Heike M Wagner

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DNA from bacteria has stimulatory effects on mammalian immune cells, which depend on the presence of unmethylated CpG dinucleotides in the bacterial DNA. In contrast, mammalian DNA has a low frequency of CpG dinucleotides, and these are mostly methylated; therefore, mammalian DNA does not have immuno-stimulatory activity. CpG DNA induces a strong(More)
The Toll-like receptor (TLR) family consists of phylogenetically conserved transmembrane proteins, which function as mediators of innate immunity for recognition of pathogen-derived ligands and subsequent cell activation via the Toll/IL-1R signal pathway. Here, we show that human TLR9 (hTLR9) expression in human immune cells correlates with responsiveness(More)
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) require no adjuvant to confer immunogenicity to bound peptides, as if they possessed an intrinsic "danger" signature. To understand the proinflammatory nature of HSP, we analyzed signaling induced by human and chlamydial HSP60. We show that both HSP60s activate the stress-activated protein kinases p38 and JNK1/2, the(More)
Altered host defense mechanisms after major surgery or trauma are considered important for the development of infectious complications and sepsis. In the present study, we demonstrate that major surgery results in a severe defect of T-lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine secretion in response to coligation of the antigen receptor complex and CD28. During(More)
Bacterial DNA and immunostimulatory (i.s.) synthetic CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) act as adjuvants for Th1 responses and cytotoxic T cell responses to proteinaceous antigens. Dendritic cells (DC) can be referred to as "nature's adjuvant" since they display the unique capacity to sensitize naive T cells. Here, we demonstrate that bacterial DNA or i.s.(More)
Leptospira interrogans are zoonotic pathogens that have been linked to a recent increased incidence of morbidity and mortality in highly populated tropical urban centers. They are unique among invasive spirochetes in that they contain outer membrane lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as well as lipoproteins. Here we show that both these leptospiral outer membrane(More)
Chlamydia pneumoniae is an obligate intracellular human pathogen causing diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and pharyngitis. Because of its intracellular replication, cell-mediated immune responses are needed to mediate successful defenses of the host. Because dendritic cells play a central role in linking innate immunity and Ag-specific cell-mediated(More)
The longstanding, successful use of herbal drug combinations in traditional medicine makes it necessary to find a rationale for the pharmacological and therapeutic superiority of many of them in comparison to isolated single constituents. This review describes many examples of how modern molecular-biological methods (including new genomic technologies) can(More)
Unmethylated CpG motifs in bacterial DNA, plasmid DNA and synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODN) activate dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages in a CD40-CD40 ligand-independent fashion. To understand the molecular mechanisms involved we focused on the cellular uptake of CpG ODN, the need for endosomal maturation and the role of the stress kinase pathway.(More)
Immunity to infection with intracellular pathogens is regulated by interleukin 12 (IL-12), which mediates protective T helper type 1 (TH1) responses, or IL-4, which induces TH2 cells and susceptibility. Paradoxically, we show here that when present during the initial activation of dendritic cells (DCs) by infectious agents, IL-4 instructed DCs to produce(More)