Replication competent HIV-1 persists in a subpopulation of CD4+ T lymphocytes despite prolonged antiretroviral treatment. This residual reservoir of infected cells harbors transcriptionally silent provirus capable of reigniting productive infection upon discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy. Certain classes of drugs can activate latent virus but not at levels that lead to reductions in HIV-1 reservoir size in vivo. Here, we show the utility of CD4+ receptor targeting exosomes as an HIV-1 latency reversal agent (LRA). We engineered human cellular exosomes to express HIV-1 Tat, a protein that is a potent transactivator of viral transcription. Preparations of exosomal Tat-activated HIV-1 in primary, resting CD4+ T lymphocytes isolated from antiretroviral-treated individuals with prolonged periods of viral suppression and led to the production of replication competent HIV-1. Furthermore, exosomal Tat increased the potency of selected LRA by over 30-fold in terms of HIV-1 mRNA expression, thereby establishing it as a potentially new class of biologic product with possible combinatorial utility in targeting latent HIV-1.
Xiaoli Tang, Huafei Lu, Mark Dooner, Stacey Chapman, Peter J. Quesenberry, Bharat Ramratnam
Several reports have demonstrated that mouse Cx3cr1 signaling promotes monocyte/macrophage survival. In agreement, we previously found that, in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis, genetic deficiency of Cx3cr1 resulted in increased mortality and impaired tissue fungal clearance associated with decreased macrophage survival. We translated this finding by showing that the dysfunctional CX3CR1 variant CX3CR1-M280 was associated with increased risk and worse outcome of human systemic candidiasis. However, the impact of this mutation on human monocyte/macrophage survival is poorly understood. Herein, we hypothesized that CX3CR1-M280 impairs human monocyte survival. We identified WT (CX3CR1-WT/WT), CX3CR1-WT/M280 heterozygous, and CX3CR1-M280/M280 homozygous healthy donors of European descent, and we show that CX3CL1 rescues serum starvation–induced cell death in CX3CR1-WT/WT and CX3CR1-WT/M280 but not in CX3CR1-M280/M280 monocytes. CX3CL1-induced survival of CX3CR1-WT/WT monocytes is mediated via AKT and ERK activation, which are both impaired in CX3CR1-M280/M280 monocytes, associated with decreased blood monocyte counts in CX3CR1-M280/M280 donors at steady state. Instead, CX3CR1-M280/M280 does not affect monocyte CX3CR1 surface expression or innate immune effector functions. Together, we show that homozygocity of the M280 polymorphism in CX3CR1 is a potentially novel population-based genetic factor that influences human monocyte signaling.
Amanda L. Collar, Muthulekha Swamydas, Morgan O’Hayre, Md Sanaullah Sajib, Kevin W. Hoffman, Satya P. Singh, Ahmad Mourad, Melissa D. Johnson, Elise M.N. Ferre, Joshua M. Farber, Jean K. Lim, Constantinos M. Mikelis, J. Silvio Gutkind, Michail S. Lionakis
Despite the fact that many therapeutic strategies have been adopted to delay the development of sepsis, sepsis remains one of the leading causes of death in noncoronary intensive care units. Recently, sepsis-3 was defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction due to a dysregulated host response to infection. Here, we report that swiprosin-1 (also known as EFhd2) plays an important role in the macrophage immune response to LPS-induced or cecal ligation and puncture–induced (CLP-induced) sepsis in mice. Swiprosin-1 depletion causes higher mortality, more severe organ dysfunction, restrained macrophage recruitment in the lung and kidney, and attenuated inflammatory cytokine production (including IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, and IFN-γ). The immunosuppression caused by swiprosin-1 deficiency is manifested by impaired bactericidal capacity and decreased HLA-DR expression in macrophages. Swiprosin-1 affects the activation of the JAK2/STAT1/STAT3 pathway by regulating the expression of IFN-γ receptors in macrophages. Our findings provide a potential target for the regulation of the macrophage immune response in sepsis.
Su Zhang, Ye Tu, Yi-Ming Sun, Ya Li, Rong-Mei Wang, Yongbing Cao, Ling Li, Li-Chao Zhang, Zhi-Bin Wang
Sensing of pathogens by host pattern recognition receptors is essential for activating the immune response during infection. We used a nonlethal murine model of malaria (Plasmodium yoelii 17XNL) to assess the contribution of the pattern recognition receptor cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) to the development of humoral immunity. Despite previous reports suggesting a critical, intrinsic role for cGAS in early B cell responses, cGAS-deficient (cGAS–/–) mice had no defect in the early expansion or differentiation of Plasmodium-specific B cells. As the infection proceeded, however, cGAS–/– mice exhibited higher parasite burdens and aberrant germinal center and memory B cell formation when compared with littermate controls. Antimalarial drugs were used to further demonstrate that the disrupted humoral response was not B cell intrinsic but instead was a secondary effect of a loss of parasite control. These findings therefore demonstrate that cGAS-mediated innate-sensing contributes to parasite control but is not intrinsically required for the development of humoral immunity. Our findings highlight the need to consider the indirect effects of pathogen burden in investigations examining how the innate immune system affects the adaptive immune response.
William O. Hahn, Noah S. Butler, Scott E. Lindner, Holly M. Akilesh, D. Noah Sather, Stefan H.I. Kappe, Jessica A. Hamerman, Michael Gale Jr., W. Conrad Liles, Marion Pepper
Malaria eradication necessitates new tools to fight the evolving and complex Plasmodium pathogens. These tools include prophylactic drugs that eliminate Plasmodium liver stages and consequently prevent clinical disease, decrease transmission, and reduce the propensity for resistance development. Currently, the identification of these drugs relies on in vitro P. falciparum liver stage assays or in vivo causal prophylaxis assays using rodent malaria parasites; there is no method to directly test in vivo liver stage activity of candidate antimalarials against the human malaria–causing parasite P. falciparum. Here, we use a liver-chimeric humanized mouse (FRG huHep) to demonstrate in vivo P. falciparum liver stage development and describe the efficacy of clinically used and candidate antimalarials with prophylactic activity. We show that daily administration of atovaquone-proguanil (ATQ-PG; ATQ, 30 mg/kg, and PG, 10 mg/kg) protects 5 of 5 mice from liver stage infection, consistent with the use in humans as a causal prophylactic drug. Single-dose primaquine (60 mg/kg) has similar activity to that observed in humans, demonstrating the activity of this drug (and its active metabolites) in FRG huHep mice. We also show that DSM265, a selective Plasmodial dihydroorotate dehydrogenase inhibitor with causal prophylactic activity in humans, reduces liver stage burden in FRG huHep mice. Finally, we measured liver stage–to–blood stage transition of the parasite, the ultimate readout of prophylactic activity and measurement of infective capacity of parasites in the liver, to show that ATQ-PG reduces blood stage patency to below the limit of quantitation by quantitative PCR (qPCR). The FRG huHep model, thus, provides a platform for preclinical evaluation of drug candidates for liver stage causal prophylactic activity, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics studies, and biological studies to investigate the mechanism of action of liver stage active antimalarials.
Erika L. Flannery, Lander Foquet, Vorada Chuenchob, Matthew Fishbaugher, Zachary Billman, Mary Jane Navarro, William Betz, Tayla M. Olsen, Joshua Lee, Nelly Camargo, Thao Nguyen, Carola Schafer, Brandon K. Sack, Elizabeth M. Wilson, Jessica Saunders, John Bial, Brice Campo, Susan A. Charman, Sean C. Murphy, Margaret A. Phillips, Stefan H.I. Kappe, Sebastian A. Mikolajczak
Declining levels of maternal antibodies were shown to sensitize infants born to dengue-immune mothers to severe disease during primary infection, through the process of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection (ADE). With the recent approval for human use of Sanofi-Pasteur’s chimeric dengue vaccine CYD-TDV and several vaccine candidates in clinical development, the scenario of infants born to vaccinated mothers has become a reality. This raises 2 questions: will declining levels of maternal vaccine-induced antibodies cause ADE; and, will maternal antibodies interfere with vaccination efficacy in the infant? To address these questions, the above scenario was modeled in mice. Type I IFN–deficient female mice were immunized with live attenuated DENV2 PDK53, the core component of the tetravalent DENVax candidate currently under clinical development. Pups born to PDK53-immunized dams acquired maternal antibodies that strongly neutralized parental strain 16681, but not the heterologous DENV2 strain D2Y98P-PP1, and instead caused ADE during primary infection with this strain. Furthermore, pups failed to seroconvert after PDK53 vaccination, owing to maternal antibody interference. However, a cross-protective multifunctional CD8+ T cell response did develop. Thus, our work advocates for the development of dengue vaccine candidates that induce protective CD8+ T cells despite the presence of enhancing, interfering maternal antibodies.
Jian Hang Lam, Yen Leong Chua, Pei Xuan Lee, Julia María Martínez Gómez, Eng Eong Ooi, Sylvie Alonso
Sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by neutrophilic inflammation and poor survival. Since neutrophil myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity leads to increased plasma 2-chlorofatty acid (2-ClFA) levels, we hypothesized that plasma concentrations of 2-ClFAs would associate with ARDS and mortality in subjects with sepsis. In sequential consenting patients with sepsis, free 2-ClFA levels were significantly associated with ARDS, and with 30-day mortality, for each log increase in free 2-chlorostearic acid. Plasma MPO was not associated with either ARDS or 30-day mortality but was correlated with 2-ClFA levels. Addition of plasma 2-ClFA levels to the APACHE III score improved prediction for ARDS. Plasma 2-ClFA levels correlated with plasma levels of angiopoietin-2, E selectin, and soluble thrombomodulin. Endothelial cells treated with 2-ClFA responded with increased adhesion molecule surface expression, increased angiopoietin-2 release, and dose-dependent endothelial permeability. Our results suggest that 2-ClFAs derived from neutrophil MPO-catalyzed oxidation contribute to pulmonary endothelial injury and have prognostic utility in sepsis-associated ARDS.
Nuala J. Meyer, John P. Reilly, Rui Feng, Jason D. Christie, Stanley L. Hazen, Carolyn J. Albert, Jacob D. Franke, Celine L. Hartman, Jane McHowat, David A. Ford
The development of a highly effective vaccine remains a key strategic goal to aid the control and eventual eradication of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. In recent years, the reticulocyte-binding protein homolog 5 (RH5) has emerged as the most promising blood-stage P. falciparum candidate antigen to date, capable of conferring protection against stringent challenge in Aotus monkeys. We report on the first clinical trial to our knowledge to assess the RH5 antigen — a dose-escalation phase Ia study in 24 healthy, malaria-naive adult volunteers. We utilized established viral vectors, the replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus serotype 63 (ChAd63), and the attenuated orthopoxvirus modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), encoding RH5 from the 3D7 clone of P. falciparum. Vaccines were administered i.m. in a heterologous prime-boost regimen using an 8-week interval and were well tolerated. Vaccine-induced anti-RH5 serum antibodies exhibited cross-strain functional growth inhibition activity (GIA) in vitro, targeted linear and conformational epitopes within RH5, and inhibited key interactions within the RH5 invasion complex. This is the first time to our knowledge that substantial RH5-specific responses have been induced by immunization in humans, with levels greatly exceeding the serum antibody responses observed in African adults following years of natural malaria exposure. These data support the progression of RH5-based vaccines to human efficacy testing.
Ruth O. Payne, Sarah E. Silk, Sean C. Elias, Kazutoyo Miura, Ababacar Diouf, Francis Galaway, Hans de Graaf, Nathan J. Brendish, Ian D. Poulton, Oliver J. Griffiths, Nick J. Edwards, Jing Jin, Geneviève M. Labbé, Daniel G.W. Alanine, Loredana Siani, Stefania Di Marco, Rachel Roberts, Nicky Green, Eleanor Berrie, Andrew S. Ishizuka, Carolyn M. Nielsen, Martino Bardelli, Frederica D. Partey, Michael F. Ofori, Lea Barfod, Juliana Wambua, Linda M. Murungi, Faith H. Osier, Sumi Biswas, James S. McCarthy, Angela M. Minassian, Rebecca Ashfield, Nicola K. Viebig, Fay L. Nugent, Alexander D. Douglas, Johan Vekemans, Gavin J. Wright, Saul N. Faust, Adrian V.S. Hill, Carole A. Long, Alison M. Lawrie, Simon J. Draper
The innate immune response shapes the development of adaptive immunity following infections and vaccination. However, it can also induce symptoms such as fever and myalgia, leading to the possibility that the molecular basis of immunogenicity and reactogenicity of vaccination are inseparably linked. To test this possibility, we used the yellow fever live-attenuated vaccine (YFLAV) as a model to study the molecular correlates of reactogenicity or adverse events (AEs). We analyzed the outcome of 68 adults who completed a YFLAV clinical trial, of which 43 (63.2%) reported systemic AEs. Through whole-genome profiling of blood collected before and after YFLAV dosing, we observed that activation of innate immune genes at day 1, but not day 3 after vaccination, was directly correlated with AEs. These findings contrast with the gene expression profile at day 3 that we and others have previously shown to be correlated with immunogenicity. We conclude that although the innate immune response is a double-edged sword, its expression that induces AEs is temporally distinct from that which engenders robust immunity. The use of genomic profiling thus provides molecular insights into the biology of AEs that potentially forms a basis for the development of safer vaccines.
Candice Y.Y. Chan, Kuan Rong Chan, Camillus J.H. Chua, Sharifah nur Hazirah, Sujoy Ghosh, Eng Eong Ooi, Jenny G. Low
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a global health threat, compounded by the emergence of drug-resistant strains. A hallmark of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is the formation of hypoxic necrotic granulomas, which upon disintegration, release infectious Mtb. Furthermore, hypoxic necrotic granulomas are associated with increased disease severity and provide a niche for drug-resistant Mtb. However, the host immune responses that promote the development of hypoxic TB granulomas are not well described. Using a necrotic Mtb mouse model, we show that loss of Mtb virulence factors, such as phenolic glycolipids, decreases the production of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 (also referred to as IL-17A). IL-17 production negatively regulates the development of hypoxic TB granulomas by limiting the expression of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α). In human TB patients, HIF1α mRNA expression is increased. Through genotyping and association analyses in human samples, we identified a link between the single nucleotide polymorphism rs2275913 in the IL-17 promoter (–197G/G), which is associated with decreased IL-17 production upon stimulation with Mtb cell wall. Together, our data highlight a potentially novel role for IL-17 in limiting the development of hypoxic necrotic granulomas and reducing disease severity in TB.
Racquel Domingo-Gonzalez, Shibali Das, Kristin L. Griffiths, Mushtaq Ahmed, Monika Bambouskova, Radha Gopal, Suhas Gondi, Marcela Muñoz-Torrico, Miguel A. Salazar-Lezama, Alfredo Cruz-Lagunas, Luis Jiménez-Álvarez, Gustavo Ramirez-Martinez, Ramón Espinosa-Soto, Tamanna Sultana, James Lyons-Weiler, Todd A. Reinhart, Jesus Arcos, Maria de la Luz Garcia-Hernandez, Michael A. Mastrangelo, Noor Al-Hammadi, Reid Townsend, Joan-Miquel Balada-Llasat, Jordi B. Torrelles, Gilla Kaplan, William Horne, Jay K. Kolls, Maxim N. Artyomov, Javier Rangel-Moreno, Joaquín Zúñiga, Shabaana A. Khader
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