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Head-to-Head Comparison of Poxvirus NYVAC and ALVAC Vectors Expressing Identical HIV-1 Clade C Immunogens in Prime-Boost Combination with Env Protein in Nonhuman Primates. - Journal of virology
We compared the HIV-1-specific cellular and humoral immune responses elicited in rhesus macaques immunized with two poxvirus vectors (NYVAC and ALVAC) expressing the same HIV-1 antigens from clade C, Env gp140 as a trimeric cell-released protein and a Gag-Pol-Nef polyprotein as Gag-induced virus-like particles (VLPs) (referred to as NYVAC-C and ALVAC-C). The immunization protocol consisted of two doses of the corresponding poxvirus vector plus two doses of a combination of the poxvirus vector and a purified HIV-1 gp120 protein from clade C. This immunogenicity profile was also compared to that elicited by vaccine regimens consisting of two doses of the ALVAC vector expressing HIV-1 antigens from clades B/E (ALVAC-vCP1521) plus two doses of a combination of ALVAC-vCP1521 and HIV-1 gp120 protein from clades B/E (similar to the RV144 trial regimen) or clade C. The results showed that immunization of macaques with NYVAC-C stimulated at different times more potent HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses and induced a trend toward higher-magnitude HIV-1-specific CD8(+) T-cell immune responses than did ALVAC-C. Furthermore, NYVAC-C induced a trend toward higher levels of binding IgG antibodies against clade C HIV-1 gp140, gp120, or murine leukemia virus (MuLV) gp70-scaffolded V1/V2 and toward best cross-clade-binding IgG responses against HIV-1 gp140 from clades A, B, and group M consensus, than did ALVAC-C. Of the linear binding IgG responses, most were directed against the V3 loop in all immunization groups. Additionally, NYVAC-C and ALVAC-C also induced similar levels of HIV-1-neutralizing antibodies and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) responses. Interestingly, binding IgA antibody levels against HIV-1 gp120 or MuLV gp70-scaffolded V1/V2 were absent or very low in all immunization groups. Overall, these results provide a comprehensive survey of the immunogenicity of NYVAC versus ALVAC expressing HIV-1 antigens in nonhuman primates and indicate that NYVAC may represent an alternative candidate to ALVAC in the development of a future HIV-1 vaccine.The finding of a safe and effective HIV/AIDS vaccine immunogen is one of the main research priorities. Here, we generated two poxvirus-based HIV vaccine candidates (NYVAC and ALVAC vectors) expressing the same clade C HIV-1 antigens in separate vectors, and we analyzed in nonhuman primates their immunogenicity profiles. The results showed that immunization with NYVAC-C induced a trend toward higher HIV-1-specific cellular and humoral immune responses than did ALVAC-C, indicating that this new NYVAC vector could be a novel optimized HIV/AIDS vaccine candidate for human clinical trials.Copyright Â© 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
To bend or not to bend: experimental and computational studies of structural preference in Ln(Tp(iPr)2)2 (Ln = Sm, Tm). - Inorganic chemistry
The synthesis and characterization of Ln(Tp(iPr2))2 (Ln = Sm, 3Sm; Tm, 3Tm) are reported. While the simple (1)H NMR spectra of the compounds indicate a symmetrical solution structure, with equivalent pyrazolyl groups, the solid-state structure revealed an unexpected, "bent sandwich-like" geometry. By contrast, the structure of the less sterically congested Tm(Tp(Me2,4Et))2 (4) adopts the expected symmetrical structure with a linear B-Tm-B arrangement. Computational studies to investigate the origin of the unexpected bent structure of the former compounds indicate that steric repulsion between the isopropyl groups forces the Tp ligands apart and permits the development of unusual interligand C-HÂ·Â·Â·N hydrogen-bonding interactions that help stabilize the structure. These results find support in the similar geometry of the Tm(III) analogue [Tm(Tp(iPr2))2]I, 3Tm(+), and confirm that the low symmetry is not the result of a metal-ligand interaction. The relevance of these results to the general question of the coordination geometry of MX2 and M(C5R5)2 (M = heavy alkaline earth and Ln(II), X = halide, and C5R5 = bulky persubstituted cyclopentadienyl) complexes and the importance of secondary H-bonding and nonbonding interactions on the structure are highlighted.
Vaccine-induced Env V1-V2 IgG3 correlates with lower HIV-1 infection risk and declines soon after vaccination. - Science translational medicine
HIV-1-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclass antibodies bind to distinct cellular Fc receptors. Antibodies of the same epitope specificity but of a different subclass therefore can have different antibody effector functions. The study of IgG subclass profiles between different vaccine regimens used in clinical trials with divergent efficacy outcomes can provide information on the quality of the vaccine-induced B cell response. We show that HIV-1-specific IgG3 distinguished two HIV-1 vaccine efficacy studies (RV144 and VAX003 clinical trials) and correlated with decreased risk of HIV-1 infection in a blinded follow-up case-control study with the RV144 vaccine. HIV-1-specific IgG3 responses were not long-lived, which was consistent with the waning efficacy of the RV144 vaccine. These data suggest that specific vaccine-induced HIV-1 IgG3 should be tested in future studies of immune correlates in HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trials.
Plasma IgG to linear epitopes in the V2 and V3 regions of HIV-1 gp120 correlate with a reduced risk of infection in the RV144 vaccine efficacy trial. - PloS one
Neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies to linear epitopes on HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins have potential to mediate antiviral effector functions that could be beneficial to vaccine-induced protection. Here, plasma IgG responses were assessed in three HIV-1 gp120 vaccine efficacy trials (RV144, Vax003, Vax004) and in HIV-1-infected individuals by using arrays of overlapping peptides spanning the entire consensus gp160 of all major genetic subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) of the virus. In RV144, where 31.2% efficacy against HIV-1 infection was seen, dominant responses targeted the C1, V2, V3 and C5 regions of gp120. An analysis of RV144 case-control samples showed that IgG to V2 CRF01_AE significantly inversely correlated with infection risk (OR= 0.54, p=0.0042), as did the response to other V2 subtypes (OR=0.60-0.63, p=0.016-0.025). The response to V3 CRF01_AE also inversely correlated with infection risk but only in vaccine recipients who had lower levels of other antibodies, especially Env-specific plasma IgA (OR=0.49, p=0.007) and neutralizing antibodies (OR=0.5, p=0.008). Responses to C1 and C5 showed no significant correlation with infection risk. In Vax003 and Vax004, where no significant protection was seen, serum IgG responses targeted the same epitopes as in RV144 with the exception of an additional C1 reactivity in Vax003 and infrequent V2 reactivity in Vax004. In HIV-1 infected subjects, dominant responses targeted the V3 and C5 regions of gp120, as well as the immunodominant domain, heptad repeat 1 (HR-1) and membrane proximal external region (MPER) of gp41. These results highlight the presence of several dominant linear B cell epitopes on the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins. They also generate the hypothesis that IgG to linear epitopes in the V2 and V3 regions of gp120 are part of a complex interplay of immune responses that contributed to protection in RV144.
Enzymes involved in L-carnitine biosynthesis are expressed by small intestinal enterocytes in mice: implications for gut health. - Journal of Crohn's & colitis
Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial Î²-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids. Deficiency of carnitine leads to severe gut atrophy, ulceration and inflammation in animal models of carnitine deficiency. Genetic studies in large populations have linked mutations in the carnitine transporters OCTN1 and OCTN2 with Crohn's disease (CD), while other studies at the same time have failed to show a similar association and report normal serum carnitine levels in CD patients.In this report, we have studied the expression of carnitine-synthesizing enzymes in intestinal epithelial cells to determine the capability of these cells to synthesize carnitine de novo. We studied expression of five enzymes involved in carnitine biosynthesis, namely 6-N-trimethyllysine dioxygenase (TMLD), 4-trimethylaminobutyraldehyde dehydrogenase (TMABADH), serine hydroxymethyltransferase 1 and 2 (SHMT1 and 2) and Î³-butyrobetaine hydroxylase (BBH) by real-time PCR in mice (C3H strain). We also measured activity of Î³-BBH in the intestine using an ex vivo assay and localized its expression by in situ hybridization.Our investigations show that mouse intestinal epithelium expresses all five enzymes required for de novo carnitine biosynthesis; the expression is localized mainly in villous surface epithelial cells throughout the intestine. The final rate-limiting enzyme Î³-BBH is highly active in the small intestine; its activity was 9.7 Â± 3.5 pmol/mg/min, compared to 22.7 Â± 7.3 pmol/mg/min in the liver.We conclude that mouse gut epithelium is able to synthesize carnitine de novo. This capacity to synthesize carnitine in the intestine may play an important role in gut health and can help explain lack of clinical carnitine deficiency signs in subjects with mutations with OCTN transporters.Copyright Â© 2012 European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Magnitude and breadth of the neutralizing antibody response in the RV144 and Vax003 HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trials. - The Journal of infectious diseases
A recombinant canarypox vector expressing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Gag, Pro, and membrane-linked gp120 (vCP1521), combined with a bivalent gp120 protein boost (AIDSVAX B/E), provided modest protection against HIV-1 infection in a community-based population in Thailand (RV144 trial). No protection was observed in Thai injection drug users who received AIDSVAX B/E alone (Vax003 trial). We compared the neutralizing antibody response in these 2 trials.Neutralization was assessed with tier 1 and tier 2 strains of virus in TZM-bl and A3R5 cells.Neutralization of several tier 1 viruses was detected in both RV144 and Vax003. Peak titers were higher in Vax003 and waned rapidly in both trials. The response in RV144 was targeted in part to V3 of gp120.vCP1521 priming plus 2 boosts with gp120 protein was superior to 2 gp120 protein inoculations alone, confirming a priming effect for vCP1521. Sporadic weak neutralization of tier 2 viruses was detected only in Vax003 and A3R5 cells.The results suggest either that weak neutralizing antibody responses can be partially protective against HIV-1 in low-risk heterosexual populations or that the modest efficacy seen in RV144 was mediated by other immune responses, either alone or in combination with neutralizing antibodies.
Altered carnitine homeostasis is associated with decreased mitochondrial function and altered nitric oxide signaling in lambs with pulmonary hypertension. - American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology
Utilizing aortopulmonary vascular graft placement in the fetal lamb, we have developed a model (shunt) of pulmonary hypertension that mimics congenital heart disease with increased pulmonary blood flow. Our previous studies have identified a progressive development of endothelial dysfunction in shunt lambs that is dependent, at least in part, on decreased nitric oxide (NO) signaling. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possible role of a disruption in carnitine metabolism in shunt lambs and to determine the effect on NO signaling. Our data indicate that at 2 wk of age, shunt lambs have significantly reduced expression (P < 0.05) of the key enzymes in carnitine metabolism: carnitine palmitoyltransferases 1 and 2 as well as carnitine acetyltransferase (CrAT). In addition, we found that CrAT activity was inhibited due to increased nitration. Furthermore, free carnitine levels were significantly decreased whereas acylcarnitine levels were significantly higher in shunt lambs (P < 0.05). We also found that alterations in carnitine metabolism resulted in mitochondrial dysfunction, since shunt lambs had significantly decreased pyruvate, increased lactate, and a reduced pyruvate/lactate ratio. In pulmonary arterial endothelial cells cultured from juvenile lambs, we found that mild uncoupling of the mitochondria led to a decrease in cellular ATP levels and a reduction in both endothelial NO synthase-heat shock protein 90 (eNOS-HSP90) interactions and NO signaling. Similarly, in shunt lambs we found a loss of eNOS-HSP90 interactions that correlated with a progressive decrease in NO signaling. Our data suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction may play a role in the development of endothelial dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension and increased pulmonary blood flow.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center: transforming care for children and families. - Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety / Joint Commission Resources
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center pursues its vision to be the leader in improving child health through the creation of new knowledge, education of professionals and the community, and transformation of our health care delivery system.The strategic plan focuses on achieving the best medical and quality of life outcomes, patient and family experience of care, and value through horizontal integration of research and delivery system design, thereby accelerating the transfer of new knowledge to the bedside.Family members and patients participate at all levels of the organization, from the organizationwide family advisory council, to unit-based inpatient teams, to serving as family faculty who teach pediatric residents and orient new employees. Family members ensure that children's and parents' voices are heard.Key factors contributing to ongoing transformation include senior leaders' drive for change, focus on perfection or near-perfection goals, vertical alignment in measures, accountability, improvement capability, commitment to internal and external transparency, and focus on measurement and constancy of purpose.
Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of uracil derived human GnRH receptor antagonists: (R)-3-[2-(2-amino)phenethyl]-1-(2,6-difluorobenzyl)-6-methyluracils containing a substituted thiophene or thiazole at C-5. - Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
The synthesis of a series of (R)-3-[2-(2-amino)phenethyl]-1-(2,6-difluorobenzyl)-6-methyluracils containing a substituted thiophene or thiazole at C-5 is described. SAR around C-5 of the uracil led to the discovery that a 2-thienyl or (2-phenyl)thiazol-4-yl group is required for optimal receptor binding. The best compound from the series had a binding affinity of 2 nM (K(i)) for the human GnRH receptor. A novel and convenient preparation of N-1-(2,6-difluorobenzyl)-6-methyluracil is also described.
Aryl piperazine melanocortin MC4 receptor agonists. - Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
Incorporation of substituted phenyl piperazine privileged structures into a known MC4 specific dipeptoid consensus sequence resulted in a series of potent (EC(50)=24 nM) and selective MC4-R agonists. We report the SAR of this series of compounds using in vitro cAMP functional assays in cells transfected with the MC4 or other melancortin receptors.
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