HBV is a noncytopathic hepadnavirus and major human pathogen that causes immune-mediated acute and chronic hepatitis. The immune response to HBV antigens is age dependent: viral clearance occurs in most adults, while neonates and children usually develop chronic infection and liver disease. Here, we characterize an animal model for HBV infection that recapitulates the key differences in viral clearance between early life and adulthood and find that IL-21 may be part of an effective primary hepatic immune response to HBV. In our model, adult mice showed higher HBV-dependent IL-21 production in liver, compared with that of young mice. Conversely, absence of the IL-21 receptor in adult mice resulted in antigen persistence akin to that of young mice. In humans, levels of IL-21 transcripts were greatly increased in blood samples from acutely infected adults who clear the virus. These observations suggest a different model for the dichotomous, age-dependent outcome of HBV infection in humans, in which decreased IL-21 production in younger patients may hinder generation of crucial CD8+ T and B cell responses. These findings carry implications for therapeutic augmentation of immune responses to HBV and potentially other persistent liver viruses.
Jean Publicover, Amanda Goodsell, Stephen Nishimura, Silvia Vilarinho, Zhi-en Wang, Lia Avanesyan, Rosanne Spolski, Warren J. Leonard, Stewart Cooper, Jody L. Baron
The hallmark of HIV-1 and SIV infections is CD4+ T cell depletion. Both direct cell killing and indirect mechanisms related to immune activation have been suggested to cause the depletion of T cells. We have now identified a mechanism by which immune activation-induced fibrosis of lymphoid tissues leads to depletion of naive T cells in HIV-1 infected patients and SIV-infected rhesus macaques. The T regulatory cell response to immune activation increased procollagen production and subsequent deposition as fibrils via the TGF-β1 signaling pathway and chitinase 3-like-1 activity in fibroblasts in lymphoid tissues from patients infected with HIV-1. Collagen deposition restricted T cell access to the survival factor IL-7 on the fibroblastic reticular cell (FRC) network, resulting in apoptosis and depletion of T cells, which, in turn, removed a major source of lymphotoxin-β, a survival factor for FRCs during SIV infection in rhesus macaques. The resulting loss of FRCs and the loss of IL-7 produced by FRCs may thus perpetuate a vicious cycle of depletion of T cells and the FRC network. Because this process is cumulative, early treatment and antifibrotic therapies may offer approaches to moderate T cell depletion and improve immune reconstitution during HIV-1 infection.
Ming Zeng, Anthony J. Smith, Stephen W. Wietgrefe, Peter J. Southern, Timothy W. Schacker, Cavan S. Reilly, Jacob D. Estes, Gregory F. Burton, Guido Silvestri, Jeffrey D. Lifson, John V. Carlis, Ashley T. Haase
SIV infection of natural host species such as sooty mangabeys results in high viral replication without clinical signs of simian AIDS. Studying such infections is useful for identifying immunologic parameters that lead to AIDS in HIV-infected patients. Here we have demonstrated that acute, SIV-induced CD4+ T cell depletion in sooty mangabeys does not result in immune dysfunction and progression to simian AIDS and that a population of CD3+CD4–CD8– T cells (double-negative T cells) partially compensates for CD4+ T cell function in these animals. Passaging plasma from an SIV-infected sooty mangabey with very few CD4+ T cells to SIV-negative animals resulted in rapid loss of CD4+ T cells. Nonetheless, all sooty mangabeys generated SIV-specific antibody and T cell responses and maintained normal levels of plasma lipopolysaccharide. Moreover, all CD4-low sooty mangabeys elicited a de novo immune response following influenza vaccination. Such preserved immune responses as well as the low levels of immune activation observed in these animals were associated with the presence of double-negative T cells capable of producing Th1, Th2, and Th17 cytokines. These studies indicate that SIV-infected sooty mangabeys do not appear to rely entirely on CD4+ T cells to maintain immunity and identify double-negative T cells as a potential subset of cells capable of performing CD4+ T cell–like helper functions upon SIV-induced CD4+ T cell depletion in this species.
Jeffrey M. Milush, Kiran D. Mir, Vasudha Sundaravaradan, Shari N. Gordon, Jessica Engram, Christopher A. Cano, Jacqueline D. Reeves, Elizabeth Anton, Eduardo O’Neill, Eboneé Butler, Kathy Hancock, Kelly S. Cole, Jason M. Brenchley, James G. Else, Guido Silvestri, Donald L. Sodora
Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV; also known as HHV8) is the causative agent of two B cell tumors, multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL). However, little is known about the nature of the specific B cell subtype(s) most susceptible to infection. Identifying these cells would provide direct insight into KSHV transmission and virus-induced transformation. To identify this subset and to determine whether infection alters its cellular phenotype, we exposed human tonsillar cells to KSHV and characterized infected cells using high-throughput multispectral imaging flow cytometry (MIFC). Stable expression of the virally encoded latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA), a marker of latent KSHV infection, was observed predominantly in cells expressing the l light chain of the B cell receptor. These LANA+ B cells proliferated and exhibited similarities to the cells characteristic of MCD (IgMl-expressing plasmablasts), including blasting morphology with elevated expression of Ki67, variable expression of CD27, and high levels of IgM and IL-6 receptor. Furthermore, the proportion of infected cells showing a blasting phenotype increased upon addition of exogenous IL-6. Our data lead us to propose that oral transmission of KSHV involves the latent infection of a subset of tonsillar IgMl-expressing B cells, which then proliferate as they acquire the plasmablast phenotype characteristic of MCD.
Lynn M. Hassman, Thomas J. Ellison, Dean H. Kedes
Both mucosal and systemic immune responses are required for preventing or containing HIV transmission and chronic infection. However, currently described vaccination approaches are largely ineffective in inducing both mucosal and systemic responses. In this study, we found that the ubiquitin-editing enzyme A20 — an inducible feedback inhibitor of the TNFR, RIG-I, and TLR signaling pathways that broadly controls the maturation, cytokine production, and immunostimulatory potency of DCs — restricted systemically immunized DCs to induce both robust mucosal and systemic HIV-specific cellular and humoral responses. Mechanistic studies revealed that A20 regulated DC production of retinoic acid and proinflammatory cytokines, inhibiting the expression of gut-homing receptors on T and B cells. Furthermore, A20-silenced, hyperactivated DCs exhibited an enhanced homing capacity to draining and gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALTs) after systemic administration. Thus, this study provides insights into the role of A20 in innate immunity. This work may allow the development of an efficient HIV vaccination strategy that is capable of inducing both robust systemic and mucosal anti-HIV cellular and humoral responses.
Bangxing Hong, Xiao-Tong Song, Lisa Rollins, Lindsey Berry, Xue F. Huang, Si-Yi Chen
Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major public health problem, with nearly 170 million infected individuals worldwide. Current treatment for chronic infection is a combination of pegylated IFN-α2 and ribavirin (RBV); however, this treatment is effective in fewer than 50% of patients infected with HCV genotype 1 or 4. Recent studies identified the chemokine CXCL10 (also known as IP-10) as an important negative prognostic biomarker. Given that CXCL10 mediates chemoattraction of activated lymphocytes, it is counterintuitive that this chemokine correlates with therapeutic nonresponsiveness. Herein, we offer new insight into this paradox and provide evidence that CXCL10 in the plasma of patients chronically infected with HCV exists in an antagonist form, due to in situ amino-terminal truncation of the protein. We further demonstrated that dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP4; also known as CD26), possibly in combination with other proteases, mediates the generation of the antagonist form(s) of CXCL10. These data offer what we believe to be the first evidence for CXCL10 antagonism in human disease and identify a possible factor contributing to the inability of patients to clear HCV.
Armanda Casrouge, Jérémie Decalf, Mina Ahloulay, Cyril Lababidi, Hala Mansour, Anaïs Vallet-Pichard, Vincent Mallet, Estelle Mottez, James Mapes, Arnaud Fontanet, Stanislas Pol, Matthew L. Albert
Autophagy, a process for catabolizing cytoplasmic components, has been implicated in the modulation of interactions between RNA viruses and their host. However, the mechanism underlying the functional role of autophagy in the viral life cycle still remains unclear. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a single-stranded, positive-sense, membrane-enveloped RNA virus that can cause chronic liver disease. Here we report that HCV induces the unfolded protein response (UPR), which in turn activates the autophagic pathway to promote HCV RNA replication in human hepatoma cells. Further analysis revealed that the entire autophagic process through to complete autolysosome maturation was required to promote HCV RNA replication and that it did so by suppressing innate antiviral immunity. Gene silencing or activation of the UPR-autophagy pathway activated or repressed, respectively, IFN-β activation mediated by an HCV-derived pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP). Similar results were achieved with a PAMP derived from Dengue virus (DEV), indicating that HCV and DEV may both exploit the UPR-autophagy pathway to escape the innate immune response. Taken together, these results not only define the physiological significance of HCV-induced autophagy, but also shed light on the knowledge of host cellular responses upon HCV infection as well as on exploration of therapeutic targets for controlling HCV infection.
Po-Yuan Ke, Steve S.-L. Chen
Having successfully developed mechanisms to evade immune clearance, hepatitis C virus (HCV) establishes persistent infection in approximately 75%–80% of patients. In these individuals, the function of HCV-specific CD8+ T cells is impaired by ligation of inhibitory receptors, the repertoire of which has expanded considerably in the past few years. We hypothesized that the coexpression of the negative regulatory receptors T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain–containing molecule 3 (Tim-3) and programmed death 1 (PD-1) in HCV infection would identify patients at risk of developing viral persistence during and after acute HCV infection. The frequency of PD-1–Tim-3– HCV-specific CTLs greatly outnumbered PD-1+Tim-3+ CTLs in patients with acute resolving infection. Moreover, the population of PD-1+Tim-3+ T cells was enriched for within the central memory T cell subset and within the liver. Blockade of either PD-1 or Tim-3 enhanced in vitro proliferation of HCV-specific CTLs to a similar extent, whereas cytotoxicity against a hepatocyte cell line that expressed cognate HCV epitopes was increased exclusively by Tim-3 blockade. These results indicate that the coexpression of these inhibitory molecules tracks with defective T cell responses and that anatomical differences might account for lack of immune control of persistent pathogens, which suggests their manipulation may represent a rational target for novel immunotherapeutic approaches.
Rachel H. McMahan, Lucy Golden-Mason, Michael I. Nishimura, Brian J. McMahon, Michael Kemper, Todd M. Allen, David R. Gretch, Hugo R. Rosen
Rapid progression to AIDS is a significant problem, especially in developing countries, where the majority of HIV-infected individuals reside. As rapid disease progression is also frequently observed in SIV-infected macaques, they represent a valuable tool to investigate the pathogenesis of this condition in humans. Here, we have shown that pathogenic SIV infection in rhesus macaques resulted in a rapid depletion (as early as week 2) of activated memory B (CD21–CD27+; mBAct) cells that was strongly associated with rapid disease progression. This depletion was progressive and sustained in rapid progressors, but less severe and transient in typical progressors. Because of the rapid and sustained depletion of mBAct cells, rapid progressors failed to develop SIV-specific Ab responses, showed a decline in non–SIV-specific Ab titers, and succumbed faster to intestinal bacterial infections. Depletion of mBAct cells was strongly associated with preferential depletion of mBAct cells expressing programmed death-1 (PD-1), and in vitro blockade of PD-1 improved their survival. Furthermore, in vivo PD-1 blockade in SIV-infected macaques enhanced Ab responses to non-SIV as well as SIV Ags. Our results identify depletion of mBAct cells as a very early predictor of rapid disease progression in pathogenic SIV infection and suggest an important role for the PD-1 pathway in depletion of mBAct cells and impaired humoral immune responses in SIV-infected macaques.
Kehmia Titanji, Vijayakumar Velu, Lakshmi Chennareddi, Matam Vijay-Kumar, Andrew T. Gewirtz, Gordon J. Freeman, Rama R. Amara
CD8+ T cells play a critical role in the immune response to viral pathogens. Persistent human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection results in a strong increase in the number of virus-specific, quiescent effector-type CD8+ T cells with constitutive cytolytic activity, but the molecular pathways involved in the induction and maintenance of these cells are unknown. We show here that HCMV infection induced acute and lasting changes in the transcriptomes of virus-reactive T cells collected from HCMV-seropositive patients at distinct stages of infection. Enhanced cell cycle and metabolic activity was restricted to the acute phase of the response, but at all stages, HCMV-specific CD8+ T cells expressed the Th1-associated transcription factors T-bet (TBX21) and eomesodermin (EOMES), in parallel with continuous expression of IFNG mRNA and IFN-γ–regulated genes. The cytolytic proteins granzyme B and perforin as well as the fractalkine-binding chemokine receptor CX3CR1 were found in virus-reactive cells throughout the response. During HCMV latency, virus-specific CD8+ T cells lacked the typical features of exhausted cells found in other chronic infections. Persistent effector cell traits together with the permanent changes in chemokine receptor usage of virus-specific, nonexhausted, long-lived CD8+ T cells may be crucial to maintain lifelong protection from HCMV reactivation.
Kirsten M.L. Hertoghs, Perry D. Moerland, Amber van Stijn, Ester B.M. Remmerswaal, Sila L. Yong, Pablo J.E.J. van de Berg, S. Marieke van Ham, Frank Baas, Ineke J.M. ten Berge, René A.W. van Lier
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