In rhesus macaques (RMs), experimental depletion of CD4+ T-cells prior to SIV infection results in higher viremia and emergence of CD4-independent SIV-envelopes. In this study we used the rhesus recombinant anti-CD4 antibody CD4R1 to deplete RM CD4+ T-cells prior to SIVmac251 infection and investigate the sources of the increased viral burden and the lifespan of productively infected cells. CD4-depleted animals showed (i) set-point viral load two-logs higher than controls; (ii) macrophages constituting 80% of all SIV vRNA+ cells in lymph node and mucosal tissues; (iii) substantial expansion of pro-inflammatory monocytes; (iv) aberrant activation and infection of microglial cells; and (v) lifespan of productively infected cells significantly longer in comparison to controls, but markedly shorter than previously estimated for macrophages. The net effect of CD4+ T-cell depletion is an inability to control SIV replication and a shift in the tropism of infected cells to macrophages, microglia, and, potentially, other CD4-low cells which all appear to have a shortened in vivo lifespan. We believe these findings have important implications for HIV eradication studies.
Even with prolonged antiretroviral therapy (ART), many human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals have <500 CD4(+) T cells/µL, and CD4(+) T cells in lymphoid tissues remain severely depleted, due in part to fibrosis of the paracortical T-cell zone (TZ) that impairs homeostatic mechanisms required for T-cell survival. We therefore used antifibrotic therapy in simian immunodeficiency virus-infected rhesus macaques to determine whether decreased TZ fibrosis would improve reconstitution of peripheral and lymphoid CD4(+) T cells. Treatment with the antifibrotic drug pirfenidone preserved TZ architecture and was associated with significantly larger populations of CD4(+) T cells in peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues. Combining pirfenidone with an ART regimen was associated with greater preservation of CD4(+) T cells than ART alone and was also associated with higher pirfenidone concentrations. These data support a potential role for antifibrotic drug treatment as adjunctive therapy with ART to improve immune reconstitution.
Nonhuman primate models are needed for evaluations of proposed strategies targeting residual virus that persists in HIV-1-infected individuals receiving suppressive combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). However, relevant nonhuman primate (NHP) models of cART-mediated suppression have proven challenging to develop. We used a novel three-class, six-drug cART regimen to achieve durable 4.0- to 5.5-log reductions in plasma viremia levels and declines in cell-associated viral RNA and DNA in blood and tissues of simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac239-infected Indian-origin rhesus macaques, then evaluated the impact of treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA; Vorinostat) on the residual virus pool. Ex vivo SAHA treatment of CD4(+) T cells obtained from cART-suppressed animals increased histone acetylation and viral RNA levels in culture supernatants. cART-suppressed animals each received 84 total doses of oral SAHA. We observed SAHA dose-dependent increases in acetylated histones with evidence for sustained modulation as well as refractoriness following prolonged administration. In vivo virologic activity was demonstrated based on the ratio of viral RNA to viral DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, a presumptive measure of viral transcription, which significantly increased in SAHA-treated animals. However, residual virus was readily detected at the end of treatment, suggesting that SAHA alone may be insufficient for viral eradication in the setting of suppressive cART. The effects observed were similar to emerging data for repeat-dose SAHA treatment of HIV-infected individuals on cART, demonstrating the feasibility, utility, and relevance of NHP models of cART-mediated suppression for in vivo assessments of AIDS virus functional cure/eradication approaches.
HIV transmission efficiency is greatly increased when viruses are transmitted at virological synapses formed between infected and uninfected cells. We have previously shown that virological synapses formed between HIV-pulsed mature dendritic cells (DCs) and uninfected T cells contain interdigitated membrane surfaces, with T cell filopodia extending toward virions sequestered deep inside invaginations formed on the DC membrane. To explore membrane structural changes relevant to HIV transmission across other types of intercellular conjugates, we used a combination of light and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) to determine the three-dimensional (3D) architectures of contact regions between HIV-1-infected CD4(+) T cells and either uninfected human CD4(+) T cells or human fetal astrocytes. We present evidence that in each case, membrane extensions that originate from the uninfected cells, either as membrane sheets or filopodial bridges, are present and may be involved in HIV transmission from infected to uninfected cells. We show that individual virions are distributed along the length of astrocyte filopodia, suggesting that virus transfer to the astrocytes is mediated, at least in part, by processes originating from the astrocyte itself. Mechanisms that selectively disrupt the polarization and formation of such membrane extensions could thus represent a possible target for reducing viral spread.
Primate lentiviruses exhibit narrow host tropism, reducing the occurrence of zoonoses but also impairing the development of optimal animal models of AIDS. To delineate the factors limiting cross-species HIV-1 transmission, we passaged a modified HIV-1 in pigtailed macaques that were transiently depleted of CD8(+) cells during acute infection. During adaptation over four passages in macaques, HIV-1 acquired the ability to antagonize the macaque restriction factor tetherin, replicated at progressively higher levels, and ultimately caused marked CD4(+) T cell depletion and AIDS-defining conditions. Transient treatment with an antibody to CD8 during acute HIV-1 infection caused rapid progression to AIDS, whereas untreated animals exhibited an elite controller phenotype. Thus, an adapted HIV-1 can cause AIDS in macaques, and stark differences in outcome can be determined by immunological perturbations during early infection.
Infection of macaques with chimeric viruses based on SIVMAC but expressing the HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoproteins (SHIVs) remains the most powerful model for evaluating prevention and therapeutic strategies against AIDS. Unfortunately, only a few SHIVs are currently available. Furthermore, their generation has required extensive adaptation of the HIV-1 Env sequences in macaques so they may not accurately represent HIV-1 Env proteins circulating in humans, potentially limiting their translational utility. We developed a strategy for generating large numbers of SHIV constructs expressing Env proteins from newly transmitted HIV-1 strains. By inoculating macaques with cocktails of multiple SHIV variants, we selected SHIVs that can replicate and cause AIDS-like disease in immunologically intact rhesus macaques without requiring animal-to-animal passage. One of these SHIVs could be transmitted mucosally. We demonstrate the utility of the SHIVs generated by this method for evaluating neutralizing antibody administration as a protection against mucosal SHIV challenge.
Following mucosal human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transmission, systemic infection is established by one or only a few viral variants. Modeling single-variant, mucosal transmission in nonhuman primates using limiting-dose inoculations with a diverse simian immunodeficiency virus isolate stock may increase variability between animals since individual variants within the stock may have substantial functional differences. To decrease variability between animals while retaining the ability to enumerate transmitted/founder variants by sequence analysis, we modified the SIVmac239 clone to generate 10 unique clones that differ by two or three synonymous mutations (molecular tags). Transfection- and infection-derived virus stocks containing all 10 variants showed limited phenotypic differences in 9 of the 10 clones. Twenty-nine rhesus macaques were challenged intrarectally or intravenously with either a single dose or repeated, limiting doses of either stock. The proportion of each variant within each inoculum and in plasma from infected animals was determined by using a novel real-time single-genome amplification assay. Each animal was infected with one to five variants, the number correlating with the dose. Longitudinal sequence analysis revealed that the molecular tags are highly stable with no reversion to the parental sequence detected in >2 years of follow-up. Overall, the viral stocks are functional and mucosally transmissible and the number of variants is conveniently discernible by sequence analysis of a small amplicon. This approach should be useful for tracking individual infection events in preclinical vaccine evaluations, long-term viral reservoir establishment/clearance research, and transmission/early-event studies. Importance: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transmission is established by one or only a few viral variants. Modeling of limited variant transmission in nonhuman primates with a diverse simian immunodeficiency virus isolate stock may increase the variability between animals because of functional differences in the individual variants within the stock. To decrease such variability while retaining the ability to distinguish and enumerate transmitted/founder variants by sequence analysis, we generated a viral stock with 10 sequence-identifiable but otherwise genetically identical variants. This virus was characterized in vitro and in vivo and shown to allow discrimination of distinct transmission events. This approach provides a novel nonhuman primate challenge system for the study of viral transmission, evaluation of vaccines and other prevention approaches, and characterization of viral reservoirs and strategies to target them.
Inflammation in HIV infection is predictive of non-AIDS morbidity and death, higher set point plasma virus load and virus acquisition; thus, therapeutic agents are in development to reduce its causes and consequences. However, inflammation may simultaneously confer both detrimental and beneficial effects. This dichotomy is particularly applicable to type I interferons (IFN-I) which, while contributing to innate control of infection, also provide target cells for the virus during acute infection, impair CD4 T-cell recovery, and are associated with disease progression. Here we manipulated IFN-I signalling in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) during simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) transmission and acute infection with two complementary in vivo interventions. We show that blockade of the IFN-I receptor caused reduced antiviral gene expression, increased SIV reservoir size and accelerated CD4 T-cell depletion with progression to AIDS despite decreased T-cell activation. In contrast, IFN-?2a administration initially upregulated expression of antiviral genes and prevented systemic infection. However, continued IFN-?2a treatment induced IFN-I desensitization and decreased antiviral gene expression, enabling infection with increased SIV reservoir size and accelerated CD4 T-cell loss. Thus, the timing of IFN-induced innate responses in acute SIV infection profoundly affects overall disease course and outweighs the detrimental consequences of increased immune activation. Yet, the clinical consequences of manipulation of IFN signalling are difficult to predict in vivo and therapeutic interventions in human studies should be approached with caution.
The viral accessory protein Vpx, expressed by certain simian and human immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs and HIVs), is thought to improve viral infectivity of myeloid cells. We infected 35 Asian macaques and African green monkeys with viruses that do or do not express Vpx and examined viral targeting of cells in vivo. While lack of Vpx expression affected viral dynamics in vivo, with decreased viral loads and infection of CD4? T cells, Vpx expression had no detectable effect on infectivity of myeloid cells. Moreover, viral DNA was observed only within myeloid cells in tissues not massively depleted of CD4? T cells. Myeloid cells containing viral DNA also showed evidence of T cell phagocytosis in vivo, suggesting that their viral DNA may be attributed to phagocytosis of SIV-infected T cells. These data suggest that myeloid cells are not a major source of SIV in vivo, irrespective of Vpx expression.
Systemic inflammation has been linked to a failure to normalize CD4(+) T-cell numbers in treated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Although inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) are predictors of disease progression in treated HIV infection, it is not clear how or whether inflammatory mediators contribute to immune restoration failure.
Over 80% of sexual HIV-1 transmissions originate from a single viral variant, but the underlying basis for this transmission bottleneck remains to be elucidated. Nonhuman primate models of mucosal virus transmission allow opportunities to gain insight into the basis of this mucosal bottleneck. We used simulated inocula consisting of either non-infectious vital dye or contrast dye with non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to visualize mucosal exposure and passive lymphatic drainage patterns following vaginal and rectal exposures in Indian origin rhesus macaques. Results revealed a limited overall distance of dye coverage from the anal verge following 1 ml (n = 8) intrarectally administered, which greatly increased with a 3 ml (n = 8) volume. Intravaginal dye exposure using 2 ml revealed complete coverage of the mucosa of the vagina and ectocervix, however dye was not detectable in the endocervix, uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries in nuliparous sexually mature rhesus macaques (n = 9). In addition, following submucosal and intranodal injections of vital dye or MRI contrast dye in the rectum (n = 9), or distal and proximal vagina (n = 4), the lymphatic drainage pathways were identified as first the internal then common iliac chain followed by para-aortic lymph nodes. Drainage from the distal descending colon (n = 8) was via the para-colonic lymph nodes followed by the inferior mesenteric and para-aortic lymph nodes. Analysis after vaginal challenge with infectious SIVmac239 followed by euthanasia at day 3 revealed a pattern of viral dissemination consistent with the imaging results. These results provide insights into potential patterns of viral dissemination that can help guide efforts to better elucidate the earliest events of virus transmission and potential intervention strategies.
Despite antiretroviral therapy (ART), some HIV-infected persons maintain lower than normal CD4(+) T-cell counts in peripheral blood and in the gut mucosa. This incomplete immune restoration is associated with higher levels of immune activation manifested by high systemic levels of biomarkers, including sCD14 and D-dimer, that are independent predictors of morbidity and mortality in HIV infection. In this 12-week, single-arm, open-label study, we tested the efficacy of IL-7 adjunctive therapy on T-cell reconstitution in peripheral blood and gut mucosa in 23 ART suppressed HIV-infected patients with incomplete CD4(+) T-cell recovery, using one cycle (consisting of three subcutaneous injections) of recombinant human IL-7 (r-hIL-7) at 20 µg/kg. IL-7 administration led to increases of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cells in peripheral blood, and importantly an expansion of T-cells expressing the gut homing integrin ?4?7. Participants who underwent rectosigmoid biopsies at study baseline and after treatment had T-cell increases in the gut mucosa measured by both flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. IL-7 therapy also resulted in apparent improvement in gut barrier integrity as measured by decreased neutrophil infiltration in the rectosigmoid lamina propria 12 weeks after IL-7 administration. This was also accompanied by decreased TNF and increased FOXP3 expression in the lamina propria. Plasma levels of sCD14 and D-dimer, indicative of systemic inflammation, decreased after r-hIL-7. Increases of colonic mucosal T-cells correlated strongly with the decreased systemic levels of sCD14, the LPS coreceptor - a marker of monocyte activation. Furthermore, the proportion of inflammatory monocytes expressing CCR2 was decreased, as was the basal IL-1? production of peripheral blood monocytes. These data suggest that administration of r-hIL-7 improves the gut mucosal abnormalities of chronic HIV infection and attenuates the systemic inflammatory and coagulation abnormalities that have been linked to it.
In pathogenic HIV and SIV infections of humans and rhesus macaques (RMs), preferential depletion of CD4(+) Th17 cells correlates with mucosal immune dysfunction and disease progression. Interleukin (IL)-21 promotes differentiation of Th17 cells, long-term maintenance of functional CD8(+) T cells, and differentiation of memory B cells and antibody-secreting plasma cells. We hypothesized that administration of IL-21 will improve mucosal function in the context of pathogenic HIV/SIV infections. To test this hypothesis, we infected 12 RMs with SIV(mac239) and at day 14 post-infection treated six of them with rhesus rIL-21-IgFc. IL-21-treatment was safe and did not increase plasma viral load or systemic immune activation. Compared to untreated animals, IL-21-treated RMs showed (i) higher expression of perforin and granzyme B in total and SIV-specific CD8(+) T cells and (ii) higher levels of intestinal Th17 cells. Remarkably, increased levels of Th17 cells were associated with reduced levels of intestinal T cell proliferation, microbial translocation and systemic activation/inflammation in the chronic infection. In conclusion, IL-21-treatment in SIV-infected RMs improved mucosal immune function through enhanced preservation of Th17 cells. Further preclinical studies of IL-21 may be warranted to test its potential use during chronic infection in conjunction with antiretroviral therapy.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is principally a disease of lymphoid tissues (LTs), due to the fact that the main target cell of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the CD4(+) T lymphocyte that primarily resides within organs of the immune system. The impact of HIV infection on secondary LTs, in particular lymph nodes, is critical to delineate, as these immune organs are the principal sites for initiating and facilitating immune responses and are critical for lymphocyte homeostatic maintenance and survival. The underlying structural elements of LTs, fibroblastic reticular cell (FRC) network, not only form the architectural framework for these organs, but also play in integral role in the production and storage of cytokines needed for T-cell survival. There is an interdependent relationship between the FRC stromal network and CD4(+) T lymphocytes for their survival and maintenance that is progressively disrupted during HIV disease. HIV infection results in profound pathological changes to LTs induced by persistent chronic immune activation and inflammation that leads to progressive collagen deposition and fibrosis disrupting and damaging the important FRC network. In this review, I focus on the process, mechanisms, and the implications of pathological damage to important secondary LTs, combining what we have learned from HIV-infected individuals as well as the invaluable knowledge gained from studies in non-human primate simian immunodeficiency virus infection models.
The incidence of port site hernia and/or dehiscence using bladeless trocars is 0-1.2%. Robotic surgery uses additional port sites and increases manipulation of instruments, raising the concern for more complications. We sought to characterize the incidence of port site complications following robotic surgery when fascia was not routinely closed.
Established infections with the human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and SIV, respectively) are thought to be permanent with even the most effective immune responses and antiretroviral therapies only able to control, but not clear, these infections. Whether the residual virus that maintains these infections is vulnerable to clearance is a question of central importance to the future management of millions of HIV-infected individuals. We recently reported that approximately 50% of rhesus macaques (RM; Macaca mulatta) vaccinated with SIV protein-expressing rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV/SIV) vectors manifest durable, aviraemic control of infection with the highly pathogenic strain SIVmac239 (ref. 5). Here we show that regardless of the route of challenge, RhCMV/SIV vector-elicited immune responses control SIVmac239 after demonstrable lymphatic and haematogenous viral dissemination, and that replication-competent SIV persists in several sites for weeks to months. Over time, however, protected RM lost signs of SIV infection, showing a consistent lack of measurable plasma- or tissue-associated virus using ultrasensitive assays, and a loss of T-cell reactivity to SIV determinants not in the vaccine. Extensive ultrasensitive quantitative PCR and quantitative PCR with reverse transcription analyses of tissues from RhCMV/SIV vector-protected RM necropsied 69-172?weeks after challenge did not detect SIV RNA or DNA sequences above background levels, and replication-competent SIV was not detected in these RM by extensive co-culture analysis of tissues or by adoptive transfer of 60 million haematolymphoid cells to naive RM. These data provide compelling evidence for progressive clearance of a pathogenic lentiviral infection, and suggest that some lentiviral reservoirs may be susceptible to the continuous effector memory T-cell-mediated immune surveillance elicited and maintained by cytomegalovirus vectors.
Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) serovars are a common cause of acute food-borne gastroenteritis worldwide and can cause invasive systemic disease in young infants, the elderly, and immunocompromised hosts, accompanied by high case fatality. Vaccination against invasive NTS disease is warranted where the disease incidence and mortality are high and multidrug resistance is prevalent, as in sub-Saharan Africa. Live-attenuated vaccines that mimic natural infection constitute one strategy to elicit protection. However, they must particularly be shown to be adequately attenuated for consideration of immunocompromised subjects. Accordingly, we examined the safety and tolerability of an oral live attenuated Salmonella typhimurium vaccine candidate, CVD 1921, in an established chronic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaque model. We evaluated clinical parameters, histopathology, and measured differences in mucosal permeability to wild-type and vaccine strains. Compared to the wild-type S. typhimurium strain I77 in both SIV-infected and SIV-uninfected nonhuman primate hosts, this live-attenuated vaccine shows reduced shedding and systemic spread, exhibits limited pathological disease manifestations in the digestive tract, and induces low levels of cellular infiltration in tissues. Furthermore, wild-type S. typhimurium induces increased intestinal epithelial damage and permeability, with infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages in both SIV-infected and SIV-uninfected nonhuman primates compared to the vaccine strain. Based on shedding, systemic spread, and histopathology, the live-attenuated S. typhimurium strain CVD 1921 appears to be safe and well-tolerated in the nonhuman primate model, including chronically SIV-infected rhesus macaques.
During HIV/SIV infection, mucosal immune system dysfunction and systemic immune activation are associated with progression to AIDS; however, it is unclear to what extent pre-existing gastrointestinal damage relates to disease progression postinfection. Pigtail macaques (PTM) are an excellent model in which to assess mucosal dysfunction in relation to HIV/SIV pathogenesis, as the majority of these animals have high levels of gastrointestinal damage, immune activation, and microbial translocation prior to infection, and rapidly progress to AIDS upon SIV infection. In this study, we characterized the mucosal immune environment prior to and throughout SIV infection in 13 uninfected PTM and 9 SIV-infected PTM, of which 3 were slow progressors. This small subset of slow progressors had limited innate immune activation in mucosal tissues in the periphery, which was associated with a more intact colonic epithelial barrier. Furthermore, we found that preinfection levels of microbial translocation, as measured by LPS-binding protein, in PTM correlated with the rate of progression to AIDS. These data suggest that pre-existing levels of microbial translocation and gastrointestinal tract dysfunction may influence the rate of HIV disease progression.
The majority of HIV-infected individuals fail to produce protective antibodies and have diminished responses to new immunizations. We report here that even though there is an expansion of follicular helper T (TFH) cells in HIV-infected individuals, the cells are unable to provide adequate B cell help. We found a higher frequency of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1)(+) germinal center B cells from lymph nodes of HIV-infected individuals suggesting a potential role for PD-1-PD-L1 interaction in regulating TFH cell function. In fact, we show that engagement of PD-1 on TFH cells leads to a reduction in cell proliferation, activation, inducible T-cell co-stimulator (ICOS) expression and interleukin-21 (IL-21) cytokine secretion. Blocking PD-1 signaling enhances HIV-specific immunoglobulin production in vitro. We further show that at least part of this defect involves IL-21, as addition of this cytokine rescues antibody responses and plasma cell generation in vitro. Our results suggest that deregulation of TFH cell-mediated B cell help diminishes B cell responses during HIV infection and may be related to PD-1 triggering on TFH cells. These results demonstrate a role for TFH cell impairment in HIV pathogenesis and suggest that enhancing their function could have a major impact on the outcome and control of HIV infection, preventing future infections and improving immune responses to vaccinations.
HIV infection results in gastrointestinal (GI) tract damage, microbial translocation, and immune activation, which are not completely ameliorated with suppression of viremia by antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. Furthermore, increased morbidity and mortality of ARV-treated HIV-infected individuals is associated with these dysfunctions. Thus, to enhance GI tract physiology, we treated SIV-infected pigtail macaques with ARVs, probiotics, and prebiotics or with ARVs alone. This synbiotic treatment resulted in increased frequency and functionality of GI tract APCs, enhanced reconstitution and functionality of CD4+ T cells, and reduced fibrosis of lymphoid follicles in the colon. Thus, ARV synbiotic supplementation in HIV-infected individuals may improve GI tract immunity and thereby mitigate inflammatory sequelae, ultimately improving prognosis.
During a population decline or disease outbreak, the true risk of specific diseases to a wild population is often difficult to determine because of a lack of baseline disease information. To better understand the risk of disease in an endangered and scientifically important population of chimpanzees (Pan trogylodytes schweinfurthii), a health monitoring program was initiated in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. As part of this health monitoring program, comprehensive necropsies with histopathology were conducted on chimpanzees (n = 11; 5 male, 6 female), ranging in age from fetal to 44 yr, that were found dead between August 2004 and January 2010. In contrast to previous reports, respiratory disease was not noted as a cause of morbidity or mortality. Trauma was the most common cause of death in these 11 chimpanzees. All of the chimpanzees greater than 1 yr of age had intestinal and mesenteric parasitic granulomas associated with true strongyles consistent with Oesophagostomum spp. The relative numbers of granulomas increased with age and, in some cases, may have been a cause of weight loss and diarrhea. Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)cpz infection was documented in four deceased apes, all of whom exhibited varying amounts of lymphoid depletion including two females with marked CD4+ T cell loss consistent with endstage SIVmac or human immunodeficiency virus infections. Myocardial megalokaryosis was common in chimpanzees greater than 1 mo of age; yet myocardial interstitial fibrosis, a common lesion in captive chimpanzees, was uncommon and only noted in two aged chimpanzees. These findings provide important information on causes of morbidity and mortality in wild chimpanzees, information that can be used to interpret findings during population declines and lead to better management of this population in the context of disease risk.
HIV infection is characterized by immune system dysregulation, including depletion of CD4+ T cells, immune activation, and abnormal B- and T-cell responses. However, the immunologic mechanisms underlying lymphocytic dysfunctionality and whether it is restricted to immune responses against neo antigens, recall antigens, or both is unclear. Here, we immunized SIV-infected and uninfected rhesus macaques to induce immune responses against neo and recall antigens using a Leishmania major polyprotein (MML) vaccine given with poly-ICLC adjuvant. We found that vaccinated SIVuninfected animals induced high frequencies of polyfunctional MML-specific CD4+ T cells. However, in SIV-infected animals, CD4+ T-cell functionality decreased after both neo (P = .0025) and recall (P = .0080) MML vaccination. Furthermore, after SIV infection, the frequency of MML-specific antibody-secreting classic memory B cells was decreased compared with vaccinated, SIV-uninfected animals. Specifically, antibody-secreting classic memory B cells that produced IgA in response to either neo (P = .0221) or recall (P = .0356) MML vaccinations were decreased. Furthermore, we found that T-follicular helper cells, which are essential for priming B cells, are preferentially infected with SIV. These data indicate that SIV infection results in dysfunctional T-cell responses to neo and recall vaccinations, and direct SIV infection of T-follicular helper cells, both of which probably contribute to deficient B-cell responses and, presumably, susceptibility to certain opportunistic infections.
CD4+ T cells play a central role in the immunopathogenesis of HIV/AIDS, and their depletion during chronic HIV infection is a hallmark of disease progression. However, the relative contribution of CD4+ T cells as mediators of antiviral immune responses and targets for virus replication is still unclear. Here, we have generated data in SIV-infected rhesus macaques (RMs) that suggest that CD4+ T cells are essential in establishing control of virus replication during acute infection. To directly assess the role of CD4+ T cells during primary SIV infection, we in vivo depleted these cells from RMs prior to infecting the primates with a pathogenic strain of SIV. Compared with undepleted animals, CD4+ lymphocyte-depleted RMs showed a similar peak of viremia, but did not manifest any post-peak decline of virus replication despite CD8+ T cell- and B cell-mediated SIV-specific immune responses comparable to those observed in control animals. Interestingly, depleted animals displayed rapid disease progression, which was associated with increased virus replication in non-T cells as well as the emergence of CD4-independent SIV-envelopes. Our results suggest that the antiviral CD4+ T cell response may play an important role in limiting SIV replication, which has implications for the design of HIV vaccines.
Parkinsons disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder of aging. The pathological hallmark of PD is neuronal inclusions termed Lewy bodies whose main component is alpha-synuclein protein. The finding of these Lewy bodies in the intestinal enteric nerves led to the hypothesis that the intestine might be an early site of PD disease in response to an environmental toxin or pathogen. One potential mechanism for environmental toxin(s) and proinflammatory luminal products to gain access to mucosal neuronal tissue and promote oxidative stress is compromised intestinal barrier integrity. However, the role of intestinal permeability in PD has never been tested. We hypothesized that PD subjects might exhibit increased intestinal permeability to proinflammatory bacterial products in the intestine. To test our hypothesis we evaluated intestinal permeability in subjects newly diagnosed with PD and compared their values to healthy subjects. In addition, we obtained intestinal biopsies from both groups and used immunohistochemistry to assess bacterial translocation, nitrotyrosine (oxidative stress), and alpha-synuclein. We also evaluated serum markers of endotoxin exposure including LPS binding protein (LBP). Our data show that our PD subjects exhibit significantly greater intestinal permeability (gut leakiness) than controls. In addition, this intestinal hyperpermeability significantly correlated with increased intestinal mucosa staining for E. coli bacteria, nitrotyrosine, and alpha-synuclein as well as serum LBP levels in PD subjects. These data represent not only the first demonstration of abnormal intestinal permeability in PD subjects but also the first correlation of increased intestinal permeability in PD with intestinal alpha-synuclein (the hallmark of PD), as well as staining for gram negative bacteria and tissue oxidative stress. Our study may thus shed new light on PD pathogenesis as well as provide a new method for earlier diagnosis of PD and suggests potential therapeutic targets in PD subjects.
Recent iPrEx clinical trial results provided evidence that systemic preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) can partially prevent rectal HIV transmission in humans. Similarly, we have previously demonstrated that systemic administration of the same FTC-TDF combination efficiently prevented rectal transmission in humanized bone marrow/liver/thymus (BLT) mice. The CAPRISA 004 trial recently demonstrated that topical application of the tenofovir could partially prevent vaginal HIV-1 transmission in humans. To further validate the usefulness of the BLT mouse model for testing HIV prevention strategies, we evaluated the topical administration of tenofovir as used in CAPRISA 004 to prevent vaginal HIV transmission in BLT mice. Our results demonstrate that vaginally administered 1% tenofovir significantly reduced HIV transmission in BLT mice (P = 0.002). Together with the results obtained after systemic antiretroviral PrEP, these topical inhibitor data serve to validate the use of humanized BLT mice to evaluate both systemic and topical inhibitors of HIV transmission. Based on these observations, we tested six additional microbicide candidates for their ability to prevent vaginal HIV transmission: a C-peptide fusion inhibitor (C52L), a membrane-disrupting amphipathic peptide inhibitor (C5A), a trimeric d-peptide fusion inhibitor (PIE12-Trimer), a combination of reverse transcriptase inhibitors (FTC-TDF), a thioester zinc finger inhibitor (TC247), and a small-molecule Rac inhibitor (NSC23766). No protection was seen with the Rac inhibitor NSC23766. The thioester compound TC247 offered partial protection. Significant protection was afforded by FTC-TDF, and complete protection was offered by three different peptide inhibitors tested. Our results demonstrate that these effective topical inhibitors have excellent potential to prevent vaginal HIV transmission in humans.
Lentiviruses such as HIV have a daunting challenge in gaining access to a new host predominantly through the penile, rectal, or vaginal/cervical mucosal tissue after sexual exposure. Multiple mechanisms have evolved to help prevent such infections, including anatomical barriers, innate inhibitors, and adaptive immune responses. For lentiviruses, it appears that in naive or even conventionally vaccinated hosts, typical adaptive immune responses are generally too little and too late to prevent infection. Nevertheless, a combination of anatomical barriers and innate immune responses may limit transmission, especially in patients without predisposing conditions such as mucosal lesions or preexisting sexually transmitted infections. Furthermore, when infection does occur, most often the primary viremia of the acute infection can be traced back genetically to a single founder virus. Unfortunately, even a single virion can establish an infection that will ultimately lead to the demise of the host. This review seeks to describe the biology of and barriers to establishment of systemic, disseminated productive infection with HIV after sexual exposure and to discuss the possible mechanisms leading to infection by a single viral variant. Understanding the initial events of infection, before systemic spread, could provide insights into strategies for reducing acquisition or ameliorating clinical outcome.
The hallmark of HIV-1 and SIV infections is CD4(+) T cell depletion. Both direct cell killing and indirect mechanisms related to immune activation have been suggested to cause the depletion of T cells. We have now identified a mechanism by which immune activation-induced fibrosis of lymphoid tissues leads to depletion of naive T cells in HIV-1 infected patients and SIV-infected rhesus macaques. The T regulatory cell response to immune activation increased procollagen production and subsequent deposition as fibrils via the TGF-?1 signaling pathway and chitinase 3-like-1 activity in fibroblasts in lymphoid tissues from patients infected with HIV-1. Collagen deposition restricted T cell access to the survival factor IL-7 on the fibroblastic reticular cell (FRC) network, resulting in apoptosis and depletion of T cells, which, in turn, removed a major source of lymphotoxin-?, a survival factor for FRCs during SIV infection in rhesus macaques. The resulting loss of FRCs and the loss of IL-7 produced by FRCs may thus perpetuate a vicious cycle of depletion of T cells and the FRC network. Because this process is cumulative, early treatment and antifibrotic therapies may offer approaches to moderate T cell depletion and improve immune reconstitution during HIV-1 infection.
HIV infection is associated with depletion of intestinal CD4(+) T cells, resulting in mucosal immune dysfunction, microbial translocation, chronic immune activation, and progressive immunodeficiency. In this study, we examined HIV-infected individuals with active virus replication (n = 15), treated with antiretroviral therapy (n = 13), and healthy controls (n = 11) and conducted a comparative analysis of T cells derived from blood and four gastrointestinal (GI) sites (terminal ileum, right colon, left colon, and sigmoid colon). As expected, we found that HIV infection is associated with depletion of total CD4(+) T cells as well as CD4(+)CCR5(+) T cells in all GI sites, with higher levels of these cells found in ART-treated individuals than in those with active virus replication. While the levels of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferation were higher in the blood of untreated HIV-infected individuals, only CD4(+) T cell proliferation was significantly increased in the gut of the same patients. We also noted that the levels of CD4(+) T cells and the percentages of CD4(+)Ki67(+) proliferating T cells are inversely correlated in both blood and intestinal tissues, thus suggesting that CD4(+) T cell homeostasis is similarly affected by HIV infection in these distinct anatomic compartments. Importantly, the level of intestinal CD4(+) T cells (both total and Th17 cells) was inversely correlated with the percentage of circulating CD4(+)Ki67(+) T cells. Collectively, these data confirm that the GI tract is a key player in the immunopathogenesis of HIV infection, and they reveal a strong association between the destruction of intestinal CD4(+) T cell homeostasis in the gut and the level of systemic CD4(+) T cell activation.
T cells that express the ?? T-cell receptor, which recognize microbial or stress-induced antigens, represent a minority of blood T cells but constitute a major proportion of intraepithelial lymphocytes in the gastrointestinal mucosa. As microbial products have been shown to translocate from the gastrointestinal tract into circulation in chronically HIV/Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected individuals, we conducted a study of V?1 and V?2 T-cell frequency, phenotype, and function in blood, spleen, lymph nodes, gastrointestinal mucosa, and bronchoalveolar lavage of uninfected and chronically SIVsmE543-infected rhesus macaques (RMs). We found: (1) SIV-associated inversion of V?1/V?2 T cells occurs in blood and in several tissues; (2) ?? T cells are not infected by SIV in vivo; (3) the V?1/V?2 inversion involves expansion of V?1 T cells; (4) expanded V?1 T cells are phenotypically and functionally different from V?1 T cells from uninfected RMs; and (5) the stimulus underlying expansion of V?1 T cells appears to be microbial translocation. These data highlight the importance of microbial translocation-induced immune activation in chronically infected individuals and provide new insights into an immune dysregulation phenomenon that is a hallmark of HIV/SIV infection. These findings may lead to novel therapeutic interventions that improve the immune responses against microbial antigens, and thus, decrease microbial translocation-induced immune activation.
The chronic phase of HIV infection is marked by pathological activation of the immune system, the extent of which better predicts disease progression than either plasma viral load or CD4(+) T cell count. Recently, translocation of microbial products from the gastrointestinal tract has been proposed as an underlying cause of this immune activation, based on indirect evidence including the detection of microbial products and specific immune responses in the plasma of chronically HIV-infected humans or SIV-infected Asian macaques. We analyzed tissues from SIV-infected rhesus macaques (RMs) to provide direct in situ evidence for translocation of microbial constituents from the lumen of the intestine into the lamina propria and to draining and peripheral lymph nodes and liver, accompanied by local immune responses in affected tissues. In chronically SIV-infected RMs this translocation is associated with breakdown of the integrity of the epithelial barrier of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and apparent inability of lamina propria macrophages to effectively phagocytose translocated microbial constituents. By contrast, in the chronic phase of SIV infection in sooty mangabeys, we found no evidence of epithelial barrier breakdown, no increased microbial translocation and no pathological immune activation. Because immune activation is characteristic of the chronic phase of progressive HIV/SIV infections, these findings suggest that increased microbial translocation from the GI tract, in excess of capacity to clear the translocated microbial constituents, helps drive pathological immune activation. Novel therapeutic approaches to inhibit microbial translocation and/or attenuate chronic immune activation in HIV-infected individuals may complement treatments aimed at direct suppression of viral replication.
The efficiency of HIV infection is greatly enhanced when the virus is delivered at conjugates between CD4+ T cells and virus-bearing antigen-presenting cells such as macrophages or dendritic cells via specialized structures known as virological synapses. Using ion abrasion SEM, electron tomography, and superresolution light microscopy, we have analyzed the spatial architecture of cell-cell contacts and distribution of HIV virions at virological synapses formed between mature dendritic cells and T cells. We demonstrate the striking envelopment of T cells by sheet-like membrane extensions derived from mature dendritic cells, resulting in a shielded region for formation of virological synapses. Within the synapse, filopodial extensions emanating from CD4+ T cells make contact with HIV virions sequestered deep within a 3D network of surface-accessible compartments in the dendritic cell. Viruses are detected at the membrane surfaces of both dendritic cells and T cells, but virions are not released passively at the synapse; instead, virus transfer requires the engagement of T-cell CD4 receptors. The relative seclusion of T cells from the extracellular milieu, the burial of the site of HIV transfer, and the receptor-dependent initiation of virion transfer by T cells highlight unique aspects of cell-cell HIV transmission.
The mechanisms underlying the AIDS resistance of natural hosts for simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) remain unknown. Recently, it was proposed that natural SIV hosts avoid disease because their plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are intrinsically unable to produce alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) in response to SIV RNA stimulation. However, here we show that (i) acute SIV infections of natural hosts are associated with a rapid and robust type I IFN response in vivo, (ii) pDCs are the principal in vivo producers of IFN-alpha/beta at peak acute infection in lymphatic tissues, and (iii) natural SIV hosts downregulate these responses in early chronic infection. In contrast, persistently high type I IFN responses are observed during pathogenic SIV infection of rhesus macaques.
Successful antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for mucosal and intravenous HIV-1 transmission could reduce new infections among targeted high-risk populations including discordant couples, injection drug users, high-risk women and men who have sex with men. Targeted antiretroviral PrEP could be particularly effective at slowing the spread of HIV-1 if a single antiretroviral combination were found to be broadly protective across multiple routes of transmission. Therefore, we designed our in vivo preclinical study to systematically investigate whether rectal and intravenous HIV-1 transmission can be blocked by antiretrovirals administered systemically prior to HIV-1 exposure. We performed these studies using a highly relevant in vivo model of mucosal HIV-1 transmission, humanized Bone marrow/Liver/Thymus mice (BLT). BLT mice are susceptible to HIV-1 infection via three major physiological routes of viral transmission: vaginal, rectal and intravenous. Our results show that BLT mice given systemic antiretroviral PrEP are efficiently protected from HIV-1 infection regardless of the route of exposure. Specifically, systemic antiretroviral PrEP with emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate prevented both rectal (Chi square = 8.6, df = 1, p = 0.003) and intravenous (Chi square = 13, df = 1, p = 0.0003) HIV-1 transmission. Our results indicate that antiretroviral PrEP has the potential to be broadly effective at preventing new rectal or intravenous HIV transmissions in targeted high risk individuals. These in vivo preclinical findings provide strong experimental evidence supporting the potential clinical implementation of antiretroviral based pre-exposure prophylactic measures to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
While CD8+ T cells are clearly important in controlling virus replication during HIV and SIV infections, the mechanisms underlying this antiviral effect remain poorly understood. In this study, we assessed the in vivo effect of CD8+ lymphocyte depletion on the lifespan of productively infected cells during chronic SIVmac239 infection of rhesus macaques. We treated two groups of animals that were either CD8+ lymphocyte-depleted or controls with antiretroviral therapy, and used mathematical modeling to assess the lifespan of infected cells either in the presence or absence of CD8+ lymphocytes. We found that, in both early (day 57 post-SIV) and late (day 177 post-SIV) chronic SIV infection, depletion of CD8+ lymphocytes did not result in a measurable increase in the lifespan of either short- or long-lived productively infected cells in vivo. This result indicates that the presence of CD8+ lymphocytes does not result in a noticeably shorter lifespan of productively SIV-infected cells, and thus that direct cell killing is unlikely to be the main mechanism underlying the antiviral effect of CD8+ T cells in SIV-infected macaques with high virus replication.
Plasma viremia decreases coincident with the appearance of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells during acute HIV or SIV infection. This finding, along with demonstrations of viral mutational escape from CD8(+) T cell responses and transient increase in plasma viremia after depletion of CD8(+) T cells in SIV-infected monkeys strongly suggest a role for CD8(+) T cells in controlling HIV/SIV. However, direct quantitative or qualitative correlates between CD8(+) T cell activity and virus control have not been established. To directly assess the impact of large numbers of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells present at time of SIV infection, we transferred in vitro expanded autologous central and effector memory-derived Gag CM9-, Nef YY9-, and Vif WY8-specific CD8(+) T cell clones to acutely infected rhesus macaques. The cells persisted in PBMCs between 4 and 9 d, but were not detected in gut-associated lymphoid tissue or lymph nodes. Interestingly, a high frequency of the infused cells localized to the lungs, where they persisted at high frequency for >6 wk. Although persisting cells in the lungs were Ag reactive, there was no measurable effect on virus load. Sequencing of virus from the animal receiving Nef YY9-specific CD8(+) T cells demonstrated an escape mutation in this epitope <3 wk postinfection, consistent with immune selection pressure by the infused cells. These studies establish methods for adoptive transfer of autologous SIV-specific CD8(+) T cells for evaluating immune control during acute infection and demonstrate that infused cells retain function and persist for at least 2 mo in specific tissues.
The design of an effective AIDS vaccine has eluded the efforts of the scientific community to the point that alternative approaches to classic vaccine formulations have to be considered. We propose here that HIV vaccine research could greatly benefit from the study of natural simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infections of African nonhuman primates. Natural SIV hosts (for example, sooty mangabeys, African green monkeys and mandrills) share many features of HIV infection of humans; however, they usually do not develop immunodeficiency. These natural, nonprogressive SIV infections represent an evolutionary adaptation that allows a peaceful coexistence of primate lentiviruses and the host immune system. This adaptation does not result in reduced viral replication but, rather, involves phenotypic changes to CD4(+) T cell subsets, limited immune activation and preserved mucosal immunity, all of which contribute to the avoidance of disease progression and, possibly, to the reduction of vertical SIV transmission. Here we summarize the current understanding of SIV infection of African nonhuman primates and discuss how unraveling these evolutionary adaptations may provide clues for new vaccine designs that might induce effective immune responses without the harmful consequences of excessive immune activation.
Autoinflammatory diseases manifest inflammation without evidence of infection, high-titer autoantibodies, or autoreactive T cells. We report a disorder caused by mutations of IL1RN, which encodes the interleukin-1-receptor antagonist, with prominent involvement of skin and bone.
African primates are naturally infected with over 40 different simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs), two of which have crossed the species barrier and generated human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2). Unlike the human viruses, however, SIVs do not generally cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in their natural hosts. Here we show that SIVcpz, the immediate precursor of HIV-1, is pathogenic in free-ranging chimpanzees. By following 94 members of two habituated chimpanzee communities in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, for over 9 years, we found a 10- to 16-fold higher age-corrected death hazard for SIVcpz-infected (n = 17) compared to uninfected (n = 77) chimpanzees. We also found that SIVcpz-infected females were less likely to give birth and had a higher infant mortality rate than uninfected females. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization of post-mortem spleen and lymph node samples from three infected and two uninfected chimpanzees revealed significant CD4(+) T-cell depletion in all infected individuals, with evidence of high viral replication and extensive follicular dendritic cell virus trapping in one of them. One female, who died within 3 years of acquiring SIVcpz, had histopathological findings consistent with end-stage AIDS. These results indicate that SIVcpz, like HIV-1, is associated with progressive CD4(+) T-cell loss, lymphatic tissue destruction and premature death. These findings challenge the prevailing view that all natural SIV infections are non-pathogenic and suggest that SIVcpz has a substantial negative impact on the health, reproduction and lifespan of chimpanzees in the wild.
The lack of a primate model that utilizes HIV-1 as the challenge virus is an impediment to AIDS research; existing models generally employ simian viruses that are divergent from HIV-1, reducing their usefulness in preclinical investigations. Based on an understanding of species-specific variation in primate TRIM5 and APOBEC3 antiretroviral genes, we constructed simian-tropic (st)HIV-1 strains that differ from HIV-1 only in the vif gene. We demonstrate that such minimally modified stHIV-1 strains are capable of high levels of replication in vitro in pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) lymphocytes. Importantly, infection of pig-tailed macaques with stHIV-1 results in acute viremia, approaching the levels observed in HIV-1-infected humans, and an ensuing persistent infection for several months. stHIV-1 replication was controlled thereafter, at least in part, by CD8+ T cells. We demonstrate the potential utility of this HIV-1-based animal model in a chemoprophylaxis experiment, by showing that a commonly used HIV-1 therapeutic regimen can provide apparently sterilizing protection from infection following a rigorous high-dose stHIV-1 challenge.
Although there has been great progress in treating human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) infection, preventing transmission has thus far proven an elusive goal. Indeed, recent trials of a candidate vaccine and microbicide have been disappointing, both for want of efficacy and concerns about increased rates of transmission. Nonetheless, studies of vaginal transmission in the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-rhesus macaque (Macacca mulatta) model point to opportunities at the earliest stages of infection in which a vaccine or microbicide might be protective, by limiting the expansion of infected founder populations at the portal of entry. Here we show in this SIV-macaque model, that an outside-in endocervical mucosal signalling system, involving MIP-3alpha (also known as CCL20), plasmacytoid dendritic cells and CCR5(+ )cell-attracting chemokines produced by these cells, in combination with the innate immune and inflammatory responses to infection in both cervix and vagina, recruits CD4(+) T cells to fuel this obligate expansion. We then show that glycerol monolaurate-a widely used antimicrobial compound with inhibitory activity against the production of MIP-3alpha and other proinflammatory cytokines-can inhibit mucosal signalling and the innate and inflammatory response to HIV-1 and SIV in vitro, and in vivo it can protect rhesus macaques from acute infection despite repeated intra-vaginal exposure to high doses of SIV. This new approach, plausibly linked to interfering with innate host responses that recruit the target cells necessary to establish systemic infection, opens a promising new avenue for the development of effective interventions to block HIV-1 mucosal transmission.
The hallmark of HIV-1/simian immunodeficiency virus infections is the progressive depletion of CD4(+) T cells that ultimately renders the host incapable of defending against AIDS-defining opportunistic infections and malignancies. Although many potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain CD4(+) T-cell loss, this review focuses on the growing evidence that collagen deposition and consequent fibrotic damage to the lymphatic tissue T-cell compartment contributes to CD4(+) T-cell decline and limits CD4(+) T-cell repopulation, even with highly active antiretroviral therapy.
HIV replication occurs throughout the natural course of infection in secondary lymphoid tissues and in particular within the germinal centers (GCs), where follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) are adjacent to CD4(+) T cells. Because FDCs provide signaling that increases lymphocyte activation, we postulated that FDCs could increase human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication. We cultured HIV-infected CD4(+) T cells alone or with FDCs and measured subsequent virus expression using HIV-p24 production and reverse transcription-PCR analyses. When cultured with FDCs, infected CD4(+) T cells produced almost fourfold more HIV than when cultured alone, and the rate of virus transcription was doubled. Both FDCs and their supernatant increased HIV transcription and resulted in nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB and phosphorylated c-Jun in infected cells. FDCs produced soluble tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) ex vivo, and the addition of a blocking soluble TNF receptor ablated FDC-mediated HIV transcription. Furthermore, TNF-alpha was found highly expressed within GCs, and ex vivo GC CD4(+) T cells supported greater levels of HIV-1 replication than other CD4(+) T cells. These data indicated that FDCs increase HIV transcription and production by a soluble TNF-alpha-mediated mechanism. This FDC-mediated effect may account, at least in part, for the presence of persistent HIV replication in GCs. Therefore, in addition to providing an important reservoir of infectious virus, FDCs increase HIV production, contributing to a tissue microenvironment that is highly conducive to HIV transmission and expression.
The autoinflammatory disorder, Neonatal-onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease (NOMID) is the most severe phenotype of disorders caused by mutations in CIAS1 that result in increased production and secretion of active IL-1?. NOMID patients present with systemic and organ-specific inflammation of the skin, central nervous system and bone, and respond dramatically to treatment with IL-1 blocking agents. We compared the cellular infiltrates and transcriptome of skin biopsies from patients with NOMID (n?=?14) before treatment (lesional (LS) and non-lesional (pre-NL) skin) and after treatment (post-NL) with the IL-1 blocker anakinra (recombinant IL-1 receptor antagonist, Kineret®, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, SOBI), to normal skin (n?=?5) to assess tissue responses in the context of untreated and treated disease. Abundant neutrophils distinguish LS skin from pre-NL and post-NL skin. CD11c(+) dermal dendritic cells and CD163(+) macrophages expressed activated caspase-1 and are a likely source of cutaneous IL-1 production. Treatment with anakinra led to the disappearance of neutrophils, but CD3(+) T cells and HLA-DR(+) cells remained elevated. Among the upregulated genes IL-6, IL-8, TNF, IL-17A, CCL20, and the neutrophil defensins DEFA1 and DEFA3 were differentially regulated in LS tissues (compared to normal skin). Important significantly downregulated pathways in LS skin included IL-1R/TLR signaling, type I and II cytokine receptor signaling, mitochondrial dysfunction, and antigen presentation. The differential expression and regulation of microRNAs and pathways involved in post-transcriptional modification were suggestive of epigenetic modification in the chronically inflamed tissue. Overall, the dysregulated genes and pathways suggest extensive "adaptive" mechanisms to control inflammation and maintain tissue homeostasis, likely triggered by chronic IL-1 release in the skin of patients with NOMID.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infections induce robust, generalized inflammatory responses that begin during acute infection and lead to pathological systemic immune activation, fibrotic damage of lymphoid tissues, and CD4? T-cell loss, pathogenic processes that contribute to disease progression.
Nonhuman primate natural hosts for simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV) develop a nonresolving chronic infection but do not develop AIDS. Mechanisms to explain the nonprogressive nature of SIV infection in natural hosts that underlie maintained high levels of plasma viremia without apparent loss of target cells remain unclear. Here we used comprehensive approaches (ie, FACS sorting, quantitative RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization) to study viral infection within subsets of peripheral blood and lymphoid tissue (LT) CD4(+) T cells in cohorts of chronically SIV-infected rhesus macaques (RMs), HIV-infected humans, and SIVsmm-infected sooty mangabeys (SMs). We find: (1) infection frequencies among CD4(+) T cells in chronically SIV-infected RMs are significantly higher than those in SIVsmm-infected SMs; (2) infected cells are found in distinct anatomic LT niches and different CD4(+) T-cell subsets in SIV-infected RMs and SMs, with infection patterns of RMs reflecting HIV infection in humans; (3) T(FH) cells are infected at higher frequencies in RMs and humans than in SMs; and (4) LT viral burden, including follicular dendritic cell deposition of virus, is increased in RMs and humans compared with SMs. These data provide insights into how natural hosts are able to maintain high levels of plasma viremia while avoiding development of immunodeficiency.
IL-21 regulates Th17 cell homeostasis, enhances the differentiation of memory B cells and antibody-secreting plasma cells, and promotes the maintenance of CD8(+) T-cell responses. In this study, we investigated the phenotype, function, and frequency of blood and intestinal IL-21-producing cells in nonhuman primates that are hosts of progressive (rhesus macaques [RMs]) and nonprogressive (sooty mangabeys [SMs]) SIV infection. We found that, in both species, memory CD4(+)CD95(+)CCR6(-) T cells are the main IL-21 producers, and that only a small fraction of CD4(+)IL-21(+) T cells produce IL-17. During chronic SIV infection of RMs, CD4(+)IL-21(+) T cells were significantly depleted in both blood and rectal mucosa, with the extent of this depletion correlating with the loss of Th17 cells. Furthermore, treatment with IL-21 increased the in vivo levels of Th17 cells in SIV-infected RMs. In contrast, normal levels of CD4(+)IL-21(+) T cells were found in SIV-infected SMs. Collectively, these data indicate that depletion of IL-21-producing CD4(+) T cells distinguishes progressive from nonprogressive SIV infection of RMs and SMs, and suggest that depletion of CD4(+)IL-21(+) T cells is involved in the preferential loss of Th17 cells that is associated with SIV disease progression. Further preclinical studies of IL-21 as a potential immunotherapeutic agent for HIV infection may be warranted.
Considering the paucity of data relating erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) use to ovarian cancer survival, our objective was to evaluate the effect of ESA as used for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA) on survival in ovarian cancer patients.
The persistent immune activation that is typical of HIV-1 and SIV infection results in exhaustion and dysfunction of T and B cells; in T cells, this is marked by increased expression and signaling through the inhibitory receptor programmed death-1 (PD-1). Targeting this exhaustion pathway could result in improved antiviral immune responses, but there have been concerns that it would also lead to increased inflammation and immunopathology. In this issue of the JCI, Dyavar Shetty et al. demonstrate that blocking PD-1 actually reduced proinflammatory responses and improved immunity in the gut of SIV-infected rhesus macaques, suggesting that this might have therapeutic potential to prevent opportunistic infections in HIV-infected patients.
Although xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) has been previously linked to prostate cancer and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, recent data indicate that results interpreted as evidence of human XMRV infection reflect laboratory contamination rather than authentic in vivo infection. Nevertheless, XMRV is a retrovirus of undefined pathogenic potential that is able to replicate in human cells. Here we describe a comprehensive analysis of two male pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) experimentally infected with XMRV. Following intravenous inoculation with >10(10) RNA copy equivalents of XMRV, viral replication was limited and transient, peaking at ?2,200 viral RNA (vRNA) copies/ml plasma and becoming undetectable by 4 weeks postinfection, though viral DNA (vDNA) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells remained detectable through 119 days of follow-up. Similarly, vRNA was not detectable in lymph nodes by in situ hybridization despite detectable vDNA. Sequencing of cell-associated vDNA revealed extensive G-to-A hypermutation, suggestive of APOBEC-mediated viral restriction. Consistent with limited viral replication, we found transient upregulation of type I interferon responses that returned to baseline by 2 weeks postinfection, no detectable cellular immune responses, and limited or no spread to prostate tissue. Antibody responses, including neutralizing antibodies, however, were detectable by 2 weeks postinfection and maintained throughout the study. Both animals were healthy for the duration of follow-up. These findings indicate that XMRV replication and spread were limited in pigtailed macaques, predominantly by APOBEC-mediated hypermutation. Given that human APOBEC proteins restrict XMRV infection in vitro, human XMRV infection, if it occurred, would be expected to be characterized by similarly limited viral replication and spread.
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