Annette R. Rodriguez

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Francisella tularensis is an intracellular, Gram-negative bacterium that is the causative agent of pulmonary tularemia. The pathogenesis and mechanisms related to innate resistance against F. tularensis are not completely understood. Mast cells are strategically positioned within mucosal tissues, the major interface with the external environment, to(More)
Francisella tularensis is able to survive and replicate within host macrophages, a trait that is associated with the high virulence of this bacterium. The trpAB genes encode the enzymes required for the final two steps in tryptophan biosynthesis, with TrpB being responsible for the conversion of indole to tryptophan. Consistent with this function, an F.(More)
Chimpanzees are susceptible to human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) and develop persistent infection but generally do not progress to full-blown AIDS. Several host and immunological factors have been implicated in mediating resistance to disease progression. Chimpanzees have a higher prevalence of circulating natural killer (NK) cells than humans;(More)
Mast cells are crucial effector cells evoking immune responses against bacterial pathogens. The positioning of mast cells at the host-environment interface, and the multitude of pathogen-recognition receptors and preformed mediator granules make these cells potentially the earliest to respond to an invading pathogen. In this review, the authors summarize(More)
Mast cells are now recognized as effective modulators of innate immunity. We recently reported that mast cells and secreted interleukin-4 (IL-4) effectively control intramacrophage replication of Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS), and that mice deficient in mast cells or IL-4 receptor (IL-4R−/−) exhibit greater susceptibility to pulmonary(More)
TLR signaling is critical for early host defense against pathogens, but the contributions of mast cell TLR-mediated mechanisms and subsequent effector functions during pulmonary infection are largely unknown. We have previously demonstrated that mast cells, through the production of IL-4, effectively control Francisella tularensis replication. In this(More)
Metallic nanoparticles have diverse applications in biomedicine, as diagnostics, image contrast agents, nanosensors and drug delivery systems. Anisotropic metallic nanoparticles possess potential applications in cell imaging and therapy + diagnostics (theranostics), but controlled synthesis and growth of these anisotropic or branched nanostructures has been(More)
The human pathogen Chlamydia pneumoniae has been implicated in chronic inflammatory diseases including type 2 diabetes. Therefore, we designed a study to evaluate pancreatic beta cells and mast cells during chlamydial infection. Our study revealed that C. pneumoniae infected mast cells significantly (p<0.005) decreased beta cell ATP and insulin production,(More)
Progressive cognitive deficits are common in patients with fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), with no targeted treatment yet established. In this substudy of the first randomized controlled trial for FXTAS, we examined the effects of NMDA antagonist memantine on attention and working memory. Data were analyzed for patients (24 in each arm)(More)
Mast cells have classically been implicated in the triggering of allergic and anaphylactic reactions. However, recent findings have elucidated the ability of these cells to selectively release a variety of cytokines leading to bacterial clearance through neutrophil and dendritic cell mobilization, and suggest an important role in innate host defenses. Our(More)