Polyclonal Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected B cell line (lymphoblastoid cell lines; LCL)-stimulated T-cell preparations have been successfully used to treat EBV-positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) in transplant recipients, but function and specificity of the CD4+ component are still poorly defined. Here, we assessed the tumor-protective potential of different CD4+ T-cell specificities in a PTLD-SCID mouse model. Injection of different virus-specific CD4+ T-cell clones showed that single specificities were capable of prolonging mouse survival and that the degree of tumor protection directly correlated with recognition of target cells in vitro. Surprisingly, some CD4+ T-cell clones promoted tumor development, suggesting that besides antigen recognition, still elusive functional differences exist among virus-specific T cells. Of several EBV-specific CD4+ T-cell clones tested, those directed against virion antigens proved most tumor-protective. However, enriching these specificities in LCL-stimulated preparations conferred no additional survival benefit. Instead, CD4+ T cells specific for unknown, probably self-antigens were identified as principal antitumoral effectors in LCL-stimulated T-cell lines. These results indicate that virion and still unidentified cellular antigens are crucial targets of the CD4+ T-cell response in this preclinical PTLD-model and that enriching the corresponding T-cell specificities in therapeutic preparations may enhance their clinical efficacy. Moreover, the expression in several EBV-negative B-cell lymphoma cell lines implies that these putative autoantigen(s) might also qualify as targets for T-cell-based immunotherapy of virus-negative B cell malignancies.
Genetic markers are pivotal to modern genomics research; however, discovery and genotyping of molecular markers in oat has been hindered by the size and complexity of the genome, and by a scarcity of sequence data. The purpose of this study was to generate oat expressed sequence tag (EST) information, develop a bioinformatics pipeline for SNP discovery, and establish a method for rapid, cost-effective, and straightforward genotyping of SNP markers in complex polyploid genomes such as oat.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the third most frequent virus-associated human malignancy. How this tumor escapes immune recognition despite the expression of several viral antigens has remained poorly understood. Our previous in vitro studies have shown that NPC cells release exosomes containing high amounts of galectin-9, a ligand of the membrane receptor Tim-3, which is able to induce apoptosis in mature Th1 lymphocytes. Here, we sought to determine whether galectin-9-carrying exosomes were produced in NPC patients and whether such exosomes might play a role in the immune evasion of NPC cells. We report that galectin-9-containing exosomes are selectively detected in plasma samples from NPC patients and mice xenografted with NPC tumors. The incorporation into exosomes protects galectin-9 against proteolytic cleavage but retains its Tim-3-binding capacity. Importantly, NPC exosomes induce massive apoptosis in EBV-specific CD4(+) cells used as a model of target T cells. This effect is inhibited by both anti-Tim-3 and antigalectin-9 blocking antibodies. These results indicate that blocking galectin-9/Tim-3 interaction in vivo might alleviate the Th1-suppressive effect of NPC exosomes and sustain antitumoral T-cell responses and thereby improve clinical efficacy of immunotherapeutic approaches against NPC.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is mediated by several viral envelope glycoproteins. We have assessed gp110s functions during the virus life cycle using a mutant that lacks BALF4 (DeltaBALF4). Exposure of various cell lines and primary cell samples of epithelial or lymphoid lineages to the DeltaBALF4 mutant failed to establish stable infections. The DeltaBALF4 virus, however, did not differ from wild-type EBV in its ability to bind and become internalized into primary B cells, in which it elicited a potent T-cell-specific immune reaction against virion constituents. These findings show that DeltaBALF4 viruses can reach the endosome-lysosome compartment and dovetail nicely with the previously identified contribution of gp110 to virus-cell fusion. Other essential steps of the virus life cycle were unaffected in the viral mutant; DNA lytic replication and viral titers were not altered in the absence of gp110, and DeltaBALF4 viruses complemented in trans transformed infected B cells with an efficiency indistinguishable from that observed with wild-type viruses. All of the steps of virus maturation could be observed in lytically induced 293/DeltaBALF4 cells. Induction of lymphoblastoid cells generated with transiently complemented DeltaBALF4 virus led to the production of rare mature virions. We therefore infer that gp110 is not required for virus maturation and egress in 293 cells or in B cells. The DeltaBALF4 viruss phenotypic traits, an inability to infect human cells coupled with potent antigenicity, potentially qualify this mutant as a live vaccine. It will provide a useful tool for the detailed study of EBV-cell interactions in a physiological context.
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