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Although women constitute half of all HIV-1-infected people worldwide (UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report, 2011), the earliest events in the female reproductive tract (FRT) during heterosexual HIV-1 transmission are poorly understood. Recently, we demonstrated that HIV-1 could directly impair the mucosal epithelial barrier in the FRT. This suggested that the(More)
Although the importance of natural killer (NK) cells in innate immune responses against tumors or viral infections are well documented, their ability to directly recognize pathogens is less well defined. We have recently reported FimH, a bacterial fimbrial protein, as a novel Toll-like receptor (TLR)4 ligand that potently induces antiviral responses. Here,(More)
Several TLR ligands of bacterial origin induce innate immune responses. Although FimH, the adhesin portion of type 1 fimbria, plays an important role in the pathogenicity of some gram-negative bacteria, its ability to stimulate the innate immune system via TLR signaling remains unclear. In this study we report that FimH induces potent innate responses in a(More)
A number of studies have demonstrated the pivotal role of collagen molecules in modulating cell growth and differentiation. In order to analyze the direct effects of collagen type I on the osteoblastic phenotype, we have devised an in vitro culture system for studying the interactions between bovine collagen type I and Saos-2 cells, a human osteoblastic(More)
BACKGROUND Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are associated with increased human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) susceptibility and viral shedding in the genital tract, but the mechanisms underlying this association are poorly understood. METHODS Direct activation of HIV long terminal repeats (LTRs), a proxy measure for HIV-1 replication, was(More)
Both NK cells and IL-15 play crucial roles in innate immunity against viral infections and cancer. Cigarette smoke is known to increase susceptibility to infections and certain cancers. Interleukin (IL)-15 plays an important role in immune responses by regulating proliferation, survival and functions of NK cells. Here, we examined the impact of cigarette(More)
Ingestion of a commensal bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1, has potent immunoregulatory effects, and changes nerve-dependent colon migrating motor complexes (MMCs), enteric nerve function, and behavior. How these alterations occur is unknown. JB-1 microvesicles (MVs) are enriched for heat shock protein components such as chaperonin 60 heat-shock(More)
IL-15 plays many important roles within the immune system. IL-15 signals in lymphocytes via trans presentation, where accessory cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells present IL-15 bound to IL-15Rα in trans to NK cells and CD8(+) memory T cells expressing IL-15/IL-2Rβ and common γ chain (γ(c)). Previously, we showed that the prophylactic delivery of(More)
INTRODUCTION Given the lasting impact of psychological distress on behavior, along with the role of the microbiome in neurobehavioral development, we sought to examine the relationship between the microbiota and stress-induced behavioral deficits. METHODS Male C57BL/6 mice exposed to chronic social defeat were subjected to behavioral analysis and(More)
NK cells play essential roles in innate host defense against microbial infections and tumor surveillance. Although evidence suggests that smoking has adverse effects on the immune system, little is known about whether smoking compromises NK cell effector functions. In this study, we show that cigarette smoke-conditioned medium (SCM) dose-dependently(More)