BACKGROUND. The clearance of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss, defined as functional cure, is a clinical target in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CH). To understand the immune responses underlying functional cure, we evaluated cytokine and chemokine expression profiles from patients with resolving and nonresolving acute hepatitis B (AH). METHODS. We cross-sectionally evaluated 41 chemokines and cytokines at the peak of hepatitis in the sera from 41 self-limited AH patients who achieved HBsAg seroconversion, 8 AH patients who failed to clear HBsAg within 1 year after the diagnosis, 8 CH patients with hepatic flare, and 14 healthy volunteers. We longitudinally examined 41 chemokines and cytokines in the sera from 4 self-limited AH patients, 3 chimpanzees inoculated with hepatitis B virus (HBV), and 2 CH patients treated with nucleotide analogs and PEG–IFN-α, one resulting in functional cure. RESULTS. In AH patients and HBV-inoculated chimpanzees with HBsAg loss, CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11, CXCL13, and IL-21 were elevated at hepatitis with subsequent decline of HBsAg. Interestingly, IL-21 elevation was observed only in resolving AH patients but not in nonresolvers. CXCL13 and IL-21 elevation was not observed in CH patients who failed to attain HBsAg loss, even at hepatic flare. A concomitant increase of CXCL13 and IL-21 was significant in CH patients who attained HBsAg seroconversion with a sequential therapy. CONCLUSION. Elevation of serum CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11, CXCL13, and IL-21 might be a hallmark of functional cure of AH or CH patients.
Sachiyo Yoshio, Yohei Mano, Hiroyoshi Doi, Hirotaka Shoji, Tomonari Shimagaki, Yuzuru Sakamoto, Hironari Kawai, Michitaka Matsuda, Taizo Mori, Yosuke Osawa, Masaaki Korenaga, Masaya Sugiyama, Masashi Mizokami, Eiji Mita, Keiko Katayama, Junko Tanaka, Tatsuya Kanto
Posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) has been found to be effective in ameliorating acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in patients following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT). Adoptive transfer of high numbers of donor Tregs in experimental aHSCT has shown promise as a therapeutic modality for GVHD regulation. We recently described a strategy for in vivo Treg expansion targeting two receptors: TNFRSF25 and CD25. To date, there have been no direct comparisons between the use of PTCy and Tregs regarding outcome and immune reconstitution within identical groups of transplanted mice. Here, we assessed these two strategies and found both decreased clinical GVHD and improved survival long term. However, recipients transplanted with Treg-expanded donor cells (TrED) exhibited less weight loss early after HSCT. Additionally, TrED recipients demonstrated less thymic damage, significantly more recent thymic emigrants, and more rapid lymphoid engraftment. Three months after HSCT, PTCy-treated and TrED recipients showed tolerance to F1 skin allografts and comparable immune function. Overall, TrED was found superior to PTCy with regard to weight loss early after transplant and initial lymphoid engraftment. Based on these findings, we speculate that morbidity and mortality after transplant could be diminished following TrED transplant into aHSCT recipients, and, therefore, that TrED could provide a promising clinical strategy for GVHD prophylaxis.
Dietlinde Wolf, Cameron S. Bader, Henry Barreras, Sabrina Copsel, Brent J. Pfeiffer, Casey O. Lightbourn, Norman H. Altman, Krishna V. Komanduri, Robert B. Levy
Recent studies in cancer research have focused intensely on the antineoplastic effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors. While the development of these inhibitors has progressed successfully, strategies to further improve their efficacy and reduce their toxicity are still needed. We hypothesized that the delivery of anti–PD-1 antibody encapsulated in PLGA nanoparticles (anti–PD-1 NPs) to the spleen would improve the antitumor effect of this agent. Unexpectedly, we found that mice treated with a high dose of anti–PD-1 NPs exhibited significantly higher mortality compared with those treated with free anti–PD-1 antibody, due to the overactivation of T cells. Administration of anti–PD-1 NPs to splenectomized LT-α–/– mice, which lack both lymph nodes and spleen, resulted in a complete reversal of this increased mortality and revealed the importance of secondary lymphoid tissues in mediating anti–PD-1–associated toxicity. Attenuation of the anti–PD-1 NPs dosage prevented toxicity and significantly improved its antitumor effect in the B16-F10 murine melanoma model. Furthermore, we found that anti–PD-1 NPs undergo internalization by DCs in the spleen, leading to their maturation and the subsequent activation of T cells. Our findings provide important clues that can lead to the development of strategies to enhance the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Farideh Ordikhani, Mayuko Uehara, Vivek Kasinath, Li Dai, Siawosh K. Eskandari, Baharak Bahmani, Merve Yonar, Jamil R. Azzi, Yousef Haik, Peter T. Sage, George F. Murphy, Nasim Annabi, Tobias Schatton, Indira Guleria, Reza Abdi
TGF-β is a promising immunotherapeutic target. It is expressed ubiquitously in a latent form that must be activated to function. Determination of where and how latent TGF-β (L-TGF-β) is activated in the tumor microenvironment could facilitate cell- and mechanism-specific approaches to immunotherapeutically target TGF-β. Binding of L-TGF-β to integrin αvβ8 results in activation of TGF-β. We engineered and used αvβ8 antibodies optimized for blocking or detection, which — respectively — inhibit tumor growth in syngeneic tumor models or sensitively and specifically detect β8 in human tumors. Inhibition of αvβ8 potentiates cytotoxic T cell responses and recruitment of immune cells to tumor centers — effects that are independent of PD-1/PD-L1. β8 is expressed on the cell surface at high levels by tumor cells, not immune cells, while the reverse is true of L-TGF-β, suggesting that tumor cell αvβ8 serves as a platform for activating cell-surface L-TGF-β presented by immune cells. Transcriptome analysis of tumor-associated lymphoid cells reveals macrophages as a key cell type responsive to β8 inhibition with major increases in chemokine and tumor-eliminating genes. High β8 expression in tumor cells is seen in 20%–80% of various cancers, which rarely coincides with high PD-L1 expression. These data suggest tumor cell αvβ8 is a PD-1/PD-L1–independent immunotherapeutic target.
Naoki Takasaka, Robert I. Seed, Anthony Cormier, Andrew J. Bondesson, Jianlong Lou, Ahmed Elattma, Saburo Ito, Haruhiko Yanagisawa, Mitsuo Hashimoto, Royce Ma, Michelle D. Levine, Jean Publicover, Rashaun Potts, Jillian M. Jespersen, Melody G. Campbell, Fraser Conrad, James D. Marks, Yifan Cheng, Jody L. Baron, Stephen L. Nishimura
Sensitization to Aspergillus species is associated with allergic respiratory diseases. Allergen immunotherapy with nonstandardized Aspergillus extracts is commonly used as therapy in these patients. Unfortunately, no method exists to measure the relevant allergen protein content in diagnostic and therapeutic extracts. Thus, there is a critical need for Aspergillus extract standardization. We hypothesized that development of Aspergillus-specific human IgE mAbs would allow for the characterization of the relevant human allergenic epitopes among currently available commercial Aspergillus fumigatus extracts. Patients with allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis were recruited from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. IgE antibody–secreting B cells were grown and immortalized using human hybridoma techniques first described here. Twenty-six human Aspergillus-reactive IgE mAbs were used as capture and detection reagents to characterize the Aspergillus allergen content of commercial extracts. We found extreme variability in the specificity and quantity of their protein targets. Just 4 mAbs reacted with all available extracts, and only 1 of 4 extracts contained the major allergen Asp f 1. This degree of variability will almost certainly affect the efficacy of these reagents when used in diagnosis and treatment. Human IgE mAbs represent an innovative tool for the evaluation of relevant human allergenic epitopes, which may assist in future development and long-term standardization of mold extracts.
Mark A. Wurth, Azadeh Hadadianpour, Dennis J. Horvath, Jacob Daniel, Olivia Bogdan, Kasia Goleniewska, Anna Pomés, Robert G. Hamilton, R. Stokes Peebles Jr., Scott A. Smith
Maternal obesity and a high-fat diet (HFD) during the perinatal period have documented short- and long-term adverse outcomes for offspring. However, the mechanisms of maternal HFD effects on neonatal offspring are unclear. While the effects of maternal HFD exposure during pregnancy on the offspring are increasingly being appreciated, we do not know if maternal HFD alters the microbiota or affects neonatal susceptibility to inflammatory conditions, nor the mechanisms involved. In this study, we show that the offspring of mothers exposed to HFD develop a unique microbiota, marked by expansion of Firmicutes, and an increase in IL-17–producing type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s). The expansion of ILC3s was recapitulated through neocolonization with HFD microbiota alone. Further, the HFD offspring were susceptible to a neonatal model of inflammation that was reversible with IL-17 blockade. Collectively, these data suggest a previously unknown and unique role for ILC3s in the promotion of an early inflammatory susceptibility in the offspring of mothers exposed to HFD.
Sarah Thomas Babu, Xinying Niu, Megan Raetz, Rashmin C. Savani, Lora V. Hooper, Julie Mirpuri
BACKGROUND. The PD-1–blocking antibody nivolumab persists in patients several weeks after the last infusion. However, no study has systematically evaluated the maximum duration that the antibody persists on T cells or the association between this duration and residual therapeutic efficacy or potential adverse events. METHODS. To define the duration of binding and residual efficacy of nivolumab after discontinuation, we developed a simplified strategy for T cell monitoring and used it to analyze T cells from peripheral blood from 11 non–small cell lung cancer patients previously treated with nivolumab. To determine the suitability of our method for other applications, we compared transcriptome profiles between nivolumab-bound and nivolumab-unbound CD8 T cells. We also applied T cell monitoring in 2 nivolumab-treated patients who developed progressive lung tumors during long-term follow-up. RESULTS. Prolonged nivolumab binding was detected more than 20 weeks after the last infusion, regardless of the total number of nivolumab infusions (2–15 doses) or type of subsequent treatment, in 9 of the 11 cases in which long-term monitoring was possible. Ki-67 positivity, a proliferation marker, in T cells decreased in patients with progressive disease. Transcriptome profiling identified the signals regulating activation of nivolumab-bound T cells, which may contribute to nivolumab resistance. In 2 patients who restarted nivolumab, T cell proliferation markers exhibited the opposite trend and correlated with clinical response. CONCLUSIONS. Although only a few samples were analyzed, our strategy of monitoring both nivolumab binding and Ki-67 in T cells might help determine residual efficacy under various types of concurrent or subsequent treatment. TRIAL REGISTRATION. University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry, UMIN000024623. FUNDING. This work was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI (JP17K16045, JP18H05282, and JP15K09220), Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (JP17cm0106310, JP18cm0106335 and JP18cm059042), and Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (JPMJCR16G2).
Akio Osa, Takeshi Uenami, Shohei Koyama, Kosuke Fujimoto, Daisuke Okuzaki, Takayuki Takimoto, Haruhiko Hirata, Yukihiro Yano, Soichiro Yokota, Yuhei Kinehara, Yujiro Naito, Tomoyuki Otsuka, Masaki Kanazu, Muneyoshi Kuroyama, Masanari Hamaguchi, Taro Koba, Yu Futami, Mikako Ishijima, Yasuhiko Suga, Yuki Akazawa, Hirotomo Machiyama, Kota Iwahori, Hyota Takamatsu, Izumi Nagatomo, Yoshito Takeda, Hiroshi Kida, Esra A. Akbay, Peter S. Hammerman, Kwok-kin Wong, Glenn Dranoff, Masahide Mori, Takashi Kijima, Atsushi Kumanogoh
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT). The tyrosine kinase SYK contributes to both acute and chronic GVHD development, making it an attractive target for GVHD prevention. Entospletinib (ENTO) is a second-generation highly selective SYK inhibitor with a high safety profile. Potential utility of ENTO as GVHD prophylaxis in patients was examined using a preclinical mouse model of eye and skin GVHD and ENTO-compounded chow. We found that early SYK inhibition improved blood immune cell reconstitution in GVHD mice and prolonged survival, with 60% of mice surviving to day +120 compared with 10% of mice treated with placebo. Compared with mice receiving placebo, mice receiving ENTO had dramatic improvements in clinical eye scores, alopecia scores, and skin scores. Infiltrating SYK+ cells expressing B220 or F4/80, resembling SYK+ cells found in lichenoid skin lesions of chronic GVHD patients, were abundant in the skin of placebo mice but were rare in ENTO-treated mice. Thus, ENTO given early after HCT safely prevented GVHD.
Jonathan C. Poe, Wei Jia, Julie A. Di Paolo, Nancy J. Reyes, Ji Yun Kim, Hsuan Su, John S. Sundy, Adela R. Cardones, Victor L. Perez, Benny J. Chen, Nelson J. Chao, Diana M. Cardona, Daniel R. Saban, Stefanie Sarantopoulos
Innate immune responses that control early Mtb infection are poorly understood, but understanding these responses may inform vaccination and immunotherapy strategies. Innate T cells that respond to conserved bacterial ligands such as mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) and γδ T cells are prime candidates to mediate these early innate responses but have not been examined in subjects who have been recently exposed to Mtb. We recruited a cohort living in the same household with an active tuberculosis (TB) case and examined the abundance and functional phenotypes of 3 innate T cell populations reactive to M. tuberculosis: γδ T, invariant NK T (iNKT), and MAIT cells. Both MAIT and γδ T cells from subjects with Mtb exposure display ex vivo phenotypes consistent with recent activation. However, both MAIT and γδ T cell subsets have distinct response profiles, with CD4+ MAIT and γδ T cells accumulating after infection. Examination of exposed but uninfected contacts demonstrates that resistance to initial infection is accompanied by robust MAIT cell CD25 expression and granzyme B production coupled with a depressed CD69 and IFNγ response. Finally, we demonstrate that MAIT cell abundance and function correlate with the abundance of specific gut microbes, suggesting that responses to initial infection may be modulated by the intestinal microbiome.
Charles Kyriakos Vorkas, Matthew F. Wipperman, Kelin Li, James Bean, Shakti K. Bhattarai, Matthew Adamow, Phillip Wong, Jeffrey Aubé, Marc Antoine Jean Juste, Vanni Bucci, Daniel W. Fitzgerald, Michael S. Glickman
The presence of a reservoir of latently infected cells in HIV-infected patients is a major barrier towards finding a cure. One active cure strategy is to find latency-reversing agents that induce viral reactivation, thus leading to immune cell recognition and elimination of latently infected cells, known as the shock-and-kill strategy. Therefore, the identification of molecules that reactivate latent HIV and increase immune activation has the potential to further these strategies into the clinic. Here, we characterized synthetic molecules composed of a TLR2 and a TLR7 agonist (dual TLR2/7 agonists) as latency-reversing agents and compared their activity with that of the TLR2 agonist Pam2CSK4 and the TLR7 agonist GS-9620. We found that these dual TLR2/7 agonists reactivate latency by 2 complementary mechanisms. The TLR2 component reactivates HIV by inducing NF-κB activation in memory CD4+ T cells, while the TLR7 component induces the secretion of TNF-α by monocytes and plasmacytoid dendritic cells, promoting viral reactivation in CD4+ T cells. Furthermore, the TLR2 component induces the secretion of IL-22, which promotes an antiviral state and blocks HIV infection in CD4+ T cells. Our study provides insight into the use of these agonists as a multipronged approach targeting eradication of latent HIV.
Amanda B. Macedo, Camille L. Novis, Caroline M. De Assis, Eric S. Sorensen, Paula Moszczynski, Szu-han Huang, Yanqin Ren, Adam M. Spivak, R. Brad Jones, Vicente Planelles, Alberto Bosque
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