After calculations, the number of eggs eliminated by each infecte

After calculations, the number of eggs eliminated by each infected mouse was expressed as eggs/g of faeces. Given the fact that S. venezuelensis filiform larvae develop only into female worms in the small intestine of the host, fecundity rate was estimated by dividing number of eggs per number of worms recovered from the intestine of each animal. The eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) assay was used to measure eosinophil activity in the skin and lung as previously described by Strath et al.(28) and modified by Silveira et al.(16).

Briefly, 100 mg of tissue (skin or lung) was homogenized in 1·9 mL of PBS using a tissue homogenizer (Power Gen 125; Fisher Scientific, Pittsburgh, PA, USA). The homogenate was centrifuged (3000g for 10 min), red blood cells in the pellet underwent hypotonic lysis (1·5 mL of 0·2% NaCl) and the molarity was restored

with 1·5 mL of 1·6% NaCl solution containing 5% glucose. After a further centrifugation MLN0128 (3000g selleck for 10 min), the pellet was resuspended in PBS (pH 7·4) containing 0·5% hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (PBS-HTAB). The cell solution was homogenized again and the homogenates were then freeze-thawed three times in liquid nitrogen, centrifuged for 15 min at 3000 g and the supernatant was used to measure EPO activity. For this assay, 75 μL of each experimental sample obtained from different tissues was incubated with 75 μL of substrate [1·5 mm o-phenylenediamine (OPD) in 0·075 mm Tris–HCl buffer, pH 8·0, containing 6·6 mm

of hydrogen peroxide] for 30 min at room temperature (RT) in the dark. Reaction was stopped by adding 50 μL of 1 m H2SO4. Reaction intensity was read at 492 nm on a micro-plate reader (Emax; Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) and results are shown as absorbance units. The extent of neutrophil activity was indirectly estimated by myeloperoxidase (MPO) assay as previously described by Ivey et al. (29) and modified by Matos et al. (30). Tissue samples (100 mg of skin else and lung) were homogenized in extraction buffer (0·1 m NaCl, 0·02 m NaPO4, 0·015 m NaEDTA; pH 4·7) and the pellet underwent hypotonic/hypertonic lysis as described in EPO assay. After further centrifugation (3000g for 10 min), the pellet was resuspended and rehomogenized in 0·05 m NaPO4 buffer, pH 5·4, containing 0·5% HTAB, followed by three freeze-thaw cycles using liquid nitrogen. The resulting solution was centrifuged for 15 min at 10 000g and the supernatant was used for the colorimetric assay. For this, 75 μL of supernatant was incubated with 75 μL of substrate (1·6 mm tetramethylbenzidine and 0·5 mm H2O2 in 0·05 m NaPO4 buffer, pH 5·4) for 30 min at room temperature in the dark. Reaction was stopped by adding 50 μL of 1 m H2SO4. Myeloperoxidase activity present in the sample was measured at 450 nm on a micro-plate reader (Emax; Molecular Devices).

Although M  wageneri has been reported as being nonpathogenic (2)

Although M. wageneri has been reported as being nonpathogenic (2), caryophyllaeid cestodes affect their hosts in three ways: by blocking the intestinal tract, through the production of lesions inducing a marked inflammatory response selleck chemical at their site of attachment

and by disrupting the physiological balance of the host (3,4). The alimentary canal represents one of a few major entry points for pathogens and parasitic infection (5), and that of teleosts, as in other vertebrates, possesses an effective local immune system (6), with well-developed physical and chemical barriers used in combination with an effective mucosal immune system (6). Most protozoan and helminths exert their effects on intestinal tissue either through their CH5424802 datasheet adhesion to it or their penetration through it (7). Parasitic infections can induce several alterations to the host immune response, frequently provoking an inflammatory response resulting in variable numbers and types of leucocytes subsequently being observed in the epithelium and lamina propria of host tissue (5,8–10). Inflammation is a very important mediator of resistance because of its rapid and broad efficacy in clearing infection, and the majority of immune responses begin with the induction and propagation

of inflammation by a series of positive-feedback loops (11). Under normal conditions, fish maintain a healthy state by defending themselves against pathogens, using a complex system of innate defence mechanisms (12). In fish, these innate defences in response to helminth infection are associated with inflammatory reactions (5) that are most frequently elicited by the migrating stages of the parasite (13). Innate immunity is the first line of defence against infection, directing the type of response that the adaptive immune system makes (14,15). The innate

immune system of fish comprises the following: (i) cytotoxic (i.e. natural killer) or phagocytic filipin (i.e. macrophages and granulocytes) cells, (ii) proteins that mediate the responses (e.g. complement) to helminth infection that subsequently initiates the inflammatory response or the release of cytokines to control specific cellular components and (iii) the use of physical and chemical barriers to minimize the likelihood of parasitic infection (e.g. epithelial barriers and antimicrobial peptides) (14). Evidence for the involvement of granulocytes, that is, mast cells (MCs) (16–18) and neutrophils (15,19,20), in the immune system of fish is growing where they have been reported to play a critical role in the defence against pathogens (21,22). MCs, or eosinophilic granule cells (23), which have been reported from all vertebrate groups, commonly occur in the connective tissues of the alimentary canal and the respiratory, urinary, tegumentary and reproductive systems of most fish species (23,24).

82,84,85 The SP of boars and humans contains immune-regulatory mo

82,84,85 The SP of boars and humans contains immune-regulatory molecules, including high concentrations of the potent immune-deviating TGF-β (particularly TGF-β1, but also TGFβ2- Roscovitine in vitro and 3 isoforms), a member of the multifunctional cytokine TGF family.86,87 TGFβ1 concentrations are higher than in other body fluids, as blood plasma or breast milk, and similar to colostrum levels,88 reaching 120–150 ng/mL in boar semen87 or even higher levels in human bulk ejaculates (∼150–200 ng/mL) most of it being the latent (inactive) form and solely 1–2 ng/mL being the short-lived active form.65,89 The origin of the human TGF-β1

latent form is yet discussed, while TGF-β3 is apparently synthetized by the prostate as levels are highest in semen from men with agenesia of the seminal vesicles and lowest in samples there the seminal vesicle secretion dominates (Rodriguez-Martinez H, Kvist U, Ernerudh J, unpublished data). The latent forms can be converted to its active form under acidic conditions (as in the vagina) or by SP acid enzymes upon ejaculation and be then more firmly

attached to the sperm post-acrosomal membrane.87,90 TGF-β seems to induce the differentiation and expansion of the bank of regulatory T (Treg) cells, a 5–10% sub-population of suppressor CD4+ T cells, to reach a state of adaptative functional high throughput screening compounds immune maternal Decitabine supplier tolerance to male antigens.84,91,92 Males differ in their SP contents of TGF-β, without straight relation to fertility.86,89 However, a female could express different levels of endogenous cytokines depending on the exposure to SP from different males, which might thus relate to the often-observed differences in embryo survival among sires (e.g. innate fertility), a real long-lasting effect of the SP on the female.12,93 Whether such mechanism is valid also for humans remains to be fully elucidated, but clinical

evidence exists that fertility after ART is enhanced by accompanying unprotected intercourse or vaginal exposure to homologous SP.12 Interesting is the circumstantial evidence that the latent form of TGF-β2 (as for TGF-β1) could also have a preferential production by the epithelium of the prostate.94 Whether both are activated by PSA in relation to differences among men (or women) is yet to be tested. SP proteomes have been assessed in relation to reproductive outcomes (either fertility levels or (in)fertility), in several species of mammals, particularly domestic animals but also human. SP proteins have been identified as associated with high, respectively, low fertility in bulls,95 isolated as osteopontin (OPN) and lipocalin-type prostaglandin D synthase.96,97 The latter has been always present in the sperm-rich spurts of ejaculates in species (including humans) with fractionated ejaculation.

This study is a preclinical evaluation of the effect of a combine

This study is a preclinical evaluation of the effect of a combined treatment of α-methyl-prednisolone (PDN) with taurine, a safe aminoacid with positive effects on some pathology-related events. Methods: PDN (1 mg/kg/day i.p.) and taurine (1 g/kg/day orally) were administered either alone or in combination, for 4–8 weeks to male dystrophic mdx mice chronically

exercised on a treadmill. Effects were assessed in vivo and ex vivo with a variety of methodological approaches. Results:In vivo, each treatment significantly signaling pathway increased fore limb strength, a marked synergistic effect being observed with the combination PDN + taurine. Ex vivo, PDN + taurine completely restored the mechanical threshold, an electrophysiological

index of calcium homeostasis, of extensor digitorum longus myofibres and the benefit was greater than for PDN alone. In parallel, the overactivity of voltage-independent cation channels in dystrophic myofibres was reduced. No effects were observed on plasma levels of creatine kinase, while find more lactate dehydrogenase was decreased by taurine and, to a minor extent, by PDN + taurine. A similar histology profile was observed in PDN and PDN + taurine-treated muscles. PDN + taurine significantly increased taurine level in fast-twitch muscle and brain, by high-pressure liquid chromatography analysis. Conclusions: The combination PDN + taurine

has additive actions on in vivo and ex vivo functional end points, with less evident advantages on histopathology and biochemical markers of the disease. X-chromosome gene mutations resulting in the absence of the protein dystrophin cause the severe Duchenne muscular Idelalisib in vitro dystrophy (DMD) in humans and dystrophic conditions in animals, such as the mdx mouse [1,2], characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting. Dystrophin is a subsarcolemmal component of a multimolecular network (the dystrophin–glycoprotein complex) that ensures a physical linkage between the intracellular cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix, providing mechanical stability to myofibres during contraction [1]. The absence of dystrophin triggers a complex and still unclear sequence of events that finally lead to progressive myofibre degeneration, failing regeneration and fibrosis. Dystrophin-deficient myofibres show changes in calcium homeostasis, mainly sustained by the increased sarcolemmal influx of calcium ions through voltage-insensitive calcium channels [3–7]. Such changes contribute to modification in excitation-contraction coupling as well as to degeneration through the activation of proteolytic enzymes and/or apoptotic pathways [8–11]. There is also evidence of an early and self-sustained inflammatory response contributing to muscle degeneration and late fibrosis [12–16].

[45] However, up to 25% of patients had discordant DR progression

[45] However, up to 25% of patients had discordant DR progression and DN development, which would argue for a partly different pathological mechanism.[45] Furthermore, an analysis of Asian patients with diabetes suggests that DR is only associated with albuminuric DKD, and not normoalbuminuric DKD.[46] Duration of diabetes is a significant predictive factor for NDKD. Given the natural history of DN, the onset of proteinuria

less than five years from onset of T1DM would be suggestive AZD2014 of another disease process. Studies of T2DM patients have found that diabetes >10 years duration was associated with a higher likelihood of DKD.[6, 38] Conversely, Tone et al. showed that duration of T2DM <5 years was highly sensitive (75%) and specific (70%) for NDKD.[35] Chang et al. also reported a mean diabetes duration of 5.9 years in patients with NDKD versus 10.6 years in patients with DKD alone (P < 0.001).[47] However in T2DM patients without DR, there appears to be no difference in duration of diabetes in those who developed DKD or NDKD.[44] A recent meta-analysis by Liang et al. also identified absence of DR and shorter duration of diabetes as significant predictors of NDKD in patients with T2DM.[48] Their

results suggested lower HbA1C, lower blood pressure and the presence of haematuria to be potentially very helpful in distinguishing NDKD, although heterogeneity between the studies prevented more definitive conclusions. The relevance of microscopic haematuria in predicting NDKD remains controversial, partly due to varying definitions of haematuria. Some studies recognize the importance of microscopic

haematuria in distinguishing NDKD (sensitivity 80%, specificity 57%);[38] others have found it less discriminative.[35, 42] Moreover, microscopic haematuria may be a feature of T2DM patients with biopsy-proven DKD and overt proteinuria.[34] A study involving patients with biopsy-proven DKD and overt proteinuria, found an association between persistent haematuria and arteriolar hyalinosis, but this did not provide prognostic clinical significance.[49] On the other hand, urinary acanthocytes are reported to have high specificity for glomerular NDKD (100%), but low sensitivity.[43, 50] The occurrence of acute renal failure also has high specificity (97%) but poor sensitivity (45%) in predicting NDKD.[38] Although nephrotic-range proteinuria is common in DKD, nephrotic syndrome with gross oedema and low albumin levels is uncommon, and should prompt renal biopsy. Clinical findings of systemic illness are useful in predicting NDKD. Purpura and arthralgia may suggest Henoch–Schonlein purpura often associated with IgA nephropathy, whereas precedent infection is a strong indicator of acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis.

Here, we have studied the role of eDNA in mixed-species microcolo

Here, we have studied the role of eDNA in mixed-species microcolony formation in co-culture biofilms. Our study emphasizes the importance of eDNA as a common biofilm EPS component. In summary, we have shown that eDNA behaves as an essential EPS material shared by different species in co-culture biofilms, which facilitates interspecies interactions through the formation of mixed-species compact microcolony structures during biofilm development. Further understanding of mixed-species biofilm formation may provide valuable information

for the diagnostics and therapeutics of biofilm-related problems in medical and industrial environments. This work Small molecule library was supported by a grant from the Danish Research Council for Independent Research to L.Y. We would like to thank Dr Matthew Parsek (University of Washington at Seattle) for kindly providing us with PR-171 cost the pDA2 plasmid. Fig. S1. Two-day-old biofilms of P. aeruginosa PAO1–Staphylococcus aureus MN8 co-culture. Fig. S2. Two-day-old biofilms of P. aeruginosa

PAO1–Staphylococcus aureus atl co-culture. Please note: Wiley-Blackwell is not responsible for the content or functionality of any supporting materials supplied by the authors. Any queries (other than missing material) should be directed to the corresponding author for the article. “
“Little is known about postpartum immune recovery and relationships of common PtdIns(3,4)P2 dysphoric moods, stress, immunology, and endocrinology. Healthy women (n = 72) were followed for six postpartum months with immune and hormone measures and dysphoric moods and stress scales. A panel of cytokines produced in mitogen-stimulated whole blood assays were measured at each time, along with plasma levels of hsC-reactive protein (hsCRP), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), and a panel of hormones. Cellular immunity, measured by production of Interferon-gamma (IFNγ) and (Interleukin-2 (IL-2) from stimulated whole blood

culture, was low in the early postpartum with changes by 3 months. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) showed a similar pattern. Plasma levels of CRP and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) showed higher levels in the early postpartum. Mood disturbance scores dropped across the postpartum with a change in slope at 3 months. No significant relationships were found between immune, endocrine, and psychosocial measures. Return to normal cellular immune function may take 3–4 months in the postpartum. Some aspects of early immunology (hsCRP and IL-6) probably reflect the latter stage of pregnancy, the stress of birth and the inflammation associated with involution. Dysphoric moods are higher in the early postpartum but are not related to immune factors or hormones. “
“We have previously shown that in differentiated T-helper (Th)1 and Th2 cells, polycomb group (PcG) proteins are associated differentially with the promoters of the signature cytokine genes.

6) Interestingly, high levels of IL-22 were also detected

6). Interestingly, high levels of IL-22 were also detected

in the learn more serum samples of individuals with latent (P = 0·002) and active TB infection (P = 0·003) compared to healthy controls (Fig. 6). IL-1β concentrations in serum of individuals with latent TB infection were increased significantly compared to healthy individuals (P = 0·02). The levels of IL-1β were also higher in individuals with active TB infection but were not statistically significant. Significantly elevated levels of IL-8 were detected in the serum of individuals with latent TB infection only. Mean IL-8 concentrations were significantly higher in latent TB group compared to healthy controls (P < 0·0001). However, the levels of IL-8 were higher but not statistically significant in individuals with active TB infection when compared to healthy individuals (Fig. 6); there was

no difference in the circulating levels of IL-17, IFN-γ (Fig. 6), IL-12p70, IL-2 and TNF-β (data not shown) in serum samples of healthy, latent and active TB subjects. The mean levels of IL-4 in serum of individuals with latent and active TB infection were significantly higher (P = 0·02) than the levels found in healthy subjects (Fig. 6). Levels of IL-5 and IL-10 cytokines were below the detection limit in both antigen-stimulated PBMC culture supernatants as well as in serum samples in all three groups of individuals (data not shown). The present study demonstrates CHIR-99021 manufacturer differential induction of IFN-γ-, IL-17- and IL-22-expressing CD4+ T cells in IMP dehydrogenase circulation and following specific stimulation with mycobacterial antigens in TST-negative healthy controls, TST-positive latent and active TB subjects. While the expression of IFN-γ and other cytokines has been analysed in human plasma and PBMC supernatants ex vivo[32,33], the levels of IL-17- and IL-22-expressing CD4+ T cells

and granulocytes in the whole blood of TB patients is not well reported. Herein, we show that the percentage of individuals with active TB expressing IL-17-, IL-22- and IFN-γ-producing CD4+ T cells were decreased significantly compared to the individuals with latent TB infection and healthy controls (Fig. 1). However, such differences were not found in CD8+ T cells (data not shown). The reasons for the decreased IFN-γ-, IL-17- and IL-22-expressing CD4+ T cells in the circulation remain unclear. The differential expression of cytokines in circulation and in affected tissues such as lungs, spleen and lymph nodes have been described in tuberculosis [23,34]. It is possible that antigen-specific IFN-γ-, IL-17- and IL-22-producing CD4+ T cells are recruited to the affected tissues by chemokines released by infected resident macrophages and dendritic cells.

“The development of T-cell responses in pigs vaccinated ag

“The development of T-cell responses in pigs vaccinated against Aujeszky’s disease in the presence of maternal-derived antibodies (MDA) was examined. The aim of study was to evaluate the influence of MDA on the postvaccinal T-cell responses and optimization vaccination protocols in MDA-positive pigs. Pigs born to immune sows were vaccinated at different ages against Aujeszky’s disease virus (ADV). For estimation of T-cell responses the lymphocyte proliferation and interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin-4 production were evaluated. High values of stimulation index were noted in groups vaccinated at 8 or 12 weeks of age (in 60% and 100% animals, respectively). In weaners

vaccinated at 10 and 14 weeks of age, as well as in those vaccinated at 7 days and revaccinated at 8 or 12 weeks of age, Selleck PF 2341066 100% of animals positively responded in the lymphocyte proliferation

assay after booster. At 20 weeks of life, only animals vaccinated at 12 weeks of age, 7 days and 12 weeks of age, and 10 and 14 weeks of age showed antigen-specific proliferation. Similar results were observed with IFN-γ secretion after exposure to live ADV. We demonstrate that early vaccination with a live glycoprotein E-deleted ADV vaccine, in the face of high levels of MDA, could be effective, but the intensity and duration of the anamnestic response depends on the time of booster injection. Vaccination of neonates faces many challenges due to the immaturity of the neonatal immune system and interference by maternal-derived antibodies (MDA) present at vaccination (Fischer et al., 2003). Interference of MDA with vaccine antigen may reduce or even eliminate Immune system the immune response against live as well as inactivated vaccines. Various degrees of interference of vaccine-induced immune responses

by MDA have been reported for live vaccines as well as for nonreplicating vaccines (i.e. inactivated or subunit vaccines) (Andries et al., 1978; Bouma et al., 1998; Siegrist et al., 1998a, b; Dagan et al., 2000; Klinkenberg et al., 2002; Endsley et al., 2003; Fiore et al., 2003; Loeffen et al., 2003; Premenko-Lanier et al., 2006). It seems that attenuated vaccines are more efficient in protecting animals with passive immunity than inactivated ones (Casal et al., 2004). Optimally, vaccination of animals should begin just after the time of disappearance of maternal antibodies, but this approach may be impracticable due to a high degree of variability between individuals (Monteil et al., 1997). The titer of specific antibodies is often not correlated with protection against the challenge, which is why the targets of successful immunization against most pathogens should include the induction of strong and persistent memory T-cell responses.

DC-based therapeutic approaches designed to stimulate immune resp

DC-based therapeutic approaches designed to stimulate immune responses to tumours have been employed in patients with advanced cancers for nearly 15 years, with one of the earliest reports appearing in 1996 [10]. Such studies utilize DCs Z-VAD-FMK clinical trial pulsed with tumour antigens [10], tumour antigen-derived peptides

[6,7,11,12,15] or tumour lysates [9], or DCs transfected with tumour antigen cDNA (e.g. Muc1) [13], total tumour RNA [14] or RNA encoding tumour antigens (e.g. prostate-specific antigen) [8]. As reviewed, such therapies are safe, and tumour regression has been observed in some patients [22]. Multiple studies have revealed that mature DCs are optimal for stimulation of anti-tumour immune responses [7,11]. In contrast, and of clear relevance for type 1

diabetes therapeutics, when immature DCs pulsed with an influenza matrix peptide were administered to healthy controls [49,116] the outcome was inhibition of the function of peptide-specific effector CD8+ T cells and the appearance of peptide-specific IL-10-producing CD8+ T cells [116], as well as regulatory CD8+ T cells that required cell–cell contact to exert their suppressive effects [49]. At this time, the use of DCs in humans is being extended slowly beyond cancer immunotherapy to treatment of Temozolomide nmr infectious diseases [117] and autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes [118] and rheumatoid arthritis [119]. As discussed in an earlier section of this review, the administration of DCs rendered phenotypically immature by treatment with anti-sense oligonucleotides for CD80, CD86

and CD40 can prevent diabetes development in NOD mice [50,63]. The safety of this strategy is currently being evaluated in a Phase I clinical trial of long-standing adult type 1 diabetes patients in which autologous DCs are being generated from blood precursors after leukapheresis and treated with anti-sense oligonucleotides in vitro[118]. In this study, which began in 2007, the selleck products DCs are injected intradermally at a site proximal to the pancreas where they are expected to migrate to the nearest lymph nodes, including those of the pancreas. This same group reported that in vivo administration of microspheres incorporating the anti-sense oligonucleotides is capable of preventing and reversing type 1 diabetes development in NOD mice [111], and they anticipate human trials in the near future [118]. If approved, this strategy would greatly simplify the therapeutic protocol, as it would eliminate the need for leukapheresis and in vitro DC generation and treatment with oligonucleotides. Despite the DC defects that have been reported in NOD mice [120–123], a variety of DC-based immunotherapeutic strategies have shown great promise in this model, as we have summarized here (Fig. 2). Now the challenge will be to translate these approaches to patients. The ongoing investigation of the safety of phenotypically immature autologous DCs administered to type 1 diabetes patients represents a giant step forward in this regard [118].

Our center participated in a randomized, multi-center trial compa

Our center participated in a randomized, multi-center trial comparing sotrastaurin and the calcineurin inhibitor neoral in de novo renal transplant recipients [15]. We conducted an ex vivo study on patient samples (stage 1 phase) to investigate the frequency and function of FoxP3+CD4+CD25high T cells. We also performed in vitro functional studies on samples of blood bank volunteers to study the different effects of sotrastaurin on T effector and regulatory cells. Twenty-one patients were randomized to receive either sotrastaurin 300 mg twice daily (n = 14) or neoral [starting dose 4 mg/kg/day, aimed trough levels 100–200 ng/ml (month 1), 75–150 ng/ml (months 2–3), 50–100 ng/ml (months 4–5) and 25–50 ng/ml

(months 6–12), n = 7] 1 day after living (un)related de novo kidney transplantation. This cohort involved all (adult) patients in our center participating in an open-label, multi-centre, randomized Phase II trial [15] (trial number CAEB071A2206, stage 1) (Table 1). Both regimens included steroids, basiliximab [anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody (mAb)] and the mTOR-inhibitor everolimus [starting dose 1·5 mg twice daily, aimed trough levels 4–8 ng/ml)]. Patient blood see more samples were collected pre-, 2, 3 and 6 months after transplantation. Blood sampling was approved by the local ethical committee on human research. All patients

gave written informed consent (Medical Ethic Committee number MEC-2007-219). Donor age in years median (range) Type of transplantation LR : LUR HLA mismatch mean ± s.e.m. A: 0·79 (0·15) B: 1·0 (0·21) DR: 1·07 (0·22) A: 0·71 (0·36) B: 0·57 (0·20) DR: 1·0 (0·22) Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patient heparinized blood samples were isolated by density gradient using Ficoll-Paque (density gradient 1077 g/ml).

After isolation the PBMC samples were frozen in 10% dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) (Merck, Schuchardt, Avelestat (AZD9668) Germany) and stored at −140°C until analysis. PBMC from healthy blood bank donors were also isolated and served as control. Neoral infusion (SandImmune®; Novartis Pharma, Switzerland) and sotrastaurin (Novartis Pharma) powder were dissolved in RPMI-1640 (Gibco BRL, Paisley, UK) and DMSO, respectively, and stored at −80°C until use. On the day of the experiment, stock solutions were dissolved in RPMI-1640. Defrosted PBMC were resuspended in cold magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) buffer according to the manufacturer’s protocol (Miltenyi Biotec, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany) and supplemented with 7 μl CD25-microbeads (directed against epitope A of the CD25 molecule; Miltenyi Biotec)/107 PBMCs to isolate the CD25high T cells. After 15 min at 4°C, the cells were washed with MACS buffer and resuspended in 1 ml MACS buffer. Subsequently, the POSSEL-D protocol was performed on the autoMACS (Miltenyi Biotec). The CD4+CD25high population was defined as cells with high CD25 expression with a slightly lower CD4 expression.