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IL-21 is a type I cytokine that influences the function of T cells, NK cells, and B cells. In this study, we report that IL-21 plays a major role in stimulating the differentiation of human B cells. When human B cells were stimulated through the BCR, IL-21 induced minimal proliferation, IgD down-modulation, and small numbers of plasma cells. In contrast,(More)
OBJECTIVE CXCR4 is a chemokine with multiple effects on the immune system. In murine lupus models, we demonstrated that monocytes, neutrophils, and B cells overexpressed CXCR4 and that its ligand, CXCL12, was up-regulated in diseased kidneys. We undertook this study to determine whether CXCR4 expression was increased in peripheral blood leukocytes from(More)
Influenza pandemics can spread quickly and cost millions of lives; the 2009 H1N1 pandemic highlighted the shortfall in the current vaccine strategy and the need for an improved global response in terms of shortening the time required to manufacture the vaccine and increasing production capacity. Here we describe the pre-clinical assessment of a novel 2009(More)
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by the loss of tolerance to self-nuclear antigens. The symptoms of SLE, progression of pathology and the array of autoantibodies present in the serum differ significantly from patient to patient, which calls for a personalized approach to treatment. SLE is polygenic and(More)
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex polygenic autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of anti-nuclear autoantibodies (ANAs) that are often detectable years prior to the onset of clinical disease. The disease is associated with a chronic activation of the immune system, with the most severe forms progressing to inflammatory damage that(More)
DNA is a nuclear molecule that has both an intracellular and extracellular role. Inside the cell, it is the essential molecule of heredity while outside the cell it can have immunological activity, both alone and in the context of immune complexes. Furthermore, extracellular DNA has information content that can be mined by genomic techniques. Because of the(More)
MTII, an agonist of melanocortinergic receptors, is a well-documented anorexigenic agent in rats. Many investigators have reported its effects on feeding without considering concurrent alterations in other behaviors. Accordingly, we performed studies to simultaneously measure nocturnal feeding, drinking, activity, and temperature of rats after(More)
Melanocortinergic neurons are believed to play a role in the control of food intake. Melanocortin receptor agonists and antagonists modulate feeding in several mouse models of chemically and genetically induced hyperphagia. To date, little information is available describing the role of this neurological system in the control of the natural feeding cycle in(More)
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of lupus-related autoimmunity in a community-based cohort of over 3000 subjects, using a rheumatology registry as a comparison group. Measurements of ANA, anti-dsDNA and a panel of 8 other lupus-related autoantibodies were carried out in 176 subjects from the registry, including patients with SLE(More)
Preterm birth occurs at a rate of 12.7% in the U.S. and is the primary cause of fetal morbidity in the first year of life as well as the cause of later health problems. Elucidation of mechanisms controlling cervical remodeling is critical for development of therapies to reduce the incidence of prematurity. The cervical extracellular matrix must be(More)