Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is characterized by persistent high-level viremia and defective cellular immunity, including a lack of functional HCV-specific CD4+ T cells. We previously described an exceptional period of viral control that occurs in some chronically infected women after childbirth. Here, we investigated whether reduced HCV replication after pregnancy is associated with recovery of CD4+ T cell immunity. Class II tetramer analysis revealed significantly greater frequencies of circulating HCV-specific CD4+ T cells at 3 months postpartum in women with concurrent declines in viremia compared with those with stable viremia. These HCV-specific CD4+ T cells had an effector-memory phenotype. Inhibitory coreceptor expression on these cells corresponded to the degree of viral control. Circulating CD4+ T cells produced IL-2 and IFN-γ after HCV antigen stimulation, demonstrating Th1 functionality. These data provide direct evidence that the profound loss of HCV-specific CD4+ T cell help that results in chronic infection is reversible following pregnancy, and this recovery of CD4+ T cells is associated with at least transient control of persistent viral replication.
Samantha L. Coss, Almudena Torres-Cornejo, Mona R. Prasad, Melissa Moore-Clingenpeel, Arash Grakoui, Georg M. Lauer, Christopher M. Walker, Jonathan R. Honegger
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging hemorrhagic fever caused by a tick-borne banyangvirus and is associated with high fatality. Despite increasing incidence of SFTS and serious public health concerns in East Asia, the pathogenesis of lethal SFTS virus (SFTSV) infection in humans is not fully understood. Numbers of postmortem examinations to determine target cells of the viral infection have so far been limited. Here we showed that B cells differentiating into plasmablasts and macrophages in secondary lymphoid organs were targets for SFTSV at the end stage of lethal infection, and the majority of SFTSV-infected cells were B cell–lineage lymphocytes. In affected individuals, B cell–lineage lymphocytes with SFTSV infection were widely distributed in both lymphoid and nonlymphoid organs, and infiltration of these cells into the capillaries of the organs could be observed occasionally. Moreover, a human plasmablastic lymphoma cell line, PBL-1, was susceptible to SFTSV propagation, and had a similar immunophenotype to that of target cells of SFTSV in fatal SFTS. PBL-1 can therefore provide a potential in vitro model for human SFTSV infection. These results extend our understanding of the pathogenesis of human lethal SFTSV infection, and can facilitate the development of SFTSV countermeasures.
Tadaki Suzuki, Yuko Sato, Kaori Sano, Takeshi Arashiro, Harutaka Katano, Noriko Nakajima, Masayuki Shimojima, Michiyo Kataoka, Kenta Takahashi, Yuji Wada, Shigeru Morikawa, Shuetsu Fukushi, Tomoki Yoshikawa, Masayuki Saijo, Hideki Hasegawa
Staphylococcus aureus remains a leading cause of human infection. These infections frequently recur when the skin is a primary site of infection, especially in infants and children. In contrast, invasive staphylococcal disease is less commonly associated with reinfection, suggesting that tissue-specific mechanisms govern the development of immunity. Knowledge of how S. aureus manipulates protective immunity has been hampered by a lack of antigen-specific models to interrogate the T cell response. Utilizing a chicken egg ovalbumin (OVA)-expressing S. aureus strain to analyze OVA-specific T cell responses, we demonstrated that primary skin infection is associated with impaired development of T cell memory. Conversely, invasive infection induced antigen-specific memory and protected against reinfection. This defect in adaptive immunity following skin infection was associated with a loss of dendritic cells, attributable to S. aureus α-toxin (Hla) expression. Genetic and immunization-based approaches to protect against Hla during skin infection restored the T cell response. Within the human population, exposure to α-toxin through skin infection may modulate the establishment of T cell-mediated immunity, adversely impacting long-term protection. These studies prompt consideration that vaccination targeting S. aureus may be most effective if delivered prior to initial contact with the organism.
Brandon Lee, Reuben Olaniyi, Jakub Kwiecinski, Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg
BACKGROUND. Cerebral malaria (CM) accounts for nearly 400,000 deaths annually in African children. Current dogma suggests that CM results from infected RBC (iRBC) sequestration in the brain microvasculature and resulting sequelae. Therapies targeting these events have been unsuccessful; findings in experimental models suggest that CD8+ T cells drive disease pathogenesis. However, these data have largely been ignored because corroborating evidence in humans is lacking. This work fills a critical gap in our understanding of CM pathogenesis that is impeding development of therapeutics. METHODS. Using multiplex immunohistochemistry, we characterized cerebrovascular immune cells in brain sections from 34 children who died from CM or other causes. Children were grouped by clinical diagnosis (CM+ or –), iRBC sequestration (Seqhi, lo, or 0) and HIV status (HIV+ or –). RESULTS. We identified effector CD3+CD8+ T cells engaged on the cerebrovasculature in 69% of CM+ HIV– children. The number of intravascular CD3+CD8+ T cells was influenced by CM status (CM+ vs –, P = 0.004) and sequestration level (Seqhi > lo, P = 0.010). HIV co-infection significantly increased T cell numbers and shifted cells from an intravascular (P = 0.004) to perivascular (P < 0.0001) distribution. CONCLUSION. Within the studied cohort, CM is associated with cerebrovascular engagement of CD3+CD8+ T cells, which is exacerbated by HIV coinfection. Thus, CD3+CD8+ T cells are highly promising targets for CM adjunctive therapy, opening new avenues for the treatment of this deadly disease. FUNDING. This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health.
Brittany A. Riggle, Monica Manglani, Dragan Maric, Kory R. Johnson, Myoung-Hwa Lee, Osorio Lopes Abath Neto, Terrie E. Taylor, Karl B. Seydel, Avindra Nath, Louis H. Miller, Dorian B. McGavern, Susan K. Pierce
BACKGROUND Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important cause of acute pulmonary disease and one of the last remaining major infections of childhood for which there is no vaccine. CD4+ T cells play a key role in antiviral immunity, but they have been little studied in the human lung.METHODS Healthy adult volunteers were inoculated i.n. with RSV A Memphis 37. CD4+ T cells in blood and the lower airway were analyzed by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Bronchial soluble mediators were measured using quantitative PCR and MesoScale Discovery. Epitope mapping was performed by IFN-γ ELISpot screening, confirmed by in vitro MHC binding.RESULTS Activated CD4+ T cell frequencies in bronchoalveolar lavage correlated strongly with local C-X-C motif chemokine 10 levels. Thirty-nine epitopes were identified, predominantly toward the 3′ end of the viral genome. Five novel MHC II tetramers were made using an immunodominant EFYQSTCSAVSKGYL (F-EFY) epitope restricted to HLA-DR4, -DR9, and -DR11 (combined allelic frequency: 15% in Europeans) and G-DDF restricted to HLA-DPA1*01:03/DPB1*02:01 and -DPA1*01:03/DPB1*04:01 (allelic frequency: 55%). Tetramer labeling revealed enrichment of resident memory CD4+ T (Trm) cells in the lower airway; these Trm cells displayed progressive differentiation, downregulation of costimulatory molecules, and elevated CXCR3 expression as infection evolved.CONCLUSIONS Human infection challenge provides a unique opportunity to study the breadth of specificity and dynamics of RSV-specific T-cell responses in the target organ, allowing the precise investigation of Trm recognizing novel viral antigens over time. The new tools that we describe enable precise tracking of RSV-specific CD4+ cells, potentially accelerating the development of effective vaccines.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02755948.FUNDING Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Health Research.
Aleks Guvenel, Agnieszka Jozwik, Stephanie Ascough, Seng Kuong Ung, Suzanna Paterson, Mohini Kalyan, Zoe Gardener, Emma Bergstrom, Satwik Kar, Maximillian S. Habibi, Allan Paras, Jie Zhu, Mirae Park, Jaideep Dhariwal, Mark Almond, Ernie H.C. Wong, Annemarie Sykes, Jerico Del Rosario, Maria-Belen Trujillo-Torralbo, Patrick Mallia, John Sidney, Bjoern Peters, Onn Min Kon, Alessandro Sette, Sebastian L. Johnston, Peter J. Openshaw, Christopher Chiu
N-3 docosapentaenoic acid–derived resolvin D5 (RvD5n-3 DPA) is diurnally regulated in peripheral blood and exerts tissue-protective actions during inflammatory arthritis. Here, using an orphan GPCR screening approach coupled with functional readouts, we investigated the receptor(s) involved in mediating the leukocyte-directed actions of RvD5n-3 DPA and identified GPR101 as the top candidate. RvD5n-3 DPA bound to GPR101 with high selectivity and stereospecificity, as demonstrated by a calculated KD of approximately 6.9 nM. In macrophages, GPR101 knockdown limited the ability of RvD5n-3 DPA to upregulate cyclic adenosine monophosphate, phagocytosis of bacteria, and efferocytosis. Inhibition of this receptor in mouse and human leukocytes abrogated the pro-resolving actions of RvD5n-3 DPA, including the regulation of bacterial phagocytosis in neutrophils. Knockdown of the receptor in vivo reversed the protective actions of RvD5n-3 DPA in limiting joint and gut inflammation during inflammatory arthritis. Administration of RvD5n-3 DPA during E. coli–initiated inflammation regulated neutrophil trafficking to the site of inflammation, increased bacterial phagocytosis by neutrophils and macrophages, and accelerated the resolution of infectious inflammation. These in vivo protective actions of RvD5n-3 DPA were limited when Gpr101 was knocked down. Together, our findings demonstrate a fundamental role for GPR101 in mediating the leukocyte-directed actions of RvD5n-3 DPA.
Magdalena B. Flak, Duco S. Koenis, Agua Sobrino, James Smith, Kimberly Pistorius, Francesco Palmas, Jesmond Dalli
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arbovirus capable of causing a severe and often debilitating rheumatic syndrome in humans. CHIKV replicates in a wide variety of cell types in mammals, which has made attributing pathologic outcomes to replication at specific sites difficult. To assess the contribution of CHIKV replication in skeletal muscle cells to pathogenesis, we engineered a CHIKV strain exhibiting restricted replication in these cells via incorporation of target sequences for skeletal muscle cell-specific miR-206. This virus, which we term SKE, displayed diminished replication in skeletal muscle cells in a mouse model of CHIKV disease. Mice infected with SKE developed less severe disease signs, including diminished swelling in the inoculated foot and less necrosis and inflammation in the interosseous muscles. SKE infection was associated with diminished infiltration of T cells into the interosseous muscle as well as decreased production of IL-1b, IL-6, IP-10, and TNFa. Importantly, blockade of the IL-6 receptor led to diminished swelling of a control CHIKV strain capable of replication in skeletal muscle, reducing swelling to levels observed in mice infected with SKE. These data implicate replication in skeletal muscle cells and release of IL-6 as important mediators of CHIKV disease.
Anthony J. Lentscher, Mary K. McCarthy, Nicholas A. May, Bennett J. Davenport, Stephanie A. Montgomery, Krishnan Raghunathan, Nicole McAllister, Laurie A. Silva, Thomas E. Morrison, Terence S. Dermody
Unconventional T cells that recognize mycobacterial antigens are of great interest as potential vaccine targets against tuberculosis (TB). This includes donor-unrestricted T cells (DURTs), such as mucosa-associated invariant T cells (MAITs), CD1-restricted T cells, and γδ T cells. We exploited the distinctive nature of DURTs and γδ T cell receptors (TCRs) to investigate the involvement of these T cells during TB in the human lung by global TCR sequencing. Making use of surgical lung resections, we investigated the distribution, frequency, and characteristics of TCRs in lung tissue and matched blood from individuals infected with TB. Despite depletion of MAITs and certain CD1-restricted T cells from the blood, we found that the DURT repertoire was well preserved in the lungs, irrespective of disease status or HIV coinfection. The TCRδ repertoire, in contrast, was highly skewed in the lungs, where it was dominated by Vδ1 and distinguished by highly localized clonal expansions, consistent with the nonrecirculating lung-resident γδ T cell population. These data show that repertoire sequencing is a powerful tool for tracking T cell subsets during disease.
Paul Ogongo, Adrie J.C. Steyn, Farina Karim, Kaylesh J. Dullabh, Ismael Awala, Rajhmun Madansein, Alasdair Leslie, Samuel M. Behar
Background: Chronic HCV-infection is characterized by a severe impairment of HCV-specific CD4 T cell help that is driven by chronic antigen stimulation. We aimed to study the fate of HCV-specific CD4 T cells after viral elimination. Methods:HCV-specific CD4 T cell responses were longitudinally analyzed using MHC class II tetramer-technology, multicolor flow cytometry and RNA sequencing in a cohort of chronically HCV-infected patients undergoing therapy with direct-acting antivirals. In addition, HCV-specific neutralizing antibodies and CXCL13 levels were analyzed. Results: We observed that the frequency of HCV-specific CD4 T cells increased within two weeks after initiation of DAA therapy. Multicolor flow cytometry revealed a downregulation of exhaustion and activation markers and an upregulation of memory-associated markers. While cells with a Th1 phenotype were the predominant subset at baseline, cells with phenotypic and transcriptional characteristics of follicular T helper cells increasingly shaped the circulating HCV-specific CD4 T cell repertoire, suggesting antigen-independent survival of this subset. These changes were accompanied by a decline of HCV-specific neutralizing antibodies and the germinal center activity. Conclusion: We identified a population of HCV-specific CD4 T cells with a follicular T helper cell signature that is maintained after therapy-induced elimination of persistent infection and may constitute an important target population for vaccination efforts to prevent re-infection and immunotherapeutic approaches for persistent viral infections.
Maike Smits, Katharina Zoldan, Naveed Ishaque, Zuguang Gu, Katharina Jechow, Dominik Wieland, Christian Conrad, Roland Eils, Catherine Fauvelle, Thomas F. Baumert, Florian Emmerich, Bertram Bengsch, Christoph Neumann-Haefelin, Maike Hofmann, Robert Thimme, Tobias Boettler
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major infectious disease worldwide. TB treatment displays a bi-phasic bacterial clearance, in which the majority of bacteria clear within the first month of treatment, but residual bacteria remains non-responsive to treatment and eventually may become resistant. Here, we have shown that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) is taken up by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), where it established dormancy and became highly non-responsive to isoniazid, a major constituent of Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS). Dormant M.tb induced quiescence in MSCs and promoted their long-term survival. Unlike macrophages, where M.tb resides in early-phagosomal compartments, in MSCs the majority of bacilli were found in the cytosol, where they promoted rapid lipid-synthesis, hiding within lipid-droplets. Inhibition of lipid-synthesis prevented dormancy and sensitized the organisms to isoniazid. Thus, we have established that M.tb gains dormancy in MSCs, which thus serve as a long-term natural-reservoir of dormant M.tb. Interestingly, in the murine-model of TB, induction of autophagy eliminated M.tb from MSCs and consequently, the addition of rapamycin to an isoniazid treatment regimen successfully attained sterile clearance and prevented disease reactivation.
Samreen Fatima, Shashank Shivaji Kamble, Ved Prakash Dwivedi, Debapriya Bhattacharya, Santosh Kumar, Anand Ranganathan, Luc Van Kaer, Sujata Mohanty, Gobardhan Das
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