Transmission-blocking vaccines (TBVs) are considered an integral element of malaria eradication efforts. Despite promising evaluations of Plasmodium falciparum Pfs25-based TBVs in mice, clinical trials have failed to induce robust and long-lived Ab titers, in part due to the poorly immunogenic nature of Pfs25. Using nonhuman primates, we demonstrate that multiple aspects of Pfs25 immunity were enhanced by antigen encapsulation in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)–based [(PLGA)-based] synthetic vaccine particles (SVP[Pfs25]) and potent TLR-based adjuvants. SVP[Pfs25] increased Ab titers, Pfs25-specific plasmablasts, circulating memory B cells, and plasma cells in the bone marrow when benchmarked against the clinically tested multimeric form Pfs25-EPA given with GLA-LSQ. SVP[Pfs25] also induced the first reported Pfs25-specific circulating Th1 and Tfh cells to our knowledge. Multivariate correlative analysis indicated several mechanisms for the improved Ab responses. While Pfs25-specific B cells were responsible for increasing Ab titers, T cell responses stimulated increased Ab avidity. The innate immune activation differentially stimulated by the adjuvants revealed a strong correlation between type I IFN polarization, induced by R848 and CpG, and increased Ab half-life and longevity. Collectively, the data identify ways to improve vaccine-induced immunity to poorly immunogenic proteins, both by the choice of antigen and adjuvant formulation, and highlight underlying immunological mechanisms.
Elizabeth A. Thompson, Sebastian Ols, Kazutoyo Miura, Kelly Rausch, David L. Narum, Mats Spångberg, Michal Juraska, Ulrike Wille-Reece, Amy Weiner, Randall F. Howard, Carole A. Long, Patrick E. Duffy, Lloyd Johnston, Conlin P. O’Neil, Karin Loré
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) can cure some patients with hematopoietic malignancy, but this relies on the development of a donor T cell alloreactive immune response. T cell activity in the first 2 weeks after allo-SCT is crucial in determining outcome, despite the clinical effects of the early alloreactive immune response often not appearing until later. However, the effect of the allogeneic environment on T cells is difficult to study at this time point due to the effects of profound lymphopenia. We approached this problem by comparing T cells at week 2 after allograft to T cells from autograft patients. Allograft T cells were present in small numbers but displayed intense proliferation with spontaneous cytokine production. Oligoclonal expansions at week 2 came to represent a substantial fraction of the established T cell pool and were recruited into tissues affected by graft-versus-host disease. Transcriptional analysis uncovered a range of potential targets for immune manipulation, including OX40L, TWEAK, and CD70. These findings reveal that recognition of alloantigen drives naive T cells toward a unique phenotype. Moreover, they demonstrate that early clonal T cell responses are recruited to sites of subsequent tissue damage and provide a range of targets for potential therapeutic immunomodulation.
Charlotte F. Inman, Suzy A. Eldershaw, Joanne E. Croudace, Nathaniel J. Davies, Archana Sharma-Oates, Tanuja Rai, Hayden Pearce, Mirjana Sirovica, Y.L. Tracey Chan, Kriti Verma, Jianmin Zuo, Sandeep Nagra, Francesca Kinsella, Jane Nunnick, Rasoul Amel-Kashipaz, Charles Craddock, Ram Malladi, Paul Moss
Myeloid leukocytes are essentially involved in both tumor progression and control. We show that neo-adjuvant treatment of mice with an inhibitor of CSF1 receptor (CSF1R), a drug that is used to deplete tumor-associated macrophages, unexpectedly promoted metastasis. CSF1R blockade indirectly diminished the number of NK cells due to a paucity of myeloid cells that provide the survival factor IL-15 to NK cells. Reduction of the number of NK cells resulted in increased seeding of metastatic tumor cells to the lungs but did not impact on progression of established metastases. Supplementation of mice treated with CSF1R-inhibitor with IL-15 restored numbers of NK cells and diminished metastasis. Our data suggest that CSF1R blockade should be combined with administration of IL-15 to reduce the risk of metastasis.
Michal Beffinger, Paulino Tallón de Lara, Sònia Tugues, Marijne Vermeer, Yannick Montagnolo, Isabel Ohs, Virginia Cecconi, Giulia Lucchiari, Aron Gagliardi, Nikola Misljencevic, James Sutton, Roman Spörri, Burkhard Becher, Anurag Gupta, Maries van den Broek
The excessive production of type I IFNs is a hallmark and a main pathogenic mechanism of many autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In these pathologies, the sustained secretion of type I IFNs is dependent on the improper activation of plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) by self–nucleic acids. However, the nature and origin of pDC-activating self–nucleic acids is still incompletely characterized. Here, we report that exosomes isolated from the plasma of SLE patients can activate the secretion of IFN-α by human blood pDCs in vitro. This activation requires endosomal acidification and is recapitulated by microRNAs isolated from exosomes, suggesting that exosome-delivered microRNAs act as self-ligands of innate single-stranded endosomal RNA sensors. By using synthetic microRNAs, we identified an IFN induction motif that is responsible for the TLR7-dependent activation, maturation, and survival of human pDCs. These findings identify exosome-delivered microRNAs as potentially novel TLR7 endogenous ligands able to induce pDC activation in SLE patients. Therefore, microRNAs may represent novel pathogenic mediators in the onset of autoimmune reactions and potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of type I IFN–mediated diseases.
Valentina Salvi, Veronica Gianello, Sara Busatto, Paolo Bergese, Laura Andreoli, Ugo D’Oro, Alessandra Zingoni, Angela Tincani, Silvano Sozzani, Daniela Bosisio
Chimeric antigen receptor–modified (CAR-modified) T cells have shown promising therapeutic effects for hematological malignancies, yet limited and inconsistent efficacy against solid tumors. The refinement of CAR therapy requires an understanding of the optimal characteristics of the cellular products, including the appropriate composition of CD4+ and CD8+ subsets. Here, we investigated the differential antitumor effect of CD4+ and CD8+ CAR T cells targeting glioblastoma-associated (GBM-associated) antigen IL-13 receptor α2 (IL13Rα2). Upon stimulation with IL13Rα2+ GBM cells, the CD8+ CAR T cells exhibited robust short-term effector function but became rapidly exhausted. By comparison, the CD4+ CAR T cells persisted after tumor challenge and sustained their effector potency. Mixing with CD4+ CAR T cells failed to ameliorate the effector dysfunction of CD8+ CAR T cells, while surprisingly, CD4+ CAR T cell effector potency was impaired when coapplied with CD8+ T cells. In orthotopic GBM models, CD4+ outperformed CD8+ CAR T cells, especially for long-term antitumor response. Further, maintenance of the CD4+ subset was positively correlated with the recursive killing ability of CAR T cell products derived from GBM patients. These findings identify CD4+ CAR T cells as a highly potent and clinically important T cell subset for effective CAR therapy.
Dongrui Wang, Brenda Aguilar, Renate Starr, Darya Alizadeh, Alfonso Brito, Aniee Sarkissian, Julie R. Ostberg, Stephen J. Forman, Christine E. Brown
Studies in human peripheral blood monocyte–derived macrophages in vitro have shown clear evidence that multiple macrophage polarization states exist. The extent to which different alveolar macrophage (AM) polarization states exist in homeostasis or in the setting of severe injury such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is largely unknown. We applied single-cell cytometry TOF (CyTOF) to simultaneously measure 36 cell-surface markers on CD45+ cells present in bronchoalveolar lavage from healthy volunteers, as well as mechanically ventilated subjects with and without ARDS. Visualization of the high-dimensional data with the t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding algorithm demonstrated wide diversity of cell-surface marker profiles among CD33+CD71+CD163+ AMs. We then used a κ-nearest neighbor density estimation algorithm to statistically identify distinct alveolar myeloid subtypes, and we discerned 3 AM subtypes defined by CD169 and PD-L1 surface expression. The percentage of AMs that were classified into one of the 3 AM subtypes was significantly different between healthy and mechanically ventilated subjects. In an independent cohort of subjects with ARDS, PD-L1 gene expression and PD-L1/PD-1 pathway–associated gene sets were significantly decreased in AMs from patients who experienced prolonged mechanical ventilation or death. Unsupervised CyTOF analysis of alveolar leukocytes from human subjects has potential to identify expected and potentially novel myeloid populations that may be linked with clinical outcomes.
Eric D. Morrell, Alice Wiedeman, S. Alice Long, Sina A. Gharib, T. Eoin West, Shawn J. Skerrett, Mark M. Wurfel, Carmen Mikacenic
The underlying pathology of atopic dermatitis (AD) includes impaired skin barrier function, susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus skin infection, immune dysregulation, and cutaneous dysbiosis. Our recent investigation into the potential role of Gram-negative skin bacteria in AD revealed that isolates of one particular commensal, Roseomonas mucosa, collected from healthy volunteers (HVs) improved outcomes in mouse and cell culture models of AD. In contrast, isolates of R. mucosa from patients with AD worsened outcomes in these models. These preclinical results suggested that interventions targeting the microbiome could provide therapeutic benefit for patients with AD. As a first test of this hypothesis in humans, 10 adult and 5 pediatric patients were enrolled in an open-label phase I/II safety and activity trial (the Beginning Assessment of Cutaneous Treatment Efficacy for Roseomonas in Atopic Dermatitis trial; BACTERiAD I/II). Treatment with R. mucosa was associated with significant decreases in measures of disease severity, topical steroid requirement, and S. aureus burden. There were no adverse events or treatment complications. We additionally evaluated differentiating bacterial metabolites and topical exposures that may contribute to the skin dysbiosis associated with AD and/or influence future microbiome-based treatments. These early results support continued evaluation of R. mucosa therapy with a placebo-controlled trial.
Ian A. Myles, Noah J. Earland, Erik D. Anderson, Ian N. Moore, Mark D. Kieh, Kelli W. Williams, Arhum Saleem, Natalia M. Fontecilla, Pamela A. Welch, Dirk A. Darnell, Lisa A. Barnhart, Ashleigh A. Sun, Gulbu Uzel, Sandip K. Datta
Kidney injury is a frequent outcome in patients with disseminated Candida albicans fungal infections. IL-17 receptor (IL-17R) signaling is critical for renal protection against disseminated candidiasis, but the identity and function of IL-17–responsive cells in mediating renal defense remains an active area of debate. Using BM chimeras, we found that IL-17R signaling is required only in nonhematopoietic cells for immunity to systemic C. albicans infection. Since renal tubular epithelial cells (RTEC) are highly responsive to IL-17 in vitro, we hypothesized that RTEC might be the dominant target of IL-17 activity in the infected kidney. We generated mice with a conditional deletion of IL-17 receptor A (Il17ra) in RTEC (Il17raΔRTEC). Strikingly, Il17raΔRTEC mice showed enhanced kidney damage and early mortality following systemic infection, very similar to Il17ra–/– animals. Increased susceptibility to candidiasis in Il17raΔRTEC mice was associated with diminished activation of the renal protective Kallikrein-kinin system (KKS), resulting in reduced apoptosis of kidney-resident cells during hyphal invasion. Moreover, protection was restored by treatment with bradykinin, the major end-product of KKS activation, which was mediated dominantly via bradykinin receptor b1. These data show that IL-17R signaling in RTEC is necessary and likely sufficient for IL-17–mediated renal defense against fatal systemic C. albicans infection.
Kritika Ramani, Chetan V. Jawale, Akash H. Verma, Bianca M. Coleman, Jay K. Kolls, Partha S. Biswas
Although immune checkpoint inhibitors have resulted in durable clinical benefits in a subset of patients with advanced cancer, some patients who did not respond to initial anti–PD-1 therapy have been found to benefit from the addition of salvage chemotherapy. However, the mechanism responsible for the successful chemoimmunotherapy is not completely understood. Here we show that a subset of circulating CD8+ T cells expressing the chemokine receptor CX3CR1 are able to withstand the toxicity of chemotherapy and are increased in patients with metastatic melanoma who responded to chemoimmunotherapy (paclitaxel and carboplatin plus PD-1 blockade). These CX3CR1+CD8+ T cells have effector memory phenotypes and the ability to efflux chemotherapy drugs via the ABCB1 transporter. In line with clinical observation, our preclinical models identified an optimal sequencing of chemoimmunotherapy that resulted in an increase of CX3CR1+CD8+ T cells. Taken together, we found a subset of PD-1 therapy–responsive CD8+ T cells that were capable of withstanding chemotherapy and executing tumor rejection with their unique abilities of drug efflux (ABCB1), cytolytic activity (granzyme B and perforin), and migration to and retention (CX3CR1 and CD11a) at tumor sites. Future strategies to monitor and increase the frequency of CX3CR1+CD8+ T cells may help to design effective chemoimmunotherapy to overcome cancer resistance to immune checkpoint blockade therapy.
Yiyi Yan, Siyu Cao, Xin Liu, Susan M. Harrington, Wendy E. Bindeman, Alex A. Adjei, Jin Sung Jang, Jin Jen, Ying Li, Pritha Chanana, Aaron S. Mansfield, Sean S. Park, Svetomir N. Markovic, Roxana S. Dronca, Haidong Dong
Malaria remains one of the world’s most significant human infectious diseases and cerebral malaria (CM) is its most deadly complication. CM pathogenesis remains incompletely understood, hindering the development of therapeutics to prevent this lethal complication. Elevated levels of the chemokine CXCL10 are a biomarker for CM, and CXCL10 and its receptor CXCR3 are required for experimental CM (ECM) in mice, but their role has remained unclear. Using multiphoton intravital microscopy, CXCR3 receptor– and ligand–deficient mice and bone marrow chimeric mice, we demonstrate a key role for endothelial cell–produced CXCL10 in inducing the firm adhesion of T cells and preventing their cell detachment from the brain vasculature. Using a CXCL9 and CXCL10 dual-CXCR3-ligand reporter mouse, we found that CXCL10 was strongly induced in the brain endothelium as early as 4 days after infection, while CXCL9 and CXCL10 expression was found in inflammatory monocytes and monocyte-derived DCs within the blood vasculature on day 8. The induction of both CXCL9 and CXCL10 was completely dependent on IFN-γ receptor signaling. These data demonstrate that IFN-γ–induced, endothelium-derived CXCL10 plays a critical role in mediating the T cell–endothelial cell adhesive events that initiate the inflammatory cascade that injures the endothelium and induces the development of ECM.
Elizabeth W. Sorensen, Jeffrey Lian, Aleksandra J. Ozga, Yoshishige Miyabe, Sophina W. Ji, Shannon K. Bromley, Thorsten R. Mempel, Andrew D. Luster
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