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Mechanisms of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell–mediated antitumor immunity and toxicity remain poorly characterized because few studies examine the intact tumor microenvironment (TME) following CAR T cell infusion. Axicabtagene ciloleucel is an autologous anti-CD19 CAR T cell therapy approved for patients with large B cell lymphoma. We devised multiplex immunostaining and ISH assays to interrogate CAR T cells and other immune cell infiltrates in biopsies of diffuse large B cell lymphoma following axicabtagene ciloleucel infusion. We found that a majority of intratumoral CAR T cells expressed markers of T cell activation but, unexpectedly, constituted ≤5% of all T cells within the TME 5 days or more after therapy. Large numbers of T cells without CAR were also activated within the TME after axicabtagene ciloleucel infusion; these cells were positive for Ki-67, IFN-γ, granzyme B (GzmB), and/or PD-1 and were found at the highest levels in biopsies with CAR T cells. Additionally, non-CAR immune cells were the exclusive source of IL-6, a cytokine associated with cytokine release syndrome, and were found at their highest numbers in biopsies with CAR T cells. These data suggest that intratumoral CAR T cells are associated with non-CAR immune cell activation within the TME with both beneficial and pathological effects.
Pei-Hsuan Chen, Mikel Lipschitz, Jason L. Weirather, Caron Jacobson, Philippe Armand, Kyle Wright, F. Stephen Hodi, Zachary J. Roberts, Stuart A. Sievers, John Rossi, Adrian Bot, William Go, Scott J. Rodig
Total views: 4233
COVID-19–associated morbidity and mortality have been attributed to a pathologic host response. Two divergent hypotheses have been proposed: hyperinflammatory cytokine storm; and failure of host protective immunity that results in unrestrained viral dissemination and organ injury. A key explanation for the inability to address this controversy has been the lack of diagnostic tools to evaluate immune function in COVID-19 infections. ELISpot, a highly sensitive, functional immunoassay, was employed in 27 patients with COVID-19, 51 patients with sepsis, 18 critically ill nonseptic (CINS) patients, and 27 healthy control volunteers to evaluate adaptive and innate immune status by quantitating T cell IFN-ɣ and monocyte TFN-α production. Circulating T cell subsets were profoundly reduced in COVID-19 patients. Additionally, stimulated blood mononuclear cells produced less than 40%–50% of the IFN-ɣ and TNF-α observed in septic and CINS patients, consistent with markedly impaired immune effector cell function. Approximately 25% of COVID-19 patients had increased IL-6 levels that were not associated with elevations in other canonical proinflammatory cytokines. Collectively, these findings support the hypothesis that COVID-19 suppresses host functional adaptive and innate immunity. Importantly, IL-7 administered ex vivo restored T cell IFN-ɣ production in COVID-19 patients. Thus, ELISpot may functionally characterize host immunity in COVID-19 and inform prospective therapies.
Kenneth E. Remy, Monty Mazer, David A. Striker, Ali H. Ellebedy, Andrew H. Walton, Jacqueline Unsinger, Teresa M. Blood, Philip A. Mudd, Daehan J. Yi, Daniel A. Mannion, Dale F. Osborne, R. Scott Martin, Nitin J. Anand, James P. Bosanquet, Jane Blood, Anne M. Drewry, Charles C. Caldwell, Isaiah R. Turnbull, Scott C. Brakenridge, Lyle L. Moldwawer, Richard S. Hotchkiss
Total views: 4132
BACKGROUND. Increasing evidence indicates a role for EBV in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). EBV-infected autoreactive B cells might accumulate in the CNS because of defective cytotoxic CD8+ T cell immunity. We sought to determine the feasibility and safety of treating progressive MS patients with autologous EBV-specific T cell therapy. METHODS. An open-label phase I trial was designed to treat 5 patients with secondary progressive MS and 5 patients with primary progressive MS with 4 escalating doses of in vitro–expanded autologous EBV-specific T cells targeting EBV nuclear antigen 1, latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), and LMP2A. Following adoptive immunotherapy, we monitored the patients for safety and clinical responses. RESULTS. Of the 13 recruited participants, 10 received the full course of T cell therapy. There were no serious adverse events. Seven patients showed improvement, with 6 experiencing both symptomatic and objective neurological improvement, together with a reduction in fatigue, improved quality of life, and, in 3 patients, reduced intrathecal IgG production. All 6 patients receiving T cells with strong EBV reactivity showed clinical improvement, whereas only 1 of the 4 patients receiving T cells with weak EBV reactivity showed improvement (P = 0.033, Fisher’s exact test). CONCLUSION. EBV-specific adoptive T cell therapy was well tolerated. Clinical improvement following treatment was associated with the potency of EBV-specific reactivity of the administered T cells. Further clinical trials are warranted to determine the efficacy of EBV-specific T cell therapy in MS. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12615000422527. FUNDING. MS Queensland, MS Research Australia, Perpetual Trustee Company Ltd., and donations from private individuals who wish to remain anonymous.
Michael P. Pender, Peter A. Csurhes, Corey Smith, Nanette L. Douglas, Michelle A. Neller, Katherine K. Matthews, Leone Beagley, Sweera Rehan, Pauline Crooks, Tracey J. Hopkins, Stefan Blum, Kerryn A. Green, Zara A. Ioannides, Andrew Swayne, Blake T. Aftab, Kaye D. Hooper, Scott R. Burrows, Kate M. Thompson, Alan Coulthard, Rajiv Khanna
Total views: 3076
In severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), viral pneumonia progresses to respiratory failure. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are extracellular webs of chromatin, microbicidal proteins, and oxidant enzymes that are released by neutrophils to contain infections. However, when not properly regulated, NETs have the potential to propagate inflammation and microvascular thrombosis — including in the lungs of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. We now report that sera from patients with COVID-19 have elevated levels of cell-free DNA, myeloperoxidase-DNA (MPO-DNA), and citrullinated histone H3 (Cit-H3); the latter 2 are specific markers of NETs. Highlighting the potential clinical relevance of these findings, cell-free DNA strongly correlated with acute-phase reactants, including C-reactive protein, D-dimer, and lactate dehydrogenase, as well as absolute neutrophil count. MPO-DNA associated with both cell-free DNA and absolute neutrophil count, while Cit-H3 correlated with platelet levels. Importantly, both cell-free DNA and MPO-DNA were higher in hospitalized patients receiving mechanical ventilation as compared with hospitalized patients breathing room air. Finally, sera from individuals with COVID-19 triggered NET release from control neutrophils in vitro. Future studies should investigate the predictive power of circulating NETs in longitudinal cohorts and determine the extent to which NETs may be novel therapeutic targets in severe COVID-19.
Yu Zuo, Srilakshmi Yalavarthi, Hui Shi, Kelsey Gockman, Melanie Zuo, Jacqueline A. Madison, Christopher Blair, Andrew Weber, Betsy J. Barnes, Mikala Egeblad, Robert J. Woods, Yogendra Kanthi, Jason S. Knight
Total views: 2799
Newly emerging viruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome CoVs (MERS-CoV), and H7N9, cause fatal acute lung injury (ALI) by driving hypercytokinemia and aggressive inflammation through mechanisms that remain elusive. In SARS-CoV/macaque models, we determined that anti–spike IgG (S-IgG), in productively infected lungs, causes severe ALI by skewing inflammation-resolving response. Alveolar macrophages underwent functional polarization in acutely infected macaques, demonstrating simultaneously both proinflammatory and wound-healing characteristics. The presence of S-IgG prior to viral clearance, however, abrogated wound-healing responses and promoted MCP1 and IL-8 production and proinflammatory monocyte/macrophage recruitment and accumulation. Critically, patients who eventually died of SARS (hereafter referred to as deceased patients) displayed similarly accumulated pulmonary proinflammatory, absence of wound-healing macrophages, and faster neutralizing antibody responses. Their sera enhanced SARS-CoV–induced MCP1 and IL-8 production by human monocyte–derived wound-healing macrophages, whereas blockade of FcγR reduced such effects. Our findings reveal a mechanism responsible for virus-mediated ALI, define a pathological consequence of viral specific antibody response, and provide a potential target for treatment of SARS-CoV or other virus-mediated lung injury.
Li Liu, Qiang Wei, Qingqing Lin, Jun Fang, Haibo Wang, Hauyee Kwok, Hangying Tang, Kenji Nishiura, Jie Peng, Zhiwu Tan, Tongjin Wu, Ka-Wai Cheung, Kwok-Hung Chan, Xavier Alvarez, Chuan Qin, Andrew Lackner, Stanley Perlman, Kwok-Yung Yuen, Zhiwei Chen
Total views: 2652
BACKGROUND. Weight gain and metabolic changes during treatment with antidepressant drugs have emerged as an important concern, particularly in long-term treatment. It is still a matter of ongoing debate whether weight gain and metabolic perturbations with antidepressant use are the consequence of increased appetite and weight gain, respectively, or represents direct pharmacological effects of the drug on metabolism. METHODS. We therefore conducted a proof-of-concept, open-label clinical trial, hypothesizing that in exceptionally healthy men no change of metabolic parameters would occur under mirtazapine, when environmental factors such as nutrition, sleep, and physical exercise were controlled and kept constant. Over a 3-week preparation phase, 10 healthy, young men were attuned to a standardized diet adjusted to their individual caloric need, to a regular sleep/wake cycle and moderate exercise. Continuing this protocol, we administered 30 mg mirtazapine daily for 7 days. RESULTS. While no significant weight gain or changes in resting energy expenditure were observed under these conditions, hunger and appetite for sweets increased with mirtazapine, accompanied by a shift in energy substrate partitioning towards carbohydrate substrate preference as assessed by indirect calorimetry. Furthermore, with mirtazapine, insulin and C-peptide release increased in response to a standardized meal. CONCLUSION. Our findings provide important insights into weight-independent metabolic changes associated with mirtazapine and allow a better understanding of the long-term metabolic effects observed in patients treated with antidepressant drugs. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00878540. FUNDING. Nothing to declare.
Johannes M. Hennings, Sarah Heel, Katharina Lechner, Manfred Uhr, Tatjana Dose, Ludwig Schaaf, Florian Holsboer, Susanne Lucae, Stephany Fulda, Stefan Kloiber
Total views: 2355
PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint therapy for cancer is commonly considered to act by reactivating T cells in the tumor microenvironment. Here, we present data from 2 mouse tumor models demonstrating an essential involvement of tumor-draining lymph nodes in PD-1 and PD-L1 therapeutic efficacy. Immune activation induced by checkpoint treatment was predominantly observed in the tumor-draining, but not nondraining, lymph nodes and was reflected in local accumulation of CD8+ T cells. Surgical resection of these lymph nodes, but not contralateral lymph nodes, abolished therapy-induced tumor regressions and was associated with decreased immune infiltrate in the tumor microenvironment. Moreover, inhibitor FTY720, which locks lymphocytes in lymph organs, also abrogated checkpoint therapy, suggesting that the tumor-draining lymph nodes function as sites of T cell invigoration required for checkpoint blockade therapy. Now that PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint treatment is applied in earlier clinical stages of cancer, our preclinical data advocate for enrolling patients with their tumor-draining lymph nodes still in place, to optimally engage the antitumor immune response and thereby enhance clinical benefit.
Marieke F. Fransen, Mark Schoonderwoerd, Philipp Knopf, Marcel G.M. Camps, Lukas J.A.C. Hawinkels, Manfred Kneilling, Thorbald van Hall, Ferry Ossendorp
Total views: 2237
Identification of MHC class I bound peptides by immunopurification of MHC complexes and subsequent analysis by mass spectrometry is crucial for understanding T cell immunology and immunotherapy. Investigation of the steps for the MHC ligand isolation process revealed biases in widely used isolation techniques towards peptides of lower hydrophobicity. As MHC ligand hydrophobicity correlates positively with immunogenicity, identification of more hydrophobic MHC ligands could potentially lead to more effective isolation of immunogenic peptides as targets for immunotherapies. We solved this problem by use of higher concentrations of acetonitrile (ACN) for the separation of MHC ligands and their respective complexes. This increased overall MHC ligand identifications by 2-fold, detection of cancer germline antigen-derived peptides by 50%, and resulted in profound variations in isolation efficacy between different MHC alleles correlating with the hydrophobicity of their anchor residues. Overall, these insights enabled a more complete view on the immunopeptidome and overcame a systematic underrepresentation of these critical MHC ligands of high hydrophobicity.
Martin G. Klatt, Kyeara N. Mack, Yang Bai, Zita E.H. Aretz, Levy I. Nathan, Sung Soo Mun, Tao Dao, David A. Scheinberg
Total views: 2012
BACKGROUND Elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines have been associated with poor outcomes among COVID-19 patients. It is unknown, however, how these levels compare with those observed in critically ill patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or sepsis due to other causes.METHODS We used a Luminex assay to determine expression of 76 cytokines from plasma of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and banked plasma samples from ARDS and sepsis patients. Our analysis focused on detecting statistical differences in levels of 6 cytokines associated with cytokine storm (IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, and TNF-α) between patients with moderate COVID-19, severe COVID-19, and ARDS or sepsis.RESULTS Fifteen hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 9 of whom were critically ill, were compared with critically ill patients with ARDS (n = 12) or sepsis (n = 16). There were no statistically significant differences in baseline levels of IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, and TNF-α between patients with COVID-19 and critically ill controls with ARDS or sepsis.CONCLUSION Levels of inflammatory cytokines were not higher in severe COVID-19 patients than in moderate COVID-19 or critically ill patients with ARDS or sepsis in this small cohort. Broad use of immunosuppressive therapies in ARDS has failed in numerous Phase 3 studies; use of these therapies in unselected patients with COVID-19 may be unwarranted.FUNDING Funding was received from NHLBI K23 HL125663 (AJR); The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation OPP1113682 (AJR and CAB); Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases #1016687 NIH/NIAID U19AI057229-16; Stanford Maternal Child Health Research Institute; and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CAB).
Jennifer G. Wilson, Laura J. Simpson, Anne-Maud Ferreira, Arjun Rustagi, Jonasel Roque, Adijat Asuni, Thanmayi Ranganath, Philip M. Grant, Aruna Subramanian, Yael Rosenberg-Hasson, Holden T. Maecker, Susan P. Holmes, Joseph E. Levitt, Catherine A. Blish, Angela J. Rogers
Total views: 1967
Gut barrier dysfunction and gut-derived chronic inflammation play crucial roles in human aging. The gut brush border enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) functions to inhibit inflammatory mediators and also appears to be an important positive regulator of gut barrier function and microbial homeostasis. We hypothesized that this enzyme could play a critical role in regulating the aging process. We tested the role of several IAP functions for prevention of age-dependent alterations in intestinal homeostasis by employing different loss-of-function and supplementation approaches. In mice, there is an age-related increase in gut permeability that is accompanied by increases in gut-derived portal venous and systemic inflammation. All these phenotypes were significantly more pronounced in IAP-deficient animals. Oral IAP supplementation significantly decreased age-related gut permeability and gut-derived systemic inflammation, resulted in less frailty, and extended lifespan. Furthermore, IAP supplementation was associated with preserving the homeostasis of gut microbiota during aging. These effects of IAP were also evident in a second model system, Drosophilae melanogaster. IAP appears to preserve intestinal homeostasis in aging by targeting crucial intestinal alterations, including gut barrier dysfunction, dysbiosis, and endotoxemia. Oral IAP supplementation may represent a novel therapy to counteract the chronic inflammatory state leading to frailty and age-related diseases in humans.
Florian Kühn, Fatemeh Adiliaghdam, Paul M. Cavallaro, Sulaiman R. Hamarneh, Amy Tsurumi, Raza S. Hoda, Alexander R. Munoz, Yashoda Dhole, Juan M. Ramirez, Enyu Liu, Robin Vasan, Yang Liu, Ehsan Samarbafzadeh, Rocio A. Nunez, Matthew Z. Farber, Vanita Chopra, Madhu S. Malo, Laurence G. Rahme, Richard A. Hodin
Total views: 1714