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Articles by S Palmer
Total Records ( 2 ) for S Palmer
  Z Liu , D. G de Matos , H. Y Fan , M Shimada , S Palmer and J. S. Richards

Ovulation has long been regarded as a process resembling an inflammatory response. Recent studies indicate that genes associated with innate immune responses were also expressed during the ovulation process. Because the innate immune genes are induced in cumulus cell oocyte complexes (COCs) later than the inflammation-associated genes, we hypothesize that COC expansion is dependent on specific sequential changes in cumulus cells. Because IL-6 is a potent mediator of immune responses, we sought to determine what factors regulate the induction of Il6 mRNA in COCs and what impact IL-6 alone would have on COC expansion. We found that the levels of Il6 mRNA increased dramatically during COC expansion, both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, IL-6, together with its soluble receptor (IL-6SR), could bypass the need for either amphiregulin and/or prostaglandin E2 to induce the expansion of COCs. This ability of IL-6/IL-6SR to induce COC expansion was blocked by the inhibitors to p38MAPK, MAPK kinase 1/2, and Janus kinase. More importantly, when COCs were in vitro maturated in the presence of IL-6, they had a significantly higher embryo transfer rate than the ones without IL-6 and comparable with in vivo matured oocytes. IL-6/IL-6SR activated multiple signaling pathways (Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription, ERK1/2, p38MAPK, and AKT) and progressively induced genes known to impact COC expansion, genes related to inflammation and immune responses, and some transcription factors. Collectively, these data indicate that IL-6 alone can act as a potent autocrine regulator of ovarian cumulus cell function, COC expansion, and oocyte competence.

  I Isomura , S Palmer , R. J Grumont , K Bunting , G Hoyne , N Wilkinson , A Banerjee , A Proietto , R Gugasyan , W Li , A McNally , R. J Steptoe , R Thomas , M. F Shannon and S. Gerondakis

During thymopoiesis, a unique program of gene expression promotes the development of CD4 regulatory T (T reg) cells. Although Foxp3 maintains a pattern of gene expression necessary for T reg cell function, other transcription factors are emerging as important determinants of T reg cell development. We show that the NF-B transcription factor c-Rel is highly expressed in thymic T reg cells and that in c-rel–/– mice, thymic T reg cell numbers are markedly reduced as a result of a T cell–intrinsic defect that is manifest during thymocyte development. Although c-Rel is not essential for TGF-β conversion of peripheral CD4+CD25 T cells into CD4+Foxp3+ cells, it is required for optimal homeostatic expansion of peripheral T reg cells. Despite a lower number of peripheral T reg cells in c-rel–/– mice, the residual peripheral c-rel–/– T reg cells express normal levels of Foxp3, display a pattern of cell surface markers and gene expression similar to those of wild-type T reg cells, and effectively suppress effector T cell function in culture and in vivo. Collectively, our results indicate that c-Rel is important for both the thymic development and peripheral homeostatic proliferation of T reg cells.

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