Abstract Characterization of the immune correlates of protection against HIV infection is crucial for the development of preventive strategies. This study examined HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoproteins, specifically immunoglobulin G (IgG), in systemic and mucosal compartments of female Beninese commercial sex workers (CSWs). Samples of 23 HIV-1-positive and 20 highly exposed HIV-1-seronegative (HESN) CSWs were studied. HIV-1 Env-specific IgG detection in sera and cervicovaginal lavages (CVLs) from the study population was done by cell-based ELISA. The HIV neutralizing activity was evaluated with a neutralization assay. The HIV-1-specific antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) response of the cohort was measured with a FACS-based assay evaluating the ADCC-mediated elimination of gp120-coated target cells. No anti-HIV-1 Env-specific IgG neutralizing or ADCC activities were detected in samples from HESN CSWs. Samples from HIV-1-infected CSWs presented ADCC activity in both sera and CVLs. Anti-Env IgG from sera and CVLs from HIV-1-infected CSWs preferentially recognized Env in its CD4-bound conformation. HIV-1-infected CSWs have ADCC-mediating IgG that preferentially recognizes Env in its CD4-bound conformation at the mucosal site.
Recent studies have linked antibody Fc-mediated effector functions with protection or control of HIV-1 and SIV infections. Interestingly, the presence of antibodies with potent antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity in the Thai RV144 vaccine trial was suggested to correlate with a decreased HIV-1 acquisition risk. These antibodies were recently found to recognize HIV envelope (Env) epitopes exposed upon Env - CD4 interaction. CD4 downregulation by Nef and Vpu, as well as Vpu-mediated BST-2 antagonism, were reported to modulate exposure of those CD4-induced HIV-1 Env epitopes and therefore were proposed to play a role in reducing the susceptibility of infected cells to ADCC mediated by this class of antibodies. Here we report a high prevalence of antibodies recognizing CD4-induced HIV-1 Env epitopes in sera from HIV-1 infected individuals, which correlated with their ability to mediate ADCC responses against HIV-1 infected cells exposing these Env epitopes at the cell surface. Furthermore, our results indicate that Env variable regions V1, V2, V3 and V5 do not represent a major determinant for ADCC responses mediated by sera from HIV-1-infected individuals. Altogether, these findings suggest that HIV-1 tightly controls the exposure of certain Env epitopes at the surface of infected cells in order to prevent elimination by Fc-effector functions.
Increased attention on the role of Fc-mediated effector functions against HIV-1 has led to renewed interest into the role that antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) could play in controlling viral transmission and/or the rate of disease progression. While (51)Chromium release assays have traditionally been used to study ADCC responses against HIV-1, a number of alternative flow-cytometry-based assays were recently developed. In this study, an alternative flow-cytometry-based assay was established to allow non-radioactive measurement of ADCC-mediated elimination of HIV-1 gp120 envelope glycoprotein (Env)-coated target cells. This assay relies on staining target and effector cells with different dyes, which allows precise gating and permits the calculation of the number of surviving target cells by normalization to flow-cytometry particles. By using small concentrations of recombinant gp120 Env, suitable targets cells that recapitulate the ADCC response mediated against HIV-1-infected cells were generated. Finally, this method was applied successfully to screen human sera for ADCC activity directed against HIV-1 gp120 Env.
To describe recent advances in the understanding of virus-specific CD4 T cell dysfunction in chronic viral infections, with an emphasis on HIV disease. We highlight features that are distinctive for CD4 T cells, as opposed to their CD8 T cell counterparts.
SBR759 is a novel polynuclear iron(iii) oxide-hydroxide starch·sucrose·carbonate complex being developed for oral use in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with hyperphosphatemia on hemodialysis. SBR759 binds inorganic phosphate released by food uptake and digestion in the gastro-intestinal tract increasing the fecal excretion of phosphate with concomitant reduction of serum phosphate concentrations. Considering the high content of ?20% w/w covalently bound iron in SBR759 and expected chronic administration to patients, absorption of small amounts of iron released from the drug substance could result in potential iron overload and toxicity. In a mechanistic iron uptake study, 12 healthy male subjects (receiving comparable low phosphorus-containing meal typical for CKD patients: ?1000 mg phosphate per day) were treated with 12 g (divided in 3 × 4 g) of stable (58)Fe isotope-labeled SBR759. The ferrokinetics of [(58)Fe]SBR759-related total iron was followed in blood (over 3 weeks) and in plasma (over 26 hours) by analyzing with high precision the isotope ratios of the natural iron isotopes (58)Fe, (57)Fe, (56)Fe and (54)Fe by multi-collector inductively coupled mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). Three weeks following dosing, the subjects cumulatively absorbed on average 7.8 ± 3.2 mg (3.8-13.9 mg) iron corresponding to 0.30 ± 0.12% (0.15-0.54%) SBR759-related iron which amounts to approx. 5-fold the basal daily iron absorption of 1-2 mg in humans. SBR759 was well-tolerated and there was no serious adverse event and no clinically significant changes in the iron indices hemoglobin, hematocrit, ferritin concentration and transferrin saturation.
We present precise iron stable isotope ratios measured by multicollector-ICP mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) of human red blood cells (erythrocytes) and blood plasma from 12 healthy male adults taken during a clinical study. The accurate determination of stable isotope ratios in plasma first required substantial method development work, as minor iron amounts in plasma had to be separated from a large organic matrix prior to mass-spectrometric analysis to avoid spectroscopic interferences and shifts in the mass spectrometer's mass-bias. The (56)Fe/(54)Fe ratio in erythrocytes, expressed as permil difference from the "IRMM-014" iron reference standard (?(56/54)Fe), ranges from -3.1‰ to -2.2‰, a range typical for male Caucasian adults. The individual subject erythrocyte iron isotope composition can be regarded as uniform over the 21 days investigated, as variations (±0.059 to ±0.15‰) are mostly within the analytical precision of reference materials. In plasma, ?(56/54)Fe values measured in two different laboratories range from -3.0‰ to -2.0‰, and are on average 0.24‰ higher than those in erythrocytes. However, this difference is barely resolvable within one standard deviation of the differences (0.22‰). Taking into account the possible contamination due to hemolysis (iron concentrations are only 0.4 to 2 ppm in plasma compared to approx. 480 ppm in erythrocytes), we model the pure plasma ?(56/54)Fe to be on average 0.4‰ higher than that in erythrocytes. Hence, the plasma iron isotope signature lies between that of the liver and that of erythrocytes. This difference can be explained by redox processes involved during cycling of iron between transferrin and ferritin.
Antigen persistence in chronic infections and cancer up-regulates inhibitory networks, such as the PD-1 and IL-10 pathways, that impair immunity and lead to disease progression. These pathways are attractive targets for immunotherapy, as demonstrated by recent clinical trials of PD-1/PD-L1 blockade in cancer patients. However, in HIV-1 infection not all subjects respond to inhibition of either pathway and the mechanistic interactions between these two networks remain to be better defined. Here we demonstrate that in vitro blockade of PD-L1 and/or IL-10R? results in markedly different profiles of HIV-1-specific CD4 T cell restoration. Whereas PD-L1 blockade leads to balanced increase in IFN-?, IL-2 and IL-13 secretion, IL-10R? blockade preferentially restores IFN-? production. In viremic subjects, combined PD-L1/IL-10R? blockade results in a striking 10-fold increase in IFN-? secretion by HIV-1-specific CD4 T cells that is not observed in subjects with spontaneous (elite controllers) or therapy-induced control of viral replication. In contrast to the dramatic increase in IFN-?, concurrent blockade has a marginal additive effect on IL-2 production, IL-13 secretion and HIV-1-specific CD4 T cell proliferation. IFN-? produced by Thelper cells up-regulates PD-L1, HLA I/II and IL-12 expression by monocytes. The effect of combined blockade on IFN-? was dependent on reciprocal reinforcement through IL-12. These studies provide crucial information on the different immunoregulatory qualities of PD-1 and IL-10 in progressive disease, and link exhausted virus-specific CD4 T cells and monocytes in the regulation of IFN? and IL-12 secretion.
Anti-HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) antibodies without broadly-neutralizing activity correlated with protection in the RV144 clinical trial, stimulating interest in other protective mechanisms involving antibodies, such as antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). Env epitopes targeted by many antibodies effective at mediating ADCC are poorly exposed on the unliganded Env trimer. Here we investigate the mechanism of exposure of ADCC epitopes on Env, and show that binding of Env and CD4 within the same HIV-1-infected cell effectively exposes these epitopes. Env capacity to transit to the CD4-bound conformation is required for ADCC epitope exposure. Importantly, cell-surface CD4 down-regulation by Nef and Vpu accessory proteins and Vpu-mediated BST-2 antagonism modulate exposure of ADCC-mediating epitopes and reduce the susceptibility of infected cells to this effector function in vitro. Significantly, Env conformational changes induced by cell-surface CD4 are conserved among Env from HIV-1 and HIV-2/SIVmac lineages. Altogether, our observations describe a highly-conserved mechanism required to expose ADCC epitopes that might help explain the evolutionary advantage of downregulation of cell-surface CD4 by the HIV-1 Vpu and Nef proteins.
T cell exhaustion is a major factor in failed pathogen clearance during chronic viral infections. Immunoregulatory pathways, such as PD-1 and IL-10, are upregulated upon this ongoing antigen exposure and contribute to loss of proliferation, reduced cytolytic function, and impaired cytokine production by CD4 and CD8 T cells. In the murine model of LCMV infection, administration of blocking antibodies against these two pathways augmented T cell responses. However, there is currently no in vitro assay to measure the impact of such blockade on cytokine secretion in cells from human samples. Our protocol and experimental approach enable us to accurately and efficiently quantify the restoration of cytokine production by HIV-specific CD4 T cells from HIV infected subjects. Here, we depict an in vitro experimental design that enables measurements of cytokine secretion by HIV-specific CD4 T cells and their impact on other cell subsets. CD8 T cells were depleted from whole blood and remaining PBMCs were isolated via Ficoll separation method. CD8-depleted PBMCs were then incubated with blocking antibodies against PD-L1 and/or IL-10R? and, after stimulation with an HIV-1 Gag peptide pool, cells were incubated at 37 °C, 5% CO2. After 48 hr, supernatant was collected for cytokine analysis by beads arrays and cell pellets were collected for either phenotypic analysis using flow cytometry or transcriptional analysis using qRT-PCR. For more detailed analysis, different cell populations were obtained by selective subset depletion from PBMCs or by sorting using flow cytometry before being assessed in the same assays. These methods provide a highly sensitive and specific approach to determine the modulation of cytokine production by antigen-specific T-helper cells and to determine functional interactions between different populations of immune cells.
Various cosignaling molecules on T cells can contribute to activation, inhibition, or exhaustion, depending on context. The surface receptor signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM) family receptor CD244 (2B4/SLAMf4) has been shown to be capable of either inhibitory or enhancing effects upon engagement of its ligand CD48 (SLAMf2). We examined phenotypes of CD8 T cells from HIV(+) and HIV(neg) human donors, specific for HIV and/or respiratory syncytial virus. Cultured and ex vivo CD8 T cells expressed PD-1, CD244, and TIM-3. We found that ex vivo CD8 T cells downregulated CD244 in response to superantigen. Furthermore, cognate peptide induced rapid downregulation of both CD244 and TIM-3, but not PD-1, on CD8 T cell clones. CD244 downmodulation required simultaneous signaling via both TCR and CD244 itself. Using a pH-sensitive fluorophore conjugated to avidin-Ab tetramers, we found that CD244 crosslinking in the presence of TCR signaling resulted in rapid transport of CD244 to an acidic intracellular compartment. Downregulation was not induced by PMA-ionomycin, or prevented by PI3K inhibition, implicating a TCR-proximal signaling mechanism. CD244 internalization occurred within hours of TCR stimulation and required less peptide than was required to induce IFN-? production. The degree of CD244 internalization varied among cultured CD8 T cell lines of different specificities, and correlated with the enhancement of IFN-? production in response to CD48 blockade in HIV(+), but not HIV(neg), subjects. Our results indicate that rapid CD244 internalization is induced by a two-signal mechanism and plays a role in modulation of antiviral CD8 T cell responses by CD48-CD244 signaling.
Ag-specific CD8 T cells play a critical role in controlling HIV infection but eventually lose antiviral functions in part because of expression and signaling through the inhibitory programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor. To better understand the impact of prolonged TCR ligation on regulation of PD-1 expression in HIV-specific CD8 T cells, we investigated the capacity of virus-specific CD8 T cells to modify the PD-1 epigenetic program after reduction in viral load. We observed that the transcriptional regulatory region was unmethylated in the PD-1(hi) HIV-specific CD8 T cells, whereas it remained methylated in donor-matched naive cells at acute and chronic stages of infection. Surprisingly, the PD-1 promoter remained unmethylated in HIV-specific CD8 T cells from subjects with a viral load controlled by antiviral therapy for >2 y or from elite controllers. Together, these data demonstrate that the epigenetic program at the PD-1 locus becomes fixed after prolonged exposure to HIV virus.
Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a potent immunoregulatory cytokine. IL-10-promoter polymorphisms have been shown to affect human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) clinical outcomes but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood.
Virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) with high levels of functional avidity have been associated with viral clearance in hepatitis C virus infection and with enhanced antiviral protective immunity in animal models. However, the role of functional avidity as a determinant of HIV-specific CTL efficacy remains to be assessed. Here we measured the functional avidities of HIV-specific CTL responses targeting 20 different, optimally defined CTL epitopes restricted by 13 different HLA class I alleles in a cohort comprising 44 HIV controllers and 68 HIV noncontrollers. Responses restricted by HLA-B alleles and responses targeting epitopes located in HIV Gag exhibited significantly higher functional avidities than responses restricted by HLA-A or HLA-C molecules (P = 0.0003) or responses targeting epitopes outside Gag (P < 0.0001). The functional avidities of Gag-specific and HLA-B-restricted responses were higher in HIV controllers than in noncontrollers (P = 0.014 and P = 0.018) and were not restored in HIV noncontrollers initiating antiretroviral therapy. T-cell receptor (TCR) analyses revealed narrower TCR repertoires in higher-avidity CTL populations, which were dominated by public TCR sequences in HIV controllers. Together, these data link the presence of high-avidity Gag-specific and HLA-B-restricted CTL responses with viral suppression in vivo and provide new insights into the immune parameters that mediate spontaneous control of HIV infection.
Defining the T helper functions impaired by programmed death-1 (PD-1) is crucial for understanding its role in defective HIV control and determining the therapeutic potential of targeting this inhibitory pathway. We describe here the relationships among disease stage, levels of PD-1 expression, and reversibility of CD4 T-cell impairment. PD-L1 blockade in vitro enhanced HIV-specific production of Th0 (IL-2), Th1 (IFN-?), Th2 (IL-13), and TFH (IL-21) cytokines by CD4 T cells. PD-L1 blockade caused an early increase in cytokine transcription and translation that preceded cell proliferation. Although the impact of PD-L1 blockade on cytokine expression and, to a lesser extent, cell proliferation was associated with markers of disease progression, restoration of cytokine secretion was also observed in most subjects with undetectable viremia. PD-L1 blockade restored cytokine secretion in both PD-1intermediate and PD-1high sorted CD4 T-cell subsets. Compared with PD-1high HIV-specific CD8 T cells, PD-1high HIV-specific CD4 T cells showed lower expression of the inhibitory molecules CD160 and 2B4, demonstrating marked differences in expression of inhibitory receptors between T-cell subsets. These data show that PD-1 impairs HIV-specific T helper responses both by limiting expansion of these cells and by inhibiting effector functions of multiple differentiated CD4 T-cell subsets.
A small minority of HIV-infected individuals, known as HIV controllers, is able to exert long-term control over HIV replication in the absence of treatment. Increasing evidence suggests that the adaptive immune system plays a critical role in this control but also that a combination of several host and/or viral factors, rather than a single cause, leads to this rare phenotype. Here, we review recent advances in the study of these remarkable individuals. We summarize the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of HIV controllers, and subsequently describe contributing roles of host genetic factors, innate and adaptive immune responses, and viral factors to this phenotype. We emphasize distinctive characteristics of HIV-specific CD4 T cell responses and of CD4 T cell subpopulations that are frequently found in HIV controllers. We discuss major controversies in the field and the relevance of the study of HIV controllers for the development of novel therapeutic strategies and vaccines.
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) hold promise for autologous treatment of neuropathologies. Intranasal delivery is relatively noninvasive and has recently been reported to result in transport of MSCs to the brain. However, the ability of MSCs to migrate from nasal passages to sites of neuropathology and ultimately survive has not been fully examined. In this paper, we harvested MSCs from transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (cells hereafter referred to as MSC-EGFP) and delivered them intranasally to wild-type mice sustaining mechanical lesions in the striatum. Using fluorescent, colorimetric, and ultrastructural detection methods, GFP-expressing cells were undetectable in the brain from 3 hours to 2 months after MSC delivery. However, bright autofluorescence that strongly resembled emission from GFP was observed in the olfactory bulb and striatum of lesioned control and MSC-EGFP-treated mice. In a control experiment, we directly implanted MSC-EGFPs into the mouse striatum and detected robust GFP expression 1 and 7 days after implantation. These findings suggest that-under our conditions-intranasally delivered MSC-EGFPs do not survive or migrate in the brain. Furthermore, our observations highlight the necessity of including appropriate controls when working with GFP as a cellular marker.
Under persistent antigenic stimulation, virus-specific CD8? T cells become increasingly dysfunctional and up-regulate several inhibitory molecules such as killer lectin-like receptor G1 (KLRG1). Here, we demonstrate that HIV-1 antigen-specific T cells from subjects with chronic-progressive HIV-1 infection have significantly elevated KLRG1 expression (P < .001); show abnormal distribution of E-cadherin, the natural ligand of KLRG1, in the intestinal mucosa; and have elevated levels of systemic soluble E-cadherin (sE-cadherin) that significantly correlate with HIV-1 viral load (R = 0.7, P = .004). We furthermore demonstrate that in the presence of sE-cadherin, KLRG1(hi) HIV-1-specific CD8? T cells are impaired in their ability to respond by cytokine secretion on antigenic stimulation (P = .002) and to inhibit viral replication (P = .03) in vitro. Thus, these data suggest a critical mechanism by which the disruption of the intestinal epithelium associated with HIV-1 leads to increased systemic levels of sE-cadherin, which inhibits the effector functions of KLRG1(hi)-expressing HIV-1-specific CD8? T cells systemically.
The expression of CD127, the IL-7-binding subunit of the IL-7 R, is tightly regulated during the development and activation of T cells and is reduced during chronic viral infection. However, the molecular mechanism regulating the dynamic expression of CD127 is still poorly understood. In this study, we report that the transcription factor Ets-1 is required for maintaining the expression of CD127 in murine peripheral T cells. Ets-1 binds to and activates the CD127 promoter, and its absence leads to reduced CD127 expression, attenuated IL-7 signaling, and impaired IL-7-dependent homeostatic proliferation of T cells. The expression of CD127 and Ets-1 is strongly correlated in human T cells. Both CD127 and Ets-1 expression are decreased in CD8(+) T cells during HIV infection. In addition, HIV-associated loss of CD127 is only observed in Ets-1(low) effector memory and central memory but not in Ets-1(high) naive CD8(+) T cells. Taken together, our data identify Ets-1 as a critical regulator of CD127 expression in T cells.
PD-1 plays an important role in T cell exhaustion during HIV infection. PD-1 has two ligands: PD-L1, expressed on hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells, and PD-L2, limited to DCs and macrophages. Little is known about PD-L1 expression and regulation in human macrophages. Previous reports have found few immediate effects of macrophage exposure to HIV, suggesting that macrophages lack PRRs for this virus. Using quantitative confocal microscopy and a multiplexed cytokine bead array, we measured induction of PD-L1, PD-L2, and innate response cytokines in human MDMs in response to chemically inactivated HIV virions. Consistent with previous reports, no cytokines were induced by HIV virion exposure. Whereas PD-L1 and PD-L2 had low baseline expression, TLR ligands (LPS and CL097) up-regulated PD-L1 but not PD-L2. Unlike what we found for cytokine expression, PD-L1 and PD-L2 were up-regulated in response to exposure with inactivated HIV virions or with replication-competent HIV. Expression of PD-L1 was differentially modulated by IL-10, which induced up-regulation of PD-L1 but not of PD-L2, and IL-10 blockade enhanced only PD-L2 expression. We discuss implications for innate recognition of HIV by macrophages and potential, different roles for PD-L1 and PD-L2 in immunity and pathogenesis.
Successful pathogen clearance depends on a finely orchestrated equilibrium between inflammatory immune responses and immunoregulatory mechanisms that limit collateral tissue damage. The cytokine interleukin 10 (IL-10) has been shown to play a critical role in this balance in numerous infectious diseases. Studies in animal models have revealed that IL-10 gene-knockout or signaling blockade can enhance resistance to pathogens, and substantially facilitate viral clearance. These same interventions in other infections however, result in more severe disease due to the inability of the immune system to adequately contain the pathogen load, and to control immune-mediate damage. This IL-10-regulated balance is also apparent in human infectious diseases. This review summarizes evidence that IL-10 impacts many aspects of HIV pathogenesis, including the regulation of HIV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell functions, as well as modulation of HIV-replication in PBMC subsets. Genetic polymorphisms in the IL-10 gene promoter that lead to decreased IL-10 expression have been associated with more rapid disease progression in late stages of HIV infection, suggesting that the anti-inflammatory effects of IL-10 may be protective in the setting of chronic immune activation. We conclude with a discussion of important questions remaining, and the potential for therapeutic intervention based on manipulation of the IL-10 pathway.
CD8(+) T cells in chronic viral infections such as HIV develop functional defects including loss of interleukin-2 (IL-2) secretion and decreased proliferative potential that are collectively termed exhaustion. Exhausted T cells express increased amounts of multiple inhibitory receptors, such as programmed death-1 (PD-1), that contribute to impaired virus-specific T cell function. Although reversing PD-1 inhibition is therefore an attractive therapeutic strategy, the cellular mechanisms by which PD-1 ligation results in T cell inhibition are not fully understood. PD-1 is thought to limit T cell activation by attenuating T cell receptor (TCR) signaling. It is not known whether PD-1 also acts by upregulating genes in exhausted T cells that impair their function. Here we analyzed gene expression profiles from HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells in individuals with HIV and show that PD-1 coordinately upregulates a program of genes in exhausted CD8(+) T cells from humans and mice. This program includes upregulation of basic leucine transcription factor, ATF-like (BATF), a transcription factor in the AP-1 family. Enforced expression of BATF was sufficient to impair T cell proliferation and cytokine secretion, whereas BATF knockdown reduced PD-1 inhibition. Silencing BATF in T cells from individuals with chronic viremia rescued HIV-specific T cell function. Thus, inhibitory receptors can cause T cell exhaustion by upregulating genes--such as BATF--that inhibit T cell function. Such genes may provide new therapeutic opportunities to improve T cell immunity to HIV.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) controllers maintain viremia at <2,000 RNA copies/ml without antiretroviral therapy. Viruses from controllers with chronic infection were shown to exhibit impaired replication capacities, in part associated with escape mutations from cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses. In contrast, little is known about viruses during acute/early infection in individuals who subsequently become HIV controllers. Here, we examine the viral replication capacities, HLA types, and virus sequences from 18 HIV-1 controllers identified during primary infection. gag-protease chimeric viruses constructed using the earliest postinfection samples displayed significantly lower replication capacities than isolates from persons who failed to control viremia (P = 0.0003). Protective HLA class I alleles were not enriched in these early HIV controllers, but viral sequencing revealed a significantly higher prevalence of drug resistance mutations associated with impaired viral fitness in controllers than in noncontrollers (6/15 [40.0%] versus 10/80 [12.5%], P = 0.018). Moreover, of two HLA-B57-positive (B57(+)) controllers identified, both harbored, at the earliest time point tested, signature escape mutations within Gag that likewise impair viral replication capacity. Only five controllers did not express "protective" alleles or harbor viruses with drug resistance mutations; intriguingly, two of them displayed typical B57 signature mutations (T242N), suggesting the acquisition of attenuated viruses from B57(+) donors. These data indicate that acute/early stage viruses from persons who become controllers have evidence of reduced replication capacity during the initial stages of infection which is likely associated with transmitted or acquired CTL escape mutations or transmitted drug resistance mutations. These data suggest that viral dynamics during acute infection have a major impact on HIV disease outcome.
CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated immune responses to HIV contribute to viral control in vivo. Epitopes encoded by alternative reading frame (ARF) peptides may be targeted by CTLs as well, but their frequency and in vivo relevance are unknown. Using host genetic (human leukocyte antigen [HLA]) and plasma viral sequence information from 765 HIV-infected subjects, we identified 64 statistically significant (q<0.2) associations between specific HLA alleles and sequence polymorphisms in alternate reading frames of gag, pol, and nef that did not affect the regular frame protein sequence. Peptides spanning the top 20 HLA-associated imprints were used to test for ex vivo immune responses in 85 HIV-infected subjects and showed responses to 10 of these ARF peptides. The most frequent response recognized an HLA-A*03-restricted +2 frame-encoded epitope containing a unique A*03-associated polymorphism at position 6. Epitope-specific CTLs efficiently inhibited viral replication in vitro when viruses containing the wild-type sequence but not the observed polymorphism were tested. Mutating alternative internal start codons abrogated the CTL-mediated inhibition of viral replication. These data indicate that responses to ARF-encoded HIV epitopes are induced during natural infection, can contribute to viral control in vivo, and drive viral evolution on a population level.
Ongoing antigenic stimulation appears to be an important prerequisite for the persistent expression of programmed death 1 (PD-1), an inhibitory TCR coreceptor of the CD28 family. Although recent publications have emphasized the utility of PD-1 as a marker for dysfunctional T cells in chronic viral infections, its dependence on antigenic stimulation potentially renders it a sensitive indicator of low-level viral replication. To explore the antigenic threshold for the maintenance of PD-1 expression on virus-specific T cells, we compared PD-1 expression on virus-specific and memory T cell populations in controlled and uncontrolled SIV and HIV-1 infection. In both controlled live attenuated SIV infection in rhesus macaques and HIV-1 infection in elite controllers, elevated levels of PD-1 expression were observed on SIV- and HIV-1-specific CD8(+) T cells. However, in contrast to chronic wild-type SIV infection and uncontrolled HIV-1 infection, controlled SIV/HIV-1 infection did not result in increased expression of PD-1 on total memory T cells. PD-1 expression on SIV-specific CD8(+) T cells rapidly decreased after the emergence of CTL escape in cognate epitopes, but was maintained in the setting of low or undetectable levels of plasma viremia in live attenuated SIV-infected macaques. After inoculation of naive macaques with a single-cycle SIV, PD-1 expression on SIV-specific CD8(+) T cells initially increased, but was rapidly downregulated. These results demonstrate that PD-1 can serve as a sensitive indicator of persistent, low-level virus replication and that generalized PD-1 expression on T lymphocytes is a distinguishing characteristic of uncontrolled lentiviral infections.
The values of the second dissociation constant pK 2 and related thermodynamic quantities of [N-(2-acetamido)-2-aminoethanesulfonic acid] (ACES) have already been reported over the temperature range 5 to 55°C including 37°C. This paper reports the paH values of four chloride ion free buffer solutions and eight buffer solutions with I = 0.16 mol·kg (-1), matching closely to that of the physiological sample. Conventional paH values for all twelve buffer solutions from 5 to 55°C, are reported. The residual liquid junction potential correction for two widely used temperatures, 25 and 37°C, has been made. The flowing-junction calomel cell method has been utilized to measure Ej , the liquid junction potential. The operational pH values for four buffer solutions at 25 and 37°C are calculated using the physiological phosphate buffer standard based on NBS/NIST convention. These solutions are recommended as pH standards in the pH range of 6.8 to 7.2 for physiological fluids.
The balance between proinflammatory mechanisms and the dampening of excessive immune activation is critical for successful clearance of a pathogen without harm to the host. In particular, molecules of the B7:CD28 family play a critical role in regulating T cell activation and peripheral tolerance. Chronic pathogens like HIV, which is characterized by ongoing viral replication despite detectable virus-specific T cell responses, and cancer cells have exploited these pathways to attenuate Ag-specific T cell immunity. This review summarizes evidence that molecules of the B7:CD28 family, PD-1, CTLA-4, and their ligands, play an active and reversible role in virus-specific T cell exhaustion associated with HIV infection in humans and in the SIV model in macaques. We discuss the potential for immunotherapeutic interventions based on manipulation of these inhibitory networks, the promising data obtained with blockade of the PD-1 pathway in animal models, and the challenges to such therapies.
Murine models indicate that interleukin-10 (IL-10) can suppress viral clearance, and interventional blockade of IL-10 activity has been proposed to enhance immunity in chronic viral infections. Increased IL-10 levels have been observed during HIV infection and IL-10 blockade has been shown to enhance T-cell function in some HIV-infected subjects. However, the categories of individuals in whom the IL-10 pathway is up-regulated are poorly defined, and the cellular sources of IL-10 in these subjects remain to be determined. Here we report that blockade of the IL-10 pathway augmented in vitro proliferative capacity of HIV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells in individuals with ongoing viral replication. IL-10 blockade also increased cytokine secretion by HIV-specific CD4 T cells. Spontaneous IL-10 expression, measured as either plasma IL-10 protein or IL-10 mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), correlated positively with viral load and diminished after successful antiretroviral therapy. IL-10 mRNA levels were up-regulated in multiple PBMC subsets in HIV-infected subjects compared with HIV-negative controls, particularly in T, B, and natural killer (NK) cells, whereas monocytes were a major source of IL-10 mRNA in HIV-infected and -uninfected individuals. These data indicate that multiple cell types contribute to IL-10-mediated immune suppression in the presence of uncontrolled HIV viremia.
The requirements for priming of HIV-specific T cell responses initially seen in infected individuals remain to be defined. Activation of T cell responses in lymph nodes requires cell-cell contact between T cells and DCs, which can give concurrent activation of T cells and HIV transmission.
A dominance of Gag-specific CD8+ T cell responses is significantly associated with a lower viral load in individuals with chronic, untreated clade C human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. This association has not been investigated in terms of Gag-specific CD4+ T cell responses, nor have clade C HIV-1-specific CD4+ T cell epitopes, likely a vital component of an effective global HIV-1 vaccine, been identified.
The development of immunomonitoring models to determine HIV-1 vaccine efficacy is a major challenge. Studies suggest that HIV-1–specific CD8 T cells play a critical role in subjects achieving spontaneous viral control (HIV-1 controllers) and that they will be important in immune interventions. However, no single CD8 T-cell function is uniquely associated with controller status and the heterogeneity of responses targeting different epitopes further complicates the discovery of determinants of protective immunity. In the present study, we describe immunomonitoring models integrating multiple functions of epitope-specific CD8 T cells that distinguish controllers from subjects with treated or untreated progressive infection. Models integrating higher numbers of variables and trained with the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) variant of logistic regression and 10-fold cross-validation produce “diagnostic tests” that display an excellent capacity to delineate subject categories. The test accuracy reaches 75% area under the receiving operating characteristic curve in cohorts matched for prevalence of protective alleles. Linear mixed-effects model analyses show that the proliferative capacity, cytokine production, and kinetics of cytokine secretion are associated with HIV-1 control. Although proliferative capacity is the strongest single discriminant, integrated modeling of different dimensions of data leverages individual associations. This strategy may have important applications in predictive model development and immune monitoring of HIV-1 vaccine trials.
Despite numerous attempts over many years to develop an HIV vaccine based on classical strategies, none has convincingly succeeded to date. A number of approaches are being pursued in the field, including building upon possible efficacy indicated by the recent RV144 clinical trial, which combined two HIV vaccines. Here, we argue for an approach based, in part, on understanding the HIV envelope spike and its interaction with broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) at the molecular level and using this understanding to design immunogens as possible vaccines. BnAbs can protect against virus challenge in animal models, and many such antibodies have been isolated recently. We further propose that studies focused on how best to provide T cell help to B cells that produce bnAbs are crucial for optimal immunization strategies. The synthesis of rational immunogen design and immunization strategies, together with iterative improvements, offers great promise for advancing toward an HIV vaccine.
The human leukocyte antigens HLA-B27 and HLA-B57 are associated with protection against progression of disease that results from infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), yet most people with alleles encoding HLA-B27 and HLA-B57 are unable to control HIV-1. Here we found that HLA-B27-restricted CD8(+) T cells in people able to control infection with HIV-1 (controllers) and those who progress to disease after infection with HIV-1 (progressors) differed in their ability to inhibit viral replication through targeting of the immunodominant epitope of group-associated antigen (Gag) of HIV-1. This was associated with distinct T cell antigen receptor (TCR) clonotypes, characterized by superior control of HIV-1 replication in vitro, greater cross-reactivity to epitope variants and enhanced loading and delivery of perforin. We also observed clonotype-specific differences in antiviral efficacy for an immunodominant HLA-B57-restricted response in controllers and progressors. Thus, the efficacy of such so-called protective alleles is modulated by specific TCR clonotypes selected during natural infection, which provides a functional explanation for divergent HIV-1 outcomes.
T cell dysfunction in the presence of ongoing antigen exposure is a cardinal feature of chronic viral infections with persistent high viremia, including HIV-1. Although interleukin-10 (IL-10) has been implicated as an important mediator of this T cell dysfunction, the regulation of IL-10 production in chronic HIV-1 infection remains poorly understood. We demonstrated that IL-10 is elevated in the plasma of individuals with chronic HIV-1 infection and that blockade of IL-10 signaling results in a restoration of HIV-1-specific CD4 T cell proliferation, gamma interferon (IFN-?) secretion, and, to a lesser extent, IL-2 production. Whereas IL-10 blockade leads to restoration of IFN-? secretion by HIV-1-specific CD4 T cells in all categories of subjects investigated, significant enhancement of IL-2 production and improved proliferation of CD4 T helper cells are restricted to viremic individuals. In peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), this IL-10 is produced primarily by CD14(+) monocytes, but its production is tightly controlled by regulatory T cells (Tregs), which produce little IL-10 directly. When Tregs are depleted from PBMCs of viremic individuals, the effect of the IL-10 signaling blockade is abolished and IL-10 production by monocytes decreases, while the production of proinflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?), increases. The regulation of IL-10 by Tregs appears to be mediated primarily by contact or paracrine-dependent mechanisms which involve IL-27. This work describes a novel mechanism by which regulatory T cells control IL-10 production and contribute to dysfunctional HIV-1-specific CD4 T cell help in chronic HIV-1 infection and provides a unique mechanistic insight into the role of regulatory T cells in immune exhaustion.
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are potent immune modulators, but their role in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) pathogenesis remains poorly understood. We performed a detailed analysis of the frequency and function of Tregs in a large cohort of HIV-1-infected individuals and HIV-1 negative controls. While HIV "elite controllers" and uninfected individuals had similar Treg numbers and frequencies, the absolute numbers of Tregs declined in blood and gut-associated lymphoid tissue in patients with chronic progressive HIV-1 infection. Despite quantitative changes in Tregs, HIV-1 infection was not associated with an impairment of ex vivo suppressive function of flow-sorted Tregs in both HIV controllers and untreated chronic progressors.
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