Eradication of the HIV-1 latent reservoir represents the current paradigm to developing a cure for AIDS. HIV-1 has evolved multiple mechanisms to evade CD8 T cell responses, including HIV-1 Nef–mediated downregulation of MHC-I from the surface of infected cells. Nef transcripts and protein are detectable in samples from aviremic donors, suggesting that Nef expression in latently HIV-1–infected CD4 T cells protects them from immune-mediated clearance. Here, we tested 4 small molecule inhibitors of HIV-1 Nef in an in vitro primary CD4 T cell latency model and measured the ability of autologous ex vivo or HIV-1 peptide–expanded CD8 T cells to recognize and kill latently infected cells as a function of inhibitor treatment. Nef inhibition enhanced cytokine secretion by autologous CD8 T cells against latently HIV-1–infected targets in an IFN-γ release assay. Additionally, CD8 T cell–mediated elimination of latently HIV-1–infected cells was significantly enhanced following Nef blockade, measured as a reduction in the frequency of infected cells and Gag protein in cultures following viral outgrowth assays. We demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge that Nef blockade, in combination with HIV-specific CD8 T cell expansion, might be a feasible strategy to target the HIV-1 latent reservoir that should be tested further in vivo.
Shariq Mujib, Aamir Saiyed, Saleh Fadel, Ardalan Bozorgzad, Nasra Aidarus, Feng Yun Yue, Erika Benko, Colin Kovacs, Lori A. Emert-Sedlak, Thomas E. Smithgall, Mario A. Ostrowski
Selection of biased T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires across individuals is seen in both infectious diseases and autoimmunity, but the underlying molecular basis leading to these shared repertoires remains unclear. Celiac disease (CD) occurs primarily in HLA-DQ2.5+ individuals and is characterized by a CD4+ T cell response against gluten epitopes dominated by DQ2.5-glia-α1a and DQ2.5-glia-α2. The DQ2.5-glia-α2 response recruits a highly biased TCR repertoire composed of TRAV26-1 paired with TRBV7-2 harboring a semipublic CDR3β loop. We aimed to unravel the molecular basis for this signature. By variable gene segment exchange, directed mutagenesis, and cellular T cell activation studies, we found that TRBV7-3 can substitute for TRBV7-2, as both can contain the canonical CDR3β loop. Furthermore, we identified a pivotal germline-encoded MHC recognition motif centered on framework residue Y40 in TRAV26-1 engaging both DQB1*02 and the canonical CDR3β. This allowed prediction of expanded DQ2.5-glia-α2–reactive TCR repertoires, which were confirmed by single-cell sorting and TCR sequencing from CD patient samples. Our data refine our understanding of how HLA-dependent biased TCR repertoires are selected in the periphery due to germline-encoded residues.
Kristin Støen Gunnarsen, Lene Støkken Høydahl, Louise Fremgaard Risnes, Shiva Dahal-Koirala, Ralf Stefan Neumann, Elin Bergseng, Terje Frigstad, Rahel Frick, M. Fleur du Pré, Bjørn Dalhus, Knut E.A. Lundin, Shuo-Wang Qiao, Ludvig M. Sollid, Inger Sandlie, Geir Åge Løset
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a B cell–mediated autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Pathogenic autoantibodies to muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) can be found in patients with MG who do not have detectable antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). MuSK MG includes immunological and clinical features that are generally distinct from AChR MG, particularly regarding responsiveness to therapy. B cell depletion has been shown to affect a decline in serum autoantibodies and to induce sustained clinical improvement in the majority of MuSK MG patients. However, the duration of this benefit may be limited, as we observed disease relapse in MuSK MG patients who had achieved rituximab-induced remission. We investigated the mechanisms of such relapses by exploring autoantibody production in the reemerging B cell compartment. Autoantibody-expressing CD27+ B cells were observed within the reconstituted repertoire during relapse but not during remission or in controls. Using two complementary approaches, which included production of 108 unique human monoclonal recombinant immunoglobulins, we demonstrated that antibody-secreting CD27hiCD38hi B cells (plasmablasts) contribute to the production of MuSK autoantibodies during relapse. The autoantibodies displayed hallmarks of antigen-driven affinity maturation. These collective findings introduce potential mechanisms for understanding both MuSK autoantibody production and disease relapse following B cell depletion.
Panos Stathopoulos, Aditya Kumar, Richard J. Nowak, Kevin C. O’Connor
BACKGROUND. Cross-reactive immunological material–negative (CRIM-negative) infantile Pompe disease (IPD) patients develop an immune response against enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with alglucosidase alfa that nullifies ERT efficacy. Prophylactic immune tolerance induction (ITI) with rituximab, methotrexate, and IVIG successfully prevents development of deleterious rhGAA IgG antibodies; however, safety, likelihood of success, and long-term efficacy of ITI in a larger cohort remain unknown. METHODS. Clinical data were analyzed for 19 CRIM-negative IPD patients who received ITI with rituximab, methotrexate, and IVIG in the ERT-naive setting (ERT+ITI) and compared to a historical cohort of 10 CRIM-negative IPD patients on ERT monotherapy. RESULTS. ITI was safely tolerated, although infections were reported in 4 patients. Fourteen (74%) ERT+ITI patients were alive, with a median age of 44.2 months at their final assessment. The eldest survivor was 103.9 months old, with 100.2 months of follow-up after initiation of ERT+ITI. Death (n = 5) occurred at a median age of 29.2 months and was unrelated to the administration of ITI. Fifteen patients either did not seroconvert (n = 8) or maintained low titers (n = 7; defined as titers of ≤6,400 throughout the course of ERT) following ERT+ITI. Only one patient developed high and sustained antibody titers (defined as titers of ≥51,200 at or beyond 6 months on ERT). Left ventricular mass index (LVMI) decreased from a median of 248.5 g/m2 at baseline to 76.8 g/m2 at a median time from ERT+ITI initiation to 59 weeks. ERT+ITI significantly improved overall survival (P = 0.001), eliminated/reduced antibodies at values of ≤6,400 at week 52 on ERT (P = 0.0004), and improved LVMI at week 52 on ERT (P = 0.02) when compared with ERT monotherapy. CONCLUSION. Evidence from this international cohort of CRIM-negative IPD patients further supports the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of ITI in the prevention of immune responses to ERT. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01665326. FUNDING. This research was supported in part by the Lysosomal Disease Network, a part of NIH Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network, and by a grant from Genzyme, a Sanofi company.
Zoheb B. Kazi, Ankit K. Desai, Kathryn L. Berrier, R. Bradley Troxler, Raymond Y. Wang, Omar A. Abdul-Rahman, Pranoot Tanpaiboon, Nancy J. Mendelsohn, Eli Herskovitz, David Kronn, Michal Inbar-Feigenberg, Catherine Ward-Melver, Michelle Polan, Punita Gupta, Amy S. Rosenberg, Priya S. Kishnani
The maintenance of peripheral naive T lymphocytes in humans is dependent on their homeostatic division, not continuing emigration from the thymus, which undergoes involution with age. However, postthymic maintenance of naive T cells is still poorly understood. Previously we reported that recent thymic emigrants (RTEs) are contained in CD31+CD25− naive T cells as defined by their levels of signal joint T cell receptor rearrangement excision circles (sjTRECs). Here, by differential gene expression analysis followed by protein expression and functional studies, we define that the naive T cells having divided the least since thymic emigration express complement receptors (CR1 and CR2) known to bind complement C3b- and C3d-decorated microbial products and, following activation, produce IL-8 (CXCL8), a major chemoattractant for neutrophils in bacterial defense. We also observed an IL-8–producing memory T cell subpopulation coexpressing CR1 and CR2 and with a gene expression signature resembling that of RTEs. The functions of CR1 and CR2 on T cells remain to be determined, but we note that CR2 is the receptor for Epstein-Barr virus, which is a cause of T cell lymphomas and a candidate environmental factor in autoimmune disease.
Marcin L. Pekalski, Arcadio Rubio García, Ricardo C. Ferreira, Daniel B. Rainbow, Deborah J. Smyth, Meghavi Mashar, Jane Brady, Natalia Savinykh, Xaquin Castro Dopico, Sumiyya Mahmood, Simon Duley, Helen E. Stevens, Neil M. Walker, Antony J. Cutler, Frank Waldron-Lynch, David B. Dunger, Claire Shannon-Lowe, Alasdair J. Coles, Joanne L. Jones, Chris Wallace, John A. Todd, Linda S. Wicker
Experimental data indicate that FOXP3+ Tregs can markedly curtail host antitumor immune responses, but the properties of human intratumoral Tregs are still largely unknown, in part due to significant methodologic problems. We studied the phenotypic, functional, epigenetic, and transcriptional features of Tregs in 92 patients with non–small-cell lung cancer, comparing the features of Tregs within tumors versus corresponding blood, lung, and lymph node samples. Intratumoral Treg numbers and suppressive function were significantly increased compared with all other sites but did not display a distinctive phenotype by flow cytometry. However, by undertaking simultaneous evaluation of mRNA and protein expression at the single-cell level, we demonstrated that tumor Tregs have a phenotype characterized by upregulated expression of FOXP3 mRNA and protein as well as significantly increased expression of EOS, IRF4, SATB1, and GATA1 transcription factor mRNAs. Expression of these “Treg-locking” transcription factors was positively correlated with levels of FOXP3 mRNA, with highest correlations for EOS and SATB1. EOS had an additional, FOXP3 mRNA–independent, positive correlation with FOXP3 protein in tumor Tregs. Our study identifies distinctive features of intratumoral Tregs and suggests that targeting Treg-locking transcription factors, especially EOS, may be of clinical importance for antitumor Treg-based therapy.
Tatiana Akimova, Tianyi Zhang, Dmitri Negorev, Sunil Singhal, Jason Stadanlick, Abhishek Rao, Michael Annunziata, Matthew H. Levine, Ulf H. Beier, Joshua M. Diamond, Jason D. Christie, Steven M. Albelda, Evgeniy B. Eruslanov, Wayne W. Hancock
BACKGROUND. Deficiency of IL-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA) is a rare autoinflammatory disease that presents with life-threatening systemic inflammation, aseptic multifocal osteomyelitis, and pustulosis responsive to IL-1–blocking treatment. This study was performed (a) to investigate rilonacept, a long-acting IL-1 inhibitor, in maintaining anakinra-induced inflammatory remission in DIRA patients, (b) to determine doses needed to maintain remission, and (c) to evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetics of rilonacept in young children (<12 years). METHODS. Six mutation-positive DIRA patients (children, ages 3–6 years), treated with daily anakinra, were enrolled into an open-label pilot study of subcutaneous rilonacept for 24 months. Clinical symptoms and inflammatory blood parameters were measured at all visits. A loading dose (4.4 mg/kg) was administered, followed by once weekly injections (2.2 mg/kg) for 12 months. Dose escalation (4.4 mg/kg) was allowed if inflammatory remission was not maintained. Subjects in remission at 12 months continued rilonacept for an additional 12 months. RESULTS. Five of six patients required dose escalation for findings of micropustules. Following dose escalation, all patients were in remission on weekly rilonacept administration, with stable laboratory parameters for the entire study period of 24 months. All children are growing at normal rates and have normal heights and weights. Quality of life improved while on rilonacept. No serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION. Rilonacept was found to maintain inflammatory remission in DIRA patients. The once weekly injection was well tolerated and correlated with increased quality of life, most likely related to the lack of daily injections. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01801449. FUNDING. NIH, NIAMS, and NIAID.
Megha Garg, Adriana A. de Jesus, Dawn Chapelle, Paul Dancey, Ronit Herzog, Rafael Rivas-Chacon, Theresa L. Wampler Muskardin, Ann Reed, James C. Reynolds, Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky, Gina A. Montealegre Sanchez
GPCR expression was intensively studied in bulk cDNA of leukocyte populations, but limited data are available with respect to expression in individual cells. Here, we show a microfluidic-based single-cell GPCR expression analysis in primary T cells, myeloid cells, and endothelial cells under naive conditions and during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the mouse model of multiple sclerosis. We found that neuroinflammation induces characteristic changes in GPCR heterogeneity and patterning, and we identify various functionally relevant subgroups with specific GPCR profiles among spinal cord–infiltrating CD4 T cells, macrophages, microglia, or endothelial cells. Using GPCRs CXCR4, S1P1, and LPHN2 as examples, we show how this information can be used to develop new strategies for the functional modulation of Th17 cells and activated endothelial cells. Taken together, single-cell GPCR expression analysis identifies functionally relevant subpopulations with specific GPCR repertoires and provides a basis for the development of new therapeutic strategies in immune disorders.
Denise Tischner, Myriam Grimm, Harmandeep Kaur, Daniel Staudenraus, Jorge Carvalho, Mario Looso, Stefan Günther, Florian Wanke, Sonja Moos, Nelly Siller, Johanna Breuer, Nicholas Schwab, Frauke Zipp, Ari Waisman, Florian C. Kurschus, Stefan Offermanns, Nina Wettschureck
Gut-associated lymphoid tissues are enriched in CCR6+ Th17-polarized CD4+ T cells that contribute to HIV-1 persistence during antiretroviral therapy (ART). This raises the need for Th17-targeted immunotherapies. In an effort to identify mechanisms governing HIV-1 permissiveness/persistence in gut-homing Th17 cells, we analyzed the transcriptome of CCR6+ versus CCR6– T cells exposed to the gut-homing inducer retinoic acid (RA) and performed functional validations in colon biopsies of HIV-infected individuals receiving ART (HIV+ART). Although both CCR6+ and CCR6– T cells acquired gut-homing markers upon RA exposure, the modulation of unique sets of genes coincided with preferential HIV-1 replication in RA-treated CCR6+ T cells. This molecular signature included the upregulation of HIV-dependency factors acting at entry/postentry levels, such as the CCR5 and PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 signaling pathways. Of note, mTOR expression/phosphorylation was distinctively induced by RA in CCR6+ T cells. Consistently, mTOR inhibitors counteracted the effect of RA on HIV replication in vitro and viral reactivation in CD4+ T cells from HIV+ART individuals via postentry mechanisms independent of CCR5. Finally, CCR6+ versus CCR6– T cells infiltrating the colons of HIV+ART individuals expressed unique molecular signatures, including higher levels of CCR5, integrin β7, and mTOR phosphorylation. Together, our results identify mTOR as a druggable key regulator of HIV permissiveness in gut-homing CCR6+ T cells.
Delphine Planas, Yuwei Zhang, Patricia Monteiro, Jean-Philippe Goulet, Annie Gosselin, Nathalie Grandvaux, Thomas J. Hope, Ariberto Fassati, Jean-Pierre Routy, Petronela Ancuta
Clinical responses to infection or vaccination and the development of effective immunity are characterized in humans by a marked interindividual variability. To gain an insight into the factors affecting this variability, we used a controlled human infection system to study early immune events following primary infection of healthy human volunteers with blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria. By day 4 of infection, a dichotomous pattern of high or low expression of a defined set of microRNAs (miRs) emerged in volunteers that correlated with variation in parasite growth rate. Moreover, high-miR responders had higher numbers of activated CD4+ T cells, and developed significantly enhanced antimalarial antibody responses. Notably, a set of 17 miRs was identified in the whole blood of low-miR responders prior to infection that differentiated them from high-miR responders. These data implicate preexisting host factors as major determinants in the ability to effectively respond to primary malaria infection.
Julie G. Burel, Simon H. Apte, Penny L. Groves, Michelle J. Boyle, Christine Langer, James G. Beeson, James S. McCarthy, Denise L. Doolan
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