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Immuno, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2023) – 8 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with either high-dose cyclophosphamide or high-dose paclitaxel were shown to have the same survival outcomes. However, increases in the plasma levels or SNP genotypes for IL-1RA and decreases in IL-6 and TNF-α levels were associated with improved prognosis for patients treated with cyclophosphamide but did not predict for prognosis in paclitaxel-treated patients. This suggests that the ability of some proinflammatory cytokines to predict outcome for patients with metastatic breast cancer may depend on the chemotherapy used for treatment. View this paper
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Review
MicroRNA Let-7 Plays an Important Role in the Immunopathology of COVID-19: A Systematic Review
Immuno 2023, 3(1), 112-121; https://doi.org/10.3390/immuno3010008 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 601
Abstract
COVID-19 has presented itself as a challenging task to medical teams and researchers throughout the world, since the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 started in the Chinese city of Wuhan. To this day, there are still new variants emerging, and the knowledge about the mechanisms [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has presented itself as a challenging task to medical teams and researchers throughout the world, since the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 started in the Chinese city of Wuhan. To this day, there are still new variants emerging, and the knowledge about the mechanisms used by the virus to infect cells and perpetuate itself are still not well understood. The scientific community is still trying to catch up with the velocity of new variants and, consequently, the new physiological pathways that appear along with it. It is known that the new coronavirus plays a role in changing many molecular pathways to take control of the infected cells. Many of these pathways are related to control genomic expression of certain genes by epigenetic ways, allowing the virus to modulate immune responses and cytokines production. The let-7 family of microRNAs, for instance, are known to promote increased viral fusion in the target cell through a mechanism involving the transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2). It was also demonstrated they are able to increase the inflammatory activity through the NF-κB/IL-6/let-7/LIN-28 axis. In addition, let-7 overexpression led to a reduction in inflammatory cytokines and chemokines expression (IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α). Interestingly, the cytokines modulated by the let-7 family are related to COVID-19-induced cytokine storm observed in patients undergoing clinical phase three. Thus, let-7 can be considered a novel and attractive biomarker for therapeutic purpose. Based on that, the present study aims to critically analyze the immunopathological mechanisms of the microRNA let-7 in the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2. Full article
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Review
Immune Dynamics Involved in Acute and Convalescent COVID-19 Patients
Immuno 2023, 3(1), 86-111; https://doi.org/10.3390/immuno3010007 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 996
Abstract
COVID-19 is a viral disease that has caused millions of deaths around the world since 2020. Many strategies have been developed to manage patients in critical conditions; however, comprehension of the immune system is a key factor in viral clearance, tissue repairment, and [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is a viral disease that has caused millions of deaths around the world since 2020. Many strategies have been developed to manage patients in critical conditions; however, comprehension of the immune system is a key factor in viral clearance, tissue repairment, and adaptive immunity stimulus. Participation of immunity has been identified as a major factor, along with biomarkers, prediction of clinical outcomes, and antibody production after infection. Immune cells have been proposed not only as a hallmark of severity, but also as a predictor of clinical outcomes, while dynamics of inflammatory molecules can also induce worse consequences for acute patients. For convalescent patients, mild disease was related to higher antibody production, although the factors related to the specific antibodies based on a diversity of antigens were not clear. COVID-19 was explored over time; however, the study of immunological predictors of outcomes is still lacking discussion, especially in convalescent patients. Here, we propose a review using previously published studies to identify immunological markers of COVID-19 outcomes and their relation to antibody production to further contribute to the clinical and laboratorial management of patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Innate Immunity and Inflammation)
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Review
The RadScopal Technique as an Immune Adjuvant to Treat Cancer
Immuno 2023, 3(1), 74-85; https://doi.org/10.3390/immuno3010006 - 18 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1217
Abstract
Since the momentous discovery of X-rays, high-dose radiotherapy (H-XRT) has been a cornerstone for combating cancer. The high-energy electromagnetic waves induce direct damage to tumor-cells’ DNA, thereby halting cell growth and proliferation, and eventually leading to tumor eradication. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that [...] Read more.
Since the momentous discovery of X-rays, high-dose radiotherapy (H-XRT) has been a cornerstone for combating cancer. The high-energy electromagnetic waves induce direct damage to tumor-cells’ DNA, thereby halting cell growth and proliferation, and eventually leading to tumor eradication. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that H-XRT may have immunomodulatory properties which arise from its ability to induce the release of neoantigens, which in turn prime T-cells and contribute to T-cell repertoire diversity. Throughout the years, there have been different treatment modalities introduced as complements to H-XRT that have yielded greater results than monotherapy alone. In this review, we will discuss preclinical and clinical data related to the recently introduced low-dose radiotherapy (L-XRT) modality. We will also explore the justification for combining L-XRT and H-XRT, which became known as the “RadScopal Technique”, as a novel immune adjuvant to treat cancer. In this analysis, we detail and dissect the physiological mechanisms of action of each modality and describe the synergistic amalgamation effect observed on primary and metastatic tumors. Finally, we will explore the impetus for further studies to investigate combinations of the “RadScopal Technique” with various immune-oncology drug candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy)
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Article
Evaluation of the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Mastic Oil Extracted from Pistacia lentiscus var. chia
Immuno 2023, 3(1), 57-73; https://doi.org/10.3390/immuno3010005 - 13 Feb 2023
Viewed by 932
Abstract
Mastic oil (MO) is extracted from the resin of the bark of Pistacia lentiscus var. chia, a tree abundantly grown in the Greek island of Chios. Various biological activities, such as antimicrobial, anticancer and antioxidant, have been associated with the dietary intake of [...] Read more.
Mastic oil (MO) is extracted from the resin of the bark of Pistacia lentiscus var. chia, a tree abundantly grown in the Greek island of Chios. Various biological activities, such as antimicrobial, anticancer and antioxidant, have been associated with the dietary intake of MO. However, little is known about MO’s potential anti-inflammatory effects, while some of its main chemical constituents were reported to exert significant anti-inflammatory activity. This study aims to assay the bioactivity of MO on in vitro and in vivo experimental inflammation models, in particular on LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages, murine primary peritoneal macrophages and a model of zymosan-induced peritonitis in BALB/c mice. The per os administration of MO inhibited the recruitment of macrophages into the peritoneal cavity of zymosan-treated mice, but did not affect neutrophil mobilisation or the levels of IL-6 or TNF-α in the peritoneal fluid. Similarly, IL-6 and TNF-α secretion in primary LPS-stimulated macrophages was not affected by MO, but the levels of phosphoproteins that activate inflammation in macrophages were differentially regulated. Finally, MO and some of its individual constituents reduced nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 and TNF-α levels in supernatants of LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells and inhibited their phagocytosis rate. Our data imply that MO may promote an anti-inflammatory transition in macrophages due to the combined bioactivities of its individual constituents. Thus, as a mixture of various compounds, MO seems to affect multiple molecular mechanisms that are involved in the development of inflammation. Therefore, more research, focusing on MO’s individual constituents and employing various pre-clinical inflammation models that activate different mechanisms, is required for a detailed investigation of the oil’s potential anti-inflammatory activity. Full article
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Review
Combining CAR T Cell Therapy and Oncolytic Virotherapy for Pediatric Solid Tumors: A Promising Option
Immuno 2023, 3(1), 37-56; https://doi.org/10.3390/immuno3010004 - 20 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1494
Abstract
Despite advances in treatment options, the clinical outcomes of pediatric patients with advanced solid tumors have hardly improved in decades, and alternative treatment options are urgently needed. Innovative therapies, such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and oncolytic viruses (OVs), are currently [...] Read more.
Despite advances in treatment options, the clinical outcomes of pediatric patients with advanced solid tumors have hardly improved in decades, and alternative treatment options are urgently needed. Innovative therapies, such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and oncolytic viruses (OVs), are currently being evaluated in both adults and children with refractory solid tumors. Because pediatric solid tumors are remarkably diverse and biologically different from their adult counterparts, more research is required to develop effective treatment regimens for these patients. Here, we first summarize recent efforts and advances in treatments for pediatric solid tumors. Next, we briefly introduce the principles for CAR T cell therapy and oncolytic virotherapy and clinical trials thereof in pediatric patients. Finally, we discuss the basis for the potential benefits of combining the two approaches in pediatric patients with advanced solid tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adoptive T-Cell Therapy against Solid Tumors)
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Editorial
Acknowledgment to the Reviewers of Immuno in 2022
Immuno 2023, 3(1), 35-36; https://doi.org/10.3390/immuno3010003 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 450
Abstract
High-quality academic publishing is built on rigorous peer review [...] Full article
Article
Plasma Cytokine Levels and Cytokine Genetic Polymorphisms in Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer Receiving High-Dose Chemotherapy
Immuno 2023, 3(1), 16-34; https://doi.org/10.3390/immuno3010002 - 14 Jan 2023
Viewed by 856
Abstract
Differences in the baseline levels of serum cytokines or in single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cytokine genes may be useful to predict outcomes for patients being treated for metastatic breast cancer. We have measured the plasma levels and characterized individual SNPs for IL-1RA, IL-1β, [...] Read more.
Differences in the baseline levels of serum cytokines or in single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cytokine genes may be useful to predict outcomes for patients being treated for metastatic breast cancer. We have measured the plasma levels and characterized individual SNPs for IL-1RA, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6 and TNFα in 130 patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with high-dose chemotherapy. Patients were treated with high-dose cyclophosphamide (Group 1, 74 patients) or high-dose paclitaxel-containing regimens (Group 2, 56 patients). A high plasma level of IL-1RA and a SNP in the IL-1RA gene indicated a better prognosis for patients in Group 1 (but not Group 2). However, the level of plasma IL-1RA did not correlate with the SNP genotype. A high plasma level of IL-6 or TNFα indicated a poorer outcome for patients in Group 1 although the SNP genotypes for the IL-6 and TNFα SNPs were not associated with differences in outcome. The plasma levels of IL-1β and IL-2 and the genotype of the IL-1β SNPs did not indicate differences in outcome. Although, individually, plasma levels of cytokine or “risk” SNP genotypes may not indicate outcome, in combination there was an increased trend to predict outcome for patients treated with high-dose cyclophosphamide but not high-dose paclitaxel. These results suggest that the immune cytokines may be useful as prognostic biomarkers in the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with different types of chemotherapy. Full article
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Review
Immune Modulatory Effects of Ketogenic Diet in Different Disease Conditions
Immuno 2023, 3(1), 1-15; https://doi.org/10.3390/immuno3010001 - 25 Dec 2022
Viewed by 3191
Abstract
Interceding nutrients have been acquiring increased attention and prominence in the field of healing and deterrence of various disorders. In this light, the present article encompasses several facets of ketogenic diet as an immunomodulator with respect to its expansive clinical applications. Accordingly, several [...] Read more.
Interceding nutrients have been acquiring increased attention and prominence in the field of healing and deterrence of various disorders. In this light, the present article encompasses several facets of ketogenic diet as an immunomodulator with respect to its expansive clinical applications. Accordingly, several scientific records, models, and case histories, including viral infections, cancer, chronic diseases, e.g., cardiovascular diseases, epilepsy, as well as numerous other neuro-disorders, are assembled, revealing a profound influence of KD in favor of improvement in the patient’s condition. We accentuate possible manifold mechanisms of KD that require further exploration. Full article
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