Publications by authors named "Hilario J Ramos"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Interleukin-1β Signaling in Dendritic Cells Induces Antiviral Interferon Responses.

mBio 2018 03 20;9(2). Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease, Department of Immunology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA

Induction of interferon beta (IFN-β), IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), and inflammatory responses is critical for control of viral infection. We recently identified an essential linkage of stimulation of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and induction of ISGs that function as host restriction pathways against the emerging flavivirus West Nile virus (WNV) Here we utilized global transcriptome analysis of primary dendritic cells, known targets of WNV replication, to define gene signatures required for this IL-1β-driven antiviral response. Dendritic cells that were deficient in IL-1 receptor signaling showed dysregulation of cell-intrinsic defense genes and loss of viral control during WNV infection. Surprisingly, we found that in wild-type cells, IL-1β treatment, in the absence of infection, drove the transcription of IFN-β and ISGs at late times following treatment. Expression of these antiviral innate immune genes was dependent on the transcription factor IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) and appears to reflect a general shift in IL-1β signaling from an early inflammatory response to a late IFN-mediated response. These data demonstrate that inflammatory and antiviral signals integrate to control viral infection in myeloid cells through a process of IL-1β-to-IRF3 signaling crosstalk. Strategies to exploit these cytokines in the activation of host defense programs should be investigated as novel therapeutic approaches against individual pathogens. West Nile virus is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus that can result in serious illness, neuropathology, and death in infected individuals. Currently, there are no vaccines or therapies for human use against West Nile virus. Immune control of West Nile virus infection requires inflammatory and antiviral responses, though the effect that each arm of this response has on the other is unclear. The significance of our research is in defining how virus-induced inflammatory responses regulate critical antiviral immune programs for effective control of West Nile virus infection. These data identify essential mechanisms of immune control that can inform therapeutic efforts against West Nile virus, with potential efficacy against other neuroinvasive viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00342-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5874908PMC
March 2018

Deficient IFN signaling by myeloid cells leads to MAVS-dependent virus-induced sepsis.

PLoS Pathog 2014 Apr 17;10(4):e1004086. Epub 2014 Apr 17.

Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America; Department of Pathology & Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America; Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America.

The type I interferon (IFN) signaling response limits infection of many RNA and DNA viruses. To define key cell types that require type I IFN signaling to orchestrate immunity against West Nile virus (WNV), we infected mice with conditional deletions of the type I IFN receptor (IFNAR) gene. Deletion of the Ifnar gene in subsets of myeloid cells resulted in uncontrolled WNV replication, vasoactive cytokine production, sepsis, organ damage, and death that were remarkably similar to infection of Ifnar-/- mice completely lacking type I IFN signaling. In Mavs-/-×Ifnar-/- myeloid cells and mice lacking both Ifnar and the RIG-I-like receptor adaptor gene Mavs, cytokine production was muted despite high levels of WNV infection. Thus, in myeloid cells, viral infection triggers signaling through MAVS to induce proinflammatory cytokines that can result in sepsis and organ damage. Viral pathogenesis was caused in part by massive complement activation, as liver damage was minimized in animals lacking complement components C3 or factor B or treated with neutralizing anti-C5 antibodies. Disease in Ifnar-/- and CD11c Cre+Ifnarf/f mice also was facilitated by the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, as blocking antibodies diminished complement activation and prolonged survival without altering viral burden. Collectively, our findings establish the dominant role of type I IFN signaling in myeloid cells in restricting virus infection and controlling pathological inflammation and tissue injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1004086DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3990718PMC
April 2014

Pattern recognition receptor MDA5 modulates CD8+ T cell-dependent clearance of West Nile virus from the central nervous system.

J Virol 2013 Nov 21;87(21):11401-15. Epub 2013 Aug 21.

Departments of Medicine.

Many viruses induce type I interferon responses by activating cytoplasmic RNA sensors, including the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs). Although two members of the RLR family, RIG-I and MDA5, have been implicated in host control of virus infection, the relative role of each RLR in restricting pathogenesis in vivo remains unclear. Recent studies have demonstrated that MAVS, the adaptor central to RLR signaling, is required to trigger innate immune defenses and program adaptive immune responses, which together restrict West Nile virus (WNV) infection in vivo. In this study, we examined the specific contribution of MDA5 in controlling WNV in animals. MDA5(-/-) mice exhibited enhanced susceptibility, as characterized by reduced survival and elevated viral burden in the central nervous system (CNS) at late times after infection, even though small effects on systemic type I interferon response or viral replication were observed in peripheral tissues. Intracranial inoculation studies and infection experiments with primary neurons ex vivo revealed that an absence of MDA5 did not impact viral infection in neurons directly. Rather, subtle defects were observed in CNS-specific CD8(+) T cells in MDA5(-/-) mice. Adoptive transfer into recipient MDA5(+/+) mice established that a non-cell-autonomous deficiency of MDA5 was associated with functional defects in CD8(+) T cells, which resulted in a failure to clear WNV efficiently from CNS tissues. Our studies suggest that MDA5 in the immune priming environment shapes optimal CD8(+) T cell activation and subsequent clearance of WNV from the CNS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01403-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3807324PMC
November 2013

IL-1β production through the NLRP3 inflammasome by hepatic macrophages links hepatitis C virus infection with liver inflammation and disease.

PLoS Pathog 2013 25;9(4):e1003330. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Center for the Study of Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Immunity, Department of Immunology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of liver disease. Liver inflammation underlies infection-induced fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer but the processes that promote hepatic inflammation by HCV are not defined. We provide a systems biology analysis with multiple lines of evidence to indicate that interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production by intrahepatic macrophages confers liver inflammation through HCV-induced inflammasome signaling. Chronic hepatitis C patients exhibited elevated levels of serum IL-1β compared to healthy controls. Immunohistochemical analysis of healthy control and chronic hepatitis C liver sections revealed that Kupffer cells, resident hepatic macrophages, are the primary cellular source of hepatic IL-1β during HCV infection. Accordingly, we found that both blood monocyte-derived primary human macrophages, and Kupffer cells recovered from normal donor liver, produce IL-1β after HCV exposure. Using the THP-1 macrophage cell-culture model, we found that HCV drives a rapid but transient caspase-1 activation to stimulate IL-1β secretion. HCV can enter macrophages through non-CD81 mediated phagocytic uptake that is independent of productive infection. Viral RNA triggers MyD88-mediated TLR7 signaling to induce IL-1β mRNA expression. HCV uptake concomitantly induces a potassium efflux that activates the NLRP3 inflammasome for IL-1β processing and secretion. RNA sequencing analysis comparing THP1 cells and chronic hepatitis C patient liver demonstrates that viral engagement of the NLRP3 inflammasome stimulates IL-1β production to drive proinflammatory cytokine, chemokine, and immune-regulatory gene expression networks linked with HCV disease severity. These studies identify intrahepatic IL-1β production as a central feature of liver inflammation during HCV infection. Thus, strategies to suppress NLRP3 or IL-1β activity could offer therapeutic actions to reduce hepatic inflammation and mitigate disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1003330DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3635973PMC
January 2014

A systems biology approach reveals that tissue tropism to West Nile virus is regulated by antiviral genes and innate immune cellular processes.

PLoS Pathog 2013 Feb 7;9(2):e1003168. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Department of Immunology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.

The actions of the RIG-I like receptor (RLR) and type I interferon (IFN) signaling pathways are essential for a protective innate immune response against the emerging flavivirus West Nile virus (WNV). In mice lacking RLR or IFN signaling pathways, WNV exhibits enhanced tissue tropism, indicating that specific host factors of innate immune defense restrict WNV infection and dissemination in peripheral tissues. However, the immune mechanisms by which the RLR and IFN pathways coordinate and function to impart restriction of WNV infection are not well defined. Using a systems biology approach, we defined the host innate immune response signature and actions that restrict WNV tissue tropism. Transcriptional profiling and pathway modeling to compare WNV-infected permissive (spleen) and nonpermissive (liver) tissues showed high enrichment for inflammatory responses, including pattern recognition receptors and IFN signaling pathways, that define restriction of WNV replication in the liver. Assessment of infected livers from Mavs(-/-) × Ifnar(-/-) mice revealed the loss of expression of several key components within the natural killer (NK) cell signaling pathway, including genes associated with NK cell activation, inflammatory cytokine production, and NK cell receptor signaling. In vivo analysis of hepatic immune cell infiltrates from WT mice demonstrated that WNV infection leads to an increase in NK cell numbers with enhanced proliferation, maturation, and effector action. In contrast, livers from Mavs(-/-) × Ifnar(-/-) infected mice displayed reduced immune cell infiltration, including a significant reduction in NK cell numbers. Analysis of cocultures of dendritic and NK cells revealed both cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic roles for the RLR and IFN signaling pathways to regulate NK cell effector activity. Taken together, these observations reveal a complex innate immune signaling network, regulated by the RLR and IFN signaling pathways, that drives tissue-specific antiviral effector gene expression and innate immune cellular processes that control tissue tropism to WNV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1003168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3567171PMC
February 2013

IL-1β signaling promotes CNS-intrinsic immune control of West Nile virus infection.

PLoS Pathog 2012 29;8(11):e1003039. Epub 2012 Nov 29.

Department of Immunology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging flavivirus capable of infecting the central nervous system (CNS) and mediating neuronal cell death and tissue destruction. The processes that promote inflammation and encephalitis within the CNS are important for control of WNV disease but, how inflammatory signaling pathways operate to control CNS infection is not defined. Here, we identify IL-1β signaling and the NLRP3 inflammasome as key host restriction factors involved in viral control and CNS disease associated with WNV infection. Individuals presenting with acute WNV infection displayed elevated levels of IL-1β in their plasma over the course of infection, suggesting a role for IL-1β in WNV immunity. Indeed, we found that in a mouse model of infection, WNV induced the acute production of IL-1β in vivo, and that animals lacking the IL-1 receptor or components involved in inflammasome signaling complex exhibited increased susceptibility to WNV pathogenesis. This outcome associated with increased accumulation of virus within the CNS but not peripheral tissues and was further associated with altered kinetics and magnitude of inflammation, reduced quality of the effector CD8(+) T cell response and reduced anti-viral activity within the CNS. Importantly, we found that WNV infection triggers production of IL-1β from cortical neurons. Furthermore, we found that IL-1β signaling synergizes with type I IFN to suppress WNV replication in neurons, thus implicating antiviral activity of IL-1β within neurons and control of virus replication within the CNS. Our studies thus define the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway and IL-1β signaling as key features controlling WNV infection and immunity in the CNS, and reveal a novel role for IL-1β in antiviral action that restricts virus replication in neurons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1003039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3510243PMC
April 2013

The RIG-I-like receptor LGP2 controls CD8(+) T cell survival and fitness.

Immunity 2012 Aug 26;37(2):235-48. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Department of Immunology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

The RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) signal innate immune defenses upon RNA virus infection, but their roles in adaptive immunity have not been clearly defined. Here, we showed that the RLR LGP2 was not essential for induction of innate immune defenses, but rather was required for controlling antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell survival and fitness during peripheral T cell-number expansion in response to virus infection. Adoptive transfer and biochemical studies demonstrated that T cell-receptor signaling induced LGP2 expression wherein LGP2 operated to regulate death-receptor signaling and imparted sensitivity to CD95-mediated cell death. Thus, LGP2 promotes an essential prosurvival signal in response to antigen stimulation to confer CD8(+) T cell-number expansion and effector functions against divergent RNA viruses, including West Nile virus and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2012.07.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3910444PMC
August 2012

IL-12 selectively programs effector pathways that are stably expressed in human CD8+ effector memory T cells in vivo.

Blood 2011 Oct 10;118(14):3890-900. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Department of Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes play a major role in defense against intracellular pathogens, and their functions are specified by antigen recognition and innate cytokines. IL-12 and IFN-α/β are potent "signal 3" cytokines that are involved in both effector and memory cell development. Although the majority of effector cells are eliminated as inflammation resolves, some survive within the pool of memory cells and retain immediate effector function. In this study, we demonstrate that IL-12 instructs a unique program of effector cell differentiation that is distinct from IFN-α/β. Moreover, effector memory (T(EM)) cells within peripheral blood display many common attributes of cells differentiated in vitro in response to IL-12, including proinflammatory cytokine secretion and lytic activity. A pattern of IL-12-induced genes was identified that demarcate T(EM) from central memory cells, and the ontologies of these genes correlated precisely with their effector functions. Further, we uncovered a unique program of gene expression that was acutely regulated by IL-12 and reflected in stable gene expression patterns within T(EM), but not T central memory cells in vivo. Thus, this study directly links a selective set of IL-12-induced genes to the programming of effector functions within the stable population of human CD8(+) T(EM) cells in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2011-05-357111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193266PMC
October 2011

Cutting edge: Type I IFN reverses human Th2 commitment and stability by suppressing GATA3.

J Immunol 2010 Jul 16;185(2):813-7. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Department of Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9093, USA.

T helper 2 cells regulate inflammatory responses to helminth infections while also mediating pathological processes of asthma and allergy. IL-4 promotes Th2 development by inducing the expression of the GATA3 transcription factor, and the Th2 phenotype is stabilized by a GATA3-dependent autoregulatory loop. In this study, we found that type I IFN (IFN-alpha/beta) blocked human Th2 development and inhibited cytokine secretion from committed Th2 cells. This negative regulatory pathway was operative in human but not mouse CD4(+) T cells and was selective to type I IFN, as neither IFN-gamma nor IL-12 mediated such inhibition. IFN-alpha/beta blocked Th2 cytokine secretion through the inhibition of GATA3 during Th2 development and in fully committed Th2 cells. Ectopic expression of GATA3 via retrovirus did not overcome IFN-alpha/beta-mediated inhibition of Th2 commitment. Thus, we demonstrate a novel role for IFN-alpha/beta in blocking Th2 cells, suggesting its potential as a promising therapy for atopy and asthma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1000469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2927323PMC
July 2010

Reciprocal responsiveness to interleukin-12 and interferon-alpha specifies human CD8+ effector versus central memory T-cell fates.

Blood 2009 May 18;113(22):5516-25. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Department of Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9093, USA.

Multiple innate signals regulate the genesis of effector and memory CD8+ T cells. In this study, we demonstrate that the innate cytokines interleukin (IL)-12 and interferon (IFN)-alpha/beta regulate distinct aspects of effector and memory human CD8+ T-cell differentiation. IL-12 exclusively promoted the development of IFN-gamma- and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-secreting T effector memory (T(EM)) cells, whereas IFN-alpha drove the development of T central memory (T(CM)) cells. The development of T(EM) and T(CM) was linked to cell division. In rapidly dividing cells, IL-12 programmed T(EM) through induction of the IL-12 receptor beta2. In contrast, IFN-alpha regulated T(CM) development by slowing the progression of cell division in a subpopulation of cells that selectively expressed elevated IFN-alpha/beta receptor-2. The strength of signal delivered through T-cell receptor (TCR) engagement regulated the responsiveness of cells to IL-12 and IFN-alpha. In the presence of both IL-12 and IFN-alpha, these cytokine signals were amplified as the strength of the TCR signal was increased, promoting the simultaneous development of both T(CM) and T(EM). Together, our results support a novel model in which IL-12 and IFN-alpha act in a nonredundant manner to regulate the colinear generation of both effector and memory cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2008-11-188458DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2689051PMC
May 2009

Cutting edge: a T-bet-independent role for IFN-alpha/beta in regulating IL-2 secretion in human CD4+ central memory T cells.

J Immunol 2008 Dec;181(12):8204-8

Department of Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.

IL-2 is a hallmark cytokine secreted by central memory CD4(+) T cells (T(CM)). Although naive cells rapidly secrete IL-2 in response to Ag stimulation, IL-12 inhibits IL-2 secretion in daughter cells as they differentiate into Th1 cells. In this study, we uncover a unique role for IFN-alpha in regulating IL-2 secretion by human T(CM) cells. IFN-alpha synergized with IL-12 to enhance a subset of cells that secreted high and sustained levels of IL-2. These IL-2-secreting cells displayed phenotypic and functional characteristics of T(CM) and were capable of generating IFN-gamma-secreting effectors upon secondary activation. T-bet has been implicated in negatively regulating IL-2 secretion in murine T cells; however, T-bet expression did not inhibit IFN-alpha-dependent IL-2 secretion in human T(CM) cells. Thus, our results highlight a unique role for IFN-alpha in regulating the development of IL-2-secreting human T(CM) cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.181.12.8204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2596627PMC
December 2008

IFN-alpha is not sufficient to drive Th1 development due to lack of stable T-bet expression.

J Immunol 2007 Sep;179(6):3792-803

Department of Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.

During inflammatory immune responses, the innate cytokine IL-12 promotes CD4+ Th-1 development through the activation of the second messenger STAT4 and the subsequent expression of T-bet. In addition, type I IFN (IFN-alphabeta), secreted primarily during viral and intracellular bacterial infections, can promote STAT4 activation in human CD4+ T cells. However, the role of IFN-alphabeta in regulating Th1 development is controversial, and previous studies have suggested a species-specific pathway leading to Th1 development in human but not mouse CD4+ T cells. In this study, we found that although both IFN-alpha and IL-12 can promote STAT4 activation, IFN-alpha failed to promote Th1 commitment in human CD4+ T cells. The difference between these innate signaling pathways lies with the ability of IL-12 to promote sustained STAT4 tyrosine phosphorylation, which correlated with stable T-bet expression in committed Th1 cells. IFN-alpha did not promote Th1 development in human CD4+ T cells because of attenuated STAT4 phosphorylation, which was insufficient to induce stable expression of T-bet. Further, the defect in IFN-alpha-driven Th1 development was corrected by ectopic expression of T-bet within primary naive human CD4+ T cells. These results indicate that IL-12 remains unique in its ability to drive Th1 development in human CD4+ T cells and that IFN-alpha lacks this activity due to its inability to promote sustained T-bet expression.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2927332PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.179.6.3792DOI Listing
September 2007
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