Persistent cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been suggested to be a major driving force in the immune deterioration and an underlying source of age-related diseases in the elderly. CMV antibody titers are associated with lower responses to vaccination, cardiovascular diseases, frailty, and mortality. CMV infection is also associated with shorter T-cell telomeres and replicative senescence. Although an age-related deregulation of CMV-specific T-cell responses could be an underlying cause of the relationship between CMV and immune defects, strong and polyfunctional responses are observed in elderly individuals, casting uncertainty on their direct role in age-related immune frailty. In this study, we longitudinally followed a cohort of healthy donors aged over 50 years, assessing their mortality rates and time to death during a 2-year period. Specific T-cell responses to the immunodominant antigen pp65 (IFN?, TNF?, IL2, MIP1?, CD107a, and perforin production) were analyzed at the beginning of the 2-year observation period. A cytotoxic CD8 pp65-specific T-cell response, without cytokine or chemokine coexpression, was independently associated with all-cause mortality in these elderly individuals. This pp65-specific CD8 T-cell response could be a useful tool to identify individuals with depressed immune function and a higher risk of death.
?Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus cause severe hemorrhagic fever with high mortality and are potential bioterrorism agents. There are no available vaccines or therapeutic agents. Previous clinical trials evaluated transmembrane-deleted and point-mutation Ebolavirus glycoproteins (GPs) in candidate vaccines. Constructs evaluated in this trial encode wild-type (WT) GP from Ebolavirus Zaire and Sudan species and the Marburgvirus Angola strain expressed in a DNA vaccine.
Efficacy trials of adenovirus 5-vectored candidate HIV vaccines [recombinant Ad5 (rAd5)-HIV] were halted for futility due to lack of vaccine efficacy and unexpected excess HIV infections in the vaccine recipients. The potential immunologic basis for these observations is unclear. We comparatively evaluated the HIV susceptibility and phenotypes of human CD4 T cells specific to Ad5 and CMV, two viruses that have been used as HIV vaccine vectors. We show that Ad5-specific CD4 T cells, either induced by natural Ad5 exposure or expanded by rAd5 vaccination, are highly susceptible to HIV in vitro and are preferentially lost in HIV-infected individuals compared with CMV-specific CD4 T cells. Further investigation demonstrated that Ad5-specific CD4 T cells selectively display a proinflammatory Th17-like phenotype and express macrophage inflammatory protein 3? and ?4?7 integrin, suggestive of gut mucosa homing potential of these cells. Analysis of HIV p24 and cytokine coexpression using flow cytometry revealed preferential infection of IL-17- and IL-2-producing, Ad5-specific CD4 T cells by HIV in vitro. Our data suggest a potential mechanism explaining the excess HIV infections in vaccine recipients after rAd5-HIV vaccination and highlight the importance of testing the HIV susceptibility of vaccine-generated, vector and insert-specific CD4 T cells in future HIV vaccine studies.
Over the past 5 years, a new generation of highly potent and broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies has been identified. These antibodies can protect against lentiviral infection in nonhuman primates (NHPs), suggesting that passive antibody transfer would prevent HIV-1 transmission in humans. To increase the protective efficacy of such monoclonal antibodies, we employed next-generation sequencing, computational bioinformatics, and structure-guided design to enhance the neutralization potency and breadth of VRC01, an antibody that targets the CD4 binding site of the HIV-1 envelope. One variant, VRC07-523, was 5- to 8-fold more potent than VRC01, neutralized 96% of viruses tested, and displayed minimal autoreactivity. To compare its protective efficacy to that of VRC01 in vivo, we performed a series of simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge experiments in nonhuman primates and calculated the doses of VRC07-523 and VRC01 that provide 50% protection (EC50). VRC07-523 prevented infection in NHPs at a 5-fold lower concentration than VRC01. These results suggest that increased neutralization potency in vitro correlates with improved protection against infection in vivo, documenting the improved functional efficacy of VRC07-523 and its potential clinical relevance for protecting against HIV-1 infection in humans.
Ebolavirus disease causes high mortality, and the current outbreak has spread unabated through West Africa. Human adenovirus type 5 vectors (rAd5) encoding ebolavirus glycoprotein (GP) generate protective immunity against acute lethal Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) challenge in macaques, but fail to protect animals immune to Ad5, suggesting natural Ad5 exposure may limit vaccine efficacy in humans. Here we show that a chimpanzee-derived replication-defective adenovirus (ChAd) vaccine also rapidly induced uniform protection against acute lethal EBOV challenge in macaques. Because protection waned over several months, we boosted ChAd3 with modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) and generated, for the first time, durable protection against lethal EBOV challenge.
Chikungunya virus-a mosquito-borne alphavirus-is endemic in Africa and south and southeast Asia and has recently emerged in the Caribbean. No drugs or vaccines are available for treatment or prevention. We aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a new candidate vaccine.
CD8(+) T cell exhaustion represents a major hallmark of chronic HIV infection. Two key transcription factors governing CD8(+) T cell differentiation, T-bet and Eomesodermin (Eomes), have previously been shown in mice to differentially regulate T cell exhaustion in part through direct modulation of PD-1. Here, we examined the relationship between these transcription factors and the expression of several inhibitory receptors (PD-1, CD160, and 2B4), functional characteristics and memory differentiation of CD8(+) T cells in chronic and treated HIV infection. The expression of PD-1, CD160, and 2B4 on total CD8(+) T cells was elevated in chronically infected individuals and highly associated with a T-bet(dim)Eomes(hi) expressional profile. Interestingly, both resting and activated HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells in chronic infection were almost exclusively T-bet(dim)Eomes(hi) cells, while CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells displayed a balanced expression pattern of T-bet and Eomes. The T-bet(dim)Eomes(hi) virus-specific CD8(+) T cells did not show features of terminal differentiation, but rather a transitional memory phenotype with poor polyfunctional (effector) characteristics. The transitional and exhausted phenotype of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells was longitudinally related to persistent Eomes expression after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation. Strikingly, these characteristics remained stable up to 10 years after ART initiation. This study supports the concept that poor human viral-specific CD8(+) T cell functionality is due to an inverse expression balance between T-bet and Eomes, which is not reversed despite long-term viral control through ART. These results aid to explain the inability of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells to control the viral replication post-ART cessation.
Advanced age is associated with immune system deficits that result in an increased susceptibility to infectious diseases; however, specific mediators of age-dependent immune dysfunction have not been fully elucidated. Here we demonstrated that aged mice exhibit poor effector CD8+ T cell polyfunctionality, primarily due to CD8+ T cell-extrinsic deficits, and that reduced CD8+ T cell polyfunctionality correlates with increased susceptibility to pathogenic diseases. In aged animals challenged with the parasite Encephalitozoon cuniculi, effector CD8+ T cell survival and polyfunctionality were suppressed by highly elevated TGF-?1. Furthermore, TGF-? depletion reduced effector CD8+ T cell apoptosis in both young and aged mice and enhanced effector CD8+ T cell polyfunctionality in aged mice. Surprisingly, intrinsic blockade of TGF-? signaling in CD8+ T cells was sufficient to rescue polyfunctionality in aged animals. Together, these data demonstrate that low levels of TGF-?1 promote apoptosis of CD8+ effector T cells and high TGF-?1 levels associated with age result in both CD8+ T cell apoptosis and an altered transcriptional profile, which correlates with loss of polyfunctionality. Furthermore, elevated TGF-? levels are observed in the elderly human population and in aged Drosophila, suggesting that TGF-? represents an evolutionarily conserved negative regulator of the immune response in aging organisms.
Here, we describe recent data on the characterization of follicular helper CD4 T cells (Tfh) and the dynamics of Tfh-B-cell interactions in HIV and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection and discuss important aspects of these interactions that need to be addressed in order to design more effective vaccines that elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies.
Antivector immunity may limit the immunogenicity of adenovirus vector vaccines. We tested sera from individuals immunized with adenovirus type 4 and 7 (Ad4 and Ad7, respectively) vaccine or naturally infected with Ad4 for their ability to neutralize a panel of E1-deleted human and chimpanzee adenoviruses (ChAd). Small statistically significant increases in titers to ChAd63, ChAd3, human Ad35, and human Ad5 were observed. Neutralizing antibodies elicited by Ad4 infection or immunization results in a small amount of adenovirus cross-reactivity.
An understanding of the antigen-specific B-cell response to the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) is critical to the development of universal influenza vaccines, but it has not been possible to examine these cells directly because HA binds to sialic acid (SA) on most cell types. Here, we use structure-based modification of HA to isolate HA-specific B cells by flow cytometry and characterize the features of HA stem antibodies (Abs) required for their development. Incorporation of a previously described mutation (Y98F) to the receptor binding site (RBS) causes HA to bind only those B cells that express HA-specific Abs, but it does not bind nonspecifically to B cells, and this mutation has no effect on the binding of broadly neutralizing Abs to the RBS. To test the specificity of the Y98F mutation, we first demonstrated that previously described HA nanoparticles mediate hemagglutination and then determined that the Y98F mutation eliminates this activity. Cloning of immunoglobulin genes from HA-specific B cells isolated from a single human subject demonstrates that vaccination with H5N1 influenza virus can elicit B cells expressing stem monoclonal Abs (MAbs). Although these MAbs originated mostly from the IGHV1-69 germ line, a reasonable proportion derived from other genes. Analysis of stem Abs provides insight into the maturation pathways of IGVH1-69-derived stem Abs. Furthermore, this analysis shows that multiple non-IGHV1-69 stem Abs with a similar neutralizing breadth develop after vaccination in humans, suggesting that the HA stem response can be elicited in individuals with non-stem-reactive IGHV1-69 alleles.
A large repository of cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) samples was created to provide laboratories testing the specimens from human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) vaccine clinical trials the material for assay development, optimization, and validation. One hundred thirty-one PBMC samples were collected using leukapheresis procedure between 2007 and 2013 by the Comprehensive T cell Vaccine Immune Monitoring Consortium core repository. The donors included 83 human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) seronegative and 32 HIV-1 seropositive subjects. The samples were extensively characterized for the ability of T cell subsets to respond to recall viral antigens including cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, influenza virus, and HIV-1 using Interferon-gamma (IFN-?) enzyme linked immunospot (ELISpot) and IFN-?/interleukin 2 (IL-2) intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) assays. A subset of samples was evaluated over time to determine the integrity of the cryopreserved samples in relation to recovery, viability, and functionality. The principal results of our study demonstrate that viable and functional cells were consistently recovered from the cryopreserved samples. Therefore, we determined that this repository of large size cryopreserved cellular samples constitutes a unique resource for laboratories that are involved in optimization and validation of assays to evaluate T, B, and NK cellular functions in the context of clinical trials.
Needle-free delivery improves the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines but is also associated with more local reactogenicity. Here we report the first comparison of Biojector and needle administration of a candidate rAd5 HIV vaccine.
Phase 1 evaluation of the VRC HIV DNA and rAd5 vaccines delivered intramuscularly (i.m.) supported proceeding to a Phase 2 b efficacy study. Here we report comparison of the i.m., subcutaneous (s.c.) and intradermal (i.d.) routes of administration.
The interaction between follicular T helper cells (TFH) and B cells in the lymph nodes and spleen has a major impact on the development of antigen-specific B cell responses during infection or vaccination. Recent studies described a functional equivalent of these cells among circulating CD4 T cells, referred to as peripheral TFH cells. Here, we characterize the phenotype and in vitro B cell helper activity of peripheral TFH populations, as well as the effect of HIV infection on these populations. In co-culture experiments we confirmed CXCR5+ cells from HIV-uninfected donors provide help to B cells and more specifically, we identified a CCR7(high)CXCR5(high)CCR6(high)PD-1(high) CD4 T cell population that secretes IL-21 and enhances isotype-switched immunoglobulin production. This population is significantly decreased in treatment-naïve, HIV-infected individuals and can be recovered after anti-retroviral therapy. We found impaired immunoglobulin production in co-cultures from HIV-infected individuals and found no correlation between the frequency of peripheral TFH cells and memory B cells, or with neutralization activity in untreated HIV infection in our cohort. Furthermore, we found that within the peripheral TFH population, the expression level of TFH-associated genes more closely resembles a memory, non-TFH population, as opposed to a TFH population. Overall, our data identify a heterogeneous population of circulating CD4 T cells that provides in vitro help to B cells, and challenges the origin of these cells as memory TFH cells.
Defining the characteristics of HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses that lead to viral control is crucial for vaccine development. We evaluated the differential impact of magnitude, polyfunctional capacity and specificity of the CD8+ response at approximately 6 months post infection on viral set point at 12 months in a cohort of HIV-infected individuals. High frequencies of Gag and Nef responses endowed with four functions were the best predictors of a low viral set point.
Estaquier et al. provide commentary on our paper that elucidated the mechanism by which HIV-1 causes cell death in activated CD4 T lymphocytes. We showed that proviral DNA integration triggers DNA-PK dependent death signaling, leading to p53 phosphorylation and cell demise (Cooper A et al. Nature 498:376-379, 2013). They have raised several hypothetical points that we further clarify here.
A safe and effective vaccine for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is a global priority. We tested the efficacy of a DNA prime-recombinant adenovirus type 5 boost (DNA/rAd5) vaccine regimen in persons at increased risk for HIV-1 infection in the United States.
A major challenge for the development of a highly effective AIDS vaccine is the identification of mechanisms of protective immunity. To address this question, we used a nonhuman primate challenge model with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). We show that antibodies to the SIV envelope are necessary and sufficient to prevent infection. Moreover, sequencing of viruses from breakthrough infections revealed selective pressure against neutralization-sensitive viruses; we identified a two-amino-acid signature that alters antigenicity and confers neutralization resistance. A similar signature confers resistance of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 to neutralization by monoclonal antibodies against variable regions 1 and 2 (V1V2), suggesting that SIV and HIV share a fundamental mechanism of immune escape from vaccine-elicited or naturally elicited antibodies. These analyses provide insight into the limited efficacy seen in HIV vaccine trials.
During HIV infection, the timing of opportunistic infections is not always associated with severity of CD4 T cell depletion, and different opportunistic pathogens reactivate at different CD4 T cell thresholds. Here, we examine how differences in the phenotype and function of pathogen-specific CD4 T cells influence susceptibility to HIV infection. By focusing on three common opportunistic infections (Mycobacterium tuberculosis, human papillomavirus, and cytomegalovirus), we investigate how differential depletion of pathogen-specific CD4 T cells impacts the natural history of these pathogens in HIV infection. A broader understanding of this relationship can better inform treatment strategies against copathogens.
Vaccines constructed from rare-serotype recombinant adenovirus vectors (rAd) such as rAd serotype 28 (rAd28) and rAd35 are currently being explored as alternatives to rAd5-based vaccines because they circumvent the problems with pre-existing immunity that complicate the effectiveness of rAd5 vaccines. However, previous work has demonstrated that the immunogenicity of rAd28 and rAd35 is substantially lower than rAd5. Here we show that rAd28 and rAd35 increase apoptosis of antigen presenting cells (APCs), such as monocytes, relative to rAd5 and mock infected controls. APCs undergoing apoptosis showed an increased loss of vector-insert expression. Loss of vector-insert expression correlated with activation of NK cells, which resulted in apoptosis of co-cultured monocytes. Finally, we show that activation of NK cells is dependent on IFN? which is produced by exposure to rAd28 or rAd35, but not to rAd5. Taken together, these data demonstrate that IFN?-induced activation of NK cells leads to increased monocyte apoptosis and subsequent vector-insert loss. This may be a possible mechanism that results in reduced immunogenicity of rAd28 and rAd35-based vectors.
Elite controllers suppress human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viremia to below the limit of detection in the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, precise frequencies of CD4(+) T cells carrying replication-competent HIV and/or the dynamics of the infectious viral reservoirs in response to initiation and discontinuation of ART in elite controllers are unknown. We show that the size of the pool of CD4(+) T cells harboring infectious HIV diminished significantly after initiation of ART and rebounded to baseline upon cessation of therapy. Our data provide compelling evidence that persistent viral replication occurs in untreated elite controllers even in the absence of detectable plasma viremia.
Programmed Death 1 (PD-1) expression by human/simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV/SIV)-specific CD8 T cells has been associated with defective cytokine production and reduced in vitro proliferation capacity. However, the cellular mechanisms that sustain PD-1(high) virus-specific CD8 T cell responses during chronic infection are unknown. Here, we show that the PD-1(high) phenotype is associated with accelerated in vivo CD8 T cell turnover in SIV-infected rhesus macaques, especially within the SIV-specific CD8 T cell pool. Mathematical modeling of 5-bromo-2 deoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling dynamics demonstrated a significantly increased generation rate of PD-1(high) compared to PD-1(low) CD8 T cells in all memory compartments. Simultaneous analysis of Ki67 and BrdU kinetics revealed a complex in vivo turnover profile whereby only a small fraction of PD-1(high) cells, but virtually all PD-1(low) cells, returned to rest after activation. Similar kinetics operated in both chronic and acute SIV infection. Our data suggest that the persistence of PD-1(high) SIV-specific CD8 T cells in chronic infection is maintained in vivo by a mechanism involving high production coupled with a high disappearance rate.
Advances in HIV-1 vaccine clinical trials and preclinical research indicate that the virus envelope glycoproteins (Env) are likely to be an essential component of a prophylactic vaccine. Efficient Ag uptake and presentation by dendritic cells (DCs) is important for strong CD4(+) Th cell responses and the development of effective humoral immune responses. In this study, we examined the capacity of distinct primary human DC subsets to internalize and present recombinant Env to CD4(+) T cells. Consistent with their specific receptor expression, skin DCs bound and internalized Env via C-type lectin receptors, whereas blood DC subsets, including CD1c(+) myeloid DCs, CD123(+) plasmacytoid DCs (PDCs), and CD141(+) DCs exhibited a restricted repertoire of C-type lectin receptors and relied on CD4 for uptake of Env. Despite a generally poor capacity for Ag uptake compared with myeloid DCs, the high expression of CD4 on PDCs allowed them to bind and internalize Env very efficiently. CD4-mediated uptake delivered Env to EEA1(+) endosomes that progressed to Lamp1(+) and MHC class II(+) lysosomes where internalized Env was degraded rapidly. Finally, all three blood DC subsets were able to internalize an Env-CMV pp65 fusion protein via CD4 and stimulate pp65-specific CD4(+) T cells. Thus, in the in vitro systems described in this paper, CD4-mediated uptake of Env is a functional pathway leading to Ag presentation, and this may therefore be a mechanism used by blood DCs, including PDCs, for generating immune responses to Env-based vaccines.
Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) has infected more than 60 million people and caused nearly 30 million deaths worldwide, ultimately the consequence of cytolytic infection of CD4(+) T cells. In humans and in macaque models, most of these cells contain viral DNA and are rapidly eliminated at the peak of viraemia, yet the mechanism by which HIV-1 induces helper T-cell death has not been defined. Here we show that virus-induced cell killing is triggered by viral integration. Infection by wild-type HIV-1, but not an integrase-deficient mutant, induced the death of activated primary CD4 lymphocytes. Similarly, raltegravir, a pharmacologic integrase inhibitor, abolished HIV-1-induced cell killing both in cell culture and in CD4(+) T cells from acutely infected subjects. The mechanism of killing during viral integration involved the activation of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), a central integrator of the DNA damage response, which caused phosphorylation of p53 and histone H2AX. Pharmacological inhibition of DNA-PK abolished cell death during HIV-1 infection in vitro, suggesting that processes which reduce DNA-PK activation in CD4 cells could facilitate the formation of latently infected cells that give rise to reservoirs in vivo. We propose that activation of DNA-PK during viral integration has a central role in CD4(+) T-cell depletion, raising the possibility that integrase inhibitors and interventions directed towards DNA-PK may improve T-cell survival and immune function in infected individuals.
H5 DNA priming was previously shown to improve the antibody response to influenza A(H5N1) monovalent inactivated vaccine (MIV) among individuals for whom there was a 24-week interval between prime and boost receipt. This study defines the shortest prime-boost interval associated with an improved response to MIV.
Ebola virus (EBOV) infections are characterized by deficient T lymphocyte responses, T lymphocyte apoptosis, and lymphopenia in the absence of direct infection of T lymphocytes. In contrast, dendritic cells (DC) are infected but fail to mature appropriately, thereby impairing the T cell response. We investigated the contributions of EBOV proteins in modulating DC maturation by generating recombinant viruses expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein and carrying mutations affecting several potentially immunomodulating domains. They included envelope glycoprotein (GP) domains, as well as innate response antagonist domains (IRADs) previously identified in the VP24 and VP35 proteins. GP expressed by an unrelated vector, but not the wild-type EBOV, was found to strongly induce DC maturation, and infections with recombinant EBOV carrying mutations disabling GP functional domains did not restore DC maturation. In contrast, each of the viruses carrying mutations disabling any IRAD in VP35 induced a dramatic upregulation of DC maturation markers. This was dependent on infection, but not interaction with GP. Disabling of IRADs also resulted in up to a several hundredfold increase in secretion of cytokines and chemokines. Furthermore, these mutations induced formation of homotypic DC clusters, which represent close correlates of their maturation and presumably facilitate transfer of antigen from migratory DC to lymph node DC. Thus, an individual IRAD is insufficient to suppress DC maturation; rather, the suppression of DC maturation and the "immune paralysis" observed during EBOV infections results from a cooperative effect of two or more individual IRADs.
Correlates of immune protection in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated cryptococcal meningitis are poorly defined. A clearer understanding of these immune responses is essential to inform rational development of immunotherapies.
The licensing of herpes zoster vaccine has demonstrated that therapeutic vaccination can help control chronic viral infection. Unfortunately, human trials of immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine have shown only marginal efficacy.
DNA vaccine immunogenicity has been limited by inefficient delivery. Needle-free delivery of DNA using a CO2-powered Biojector® device was compared to delivery by needle and syringe and evaluated for safety and immunogenicity.
Recombinant adenoviral vectors (rAds) are the most potent recombinant vaccines for eliciting CD8(+) T cell-mediated immunity in humans; however, prior exposure from natural adenoviral infection can decrease such responses. In this study we show low seroreactivity in humans against simian- (sAd11, sAd16) or chimpanzee-derived (chAd3, chAd63) compared with human-derived (rAd5, rAd28, rAd35) vectors across multiple geographic regions. We then compared the magnitude, quality, phenotype, and protective capacity of CD8(+) T cell responses in mice vaccinated with rAds encoding SIV Gag. Using a dose range (1 × 10(7)-10(9) particle units), we defined a hierarchy among rAd vectors based on the magnitude and protective capacity of CD8(+) T cell responses, from most to least, as: rAd5 and chAd3, rAd28 and sAd11, chAd63, sAd16, and rAd35. Selection of rAd vector or dose could modulate the proportion and/or frequency of IFN-?(+)TNF-?(+)IL-2(+) and KLRG1(+)CD127(-)CD8(+) T cells, but strikingly ?30-80% of memory CD8(+) T cells coexpressed CD127 and KLRG1. To further optimize CD8(+) T cell responses, we assessed rAds as part of prime-boost regimens. Mice primed with rAds and boosted with NYVAC generated Gag-specific responses that approached ?60% of total CD8(+) T cells at peak. Alternatively, priming with DNA or rAd28 and boosting with rAd5 or chAd3 induced robust and equivalent CD8(+) T cell responses compared with prime or boost alone. Collectively, these data provide the immunologic basis for using specific rAd vectors alone or as part of prime-boost regimens to induce CD8(+) T cells for rapid effector function or robust long-term memory, respectively.
The RV144 clinical trial of a prime/boost immunizing regimen using recombinant canary pox (ALVAC-HIV) and two gp120 proteins (AIDSVAX B and E) was previously shown to have a 31.2% efficacy rate. Plasma specimens from vaccine and placebo recipients were used in an extensive set of assays to identify correlates of HIV-1 infection risk. Of six primary variables that were studied, only one displayed a significant inverse correlation with risk of infection: the antibody (Ab) response to a fusion protein containing the V1 and V2 regions of gp120 (gp70-V1V2). This finding prompted a thorough examination of the results generated with the complete panel of 13 assays measuring various V2 Abs in the stored plasma used in the initial pilot studies and those used in the subsequent case-control study. The studies revealed that the ALVAC-HIV/AIDSVAX vaccine induced V2-specific Abs that cross-react with multiple HIV-1 subgroups and recognize both conformational and linear epitopes. The conformational epitope was present on gp70-V1V2, while the predominant linear V2 epitope mapped to residues 165-178, immediately N-terminal to the putative ?4?7 binding motif in the mid-loop region of V2. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated to compare the risk of infection with data from 12 V2 assays, and in 11 of these, the ORs were ?1, reaching statistical significance for two of the variables: Ab responses to gp70-V1V2 and to overlapping V2 linear peptides. It remains to be determined whether anti-V2 Ab responses were directly responsible for the reduced infection rate in RV144 and whether anti-V2 Abs will prove to be important with other candidate HIV vaccines that show efficacy, however, the results support continued dissection of Ab responses to the V2 region which may illuminate mechanisms of protection from HIV-1 infection and may facilitate the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine.
Highly multiplexed, single-cell technologies reveal important heterogeneity within cell populations. Recently, technologies to simultaneously measure expression of 96 (or more) genes from a single cell have been developed for immunologic monitoring. Here, we report a rigorous, optimized, quantitative methodology for using this technology. Specifically: we describe a unique primer/probe qualification method necessary for quantitative results; we show that primers do not compete in highly multiplexed amplifications; we define the limit of detection for this assay as a single mRNA transcript; and, we show that the technical reproducibility of the system is very high. We illustrate two disparate applications of the platform: a "bulk" approach that measures expression patterns from 100 cells at a time in high throughput to define gene signatures, and a single-cell approach to define the coordinate expression patterns of multiple genes and reveal unique subsets of cells.
We present an integrated analytical method for analyzing peptide microarray antibody binding data, from normalization through subject-specific positivity calls and data integration and visualization. Current techniques for the normalization of such data sets do not account for non-specific binding activity. A novel normalization technique based on peptide sequence information quickly and effectively reduced systematic biases. We also employed a sliding mean window technique that borrows strength from peptides sharing similar sequences, resulting in reduced signal variability. A smoothed signal aided in the detection of weak antibody binding hotspots. A new principled FDR method of setting positivity thresholds struck a balance between sensitivity and specificity. In addition, we demonstrate the utility and importance of using baseline control measurements when making subject-specific positivity calls. Data sets from two human clinical trials of candidate HIV-1 vaccines were used to validate the effectiveness of our overall computational framework.
Persistent exposure to cognate Ag leads to the functional impairment and exhaustion of HIV-specific CD8 T cells. Ag withdrawal, attributable either to antiretroviral treatment or the emergence of epitope escape mutations, causes HIV-specific CD8 T cell responses to wane over time. However, this process does not continue to extinction, and residual CD8 T cells likely play an important role in the control of HIV replication. In this study, we conducted a longitudinal analysis of clonality, phenotype, and function to define the characteristics of HIV-specific CD8 T cell populations that persist under conditions of limited antigenic stimulation. Ag decay was associated with dynamic changes in the TCR repertoire, increased expression of CD45RA and CD127, decreased expression of programmed death-1, and the emergence of polyfunctional HIV-specific CD8 T cells. High-definition analysis of individual clonotypes revealed that the Ag loss-induced gain of function within HIV-specific CD8 T cell populations could be attributed to two nonexclusive mechanisms: 1) functional improvement of persisting clonotypes; and 2) recruitment of particular clonotypes endowed with superior functional capabilities.
Vaccines are arguably the most powerful medical intervention in the fight against infectious diseases. The enormity of the global human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) pandemic makes the development of an AIDS vaccine a scientific and humanitarian priority. Research on vaccines that induce T-cell immunity has dominated much of the recent development effort, mostly because of disappointing efforts to induce neutralizing antibodies through vaccination. Whereas T cells are known to limit HIV and other virus infections after infection, their role in protection against initial infection is much less clear. In this article, we will review the rationale behind a T-cell-based vaccine approach, provide an overview of the methods and platforms that are being applied, and discuss the impact of recent vaccine trial results on the future direction of T-cell vaccine research.
Because the general population is largely naive to H5N1 influenza, antibodies generated to H5 allow analysis of novel influenza vaccines independent of background immunity from previous infection. We assessed the safety and immunogenicity of DNA encoding H5 as a priming vaccine to improve antibody responses to inactivated influenza vaccination.
Over the past decade, there has been a rapid growth in the number of BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories in the USA and an increase in demand for infectious cell sorting in BSL-3 laboratories. In 2007, the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) Biosafety Committee published standards for the sorting of unfixed cells and is an important resource for biosafety procedures when performing infectious cell sorting. Following a careful risk assessment, if it is determined that a cell sorter must be located within a BSL-3 laboratory, there are a variety of factors to be considered prior to the establishment of the laboratory. This chapter outlines procedures for infectious cell sorting in a BSL-3 environment to facilitate the establishment and safe operation of a BSL-3 cell sorting laboratory. Subjects covered include containment verification, remote operation, disinfection, personal protective equipment (PPE), and instrument-specific modifications for enhanced aerosol evacuation.
The level of bacterial activity is only poorly defined during asymptomatic Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection. The objective was to study the capacity of a new biomarker, the expression of the T cell maturation marker CD27 on MTB-specific CD4 T cells, to identify active tuberculosis (TB) disease in subjects from a MTB and HIV endemic region. The frequency and CD27 expression of circulating MTB-specific CD4 T cells was determined in 96 study participants after stimulation with purified protein derivative (PPD) using intracellular cytokine staining for IFNgamma (IFN?). Subjects were then stratified by their TB and HIV status. Within PPD responders, a CD27(-) phenotype was associated with active TB in HIV(-) (p?=?0.0003) and HIV(+) (p?=?0.057) subjects, respectively. In addition, loss of CD27 expression preceded development of active TB in one HIV seroconverter. Interestingly, in contrast to HIV(-) subjects, MTB-specific CD4 T cell populations from HIV(+) TB-asymptomatic subjects were often dominated by CD27(-) cells. These data indicate that down-regulation of CD27 on MTB-specific CD4 T cell could be used as a biomarker of active TB, potentially preceding clinical TB disease. Furthermore, these data are consistent with the hypothesis that late, chronic HIV infection is frequently associated with increased mycobacterial activity in vivo. The analysis of T cell maturation and activation markers might thus be a useful tool to monitor TB disease progression.
Recombinant adenoviruses (rAds) based on types 5 (rAd5) and 35 (rAd35) have emerged as important vaccine delivery vectors in clinical testing for a variety of pathogens. A major difference between these vectors is their binding to cellular receptors used for infection. Whereas rAd5 binds coxsackie-adenovirus receptor (CAR), rAd35 binds the complement regulatory protein CD46. Although rAd35 infected and phenotypically matured human blood dendritic cells (DCs) more efficiently than rAd5, we show here that rAd35 markedly suppressed DC-induced activation of naive CD4(+) T cells. rAd35 specifically blocked both DCs and anti-CD3/CD28 mAb-induced naive T-cell proliferation and IL-2 production. This effect was also observed in CD4(+) memory T cells but to a lesser extent. The suppression occurred by rAd35 binding to CD46 on T cells and was independent of infection. CD46 engagement with mAb mimicked the effects of rAd35 and also led to deficient NF-?B nuclear translocation. In contrast, rAd5 and rAd35 vectors with ablated CD46 binding did not inhibit T-cell activation. Our findings provide insights into the basic biology of adenoviruses and indicate that CD46 binding may have an impact on the generation of primary CD4(+) T-cell responses by Ad35.
Quantum dots (QD) are fluorescent nanocrystals that are highly useful in imaging and flow cytometric analyses. During routine use of monoclonal antibody conjugates of QD, we have occasionally seen partial or total loss of fluorescence when using certain lots of fixative solutions. We hypothesized that a low level contamination with heavy metal cations was responsible, since low level metal contaminants are not uncommon in formalin solutions. By titrating known concentrations of heavy metal cations into staining solutions, we found that millimolar concentrations of ferrous and zinc ions, and as low as 50 nanomolar cupric ions, completely eliminated QD fluorescence. By mass spectroscopic quantification of metals in commercial fixative solutions previously shown to perform poorly or well with regard to QD fluorescence, we confirmed that the presence of copper in solution was correlated with poor performance. Notably, prior addition of EDTA to chelate the divalent cations in these solutions prevented the inhibition of QD fluorescence. Finally, the copper-induced loss of QD fluorescence is irreversible: cells labeled with QD are highly fluorescent and can be rendered nonfluorescent by the addition of cupric sulfate, even after washing extensively. Indeed, these cells can then be successfully stained with other QD reagents, providing a method for immunofluorescence restaining of cells without contaminating fluorescence from the first stain.
A highly complex network of coinhibitory and costimulatory receptors regulates the outcome of virus-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses. Here, we report on the expression patterns of multiple inhibitory receptors on HIV-specific, cytomegalovirus-specific, and bulk CD8(+) T-cell memory populations. In contrast to cytomegalovirus-specific CD8(+) T cells, the majority of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells exhibited an immature phenotype and expressed Programmed Death-1, CD160 and 2B4 but not lymphocyte activation gene-3. Notably, before antiretroviral therapy, simultaneous expression of these negative regulators correlated strongly with both HIV load and impaired cytokine production. Suppression of HIV replication by antiretroviral therapy was associated with reduced surface expression of inhibitory molecules on HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells. Furthermore, in vitro manipulation of Programmed Death-1 and 2B4 inhibitory pathways increased the proliferative capacity of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells. Thus, multiple coinhibitory receptors can affect the development of HIV-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses and, by extension, represent potential targets for new immune-based interventions in HIV-infected persons.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus that causes meningitis and encephalitis. There are no licensed vaccines to prevent WNV in humans. The safety and immunogenicity of a first-generation WNV DNA vaccine was demonstrated in a clinical trial and a similar DNA vaccine has been licensed for use in horses.
The use of adenoviruses (Ad) as vaccine vectors against a variety of pathogens has demonstrated their capacity to elicit strong antibody and cell-mediated immune responses. Adenovirus serotype C vectors, such as Ad serotype 5 (Ad5), expressing Ebolavirus (EBOV) glycoprotein (GP), protect completely after a single inoculation at a dose of 10(10) viral particles. However, the clinical application of a vaccine based on Ad5 vectors may be hampered, since impairment of Ad5 vaccine efficacy has been demonstrated for humans and nonhuman primates with high levels of preexisting immunity to the vector. Ad26 and Ad35 segregate genetically from Ad5 and exhibit lower seroprevalence in humans, making them attractive vaccine vector alternatives. In the series of studies presented, we show that Ad26 and Ad35 vectors generate robust antigen-specific cell-mediated and humoral immune responses against EBOV GP and that Ad5 immune status does not affect the generation of GP-specific immune responses by these vaccines. We demonstrate partial protection against EBOV by a single-shot Ad26 vaccine and complete protection when this vaccine is boosted by Ad35 1 month later. Increases in efficacy are paralleled by substantial increases in T- and B-cell responses to EBOV GP. These results suggest that Ad26 and Ad35 vectors warrant further development as candidate vaccines for EBOV.
Vaccine-induced immunity to Ebola virus infection in nonhuman primates (NHPs) is marked by potent antigen-specific cellular and humoral immune responses; however, the immune mechanism of protection remains unknown. Here we define the immune basis of protection conferred by a highly protective recombinant adenovirus virus serotype 5 (rAd5) encoding Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP) in NHPs. Passive transfer of high-titer polyclonal antibodies from vaccinated Ebola virus-immune cynomolgus macaques to naive macaques failed to confer protection against disease, suggesting a limited role of humoral immunity. In contrast, depletion of CD3(+) T cells in vivo after vaccination and immediately before challenge eliminated immunity in two vaccinated macaques, indicating a crucial requirement for T cells in this setting. The protective effect was mediated largely by CD8(+) cells, as depletion of CD8(+) cells in vivo using the cM-T807 monoclonal antibody (mAb), which does not affect CD4(+) T cell or humoral immune responses, abrogated protection in four out of five subjects. These findings indicate that CD8(+) cells have a major role in rAd5-GP-induced immune protection against Ebola virus infection in NHPs. Understanding the immunologic mechanism of Ebola virus protection will facilitate the development of vaccines for Ebola and related hemorrhagic fever viruses in humans.
Objectives Control of the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic is a global health priority and one that is likely to be achieved only through vaccination. The critical overlap with the HIV epidemic requires any effective TB vaccine regimen to be safe in individuals who are infected with HIV. The objectives of this clinical trial were to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a leading candidate TB vaccine, MVA85A, in healthy, HIV-infected adults. Design This was an open-label Phase I trial, performed in 20 healthy HIV-infected, antiretroviral-naïve subjects. Two different doses of MVA85A were each evaluated as a single immunisation in 10 subjects, with 24 weeks of follow-up. The safety of MVA85A was assessed by clinical and laboratory markers, including regular CD4 counts and HIV RNA load measurements. Vaccine immunogenicity was assessed by ex vivo interferon ? (IFN-?) ELISpot assays and flow-cytometric analysis. Results MVA85A was safe in subjects with HIV infection, with an adverse-event profile comparable with historical data from previous trials in HIV-uninfected subjects. There were no clinically significant vaccine-related changes in CD4 count or HIV RNA load in any subjects, and no evidence from qPCR analyses to indicate that MVA85A vaccination leads to widespread preferential infection of vaccine-induced CD4 T cell populations. Both doses of MVA85A induced an antigen-specific IFN-? response that was durable for 24 weeks, although of a lesser magnitude compared with historical data from HIV-uninfected subjects. The functional quality of the vaccine-induced T cell response in HIV-infected subjects was remarkably comparable with that observed in healthy HIV-uninfected controls, but less durable. Conclusion MVA85A is safe and immunogenic in healthy adults infected with HIV. Further safety and efficacy evaluation of this candidate vaccine in TB- and HIV-endemic areas is merited.
Even before the partial success of a preventive HIV vaccine in a recent Phase III clinical trial, there had been an active research effort to determine one or more immune correlates of protection for HIV infection. This effort has been hampered by the lack of natural protective immunity against HIV. As a result, most of the studies have focused on long-term non-progressive infection or other clinical situations, none of which fully recapitulates protective immunity against HIV. Although this effort has been successful in defining characteristics of T cells in acute and non-progressive HIV infection, and has therefore greatly expanded our knowledge of the immunopathogenesis of AIDS, its success in defining immune correlates of protection is less clear. In this Opinion article we offer a perspective on how successful this effort has been in defining immune correlates of protection that have been, or will be, of use in the development of an HIV vaccine. Our view is that investing in an iterative approach to human vaccine efficacy trials of sufficient size and sampling frequency will improve the likelihood that an immune correlate of vaccine protection will be defined.
HIV-1 infection results in the progressive loss of CD4 T cells. In this study, we address how different pathogen-specific CD4 T cells are affected by HIV infection and the cellular parameters involved. We found striking differences in the depletion rates between CD4 T cells to two common opportunistic pathogens, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). CMV-specific CD4 T cells persisted after HIV infection, whereas MTB-specific CD4 T cells were depleted rapidly. CMV-specific CD4 T cells expressed a mature phenotype and produced very little IL-2, but large amounts of MIP-1?. In contrast, MTB-specific CD4 T cells were less mature, and most produced IL-2 but not MIP-1?. Staphylococcal enterotoxin B-stimulated IL-2-producing cells were more susceptible to HIV infection in vitro than MIP-1?-producing cells. Moreover, IL-2 production was associated with expression of CD25, and neutralization of IL-2 completely abrogated productive HIV infection in vitro. HIV DNA was found to be most abundant in IL-2-producing cells, and least abundant in MIP-1?-producing MTB-specific CD4 T cells from HIV-infected subjects with active tuberculosis. These data support the hypothesis that differences in function affect the susceptibility of pathogen-specific CD4 T cells to HIV infection and depletion in vivo, providing a potential mechanism to explain the rapid loss of MTB-specific CD4 T cells after HIV infection.
The immunogenicity and durability of genetic vaccines are influenced by the composition of gene inserts and choice of delivery vector. DNA vectors are a promising vaccine approach showing efficacy when combined in prime-boost regimens with recombinant protein or viral vectors, but they have shown limited comparative efficacy as a stand-alone platform in primates, due possibly to suboptimal gene expression or cell targeting. Here, regimens using DNA plasmids modified for optimal antigen expression and recombinant adenovirus (rAd) vectors, all encoding the glycoprotein (GP) gene from Angola Marburg virus (MARV), were compared for their ability to provide immune protection against lethal MARV Angola infection. Heterologous DNA-GP/rAd5-GP prime-boost and single-modality rAd5-GP, as well as the DNA-GP-only vaccine, prevented death in all vaccinated subjects after challenge with a lethal dose of MARV Angola. The DNA/DNA vaccine induced humoral responses comparable to those induced by a single inoculation with rAd5-GP, as well as CD4(+) and CD8(+) cellular immune responses, with skewing toward CD4(+) T-cell activity against MARV GP. Vaccine regimens containing rAd-GP, alone or as a boost, exhibited cellular responses with CD8(+) T-cell dominance. Across vaccine groups, CD8(+) T-cell subset dominance comprising cells exhibiting a tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) double-positive functional phenotype was associated with an absence or low frequency of clinical symptoms, suggesting that both the magnitude and functional phenotype of CD8(+) T cells may determine vaccine efficacy against infection by MARV Angola.
Amine-reactive dyes, also known as LIVE/DEAD fixable dead cell stains, are a class of viability dyes suitable for identifying dead cells in samples that will be fixed. These dyes cross the cell membranes of dead cells, and react with free amines in the cytoplasm. Live cells exclude these dyes because their cell membranes are intact, and free dye is washed away after staining. Notably, the reaction is irreversible; therefore, when cells are fixed and permeabilized (as with intracellular staining procedures), the bound dye remains associated with the dead cells (unlike other viability dyes). Since amine-reactive dyes are fluorescent when excited by lasers, dead cells can be identified by flow cytometry. This unit describes procedures, troubleshooting, and outcomes for using the two most commonly used amine-reactive dyes, ViViD and Aqua Blue.
The Comprehensive T Cell Vaccine Immune Monitoring Consortium (CTC-VIMC) was created to provide standardized immunogenicity monitoring services for HIV vaccine trials. The ex vivo interferon-gamma (IFN-?) ELISpot is used extensively as a primary immunogenicity assay to assess T cell-based vaccine candidates in trials for infectious diseases and cancer. Two independent, GCLP-accredited central laboratories of CTC-VIMC routinely use their own standard operating procedures (SOPs) for ELISpot within two major networks of HIV vaccine trials. Studies are imperatively needed to assess the comparability of ELISpot measurements across laboratories to benefit optimal advancement of vaccine candidates.
A major challenge in developing vaccines for emerging pathogens is their continued evolution and ability to escape human immunity. Therefore, an important goal of vaccine research is to advance vaccine candidates with sufficient breadth to respond to new outbreaks of previously undetected viruses. Ebolavirus (EBOV) vaccines have demonstrated protection against EBOV infection in nonhuman primates (NHP) and show promise in human clinical trials but immune protection occurs only with vaccines whose antigens are matched to the infectious challenge species. A 2007 hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Uganda demonstrated the existence of a new EBOV species, Bundibugyo (BEBOV), that differed from viruses covered by current vaccine candidates by up to 43% in genome sequence. To address the question of whether cross-protective immunity can be generated against this novel species, cynomolgus macaques were immunized with DNA/rAd5 vaccines expressing ZEBOV and SEBOV glycoprotein (GP) prior to lethal challenge with BEBOV. Vaccinated subjects developed robust, antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses against the GP from ZEBOV as well as cellular immunity against BEBOV GP, and immunized macaques were uniformly protected against lethal challenge with BEBOV. This report provides the first demonstration of vaccine-induced protective immunity against challenge with a heterologous EBOV species, and shows that Ebola vaccines capable of eliciting potent cellular immunity may provide the best strategy for eliciting cross-protection against newly emerging heterologous EBOV species.
We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase I study of a recombinant replication-defective adenovirus type 5 (rAd5) vector expressing HIV-1 Gag and Pol from subtype B and Env from subtypes A, B and C, given alone or as boost following a DNA plasmid vaccine expressing the same HIV-1 proteins plus Nef, in 114 healthy HIV-uninfected African adults.
The functional integrity of CD4(+) T cells is crucial for well-orchestrated immunity and control of HIV-1 infection, but their selective depletion during infection creates a paradox for understanding a protective response. We used multiparameter flow cytometry to measure activation, memory maturation, and multiple functions of total and Ag-specific CD4(+) T cells in 14 HIV-1- and CMV- coinfected individuals at 3 and 12 mo post HIV-1 infection. Primary HIV-1 infection was characterized by elevated levels of CD38, HLA-DR, and Ki67 in total memory and Gag-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. In both HIV-infected and 15 uninfected controls, the frequency of activated cells was uniformly distributed among early differentiated (ED; CD45RO(+)CD27(+)), late differentiated (CD45RO(+)CD27(-)), and fully differentiated effector (CD45RO(-)CD27(-)) memory CD4(+) T cells. In HIV-1-infected individuals, activated CD4(+) T cells significantly correlated with viremia at 3 mo postinfection (r = 0.79, p = 0.0007) and also harbored more gag provirus DNA copies than nonactivated cells (p = 0.04). Moreover, Gag-specific ED CD4(+) T cells inversely associated with plasma viral load (r = -0.87, p < 0.0001). Overall, we show that low copy numbers of gag provirus and plasma RNA copies associated with low CD4 activation as well as accumulation of ED HIV-specific CD4(+) memory. Significant positive correlations between 3 and 12 mo activation and memory events highlighted that a steady state of CD4(+) T cell activation and memory maturation was established during primary infection and that these cells were unlikely to be involved in influencing the course of viremia in the first 12 mo of HIV-1 infection.
Control of HIV-1 replication following nonsterilizing HIV-1 vaccination could be achieved by vaccine-elicited CD8(+) T-cell-mediated antiviral activity. To date, neither the functional nor the phenotypic profiles of CD8(+) T cells capable of this activity are clearly understood; consequently, little is known regarding the ability of vaccine strategies to elicit them. We used multiparameter flow cytometry and viable cell sorts from phenotypically defined CD8(+) T-cell subsets in combination with a highly standardized virus inhibition assay to evaluate CD8(+) T-cell-mediated inhibition of viral replication. Here we show that vaccination against HIV-1 Env and Gag-Pol by DNA priming followed by recombinant adenovirus type 5 (rAd5) boosting elicited CD8(+) T-cell-mediated antiviral activity against several viruses with either lab-adapted or transmitted virus envelopes. As it did for chronically infected virus controllers, this activity correlated with HIV-1-specific CD107a or macrophage inflammatory protein 1beta (MIP-1beta) expression from HIV-1-specific T cells. Moreover, for vaccinees or virus controllers, purified memory CD8(+) T cells from a wide range of differentiation stages were capable of significantly inhibiting virus replication. Our data define attributes of an antiviral CD8(+) T-cell response that may be optimized in the search for an efficacious HIV-1 vaccine.
Induction of HIV-1-specific T-cell responses relevant to diverse subtypes is a major goal of HIV vaccine development. Prime-boost regimens using heterologous gene-based vaccine vectors have induced potent, polyfunctional T cell responses in preclinical studies.
Profiling the dynamic interaction of p300 with proximal promoters of human T cells identified a class of genes that rapidly coassemble p300 and RNA polymerase II (pol II) following mitogen stimulation. Several of these p300 targets are immediate early genes, including FOS, implicating a prominent role for p300 in the control of primary genetic responses. The recruitment of p300 and pol II rapidly transitions to the assembly of several elongation factors, including the positive transcriptional elongation factor (P-TEFb), the bromodomain-containing protein (BRD4), and the elongin-like eleven nineteen lysine-rich leukemia protein (ELL). However, transcription at many of these rapidly induced genes is transient, wherein swift departure of P-TEFb, BRD4, and ELL coincides with termination of transcriptional elongation. Unexpectedly, both p300 and pol II remain accumulated or "bookmarked" at the proximal promoter long after transcription has terminated, demarking a clear mechanistic separation between the recruitment and elongation phases of transcription in vivo. The bookmarked pol II is depleted of both serine-2 and serine-5 phosphorylation of its C-terminal domain and remains proximally positioned at the promoter for hours. Surprisingly, these p300/pol II bookmarked genes can be readily reactivated, and elongation factors can be reassembled by subsequent addition of nonmitogenic agents that, alone, have minimal effects on transcription in the absence of prior preconditioning by mitogen stimulation. These findings suggest that p300 is likely to play an important role in biological processes in which transcriptional bookmarking or preconditioning influences cellular growth and development through the dynamic priming of genes for response to rechallenge by secondary stimuli.
Induction of a functional subset of HIV-specific CD4+ T cells that is resistant to HIV infection could enhance immune protection and decrease the rate of HIV disease progression. CMV-specific CD4+ T cells, which are less frequently infected than HIV-specific CD4+ T cells, are a model for such an effect. To determine the mechanism of this protection, we compared the functional response of HIV gag-specific and CMV pp65-specific CD4+ T cells in individuals co-infected with CMV and HIV. We found that CMV-specific CD4+ T cells rapidly up-regulated production of MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta mRNA, resulting in a rapid increase in production of MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta after cognate antigen stimulation. Production of beta-chemokines was associated with maturational phenotype and was rarely seen in HIV-specific CD4+ T cells. To test whether production of beta-chemokines by CD4+ T cells lowers their susceptibility to HIV infection, we measured cell-associated Gag DNA to assess the in vivo infection history of CMV-specific CD4+ T cells. We found that CMV-specific CD4+ T cells which produced MIP-1beta contained 10 times less Gag DNA than did those which failed to produce MIP-1beta. These data suggest that CD4+ T cells which produce MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta bind these chemokines in an autocrine fashion which decreases the risk of in vivo HIV infection.
There is an intense interplay between HIV and the immune system, and the literature is replete with studies describing various immunological phenomena associated with HIV infection. Many of these phenomena seem too broad in scope to be attributable either to HIV-infected cells or to the HIV-specific immune response. Recently, a more fundamental understanding of how HIV affects various T cells and T cell compartments has emerged. This review covers the role of immune activation in HIV immunopathogenesis, how that activation could be mediated directly by HIV replicating within and damaging the gut mucosal barrier, how HIV affects multiple T cell functions and phenotypes, and how chronic HIV replication induces immune modulatory pathways to negatively regulate certain functions in HIV-specific T cells.
The administration of vectors designed to elicited cell-mediated immune responses may have other consequences that are clinically significant. To explore this possibility, we evaluated T-cell activation during the first 2 months after recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 (rAd5) prime or boost immunizations in rhesus monkeys. We also evaluated the kinetics of T-lymphocyte activation in both the systemic and the mucosal compartments after rAd5 administration in monkeys with preexisting immunity to Ad5. The rAd5 immunization induced lower-frequency Gag epitope-specific CD8+ T cells in the colonic mucosa than in the peripheral blood. There was evidence of an expansion of the simian immunodeficiency virus Gag-specific CD8+ T-cell responses, but not the Ad5 hexon-specific T-cell responses, following a homologous rAd5 boost. A striking but transient T-lymphocyte activation in both the systemic and the mucosal compartments of rhesus monkeys was observed after rAd5 immunization. These findings indicate that the administration of a vaccine vector such as Ad5 can induce a global activation of T cells.
Recent studies have revealed the critical role of programmed death-1 (PD-1) in exhaustion of HIV- and SIV-specific CD8(+) T cells. In this study, we show that high expression of PD-1 correlates with increased ex vivo spontaneous and CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis, particularly in the "effector-memory" CD8(+) T cell population from HIV(+) donors. High expression of PD-1 was linked to a proapoptotic phenotype characterized by low expression of Bcl-2 and IL7-R alpha, high expression of CD95/Fas and high mitochondrial mass. Expression of PD-1 and CD57 was differentially associated with the maturation status of CD8(+) T cells in HIV infection. CD57 was linked to higher apoptosis resistance, with cells expressing a PD-1(L)CD57(H) phenotype exhibiting lower levels of cell death. The majority of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells were found to express a PD-1(H)CD57(L) or PD-1(H)CD57(H) phenotype. No correlation was found between PD-1 expression and ex vivo polyfunctionality of either HIV- or CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells. Contrary to CD57, high expression of PD-1 was characterized by translocation of PD-1 into the area of CD95/Fas-capping, an early necessary step of CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis. Thus, our data further support the role of PD-1 as a preapoptotic factor for CD8(+) T cells in HIV infection.
Human immunodeficiency virus-1 subtypes A and C differ in the highly conserved Gag-TL9 epitope at a single amino acid position. Similarly, the TL9 presenting human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules B42 and B81 differ only at 6 amino acid positions. Here, we addressed the influence of such minor viral and host genetic variation on the TL9-specific CD8 T-cell response. The clonotypic characteristics of CD8 T-cell populations elicited by subtype A or subtype C were distinct, and these responses differed substantially with respect to the recognition and selection of TL9 variants. Irrespective of the presenting HLA class I molecule, CD8 T-cell responses elicited by subtype C exhibited largely comparable TL9 variant cross-recognition properties, expressed T-cell receptors that used almost exclusively the TRBV 12-3 gene, and selected for predictable patterns of viral variation within TL9. In contrast, subtype A elicited TL9-specific CD8 T-cell populations with completely different, more diverse TCRBV genes and did not select for viral variants. Moreover, TL9 variant cross-recognition properties were extensive in B81(+) subjects but limited in B42(+) subjects. Thus, minor viral and host genetic polymorphisms can dramatically alter the immunologic and virologic outcome of an epitope-specific CD8 T-cell response.
Understanding early immunological events during HIV-1 infection that may set the course of disease progression is important for identifying correlates of viral control. This study explores the association of differentiation profiles of HIV-specific and total memory CD8(+) T cells with viral set point. A cohort of 47 HIV-1-infected individuals, with differing viral set points at 12 mo, were recruited during acute infection. We identified that the magnitude of IFN-gamma(+) T cell responses at 6 mo postinfection did not associate with viral set point at 12 mo. A subset of 16 individuals was further studied to characterize CD8(+) T cells for expression patterns of markers for memory differentiation, survival (CD127), senescence (CD57), and negative regulation (programmed death-1). We show that viral control and the predicted tempo of HIV disease progression in the first year of infection was associated with a synchronous differentiation of HIV-specific and total CD8(+) memory subpopulations. At 6-9 mo postinfection, those with low viral set points had a significantly higher proportion of early differentiated HIV-specific and total memory CD8(+) cells of a central memory (CD45RO(+)CD27(+)CCR7(+)) and intermediate memory (CD45RO(-)CD27(+)CCR7(-)) phenotype. Those with high viral set points possessed significantly larger frequencies of effector memory (CD45RO(+)CD27(-)CCR7(-)) cells. The proportions of memory subsets significantly correlated with CD38(+)CD8(+) T cells. Thus, it is likely that a high Ag burden resulting in generalized immune activation may drive differentiation of HIV-specific and total memory CD8(+) T cells.
The magnitude and character of adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5)-specific T cells were determined in volunteers with and without preexisting neutralizing antibodies (NAs) to Ad5 who received replication-defective Ad5 (rAd5)-based human immunodeficiency virus vaccines. There was no correlation between T-cell responses and NAs to Ad5. There was no increase in magnitude or activation state of Ad5-specific CD4(+) T cells at time points where antibodies to Ad5 and T-cell responses to the recombinant gene products could be measured. These data indicate that rAd5-based vaccines containing deletions in the E1, E3, and E4 regions do not induce appreciable expansion of vector-specific CD4(+) T cells.
Viral compartmentalization between naïve and memory CD4(+) T cell subsets has been described, but only for individuals who were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). We present here an extensive analysis of the viral quasispecies residing in the naïve, central and effector memory CD4(+) T cell subsets in a number of therapy naïve individuals and representing an array of HIV-1 subtypes. We longitudinally analyzed subset-specific infection and evolution in a subtype B infected individual who switches from CCR5 to dual CCR5/CXCR4 coreceptor usage. We show that the central memory subset, the predominantly infected subset, harbors a more diverse viral population compared to the others. Through sequence analysis of the env C2V3 region we demonstrate a lack of viral compartmentalization among all subsets. Upon coreceptor switch we observe a pronounced increase in the infection level of the naïve population. Our findings emphasize the importance of all CD4(+) T cell subsets to viral evolution.
The coxsackievirus-adenovirus receptor (CAR) is the described primary receptor for adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5), a common human pathogen that has been exploited as a viral vector for gene therapy and vaccination. This study showed that monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs), such as freshly isolated human blood myeloid DCs, plasmacytoid DCs and monocyte-derived DCs, are susceptible to recombinant Ad5 (rAd5) infection despite their lack of CAR expression. Langerhans cells and dermal DCs from skin expressed CAR, but blocking CAR only partly decreased rAd5 infection, together suggesting that other receptor pathways mediate viral entry of these cells. Lactoferrin (Lf), an abundant protein in many bodily fluids known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, promoted rAd5 infection in all cell populations except plasmacytoid DCs using a CAR-independent process. Lf caused phenotypic differentiation of the DCs, but cell activation played only a minor role in the increase in infection frequencies. The C-type lectin receptor DC-SIGN facilitated viral entry of rAd5-Lf complexes and this was dependent on high-mannose-type N-linked glycans on Lf. These results suggest that Lf present at high levels at mucosal sites can facilitate rAd5 attachment and enhance infection of DCs. A better understanding of the tropism and receptor mechanisms of Ad5 may help explain Ad5 pathogenesis and guide the engineering of improved rAd vectors.
SARS-CoV infection of human results in antigen-specific cellular and humoral immune responses. However, it is critical to determine whether SARS-CoV-specific memory T cells can persist for long periods of time. In this study, we analyzed the cellular immune response from 21 SARS-recovered individuals who had been diagnosed with SARS in 2003 by using ELISA, CBA, ELISpot and multiparameter flow cytometry assays. Our results demonstrated that low levels of specific memory T cell responses to SARS-CoV S, M, E and N peptides were detected in a proportion of SARS-recovered patients, and IFN-gamma was the predominant cytokine produced by T cells after stimulation with peptides. Cytometry analysis indicated that the majority of memory CD8(+) T cells produced IFN-gamma, whereas memory CD4(+) T cells produced IFN-gamma, IL-2 or TNF-alpha. These results might provide valuable information on the cellular immune response in recovered SARS-CoV patients for the rational design of vaccines against SARS-CoV infection.
The Thai Phase III clinical trial (RV144) showed modest efficacy in preventing HIV-1 acquisition. Plasma collected from HIV-1-uninfected trial participants completing all injections with ALVAC-HIV (vCP1521) prime and AIDSVAX B/E boost were tested for antibody responses against HIV-1 gp120 envelope (Env). Peptide microarray analysis from six HIV-1 subtypes and group M consensus showed that vaccination induced antibody responses to the second variable (V2) loop of gp120 of multiple subtypes. We further evaluated V2 responses by ELISA and surface plasmon resonance using cyclic (Cyc) and linear V2 loop peptides. Thirty-one of 32 vaccine recipients tested (97%) had antibody responses against Cyc V2 at 2 weeks postimmunization with a reciprocal geometric mean titer (GMT) of 1100 (range: 200-3200). The frequency of detecting plasma V2 antibodies declined to 19% at 28 weeks post-last injection (GMT: 110, range: 100-200). Antibody responses targeted the mid-region of the V2 loop that contains conserved epitopes and has the amino acid sequence KQKVHALFYKLDIVPI (HXB2 Numbering sequence 169-184). Valine at position 172 was critical for antibody binding. The frequency of V3 responses at 2 weeks postimmunization was modest (18/32, 56%) with a GMT of 185 (range: 100-800). In contrast, naturally infected HIV-1 individuals had a lower frequency of antibody responses to V2 (10/20, 50%; p=0.003) and a higher frequency of responses to V3 (19/20, 95%), with GMTs of 400 (range: 100-3200) and 3570 (range: 200-12,800), respectively. RV144 vaccination induced antibodies that targeted a region of the V2 loop that contains conserved epitopes. Early HIV-1 transmission events involve V2 loop interactions, raising the possibility that anti-V2 antibodies in RV144 may have contributed to viral inhibition.
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