Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) are currently being evaluated in clinical trials for gene therapy of CNS disorders. However, host factors that influence the spread, clearance, and transduction efficiency of AAV vectors in the brain are not well understood. Recent studies have demonstrated that fluid flow mediated by aquaporin-4 (AQP4) channels located on astroglial end feet is essential for exchange of solutes between interstitial and cerebrospinal fluid. This phenomenon, which is essential for interstitial clearance of solutes from the CNS, has been termed glial-associated lymphatic transport or glymphatic transport. In the current study, we demonstrate that glymphatic transport profoundly affects various aspects of AAV gene transfer in the CNS. Altered localization of AQP4 in aged mouse brains correlated with significantly increased retention of AAV vectors in the parenchyma and reduced systemic leakage following ventricular administration. We observed a similar increase in AAV retention and transgene expression upon i.c.v. administration in AQP4–/– mice. Consistent with this observation, fluorophore-labeled AAV vectors showed markedly reduced flux from the ventricles of AQP4–/– mice compared with WT mice. These results were further corroborated by reduced AAV clearance from the AQP4-null brain, as demonstrated by reduced transgene expression and vector genome accumulation in systemic organs. We postulate that deregulation of glymphatic transport in aged and diseased brains could markedly affect the parenchymal spread, clearance, and gene transfer efficiency of AAV vectors. Assessment of biomarkers that report the kinetics of CSF flux in prospective gene therapy patients might inform variable treatment outcomes and guide future clinical trial design.
Giridhar Murlidharan, Andrew Crowther, Rebecca A. Reardon, Juan Song, Aravind Asokan
The strong association of Zika virus infection with congenital defects has led to questions of how a flavivirus is capable of crossing the placental barrier to reach the fetal brain. Here, we demonstrate permissive Zika virus infection of primary human placental macrophages, commonly referred to as Hofbauer cells, and placental villous fibroblasts. We also demonstrate Zika virus infection of Hofbauer cells within the context of the tissue ex vivo using term placental villous explants. In addition to amplifying infectious virus within a usually inaccessible area, the putative migratory activities of Hofbauer cells may aid in dissemination of Zika virus to the fetal brain. Understanding the susceptibility of placenta-specific cell types will aid future work around and understanding of Zika virus–associated pregnancy complications.
Kellie Ann Jurado, Michael K. Simoni, Zhonghua Tang, Ryuta Uraki, Jesse Hwang, Sarah Householder, Mingjie Wu, Brett D. Lindenbach, Vikki M. Abrahams, Seth Guller, Erol Fikrig
A single-cycle herpes simplex virus (HSV) deleted in glycoprotein D (ΔgD-2) elicited high titer HSV-specific antibodies (Abs) that (i) were rapidly transported into the vaginal mucosa; (ii) elicited antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity but little neutralization; (iii) provided complete protection against lethal intravaginal challenge; and (iv) prevented establishment of latency in mice. However, clinical isolates may differ antigenically and impact vaccine efficacy. To determine the breadth and further define mechanisms of protection of this vaccine candidate, we tested ΔgD-2 against a panel of clinical isolates in a murine skin challenge model. The isolates were genetically diverse, as evidenced by genomic sequencing and in vivo virulence. Prime and boost immunization (s.c.) with live but not heat- or UV-inactivated ΔgD-2 completely protected mice from challenge with the most virulent HSV-1 and HSV-2 isolates. Furthermore, mice were completely protected against 100 times the lethal dose that typically kills 90% of animals (LD90) of a South African isolate (SD90), and no latent virus was detected in dorsal root ganglia. Immunization was associated with rapid recruitment of HSV-specific FcγRIII- and FcγRIV-activating IgG2 Abs into the skin, resolution of local cytokine and cellular inflammatory responses, and viral clearance by day 5 after challenge. Rapid clearance and the absence of latent virus suggest that ΔgD-2 elicits sterilizing immunity.
Christopher D. Petro, Brian Weinrick, Nazanin Khajoueinejad, Clare Burn, Rani Sellers, William R. Jacobs Jr, Betsy C. Herold
Over the past 8 years, the discovery of 11 new human polyomaviruses (HPyVs) has revived interest in this DNA tumor virus family. Although HPyV infection is widespread and largely asymptomatic, one of these HPyVs, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV), is a bona fide human tumor virus. JC virus (JCV), BK virus, HPyV7, and trichodysplasia-spinulosa virus (TSV) can cause nonneoplastic diseases in the setting of immunosuppression. Few specific reagents are available to study the biology of the newly discovered HPyVs. We developed a pan-HPyV-screening method using a cocktail of 3 antibodies that, when combined, recognize T antigen proteins of all HPyVs. We validated detection characteristics of the antibody cocktail by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry and screened 1,184 cases, including well-defined diseases and tumor tissue microarrays. This assay robustly detected MCV, TSV, JCV, and HPyV7 in etiologically related diseases. We further identified WU polyomavirus in a case of chronic lymphocytic lymphoma-associated bronchitis. Except for scattered, incidentally infected cells in 5% of lung squamous cell carcinomas and colon adenocarcinomas, a broad panel of tumor tissues was largely negative for infection by any HPyV. This method eliminates known HPyVs as suspected causes of cancers investigated in this study. Pan-HPyV survey can be applied to identify diseases associated with recently discovered polyomaviruses.
Tuna Toptan, Samuel A. Yousem, Jonhan Ho, Yuki Matsushima, Laura P. Stabile, Maria-Teresa Fernández-Figueras, Rohit Bhargava, Akihide Ryo, Patrick S. Moore, Yuan Chang
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