Kirsty G McPherson

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Glucocorticoids (GCs) are a class of steroid hormones which regulate a variety of essential biological functions. The profound anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activity of synthetic GCs, combined with their power to induce lymphocyte apoptosis place them among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide. Endogenous GCs also exert a wide range of(More)
Glucocorticoids (GC) induce apoptosis in a variety of cells, but their exact mode of action is controversial. Although initiation relies on the GC receptor (GR) and de novo gene expression, the effector phase differs among cell types. Proteasomal degradation as well as caspase-3, - 8, and -9 activity are essential for GC-induced apoptosis in murine(More)
The immune system must be tightly controlled not only to guarantee efficient protection from invading pathogens and oncogenic cells but also to avoid exaggerated immune responses and autoimmunity. This is achieved through interactions amongst leukocytes themselves, by signals from stromal cells and also by various hormones, including glucocorticoids. The(More)
The T cell repertoire comprises αβ and γδ T cell lineages. Although it is established how αβ T cell antigen receptors (TCRs) interact with antigen presented by antigen-presenting molecules, this is unknown for γδ TCRs. We describe a population of human Vδ1(+) γδ T cells that exhibit autoreactivity to CD1d and provide a molecular basis for how a γδ TCR binds(More)
The ability of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T-cells (Treg) to produce interleukin (IL)-10 is important for the limitation of inflammation at environmental interfaces like colon or lung. Under steady state conditions, however, few Tregs produce IL-10 ex vivo. To investigate the origin and fate of IL-10 producing Tregs we used a superagonistic mouse anti-mouse(More)
To study the effect of enhanced glucocorticoid signaling on T cells, we generated transgenic rats overexpressing a mutant glucocorticoid receptor with increased ligand affinity in the thymus. We found that this caused massive thymocyte apoptosis at physiological hormone levels, which could be reversed by adrenalectomy. Due to homeostatic proliferation, a(More)
Almost all responses of naive T cells require co-stimulation, i.e. engagement of the clonotypic TCR with relevant antigen/MHC and the co-stimulatory molecule CD28. How CD28 contributes to T-cell proliferation remains poorly understood, with widely conflicting reports existing which may reflect different methods of co-ligating receptors. Some CD28 mAb,(More)
Notch1 is involved in directing cell fate decisions in a variety of developmental scenarios. Extending previous experiments in mice, we generated transgenic rats expressing the intracellular domain of Notch1 in the thymus. Importantly, this leads to sustained expression of the pre-TCR throughout thymocyte development, accompanied by a reduction of(More)
Dysregulated Notch signaling accounts for the majority of acute T lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-ALL) cases in humans. Here, we characterize lymphomas from Notch1IC transgenic rats, which develop T-ALL shortly after weaning, and show that they display a number of previously undocumented features. Starting from monoclonal thymic tumors, the(More)
αβ and γδ T cells are disparate T cell lineages that can respond to distinct antigens (Ags) via the use of the αβ and γδ T cell Ag receptors (TCRs), respectively. Here we characterize a population of human T cells, which we term δ/αβ T cells, expressing TCRs comprised of a TCR-δ variable gene (Vδ1) fused to joining α and constant α domains, paired with an(More)
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