Thursday 19 February 2015

B Cells, T Cells, RA and Immunity

The next Immunology North East Seminar is at 5pm on Thursday 5th March 2014.  The seminar will be held in the Research Beehive Rm 2.21, Newcastle University and refreshments will be available from 4.30pm.  



Dr. Tom Barr, Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Glasgow will present


“T follicular helper cells: Heterogeneity in phenotype and function”?




If you would like to speak to Tom during his visit please contact Dr Andy Knight


More information on Tom's research can be found at:


Brief Interests: I study B cells, the under appreciated workhorse of the immune system. These cells produce the antibodies that protect us from infection following vaccination but can also cause autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis. While recent research has focused on antibody production by B cells, I believe that their role in autoimmune disorders is much more complex -- so the fundamental question governing my work is “how else can B cells influence immunity?"


Recent publications (with pubmed web link):


Leech, M. D., Barr, T., Turner, D.G., Brown, S., O'Connor, R.A., Gray, D., Mellanby, R.J., and Anderton, S.M. (2013) Cutting edge: IL-6-dependent autoimmune disease: dendritic cells as a sufficient, but transient, source. Journal of Immunology, 190(3). pp. 881-885. (doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1202925)


Barr, T.A. et al. (2012) B cell depletion therapy ameliorates autoimmune disease through ablation of IL-6-producing B cells. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 209(5). pp. 1001-1010. (doi:10.1084/jem.20111675)


Barr, T.A., Gray, M., and Gray, D. (2012) B cells: programmers of CD4 T cell responses. Infectious Disorders - Drug Targets, 12(3). pp. 222-231. (doi:10.2174/187152612800564446)


Caserta, S., Nausch, N., Sawtell, A., Drummond, R., Barr, T., MacDonald, A.S., Mutapi, F., and Zamoyska, R. (2012) Chronic infection drives expression of the inhibitory receptor CD200R, and its ligand CD200, by mouse and human CD4 T cells. PLoS ONE, 7(4). e35466. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035466)


van der Vlugt, L.E.P.M. et al. (2012) Schistosomes induce regulatory features in human and mouse CD1dhi B Cells: inhibition of allergic inflammation by IL-10 and regulatory T cells. PLoS ONE, 7(2). e30883. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030883)


Phythian-Adams, A.T. et al. (2010) CD11c depletion severely disrupts Th2 induction and development in vivo. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 207(10). pp. 2089-2096. (doi:10.1084/jem.20100734)


Barr, T.A., Brown, S., Mastroeni, P., and Gray, D. (2010) TLR and B cell receptor signals to B cells differentially program primary and memory Th1 responses to Salmonella enterica. Journal of Immunology, 185(5). pp. 2783-2789. (doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1001431)


Morrison, V.L., Barr, T.A., Brown, S., and Gray, D. (2010) TLR-mediated loss of CD62L focuses B cell traffic to the spleen during Salmonella typhimurium infection. Journal of Immunology, 185(5). pp. 2737-2746. (doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1000758)


Wilson, M.S., Taylor, M.D., O'Gorman, M.T., Balic, A., Barr, T.A., Filbey, K., Anderton, S.M., and Maizels, R.M. (2010) Helminth-induced CD19+CD23hi B cells modulate experimental allergic and autoimmune inflammation. European Journal of Immunology, 40(6). pp. 1682-1696. (doi:10.1002/eji.200939721)


Barr, T.A., Krembuszewski, M., Gupta, M., Gray, D., and Mareque-Rivas, J.C. (2010) Quantum dots decorated with pathogen associated molecular patterns as fluorescent synthetic pathogen models. Molecular BioSystems, 6(9). pp. 1572-1575. (doi:10.1039/c002066d)


Talbot, S., Totemeyer, S., Yamamoto, M., Akira, S., Hughes, K., Gray, D., Barr, T., Mastroeni, P., Maskell, D.J., and Bryant, C.E. (2009) Toll-like receptor 4 signalling through MyD88 is essential to controlSalmonella entericaserovar Typhimurium infection, but not for the initiation of bacterial clearance. Immunology, 128(4). pp. 472-483. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2567.2009.03146.x)


Miles, K., Clarke, D.J., Lu, W., Sibinska, Z., Beaumont, P.E., Davidson, D.J., Barr, T.A., Campopiano, D.J., and Gray, M. (2009) Dying and necrotic neutrophils are anti-inflammatory secondary to the release of α-defensins. Journal of Immunology, 183(3). pp. 2122-2132. (doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0804187)


Barr, T.A., Brown, S., Mastroeni, P., and Gray, D. (2009) B cell intrinsic myD88 signals drive IFN- production from T cells and control switching to IgG2c. Journal of Immunology, 183(2). pp. 1005-1012. (doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0803706)


Foster, G.L. et al. (2008) Virulent Salmonella enterica infections can be exacerbated by concomitant infection of the host with a live attenuated S. enterica vaccine via Toll-like receptor 4-dependent interleukin-10 production with the involvement of both TRIF and MyD88. Immunology, 124(4). pp. 469-479. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2567.2007.02798.x)


Gray, D., Gray, M., and Barr, T. (2007) Innate responses of B cells. European Journal of Immunology, 37(12). pp. 3304-3310. (doi:10.1002/eji.200737728)


Barr, T.A., Brown, S., Ryan, G., Zhao, J., and Gray, D. (2007) TLR-mediated stimulation of APC: distinct cytokine responses of B cells and dendritic cells. European Journal of Immunology, 37(11). pp. 3040-3053. (doi:10.1002/eji.200636483) 


Systems Biology, Psoriasis, Therapeutic Stratification, and PSORT




PI Seminar Series



Speaker: Professor Nick Reynolds. Professor of Dermatology


Venue: Lecture Theatre D, Dental School


Date and Time: 19th February 2015 at 1300-14.00


Professor Nick Reynolds will present:


‘’ Application of systems biology to understanding of psoriasis plaque resolution and therapeutic stratification’’




Despite recent advances in understanding of immune pathogenesis of psoriasis, mechanisms involved in resolution of psoriatic plaques in response to therapy remain poorly defined.  Research using the specific topical treatment dithranol and narrowband UVB phototherapy identified keratinocyte apoptosis as an important potential mechanism in plaque remodelling.  Agent-based systems biology models facilitated quantitative assessment and testing of specific alternative hypotheses.  This paradigm is now being applied to therapeutic stratification of biological therapy in psoriasis (PSORT



Chair: Dr Penny Lovat






Tuesday 17 February 2015

ICM Research Seminar @ 18/02/15




ICM Research Seminar

Speakers:  Carlos Echevarria, PhD student (John Simpson)

Hannah Sinclair, PhD student (Vijay Kunadian)

and Ahmed Khudhur, PhD Student (Helen Foster)


Venue: Seminar room L2.5, Second floor, Leech Building, Medical School

Date and time:  Wednesday 18th February 2015, 12:30


Carlos Echevarria will present:

The DECAF score predicts acute mortality in acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD)”


We have developed and validated a prognostic score that can risk stratify patients with acute exacerbations of COPD into different mortality risk groups, using data that is routinely collected at admission. The DECAF score may be used to guide patient management, for example by identifying low risk patients suitable for Hospital at Home treatment.


Key words: Prognosis, mortality, COPD


Hannah Sinclair will discuss:

"New Insights into The Pattern Of Coronary Artery Disease In Frail Older Patients With Acute Coronary Syndrome"


Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in older patients is common, with high morbidity and mortality and there is an increase in the use of contemporary invasive treatments such as percutaneous coronary intervention in this age group. It is known that frailty is common in older patients with ACS and frailty is an independent predictor of risk of adverse outcomes. However, it is not clear what the pathophysiology of this is. In younger patients it has been shown that "vulnerable" atherosclerotic plaques, i.e. those at risk of rupture, are associated with an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events after an ACS. This study aims to investigate whether the higher rate of adverse outcomes in older patients with ACS is due to an increased prevalence of vulnerable plaque in the coronary arteries, and whether frailty is associated with higher vulnerable plaque burden.


Keywords: Acute coronary syndrome, intracoronary imaging, ageing


Ahmed Khudhur will speak on:

"Identification and Characterisation of Novel Salivary Biomarkers for Oral Inflammatory Disease"


Biomarkers are biological substances which can be measured objectively and used as indicators for number of activities in the human body which could be normal biological, pathological, or pharmacological responses to therapy. Saliva contains both locally and systemically derived biomarkers for many oral and systemic diseases. Saliva can provide the basis for the diagnosis and monitoring of periodontitis, dental caries, oral squamous cell carcinoma, oral lichen planus, cardiovascular diseases and many other diseases.


Keywords: Biomarkers, Saliva, Periodontitis


Chair:  Sophie Cassidy, PhD student






Wednesday 4 February 2015

OA susceptibility, MMPs expression, and NUDCD3 in Omenn's syndrome.

The MRG Lab Meeting will be taking place on Friday 6th February 2015 at 9.00am in the Baddiley Clark Building Seminar Room. 




Louise Reynard (Research Fellow - PI John Loughlin)




Colin Shepherd (Research Associate - PI John Loughlin) Title of Talk – "Investigating a novel OA susceptibility locus on chromosome 13q34 - mapping to MCF2L"


Chun Chan (Research Associate – PI Drew Rowan) "The induction of MMPs expression by matriptase-activated PAR2 signalling pathway in chondrocytes"


Joe Willet (Research Associate – PI Sophie Hambleton) Title of Talk – "Investigating NUDCD3 as a novel genetic cause of Omenn’s syndrome"






Monday 2 February 2015

T Helper Cell Plasticity

Newcastle University Research Fellowship Candidate Seminar: 3rd February 11.00am Baddiley-Clark Seminar Room.
Speaker: Dr Shoba Amarnath from National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, will present '' T Helper Cell Plasticity: Function Follows Flexibility''