BENZON SYMPOSIUM No. 46 Molecular Mechanisms of Innate Immunity

August 22-26, 1999 – Copenhagen, Denmark

Organizing committee: Niels Borregaard (Copenhagen),Peter Elsbach (New York), Tomas Ganz (Los Angeles),Peter Garred (Copenhagen) Arne Svejgaard (Copenhagen)

Synopsis: All higher organisms need protection against microorganisms (bacteria, virus, and fungi). For many years, medical immunologists have focused on adaptive immunity. Adaptive immunity, of course, plays an important role in prevention and control of many community-acquired infections and has its specific relevance in transplantation biology. The adaptive immune system with its network of cellular and humoral mediators is a relative new-comer during evolution. In contrast, innate immunity has been operative throughout evolution, yet many of the essential effector mechanisms of innate immunity have been identified only very recently. In mammals and man, a number of antibiotic peptides have been discovered since the initial description of antibiotic peptides from insects and frogs little more than a decade ago.

As numerous examples testify, nature despite its enormous diversity of species very often uses the same basic principles for solving distinct, but related problems such as defense against microorganisms. Certainly, plants and mammals are organized very differently to carry out their essential functions, but many similarities must exist in the way they resist attacks by the microorganisms which all species are exposed to.

It is the purpose of this symposium to focus on mechanisms of innate immunity of plants, insects and mammals and discuss common themes such as effector molecules and regulation of gene expression of these molecules in response to infections. In addition we wish to broaden the subject by including sessions on novel mechanisms for recognition of microorganisms and how microorganisms may circumvent immunity.

Invited speakers: Jules A. Hoffmann, Michael E. Zasloff (excused), Michael Selsted, Margherita Zanetti, Johannes M.G.F. Aerts, Jerrold Weiss, Bernard Babior, Fred Meins, Tomas Boller (excused), F. Garcia-Olmedo, W.F. Broekaert, L.C. van Loon, Gregory B. Martin, Chris Lamb (excused), Kenneth B.M. Reid, Hans O. Madsen, Malcolm W. Turner, Jeffrey A. Whitsett, Erika C. Crouch, Misao Matsushita, R.Alan B. Ezekowitz, Sucharit Bhakdi, Christian Bogdan, E. A. Groisman, Hidde Ploegh, Robert I. Lehrer.

Scientific Programme:

Session I: Insects and Animals (including man)
Jules A. Hoffmann: Antibiotic peptides of insects
Michael E. Zasloff: Development of animal antibiotics into drugs
Michael Selsted: Defensins and defensinoid peptides
Margherita Zanetti: Cathelicidin Peptides: Variations on an Antimicrobial Theme

4 Selected oral presentations:
P.R. Abraham: Novel synthetic peptides with antimicrobial and antiendotoxin properties (Poster No. 1)
O. Levy: Impaired innate immunity in the newborn: Newborn neutrophils are deficient in Bactericidal/Permeability-increasing Protein (BPI) (Poster No. 2)
A. Weinberg: Expression of natural antibiotics in human gingival epithelium (Poster No. 3)
G. Diamond: Innate immunity in the human airway: Expression of beta defensins, CD 14 and Toll-like receptors in tracheal epithelium and alveolar macrophages (Poster No. 4)
Johannes M.G.F. Aerts: Characterization of chitotriosidase, the chitinase produced by human phagocytes
Jerrold Weiss: Host defense against Gram-negative bacteria: Lessons from the study of BPI
Bernard Babior: The leukocyte NADPH oxidase

Poster session (Posters Nos. 1-15 incl.)

Session II: Plants
Fred Meins: Pathogenesis-related proteins, the ß-1,3-glucanases
Tomas Boller: Recognition of common microbial molecules by plant cells: Relationship to plant immunity
F. Garcia-Olmedo: Roles of plant peptides in plant-pathogen interactions
W.F. Broekaert: Jasmonates as mediators of plant immunity
4 Selected oral presentations:
E. van den Worm: Apocynin: A potent, plant-derived NADPH-oxidase inhibitor (Poster No. 16)
W. M. Nauseef: NADPH oxidase activation and assembly during phagocytosis (Poster No. 17)
Wim van’t Hof: The cellular target of histatin 5 on Candida albicans is the energized mitochondrion (Poster No. 18)
J. Laine: Protection by group II phospholipase A2 against bacterial infections (Poster No. 19)
L.C. van Loon: Integration of induced resistance responses in plants
Gregory B. Martin: Pathogen recognition and signal transduction in plant disease resistance.
Chris Lamb: Reactive oxygen intermediates in plant immunity
Poster session (Posters Nos. 16-27 incl.)

Session III: Collectins and Mannose Receptors
Kenneth B.M. Reid: Introduction to the collectins and C1q – opsonins involved in acquired and innate immunity
Hans O. Madsen: Genetics of mannose-binding lectin
Malcolm W. Turner: Mannose-binding lectin in health and disease
Misao Matsushita: Ficolins

4 Selected oral presentations
T. Fujita: Lectin-dependent complement system in the solitary ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi (Poster No. 28)
N. Wakamiya: Molecular cloning of a novel human collectin from liver (CL-L1) (Poster No. 29)
U. Holmskov: Cloning of gp340, a putative opsonin receptor for lung surfactant protein D (Poster No. 30)
S. Thiel: Characterization of the interactions between mannan-binding lectin (MBL) and its associated proteases and comparison with the C1 complex (Poster No. 31)
Erika C. Crouch: Lung-surfactant protein D
Jeffrey A. Whitsett: Use of gene targeting for analysis of SP-A structure and function
R. Alan B. Ezekowitz: Pattern recognition molecules in innate immunity

Poster session (Posters Nos. 28-48 incl.)

Session IV: General Topics
Sucharit Bhakdi: Pore-forming activities in infection and immunity
Christian Bogdan: The role of nitric oxide in innate immunity
E. A. Groisman: Bacterial defense strategies against host antimicrobial products
Hidde Ploegh: Interactions of herpesviruses with the host immune system

4 Selected oral presentations:
A. Tjernlund: Identification, characterization and molecular cloning of initial host-parasite signals (Poster No. 49)
F. Bäckhed: Human bladder epithelial cells express Toll-like receptors and recognize lipid A acylation (Poster No. 50)
W. Shafer: Host-derived antimicrobial compounds can be substrates for bacterial efflux (Poster No. 51)
S. Ekengren: 20:10, a novel peptide bridging immune and stress response in Drosophila melanogaster (Poster No. 52)
Robert I. Lehrer: Innate immunity: Common themes and diversity

Poster session (Posters Nos. 49-64 incl.)
Late posters (Posters Nos. 2-11 incl.)