BACKGROUND. VRC01, a potent, broadly-neutralizing monoclonal antibody, inhibits simian-HIV infection in animal models. HVTN 104 assessed VRC01 safety and pharmacokinetics in humans. We extend the clinical evaluation to determine intravenous-infused VRC01 distribution and protective function at mucosal sites of HIV-1 entry. METHODS. Healthy, HIV-1-uninfected men (n=7) and women (n=5) receiving VRC01 every two months provided mucosal and serum samples once, 4-13 days post-infusion. Eleven male and 8 female HIV-seronegative volunteers provided untreated control samples. VRC01 levels were measured in serum, secretions and tissue, and HIV-1 inhibition was determined in tissue explants. RESULTS. Median VRC01 levels were quantifiable in serum (96.2 µg/ml or 1.3 pg/ng protein), rectal tissue (0.11 pg/ng protein), rectal secretions (0.13 pg/ng protein), vaginal tissue (0.1 pg/ng protein) and cervical secretions (0.44 pg/ng protein) from all recipients. VRC01/IgG ratios in male serum correlated with those in paired rectal tissue (r=0.893, P=0.012) and rectal secretions (r=0.9643, P=0.003). Ex vivo HIV-1Bal26 challenge infected 4/21 rectal explants from VRC01-infused versus 20/22 from controls (P=0.005); HIV-1 Du422.1 infected 20/21 rectal explants of VRC01 recipients and 12/12 from controls (P=0.639). HIV-1Bal26 infected 0/14 vaginal explants of VRC01 recipients compared to 23/28 control explants (P=0.003). CONCLUSION. Intravenous VRC01 distributes into the female genital and male rectal mucosa and retains anti-HIV-1 functionality, inhibiting a highly neutralization-sensitive but not a highly-resistant HIV-1 strain in mucosal tissue. These findings lend insight into VRC01 mucosal infiltration and provide perspective to in vivo protective efficacy. FUNDING. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Rena D. Astronomo, Maria P. Lemos, Sandeep R. Narpala, Julie Czartoski, Lamar Ballweber Fleming, Kelly E. Seaton, Madhu Prabhakaran, Yunda Huang, Yiwen Lu, Katharine Westerberg, Lily Zhang, Mary K. Gross, John Hural, Hong-Van Tieu, Lindsey R. Baden, Scott Hammer, Ian Frank, Christina Ochsenbauer, Nicole Grunenberg, Julie E. Ledgerwood, Kenneth Mayer, Georgia Tomaras, Adrian B. McDermott, M. Juliana McElrath
T cells are involved in control of COVID-19, but limited knowledge is available on the relationship between antigen-specific T cell response and disease severity. Here, we assessed the magnitude, function and phenotype of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 T cells in 95 hospitalized COVID-19 patients (38 of them being HIV-1 and/or tuberculosis (TB) co-infected) and 38 non-COVID-19 patients, using flow cytometry. We showed that SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 T cell attributes, rather than magnitude, associates with disease severity, with severe disease being characterized by poor polyfunctional potential, reduced proliferation capacity and enhanced HLA-DR expression. Moreover, HIV-1 and TB co-infection skewed the SARS-CoV-2 T cell response. HIV-1 mediated CD4 T cell depletion associated with suboptimal T cell and humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2; and a decrease in the polyfunctional capacity of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 T cells was observed in COVID-19 patients with active TB. Our results also revealed that COVID-19 patients displayed reduced frequency of Mtb-specific CD4 T cells, with possible implications for TB disease progression. There results corroborate the important role of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in COVID-19 pathogenesis and support the concept of altered T cell functions in patients with severe disease.
Catherine Riou, Elsa Du Bruyn, Cari Stek, Remy Daroowala, Rene T. Goliath, Fatima Abrahams, Qonita Said-Hartley, Brian W. Allwood, Nei-Yuan Hsiao, Katalin A. Wilkinson, Cecilia S. Lindestam Arlehamn, Alessandro Sette, Sean Wasserman, Robert J. Wilkinson
Restriction of HIV-1 replication in elite controllers (ECs) is frequently attributed to T cell–mediated immune responses, while the specific contribution of innate immune cells is less clear. Here, we demonstrate an upregulation of the host long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) MIR4435-2HG in primary myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) from ECs. Elevated expression of this lncRNA in mDCs was associated with a distinct immunometabolic profile, characterized by increased oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis activities in response to TLR3 stimulation. Using functional assays, we show that MIR4435-2HG directly influenced the metabolic state of mDCs, likely through epigenetic mechanisms involving H3K27ac enrichment at an intronic enhancer in the RPTOR gene locus, the main component of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Together, these results suggest a role of MIR4435-2HG for enhancing immunometabolic activities of mDCs in ECs through targeted epigenetic modifications of a member of the mTOR signaling pathway.
Ciputra Adijaya Hartana, Yelizaveta Rassadkina, Ce Gao, Enrique Martin-Gayo, Bruce D. Walker, Mathias Lichterfeld, Xu G. Yu
Chronic HIV-1 infection is generally characterized by progressive CD4+ T cell depletion due to direct and bystander death that is closely associated with persistent HIV-1 replication and an inflammatory environment in vivo. The mechanisms underlying the loss of CD4+ T cells in patients with chronic HIV-1 infection are incompletely understood. In this study, we simultaneously monitored caspase-1 and caspase-3 activation in circulating CD4+ T cells, which revealed that pyroptotic and apoptotic CD4+ T cells are distinct cell populations with different phenotypic characteristics. Levels of pyroptosis and apoptosis in CD4+ T cells were significantly elevated during chronic HIV-1 infection, and decreased following effective antiretroviral therapy. Notably, the occurrence of pyroptosis was further confirmed by elevated gasdermin D activation in lymph nodes of HIV-1–infected individuals. Mechanistically, caspase-1 activation closely correlated with the inflammatory marker expression and was shown to occur through NLRP3 inflammasome activation driven by virus-dependent and/or -independent ROS production, while caspase-3 activation in CD4+ T cells was more closely related to T cell activation status. Hence, our findings show that NLRP3-dependent pyroptosis plays an essential role in CD4+ T cell loss in HIV-1–infected patients and implicate pyroptosis signaling as a target for anti–HIV-1 treatment.
Chao Zhang, Jin-Wen Song, Hui-Huang Huang, Xing Fan, Lei Huang, Jian-Ning Deng, Bo Tu, Kun Wang, Jing Li, Ming-Ju Zhou, Cui-Xian Yang, Qi-Wen Zhao, Tao Yang, Li-Feng Wang, Ji-Yuan Zhang, Ruo-Nan Xu, Yan-Mei Jiao, Ming Shi, Feng Shao, Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, Fu-Sheng Wang
To define the contribution of CD8+ T cell responses to control of SIV reactivation during and following antiretroviral therapy (ART), we determined the effect of long-term CD8+ T cell depletion using a rhesusized anti-CD8β monoclonal antibody (mAb) on barcoded SIVmac239 dynamics on stable ART and after ART cessation in Rhesus Macaques (RMs). Among the RMs with full CD8+ T cell depletion in both blood and tissue, there were no significant differences in the frequency of viral blips in plasma, the number of SIV RNA+ cells and the average number of RNA copies/infected cell in tissue, and levels of cell-associated SIV RNA and DNA in blood and tissue relative to control-treated RM during ART. Upon ART cessation, both CD8+ T cell-depleted and control RMs rebounded in <12 days with no difference in the time to viral rebound, or in either the number or growth rate of rebounding SIVmac239M barcode clonotypes. However, effectively CD8+ T cell-depleted RMs showed a stable ~2-log increase in post-ART plasma viremia relative to controls. These results indicate that while potent anti-viral CD8+ T cell responses can develop during ART-suppressed SIV infection, these responses effectively intercept post-ART SIV rebound only after systemic viral replication, too late to limit reactivation frequency or the early spread of reactivating SIV reservoirs.
Afam A. Okoye, Derick D. Duell, Yoshinori Fukazawa, Benjamin Varco-Merth, Alejandra Marenco, Hannah Behrens, Talent Morgan Chaunzwa, Andrea N. Selseth, Roxanne M. Gilbride, Jason Shao, Paul T. Edlefsen, Romas Geleziunas, Mykola Pinkevych, Miles P. Davenport, Kathleen Busman-Sahay, Michael D. Nekorchuk, Haesun Park, Jeremy V. Smedley, Michael K. Axthelm, Jacob D. Estes, Scott G. Hansen, Brandon F. Keele, Jeffery D. Lifson, Louis J. Picker
BACKGROUND. We performed a Phase I clinical trial that infused CCR5 gene edited CD4 T cells to determine how these T cells can better enable HIV cure strategies. METHODS. The trial addressed the method of zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) ex vivo delivery, whether CCR5 Δ32 heterozygotes preferentially benefit, the effect of CCR5 gene edited CD4 T cells on the HIV-specific T cell response, and the ability of infused CCR5 gene edited T cells to delay viral rebound during analytical treatment interruption. We enrolled 14 people living with HIV whose viral load was well controlled by antiretroviral therapy (ART). We measured time to viral rebound after ART withdrawal, persistence of CCR5-edited CD4 T cells, and whether infusion of 10 billion CCR5-edited CD4 T cells augmented the HIV-specific immune response. RESULTS. Infusion of the CD4 T cells was well tolerated with no serious adverse events. Modest delay to the time of viral rebound was observed relative to historical controls; however, three of 14 individuals of which two were CCR5 Δ32 heterozygotes appeared to regain control of viremia before ultimately rebounding. Interestingly, only these individuals had significant restoration of HIV-specific CD8 T cell responses. Immune escape to one of these re-invigorated responses was observed at viral recrudescence, illustrating a direct link between viral control and enhanced CD8 T cell responses. CONCLUSION. These findings demonstrate how CCR5 gene edited CD4 T cell infusion could aid HIV cure strategies by augmenting pre-existing HIV-specific immune responses. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02388594 FUNDING. R01AI104400 (C.H.J.), UM1AI126620 (J.L.R.) funded by NIAID, NIDA, NIMH, and NINDS; T32 grant AI007632 (C.R.M.)
Pablo Tebas, Julie K. Jadlowsky, Pamela A. Shaw, Lifeng Tian, Erin Esparza, Andrea Brennan, Sukyung Kim, Soe Yu Naing, Max W. Richardson, Ashley N. Vogel, Colby R. Maldini, Hong Kong, Xiaojun Liu, Simon F. Lacey, Anya M. Bauer, Felicity Mampe, Lee P. Richman, Gary Lee, Dale Ando, Bruce L. Levine, David L. Porter, Yangbing Zhao, Don L. Siegel, Katharine J. Bar, Carl H. June, James L. Riley
The effectiveness of virus-specific strategies, including administered HIV-specific mAbs, to target cells that persistently harbor latent, rebound competent HIV genomes during combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has been limited by inefficient induction of viral protein expression. To examine antibody-mediated viral reservoir targeting without a need for viral induction, we used an anti-CD4 mAb to deplete both infected and uninfected CD4+ T cells. Ten rhesus macaques infected with barcoded SIVmac239M received cART for 93 weeks starting 4 days post-infection. During cART, five animals received 5-6 anti-CD4 antibody administrations and CD4+ T cell populations were then allowed one year on cART to recover. Despite profound CD4+ T cell depletion in blood and lymph nodes, time to viral rebound following cART cessation was not significantly delayed in anti-CD4 treated animals compared with controls. Viral reactivation rates, determined based on rebounding SIVmac239M clonotype proportions, also were not significantly different in CD4 depleted animals. Notably, antibody-mediated depletion was limited in rectal tissue and negligible in lymphoid follicles. These results suggest that even if robust viral reactivation can be achieved, antibody-mediated viral reservoir depletion may be limited in key tissue sites.
Adrienne E. Swanstrom, Taina T. Immonen, Kelli Oswald, Cathi Pyle, James A. Thomas, William J. Bosche, Lorna Silipino, Michael Hull, Laura Newman, Vicky Coalter, Adam Wiles, Rodney Wiles, Jacob Kiser, David R. Morcock, Rebecca Shoemaker, Randy Fast, Matthew W. Breed, Joshua Kramer, Duncan Donohue, Tyler Malys, Christine M. Fennessey, Charles M. Trubey, Claire Deleage, Jacob D. Estes, Jeffrey D. Lifson, Brandon F. Keele, Gregory Q. Del Prete
Clonal expansion of infected CD4+ T cells is a major mechanism of HIV-1 persistence and a barrier to cure. Potential causes are homeostatic proliferation, effects of HIV-1 integration, and interaction with antigens. Here we show that it is possible to link antigen responsiveness, full proviral sequence, integration site, and T cell receptor β-chain (TCRβ) sequence to examine the role of recurrent antigenic exposure in maintaining the HIV-1 reservoir. We isolated Cytomegalovirus (CMV)- and Gag-responding CD4+ T cells from 10 treated individuals. Proviral populations in CMV-responding cells were dominated by large clones, including clones harboring replication-competent proviruses. TCRβ repertoires showed high clonality driven by converging adaptive responses. Although some proviruses were in genes linked to HIV-1 persistence (BACH2, STAT5B, MKL1), proliferation of infected cells under antigenic stimulation occurred regardless of the site of integration. Paired TCRβ-integration site analysis showed that infection could occur early or late in the course of a clone’s response to antigen and could generate infected cell populations too large to be explained solely by homeostatic proliferation. Together these findings implicate antigen-driven clonal selection as a major factor in HIV-1 persistence, a finding that will be a difficult challenge to eradication efforts.
Francesco R. Simonetti, Hao Zhang, Garshasb P. Soroosh, Jiayi Duan, Kyle Rhodehouse, Alison L. Hill, Subul A. Beg, Kevin McCormick, Hayley E. Raymond, Christopher L. Nobles, John K. Everett, Kyungyoon J. Kwon, Jennifer A. White, Jun Lai, Joseph B. Margolick, Rebecca Hoh, Steven G. Deeks, Frederic D. Bushman, Janet D. Siliciano, Robert F. Siliciano
BACKGROUND HIV-1 viremia that is not suppressed by combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) is generally attributed to incomplete medication adherence and/or drug resistance. We evaluated individuals referred by clinicians for nonsuppressible viremia (plasma HIV-1 RNA above 40 copies/mL) despite reported adherence to ART and the absence of drug resistance to the current ART regimen.METHODS Samples were collected from at least 2 time points from 8 donors who had nonsuppressible viremia for more than 6 months. Single templates of HIV-1 RNA obtained from plasma and viral outgrowth of cultured cells and from proviral DNA were amplified by PCR and sequenced for evidence of clones of cells that produced infectious viruses. Clones were confirmed by host-proviral integration site analysis.RESULTS HIV-1 genomic RNA with identical sequences were identified in plasma samples from all 8 donors. The identical viral RNA sequences did not change over time and did not evolve resistance to the ART regimen. In 4 of the donors, viral RNA sequences obtained from plasma matched those sequences from viral outgrowth cultures, indicating that the viruses were replication competent. Integration sites for infectious proviruses from those 4 donors were mapped to the introns of the MATR3, ZNF268, ZNF721/ABCA11P, and ABCA11P genes. The sizes of the clones were estimated to be from 50 million to 350 million cells.CONCLUSION These findings show that clones of HIV-1–infected cells producing virus can cause failure of ART to suppress viremia. The mechanisms involved in clonal expansion and persistence need to be defined to effectively target viremia and the HIV-1 reservoir.FUNDING National Cancer Institute, NIH; Howard Hughes Medical Research Fellows Program, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Office of AIDS Research; American Cancer Society; National Cancer Institute through a Leidos subcontract; National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, to the I4C Martin Delaney Collaboratory; University of Rochester Center for AIDS Research and University of Rochester HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit.
Elias K. Halvas, Kevin W. Joseph, Leah D. Brandt, Shuang Guo, Michele D. Sobolewski, Jana L. Jacobs, Camille Tumiotto, John K. Bui, Joshua C. Cyktor, Brandon F. Keele, Gene D. Morse, Michael J. Bale, Wei Shao, Mary F. Kearney, John M. Coffin, Jason W. Rausch, Xiaolin Wu, Stephen H. Hughes, John W. Mellors
After over three decades of research, an effective anti-HIV vaccine remains elusive. The recently halted HVTN702 clinical trial not only further stresses the challenge to develop an effective HIV vaccine, but also emphasizes that unconventional and novel vaccine strategies are urgently needed. Here, we report that a vaccine focusing the immune response on the sequences surrounding the 12 viral protease cleavage sites (PCSs) provided greater than 80% protection to Mauritian cynomolgus macaques (MCMs) against repeated intravaginal SIVmac251 challenges. The PCS-specific T cell responses correlated with vaccine efficacy. The PCS vaccine did not induce immune activation or inflammation known to be associated with increased susceptibility to HIV infection. Machine learning analyses revealed that the immune microenvironment generated by the PCS vaccine was predictive of vaccine efficacy. Our study demonstrates for the first time that a vaccine which targets only viral maturation, but lacks full-length Env and Gag immunogens, can prevent intravaginal infection in a stringent macaque/SIV challenge model. Targeting HIV maturation thus offers a novel approach to developing an effective HIV vaccine.
Hongzhao Li, Robert W. Omange, Binhua Liang, Nikki Toledo, Yan Hai, Lewis R. Liu, Dane Schalk, Jose Crecente-Campo, Tamara G. Dacoba, Andrew B. Lambe, So-Yon Lim, Lin Li, Mohammad Abul Kashem, Yanmin Wan, Jorge F. Correia-Pinto, Michael S. Seaman, Xiao-Qing Liu, Robert F. Balshaw, Qingsheng Li, Nancy Schultz-Darken, Maria Jose Alonso, Francis A. Plummer, James B. Whitney, Ma Luo