Dr. Hartigan-O'Connor is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Davis. His research is focused on mechanisms of tolerance and immune privilege, both in the adult eye and in the developing fetus. His most recent work focuses on resilience of retinal immune privilege to inflammatory insults and neovascularization, as well as the potential of immunosuppressive drugs to maintain privilege despite these challenges. His work has been published in leading journals including Science Translational Medicine and the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
SIV clearance from neonatal macaques following transient CCR5 depletion
bioRxiv. 2023 May 1:2023.05.01.533682. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.01.533682. Preprint.
Treatment of people with HIV (PWH) with antiretroviral therapy (ART) results in sustained suppression of viremia, but HIV persists indefinitely as integrated provirus in CD4-expressing cells. Intact persistent provirus, the "rebound competent viral reservoir" (RCVR), is the primary obstacle to achieving a cure. Most variants of HIV enter CD4 + T cells by binding to the chemokine receptor, CCR5. The RCVR has been successfully depleted only in a handful of PWH following cytotoxic chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation from donors with a mutation in CCR5 . Here we show that long-term SIV remission and apparent cure can be achieved for infant macaques via targeted depletion of potential reservoir cells that express CCR5. Neonatal rhesus macaques were infected with virulent SIVmac251, then treated with ART beginning one week after infection, followed by treatment with either a CCR5/CD3-bispecific or a CD4-specific antibody, both of which depleted target cells and increased the rate of plasma viremia decrease. Upon subsequent cessation of ART, three of seven animals treated with CCR5/CD3-bispecific antibody rebounded quickly and two rebounded 3 or 6 months later. Remarkably, the other two animals remained aviremic and efforts to detect replication-competent virus were unsuccessful. Our results show that bispecific antibody treatment can achieve meaningful SIV reservoir depletion and suggest that functional HIV cure might be achievable for recently infected individuals having a restricted reservoir.
PMID:37205470 | PMC:PMC10187202 | DOI:10.1101/2023.05.01.533682
Encapsulated Allografts Preclude Host Sensitization and Promote Ovarian Endocrine Function in Ovariectomized Young Rhesus Monkeys and Sensitized Mice
Bioengineering (Basel). 2023 May 3;10(5):550. doi: 10.3390/bioengineering10050550.
Transplantation of allogeneic donor ovarian tissue holds great potential for female cancer survivors who often experience premature ovarian insufficiency. To avoid complications associated with immune suppression and to protect transplanted ovarian allografts from immune-mediated injury, we have developed an immunoisolating hydrogel-based capsule that supports the function of ovarian allografts without triggering an immune response. Encapsulated ovarian allografts implanted in naïve ovariectomized BALB/c mice responded to the circulating gonadotropins and maintained function for 4 months, as evident by regular estrous cycles and the presence of antral follicles in the retrieved grafts. In contrast to non-encapsulated controls, repeated implantations of encapsulated mouse ovarian allografts did not sensitize naïve BALB/c mice, which was confirmed with undetectable levels of alloantibodies. Further, encapsulated allografts implanted in hosts previously sensitized by the implantation of non-encapsulated allografts restored estrous cycles similarly to our results in naïve recipients. Next, we tested the translational potential and efficiency of the immune-isolating capsule in a rhesus monkey model by implanting encapsulated ovarian auto- and allografts in young ovariectomized animals. The encapsulated ovarian grafts survived and restored basal levels of urinary estrone conjugate and pregnanediol 3-glucuronide during the 4- and 5-month observation periods. We demonstrate, for the first time, that encapsulated ovarian allografts functioned for months in young rhesus monkeys and sensitized mice, while the immunoisolating capsule prevented sensitization and protected the allograft from rejection.
PMID:37237620 | PMC:PMC10215835 | DOI:10.3390/bioengineering10050550
Sirtuin-2, NAD-Dependent Deacetylase, Is a New Potential Therapeutic Target for HIV-1 Infection and HIV-Related Neurological Dysfunction
J Virol. 2023 Feb 28;97(2):e0165522. doi: 10.1128/jvi.01655-22. Epub 2023 Jan 31.
The implementation and access to combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) have dramatically improved the quality of life of people living with HIV (PLWH). However, some comorbidities, such as neurological disorders associated with HIV infection still represent a serious clinical challenge. Soluble factors in plasma that are associated with control of HIV replication and neurological dysfunction could serve as early biomarkers and as new therapeutic targets for this comorbidity. We used a customized antibody array for determination of blood plasma factors in 40 untreated PLWH with different levels of viremia and found sirtuin-2 (SIRT2), an NAD-dependent deacetylase, to be strongly associated with elevated viral loads and HIV provirus levels, as well as with markers of neurological damage (a-synuclein [SNCA], brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF], microtubule-associated protein tau [MAPT], and neurofilament light protein [NFL]). Also, longitudinal analysis in HIV-infected individuals with immediate (n = 9) or delayed initiation (n = 10) of cART revealed that after 1 year on cART, SIRT2 plasma levels differed between both groups and correlated inversely with brain orbitofrontal cortex involution. Furthermore, targeting SIRT2 with specific small-molecule inhibitors in in vitro systems using J-LAT A2 and primary glial cells led to diminished HIV replication and virus reactivation from latency. Our data thus identify SIRT2 as a novel biomarker of uncontrolled HIV infection, with potential impact on neurological dysfunction and offers a new therapeutic target for HIV treatment and cure. IMPORTANCE Neurocognitive disorders are frequently reported in people living with HIV (PLWH) even with the introduction of combined antiretroviral treatment (cART). To identify biomarkers and potential therapeutic tools to target HIV infection in peripheral blood and in the central nervous system (CNS), plasma proteomics were applied in untreated chronic HIV-infected individuals with different levels of virus control. High plasma levels of sirtuin-2 (SIRT2), an NAD+ deacetylase, were detected in uncontrolled HIV infection and were strongly associated with plasma viral load and proviral levels. In parallel, SIRT2 levels in the peripheral blood and CNS were associated with markers of neurological damage and brain involution and were more pronounced in individuals who initiated cART later in infection. In vitro infection experiments using specific SIRT2 inhibitors suggest that specific targeting of SIRT2 could offer new therapeutic treatment options for HIV infections and their associated neurological dysfunction.
PMID:36719240 | PMC:PMC9972991 | DOI:10.1128/jvi.01655-22
Disruption of the HLA-E/NKG2X axis is associated with uncontrolled HIV infections
Front Immunol. 2022 Nov 18;13:1027855. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.1027855. eCollection 2022.
The contribution of the HLA-E/NKG2X axis in NK-mediated control of HIV infection remains unclear. We have studied the relationship between HLA-E expression and phenotypical as well as functional characteristics of NK cells, in the context of chronic HIV infection and in an in vitro model of acute infection. High viremia in HIV+ individuals was related to increased HLA-E expression, and changes in NK subpopulations, especially a reduction of the CD56bright as well as an increase in adaptive NK subpopulation. Uncontrolled HIV infection was also characterized by a reversion of the NKG2A/NKG2C expression ratio and a loss of positive and negative regulation of NK mediated by HLA-E. This was reflected in a lower cytotoxic, degranulation and cytokine production capacity, especially in CD56bright and adaptive NK. In line with these results, HLA-E expression showed a positive correlation with viral growth inhibition in an in vitro model of acute infection at day 7, which was lost after 14 days of culture. Using HLA-E expressing K562 cells, we determined that only one out of 11 described HIV-derived HLA-E epitopes increased HLA-E surface stability. In spite of that, eight of the 11 epitopes were capable of increasing degranulation and three drove differences in NK-cell mediated cell lysis or cytokine secretion. In conclusion, our results indicate that HLA-E molecules presenting HIV-derived epitopes may sensitize target cells for NK lysis in early HIV infection. However, prolonged exposure to elevated HLA-E expression levels in vivo may lead to NK cell dysfunction and reduced viral control In chronic infection.
PMID:36466823 | PMC:PMC9716355 | DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2022.1027855
Cytomegalovirus infection disrupts the influence of short-chain fatty acid producers on Treg/Th17 balance
Microbiome. 2022 Oct 10;10(1):168. doi: 10.1186/s40168-022-01355-3.
BACKGROUND: Both the gut microbiota and chronic viral infections have profound effects on host immunity, but interactions between these influences have been only superficially explored. Cytomegalovirus (CMV), for example, infects approximately 80% of people globally and drives significant changes in immune cells. Similarly, certain gut-resident bacteria affect T-cell development in mice and nonhuman primates. It is unknown if changes imposed by CMV on the intestinal microbiome contribute to immunologic effects of the infection.
RESULTS: We show that rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) infection is associated with specific differences in gut microbiota composition, including decreased abundance of Firmicutes, and that the extent of microbial change was associated with immunologic changes including the proliferation, differentiation, and cytokine production of CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, RhCMV infection disrupted the relationship between short-chain fatty acid producers and Treg/Th17 balance observed in seronegative animals, showing that some immunologic effects of CMV are due to disruption of previously existing host-microbe relationships.
CONCLUSIONS: Gut microbes have an important influence on health and disease. Diet is known to shape the microbiota, but the influence of concomitant chronic viral infections is unclear. We found that CMV influences gut microbiota composition to an extent that is correlated with immunologic changes in the host. Additionally, pre-existing correlations between immunophenotypes and gut microbes can be subverted by CMV infection. Immunologic effects of CMV infection on the host may therefore be mediated by two different mechanisms involving gut microbiota. Video Abstract.
PMID:36210471 | PMC:PMC9549678 | DOI:10.1186/s40168-022-01355-3
HIV T-cell immunogen design and delivery
Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2022 Nov 1;17(6):333-337. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000765. Epub 2022 Sep 19.
PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW: Not all T-cell responses against HIV are created equally and responses of certain epitope specificities have been associated with superior control of infection. These insights have spurred the development of a wide range of immunogen sequences, each with particular advantages and limitations.
RECENT FINDINGS: We review some of the most advanced designs that have reached or are close to reaching human clinical trials, with a special focus on T-cell immunogen developed for therapeutic use. We also touch upon the importance of how immunogens are delivered and point out the lamentable fact that there is essentially no alignment between different designs and vaccine regimens, which is a major hindrance to accelerated advances in the field.
SUMMARY: The design of an immunogen able to induce T-cell responses of adequate specificity and functionality is subject of a wide range of preclinical and clinical studies. Few designs have shown promise to date, but emerging data highlight the critical contribution of specificity to effective antiviral activity in vivo .
PMID:36165078 | PMC:PMC9530002 | DOI:10.1097/COH.0000000000000765
T-Follicular-Like CD8<sup>+</sup> T Cell Responses in Chronic HIV Infection Are Associated With Virus Control and Antibody Isotype Switching to IgG
Front Immunol. 2022 Jun 15;13:928039. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.928039. eCollection 2022.
T cell responses are considered critical for the in vivo control of HIV, but the contribution of different T cell subsets to this control remains unclear. Using a boosted flow cytometric approach that is able to differentiate CD4+ and CD8+ T cell Th1/Tc1, Th2/Tc2, Th17/Tc17, Treg and Tfh/Tfc-like HIV-specific T cell populations, we identified CD8+ Tfc responses that were related to HIV plasma viral loads and associated with rate of antibody isotype class switching to IgG. This favorable balance towards IgG responses positively correlated with increased virus neutralization, higher avidity of neutralizing antibodies and more potent antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity (ADCC) in PBMCs from HIV controllers compared to non-controllers. Our results identified the CD8+ Tfc-like T-cell response as a component of effective virus control which could possibly be exploited therapeutically.
PMID:35784304 | PMC:PMC9241491 | DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2022.928039
Early post-infection treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected macaques with human convalescent plasma with high neutralizing activity had no antiviral effects but moderately reduced lung inflammation
PLoS Pathog. 2022 Apr 20;18(4):e1009925. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009925. eCollection 2022 Apr.
Early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there was a high level of optimism based on observational studies and small controlled trials that treating hospitalized patients with convalescent plasma from COVID-19 survivors (CCP) would be an important immunotherapy. However, as more data from controlled trials became available, the results became disappointing, with at best moderate evidence of efficacy when CCP with high titers of neutralizing antibodies was used early in infection. To better understand the potential therapeutic efficacy of CCP, and to further validate SARS-CoV-2 infection of macaques as a reliable animal model for testing such strategies, we inoculated 12 adult rhesus macaques with SARS-CoV-2 by intratracheal and intranasal routes. One day later, 8 animals were infused with pooled human CCP with a high titer of neutralizing antibodies (RVPN NT50 value of 3,003), while 4 control animals received normal human plasma. Animals were monitored for 7 days. Animals treated with CCP had detectable but low levels of antiviral antibodies after infusion. In comparison to the control animals, CCP-treated animals had similar levels of viral RNA in upper and lower respiratory tract secretions, similar detection of viral RNA in lung tissues by in situ hybridization, but lower amounts of infectious virus in the lungs. CCP-treated animals had a moderate, but statistically significant reduction in interstitial pneumonia, as measured by comprehensive lung histology. Thus overall, therapeutic benefits of CCP were marginal and inferior to results obtained earlier with monoclonal antibodies in this animal model. By highlighting strengths and weaknesses, data of this study can help to further optimize nonhuman primate models to provide proof-of-concept of intervention strategies, and guide the future use of convalescent plasma against SARS-CoV-2 and potentially other newly emerging respiratory viruses.
PMID:35443018 | PMC:PMC9060337 | DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1009925
Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Latency Reversal <em>via</em> the Induction of Early Growth Response Protein 1 to Bypass Protein Kinase C Agonist-Associated Immune Activation
Front Microbiol. 2022 Mar 10;13:836831. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.836831. eCollection 2022.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV) remains a global health challenge due to the latent HIV reservoirs in people living with HIV (PLWH). Dormant yet replication competent HIV harbored in the resting CD4+ T cells cannot be purged by antiretroviral therapy (ART) alone. One approach of HIV cure is the "Kick and Kill" strategy where latency reversal agents (LRAs) have been implemented to disrupt latent HIV, expecting to eradicate HIV reservoirs by viral cytopathic effect or immune-mediated clearance. Protein Kinase C agonists (PKCa), a family of LRAs, have demonstrated the ability to disrupt latent HIV to an extent. However, the toxicity of PKCa remains a concern in vivo. Early growth response protein 1 (EGR1) is a downstream target of PKCa during latency reversal. Here, we show that PKCa induces EGR1 which directly drives Tat-dependent HIV transcription. Resveratrol, a natural phytoalexin found in grapes and various plants, induces Egr1 expression and disrupts latent HIV in several HIV latency models in vitro and in CD4+ T cells isolated from ART-suppressed PLWH ex vivo. In the primary CD4+ T cells, resveratrol does not induce immune activation at the dosage that it reverses latency, indicating that targeting EGR1 may be able to reverse latency and bypass PKCa-induced immune activation.
PMID:35359743 | PMC:PMC8960990 | DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2022.836831
Enteric Viruses Nucleic Acids Distribution along the Digestive Tract of Rhesus Macaques with Idiopathic Chronic Diarrhea
Viruses. 2022 Mar 19;14(3):638. doi: 10.3390/v14030638.
Idiopathic chronic diarrhea (ICD) is a little understood common clinical problem in captive rhesus macaques claiming 33% of medical culls unrelated to research. The eukaryotic virome in digestive tract tissues collected at necropsy from nine animals with ICD was characterized using viral metagenomics. We compared the distribution of viral reads in tissues and mucosal scrapings from the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and the proximal, transverse, and distal colons. In situ hybridization (ISH) using viral probes were performed on fixed tissues. Deep sequencing revealed multiple viruses in the Parvoviridae and Picornaviridae family. Tissues and mucosal scraping from the same locations showed closely related viral reads contents while different gut tissues from the same animal varied widely. ISH showed punctuated staining for both RNA and DNA viruses in the distal colon. Parvovirus staining was also detected in the stomach/duodenum/jejunum in distinct oval-shaped structures. The location of enteric viral nucleic acid differed widely between different viral families and along the length of the digestive tract.
PMID:35337045 | PMC:PMC8951234 | DOI:10.3390/v14030638
Epigenetic landscape in the kick-and-kill therapeutic vaccine BCN02 clinical trial is associated with antiretroviral treatment interruption (ATI) outcome
EBioMedicine. 2022 Apr;78:103956. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.103956. Epub 2022 Mar 21.
BACKGROUND: The BCN02-trial combined therapeutic vaccination with a viral latency reversing agent (romidepsin, RMD) in HIV-1-infected individuals and included a monitored antiretroviral pause (MAP) as an efficacy read-out identifying individuals with an early or late (< or > 4weeks) viral-rebound. Integrated -omics analyses were applied prior treatment interruption to identify markers of virus control during MAP.
METHODS: PBMC, whole-genome DNA methylation and transcriptomics were assessed in 14 BCN02 participants, including 8 Early and 4 Late viral-rebound individuals. Chromatin state, histone marks and integration analysis (histone-3 acetylation (H3Ac), viral load, proviral levels and HIV-specific T cells responses) were included. REDUC-trial samples (n = 5) were included as a control group for RMD administration alone.
FINDINGS: DNA methylation imprints after receiving the complete intervention discriminated Early versus Late viral-rebound individuals before MAP. Also, differential chromatin accessibility and histone marks at DNA methylation level were detected. Importantly, the differential DNA methylation positions (DMPs) between Early and Late rebounders before MAP were strongly associated with viral load, proviral levels as well as the HIV-specific T-cell responses. Most of these DMPs were already present prior to the intervention and accentuated after RMD infusion.
INTERPRETATION: This study identifies host DNA methylation profiles and epigenetic cascades that are predictive of subsequent virus control in a kick-and-kill HIV cure strategy.
FUNDING: European Union Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under Grant Agreement N°681137-EAVI2020 and N°847943-MISTRAL, the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (SAF2017_89726_R), and the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Program Grant P01-AI131568.
PMID:35325780 | PMC:PMC8938861 | DOI:10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.103956
Translational Utility of the Nonhuman Primate Model
Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2022 May;7(5):491-497. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2022.03.001. Epub 2022 Mar 10.
Nonhuman primates are essential for the study of human disease and to explore the safety of new diagnostics and therapies proposed for human use. They share similar genetic, physiologic, immunologic, reproductive, and developmental features with humans and thus have proven crucial for the study of embryonic/fetal development, organ system ontogeny, and the role of the maternal-placental-fetal interface in health and disease. The fetus may be exposed to a variety of inflammatory stimuli including infectious microbes as well as maternal inflammation, which can result from infections, obesity, or environmental exposures. Growing evidence supports that inflammation is a mediator of fetal programming and that the maternal immune system is tightly integrated with fetal-placental immune responses that may set a postnatal path for future health or disease. This review addresses some of the unique features of the nonhuman primate model system, specifically the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta), and importance of the species for studies focused on organ system ontogeny and the impact of viral teratogens in relation to development and congenital disorders.
PMID:35283343 | PMC:PMC9576492 | DOI:10.1016/j.bpsc.2022.03.001
Nonhuman Primates in Translational Research
Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2022 Feb 15;10:441-468. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-021419-083813.
Nonhuman primates are critically important animal models in which to study complex human diseases, understand biological functions, and address the safety of new diagnostics and therapies proposed for human use. They have genetic, physiologic, immunologic, and developmental similarities when compared to humans and therefore provide important preclinical models of human health and disease. This review highlights select research areas that demonstrate the importance of nonhuman primates in translational research. These include pregnancy and developmental disorders, infectious diseases, gene therapy, somatic cell genome editing, and applications of in vivo imaging. The power of the immune system and our increasing understanding of the role it plays in acute and chronic illnesses are being leveraged to produce new treatments for a range of medical conditions. Given the importance of the human immune system in health and disease, detailed study of the immune system of nonhuman primates is essential to advance preclinical translational research. The need for nonhuman primates continues to remain a high priority, which has been acutely evident during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) global pandemic. Nonhuman primates will continue to address key questions and provide predictive models to identify the safety and efficiency of new diagnostics and therapies for human use across the lifespan.
PMID:35167321 | PMC:PMC9339229 | DOI:10.1146/annurev-animal-021419-083813
Randomized controlled trial of early, small-volume formula supplementation among newborns: A study protocol
PLoS One. 2022 Feb 4;17(2):e0263129. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0263129. eCollection 2022.
Childhood undernutrition is a major health burden worldwide that increases childhood morbidity and mortality and causes impairment in infant growth and developmental delays that can persist into adulthood. The first weeks and months after birth are critical to the establishment of healthy growth and development during childhood. The World Health Organization recommends immediate and exclusive breastfeeding (EBF). In infants for whom EBF may not meet nutritional and caloric demands, early, daily, small-volume formula supplementation along with breastfeeding may more effectively avoid underweight wasting and stunting in early infancy than breastfeeding alone. The primary objective of this randomized controlled trial is to evaluate the efficacy of formula for 30 days among low birth weight (LBW) infants <6 hours of age and those not LBW with weights <2600 grams at 4 days of age. We will compare breastfeeding and formula (up to 59 milliliters administered daily) through 30 days of infant age vs recommendations for frequent EBF without supplementation, and test the hypothesis that formula increases weight-for-age z-score at 30 days of infant age. The trial will enroll and randomize 324 mother-infant pairs in Guinea-Bissau and Uganda, and follow them for 6 months for outcomes including growth, intestinal microbiota, breastfeeding duration, infant dietary intake, and adverse events. Conservatively estimating 20% loss to follow up, this sample size provides ≥80% power per weight stratum for intervention group comparison to detect a difference of 0.20 with respect to the outcome of WAZ at day 30. This trial was approved by the University of California, San Francisco Institutional Review Board (19-29405); the Guinea-Bissau National Committee on Ethics in Health (Comite Nacional de Etica na Saude, 075/CNES/INASA/2020); the Higher Degrees, Research and Ethics Committee of Makerere University (871); and the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (HS1226ES). We plan to disseminate study results in peer-reviewed journals and international conferences. Trial registration number: NCT04704076.
PMID:35120150 | PMC:PMC8815972 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0263129
Idiopathic Chronic Diarrhea in Rhesus Macaques Is Not Associated with Enteric Viral Infections
Viruses. 2021 Dec 14;13(12):2503. doi: 10.3390/v13122503.
While recent changes in treatment have reduced the lethality of idiopathic chronic diarrhea (ICD), this condition remains one of the most common causes of rhesus macaque deaths in non-human primate research centers. We compared the viromes in fecal swabs from 52 animals with late stage ICD and 41 healthy animals. Viral metagenomics targeting virus-like particles was used to identify viruses fecally shed by each animal. Five viruses belonging to the Picornaviridae, one to the Caliciviridae, one to the Parvoviridae, and one to the Adenoviridae families were identified. The fraction of reads matching each viral species was then used to estimate and compare viral loads in ICD cases versus healthy controls. None of the viruses detected in fecal swabs were strongly associated with ICD.
PMID:34960771 | PMC:PMC8707486 | DOI:10.3390/v13122503
SARS-CoV-2 Infection of Rhesus Macaques Treated Early with Human COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma
Microbiol Spectr. 2021 Dec 22;9(3):e0139721. doi: 10.1128/Spectrum.01397-21. Epub 2021 Nov 24.
Human clinical studies investigating use of convalescent plasma (CP) for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have produced conflicting results. Outcomes in these studies may vary at least partly due to different timing of CP administration relative to symptom onset. The mechanisms of action of CP include neutralizing antibodies but may extend beyond virus neutralization to include normalization of blood clotting and dampening of inflammation. Unresolved questions include the minimum therapeutic titer in the CP units or CP recipient as well as the optimal timing of administration. Here, we show that treatment of macaques with CP within 24 h of infection does not reduce viral shedding in nasal or lung secretions compared to controls and does not detectably improve any clinical endpoint. We also demonstrate that CP administration does not impact viral sequence diversity in vivo, although the selection of a viral sequence variant in both macaques receiving normal human plasma was suggestive of immune pressure. Our results suggest that CP, administered to medium titers, has limited efficacy, even when given very early after infection. Our findings also contribute information important for the continued development of the nonhuman primate model of COVID-19. These results should inform interpretation of clinical studies of CP in addition to providing insights useful for developing other passive immunotherapies and vaccine strategies. IMPORTANCE Antiviral treatment options for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) remain very limited. One treatment that was explored beginning early in the pandemic (and that is likely to be tested early in future pandemics) is plasma collected from people who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), known as convalescent plasma (CP). We tested if CP reduces viral shedding or disease in a nonhuman primate model. Our results demonstrate that administration of CP 1 day after SARS-CoV-2 infection had no significant impact on viral loads, clinical disease, or sequence diversity, although treatment with normal human plasma resulted in selection of a specific viral variant. Our results demonstrate that passive immunization with CP, even during early infection, provided no significant benefit in a nonhuman primate model of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
PMID:34817208 | PMC:PMC8612156 | DOI:10.1128/Spectrum.01397-21
Monoclonal antibodies protect aged rhesus macaques from SARS-CoV-2-induced immune activation and neuroinflammation
Cell Rep. 2021 Nov 2;37(5):109942. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109942. Epub 2021 Oct 19.
Anti-viral monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments may provide immediate but short-term immunity from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in high-risk populations, such as people with diabetes and the elderly; however, data on their efficacy in these populations are limited. We demonstrate that prophylactic mAb treatment blocks viral replication in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts in aged, type 2 diabetic rhesus macaques. mAb infusion dramatically curtails severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-mediated stimulation of interferon-induced chemokines and T cell activation, significantly reducing development of interstitial pneumonia. Furthermore, mAb infusion significantly dampens the greater than 3-fold increase in SARS-CoV-2-induced effector CD4 T cell influx into the cerebrospinal fluid. Our data show that neutralizing mAbs administered preventatively to high-risk populations may mitigate the adverse inflammatory consequences of SARS-CoV-2 exposure.
PMID:34706272 | PMC:PMC8523485 | DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109942
Early post-infection treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected macaques with human convalescent plasma with high neutralizing activity reduces lung inflammation
bioRxiv. 2021 Sep 1:2021.09.01.458520. doi: 10.1101/2021.09.01.458520. Preprint.
Early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there was a high level of optimism based on observational studies and small controlled trials that treating hospitalized patients with convalescent plasma from COVID-19 survivors (CCP) would be an important immunotherapy. However, as more data from controlled trials became available, the results became disappointing, with at best moderate evidence of efficacy when CCP with high titers of neutralizing antibodies was used early in infection. To better understand the potential therapeutic efficacy of CCP, and to further validate SARS-CoV-2 infection of macaques as a reliable animal model for testing such strategies, we inoculated 12 adult rhesus macaques with SARS-CoV-2 by intratracheal and intranasal routes. One day later, 8 animals were infused with pooled human CCP with a high titer of neutralizing antibodies (RVPN NT 50 value of 3,003), while 4 control animals received normal human plasma. Animals were monitored for 7 days. Animals treated with CCP had detectable levels of antiviral antibodies after infusion. In comparison to the control animals, they had similar levels of virus replication in the upper and lower respiratory tract, but had significantly reduced interstitial pneumonia, as measured by comprehensive lung histology. By highlighting strengths and weaknesses, data of this study can help to further optimize nonhuman primate models to provide proof-of-concept of intervention strategies, and guide the future use of convalescent plasma against SARS-CoV-2 and potentially other newly emerging respiratory viruses.
AUTHOR SUMMARY: The results of treating SARS-CoV-2 infected hospitalized patients with COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP), collected from survivors of natural infection, have been disappointing. The available data from various studies indicate at best moderate clinical benefits only when CCP with high titer of neutralizing antibodies was infused early in infection. The macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection can be useful to gain further insights in the value of CCP therapy. In this study, animals were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and the next day, were infused with pooled human convalescent plasma, selected to have a very high titer of neutralizing antibodies. While administration of CCP did not result in a detectable reduction in virus replication in the respiratory tract, it significantly reduced lung inflammation. These data, combined with the results of monoclonal antibody studies, emphasize the need to use products with high titers of neutralizing antibodies, and guide the future development of CCP-based therapies.
PMID:34494025 | PMC:PMC8423222 | DOI:10.1101/2021.09.01.458520
Immune response dynamics in COVID-19 patients to SARS-CoV-2 and other human coronaviruses
PLoS One. 2021 Jul 9;16(7):e0254367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0254367. eCollection 2021.
COVID-19 serological test must have high sensitivity as well as specificity to rule out cross-reactivity with common coronaviruses (HCoVs). We have developed a quantitative multiplex test, measuring antibodies against spike (S) proteins of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and common human coronavirus strains (229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1), and nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS-CoV viruses. Receptor binding domain of S protein of SARS-CoV-2 (S-RBD), and N protein, demonstrated sensitivity (94% and 92.5%, respectively) in COVID-19 patients (n = 53), with 98% specificity in non-COVID-19 respiratory-disease (n = 98), and healthy-controls (n = 129). Anti S-RBD and N antibodies appeared five to ten days post-onset of symptoms, peaking at approximately four weeks. The appearance of IgG and IgM coincided while IgG subtypes, IgG1 and IgG3 appeared soon after the total IgG; IgG2 and IgG4 remained undetectable. Several inflammatory cytokines/chemokines were found to be elevated in many COVID-19 patients (e.g., Eotaxin, Gro-α, CXCL-10 (IP-10), RANTES (CCL5), IL-2Rα, MCP-1, and SCGF-b); CXCL-10 was elevated in all. In contrast to antibody titers, levels of CXCL-10 decreased with the improvement in patient health suggesting it as a candidate for disease resolution. Importantly, anti-N antibodies appear before S-RBD and differentiate between vaccinated and infected people-current vaccines (and several in the pipeline) are S protein-based.
PMID:34242356 | PMC:PMC8270414 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0254367
Early treatment with a combination of two potent neutralizing antibodies improves clinical outcomes and reduces virus replication and lung inflammation in SARS-CoV-2 infected macaques
PLoS Pathog. 2021 Jul 6;17(7):e1009688. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009688. eCollection 2021 Jul.
There is an urgent need for effective therapeutic interventions against SARS-CoV-2, including new variants that continue to arise. Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies have shown promise in clinical studies. We investigated the therapeutic efficacy of a combination of two potent monoclonal antibodies, C135-LS and C144-LS that carry half-life extension mutations, in the rhesus macaque model of COVID-19. Twelve young adult macaques (three groups of four animals) were inoculated intranasally and intra-tracheally with a high dose of SARS-CoV-2 and 24 hours later, treated intravenously with a high (40 mg/kg) or low (12 mg/kg) dose of the C135-LS and C144-LS antibody combination, or a control monoclonal antibody. Animals were monitored for 7 days. Compared to the control animals, animals treated with either dose of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies showed similarly improved clinical scores, lower levels of virus replication in upper and lower respiratory tract, and significantly reduced interstitial pneumonia, as measured by comprehensive lung histology. In conclusion, this study provides proof-of-concept in support of further clinical development of these monoclonal antibodies against COVID-19 during early infection.
PMID:34228761 | PMC:PMC8284825 | DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1009688
Cytomegalovirus mediates expansion of IL-15-responsive innate-memory cells with SIV killing function
J Clin Invest. 2021 Aug 2;131(15):e148542. doi: 10.1172/JCI148542.
Interindividual immune variability is driven predominantly by environmental factors, including exposure to chronic infectious agents such as cytomegalovirus (CMV). We investigated the effects of rhesus CMV (RhCMV) on composition and function of the immune system in young macaques. Within months of infection, RhCMV was associated with impressive changes in antigen presenting cells, T cells, and NK cells-and marked expansion of innate-memory CD8+ T cells. These cells express high levels of NKG2A/C and the IL-2 and IL-15 receptor beta chain, CD122. IL-15 was sufficient to drive differentiation of the cells in vitro and in vivo. Expanded NKG2A/C+CD122+CD8+ T cells in RhCMV-infected macaques, but not their NKG2-negative counterparts, were endowed with cytotoxicity against class I-deficient K562 targets and prompt IFN-γ production in response to stimulation with IL-12 and IL-18. Because RhCMV clone 68-1 forms the viral backbone of RhCMV-vectored SIV vaccines, we also investigated immune changes following administration of RhCMV 68-1-vectored SIV vaccines. These vaccines led to impressive expansion of NKG2A/C+CD8+ T cells with capacity to inhibit SIV replication ex vivo. Thus, CMV infection and CMV-vectored vaccination drive expansion of functional innate-like CD8 cells via host IL-15 production, suggesting that innate-memory expansion could be achieved by other vaccine platforms expressing IL-15.
PMID:34153005 | PMC:PMC8321572 | DOI:10.1172/JCI148542
Transient Effect of Infant Formula Supplementation on the Intestinal Microbiota
Nutrients. 2021 Mar 1;13(3):807. doi: 10.3390/nu13030807.
Breastfeeding is the gold standard for feeding infants because of its long-term benefits to health and development, but most infants in the United States are not exclusively breastfed in the first six months. We enrolled 24 infants who were either exclusively breastfed or supplemented with formula by the age of one month. We collected diet information, stool samples for evaluation of microbiotas by 16S rRNA sequencing, and blood samples for assessment of immune development by flow cytometry from birth to 6 months of age. We further typed the Bifidobacterium strains in stool samples whose 16S rRNA sequencing showed the presence of Bifidobacteriaceae. Supplementation with formula during breastfeeding transiently changed the composition of the gut microbiome, but the impact dissipated by six months of age. For example, Bifidobacterium longum, a bacterial species highly correlated with human milk consumption, was found to be significantly different only at 1 month of age but not at later time points. No immunologic differences were found to be associated with supplementation, including the development of T-cell subsets, B cells, or monocytes. These data suggest that early formula supplementation, given in addition to breast milk, has minimal lasting impact on the gut microbiome or immunity.
PMID:33804415 | PMC:PMC7998963 | DOI:10.3390/nu13030807
SARS-CoV-2 induces robust germinal center CD4 T follicular helper cell responses in rhesus macaques
Nat Commun. 2021 Jan 22;12(1):541. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-20642-x.
CD4 T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are important for the generation of durable and specific humoral protection against viral infections. The degree to which SARS-CoV-2 infection generates Tfh cells and stimulates the germinal center (GC) response is an important question as we investigate vaccine induced immunity against COVID-19. Here, we report that SARS-CoV-2 infection in rhesus macaques, either infused with convalescent plasma, normal plasma, or receiving no infusion, resulted in transient accumulation of pro-inflammatory monocytes and proliferating Tfh cells with a Th1 profile in peripheral blood. CD4 helper cell responses skewed predominantly toward a Th1 response in blood, lung, and lymph nodes. SARS-CoV-2 Infection induced GC Tfh cells specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins, and a corresponding early appearance of antiviral serum IgG antibodies. Collectively, the data show induction of GC responses in a rhesus model of mild COVID-19.
PMID:33483492 | PMC:PMC7822826 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-020-20642-x
Fetal Rhesus Monkey First Trimester Zika Virus Infection Impacts Cortical Development in the Second and Third Trimesters
Cereb Cortex. 2021 Mar 31;31(5):2309-2321. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa336.
Zika virus is a teratogen similar to other neurotropic viruses, notably cytomegalovirus and rubella. The goal of these studies was to address the direct impact of Zika virus on fetal development by inoculating early gestation fetal rhesus monkeys using an ultrasound-guided approach (intraperitoneal vs. intraventricular). Growth and development were monitored across gestation, maternal samples collected, and fetal tissues obtained in the second trimester or near term. Although normal growth and anatomical development were observed, significant morphologic changes were noted in the cerebral cortex at 3-weeks post-Zika virus inoculation including massive alterations in the distribution, density, number, and morphology of microglial cells in proliferative regions of the fetal cerebral cortex; an altered distribution of Tbr2+ neural precursor cells; increased diameter and volume of blood vessels in the cortical proliferative zones; and a thinner cortical plate. At 3-months postinoculation, alterations in morphology, distribution, and density of microglial cells were also observed with an increase in blood vessel volume; and a thinner cortical plate. Only transient maternal viremia was observed but sustained maternal immune activation was detected. Overall, these studies suggest persistent changes in cortical structure result from early gestation Zika virus exposure with durable effects on microglial cells.
PMID:33341889 | PMC:PMC8023859 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhaa336
TL1A-DR3 Plasma Levels Are Predictive of HIV-1 Disease Control, and DR3 Costimulation Boosts HIV-1-Specific T Cell Responses
J Immunol. 2020 Dec 15;205(12):3348-3357. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2000933. Epub 2020 Nov 11.
Relative control of HIV-1 infection has been linked to genetic and immune host factors. In this study, we analyzed 96 plasma proteome arrays from chronic untreated HIV-1-infected individuals using the classificatory random forest approach to discriminate between uncontrolled disease (plasma viral load [pVL] >50,000 RNA copies/ml; CD4 counts 283 cells/mm3, n = 47) and relatively controlled disease (pVL <10,000 RNA copies/ml; CD4 counts 657 cells/mm3, n = 49). Our analysis highlighted the TNF molecule's relevance, in particular, TL1A (TNFSF15) and its cognate DR3 (TNFSRF25), both of which increased in the relative virus control phenotype. DR3 levels (in plasma and PBMCs) were validated in unrelated cohorts (including long-term nonprogressors), thus confirming their independence from CD4 counts and pVL. Further analysis in combined antiretroviral treatment (cART)-treated individuals with a wide range of CD4 counts (137-1835 cells/mm3) indicated that neither TL1A nor DR3 levels reflected recovery of CD4 counts with cART. Interestingly, in cART-treated individuals, plasma TL1A levels correlated with regulatory T cell frequencies, whereas soluble DR3 was strongly associated with the abundance of effector HLA-DR+CD8+ T cells. A positive correlation was also observed between plasma DR3 levels and the HIV-1-specific T cell responses. In vitro, costimulation of PBMC with DR3-specific mAb increased the magnitude of HIV-1-specific responses. Finally, in splenocytes of DNA.HTI-vaccinated mice, costimulation of HTI peptides and a DR3 agonist (4C12) intensified the magnitude of T cell responses by 27%. These data describe the role of the TL1A-DR3 axis in the natural control of HIV-1 infection and point to the use of DR3 agonists in HIV-1 vaccine regimens.
PMID:33177161 | PMC:PMC7725879 | DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.2000933
RhCMV serostatus and vaccine adjuvant impact immunogenicity of RhCMV/SIV vaccines
Sci Rep. 2020 Aug 20;10(1):14056. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71075-x.
Rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) strain 68-1-vectored simian immunodeficiency virus (RhCMV/SIV) vaccines are associated with complete clearance of pathogenic SIV challenge virus, non-canonical major histocompatibility complex restriction, and absent antibody responses in recipients previously infected with wild-type RhCMV. This report presents the first investigation of RhCMV/SIV vaccines in RhCMV-seronegative macaques lacking anti-vector immunity. Fifty percent of rhesus macaques (RM) vaccinated with a combined RhCMV-Gag, -Env, and -Retanef (RTN) vaccine controlled pathogenic SIV challenge despite high peak viremia. However, kinetics of viral load control by vaccinated RM were considerably delayed compared to previous reports. Impact of a TLR5 agonist (flagellin; FliC) on vaccine efficacy and immunogenicity was also examined. An altered vaccine regimen containing an SIV Gag-FliC fusion antigen instead of Gag was significantly less immunogenic and resulted in reduced protection. Notably, RhCMV-Gag and RhCMV-Env vaccines elicited anti-Gag and anti-Env antibodies in RhCMV-seronegative RM, an unexpected contrast to vaccination of RhCMV-seropositive RM. These findings confirm that RhCMV-vectored SIV vaccines significantly protect against SIV pathogenesis. However, pre-existing vector immunity and a pro-inflammatory vaccine adjuvant may influence RhCMV/SIV vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. Future investigation of the impact of pre-existing anti-vector immune responses on protective immunity conferred by this vaccine platform is warranted.
PMID:32820216 | PMC:PMC7441386 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-020-71075-x
SARS-CoV-2 infection induces robust germinal center CD4 T follicular helper cell responses in rhesus macaques
Res Sq. 2020 Aug 14:rs.3.rs-51545. doi: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-51545/v1. Preprint.
CD4 T follicular helper (T fh ) cells are important for the generation of durable and specific humoral protection against viral infections. The degree to which SARS-CoV-2 infection generates T fh cells and stimulates the germinal center response is an important question as we investigate vaccine options for the current pandemic. Here we report that SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in transient accumulation of pro-inflammatory monocytes and proliferating T fh cells with a T h 1 profile in peripheral blood. CD4 helper cell responses were skewed predominantly toward a T h 1 response in blood, lung, and lymph nodes. We observed the generation of germinal center T fh cells specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins, and a corresponding early appearance of antiviral serum IgG antibodies. Our data suggest that a vaccine promoting T h 1-type T fh responses that target the S protein may lead to protective immunity.
PMID:32818217 | PMC:PMC7430596 | DOI:10.21203/rs.3.rs-51545/v1
SARS-CoV-2 infection induces germinal center responses with robust stimulation of CD4 T follicular helper cells in rhesus macaques
bioRxiv. 2020 Jul 8:2020.07.07.191007. doi: 10.1101/2020.07.07.191007. Preprint.
CD4 T follicular helper (T fh ) cells are important for the generation of long-lasting and specific humoral protection against viral infections. The degree to which SARS-CoV-2 infection generates T fh cells and stimulates the germinal center response is an important question as we investigate vaccine options for the current pandemic. Here we report that, following infection with SARS-CoV-2, adult rhesus macaques exhibited transient accumulation of activated, proliferating T fh cells in their peripheral blood on a transitory basis. The CD4 helper cell responses were skewed predominantly toward a T h 1 response in blood, lung, and lymph nodes, reflective of the interferon-rich cytokine environment following infection. We also observed the generation of germinal center T fh cells specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins, and a corresponding early appearance of antiviral serum IgG antibodies but delayed or absent IgA antibodies. Our data suggest that a vaccine promoting Th1-type Tfh responses that target the S protein may lead to protective immunity.
PMID:32676606 | PMC:PMC7359530 | DOI:10.1101/2020.07.07.191007
SARS-CoV-2 surveillance for a non-human primate breeding research facility
J Med Primatol. 2020 Dec;49(6):322-331. doi: 10.1111/jmp.12483. Epub 2020 Jul 3.
BACKGROUND: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic prompted the need for a surveillance program to determine the viral status of the California National Primate Research Center non-human primate breeding colony, both for reasons of maintaining colony health and minimizing the risk of interference in COVID-19 and other research studies.
METHODS: We collected biological samples from 10% of the rhesus macaque population for systematic testing to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus by RT-PCR and host antibody response by ELISA. Testing required the development and validation of new assays and an algorithm using in laboratory-developed and commercially available reagents and protocols.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: No SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antibody was detected in this study; therefore, we have proposed a modified testing algorithm for sentinel surveillance to monitor for any future transmissions. As additional reagents and controls become available, assay development and validation will continue, leading to the enhanced sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and efficiency of testing.
PMID:32621339 | PMC:PMC7361642 | DOI:10.1111/jmp.12483
Cytomegalovirus-vectored vaccines for HIV and other pathogens
AIDS. 2020 Mar 1;34(3):335-349. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002396.
: The use of cytomegalovirus (CMV) as a vaccine vector to express antigens against multiple infectious diseases, including simian immunodeficiency virus, Ebola virus, plasmodium, and mycobacterium tuberculosis, in rhesus macaques has generated extraordinary levels of protective immunity against subsequent pathogenic challenge. Moreover, the mechanisms of immune protection have altered paradigms about viral vector-mediated immunity against ectopically expressed vaccine antigens. Further optimization of CMV-vectored vaccines, particularly as this approach moves to human clinical trials will be augmented by a more complete understanding of how CMV engenders mechanisms of immune protection. This review summarizes the particulars of the specific CMV vaccine vector that has been used to date (rhesus CMV strain 68-1) in relation to CMV natural history.
PMID:31634191 | PMC:PMC7087350 | DOI:10.1097/QAD.0000000000002396
Neutralization of rhesus cytomegalovirus IL-10 reduces horizontal transmission and alters long-term immunity
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jun 25;116(26):13036-13041. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1903317116. Epub 2019 Jun 12.
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) causes severe disease in infants and immunocompromised people. There is no approved HCMV vaccine, and vaccine development strategies are complicated by evidence of both persistent infection and reinfection of people with prior immunity. The greatest emphasis has been placed on reducing transmission to seronegative pregnant women to prevent vertical transmission and its potentially severe sequelae. Increasing evidence suggests that the earliest host-HCMV interactions establish conditions for viral persistence, including evasion of host immune responses to the virus. Using a nonhuman primate model of HCMV infection, we show that rhesus macaques immunized against viral interleukin-10 (IL-10) manifest delayed rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) acquisition and altered immune responses to the infection when it does occur. Among animals with the greatest antiviral IL-10-neutralizing activity, the timing of RhCMV seroconversion was delayed by an average of 12 weeks. After acquisition, such animals displayed an antibody response to the new infection, which peaked as expected after 2 weeks but then declined rapidly. In contrast, surprisingly, vaccination with glycoprotein B (gB) protein had no discernible impact on these outcomes. Our results demonstrate that viral IL-10 is a key regulator of successful host immune responses to RhCMV. Viral IL-10 is, therefore, an important target for vaccine strategies against cytomegalovirus (CMV). Furthermore, given the immunoregulatory function of viral IL-10, targeting this protein may prove synergistic with other vaccine therapies and targets. Our study also provides additional evidence that the earliest host-CMV interactions can have a significant impact on the nature of persistent infection.
PMID:31189602 | PMC:PMC6601001 | DOI:10.1073/pnas.1903317116
Disruption of latent HIV in vivo during the clearance of actinic keratosis by ingenol mebutate
JCI Insight. 2019 Apr 4;4(7):e126027. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.126027. eCollection 2019 Apr 4.
Actinic keratosis (AK) is a precancerous skin lesion that is common in HIV-positive patients. Without effective treatment, AKs can progress to squamous cell carcinoma. Ingenol mebutate, a PKC agonist, is a US Food and Drug Administration-approved (FDA-approved) topical treatment for AKs. It can induce reactivation of latent HIV transcription in CD4+ T cells both in vitro and ex vivo. Although PKC agonists are known to be potent inducers of HIV expression from latency, their effects in vivo are not known because of the concerns of toxicity. Therefore, we sought to determine the effects of topical ingenol mebutate gel on the HIV transcription profile in HIV-infected individuals with AKs, specifically in the setting of suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). We found that AKs cleared following topical application of ingenol mebutate and detected marginal changes in immune activation in the peripheral blood and in skin biopsies. An overall increase in the level of HIV transcription initiation, elongation, and complete transcription was detected only in skin biopsies after the treatment. Our data demonstrate that application of ingenol mebutate to AKs in ART-suppressed HIV-positive patients can effectively cure AKs as well as disrupt HIV latency in the skin tissue microenvironment in vivo without causing massive immune activation.
PMID:30944245 | PMC:PMC6483647 | DOI:10.1172/jci.insight.126027
Paradoxical effects of obesity on T cell function during tumor progression and PD-1 checkpoint blockade
Nat Med. 2019 Jan;25(1):141-151. doi: 10.1038/s41591-018-0221-5. Epub 2018 Nov 12.
The recent successes of immunotherapy have shifted the paradigm in cancer treatment, but because only a percentage of patients are responsive to immunotherapy, it is imperative to identify factors impacting outcome. Obesity is reaching pandemic proportions and is a major risk factor for certain malignancies, but the impact of obesity on immune responses, in general and in cancer immunotherapy, is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate, across multiple species and tumor models, that obesity results in increased immune aging, tumor progression and PD-1-mediated T cell dysfunction which is driven, at least in part, by leptin. However, obesity is also associated with increased efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 blockade in both tumor-bearing mice and clinical cancer patients. These findings advance our understanding of obesity-induced immune dysfunction and its consequences in cancer and highlight obesity as a biomarker for some cancer immunotherapies. These data indicate a paradoxical impact of obesity on cancer. There is heightened immune dysfunction and tumor progression but also greater anti-tumor efficacy and survival after checkpoint blockade which directly targets some of the pathways activated in obesity.
PMID:30420753 | PMC:PMC6324991 | DOI:10.1038/s41591-018-0221-5
Idiopathic Colitis in Rhesus Macaques Is Associated With Dysbiosis, Abundant Enterochromaffin Cells and Altered T-Cell Cytokine Expression
Vet Pathol. 2018 Sep;55(5):741-752. doi: 10.1177/0300985818780449. Epub 2018 Jun 21.
Idiopathic chronic diarrhea (ICD) is a common ailment affecting captive rhesus macaques ( Macaca mulatta). ICD cases are characterized by diarrhea in the absence of commonly identified diarrheal pathogens and multiple recurrences even after supportive therapy. Histologically, the disease is characterized by lymphoplasmacytic colitis. We identified 35 rhesus macaques euthanized for ICD during a 7-month period and described demographic, clinical, histologic, and immunologic commonalities. We found a trend of historic Campylobacter spp. and trichomonad infections. Furthermore, rhesus macaques with ICD demonstrated loss of normal colonic adherent bacterium, identified in this study as Helicobacter macacae; increased abundance of Pentatrichomonas hominis; and increased frequency of colonic serotonin-positive enterochromaffin cells. Interestingly, colonic and ileal T-helper cells of animals with ICD manifested decreased capacity for expression of certain cytokines, in particular interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13. These data further describe a common ailment and suggest new avenues to identify complex interactions involved in the etiology of recurring diarrhea in young rhesus macaques.
PMID:29929446 | DOI:10.1177/0300985818780449
Subclinical Cytomegalovirus Infection Is Associated with Altered Host Immunity, Gut Microbiota, and Vaccine Responses
J Virol. 2018 Jun 13;92(13):e00167-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00167-18. Print 2018 Jul 1.
Subclinical viral infections (SVI), including cytomegalovirus (CMV), are highly prevalent in humans, resulting in lifelong persistence. However, the impact of SVI on the interplay between the host immunity and gut microbiota in the context of environmental exposures is not well defined. We utilized the preclinical nonhuman primate (NHP) model consisting of SVI-free (specific-pathogen-free [SPF]) rhesus macaques and compared them to the animals with SVI (non-SPF) acquired through natural exposure and investigated the impact of SVI on immune cell distribution and function, as well as on gut microbiota. These changes were examined in animals housed in the outdoor environment compared to the controlled indoor environment. We report that SVI are associated with altered immune cell subsets and gut microbiota composition in animals housed in the outdoor environment. Non-SPF animals harbored a higher proportion of potential butyrate-producing Firmicutes and higher numbers of lymphocytes, effector T cells, and cytokine-producing T cells. Surprisingly, these differences diminished following their transfer to the controlled indoor environment, suggesting that non-SPFs had increased responsiveness to environmental exposures. An experimental infection of indoor SPF animals with CMV resulted in an increased abundance of butyrate-producing bacteria, validating that CMV enhanced colonization of butyrate-producing commensals. Finally, non-SPF animals displayed lower antibody responses to influenza vaccination compared to SPF animals. Our data show that subclinical CMV infection heightens host immunity and gut microbiota changes in response to environmental exposures. This may contribute to the heterogeneity in host immune response to vaccines and environmental stimuli at the population level.IMPORTANCE Humans harbor several latent viruses that modulate host immunity and commensal microbiota, thus introducing heterogeneity in their responses to pathogens, vaccines, and environmental exposures. Most of our understanding of the effect of CMV on the immune system is based on studies of children acquiring CMV or of immunocompromised humans with acute or reactivated CMV infection or in ageing individuals. The experimental mouse models are genetically inbred and are completely adapted to the indoor laboratory environment. In contrast, nonhuman primates are genetically outbred and are raised in the outdoor environment. Our study is the first to report the impact of long-term subclinical CMV infection on host immunity and gut microbiota, which is evident only in the outdoor environment but not in the indoor environment. The significance of this study is in highlighting the impact of SVI on enhancing host immune susceptibility to environmental exposures and immune heterogeneity.
PMID:29669841 | PMC:PMC6002712 | DOI:10.1128/JVI.00167-18
The Effect of Early Limited Formula on Breastfeeding, Readmission, and Intestinal Microbiota: A Randomized Clinical Trial
J Pediatr. 2018 May;196:84-90.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.12.073. Epub 2018 Mar 14.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether using 10 mL formula after each breastfeeding before copious maternal milk production affects breastfeeding duration, readmission, and intestinal microbiota through 1 month of age.
STUDY DESIGN: In this randomized controlled trial, we enrolled 164 exclusively breastfeeding newborns, 24-72 hours old, whose weight loss was ≥75th percentile for age, and whose mothers had not yet begun mature milk production. Enrolled newborns were assigned randomly to either supplement breastfeeding with early limited formula (ELF), 10 mL of formula after each breastfeeding stopped at the onset of copious maternal milk production (intervention), or to continue exclusive breastfeeding (control). Outcomes assessed through 1 month included breastfeeding duration, readmission, and intestinal microbiota.
RESULTS: At 1 week of age, 95.8% of infants receiving ELF and 93.5% of control infants were still breastfeeding (P > .5); readmission occurred for 4 (4.8%) control infants and none of the infants receiving ELF (P = .06). At 1 month of age, 86.5% of infants receiving ELF and 89.7% of control infants were still breastfeeding (P > .5); 54.6% of infants receiving ELF and 65.8% of controls were breastfeeding without formula (P = .18). ELF did not lead to decreased abundance of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium and was not associated with expansion of Clostridium.
CONCLUSION: In this population of healthy newborns with weight loss ≥75th percentile, ELF did not interfere with breastfeeding at 1 month, breastfeeding without formula at 1 month, or intestinal microbiota. ELF may be an important therapeutic option for newborns with the potential to reduce readmission rates.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02313181.
PMID:29550235 | DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.12.073
HIV latency is reversed by ACSS2-driven histone crotonylation
J Clin Invest. 2018 Mar 1;128(3):1190-1198. doi: 10.1172/JCI98071. Epub 2018 Feb 19.
Eradication of HIV-1 (HIV) is hindered by stable viral reservoirs. Viral latency is epigenetically regulated. While the effects of histone acetylation and methylation at the HIV long-terminal repeat (LTR) have been described, our knowledge of the proviral epigenetic landscape is incomplete. We report that a previously unrecognized epigenetic modification of the HIV LTR, histone crotonylation, is a regulator of HIV latency. Reactivation of latent HIV was achieved following the induction of histone crotonylation through increased expression of the crotonyl-CoA-producing enzyme acyl-CoA synthetase short-chain family member 2 (ACSS2). This reprogrammed the local chromatin at the HIV LTR through increased histone acetylation and reduced histone methylation. Pharmacologic inhibition or siRNA knockdown of ACSS2 diminished histone crotonylation-induced HIV replication and reactivation. ACSS2 induction was highly synergistic in combination with either a protein kinase C agonist (PEP005) or a histone deacetylase inhibitor (vorinostat) in reactivating latent HIV. In the SIV-infected nonhuman primate model of AIDS, the expression of ACSS2 was significantly induced in intestinal mucosa in vivo, which correlated with altered fatty acid metabolism. Our study links the HIV/SIV infection-induced fatty acid enzyme ACSS2 to HIV latency and identifies histone lysine crotonylation as a novel epigenetic regulator for HIV transcription that can be targeted for HIV eradication.
PMID:29457784 | PMC:PMC5824862 | DOI:10.1172/JCI98071
Memory T Cell Proliferation before Hepatitis C Virus Therapy Predicts Antiviral Immune Responses and Treatment Success
J Immunol. 2018 Feb 1;200(3):1124-1132. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1701364. Epub 2017 Dec 20.
The contribution of the host immune system to the efficacy of new anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs is unclear. We undertook a longitudinal prospective study of 33 individuals with chronic HCV treated with combination pegylated IFN-α, ribavirin, and telaprevir/boceprevir. We characterized innate and adaptive immune cells to determine whether kinetics of the host response could predict sustained virologic response (SVR). We show that characteristics of the host immune system present before treatment were correlated with successful therapy. Augmentation of adaptive immune responses during therapy was more impressive among those achieving SVR. Most importantly, active memory T cell proliferation before therapy predicted SVR and was associated with the magnitude of the HCV-specific responses at week 12 after treatment start. After therapy initiation, the most important correlate of success was minimal monocyte activation, as predicted by previous in vitro work. In addition, subjects achieving SVR had increasing expression of the transcription factor T-bet, a driver of Th1 differentiation and cytotoxic effector cell maturation. These results show that host immune features present before treatment initiation predict SVR and eventual development of a higher frequency of functional virus-specific cells in blood. Such host characteristics may also be required for successful vaccine-mediated protection.
PMID:29263212 | PMC:PMC5780234 | DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1701364
IL-21 Therapy Controls Immune Activation and Maintains Antiviral CD8<sup>+</sup> T Cell Responses in Acute Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2017 Nov;33(S1):S81-S92. doi: 10.1089/aid.2017.0160.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replicate during acute infection in lymphocytes of the gastrointestinal tract, before disseminating systemically. Localized replication and associated loss of gut-resident CD4+ T cells occur regardless of the portal of entry of the virus (e.g., intravenous vs. rectal). Thus, HIV and SIV are tropic for gut tissue, and their pathogenesis requires the special environment of the intestine. T helper 17 (Th17) cells are important contributors to microbial defense in the gut that are vulnerable to HIV infection and whose loss is associated with translocation of microbial products to the systemic circulation, leading to chronic immune activation and disease progression. Interleukin (IL)-21 promotes differentiation and survival of Th17 cells and stimulates CD8+ T cell function. By promoting Th17 cell survival, IL-21 could limit bacterial translocation and immune activation in the setting of acute or rebounding HIV/SIV disease. In this study, we tested the effect of recombinant IL-21-IgFc treatment, given at the time of infection, on SIVmac251 infection. We found that rIL-21-IgFc decreases immune activation and maintains effective antiviral responses by CD8+ T cells in blood, but this maintenance is not associated with lower viral loads. rIL-21-IgFc treatment also did not generally support Th17 cell populations, but Th17 cells remained strongly and independently associated with control of plasma viremia. For example, the single animal exhibiting greatest control over viremia in our study also manifested the highest levels of IL-21 in plasma, Th17 cell maintenance in blood, and Th17 cells in intestinal tissue. These findings provide rationale for further exploration of IL-21 treatment as a support for host CD8+ T cell responses in HIV cure strategies.
PMID:29140110 | PMC:PMC5684667 | DOI:10.1089/aid.2017.0160
Depletion of Gut-Resident CCR5<sup>+</sup> Cells for HIV Cure Strategies
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2017 Nov;33(S1):S70-S80. doi: 10.1089/aid.2017.0159.
The HIV reservoir forming at the earliest stages of infection is likely composed of CCR5+ cells, because these cells are the targets of transmissible virus. Restriction of the CCR5+ reservoir, particularly in the gut, may be needed for subsequent cure attempts. Strategies for killing or depleting CCR5+ cells have been described, but none have been tested in vivo in nonhuman primates, and the extent of achievable depletion from tissues is not known. In this study we investigate the efficacy of two novel cytotoxic treatments for targeting and eliminating CCR5+ cells in young rhesus macaques. The first, an immunotoxin consisting of the endogenous CCR5 ligand RANTES fused with Pseudomonas exotoxin (RANTES-PE38), killed CCR5+ lamina propria lymphocytes (LPLs) ex vivo, but had no detectable effect on CCR5+ LPLs in vivo. The second, a primatized bispecific antibody for CCR5 and CD3, depleted all CCR5+ cells from blood and the vast majority of such cells from the colonic mucosa (up to 96% of CD4+CCR5+). Absence of CCR5-expressing cells from blood endured for at least 1 week, while CCR5+ cells in colon were substantially replenished over the same time span. These data open an avenue to investigation of combined early ART treatment and CCR5+ reservoir depletion for cure of HIV-infected infants.
PMID:28918646 | PMC:PMC5684671 | DOI:10.1089/aid.2017.0159
Exposure to SIV in utero results in reduced viral loads and altered responsiveness to postnatal challenge
Sci Transl Med. 2015 Aug 12;7(300):300ra125. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5547.
HIV disease progression appears to be driven by increased immune activation. Given observations that fetal exposure to infectious pathogens in utero can result in reduced immune responses, or tolerance, to those pathogens postnatally, we hypothesized that fetal exposure to HIV may render the fetus tolerant to the virus, thus reducing damage caused by immune activation during infection later in life. To test this hypothesis, fetal rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were injected with the attenuated virus SIVmac1A11 in utero and challenged with pathogenic SIVmac239 1 year after birth. SIVmac1A11-injected animals had significantly reduced plasma RNA viral loads (P < 0.02) up to 35 weeks after infection. Generalized estimating equations analysis was performed to identify immunologic and clinical measurements associated with plasma RNA viral load. A positive association with plasma RNA viral load was observed with the proportion of CD8(+) T cells expressing the transcription factor, FoxP3, and the proportion of CD4(+) T cells producing the lymphoproliferative cytokine, IL-2. In contrast, an inverse relationship was found with the frequencies of circulating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells displaying intermediate expression of the proliferation marker, Ki-67. Animals exposed to simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in utero appeared to have enhanced SIV-specific immune responses, a lower proportion of CD8(+) T cells expressing the exhaustion marker PD-1, and more circulating TH17 cells than controls. Although the development of tolerance was not demonstrated, these data suggest that rhesus monkeys exposed to SIVmac1A11 in utero had distinct immune responses associated with the control of viral replication after postnatal challenge.
PMID:26268312 | PMC:PMC5100009 | DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5547
Persistent effects of early infant diet and associated microbiota on the juvenile immune system
Gut Microbes. 2015 Jul 4;6(4):284-9. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2015.1067743.
Early infant diet has significant impacts on the gut microbiota and developing immune system. We previously showed that breast-fed and formula-fed rhesus macaques develop significantly different gut microbial communities, which in turn are associated with different immune systems in infancy. Breast-fed animals manifested greater T cell activation and proliferation and harbored robust pools of T helper 17 (TH17) cells. These differences were sustained throughout the first year of life. Here we examine groups of juvenile macaques (approximately 3 to 5 y old), which were breast-fed or formula-fed in infancy. We demonstrate that juveniles breast-fed in infancy maintain immunologic differences into the fifth year of life, principally in CD8(+) memory T cell activation. Additionally, long-term correlation networks show that breast-fed animals maintain persistent relationships between immune subsets that are not seen in formula-fed animals. These findings demonstrate that infant feeding practices have continued influence on immunity for up to 3 to 5 y after birth and also reveal mechanisms for microbial modulation of the immune system.
PMID:26177107 | PMC:PMC4615596 | DOI:10.1080/19490976.2015.1067743
Breast-fed and bottle-fed infant rhesus macaques develop distinct gut microbiotas and immune systems
Sci Transl Med. 2014 Sep 3;6(252):252ra120. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008791.
Diet has a strong influence on the intestinal microbiota in both humans and animal models. It is well established that microbial colonization is required for normal development of the immune system and that specific microbial constituents prompt the differentiation or expansion of certain immune cell subsets. Nonetheless, it has been unclear how profoundly diet might shape the primate immune system or how durable the influence might be. We show that breast-fed and bottle-fed infant rhesus macaques develop markedly different immune systems, which remain different 6 months after weaning when the animals begin receiving identical diets. In particular, breast-fed infants develop robust populations of memory T cells as well as T helper 17 (TH17) cells within the memory pool, whereas bottle-fed infants do not. These findings may partly explain the variation in human susceptibility to conditions with an immune basis, as well as the variable protection against certain infectious diseases.
PMID:25186175 | PMC:PMC4362692 | DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3008791
Monocyte activation by interferon α is associated with failure to achieve a sustained virologic response after treatment for hepatitis C virus infection
J Infect Dis. 2014 May 15;209(10):1602-12. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit801. Epub 2013 Dec 10.
BACKGROUND: Interferon α (IFN-α) and ribavirin can induce a sustained virologic response (SVR) in some but not all hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients. The mechanism of effective treatment is unclear. One possibility is that IFN-α differentially improves the functional capacity of classic myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) by altering expression of surface molecules or cytokines. Others have proposed that antigen-presenting cell activation could be paradoxically detrimental during HCV infection because of the production by monocytes of substances inhibitory or toxic to plasmacytoid dendritic cells.
METHODS: We examined responses to in vitro IFN-α treatment of peripheral blood leukocyte samples from a retrospective treatment cohort of nearly 200 HCV-seropositive patients who had undergone antiviral therapy with ribavirin and pegylated IFN. We analyzed the variable responses of antigen-presenting cell subsets to drug.
RESULTS: We found that patients achieving SVR were no more likely to have robust mDC activation in response to IFN-α than those who did not achieve SVR. Rather, patients achieving SVR were distinguished by restrained monocyte activation in the presence of IFN-α, a factor that was second in importance only to IL28B genotype in its association with SVR.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that interindividual variability in the response of monocytes to IFN-α is an important determinant of treatment success with IFN-α-based regimens.
PMID:24325966 | PMC:PMC3997582 | DOI:10.1093/infdis/jit801
IL-7 production in murine lymphatic endothelial cells and induction in the setting of peripheral lymphopenia
Int Immunol. 2013 Aug;25(8):471-83. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxt012. Epub 2013 May 8.
IL-7 is a required factor for T-cell homeostasis. Because of low expression levels and poor reagent availability, the cellular sources of IL-7 have proven challenging to characterize. In this study, we describe a reporter mouse in which enhanced GFP is expressed from the endogenous Il7 locus. We show that IL-7 is produced by lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) distributed throughout the systemic lymphatic vasculature as well as by fibroblastic reticular cells, and that phosphorylation of STAT5 in lymphocytes is higher in lymphatics than in blood. Furthermore, in nodes depleted of lymphocytes, Il7 transcription is increased in stromal but not in myeloid subsets. These data support recent findings that lymphocyte homeostasis is influenced by access to secondary lymphoid organs and point to LECs as an important in vivo source of IL-7, bathing trafficking immune cells under both resting and lymphopenic conditions.
PMID:23657000 | PMC:PMC3720065 | DOI:10.1093/intimm/dxt012
SIV replication in the infected rhesus macaque is limited by the size of the preexisting TH17 cell compartment
Sci Transl Med. 2012 May 30;4(136):136ra69. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003941.
The mechanisms by which some HIV-infected subjects resist disease progression, whereas others progress rapidly, are incompletely understood. Viral and host genetic factors, such as nef deletions and major histocompatibility complex alleles, explain a portion of the observed variability. However, it has been difficult to identify host immune functions that may be present before infection and that allow resistance to lentiviral disease progression. Here, we show that simian immunodeficiency virus replication in the infected rhesus macaque is limited by the size of the preexisting T helper 17 (T(H)17) cell compartment: Animals with a high representation of such cells in blood and intestinal tissue before infection experienced peak and set-point viral loads about one log unit lower than those with a lower representation of T(H)17 cells. Reciprocally, treatment of macaques with interleukin-2 and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor before infection led to depletion of T(H)17 cells, reduction of the ratio between T(H)17 cells and CD3(+)CD4(+)CD25(+)CD127(low) regulatory T cells, and higher viral loads for 6 months after infection. These results demonstrate that the composition of the host immune system before infection has an influence on the course of disease after infection. Furthermore, to the extent that this influence shapes and interacts with T cell-mediated responses to virus, our findings provide a new framework for understanding interindividual variation in responses to therapies and vaccines against HIV.
PMID:22649090 | PMC:PMC3520607 | DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3003941
Th17 cells and regulatory T cells in elite control over HIV and SIV
Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2011 May;6(3):221-7. doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32834577b3.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We present current findings about two subsets of CD4+ T cells that play an important part in the initial host response to infection with the HIV type 1: those producing IL-17 (Th17 cells) and those with immunosuppressive function (CD25+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells or T-reg). The role of these cells in the control of viral infection and immune activation as well as in the prevention of immune deficiency in HIV-infected elite controllers will be examined. We will also discuss the use of the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected macaque model of AIDS to study the interplay between these cells and lentiviral infection in vivo.
RECENT FINDINGS: Study of Th17 cells in humans and nonhuman primates (NHPs) has shown that depletion of these cells is associated with the dissemination of microbial products from the infected gut, increased systemic immune activation, and disease progression. Most impressively, having a smaller Th17-cell compartment has been found to predict these outcomes. T-reg have been associated with the reduced antiviral T-cell responses but not with the suppression of generalized T cell activation. Both cell subsets influence innate immune responses and, in doing so, may shape the inflammatory milieu of the host at infection.
SUMMARY: Interactions between Th17 cells, T-reg, and cells of the innate immune system influence the course of HIV and SIV infection from its earliest stages, even before the appearance of adaptive immunity. Such interactions may be pivotal for elite control over disease progression.
PMID:21399494 | PMC:PMC4079838 | DOI:10.1097/COH.0b013e32834577b3
The human fetal immune response to hepatitis C virus exposure in utero
J Infect Dis. 2011 Jan 15;203(2):196-206. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiq044.
BACKGROUND: Although the rate of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is low, the effect of HCV exposure in utero on the fetal immune system is unknown.
METHODS: Umbilical cord blood was obtained from 7 neonates born to HCV-seropositive, HCV RNA-positive women and 8 neonates born to HCV-seronegative women. Cord blood mononuclear cells were analyzed by immunophenotyping and by intracellular cytokine staining after HCV-specific and polyclonal stimulation. Plasma was analyzed for anti-HCV immunoglobulin M (IgM), cytokine/granzyme concentrations, and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) activity.
RESULTS: HCV-exposed neonates had significantly lower levels of regulatory T cells expressing HLA-DR, lower CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell activation, and lower plasma levels of pro-inflammatory markers than did controls. However, CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells from HCV-exposed neonates had higher IFN-γ production in response to polyclonal stimulation than did T cells from controls. IDO activity was similar between groups. No HCV-specific T cell responses or anti-HCV IgM were detected in any neonates.
CONCLUSIONS: HCV-exposed neonates showed a relative suppression of immune activation and pro-inflammatory markers, which was counterbalanced by an increased production capacity for IFN-γ. These results suggest that HCV encounters the fetal immune system in utero, and alters the balance between suppressive and pro-inflammatory responses.
PMID:21288819 | PMC:PMC3071071 | DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiq044
Development of cytomegalovirus (CMV) immune recovery uveitis is associated with Th17 cell depletion and poor systemic CMV-specific T cell responses
Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Feb 1;52(3):409-17. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciq112. Epub 2010 Dec 28.
BACKGROUND: the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndromes (IRIS) are a spectrum of inflammatory conditions associated with opportunistic infections and occurring in approximately16% of human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1)-infected patients given antiretroviral therapy. It has been proposed that these conditions are linked by a dysregulated immune system that is prone to exaggerated responses. However, immunologic studies have been limited by the availability of longitudinal samples from patients with IRIS and appropriate matched control subjects. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) immune recovery uveitis (IRU) is an IRIS occurring in up to 38% of patients with CMV retinitis. Although the pathologic immune responses occur in the eye, immune dysregulation that allows for development of pathologic responses is presumably caused by faulty systemic immune cell reconstitution.
METHODS: we examined CMV-specific T cell responses, regulatory T (T(reg)) cell function and polyclonal T cell responses, including IL-17 production, in 25 patients with CMV IRU and 49 immunorestored control subjects with CMV retinitis who did not develop IRU.
RESULTS: patients with CMV IRU had poor CMV-specific CD4(+) T cell responses, as compared with control subjects, whereas CD8(+) T cell responses were comparable. Patients with CMV IRU were characterized by smaller numbers of circulating Th17 cells. Deficiency in anti-CMV responses was not associated with differences in T(reg) cell function.
CONCLUSIONS: the T(reg) cell compartment is intact in patients with CMV IRU, and these patients do not develop exaggerated systemic CMV-specific or polyclonal immune responses. Cases are instead characterized by more profound depletion of Th17 cells and poor antiviral immune responses. CMV IRU may be most likely to develop in persons experiencing the greatest degree of immune dysfunction before initiating highly active antiretroviral therapy.
PMID:21189271 | PMC:PMC3060886 | DOI:10.1093/cid/ciq112