BACKGROUND. Systemic administration of Adeno-associated virus (AAV) can trigger life-threatening inflammatory responses including thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), acute kidney injury due to atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS)-like complement activation, immune-mediated myocardial inflammation and hepatic toxicity. METHODS. We describe the kinetics of immune activation following systemic AAV serotype 9 (AAV9) administration in 38 subjects following two distinct prophylactic immunomodulation regimens. Group 1 received corticosteroids and Group 2 received rituximab plus sirolimus in addition to steroids to prevent anti-AAV antibody formation. RESULTS. Group 1 subjects had a rapid increase of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG). Increase in D-dimer, decline in platelet count and complement activation are indicative of TMA. All Group 1 subjects demonstrated activation of both classical and alternative complement pathways indicated by depletion of C4, elevated SC5b-9, Ba, and Bb antigens. Group 2 patients did not have a significant change in IgM or IgG and had minimal complement activation. CONCLUSIONS. This study demonstrates that TMA in the setting of AAV gene therapy is antibody dependent (classical pathway) and amplified by the alternative complement pathway. Critical time points and interventions are identified to allow for management of immune mediated events which impact the safety and efficacy of systemic gene therapy.
Stephanie M. Salabarria, Manuela Corti, Kirsten E. Coleman, Megan B. Wichman, Julie A. Berthy, Precilla D'Souza, Cynthia J. Tifft, Roland W. Herzog, Melissa E. Elder, Lawrence R. Shoemaker, Carmen Leon-Astudillo, Fatemeh Tavakkoli, David H. Kirn, Jonathan D. Schwartz, Barry J. Byrne
BACKGROUND. Accurate detection of graft versus host disease (GVHD) is a major challenge in the management of patients that undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT). Here we demonstrate the use of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) for detection of tissue turnover and chronic GVHD (cGVHD) in specific organs. METHODS. We established a cocktail of tissue-specific DNA methylation markers and used it to determine the concentration of cfDNA molecules derived from the liver, skin, lungs, colon and specific immune cells in 101 HCT patients. Results: Patients with an active cGVHD showed elevated concentration of cfDNA, as well as tissue-specific methylation markers that agreed with clinical scores. Strikingly, transplanted patients with no clinical symptoms had abnormally high levels of tissue-specific markers, suggesting hidden tissue turnover even in the absence of evident clinical pathology. An integrative model taking into account total cfDNA concentration, monocyte/macrophage cfDNA levels and Alanine transaminase (ALT) was able to correctly identify GVHD with a specificity of 86% and precision of 89% (AUC of 0.8). CONCLUSIONS. cfDNA markers can be used for the detection of cGVHD, opening a window into underlying tissue dynamics in patients that receive allogeneic stem cell transplants. FUNDING. This work was supported by grants from the Ernest and Bonnie Beutler Research Program of Excellence in Genomic Medicine, The Israel Science Foundation, the Waldholtz / Pakula family, the Robert M. and Marilyn Sternberg Family Charitable Foundation and the Helmsley Charitable Trust (to Y.D).
Batia Avni, Daniel Neiman, Elior D. Shaked, Ofer Gal-Rosenberg, Sigal Grisariu, Mona Kuzli, Ilai Avni, Andrea Fracchia, Polina Stepensky, Tsila Zuckerman, Ahinoam Lev-Sagie, Ilana Fox-Fisher, Sheina Piyanzin, Joshua Moss, Seth J. Salpeter, Benjamin Glaser, Ruth Shemer, Yuval Dor
BACKGROUND. Disease due to dengue viruses is a growing global health threat, causing 100-400 million cases annually. An ideal dengue vaccine should demonstrate durable protection against all four serotypes in phase 3 efficacy trials, however the lack of circulating serotypes may lead to incomplete efficacy data. Controlled human infection models help down select vaccine candidates and supply critical data to supplement efficacy trials. We evaluated the efficacy of a leading live attenuated tetravalent dengue vaccine candidate, TV005, against infection with a newly established dengue serotype 3 or an established serotype 2 challenge virus. METHODS. Two randomized controlled clinical trials were performed. In study 1, 42 subjects received TV005 or placebo (n = 21 each) and six months later all were challenged with dengue 2 virus (DEN2Δ30) at a dose of 103 PFU. In study 2, 23 subjects received TV005, 20 subjects received placebo and six months later all were challenged with 104 PFU dengue 3 virus (DEN3Δ30). Subjects were closely monitored for safety, viremia, and immunologic responses. Infection, measured by post-challenge viremia and by occurrence of rash and neutropenia, were the primary endpoints. Secondary endpoints included safety, immunologic, and virologic profiles following vaccination with TV005 and subsequent DENV2 or DENV3 challenge strains. RESULTS. TV005 was well tolerated and protected all vaccinated volunteers from viremia with DENV2 or 3 (none infected in either group). Placebo recipients had viremia post-challenge (100% in study 1, 85% in study 2) and all experienced rash following challenge with either serotype. CONCLUSIONS. TV005 is a leading tetravalent dengue vaccine candidate which fully protects against infection with DENV2 and DENV3 in an established controlled human infection model. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION NUMBERS. NCT02317900 and NCT02873260.
Kristen K. Pierce, Anna P. Durbin, Mary-Claire Walsh, Marya Carmolli, Beulah P. Sabundayo, Dorothy M. Dickson, Sean A. Diehl, Stephen S. Whitehead, Beth D. Kirkpatrick
BACKGROUND. PATRIOT was the first-in-human phase I study of the oral ATR (ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related) inhibitor ceralasertib (AZD6738) in advanced solid tumors. METHODS. Primary objective was safety. Secondary objectives included assessment of anti-tumor responses, pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) studies. Sixty-seven patients received ceralasertib 20-240 mg BD continuously or intermittently (14 of a 28-day cycle). RESULTS. Intermittent dosing was better tolerated than continuous, which was associated with dose-limiting hematological toxicity. The recommended phase 2 dose of ceralasertib was 160 mg twice daily for 2 weeks in a 4-weekly cycle. Modulation of target and increased DNA damage were identified in tumor and surrogate PD. There were 5 (8%) confirmed partial responses (PR, 40-240 mg BD), 34 (52%) stable disease (SD) including 1 unconfirmed partial response, and 27 (41%) progressive disease. Durable responses were seen in tumors with loss of AT-rich interactive domain-containing protein 1A (ARID1A) and DNA damage response defects. Treatment modulated tumor and systemic immune markers and responding tumors were more immune-inflamed than non-responding. CONCLUSION. Ceralasertib monotherapy was tolerated at 160 mg BD intermittent and associated with anti-tumor activity. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02223923, EudraCT: 2013-003994-84. FUNDING. Cancer Research UK, AstraZeneca, UK Department of Health (National Institute for Health Research), Rosetrees Trust, Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre. FUNDING. AstraZeneca provided funding for components of the clinical conduct of PATRIOT and drug supply and labelling.
Magnus T. Dillon, Jeane Guevara, Kabir Mohammed, Emmanuel Christian Patin, Simon A. Smith, Emma Dean, Gemma N. Jones, Sophie E. Willis, Marcella Petrone, Carlos Silva, Khin Thway, Catey Bunce, Ioannis Roxanis, Pablo Nenclares, Anna Wilkins, Martin McLaughlin, Adoracion Jayme-Laiche, Sarah Benafif, Georgios Nintos, Vineet Kwatra, Lorna Grove, David C. Mansfield, Paula Proszek, Philip Martin, Luiza Moore, Karen E. Swales, Udai Banerji, Mark P. Saunders, James Spicer, Martin D. Forster, Kevin J. Harrington
BACKGROUND. In the Lewy body diseases (LBDs) Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), by the time parkinsonism or cognitive dysfunction manifests clinically substantial neurodegeneration has already occurred. Biomarkers are needed to identify central LBDs in a preclinical phase, when neurorescue strategies might forestall symptomatic disease. This phase may involve catecholamine deficiency in the autonomic nervous system. We analyzed data from the prospective, observational, long-term PDRisk study to assess the predictive value of low vs. normal cardiac 18F-dopamine positron emission tomography (PET), an index of myocardial content of the sympathetic neurotransmitter norepinephrine, in at-risk individuals. METHODS. Participants self-reported risk factor information (genetics, olfactory dysfunction, dream enactment behavior, orthostatic intolerance or hypotension) at a protocol-specific website. Thirty-four with ≥ 3 confirmed risk factors underwent serial cardiac 18F-dopamine PET at 1.5-yearly intervals for up to 7.5 years or until PD was diagnosed. RESULTS. Nine participants had low initial myocardial 18F-dopamine-derived radioactivity (<6,000 nCi-kg/cc-Ci) and 25 normal radioactivity. At 7 years of follow-up, 8 of 9 with low initial radioactivity and 1 of 11 with normal radioactivity were diagnosed with a central LBD (LBD+) (P = 0.0009 by Fisher's exact test). Conversely, all of 9 LBD+ participants had low 18F-dopamine-derived radioactivity before or at the time of diagnosis of a central LBD, whereas among 25 participants without a central LBD only 1 (4%) had persistently low radioactivity (P < 0.0001 by Fisher’s exact test). CONCLUSIONS. Cardiac 18F-dopamine PET highly efficiently distinguishes at-risk individuals who are diagnosed subsequently with a central LBD from those who are not.
David S. Goldstein, Courtney Holmes, Patti Sullivan, Grisel Lopez, Janna Gelsomino, Sarah Moore, Risa Isonaka, Tianxia Wu, Yehonatan Sharabi
Background. Pemphigus, a rare autoimmune bullous disease mediated by anti-desmoglein autoantibodies, can be controlled with systemic medication like rituximab and high-dose systemic corticosteroids combined with immunosuppressants. However, some patients continue to experience chronically recurrent blisters which require long-term maintenance systemic therapy. METHODS. Skin with chronic blisters was obtained from patients with pemphigus. Immunologic properties of the skin were analyzed by immunofluorescence staining, bulk and single-cell RNA and TCR sequencing, and a highly multiplex imaging technique known as CO-Detection by indEXing (CODEX). Functional analyses were performed by flow cytometry and bulk RNA-sequencing using peripheral blood from healthy donors. Intralesional corticosteroid was injected into patient skin, and changes in chronically recurrent blisters were observed. RESULTS. We demonstrate the presence of skin tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs) with desmoglein-specific B cells in chronic blisters from pemphigus patients. In the skin TLSs, CD4+ T cells predominantly produced CXCL13. These clonally expanded CXCL13+CD4+ T cells exhibited features of activated Th1-like cells and downregulated genes associated with T-cell receptor-mediated signaling. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are in direct contact with CXCL13+CD4+ memory T cells and increased CXCL13 production of CD4+ T cells through IL-2 consumption and TGF-β stimulation. Lastly, Intralesional corticosteroid injection improved chronic blisters and reduce skin TLSs in patients with pemphigus. CONCLUSIONS. This study concludes that skin TLSs are associated with the persistence of chronically recurrent blisters in pemphigus patients, and the microenvironmental network involving CXCL13+CD4+ T cells and Tregs within these structures plays an important role in CXCL13 production. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT04509570 FUNDING. This work was supported by National Research Foundation of South Korea (grant NRF-2021R1C1C1007179) and Korea Drug Development Fund funded by Ministry of Science and ICT, Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, and Ministry of Health and Welfare (grant RS-2022-00165917).
Dawoon Han, A. Yeong Lee, Taehee Kim, Ji Young Choi, Mi Yeon Cho, Ahreum Song, Changhyeon Kim, Joon Ho Shim, Hyun Je Kim, Honesty Kim, Hillary Blaize D'Angio, Ryan Preska, Aaron T. Mayer, Miri Kim, Eun-Ji Choi, Tae-Gyun Kim, Eui-Cheol Shin, Kyemyung Park, Do-Young Kim, Soo-Chan Kim, Jong Hoon Kim
BACKGROUND. Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) is a life-threatening complication of Still’s disease (SD) characterized by overt immune cell activation and cytokine storm. We aimed to further understand the immunologic landscape of SD and MAS. METHOD. We profiled peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from healthy controls and patients with SD with or without MAS using bulk RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and single-cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq). We validated and expanded the findings by mass cytometry, flow cytometry and in vitro studies. RESULTS. Bulk RNA-seq of PBMC from patients with SD-associated MAS revealed strong expression of genes associated with type I interferon (IFN-I) signaling and cell proliferation, in addition to the expected IFN-γ signal, compared to healthy controls and SD patients without MAS. scRNA-seq analysis of > 65,000 total PBMC confirmed IFN-I and IFN-γ signatures and localized the cell proliferation signature to cycling CD38+HLA-DR+ cells within CD4+ T cell, CD8+ T cell and NK cell populations. CD38+HLA-DR+ lymphocytes exhibited prominent IFN-g production, glycolysis, and mTOR signaling. Cell-cell interaction modeling suggested a network linking CD38+HLA-DR+ lymphocytes with monocytes through IFN-γ signaling. Notably, the expansion of CD38+HLA-DR+ lymphocytes in MAS was greater than in other systemic inflammatory conditions in children. In vitro stimulation of PBMC demonstrated that IFN-I and IL-15 – both elevated in MAS patients – synergistically augmented the generation of CD38+HLA-DR+ lymphocytes, while Janus kinase inhibition mitigated this response. CONCLUSION. MAS associated with SD is characterized by overproduction of IFN-I, which may act in synergy with IL-15 to generate CD38+HLA-DR+ cycling lymphocytes that produce IFN-γ.
Zhengping Huang, Kailey E. Brodeur, Liang Chen, Yan Du, Holly Wobma, Evan E. Hsu, Meng Liu, Joyce C. Chang, Margaret H. Chang, Janet Chou, Megan Day-Lewis, Fatma Dedeoglu, Olha Halyabar, James A. Lederer, Tianwang Li, Mindy S. Lo, Meiping Lu, Esra Meidan, Jane W. Newburger, Adrienne G. Randolph, Mary Beth F. Son, Robert P. Sundel, Maria L. Taylor, Huaxiang Wu, Qing Zhou, Scott W. Canna, Kevin Wei, Lauren A. Henderson, Peter A. Nigrovic, Pui Y. Lee
Background: Proglucagon can be processed to Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) within the islet but its contribution to islet function in humans remains unknown. We sought to understand whether ‘pancreatic’ GLP-1 alters islet function in humans and whether this is affected by type 2 diabetes.Methods: We therefore studied individuals with and without type 2 diabetes on 2 occasions in random order. On one occasion exendin 9-39, a competitive antagonist of the GLP-1 Receptor (GLP1R), was infused, while on the other saline was infused. The tracer dilution technique ([3-3H] glucose) was used to measure glucose turnover during fasting and during a hyperglycemic clamp.Results: Exendin 9-39 increased fasting glucose concentrations; fasting islet hormone concentrations were unchanged, but inappropriate for the higher fasting glucose observed. In people with type 2 diabetes fasting glucagon concentrations were markedly elevated and persisted despite hyperglycemia. This impaired suppression of endogenous glucose production by hyperglycemia. These data show that GLP1R blockade impairs islet function, implying that intra-islet GLP1R activation alters islet responses to glucose and does so to a greater degree in people with type 2 diabetes.
Andrew A. Welch, Rahele A. Farahani, Aoife M. Egan, Marcello C. Laurenti, Maya Zeini, Max Vella, Kent R. Bailey, Claudio Cobelli, Chiara Dalla Dalla Man, Aleksey Matveyenko, Adrian Vella
BACKGROUND Severe, early-onset fetal growth restriction (FGR) causes significant fetal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. Predicting the outcome of affected pregnancies at the time of diagnosis is difficult, thus preventing accurate patient counseling. We investigated the use of maternal serum protein and ultrasound measurements at diagnosis to predict fetal or neonatal death and 3 secondary outcomes: fetal death or delivery at or before 28+0 weeks, development of abnormal umbilical artery (UmA) Doppler velocimetry, and slow fetal growth.METHODS Women with singleton pregnancies (n = 142, estimated fetal weights [EFWs] below the third centile, less than 600 g, 20+0 to 26+6 weeks of gestation, no known chromosomal, genetic, or major structural abnormalities) were recruited from 4 European centers. Maternal serum from the discovery set (n = 63) was analyzed for 7 proteins linked to angiogenesis, 90 additional proteins associated with cardiovascular disease, and 5 proteins identified through pooled liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Patient and clinician stakeholder priorities were used to select models tested in the validation set (n = 60), with final models calculated from combined data.RESULTS The most discriminative model for fetal or neonatal death included the EFW z score (Hadlock 3 formula/Marsal chart), gestational age, and UmA Doppler category (AUC, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86–0.97) but was less well calibrated than the model containing only the EFW z score (Hadlock 3/Marsal). The most discriminative model for fetal death or delivery at or before 28+0 weeks included maternal serum placental growth factor (PlGF) concentration and UmA Doppler category (AUC, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83–0.94).CONCLUSION Ultrasound measurements and maternal serum PlGF concentration at diagnosis of severe, early-onset FGR predicted pregnancy outcomes of importance to patients and clinicians.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02097667.FUNDING The European Union, Rosetrees Trust, Mitchell Charitable Trust.
Rebecca Spencer, Kasia Maksym, Kurt Hecher, Karel Maršál, Francesc Figueras, Gareth Ambler, Harry Whitwell, Nuno Rocha Nené, Neil J. Sebire, Stefan R. Hansson, Anke Diemert, Jana Brodszki, Eduard Gratacós, Yuval Ginsberg, Tal Weissbach, Donald M. Peebles, Ian Zachary, Neil Marlow, Angela Huertas-Ceballos, Anna L. David
BACKGROUND. HIV-1-infected CD4+ T cells contribute to latent reservoir persistence by proliferating while avoiding immune recognition. Integration features of intact proviruses in elite controllers (EC) and people on long-term therapy suggests that proviruses in specific chromosomal locations can evade immune surveillance. However, direct evidence of this mechanism is missing. METHODS. In this case report, we characterized integration sites and full genome sequences of expanded T cell clones in an EC before and after chemoradiation. We identified the cognate peptide of infected clones to investigate cell proliferation and virus production induced by T cell activation, and susceptibility to autologous CD8+ T cells. RESULTS. The proviral landscape was dominated by two large clones with replication-competent proviruses integrated into Zinc Finger genes (ZNF470 and ZNF721) in locations previously associated with deeper latency. A third nearly intact provirus, with a stop codon in Pol, was integrated into an intergenic site. Upon stimulation with cognate Gag peptides, infected clones proliferated extensively and produced virus, but the provirus in ZNF721 was 200-folds less inducible. While autologous CD8+ T cells decreased the proliferation of cells carrying the intergenic provirus, they had no effect on cells with the provirus in the ZNF721 gene. CONCLUSION. We provide direct evidence that upon activation of infected clones by cognate antigen, the lower inducibility of intact proviruses in ZNF genes can result in immune evasion and persistence. FUNDING. Office of the NIH Director and National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research; NIAID, NIH; Johns Hopkins University Center for AIDS Research.
Filippo Dragoni, Abena Kwaa, Caroline C.G. Traut, Rebecca T. Veenhuis, Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Angelica Camilo-Contreras, Hayley E. Raymond, Arbor G. Dykema, Eileen P. Scully, Amanda M. Rosecrans, Kellie N. Smith, Frederic D. Bushman, Francesco R. Simonetti, Joel N. Blankson
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