Dr. Erin  Bang-Crooks  Dds image

Dr. Erin Bang-Crooks Dds

11775 Northfall Ln Suite 107
Alpharetta GA 30004
770 192-2909
Medical School: Other - Unknown
Accepts Medicare: No
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License #: DN011829
NPI: 1417084641
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Effects of environmental variation on host-parasite interaction in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). - Zoology (Jena, Germany)
Recent research provides accumulating evidence that the evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite adaptations strongly depend on environmental variation. In this context, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) has become an important research model since it is distributed all over the northern hemisphere and lives in very different habitat types, ranging from marine to freshwater, were it is exposed to a huge diversity of parasites. While a majority of studies start from explorations of sticklebacks in the wild, only relatively few investigations have continued under laboratory conditions. Accordingly, it has often been described that sticklebacks differ in parasite burden between habitats, but the underlying co-evolutionary trajectories are often not well understood. With the present review, we give an overview of the most striking examples of stickleback-parasite-environment interactions discovered in the wild and discuss two model parasites which have received some attention in laboratory studies: the eye fluke Diplostomum pseudospathacaeum, for which host fish show habitat-specific levels of resistance, and the tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus, which manipulates immunity and behavior of its stickleback host to its advantage. Finally, we will concentrate on an important environmental variable, namely temperature, which has prominent effects on the activity of the immune system of ectothermic hosts and on parasite growth rates.Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Serum-derived exosomes from mice with highly metastatic breast cancer transfer increased metastatic capacity to a poorly metastatic tumor. - Cancer medicine
Altered interaction between CD200 and CD200R represents an example of "checkpoint blockade" disrupting an effective, tumor-directed, host response in murine breast cancer cells. In CD200R1KO mice, long-term cure of EMT6 breast cancer, including metastatic spread to lung and liver, was achieved in BALB/c mice. The reverse was observed with 4THM tumors, an aggressive, inflammatory breast cancer, with increased tumor metastasis in CD200R1KO. We explored possible explanations for this difference. We measured the frequency of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood of tumor bearers, as well as lung/liver and draining lymph nodes. In some cases mice received infusions of exosomes from nontumor controls, or tumor bearers, with/without additional infusions of anticytokine antibodies. The measured frequency of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood was equivalent in the two models in WT and CD200R1KO mice. Increased metastasis in EMT6 tumor bearers was seen in vivo following adoptive transfer of serum, or serum-derived exosomes, from 4THM tumor bearers, an effect which was attenuated by anti-IL-6, and anti-IL-17, but not anti-TNFα, antibody. Anti-IL-6 also attenuated enhanced migration of EMT6 cells in vitro induced by 4THM serum or exosomes, or recombinant IL-6. Exosome cytokine proteomic profiles responses in 4THM and EMT6 tumor-bearing mice were regulated by CD200:CD200R interactions, with attenuation of both IL-6 and IL-17 in 4THM CD200(tg) mice, and enhanced levels in 4THM CD200R1KO mice. We suggest these cytokines act on the microenvironment at sites within the host, and/or directly on tumor cells themselves, to increase metastatic potential.© 2015 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Activation of neuroimmune pathways increases therapeutic effects of radiotherapy on poorly differentiated breast carcinoma. - Brain, behavior, and immunity
Recent studies document the importance of neuronal dysfunction in cancer development and metastasis. We reported previously that both depletion of neuropeptides in capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerve endings and vagotomy increases metastasis of triple negative breast carcinoma. Of the sensory neuropeptides, Substance P (SP) is distributed widely for regulation of immune functions. We therefore examined the affects of continuous exposure to low doses of SP on brain metastatic cells of the mouse breast carcinoma (4TBM) in the presence of radiotherapy (RT) thought to increase antigenicity of cancer cells. 4TBM cells have a cancer stem cell phenotype and induce extensive visceral metastasis after orthotopic inoculation into the mammary pad. Results demonstrated that SP treatment decreases the number of tumor-infiltrating myeloid-derived suppressor cells as well as the TNF-α response to LPS challenge. SP also increased CD4+Cd25(bright) cells in draining lymph nodes of tumor-bearing animals and IFN-γ secretion from leukocyte culture prepared from lymph nodes and spleens of tumor-bearing animals. SP also prevented tumor-induced degeneration of sensory nerve endings and altered release of angiogenic factors from cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) and tumor explants. In accordance with these observed immunological effects, combination treatment of continuous SP with a single dose of RT induced complete tumor regression and significantly reduced or prevented metastasis in 50% of the animals while suppressing primary tumor growth and metastasis in the remaining mice. These original findings demonstrate that SP through neuroimmune modulation can prevent formation of immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment, enhance cytotoxic immunity in the presence of RT and prevent metastatic growth.Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Autocrine control of MIP-2 secretion from metastatic breast cancer cells is mediated by CXCR2: a mechanism for possible resistance to CXCR2 antagonists. - Breast cancer research and treatment
CXCR2 interacts with a wide range of chemokines and CXCR2 antagonists may have therapeutic value for treatment-resistant metastatic carcinomas. We aimed to explore regulation of activity of CXCR2 and its ligand, MIP-2, in metastatic breast carcinoma. We used mouse breast carcinoma cells metastasize to brain (4TBM), liver (4TLM), and heart (4THM) and explored the extra- and intracellular mechanisms effecting MIP-2 secretion using CXCR2 antagonist and inhibitors of downstream signaling molecules. 4TBM, 4TLM, and 4THM cells include cancer stem cell features and metastasize extensively. We also determined kinetics of MIP-2 secretion in 4T1 and non-metastatic 67NR mouse breast carcinoma cells. We found that there is an autocrine-inhibition of MIP-2 secretion. Specifically, metastatic cells selectively express CXCR2 only, and not CXCR1 and attenuating CXCR2 activity with SB225002 increased MIP-2 secretion. This may be due to the inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) activity since RO318220; a specific inhibitor of PKC also increased MIP-2 secretion. Attenuating CXCR2 activity with SB225002, otherwise suppressed proliferation of 4THM and 4TBM cells. Tumor explants and cancer-associated fibroblasts obtained from 4TLM, 4THM, and 4TBM primary tumors secreted high levels of MIP-2. Surprisingly, CXCR2 expression was low in 4TLM cells demonstrating that liver metastatic cells might be resistant to the anti-tumoral effects of CXCR2 antagonists. Our results demonstrated that resistance to anti-proliferative effects of CXCR2 may also arise from feedback increases in MIP-2 secretion. Activation of PI3 K pathway augments MIP-2 secretion, hence possible resistance to the antitumor effects of CXCR2 antagonists might be prevented with inhibitors of PI3 K.
Analysis of serum cytokine levels in larynx squamous cell carcinoma and dysplasia patients. - Iranian journal of immunology : IJI
Although the imbalance of cytokines in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) is well known, there is scarce data regarding its occurrence during dysplasia, before the malignant transformation.To determine whether laryngeal dysplasia patients show a different cytokine profile than patients with cancer and healthy controls.Seventeen newly diagnosed, untreated larynx squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and six laryngeal dysplasia patients as well as 22 healthy controls were analyzed for circulating cytokines. A flowcytometry Th1/Th2 cytokine array kit was used to quantitatively measure Interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α) and Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) levels. Additionally, IL-8 levels were determined through ELISA.IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 were determined to be statistically increased in SCC patients (p<0.05). IL-8 and IL-10 levels were also higher in SCC patients than dysplasia patients (p<0.05). Additionally, IL-6 and IL-10 were all found to be markedly increased in dysplasia patients compared with controls (p<0.05).Our results demonstrate an imbalance of IL-6 and IL-10 not only in HNSCC but also in laryngeal dysplasia.
Comparison of immunity in mice cured of primary/metastatic growth of EMT6 or 4THM breast cancer by chemotherapy or immunotherapy. - PloS one
We have compared cure from local/metastatic tumor growth in BALB/c mice receiving EMT6 or the poorly immunogenic, highly metastatic 4THM, breast cancer cells following manipulation of immunosuppressive CD200:CD200R interactions or conventional chemotherapy.We reported previously that EMT6 tumors are cured in CD200R1KO mice following surgical resection and immunization with irradiated EMT6 cells and CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG), while wild-type (WT) animals developed pulmonary and liver metastases within 30 days of surgery. We report growth and metastasis of both EMT6 and a highly metastatic 4THM tumor in WT mice receiving iv infusions of Fab anti-CD200R1 along with CpG/tumor cell immunization. Metastasis was followed both macroscopically (lung/liver nodules) and microscopically by cloning tumor cells at limiting dilution in vitro from draining lymph nodes (DLN) harvested at surgery. We compared these results with local/metastatic tumor growth in mice receiving 4 courses of combination treatment with anti-VEGF and paclitaxel.In WT mice receiving Fab anti-CD200R, no tumor cells are detectable following immunotherapy, and CD4+ cells produced increased TNFα/IL-2/IFNγ on stimulation with EMT6 in vitro. No long-term cure was seen following surgery/immunotherapy of 4THM, with both microscopic (tumors in DLN at limiting dilution) and macroscopic metastases present within 14 d of surgery. Chemotherapy attenuated growth/metastases in 4THM tumor-bearers and produced a decline in lung/liver metastases, with no detectable DLN metastases in EMT6 tumor-bearing mice-these latter mice nevertheless showed no significantly increased cytokine production after restimulation with EMT6 in vitro. EMT6 mice receiving immunotherapy were resistant to subsequent re-challenge with EMT6 tumor cells, but not those receiving curative chemotherapy. Anti-CD4 treatment caused tumor recurrence after immunotherapy, but produced no apparent effect in either EMT6 or 4THM tumor bearers after chemotherapy treatment.Immunotherapy, but not chemotherapy, enhances CD4+ immunity and affords long-term control of breast cancer growth and resistance to new tumor foci.
S100A8 and S100A9 Positive Cells in Colorectal Carcinoma: Clinicopathological Analysis. - Gastroenterology research and practice
Introduction. In colorectal carcinoma, tumoral tissues infiltrate with various immune/inflammatory cells along their invasive margins and the increased S100A8/A9 expression in these immune cells infiltrating the tumor has recently been demonstrated. We examined S100A8/A9 as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of colorectal carcinoma. Materials and Methods. The current study included a sample of 80 patients diagnosed with CRC (30 cases with distant metastasis, 30 cases with lymph node metastasis, and 20 cases with no metastasis). Peritumoral and intratumoral S100A8 and S100A9 expressing inflammatory cells were counted in primary tumors and their metastasis and correlated with clinicopathological parameters. Results. The peritumoral and intratumoral S100A8/A9 positive cells showed no correlation with age, gender, or depth of tumor invasion. However higher counts of peritumoral and intratumoral S100A8/A9 positive cells were associated with larger tumor size, higher grade, and the presence of metastasis (P < 0.05). Conclusion. Our study also found significantly higher number of S100A8/A9 positive cells in the tumor microenvironment among patients with large tumor size, high grade, and metastatic disease. Moreover, in our study, we observed that the expression in the tumor metastasis appeared similar to that of primary tumor.
Bidirectional effect of CD200 on breast cancer development and metastasis, with ultimate outcome determined by tumor aggressiveness and a cancer-induced inflammatory response. - Oncogene
CD200 acts through its receptor (CD200R) to inhibit excessive inflammation. The role of CD200-CD200R1 interaction in tumor immunity is poorly understood. In this study, we examined the role of CD200-CD200R1 interaction in the progression and metastasis of highly aggressive 4THM murine-breast carcinoma using CD200 transgenic (CD200(tg)) and CD200R1 knock-out (CD200R1(-)(/-)) BALB/c mice. 4THM cells induce extensive visceral metastasis and neutrophil infiltration in affected tissues. CD200 overexpression in the host was associated with decreased primary tumor growth and metastasis, whereas lack of CD200R1 expression by host cells was associated with enhanced visceral metastasis. Absence of CD200R1 expression led to decreased tumor-infiltrating-cytotoxic T cells and increased the release of inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL)-6. In contrast, CD200 overexpression led to increased tumor-induced interferon-γ and IL-10 response and decreased TNF-α and IL-6 release. Neutrophil infiltration of tissues was markedly decreased in CD200(tg) animals and increased in CD200R1(-/-) mice. These findings are contradictory to what has been reported in the EMT6 mouse breast-cancer model. Other distinguishing features of tumor elicited by EMT6 and 4THM cell injections were also examined. Visceral tissues from mice bearing EMT6 tumors showed a lack of neutrophil infiltration and decreased IL-6 release in CD200R1(-/-) mice. EMT6 and 4THM cells also differed in vimentin expression and in vitro migration rate, which was markedly lower in EMT6 tumors. These results support the hypothesis that CD200 expression can alter immune responses, and can inhibit metastatic growth of tumor cells that induce systemic and local inflammatory response. Increasing CD200 activity/signaling might be an important therapeutic strategy for treatment of aggressive breast carcinomas.
Identification of hearing loss among residents with dementia: perceptions of health care aides. - Geriatric nursing (New York, N.Y.)
Effective communication can be difficult when working with individuals with dementia and hearing loss. Given the high prevalence of both dementia and hearing loss among individuals in long term care, direct care providers in this setting, will almost certainly confront frequent communication challenges. To understand health care aide perspectives of caring for residents with dementia and hearing loss, 12 health care aides from five nursing homes participated in audio-recorded, semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were coded and themes were identified. Health care aides reported the difficulties in distinguishing the relative contributions of hearing loss and dementia to communication breakdowns. They reported that familiarity with residents helped them differentiate between sensory versus cognitive impairments in conversations with residents. Although able to identify strategies to support communication, communication difficulty complicated both their provision of care and support of quality of life for residents with dementia and hearing loss. Suggestions for practice and education are provided.Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Changes in urine levels of substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide and calcitonin-gene-related peptide in patients with urinary tract infections. - Peptides
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are important health problems and predisposing causes of UTI are not entirely known. Neuro-immune interactions play an important role in human health and disease. Capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves which in nerve bladder extensively regulate immune system through neuropeptides such as substance P (SP), calcitonin-gene related peptide (CGRP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). In addition these neuropeptides also have anti-bacterial effects. To determine how the levels of these peptides changes during UTI, 67 patients (50-90 years-old) diagnosed with UTI in Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine Hospital were compared with 37 healthy people 50 years or older as the control group. Additionally, 7 patients with UTI symptoms (dysuria, urgency) but with sterile pyuria were also included in the study. Urine samples from 15 patients, whose symptoms regressed with control urine cultures being sterile, were taken after completion of the treatments. Urine neuropeptide levels were determined by ELISA. CGRP levels are significantly higher in patients with UTI, but did not associate with pyuria whereas SP and VIP levels were significantly lower in patients with sterile pyuria, indicating sensory nerve deficiency. Since CGRP exerts immunosuppressive effects, increased levels of the peptide may predispose to UTI. Furthermore, the connection between the observed sensory nerve deficiency and sterile pyuria warrants further studies.Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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