Chronic inflammation and immune dysfunction play a key role in the development of non-AIDS related comorbidities. The aim of our study was to characterize the functional phenotype of immune cells in people living with HIV (PLHIV). We enrolled a cross-sectional cohort study of PLHIV on stable antiretroviral therapy and healthy controls. We assessed ex vivo cytokine production capacity and transcriptomics of monocytes and T-cells upon bacterial, fungal and viral stimulation. PLHIV exhibited an exacerbated pro-inflammatory profile in monocyte-derived cytokines, but not in lymphocyte-derived cytokines. Particularly, the production of the IL-1β to imiquimod, E. coli LPS and Mycobacterium tuberculosis was increased, and this production correlated with plasma concentrations of hsCRP and sCD14. This increase in monocyte responsiveness remained stable over time in subsequent blood sampling after >1year. Transcriptome analyses confirmed priming of the monocyte IL-1β pathway, consistent with a monocyte trained immunity phenotype. Increased plasma concentrations of β-glucan, a well-known inducer of trained immunity, were associated with increased innate cytokine responses. Monocytes of PLHIV exhibit a sustained pro-inflammatory immune phenotype with priming of the IL-1β pathway. Training of the innate immune system in PLHIV likely plays a role in long-term HIV complications and provides a promising therapeutic target for inflammation-related comorbidities.
Wouter A. van der Heijden, Lisa van de Wijer, Farid Keramati, Wim Trypsteen, Sofie Rutsaert, Rob ter Horst, Martin Jaeger, Hans J.P.M. Koenen, Hendrik G. Stunnenberg, Irma Joosten, Paul E. Verweij, Jan van Lunzen, Charles A. Dinarello, Leo A.B. Joosten, Linos Vandekerckhove, Mihai G. Netea, André J. van der Ven, Quirijn de Mast
X-linked neutropenia (XLN) is caused by gain-of-function mutations in the actin regulator Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASp). XLN patients have reduced numbers of cytotoxic cells in peripheral blood, however, their capacity to kill tumor cells remains to be determined. Here, we examined NK and T cells from two XLN patients harboring the activating WASpL270P mutation. XLN patient NK and T cells had increased Granzyme B content and elevated degranulation and IFNγ production when compared to healthy control cells. Murine WASpL272P NK and T cells formed stable synapses with YAC-1 tumor cells and anti-CD3/CD28 coated beads, respectively. WASpL272P T cells mice had normal degranulation and cytokine response whereas WASpL272P NK cells showed an enhanced response. Imaging experiments revealed that while WASpL272P CD8 T cells had increased accumulation of actin upon TCR activation, WASpL272P NK cells had normal actin accumulation at lytic synapses triggered through NKp46 signaling but had impaired response to LFA-1 engagement. When compared to WT mice, WASpL272P mice showed reduced growth of B16 melanoma and increased capacity to reject MHC class I-deficient cells. Together, our data suggests that cytotoxic cells with constitutively active WASp have an increased capacity to respond to and kill tumor cells.
Joanna S. Kritikou, Mariana M.S. Oliveira, Julien Record, Mezida B. Saeed, Saket M. Nigam, Minghui He, Marton Keszei, Arnika K. Wagner, Hanna Brauner, Anton Sendel, Saikiran K. Sedimbi, Stamatina Rentouli, David P. Lane, Scott B. Snapper, Klas Kärre, Peter Vandenberghe, Jordan S. Orange, Lisa S. Westerberg
Comorbid medical illnesses, such as obesity and diabetes, are associated with more severe COVID-19, hospitalization, and death. However, the role of the immune system in mediating these clinical outcomes has not been determined. We used multi-parameter flow cytometry and systems serology to comprehensively profile the functions of T cells and antibodies targeting spike, nucleocapsid, and envelope proteins in a convalescent cohort of COVID-19 subjects who were either hospitalized (n=20) or not hospitalized (n=40). To avoid confounding, subjects were matched by age, sex, ethnicity, and date of symptom onset. Surprisingly, we found that the magnitude and functional breadth of virus-specific CD4 T cell and antibody responses were consistently higher among hospitalized subjects, particularly those with medical comorbidities. However, an integrated analysis identified more coordination between polyfunctional CD4 T-cells and antibodies targeting the S1 domain of spike among subjects that were not hospitalized. These data reveal a functionally diverse and coordinated response between T cells and antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2, which is reduced in the presence of comorbid illnesses that are known risk factors for severe COVID-19.
Krystle K.Q. Yu, Stephanie Fischinger, Malisa T. Smith, Caroline Atyeo, Deniz Cizmeci, Caitlin R. Wolf, Erik D. Layton, Jennifer K. Logue, Melissa S. Aguilar, Kiel Shuey, Carolin Loos, Jingyou Yu, Nicholas M. Franko, Robert Y. Choi, Anna Wald, Dan H. Barouch, David M. Koelle, Douglas Lauffenburger, Helen Y. Chu, Galit Alter, Chetan Seshadri
In this study, we examined and characterized disease-specific TCR signatures in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with HTLV-1–associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). TCR β libraries using unique molecular identifier–based methodologies were sequenced in paired peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and CSF cells from HAM/TSP patients and normal healthy donors (NDs). The sequence analysis demonstrated that TCR β repertoires in CSF of HAM/TSP patients were highly expanded and contained both TCR clonotypes shared with PBMCs and uniquely enriched within the CSF. In addition, we analyzed TCR β repertoires of highly expanded and potentially immunopathologic HTLV-1 Tax11-19–specific CD8+ T cells from PBMCs of HLA-A*0201+ HAM/TSP and identified a conserved motif (PGLAG) in the CDR3 region. Importantly, TCR β clonotypes of expanded clones in HTLV-1 Tax11-19–specific CD8+ T cells were also expanded and enriched in the CSF of the same patient. These results suggest that exploring TCR repertoires of CSF and antigen-specific T cells may provide a TCR repertoire signature in virus-associated neurologic disorders.
Satoshi Nozuma, Yoshimi Enose-Akahata, Kory R. Johnson, Maria Chiara Monaco, Nyater Ngouth, Abdel Elkahloun, Joan Ohayon, Jun Zhu, Steven Jacobson
Understanding the mechanisms of allergen-specific immune modulation in nonallergic individuals is key to recapitulate immune tolerance and to develop novel allergy treatments. Herein, we characterized mouse-specific T cell responses in nonallergic laboratory animal-care workers before and after reexposure to mice. PBMCs were collected and stimulated with developed peptide pools identified from high-molecular-weight fractions of mouse allergen extracts. Sizable CD4 T cell responses were noted and were temporarily decreased in most subjects upon reexposure, with the magnitude of decrease positively correlated with time of reexposure but not the duration of the break. Interestingly, the suppression was specific to mouse allergens without affecting responses of bystander antigens. Further, PBMC fractioning studies illustrated that the modulation is unlikely from T cells, while B cell depletion and exchange reversed the suppression of responses, suggesting that B cells may be the key modulators. Increased levels of regulatory cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β1) in the cell culture supernatant and plasma mouse-specific IgG4 were also observed after reexposure, consistent with B cell–mediated modulation mechanisms. Overall, these results suggest that nonallergic status is achieved by an active, time-related, allergen-specific, B cell-dependent regulatory process upon reexposure, the mechanisms of which should be detailed by further molecular studies.
Esther Dawen Yu, Luise Westernberg, Alba Grifoni, April Frazier, Aaron Sutherland, Eric Wang, Bjoern Peters, Ricardo da Silva Antunes, Alessandro Sette
In the setting of cancer, T cells upregulate coinhibitory molecules that attenuate TCR signaling and lead to the loss of proliferative capacity and effector function. Checkpoint inhibitors currently in clinical use have dramatically improved mortality from melanoma yet are not effective in all patients, suggesting that additional pathways may contribute to suppression of tumor-specific CD8+ T cell responses in melanoma. Here, we show that FcγRIIB, an inhibitory Fc receptor previously thought to be exclusively expressed on B cells and innate immune cells, is upregulated on tumor-infiltrating effector CD8+ T cells in an experimental melanoma model and expressed on CD8+ T cells in patients with melanoma. Genetic deficiency of Fcgr2b resulted in enhanced tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cell responses and significantly reduced tumor burden. Adoptive transfer experiments of Fcgr2b–/– tumor antigen-specific T cells into FcγRIIB-sufficient hosts resulted in an increased frequency of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells with greater effector function. Finally, FcγRIIB was expressed on CD8+ memory T cells isolated from patients with melanoma. These data illuminate a cell-intrinsic role for the FcγRIIB checkpoint in suppressing tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells.
Clara R. Farley, Anna B. Morris, Marvi Tariq, Kelsey B. Bennion, Sayalee Potdar, Ragini Kudchadkar, Michael C. Lowe, Mandy L. Ford
DNA methylation (DNAm) has been shown to play a role in mediating food allergy, however, the mechanism by which it does so is poorly understood. In this study, we used targeted NextGen bisulfite sequencing to evaluate DNAm levels in 125 targeted highly informative genomic regions containing 602 CpG sites on 70 immune-related genes to understand whether DNAm can differentiate peanut allergy (PA) vs non-allergy (NA). We found PA-associated DNAm signatures associated with 12 genes (7 novel to food allergy, 3 associated with Th1/Th2, and 2 associated with innate immunity) as well as DNAm signature combinations with superior diagnostic potential compared to serum peanut specific-IgE for PA vs. NA. Further, we found that following peanut protein stimulation, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMCs) from PA participants showed increased production of cognate cytokines compared to NA participants. The varying responses between PA and NA participants may be associated with the interaction between the modification of DNAm and the interference of environment. Using Euclidean distance analysis, we found that the distances of methylation profile comprising 12 DNAm signatures between PA and NA pairs in monozygotic (MZ) twins were smaller than that in randomly paired genetically unrelated individuals, suggesting that PA related DNAm signatures may be associated with genetic factors.
Xiaoying Zhou, Xiaorui Han, Shu-Chen Lyu, Bryan J. Bunning, Laurie Kost, Iris Chang, Shu Cao, Vanitha Sampath, Kari C. Nadeau
Progress in our understanding of MR1-restricted Mucosa-associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells has raised an interest in harnessing these cells for immunotherapy. The innate-like response characteristics, abundance in the blood, donor-unrestricted nature, and tropism for tissues make MAIT cells suitable candidates for adoptive cell transfer therapies. However, reliable methods and tools to utilize MAIT cells in such approaches are lacking. Here, we established methodology for efficient expansion of human MAIT cells in culture with high purity and yield, preserved functional response toward their natural ligand, and with increased cytotoxic potential. The cultured MAIT cells retained their effector memory characteristics without signs of terminal differentiation, and expressed a more diverse set of chemokine receptors potentially widening their already broad tissue tropism. To investigate the potential of MAIT cells in a context outside their main role in controlling bacterial infection, we engineered cultured MAIT cells with a new TCR specificity to mediate effective antiviral HLA class I-restricted effector function. In summary, we developed robust and effective methodology for the expansion of human MAIT cells with enhanced cytolytic capacity, and for their engineering with a new specificity. These findings form a basis for the development of MAIT cells as a platform for adoptive immunotherapy.
Tiphaine Parrot, Katie Healy, Caroline Boulouis, Michał J. Sobkowiak, Edwin Leeansyah, Soo Aleman, Antonio Bertoletti, Margaret Sällberg Chen, Johan K. Sandberg
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a pathological process caused by an exaggerated donor lymphocyte response to host antigens after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Donor T cells undergo extensive clonal expansion and differentiation, which culminate in damage to recipient target organs. Damage to the gastrointestinal tract is a main contributor to morbidity and mortality. The loss of diversity among intestinal bacteria caused by pretransplant conditioning regimens leads to an outgrowth of opportunistic pathogens and exacerbated GVHD after allo-HCT. Using murine models of allo-HCT, we found that an increase of Bacteroides in the intestinal microbiota of the recipients was associated with reduced GVHD in mice given fecal microbial transplantation. Administration of Bacteroides fragilis through oral gavage increased gut microbiota diversity and beneficial commensal bacteria and significantly ameliorated acute and chronic GVHD development. Preservation of gut integrity following B. fragilis exposure was likely attributed to increased short chain fatty acids, IL-22, and regulatory T cells, which in turn improved gut tight junction integrity and reduced inflammatory cytokine production of pathogenic T cells. The current study provides a proof of concept that a single strain of commensal bacteria can be a safe and effective means to protect gut integrity and ameliorate GVHD after allo-HCT.
M. Hanief Sofi, Yongxia Wu, Taylor Ticer, Steven Schutt, David Bastian, Hee-Jin Choi, Linlu Tian, Corey Mealer, Chen Liu, Caroline Westwater, Kent E. Armeson, Alexander V. Alekseyenko, Xue-Zhong Yu
Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is a key mediator of chronic airway disease driven by type-2 immune pathways, yet the non-classical secretory mechanism for this cytokine remains undefined. We performed a comprehensive analysis in human airway epithelial cells, which revealed that tonic IL-33 secretion is dependent on the ceramide biosynthetic enzyme neutral sphingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2). IL-33 is co-secreted with exosomes by the nSMase2-regulated multivesicular endosome (MVE) pathway as surface-bound cargo. In support of these findings, human chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) specimens exhibited increased epithelial expression of the abundantly secreted IL33Δ34 isoform and augmented nSMase2 expression compared to non-COPD specimens. Using an Alternaria-induced airway disease model, we found the nSMase2 inhibitor GW4869 abrogated both IL-33 and exosome secretion as well as downstream inflammatory pathways. This work elucidates a novel aspect of IL-33 biology that may be targeted for therapeutic benefit in chronic airway diseases driven by type-2 inflammation.
Ella Katz-Kiriakos, Deborah F. Steinberg, Colin E. Kluender, Omar A. Osorio, Catie Newsom-Stewart, Arjun Baronia, Derek E. Byers, Michael J. Holtzman, Dawn Katafiasz, Kristina L. Bailey, Steven L. Brody, Mark J. Miller, Jennifer Alexander-Brett
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