Publications by authors named "Corinne Kowal"

5 Publications

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Naïve CD4+ T Cell Lymphopenia and Apoptosis in Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Is Driven by the CD31+ Subset and Is Partially Normalized in Direct-Acting Antiviral Treated Persons.

Front Immunol 2021 12;12:641230. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, United States.

Background: The mechanisms underlying naïve CD4+ lymphopenia during chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection are unclear. Whether direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy restores peripheral naïve CD4+ T cell numbers and function is unknown.

Methods: We enumerated frequencies and counts of peripheral naïve CD4+, CD4+CD31+ and CD4+CD31- T cells by flow cytometry in a cross sectional analysis comparing chronic HCV infected (n=34), DAA-treated(n=29), and age-range matched controls (n=25), as well as in a longitudinal cohort of HCV DAA treated persons (n=16). The cross-sectional cohort was stratified by cirrhosis state. Cell apoptosis/survival (AnnexinV+7AAD+/BCL-2 labeling) and cell cycle entry (Ki67 expression) of CD31+ and CD31- naïve CD4+ T cells was analyzed directly and following 3 and 5 days of culture with media, interleukin (IL) -7 or CD3/CD28 activator.

Results: In the cross-sectional cohort, naïve CD4+ proportions were lower in chronic HCV infected persons compared to controls and DAA-treated persons, an effect in part attributed to cirrhosis. Age was associated with naïve cell counts and proportions in HCV infected and treated persons as well. Naïve CD4+ cell proportions negatively correlated with plasma levels of soluble CD14 following therapy in DAA-treated persons. Naïve CD4+ cells from HCV infected persons exhibited greater direct apoptosis and cell-cycling compared to cells from DAA-treated persons and controls, and this was localized to the CD4+CD31+ subset. On the other hand, no remarkable differences in expression of BCL-2 or IL-7 Receptor (CD127) at baseline or following media or IL7 containing culture were observed. In the longitudinal cohort, naïve CD4+CD31+/CD31- ratio tended to increase 24 weeks after DAA therapy initiation.

Conclusions: Activation and apoptosis of peripheral naïve CD4+CD31+ T cells appear to contribute to naïve CD4+ lymphopenia in chronic HCV infection, and this defect is partially reversible with HCV DAA therapy. Age and cirrhosis -associated naïve CD4+ lymphopenia is present both before and after HCV DAA therapy. These findings have implications for restoration of host immune function after DAA therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.641230DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8075159PMC
April 2021

T-cell Activation Is Correlated With Monocyte Activation in HCV/HIV Coinfection and Declines During HCV Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy.

Open Forum Infect Dis 2021 Apr 18;8(4):ofab079. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Pathology, VA Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Background: Immune activation markers associate with morbidity and mortality in HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We investigated how T-cell and monocyte activation are related over the course of HCV direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy during HCV/HIV coinfection.

Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) A5329 participants and a single-site separate cohort treated with DAAs were analyzed for central memory (CM)/effector memory (EM) T-cell subsets, monocyte subsets, and cell activation (CD38 and HLA-DR expression) before, during, and after therapy.

Results: Before therapy, classical and inflammatory monocyte subset HLA-DR expression positively correlated with absolute counts and frequencies of CD38HLA-DR-expressing CD4 and CD8 T cells and corresponding CM and EM subsets. After therapy initiation, CD38HLA-DR co-expression on CD4 and CD8 memory T cells decreased by 12 weeks and 36 weeks, and plasma sCD14 positively correlated with CD38HLA-DR CD4 and CD4CM T-cell frequencies. Monocyte subset activation remained similar over time.

Conclusions: During HCV/HIV coinfection, memory T-cell activation is associated with monocyte subset activation, consistent with related underlying mechanisms. Following therapy initiation, memory T-cell, but not monocyte, activation decreased. Residual CD4 T-cell activation after therapy completion is associated with sCD14, potentially linking the remaining CD4 T-cell activation to residual factors driving activation in antiretroviral therapy-controlled HIV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofab079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043262PMC
April 2021

Markers of T Cell Exhaustion and Senescence and Their Relationship to Plasma TGF-β Levels in Treated HIV+ Immune Non-responders.

Front Immunol 2021 25;12:638010. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, United States.

Immune non-responders (INR) are HIV+, ART-controlled (>2 yrs) people who fail to reconstitute their CD4 T cell numbers. Systemic inflammation and markers of T cell senescence and exhaustion are observed in INR. This study aims to investigate T cell senescence and exhaustion and their possible association with soluble immune mediators and to understand the immune profile of HIV-infected INR. Selected participants were <50 years old to control for the confounder of older age. Plasma levels of IL-6, IP10, sCD14, sCD163, and TGF-β and markers of T cell exhaustion (PD-1, TIGIT) and senescence (CD57, KLRG-1) were measured in ART-treated, HIV+ participants grouped by CD4 T cell counts ( = 63). Immune parameters were also measured in HIV-uninfected, age distribution-matched controls (HC; = 30). Associations between T cell markers of exhaustion and senescence and plasma levels of immune mediators were examined by Spearman rank order statistics. Proportions of CD4 T cell subsets expressing markers of exhaustion (PD-1, TIGIT) and senescence (CD57, KLRG-1) were elevated in HIV+ participants. When comparing proportions between INR and IR, INR had higher proportions of CD4 memory PD-1+, EM CD57+, TEM TIGIT+ and CD8 EM and TEM TIGIT+ cells. Plasma levels of IL-6, IP10, and sCD14 were elevated during HIV infection. IP10 was higher in INR. Plasma TGF-β levels and CD4 cycling proportions of T regulatory cells were lower in INR. Proportions of CD4 T cells expressing TIGIT, PD-1, and CD57 positively correlated with plasma levels of IL-6. Plasma levels of TGF-β negatively correlated with proportions of TIGIT+ and PD-1+ T cell subsets. INR have lower levels of TGF-β and decreased proportions of cycling CD4 T regulatory cells and may have difficulty controlling inflammation. IP10 is elevated in INR and is linked to higher proportions of T cell exhaustion and senescence seen in INR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.638010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8044907PMC
March 2021

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy in Persons With Human Immunodeficiency Virus-HCV Genotype 1 Coinfection Resulting in High Rate of Sustained Virologic Response and Variable in Normalization of Soluble Markers of Immune Activation.

J Infect Dis 2020 09;222(8):1334-1344

University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) direct-acting antivirals are highly effective. Less is known about changes in markers of immune activation in persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in whom a sustained virologic response (SVR) is achieved.

Methods: We conducted a nonrandomized clinical trial of 12 or 24 weeks of paritaprevir-ritonavir-ombitasvir plus dasabuvir (PrOD) with or without ribavirin in persons with HCV-1/HIV coinfection suppressed with antiretroviral therapy. Plasma HCV, soluble CD14 (sCD14), interferon-inducible protein 10, soluble CD163 (sCD163), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 18, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1), autotaxin (ATX), and Mac2-binding protein (Mac2BP) were measured over 48 weeks.

Results: Participants were treated with PrOD for 12 (n = 9) or 24 (n = 36) weeks; the SVR rate at 12 weeks was 93%. At baseline, cirrhosis was associated with higher ATX and MCP-1, female sex with higher ATX and IL-6, older age with higher Mac2BP, higher body mass index with higher ATX, and HIV-1 protease inhibitor use with higher sCD14 levels. In those with SVR, interferon-inducible protein 10, ATX, and Mac2BP levels declined by week 2, interleukin 18 levels declined by the end of treatment, sCD14 levels did not change, and sCD163, MCP-1, and IL-6 levels changed at a single time point.

Conclusions: During HIV/HCV coinfection, plasma immune activation marker heterogeneity is in part attributable to age, sex, cirrhosis, body mass index, and/or type of antiretroviral therapy. HCV treatment with paritaprevir-ritonavir-ombitasvir plus dasabuvir is highly effective and is associated with variable rate and magnitude of decline in markers of immune activation.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02194998.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa254DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749191PMC
September 2020

Achieving Sustained Viral Remission in Patients with Chronic HCV Infection and Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis Does Not Always Correlate with Normalization of the Serologic Markers.

J Clin Cell Immunol 2018 Oct;9(5):562

Rheumatology section, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Objective: We aim to describe the persistence of symptoms associated with HCV-associated cryoglobulinemic vasculitis following achievement of (SVR) with IFN- free direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy. In particular, we describe the persistence of C4 hypocomplementemia and positive Rheumatoid Factor (RF).

Methods: We analyzed a case series of four patients enrolled from the Cleveland VA and known to have chronic HCV infection complicated by mixed cryoglobulinemia. The study included patients treated with interferon (IFN) based treatment and IFN free direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy.

Results: Of the four patients, patients 1 and 2 experienced decline of RF without resolution following DAA therapy. Patient 1 continues to have evidence of disease following treatment. Patient 3 did not have resolution of RF during IFN-based treatment and experienced stabilization of kidney function while on treatment. Patient 4, previously a non-responder to IFN based treatment, experienced significant decline in RF titers along with resolution of cryoglobulin-associated rash with DAA therapy. C4 remained low following treatment in patients 1 and 3. Of the four patients, only patient 1 had prolonged persistence of cryoglobulinemia, measured at 3%, 17 months following achievement of SVR.

Conclusions: We highlight the complexity of the viral-mediated immunologic mechanism that causes cryoglobulinemic vasculitis. Our cases also emphasize the need to consider cryoglobulinemic vasculitis as part of the differential diagnosis even with treated HCV infection. Recognizing these findings are important in our understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease and management in the era of IFN-free DAA therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2155-9899.1000562DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6446568PMC
October 2018