF production, whereas Wnt5A induces IL-10 through alternative pathways. The Wnts also alter DC responses to microbe- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns, inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine induction in response to TLR ligands and promoting DC generation of Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. Moreover, although both Wnts suppress proinflammatory responses to bacterial endotoxin and to TLR1/2, TLR7, and TLR9 ligands, Wnt5A, but not Wnt3A, inhibits IL-6 production in response to the viral mimic, polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid. Thus, Wnt family members directly and differentially regulate DC functions, an ability that may contribute to the balance between tolerance and inflammation at epithelial sites of exposure to microbes and environmental Ags.
View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1203002
View details for Web of Science ID 000320373700025