Cytokine signature in airway inflammation with arrays

Chronic Mucosal Inflammation is the hallmark of common airway diseases (ex.  Allergic Rhinitis and asthma). Lipoxin B4(LXB4) is an endogenous mucosal protective mediator decreasing such diseases. LXB4 mechanisms of action remain poorly understood.

Cytokine Quantibody Arrays from Raybiotech and tebu-bio laboratories

Cytokine Quantibody Arrays from Raybiotech and tebu-bio laboratories.

In a recent paper in Mucosal Immunology (Karra, L. et al. (2015) 8; DOI:10.1038/mi.2014.116), Allergic Rhinitis  and asthma murine models have been described to better investigate the role of LXB4 in Mucosal Inflammation. The authors conclude that, in the upper airway, LXB4 significantly decreases nasal mucosal leukocytes and degranulation of Mast Cells (MCs) and Eosinophils. They also show that, in the lower airway, LXB4 significantly decreased airway inflammation, mucus metaplasia, and hyper-responsiveness.

Inhibition of MC degranulation in vivo by LXB4 is more potent than Dexamethasone (a well-known apoptosis inducing glucocorticoid) with unique profiles for cytokine regulation. This latter  is proved by  quantitative analysis of 20 murine cytokines in a single array (Quantibody Cytokine Array).

These findings indicate that LXB4 carries cell type selective and mucosal protective actions and need to be translated to human models. This publication opens the way to consider lipoxins as new therapeutical candidates.

tebu-bio: European RaybioTech's Certified Laboratory service provider

tebu-bio laboratories are the European RaybioTech’s Certified Laboratory service provider.

The Cytokine Arrays are available as ready-to-use assays. They can also be outsourced to Certified Service Laboratory Providers as fee-for-services. In that case, researchers just send their samples and in return receive the experimental data set. To ensure top quality in the data obtained, Raybiotech’s service providers successfully complete training and certification programs to receive the “RayBiotech Certified Array Service Providers” yellow award.

In Europe, tebu-bio laboratories (France) were among the first laboratories in the world to be certified by Raybiotech in 2012. tebu-bio’s services also cover Quansys BioSciences and FullMoon BioSystems technologies for outsourcing protein profiling and quantification.

8 criteria for selecting your ELISA kits

Biomarkers specialists are often asked to select an ELISA kit for researchers: with thousands of ELISA references available on the market, the choice can be tricky regarding proteins for which several kits available.

When researchers have to choose a new ELISA kit, the price is regularly the first parameter of selection. But my experience with long term projects shows that it should in fact be the very last one…

[Read more…]

Keep cool… corticosterone and stress

Corticosterone is a glucocorticoid secreted by the cortex of the adrenal gland in response to stimulation by adrenocorticotropic hormone. Corticosterone is a major indicator of stress in non-human mammals. Glucocorticoids, such as corticosterone, guide fundamental processes associated with converting sugar, fat, and protein stores to useable energy; inhibiting swelling and inflammation, and suppressing immune responses following a stress event.

Measuring Corticosterone


Comparison of the EIA kit described in this post with traditional RIA, using 1 ul mouse tail bleed samples.

Competitive immunoassays, such as RIA and EIA methods, are the typical means for measuring levels of corticosterone in biological matrices. Most RIAs or EIAs require solvent extraction techniques to measure serum or plasma corticosterone levels, however extraction may be very difficult or impossible with mouse samples due to the large volumes of plasma or serum required for most extraction protocols. [Read more…]

New drug for Sickle Cell Disease targets Leukocytes

Leukocytes adhere to blood vessels as a mechanism to enter tissue where there is inflammation. Inadvertently, they pile up sickle cell red blood cells.

Mutations in the hemoglobin gene can render a person to a lifetime of sickle cell disease (SCD). While otherwise healthy individuals with one allele (gene copy) of the sickle hemoglobin (HbS) gene are carriers, the disease is seen in those with two HbS alleles – one inherited from each carrier parent. A single HbS allele can also cause SCD in a person who inherits other defects in the second hemoglobin allele.

[Read more…]

Caspases as pharmaceutical targets – screening for inhibitors?

Caspases (cysteine-dependent aspartate-directed proteases) belong to the family of cysteine proteases and are involved in networks controlling cell death (apoptosis and necrosis) and inflammation. 12 human caspases have been described so far (1.). Human Caspases have been classified according to their roles in apoptosis (Caspase-3, -6, -7, -8, and -9) and inflammation (Caspase-1, -4, -5, and -12). Caspase-2, -10, and -14 can be less easily classified concerning the function (for an overview see 2.).

So let’s take a further look at their role, and some of the tools available to investigate and screen compounds modifying Caspase activities.

[Read more…]

New biomarkers in periodontal disease

Periodontitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in the mouth and may end, if not properly treated, with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth. It’s not only an issue of aesthetics, it’s also an issue of health, as it might affect nutrient intake and digestion, affecting quality of life.

To make it simple, depending on the seriousness of the disease, we talk about either gingivitis (gum inflammation), that usually precedes periodontitis (gum disease). Not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. [Read more…]

Exosomes and neuroinflammation

Following our series of posts on the role of exosomes in cancer (TME, signaling), let’s have a look at Neurobiology today. Because exosomes are everywhere (even in beer!).


Composition of exosomes (taken from Ref. 1).

Years ago, exosomes were considered as ‘extracellular debris’, but in fact they are mediators of intercellular communication by delivering functional proteins, mRNA transcripts and miRNA to recipient cells. In Neurobiology, it has been suggested that they primarily serve as signaling organelles which also remove unwanted cellular components in the brain. However, accumulating evidence suggests that exosomes can also contribute, significantly, to the development of several neuropathologies. [Read more…]

Antibody arrays: a matter of species

Research is never easy. That’s why we either like doing it or supporting it.

That said, it’s easier for some researchers than others. If you are working on human, mouse or even rat models, you have quite a wide variety of tools available. Even if you work on zebrafish, at least, you have some validated zebra antibodies, guaranteed to work for your animal model.

What if you are working on other “exotic” animal models? Not by choice, but because they are really the relevant models for your research. Let’s take some examples. [Read more…]

Tumour microenvironment – inflammation and immunity

Following our series of posts on tumour microenvironment (TME) and the role of Cox-2/PGE2 signaling, I’d like today to focus on inflammation and immunity.

TME is a dynamic milieu influenced by numerous changes favoring the emergence of a tumour-promoting inflammatory environment (eg. tissue remodeling, metabolic alterations, recruitment of stromal cells (including immune cells)…). Extracellular matrix (ECM) also participate in this inflammatory environment by promoting pro-inflammatory cytokines expression (CCL2, GM-CSF). Tumour cell progression seems to be mediated by adaptative and immune cells, where differential cytokine and chemokine expression changes the balance between Th1 (anti-tumour) and Th2 (pro-tumour) phenotypes. Microbiota also influences cancer progression by regulating the inflammatory components of TME, though how this is done needs further investigation (1).

[Read more…]

Tumour microenvironment – the dark side of PGE2

PGE2 (Prostaglandin E2) is a lipid mediator with key links to inflammation and cancer.  PGE2 is produced by a wide variety of tissues and in several pathological conditions, including inflammation, arthritis, fever, tissue injury, endometriosis, and a variety of cancers. Recombinant prostaglandins are also used as therapy for different conditions (pulmonary hypertension, glaucoma, ulcers… even to make eyelashes grow!). So PGE2 has, as many things in life, a bright and a dark side.

Let’s talk about the dark side of PGE2 today. Reports indicate that its overexpression in cancer cells promotes angiogenesis and metastasis, by influencing the immune response (1). In brief, cyclooxygenases (COXs) convert arachidonic acid to PGE2 and thromboxane. PGE2 binds to its receptors and activates signaling pathways controlling cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis and/or angiogenesis. A few drugs are intended to target and inhibit some types of COXs, but they might have undesirable side effects and may not be efficient in some patient groups.

For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as celecoxib (Celebrex®),  and rofecoxib (Vioxx®) in the past,  have shown to possibly cause a significant increase in cardiovascular risk (2) (3).

Nevertheless, several studies highlight the need to reduce PGE2 levels in cancer, and focus on its catabolism to find new therapeutic targets (4). The COX-2/PGE2 pathway has a key influence on tumour expansion and it might even be relevant in tumour initiation (5). [Read more…]