In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (28)

Articles by Doris Wilflingseder in JoVE

Other articles by Doris Wilflingseder on PubMed

Cross-linking of CD32 Induces Maturation of Human Monocyte-derived Dendritic Cells Via NF-kappa B Signaling Pathway

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Apr, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12682223

Dendritic cells (DC) represent a unique set of APCs that initiate immune responses through priming of naive T cells. Maturation of DC is a crucial step during Ag presentation and can be induced by triggering a broad spectrum of DC surface receptors. Although human DC express several receptors for the Fc portion of IgG which were described to play an important role in Ag internalization, little is known about the effects of IgG or immune complexes on DC maturation. In this study, we show that cross-linking of FcgammaR-type II (CD32) with immobilized IgG (imIgG) can induce maturation of human monocyte-derived DC via the NF-kappaB signaling pathway. IgG-mediated maturation was accompanied by a moderate increase of IL-10 secretion, whereas no IL-12 production was observed. Involvement of CD32 was further supported by experiments with the anti-CD32 mAb, which blocked IgG-triggered DC maturation and cytokine secretion significantly. Furthermore, DC cultivated in the presence of imIgG induced allogeneic T cell proliferation. Because this imIgG-induced maturation was considerably impaired in monocyte-derived DC from systemic lupus erythematosus patients, we suggest that DC, which matured in the presence of immune complexes, may contribute to prevention of pathological immune responses.

Mechanism(s) Promoting HIV-1 Infection of Primary Unstimulated T Lymphocytes in Autologous B Cell/T Cell Co-cultures

European Journal of Immunology. Aug, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12884283

Resting CD4(+) T cells in the lymphoid tissue (LT) are essential producers of virions at the beginning of HIV infection in vivo. We previously developed a model that allowed in vitro infection of non-prestimulated T lymphocytes in the presence of autologous B lymphocytes and complement. In this study, we try to clarify the mechanism(s) responsible for virus transmission in unstimulated autologous B cell/T cell co-cultures. Ex vivo analyses of patient plasma samples revealed that HIV was opsonized. Flow cytometry showed that opsonized virus preferentially bound to complement receptor (CR)-2 on B lymphocytes in primary B cell/T cell co-cultures. As indicated by cytokine measurements and transwell experiments, soluble factors seemed to play a minor role in enabling infection. Rather, direct interaction between B and T lymphocytes and direct binding of opsonized virus to CR2 on B cells turned out to be essential for productive infection. Antibodies blocking cell-cell adhesion inhibited p24 antigen production. An anti-CR2 antibody blocking C3d-CR2 binding also significantly reduced viral replication. Since the infection of unstimulated T cells by opsonized primary HIV isolates in the presence of B cells was highly efficient independent of the tropism of the virus, this mechanism may be critical in the pathogenesis of HIV.

HIV-1-induced Migration of Monocyte-derived Dendritic Cells is Associated with Differential Activation of MAPK Pathways

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Dec, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15585876

From the site of transmission at mucosal surfaces, HIV is thought to be transported by DCs to lymphoid tissues. To initiate migration, HIV needs to activate DCs. This activation, reflected by intra- and extracellular changes in cell phenotype, is investigated in the present study. In two-thirds of the donors, R5- and X4-tropic HIV-1 strains induced partial up-regulation of DC activation markers such as CD83 and CD86. In addition, CCR7 expression was increased. HIV-1 initiated a transient phosphorylation of p44/p42 ERK1/2 in iDCs, whereas p38 MAPK was activated in both iDCs and mDCs. Up-regulation of CD83 and CD86 on DCs was blocked when cells were incubated with specific p38 MAPK inhibitors before HIV-1-addition. CCR7 expression induced by HIV-1 was sufficient to initiate migration of DCs in the presence of secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (CCL21) and MIP-3beta (CCL19). Preincubation of DCs with a p38 MAPK inhibitor blocked CCR7-dependent DC migration. Migrating DCs were able to induce infection of autologous unstimulated PBLs in the Transwell system. These data indicate that HIV-1 triggers a cell-specific signaling machinery, thereby manipulating DCs to migrate along a chemokine gradient, which results in productive infection of nonstimulated CD4(+) cells.

Mechanisms Promoting Dendritic Cell-mediated Transmission of HIV

Molecular Immunology. Feb, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15488610

Dendritic cells (DC) survey epithelial or mucosal surfaces for antigens, take them up via their endocytic or phagocytic receptors, process the captured antigens and migrate to the lymphatic tissues. In the draining lymph nodes they present the immunogenic peptides to T cells thereby inducing antigen-specific immune responses. HIV-1 in turn seems to have developed mechanisms to exploit the natural trafficking of DC to establish infection in its primary targets, the CD4+ T cells. This review discusses several aspects of DC-HIV interactions with a main focus on the attachment, internalisation and transmission of the virus by DC to cells, susceptible for infection with HIV.

Complement Dependent Trapping of Infectious HIV in Human Lymphoid Tissues

AIDS (London, England). Mar, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15764853

HIV-1 bound extracellularly to follicular dendritic cells (FDC) in germinal centers (GC) of lymphoid tissues (LT) represents the largest viral reservoir in HIV-infected individuals; however there is no direct evidence as to whether HIV trapped in human GC remains infectious. In the GC, complement receptors and Fc gamma receptors have been suggested to participate in trapping of HIV; therefore, the relative contribution of complement- and Fc gamma receptors in binding HIV on LT was investigated and the infectivity of this virus was tested.

C-type Lectin-independent Interaction of Complement Opsonized HIV with Monocyte-derived Dendritic Cells

European Journal of Immunology. Sep, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16094691

HIV directly activates the complement cascade and is, therefore, opsonized with C3-cleavage products in vivo. This cloud of C3 fragments on the viral surface may impair the interaction of the HIV envelope glycoproteins gp120/gp41 with C-type lectins expressed on immature dendritic cells (iDC). Therefore, we determined the accessibility of gp120 after opsonization and compared the interaction of DC with non-opsonized or complement-opsonized HIV. The recognition of native gp120 was drastically impaired when the virus was covered by complement. Independent of opsonization, similar amounts of HIV bound to DC. The interaction of iDC and the infection of DC-PBL co-cultures with non-opsonized virus was significantly reduced by mannan and antibodies which inhibit the ICAM-1-CR3 interaction. The binding of opsonized virus to iDC was reduced by an anti-CR3-antibody, which interferes with the binding of C3 fragments, but was not affected by mannan. Complement enhanced the HIV infection of DC and DC-PBL co-cultures significantly. Mannan did not inhibit the complement-dependent enhancement of infection. Thus, non-opsonized and opsonized HIV interacted with iDC, although the binding mechanisms seemed to differ. As HIV is opsonized in vivo, the C-type lectin-independent interaction of opsonized viruses with iDC has to be taken into account.

Factor I-mediated Processing of Complement Fragments on HIV Immune Complexes Targets HIV to CR2-expressing B Cells and Facilitates B Cell-mediated Transmission of Opsonized HIV to T Cells

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Sep, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16920989

Our study demonstrates that binding of complement-opsonized HIV to complement receptor type 1 on human erythrocytes (E) via C3b fragments is followed by a rapid normal human serum-mediated detachment of HIV from E. The release was dependent on the presence of factor I indicating a conversion of C3b fragments to iC3b and C3d on the viral surface. This in turn resulted in an efficient binding of opsonized HIV to CR2-expressing B cells, thus facilitating B cell-mediated transmission of HIV to T cells. These data provide a new dynamic view of complement opsonization of HIV, suggesting that association of virus with E might be a transient phenomenon and the factor I-mediated processing of C3b to iC3b and C3d on HIV targets the virus to complement receptor type 2-expressing cells. Thus, factor I in concert with CR1 on E and factor H in serum due to their cofactor activity are likely to be important contributors for the generation of C3d-opsonized infectious HIV reservoirs on follicular dendritic cells and/or B cells in HIV-infected individuals.

Float On: Lipid Rafts in the Lifecycle of HIV

Frontiers in Bioscience : a Journal and Virtual Library. Jan, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17127449

All steps in the HIV lifecycle--entry, assembly, budding, induction of signal transduction and subsequent cell activation--are complex multifactorial mechanisms where cholesterol and sphingolipids (glycosphingolipids--GSLs and sphingomyelins in mammalian cells) are closely involved. Here we will review the contribution of these heterogeneous membrane lipid microdomains, referred to as lipid rafts, DIGs (detergent-insoluble glycolipid-enriched complexes), DRMs (detergent-resistant membranes), GEMs (glycolipid-enriched membranes), caveolae, TIMs (Triton-insoluble membranes) for interactions of HIV with the host cell. The accurate terminology was discussed elsewhere, and to simplify matters we will use rafts or lipid rafts throughout the review.

IgG Opsonization of HIV Impedes Provirus Formation in and Infection of Dendritic Cells and Subsequent Long-term Transfer to T Cells

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Jun, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17548622

Already at initial phases of infection, HIV is coated with complement fragments. During the chronic phase, when HIV-specific IgGs appear, the virus circulates immune complexed with IgG and complement. Thus, we studied the interaction of dendritic cells (DCs) and DC-T cell cocultures with complement (C)-opsonized and C-IgG-opsonized HIV. HIV infection of monocyte-derived DCs and circulating BDCA-1-positive DCs was significantly reduced upon the presence of virus-specific but non-neutralizing IgGs. DCs exposed to C-Ig-HIV or IgG-opsonized HIV showed an impaired provirus formation and p24 production and a decreased transmission rate to autologous nonstimulated T cells upon migration along a chemokine gradient. This reduced infectivity was also observed in long-term experiments, when T cells were added delayed to DCs exposed to IgG-coated HIV without migration. Similar kinetics were seen when sera from HIV-1-infected individuals before and after seroconversion were used in infection assays. Both C- and C-IgG-opsonized HIV were captured and targeted to a tetraspanin-rich endosome in immature DCs, but differed with respect to MHC class II colocalization. The reduced infection by IgG-opsonized HIV is possibly due to interactions of virus-bound IgG with FcgammaRIIb expressed on DCs. Therefore, the intracellular fate and transmission of immune-complexed HIV seems to differ depending on time and opsonization pattern.

HIV-1 Induced Generation of C5a Attracts Immature Dendriticcells and Promotes Infection of Autologous T Cells

European Journal of Immunology. Aug, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17595678

For the recruitment of dendritic cells (DC) to the site of infection, DC express several sensors for danger signals, such as receptors for C5a. This anaphylatoxin is generated upon complement activation. As HIV-1 triggers the complement cascade, we determined whether C5a is generated by the virus and tested the functional activity of C5a in migration and infection assays. The immature (i)DC responded in migration assays to recombinant C5a and native C5a, which was generated in situ upon activation of the complement system by HIV-1. In combined migration and infection assays, a C5a-dependent enhancement of HIV-1 infection in DC-T cell cocultures was observed. These results indicate that HIV induces generation of C5a and thereby attracts iDC, which in turn promote the productive infection of autologous primary T cells.

Complement-HIV Interactions During All Steps of Viral Pathogenesis

Vaccine. Jun, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18191309

Upon crossing the endothelial barrier of the host, HIV initiates immediate responses of the immunity system. Among its components, the complement system is one of the first the first elements, which are activated to affect HIV propagation. Complement participates not only in the early phase of the immune response, but its effects can be observed continuously and also concern the induction and modification of the adaptive immune response. Here we discuss the role of complement in early and late stages of HIV pathogenesis and review the escape mechanisms, which protect HIV from destruction by the complement system.

Complement and Antibodies: a Dangerous Liaison in HIV Infection?

Vaccine. Dec, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 19388170

Due to ongoing recombination and mutations, HIV permanently escapes from neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses of the host. By the masking of epitopes or shedding of gp120, HIV-1 further impedes an efficient neutralization by Abs. Therefore, nAbs responses of the host are chasing behind a rapidly evolving virus and mainly non-neutralizing antibodies (non-nAbs) are present in the host. At the same time, complement deposition on immune-complexed HIV may counteract the immune response by enhancing the infection. On the other hand, complement-mediated lysis is a putative effector mechanism to control viral replication. Here we review the complex interplay between complement, neutralizing and non-neutralizing Abs during HIV infection and discuss the contribution of Abs and complement in blocking versus enhancing the course of infection.

Role of Complement and Antibodies in Controlling Infection with Pathogenic Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) in Macaques Vaccinated with Replication-deficient Viral Vectors

Retrovirology. Jun, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19545395

We investigated the interplay between complement and antibodies upon priming with single-cycle replicating viral vectors (SCIV) encoding SIV antigens combined with Adeno5-SIV or SCIV pseudotyped with murine leukemia virus envelope boosting strategies. The vaccine was applied via spray-immunization to the tonsils of rhesus macaques and compared with systemic regimens.

Induction of Complement-mediated Lysis of HIV-1 by a Combination of HIV-specific and HLA Allotype-specific Antibodies

Immunology Letters. Sep, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19698750

HLA-specific antibodies generated by allo-immunization are supposed to be involved in the control of HIV infections by both the neutralizing capacity of HLA-specific antibodies (Abs) and HLA-specific Ab-dependent complement-mediated lysis (CML). We further characterized CML of HIV primary isolates induced by HLA-specific Abs. Although HIV-specific and HLA allo-type specific Abs induced only weak CML of HIV primary isolates, several combinations of HLA allo-type specific Abs with HIV-specific Abs could enhance CML significantly. Nevertheless, certain HLA-specific Abs did not improve but even inhibit CML of HIV, although the corresponding HLA molecules were present. Thus, our results emphasize a possible limitation of allo-immunization as a potential approach to induce protective immunity against HIV.

Complement As an Endogenous Adjuvant for Dendritic Cell-mediated Induction of Retrovirus-specific CTLs

PLoS Pathogens. Apr, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20442876

Previous studies have demonstrated the involvement of complement (C) in induction of efficient CTL responses against different viral infections, but the exact role of complement in this process has not been determined. We now show that C opsonization of retroviral particles enhances the ability of dendritic cells (DCs) to induce CTL responses both in vitro and in vivo. DCs exposed to C-opsonized HIV in vitro were able to stimulate CTLs to elicit antiviral activity significantly better than non-opsonized HIV. Furthermore, experiments using the Friend virus (FV) mouse model illustrated that the enhancing role of complement on DC-mediated CTL induction also occurred in vivo. Our results indicate that complement serves as natural adjuvant for DC-induced expansion and differentiation of specific CTLs against retroviruses.

Pseudotyping Vesicular Stomatitis Virus with Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Glycoproteins Enhances Infectivity for Glioma Cells and Minimizes Neurotropism

Journal of Virology. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21450833

Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based oncolytic virotherapy has the potential to significantly improve the prognosis of aggressive malignancies such as brain cancer. However, VSV's inherent neurotoxicity has hindered clinical development so far. Given that this neurotropism is attributed to the glycoprotein VSV-G, VSV was pseudotyped with the nonneurotropic envelope glycoprotein of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV-GP→VSV-GP). Compared to VSV, VSV-GP showed enhanced infectivity for brain cancer cells in vitro while sparing primary human and rat neurons in vitro and in vivo, respectively. In conclusion, VSV-GP has a much wider therapeutic window than VSV and is thus more suitable for clinical applications, especially in the brain.

Inhibition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Replication by Cell Membrane-crossing Oligomers

Molecular Medicine (Cambridge, Mass.). 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22105607

Although rapidly becoming a valuable tool for gene silencing, regulation or editing in vitro, the direct transfer of small interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNAs) into cells is still an unsolved problem for in vivo applications. For the first time, we show that specific modifications of antisense oligomers allow autonomous passage into cell lines and primary cells without further adjuvant or coupling to a cell-penetrating peptide. For this reason, we termed the specifically modified oligonucleotides "cell membrane-crossing oligomers" (CMCOs). CMCOs targeted to various conserved regions of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 were tested and compared with nontargeting CMCOs. Analyses of uninfected and infected cells incubated with labeled CMCOs revealed that the compounds were enriched in infected cells and some of the tested CMCOs exhibited a potent antiviral effect. Finally, the CMCOs did not exert any cytotoxicity and did not inhibit proliferation of the cells. In vitro, our CMCOs are promising candidates as biologically active anti-HIV reagents for future in vivo applications.

Antibodies Attenuate the Capacity of Dendritic Cells to Stimulate HIV-specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Dec, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23063584

Control of HIV is suggested to depend on potent effector functions of the virus-specific CD8(+) T-cell response. Antigen opsonization can modulate the capture of antigen, its presentation, and the priming of specific CD8(+) T-cell responses.

Protein Kinase C Overexpression Does Not Enhance Immune-stimulatory Surface Markers of Vaccinia-infected Dendritic Cells and DC Cell Lines

Immunological Investigations. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23323525

One of the shortcomings of vaccinia virus (VACV) as immunization vector is the down-regulation of HLA and costimulatory molecules in antigen presenting cells. To overcome this problem we investigated the use of protein kinase C (PKC) as immune stimulatory agent. Thus several classical and atypical PKCs were inserted into wild-type or attenuated VACV using recombination into the hemagglutinin gene and the expression driven by the VACV 7,5K-IE gene promoter. Recombinant constructs expressing PKC-alpha, -beta, -theta as well as wild-type, constitutive active or dominant negative PKC-zeta constructs were generated. Additional constructs expressing PKB/Akt1 and ICAM-1 were used for comparison. Immature and mature peripheral blood derived-dendritic cells (DC) as well as lymphoid cell lines capable of obtaining a DC-like phenotype upon mitogen stimulation were infected. Disappointingly, VACV-driven PKC overexpression did not significantly enhance expression of various activation markers or costimulatory molecules tested. Neither CD86 nor HLA-DR expression was upregulated and also no influence on the maturation of DC, as measured by DC-SIGN and CD83, was observed. However, VACV did not interfere with LPS induced up-regulation of CD83 and did not lead to substantial apoptosis of infected DC within the first 24 hours.

Minireview: Host Defence in Invasive Aspergillosis

Mycoses. Jul, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23406508

Aspergillus is a saprophytic fungus, which mainly becomes pathogenic in immunosuppressed hosts. A failure of host defences results in a diverse set of illnesses, ranging from chronic colonisation, aspergilloma, invasive disease and hypersensitivity. A key concept in immune responses to Aspergillus species is that host susceptibility determines the morphological form, antigenic structure and physical location of the fungus. Traditionally, innate immunity has been considered as a first line of defence and activates adaptive immune mechanisms by the provision of specific signals; innate and adaptive immune responses are intimately linked. The T-helper cell (TH 1) response is associated with increased production of inflammatory cytokines IFN-γ, IL-2 and IL-12 and stimulation of antifungal effector cells. Alternatively, TH 2-type responses are associated with suppression of antifungal effector cell activity, decreased production of IFN-γ and increased concentrations of IL-4 and IL-10, which promote humoral responses to Aspergillus. The host's defensive capacity is defined by the sum of resistance and tolerance. Resistance displays the ability to limit fungal burden and elimination of the pathogen, and tolerance means the ability to limit host damage caused by immune response.

Shiga Toxin 2 Reduces Complement Inhibitor CD59 Expression on Human Renal Tubular Epithelial and Glomerular Endothelial Cells

Infection and Immunity. Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23690395

Infections with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are a primary cause of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Recently, Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2), the major virulence factor of EHEC, was reported to interact with complement, implying that the latter is involved in the pathogenesis of EHEC-induced HUS. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of Stx2 on the expression of membrane-bound complement regulators CD46, CD55, and CD59 on proximal tubular epithelial (HK-2) and glomerular endothelial (GEnC) cells derived from human kidney cells that are involved in HUS. Incubation with Stx2 did not influence the amount of CD46 or CD55 on the surface of HK-2 and GEnC cells, as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. In contrast, CD59 was significantly reduced by half on GEnC cells, but the reduction on HK-2 cells was less pronounced. With increasing amounts of Stx2, reduction of CD59 also reached significance in HK-2 cells. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analyses showed that CD59 was not present in the supernatant of Stx2-treated cells, implying that CD59 reduction was not caused by cleavage from the cell surface. In fact, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR analyses showed downregulation of CD59 mRNA as the likely reason for CD59 cell surface reduction. In addition, a significant increase in terminal complement complex deposition on HK-2 cells was observed after treatment with Stx2, as a possible consequence of CD59 downregulation. In summary, Stx2 downregulates CD59 mRNA and protein levels on tubular epithelial and glomerular endothelial cells, and this downregulation likely contributes to complement activation and kidney destruction in EHEC-associated HUS.

Hepcidin As a Predictive Factor and Therapeutic Target in Erythropoiesis-stimulating Agent Treatment for Anemia of Chronic Disease in Rats

Haematologica. Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24895335

Anemia of chronic disease is a multifactorial disorder, resulting mainly from inflammation-driven reticuloendothelial iron retention, impaired erythropoiesis, and reduced biological activity of erythropoietin. Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents have been used for the treatment of anemia of chronic disease, although with varying response rates and potential adverse effects. Serum concentrations of hepcidin, a key regulator of iron homeostasis, are increased in patients with anemia of chronic disease and linked to the pathogenesis of this disease, because hepcidin blocks cellular iron egress, thus limiting availability of iron for erythropoiesis. We tested whether serum hepcidin levels can predict and affect the therapeutic efficacy of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent treatment using a well-established rat model of anemia of chronic disease. We found that high pre-treatment hepcidin levels correlated with an impaired hematologic response to an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent in rats with anemia of chronic disease. Combined treatment with an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent and an inhibitor of hepcidin expression, LDN-193189, significantly reduced serum hepcidin levels, mobilized iron from tissue stores, increased serum iron levels and improved hemoglobin levels more effectively than did the erythropoiesis-stimulating agent or LDN-193189 monotherapy. In parallel, both the erythropoiesis-stimulating agent and erythropoiesis-stimulating agent/LDN-193189 combined reduced the expression of cytokines known to inhibit erythropoiesis. We conclude that serum hepcidin levels can predict the hematologic responsiveness to erythropoiesis-stimulating agent therapy in anemia of chronic disease. Pharmacological inhibition of hepcidin formation improves the erythropoiesis-stimulating agent's therapeutic efficacy, which may favor a reduction of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent dosages, costs and side effects.

The Viral Make-up Makes a World of Difference

AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. Jul, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24984236

Immediate T-Helper 17 Polarization Upon Triggering CD11b/c on HIV-Exposed Dendritic Cells

The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25583169

Early on in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection, gut T-helper (Th) 17 cells are massively depleted leading eventually to compromised intestinal barrier function and excessive immune activation. In contrast, the functional Th17 cell compartment of the gut is well-maintained in nonpathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus infection as well as HIV-1 long-term nonprogressors. Here, we show that dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with HIV-1 bearing high surface complement levels after incubation in plasma from HIV-infected individuals secreted significantly higher concentrations of Th17-polarizing cytokines than DCs exposed to nonopsonized HIV-1. The enhanced Th17-polarizing capacity of in vitro-generated and BDCA-1(+) DCs directly isolated from blood was linked to activation of ERK. In addition, C3a produced from DCs exposed to complement-opsonized HIV was associated with the higher Th17 polarization. Our in vitro and ex vivo data, therefore, indicate that complement opsonization of HIV-1 strengthens DC-mediated antiviral immune functions by simultaneously triggering Th17 expansion and intrinsic C3 formation via DC activation.

Blocking Hsp70 Enhances the Efficiency of Amphotericin B Treatment Against Resistant Aspergillus Terreus Strains

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25870060

The polyene antifungal amphotericin B (AmB) is widely used to treat life-threatening fungal infections. Even though AmB resistance is exceptionally rare in fungi, most Aspergillus terreus isolates exhibit an intrinsic resistance against the drug in vivo and in vitro. Heat shock proteins perform a fundamental protective role against a multitude of stress responses, thereby maintaining protein homeostasis in the organism. In this study, we elucidated the role of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) family members and compared resistant and susceptible A. terreus clinical isolates. The upregulation of cytoplasmic Hsp70 members at the transcriptional as well as translational levels was significantly higher with AmB treatment than without AmB treatment, particularly in resistant A. terreus isolates, thereby indicating a role of Hsp70 proteins in the AmB response. We found that Hsp70 inhibitors considerably increased the susceptibility of resistant A. terreus isolates to AmB but exerted little impact on susceptible isolates. Also, in in vivo experiments, using the Galleria mellonella infection model, cotreatment of resistant A. terreus strains with AmB and the Hsp70 inhibitor pifithrin-μ resulted in significantly improved survival compared with that achieved with AmB alone. Our results point to an important mechanism of regulation of AmB resistance by Hsp70 family members in A. terreus and suggest novel drug targets for the treatment of infections caused by resistant fungal isolates.

Amphotericin B Resistance in Aspergillus Terreus Is Overpowered by Coapplication of Pro-oxidants

Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. Dec, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26054424

Invasive fungal infections have significantly increased over the past decades in immunocompromised individuals and high-risk patients. Amphotericin B (AmB) exerts a powerful and broad activity against a vast array of fungi and has a remarkably low rate of microbial resistance. However, most isolates of Aspergillus terreus developed an intrinsic resistance against AmB, and during this study, we characterized the mode of action of this polyene antifungal drug in more detail in resistant (ATR) and rare susceptible (ATS) clinical isolates of A. terreus.

Complement-Opsonized HIV-1 Overcomes Restriction in Dendritic Cells

PLoS Pathogens. Jun, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26121641

DCs express intrinsic cellular defense mechanisms to specifically inhibit HIV-1 replication. Thus, DCs are productively infected only at very low levels with HIV-1, and this non-permissiveness of DCs is suggested to go along with viral evasion. We now illustrate that complement-opsonized HIV-1 (HIV-C) efficiently bypasses SAMHD1 restriction and productively infects DCs including BDCA-1 DCs. Efficient DC infection by HIV-C was also observed using single-cycle HIV-C, and correlated with a remarkable elevated SAMHD1 T592 phosphorylation but not SAMHD1 degradation. If SAMHD1 phosphorylation was blocked using a CDK2-inhibitor HIV-C-induced DC infection was also significantly abrogated. Additionally, we found a higher maturation and co-stimulatory potential, aberrant type I interferon expression and signaling as well as a stronger induction of cellular immune responses in HIV-C-treated DCs. Collectively, our data highlight a novel protective mechanism mediated by complement opsonization of HIV to effectively promote DC immune functions, which might be in the future exploited to tackle HIV infection.

A Cinnamon-Derived Procyanidin Compound Displays Anti-HIV-1 Activity by Blocking Heparan Sulfate- and Co-Receptor- Binding Sites on Gp120 and Reverses T Cell Exhaustion Via Impeding Tim-3 and PD-1 Upregulation

PloS One. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27788205

Amongst the many strategies aiming at inhibiting HIV-1 infection, blocking viral entry has been recently recognized as a very promising approach. Using diverse in vitro models and a broad range of HIV-1 primary patient isolates, we report here that IND02, a type A procyanidin polyphenol extracted from cinnamon, that features trimeric and pentameric forms displays an anti-HIV-1 activity against CXCR4 and CCR5 viruses with 1-7 μM ED50 for the trimer. Competition experiments, using a surface plasmon resonance-based binding assay, revealed that IND02 inhibited envelope binding to CD4 and heparan sulphate (HS) as well as to an antibody (mAb 17b) directed against the gp120 co-receptor binding site with an IC50 in the low μM range. IND02 has thus the remarkable property of simultaneously blocking gp120 binding to its major host cell surface counterparts. Additionally, the IND02-trimer impeded up-regulation of the inhibitory receptors Tim-3 and PD-1 on CD4+ and CD8+ cells, thereby demonstrating its beneficial effect by limiting T cell exhaustion. Among naturally derived products significantly inhibiting HIV-1, the IND02-trimer is the first component demonstrating an entry inhibition property through binding to the viral envelope glycoprotein. These data suggest that cinnamon, a widely consumed spice, could represent a novel and promising candidate for a cost-effective, natural entry inhibitor for HIV-1 which can also down-modulate T cell exhaustion markers Tim-3 and PD-1.

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