CD8+ T cells play a critical role in the immune response to viral pathogens. Persistent human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection results in a strong increase in the number of virus-specific, quiescent effector-type CD8+ T cells with constitutive cytolytic activity, but the molecular pathways involved in the induction and maintenance of these cells are unknown. We show here that HCMV infection induced acute and lasting changes in the transcriptomes of virus-reactive T cells collected from HCMV-seropositive patients at distinct stages of infection. Enhanced cell cycle and metabolic activity was restricted to the acute phase of the response, but at all stages, HCMV-specific CD8+ T cells expressed the Th1-associated transcription factors T-bet (TBX21) and eomesodermin (EOMES), in parallel with continuous expression of IFNG mRNA and IFN-γ–regulated genes. The cytolytic proteins granzyme B and perforin as well as the fractalkine-binding chemokine receptor CX3CR1 were found in virus-reactive cells throughout the response. During HCMV latency, virus-specific CD8+ T cells lacked the typical features of exhausted cells found in other chronic infections. Persistent effector cell traits together with the permanent changes in chemokine receptor usage of virus-specific, nonexhausted, long-lived CD8+ T cells may be crucial to maintain lifelong protection from HCMV reactivation.
Kirsten M.L. Hertoghs, Perry D. Moerland, Amber van Stijn, Ester B.M. Remmerswaal, Sila L. Yong, Pablo J.E.J. van de Berg, S. Marieke van Ham, Frank Baas, Ineke J.M. ten Berge, René A.W. van Lier
Human parvovirus B19 (B19V) is the only human pathogenic parvovirus. It causes a wide spectrum of human diseases, including fifth disease (erythema infectiosum) in children and pure red cell aplasia in immunocompromised patients. B19V is highly erythrotropic and preferentially replicates in erythroid progenitor cells (EPCs). Current understanding of how B19V interacts with cellular factors to regulate disease progression is limited, due to a lack of permissive cell lines and animal models. Here, we employed a recently developed primary human CD36+ EPC culture system that is highly permissive for B19V infection to identify cellular factors that lead to cell cycle arrest after B19V infection. We found that B19V exploited the E2F family of transcription factors by downregulating activating E2Fs (E2F1 to E2F3a) and upregulating repressive E2Fs (E2F4 to E2F8) in the primary CD36+ EPCs. B19V nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) was a key viral factor responsible for altering E2F1–E2F5 expression, but not E2F6–E2F8 expression. Interaction between NS1 and E2F4 or E2F5 enhanced the nuclear import of these repressive E2Fs and induced stable G2 arrest. NS1-induced G2 arrest was independent of p53 activation and increased viral replication. Downstream E2F4/E2F5 targets, which are potentially involved in the progression from G2 into M phase and erythroid differentiation, were identified by microarray analysis. These findings provide new insight into the molecular pathogenesis of B19V in highly permissive erythroid progenitors.
Zhihong Wan, Ning Zhi, Susan Wong, Keyvan Keyvanfar, Delong Liu, Nalini Raghavachari, Peter J. Munson, Su Su, Daniela Malide, Sachiko Kajigaya, Neal S. Young
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in clinical material cannot replicate efficiently in vitro until it has adapted by mutation. Consequently, wild-type HCMV differ fundamentally from the passaged strains used for research. To generate a genetically intact source of HCMV, we cloned strain Merlin into a self-excising BAC. The Merlin BAC clone had mutations in the RL13 gene and UL128 locus that were acquired during limited replication in vitro prior to cloning. The complete wild-type HCMV gene complement was reconstructed by reference to the original clinical sample. Characterization of viruses generated from repaired BACs revealed that RL13 efficiently repressed HCMV replication in multiple cell types; moreover, RL13 mutants rapidly and reproducibly emerged in transfectants. Virus also acquired mutations in genes UL128, UL130, or UL131A, which inhibited virus growth specifically in fibroblast cells in wild-type form. We further report that RL13 encodes a highly glycosylated virion envelope protein and thus has the potential to modulate tropism. To overcome rapid emergence of mutations in genetically intact HCMV, we developed a system in which RL13 and UL131A were conditionally repressed during virus propagation. This technological advance now permits studies to be undertaken with a clonal, characterized HCMV strain containing the complete wild-type gene complement and promises to enhance the clinical relevance of fundamental research on HCMV.
Richard J. Stanton, Katarina Baluchova, Derrick J. Dargan, Charles Cunningham, Orla Sheehy, Sepehr Seirafian, Brian P. McSharry, M. Lynne Neale, James A. Davies, Peter Tomasec, Andrew J. Davison, Gavin W.G. Wilkinson
Persistent levels of IL-10 play a central role in progressive immune dysfunction associated with chronic viral infections such as HIV, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Because IL-10 affects the phenotypic and functional properties of DCs, which are responsible for initiating adaptive immune responses, we investigated whether IL-10 induces changes in DC phenotype and function in the context of HIV infection. Here, we show that IL-10 treatment of immature and mature human DCs in culture induced contrasting phenotypic changes in these populations: immature DCs exhibited aberrant resistance to NK cell–mediated elimination, whereas mature DCs exhibited increased susceptibility to NKG2D-dependent NK elimination. Treatment of immature and mature DCs with HIV resulted in potent IL-10 secretion and the same phenotypic and functional changes observed in the IL-10–treated cells. Consistent with these in vitro data, LNs isolated from individuals infected with HIV exhibited aberrant accumulation of a partially “immature” DC population. Together, these data suggest that the progressive immune dysfunction observed in chronic viral infections might be caused in part by IL-10–induced reversal of DC susceptibility to NK cell–mediated elimination, resulting in the accumulation of poorly immunogenic DCs in LNs, the sites of adaptive immune response induction.
Galit Alter, Daniel Kavanagh, Suzannah Rihn, Rutger Luteijn, David Brooks, Michael Oldstone, Jan van Lunzen, Marcus Altfeld
Viruses that infect T cells, including those of the lentivirus genus, such as HIV-1, modulate the responsiveness of infected T cells to stimulation by interacting APCs in a manner that renders the T cells more permissive for viral replication. HIV-1 and other primate lentiviruses use their Nef proteins to manipulate the T cell/APC contact zone, the immunological synapse (IS). It is known that primate lentiviral Nef proteins differ substantially in their ability to modulate cell surface expression of the TCR-CD3 and CD28 receptors critical for the formation and function of the IS. However, the impact of these differences in Nef function on the interaction and communication between virally infected T cells and primary APCs has not been investigated. Here we have used primary human cells to show that Nef proteins encoded by HIV-2 and most SIVs, which downmodulate cell surface expression of TCR-CD3, disrupt formation of the IS between infected T cells and Ag-presenting macrophages or DCs. In contrast, nef alleles from HIV-1 and its simian precursor SIVcpz failed to suppress synapse formation and events downstream of TCR signaling. Our data suggest that most primate lentiviruses disrupt communication between virally infected CD4+ Th cells and APCs, whereas HIV-1 and its SIV precursor have largely lost this capability. The resulting differences in the levels of T cell activation and apoptosis may play a role in the pathogenesis of AIDS.
Nathalie Arhel, Martin Lehmann, Karen Clauß, G. Ulrich Nienhaus, Vincent Piguet, Frank Kirchhoff
There is an association between expression of the MHC class I molecule HLA-B27 and protection following human infection with either HIV or HCV. In both cases, protection has been linked to HLA-B27 presentation of a single immunodominant viral peptide epitope to CD8+ T cells. If HIV mutates the HLA-B27–binding anchor of this epitope to escape the protective immune response, the result is a less-fit virus that requires additional compensatory clustered mutations. Here, we sought to determine whether the immunodominant HLA-B27–restricted HCV epitope was similarly constrained by analyzing the replication competence and immunogenicity of different escape mutants. Interestingly, in most HLA-B27–positive patients chronically infected with HCV, the escape mutations spared the HLA-B27–binding anchor. Instead, the escape mutations were clustered at other sites within the epitope and had only a modest impact on replication competence. Further analysis revealed that the cluster of mutations is required for efficient escape because a combination of mutations is needed to impair T cell recognition of the epitope. Artificially introduced mutations at the HLA-B27–binding anchors were found to be either completely cross-reactive or to lead to substantial loss of fitness. These results suggest that protection by HLA-B27 in HCV infection can be explained by the requirement to accumulate a cluster of mutations within the immunodominant epitope to escape T cell recognition.
Eva Dazert, Christoph Neumann-Haefelin, Stéphane Bressanelli, Karen Fitzmaurice, Julia Kort, Jörg Timm, Susan McKiernan, Dermot Kelleher, Norbert Gruener, John E. Tavis, Hugo R. Rosen, Jaqueline Shaw, Paul Bowness, Hubert E. Blum, Paul Klenerman, Ralf Bartenschlager, Robert Thimme
Plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) have been implicated as crucial cells in antiviral immune responses. On recognizing HIV, they become activated, secreting large amounts of IFN-α and inflammatory cytokines, thereby potentiating innate and adaptive antiviral immune responses. Here, we have shown that HIV-stimulated human pDCs can also induce the differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells into Tregs with suppressive function. This differentiation was independent of pDC production of IFN-α and primarily dependent on pDC expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, which was induced through the TLR/MyD88 pathway, following binding of HIV to CD4 and triggering of TLR7 by HIV genomic RNA. Functionally, the Tregs induced by pDCs were shown to inhibit the maturation of bystander conventional DCs. This study therefore reveals what we believe to be a novel mechanism by which pDC may regulate and potentially limit anti-HIV immune responses.
Olivier Manches, David Munn, Anahita Fallahi, Jeffrey Lifson, Laurence Chaperot, Joel Plumas, Nina Bhardwaj
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection is the most common cause of sporadic, fatal encephalitis, but current understanding of how the virus interacts with cellular factors to regulate disease progression is limited. Here, we show that HSV-1 infection induced the expression of the cellular transcription factor early growth response 1 (Egr-1) in a human neuronal cell line. Egr-1 increased viral replication by activating promoters of viral productive cycle genes through binding to its corresponding sequences in the viral promoters. Mouse studies confirmed that Egr-1 expression was enhanced in HSV-1–infected brains and that Egr-1 functions to promote viral replication in embryonic fibroblasts. Furthermore, Egr-1 deficiency or knockdown of Egr-1 by a DNA-based enzyme greatly reduced the mortality of HSV-1–infected mice by decreasing viral loads in tissues. This study provides what we believe is the first evidence that Egr-1 increases the mortality of HSV-1 encephalitis by enhancing viral replication. Moreover, blocking this cellular machinery exploited by the virus could prevent host mortality.
Shih-Heng Chen, Hui-Wen Yao, I-Te Chen, Biehuoy Shieh, Ching Li, Shun-Hua Chen
Naturally SIV-infected sooty mangabeys (SMs) remain asymptomatic despite high virus replication. Elucidating the mechanisms underlying AIDS resistance of SIV-infected SMs may provide crucial information to better understand AIDS pathogenesis. In this study, we assessed the determinants of set-point viremia in naturally SIV-infected SMs, i.e., immune control of SIV replication versus target cell limitation. We depleted CD4+ T cells in 6 naturally SIV-infected SMs by treating with humanized anti-CD4 mAb (Cdr-OKT4A-huIgG1). CD4+ T cells were depleted almost completely in blood and BM and at variable levels in mucosal tissues and LNs. No marked depletion of CD14+ monocytes was observed. Importantly, CD4+ T cell depletion was associated with a rapid, significant decline in viral load, which returned to baseline level at day 30–45, coincident with an increased fraction of proliferating and activated CD4+ T cells. Throughout the study, virus replication correlated with the level of proliferating CD4+ T cells. CD4+ T cell depletion did not induce any changes in the fraction of Tregs or the level of SIV-specific CD8+ T cells. Our results suggest that the availability of activated CD4+ T cells, rather than immune control of SIV replication, is the main determinant of set-point viral load during natural SIV infection of SMs.
Nichole R. Klatt, Francois Villinger, Pavel Bostik, Shari N. Gordon, Lara Pereira, Jessica C. Engram, Ann Mayne, Richard M. Dunham, Benton Lawson, Sarah J. Ratcliffe, Donald L. Sodora, James Else, Keith Reimann, Silvija I. Staprans, Ashley T. Haase, Jacob D. Estes, Guido Silvestri, Aftab A. Ansari
Poxviruses such as the causative agent of smallpox have developed multiple strategies to suppress immune responses, including the suppression of DC activation. Since poxviruses are large DNA viruses, we hypothesized that their detection by DCs may involve the endosomal DNA recognition receptor TLR9. Indeed, we have shown here that DC recognition of ectromelia virus (ECTV), the causative agent of mousepox, completely depended on TLR9. The importance of TLR9 was highlighted by the fact that mice lacking TLR9 showed drastically increased susceptibility to infection with ECTV. In contrast, we found that the strongly attenuated poxvirus modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) activated DCs by both TLR9-dependent and -independent pathways. We therefore tested whether we could use the broader induction of immune responses by MVA to protect mice from a lethal infection with ECTV. Indeed, MVA given at the same time as a lethal dose of ECTV protected mice from death. Importantly, MVA also rescued TLR9-deficient mice if administered 2 full days after an otherwise lethal infection with ECTV. Therefore, these data suggest an essential role for TLR9 in the defense against poxviruses. In addition, postexposure application of MVA may protect against lethal poxvirus infection.
Christofer Samuelsson, Jürgen Hausmann, Henning Lauterbach, Michaela Schmidt, Shizuo Akira, Hermann Wagner, Paul Chaplin, Mark Suter, Meredith O’Keeffe, Hubertus Hochrein
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