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It is now becoming apparent that the immune system undergoes age-associated alterations, which accumulate to produce a progressive deterioration in the ability to respond to infections and to develop immunity after vaccination, both of which are associated with a higher mortality rate in the elderly. Immunosenescence, defined as the changes in the immune(More)
Evidence suggests that the immune and neuroendocrine systems cross talk by sharing ligands and receptors. Hormones and neuropeptides produced by the neuroendocrine system often modulate the function of lymphoid organs and immune cells. We have previously reported the intrathymic expression of somatostatin (SOM) in the mouse and that several neuropeptides,(More)
Age-associated thymic involution is one of the most dramatic and ubiquitous changes in the immune system, although the precise mechanisms involved still remain obscured. Several hypotheses have been proposed incorporating extrinsic and intrinsic factors, however, changes in the thymic microenvironment itself is one of the least investigated. We therefore(More)
Synthetic peptide immunogens that mimic the conformation of a target epitope of pathological relevance offer the possibility to precisely control the immune response specificity. Here, we performed conformational analyses using a panel of peptides in order to investigate the key parameters controlling their conformation upon integration into liposomal(More)
OBJECTIVE Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a potent bioactive molecule involved in a variety of physiological processes. In this study, the authors analysed whether 5-HT regulates zymogen secretion in pancreatic acinar cells and the development of pancreatic inflammation, a potentially lethal disease whose pathophysiology is not completely(More)
Immunoglobulin class switching from IgM to IgG in response to peptides is generally T cell-dependent and vaccination in T cell-deficient individuals is inefficient. We show that a vaccine consisting of a dense array of peptides on liposomes induced peptide-specific IgG responses totally independent of T-cell help. Independency was confirmed in mice lacking(More)
T cells are an integral part of a functional immune system with the majority being produced in the thymus. Of all the changes related to immunosenescence, regression of the thymus is considered one of the most universally recognised alterations. Despite the reduction of thymic size, there is evidence to suggest that T cell output is still present into old(More)
Chronic pancreatitis is a severe inflammation of the pancreas associated with destruction of the parenchyma, fibrosis, and persistent abdominal pain. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and COX-2-derived prostaglandins, key mediators of the inflammatory response, are elevated in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Previous studies investigated COX-2 as a therapeutic(More)
The pathophysiology of human chronic pancreatitis is not well understood and difficult to follow on a molecular basis. Therefore, we used a rat model [Wistar-Bonn/Kobori (WBN/Kob)] that exhibits spontaneous chronic inflammation and fibrosis in the pancreas. Using microarrays we compared gene expression patterns in the pancreas during development of(More)
T-cell development is characterised by a complex series of events in the thymus, which results in the development of self-restricted immunocompetent lymphocytes. We have previously reported the expression of neuropeptides in the thymus of various species, highlighting the evolutionary importance of neuroendocrine interactions in thymocyte development.(More)