Publications by authors named "Mohammed Ata Ur Rasheed"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Serologic testing of U.S. blood donations to identify SARS-CoV-2-reactive antibodies: December 2019-January 2020.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 Nov 30. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

American Red Cross, Scientific Affairs, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Background: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019, with subsequent worldwide spread. The first U.S. cases were identified in January 2020.

Methods: To determine if SARS-CoV-2 reactive antibodies were present in sera prior to the first identified case in the U.S. on January 19, 2020, residual archived samples from 7,389 routine blood donations collected by the American Red Cross from December 13, 2019 to January 17, 2020, from donors resident in nine states (California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin) were tested at CDC for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Specimens reactive by pan-immunoglobulin (pan Ig) enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) against the full spike protein were tested by IgG and IgM ELISAs, microneutralization test, Ortho total Ig S1 ELISA, and receptor binding domain / Ace2 blocking activity assay.

Results: Of the 7,389 samples, 106 were reactive by pan Ig. Of these 106 specimens, 90 were available for further testing. Eighty four of 90 had neutralizing activity, 1 had S1 binding activity, and 1 had receptor binding domain / Ace2 blocking activity >50%, suggesting the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2-reactive antibodies. Donations with reactivity occurred in all nine states.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may have been introduced into the United States prior to January 19, 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1785DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7799215PMC
November 2020

Lack of Serologic Evidence of Infection Among Health Care Personnel and Other Contacts of First 2 Confirmed Patients With COVID-19 in Illinois, 2020.

Public Health Rep 2021 Jan/Feb;136(1):88-96. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

1242 National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Objectives: Widespread global transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), continues. Many questions remain about asymptomatic or atypical infections and transmission dynamics. We used comprehensive contact tracing of the first 2 confirmed patients in Illinois with COVID-19 and serologic SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing to determine whether contacts had evidence of undetected COVID-19.

Methods: Contacts were eligible for serologic follow-up if previously tested for COVID-19 during an initial investigation or had greater-risk exposures. Contacts completed a standardized questionnaire during the initial investigation. We classified exposure risk as high, medium, or low based on interactions with 2 index patients and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Serologic testing used a SARS-CoV-2 spike enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay on serum specimens collected from participants approximately 6 weeks after initial exposure to either index patient. The 2 index patients provided serum specimens throughout their illness. We collected data on demographic, exposure, and epidemiologic characteristics.

Results: Of 347 contacts, 110 were eligible for serologic follow-up; 59 (17% of all contacts) enrolled. Of these, 53 (90%) were health care personnel and 6 (10%) were community contacts. Seventeen (29%) reported high-risk exposures, 15 (25%) medium-risk, and 27 (46%) low-risk. No participant had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The 2 index patients had antibodies detected at dilutions >1:6400 within 4 weeks after symptom onset.

Conclusions: In serologic follow-up of the first 2 known patients in Illinois with COVID-19, we found no secondary transmission among tested contacts. Lack of seroconversion among these contacts adds to our understanding of conditions (ie, use of PPE) under which SARS-CoV-2 infections might not result in transmission and demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing is a useful tool to verify epidemiologic findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0033354920966064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7856379PMC
December 2020

Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Among Frontline Healthcare Personnel During the First Month of Caring for COVID-19 Patients - Nashville, Tennessee.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 Jul 6. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Among 249 healthcare personnel who worked in hospital units with COVID-19 patients for one month, 19 (7.6%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Only 11 (57.9%) of the 19 personnel with positive serology reported symptoms of a prior illness, suggesting asymptomatic healthcare personnel could be an important source of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa936DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7454447PMC
July 2020

Harnessing Activin A Adjuvanticity to Promote Antibody Responses to BG505 HIV Envelope Trimers.

Front Immunol 2020 16;11:1213. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Scripps Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunogen Development (CHAVD), The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, United States.

T follicular helper (T) cells are powerful regulators of affinity matured long-lived plasma cells. Eliciting protective, long-lasting antibody responses to achieve persistent immunity is the goal of most successful vaccines. Thus, there is potential in manipulating T cell responses. Herein, we describe an HIV vaccine development approach exploiting the cytokine activin A to improve antibody responses against recombinant HIV Envelope (Env) trimers in non-human primates. Administration of activin A improved the magnitude of Env-specific antibodies over time and promoted a significant increase in Env-specific plasma cells in the bone marrow. The boost in antibody responses was associated with reduced frequencies of T follicular regulatory (T) cells and increased germinal center T follicular helper (GC-T) to T cell ratios. Overall, these findings suggest that adjuvants inducing activin A production could potentially be incorporated in future rational design vaccine strategies aimed at improving germinal centers, long-lived plasma cells, and sustained antibody responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01213DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7308430PMC
April 2021

3M-052, a synthetic TLR-7/8 agonist, induces durable HIV-1 envelope-specific plasma cells and humoral immunity in nonhuman primates.

Sci Immunol 2020 06;5(48)

Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 954, Gatewood Road, Atlanta, GA, USA.

A fundamental challenge in vaccinology is learning how to induce durable antibody responses. Live viral vaccines induce antibody responses that last a lifetime, but those induced with subunit vaccines wane rapidly. Studies in mice and humans have established that long-lived plasma cells (LLPCs) in the bone marrow (BM) are critical mediators of durable antibody responses. Here, we present data that adjuvanting an HIV-1 clade C 1086.C-derived gp140 immunogen (Env) with a novel synthetic Toll-like receptor (TLR)-7/8 agonist named 3M-052 formulated in poly(lactic--glycolic)acid or PLGA nanoparticles (NPs) or with alum, either alone or in combination with a TLR-4 agonist GLA, induces notably high and persistent (up to ~1 year) frequencies of Env-specific LLPCs in the BM and serum antibody responses in rhesus macaques. Up to 36 and 18% of Env-specific cells among total IgG-secreting BM-resident plasma cells were detected at peak and termination, respectively. In contrast, adjuvanting Env with alum or GLA in NP induced significantly lower (~<100-fold) LLPC and antibody responses. Immune responses induced by 3M-052 were also significantly higher than those induced by a combination of TLR-7/8 (R848) and TLR-4 (MPL) agonists. Adjuvanting Env with 3M-052 also induced robust activation of blood monocytes, strong plasmablast responses in blood, germinal center B cells, T follicular helper (T) cells, and persistent Env-specific plasma cells in draining lymph nodes. Overall, these results demonstrate efficacy of 3M-052 in promoting high magnitude and durability of antibody responses via robust stimulation of innate immunity and BM-resident LLPCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciimmunol.abb1025DOI Listing
June 2020

Decreased humoral immunity to mumps in young adults immunized with MMR vaccine in childhood.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 09 3;116(38):19071-19076. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30030;

In the past decade, multiple mumps outbreaks have occurred in the United States, primarily in close-contact, high-density settings such as colleges, with a high attack rate among young adults, many of whom had the recommended 2 doses of mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Waning humoral immunity and the circulation of divergent wild-type mumps strains have been proposed as contributing factors to mumps resurgence. Blood samples from 71 healthy 18- to 23-year-old college students living in a non-outbreak area were assayed for antibodies and memory B cells (MBCs) to mumps, measles, and rubella. Seroprevalence rates of mumps, measles, and rubella determined by IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were 93, 93, and 100%, respectively. The index standard ratio indicated that the concentration of IgG was significantly lower for mumps than rubella. High IgG avidity to mumps Enders strain was detected in sera of 59/71 participants who had sufficient IgG levels. The frequency of circulating mumps-specific MBCs was 5 to 10 times lower than measles and rubella, and 10% of the participants had no detectable MBCs to mumps. Geometric mean neutralizing antibody titers (GMTs) by plaque reduction neutralization to the predominant circulating wild-type mumps strain (genotype G) were 6-fold lower than the GMTs against the Jeryl Lynn vaccine strain (genotype A). The majority of the participants (80%) received their second MMR vaccine ≥10 years prior to study participation. Additional efforts are needed to fully characterize B and T cell immune responses to mumps vaccine and to develop strategies to improve the quality and durability of vaccine-induced immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1905570116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6754597PMC
September 2019

Multihospital Outbreak of a Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Deletion Variant, Jordan: A Molecular, Serologic, and Epidemiologic Investigation.

Open Forum Infect Dis 2018 May 28;5(5):ofy095. Epub 2018 Apr 28.

Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: An outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Jordan in 2015 involved a variant virus that acquired distinctive deletions in the accessory open reading frames. We conducted a molecular and seroepidemiologic investigation to describe the deletion variant's transmission patterns and epidemiology.

Methods: We reviewed epidemiologic and medical chart data and analyzed viral genome sequences from respiratory specimens of MERS-CoV cases. In early 2016, sera and standardized interviews were obtained from MERS-CoV cases and their contacts. Sera were evaluated by nucleocapsid and spike protein enzyme immunoassays and microneutralization.

Results: Among 16 cases, 11 (69%) had health care exposure and 5 (31%) were relatives of a known case; 13 (81%) were symptomatic, and 7 (44%) died. Genome sequencing of MERS-CoV from 13 cases revealed 3 transmissible deletions associated with clinical illness during the outbreak. Deletion variant sequences were epidemiologically clustered and linked to a common transmission chain. Interviews and sera were collected from 2 surviving cases, 23 household contacts, and 278 health care contacts; 1 (50%) case, 2 (9%) household contacts, and 3 (1%) health care contacts tested seropositive.

Conclusions: The MERS-CoV deletion variants retained human-to-human transmissibility and caused clinical illness in infected persons despite accumulated mutations. Serology suggested limited transmission beyond that detected during the initial outbreak investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofy095DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5965092PMC
May 2018

mTOR Promotes Antiviral Humoral Immunity by Differentially Regulating CD4 Helper T Cell and B Cell Responses.

J Virol 2017 02 31;91(4). Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Emory Vaccine Center and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

mTOR has important roles in regulation of both innate and adaptive immunity, but whether and how mTOR modulates humoral immune responses have yet to be fully understood. To address this issue, we examined the effects of rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of mTOR, on B cell and CD4 T cell responses during acute infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Rapamycin treatment resulted in suppression of virus-specific B cell responses by inhibiting proliferation of germinal center (GC) B cells. In contrast, the number of memory CD4 T cells was increased in rapamycin-treated mice. However, the drug treatment caused a striking bias of CD4 T cell differentiation into Th1 cells and substantially impaired formation of follicular helper T (Tfh) cells, which are essential for humoral immunity. Further experiments in which mTOR signaling was modulated by RNA interference (RNAi) revealed that B cells were the primary target cells of rapamycin for the impaired humoral immunity and that reduced Tfh formation in rapamycin-treated mice was due to lower GC B cell responses that are essential for Tfh generation. Additionally, we found that rapamycin had minimal effects on B cell responses activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which stimulates B cells in an antigen-independent manner, suggesting that rapamycin specifically inhibits B cell responses induced by B cell receptor stimulation with antigen. Together, these findings demonstrate that mTOR signals play an essential role in antigen-specific humoral immune responses by differentially regulating B cell and CD4 T cell responses during acute viral infection and that rapamycin treatment alters the interplay of immune cell subsets involved in antiviral humoral immunity.

Importance: mTOR is a serine/threonine kinase involved in a variety of cellular activities. Although its specific inhibitor, rapamycin, is currently used as an immunosuppressive drug in transplant patients, it has been reported that rapamycin can also stimulate pathogen-specific cellular immunity in certain circumstances. However, whether and how mTOR regulates humoral immunity are not well understood. Here we found that rapamycin treatment predominantly inhibited GC B cell responses during viral infection and that this led to biased helper CD4 T cell differentiation as well as impaired antibody responses. These findings suggest that inhibition of B cell responses by rapamycin may play an important role in regulation of allograft-specific antibody responses to prevent organ rejection in transplant recipients. Our results also show that consideration of antibody responses is required in cases where rapamycin is used to stimulate vaccine-induced immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01653-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5286878PMC
February 2017

Direct Probing of Germinal Center Responses Reveals Immunological Features and Bottlenecks for Neutralizing Antibody Responses to HIV Env Trimer.

Cell Rep 2016 11;17(9):2195-2209

Division of Vaccine Discovery, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Scripps Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. Electronic address:

Generating tier 2 HIV-neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses by immunization remains a challenging problem, and the immunological barriers to induction of such responses with Env immunogens remain unclear. Here, some rhesus monkeys developed autologous tier 2 nAbs upon HIV Env trimer immunization (SOSIP.v5.2) whereas others did not. This was not because HIV Env trimers were immunologically silent because all monkeys made similar ELISA-binding antibody responses; the key difference was nAb versus non-nAb responses. We explored the immunological barriers to HIV nAb responses by combining a suite of techniques, including longitudinal lymph node fine needle aspirates. Unexpectedly, nAb development best correlated with booster immunization GC B cell magnitude and Tfh characteristics of the Env-specific CD4 T cells. Notably, these factors distinguished between successful and unsuccessful antibody responses because GC B cell frequencies and stoichiometry to GC Tfh cells correlated with nAb development, but did not correlate with total Env Ab binding titers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.10.085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5142765PMC
November 2016

Activation of the RIG-I pathway during influenza vaccination enhances the germinal center reaction, promotes T follicular helper cell induction, and provides a dose-sparing effect and protective immunity.

J Virol 2014 Dec 24;88(24):13990-4001. Epub 2014 Sep 24.

Department of Pediatrics and Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA ICGEB-Emory Vaccine Center, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India

Unlabelled: Pattern recognition receptors (PRR) sense certain molecular patterns uniquely expressed by pathogens. Retinoic-acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) is a cytosolic PRR that senses viral nucleic acids and induces innate immune activation and secretion of type I interferons (IFNs). Here, using influenza vaccine antigens, we investigated the consequences of activating the RIG-I pathway for antigen-specific adaptive immune responses. We found that mice immunized with influenza vaccine antigens coadministered with 5'ppp-double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), a RIG-I ligand, developed robust levels of hemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies, enhanced germinal center reaction, and T follicular helper cell responses. In addition, RIG-I activation enhanced antibody affinity maturation and plasma cell responses in the draining lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow and conferred protective immunity against virus challenge. Importantly, activation of the RIG-I pathway was able to reduce the antigen requirement by 10- to 100-fold in inducing optimal influenza-specific cellular and humoral responses, including protective immunity. The effects induced by 5'ppp-dsRNA were significantly dependent on type I IFN and IPS-1 (an adapter protein downstream of the RIG-I pathway) signaling but were independent of the MyD88- and TLR3-mediated pathways. Our results show that activation of the RIG-I-like receptor pathway programs the innate immunity to achieve qualitatively and quantitatively enhanced protective cellular adaptive immune responses even at low antigen doses, and this indicates the potential utility of RIG-I ligands as molecular adjuvants for viral vaccines.

Importance: The recently discovered RNA helicase family of RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) is a critical component of host defense mechanisms responsible for detecting viruses and triggering innate antiviral cytokines that help control viral replication and dissemination. In this study, we show that the RLR pathway can be effectively exploited to enhance adaptive immunity and protective immune memory against viral infection. Our results show that activation of the RIG-I pathway along with influenza vaccination programs the innate immunity to induce qualitatively and quantitatively superior protective adaptive immunity against pandemic influenza viruses. More importantly, RIG-I activation at the time of vaccination allows induction of robust adaptive responses even at low vaccine antigen doses. These results highlight the potential utility of exploiting the RIG-I pathway to enhance viral-vaccine-specific immunity and have broader implications for designing better vaccines in general.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02273-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4249139PMC
December 2014

Blimp-1 represses CD8 T cell expression of PD-1 using a feed-forward transcriptional circuit during acute viral infection.

J Exp Med 2014 Mar 3;211(3):515-27. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322.

Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) is an inhibitory immune receptor that regulates T cell function, yet the molecular events that control its expression are largely unknown. We show here that B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp-1)-deficient CD8 T cells fail to repress PD-1 during the early stages of CD8 T cell differentiation after acute infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) strain Armstrong. Blimp-1 represses PD-1 through a feed-forward repressive circuit by regulating PD-1 directly and by repressing NFATc1 expression, an activator of PD-1 expression. Blimp-1 binding induces a repressive chromatin structure at the PD-1 locus, leading to the eviction of NFATc1 from its site. These data place Blimp-1 at an important phase of the CD8 T cell effector response and provide a molecular mechanism for its repression of PD-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20130208DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3949569PMC
March 2014

Identification of novel markers for mouse CD4(+) T follicular helper cells.

Eur J Immunol 2013 Dec 14;43(12):3219-32. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.

CD4(+) T follicular helper (TFH) cells are central for generation of long-term B-cell immunity. A defining phenotypic attribute of TFH cells is the expression of the chemokine R CXCR5, and TFH cells are typically identified by co-expression of CXCR5 together with other markers such as PD-1, ICOS, and Bcl-6. Herein, we report high-level expression of the nutrient transporter folate R 4 (FR4) on TFH cells in acute viral infection. Distinct from the expression profile of conventional TFH markers, FR4 was highly expressed by naive CD4(+) T cells, was downregulated after activation and subsequently re-expressed on TFH cells. Furthermore, FR4 expression was maintained, albeit at lower levels, on memory TFH cells. Comparative gene expression profiling of FR4(hi) versus FR4(lo) Ag-specific CD4(+) effector T cells revealed a molecular signature consistent with TFH and TH1 subsets, respectively. Interestingly, genes involved in the purine metabolic pathway, including the ecto-enzyme CD73, were enriched in TFH cells compared with TH1 cells, and phenotypic analysis confirmed expression of CD73 on TFH cells. As there is now considerable interest in developing vaccines that would induce optimal TFH cell responses, the identification of two novel cell surface markers should be useful in characterization and identification of TFH cells following vaccination and infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201343469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3947211PMC
December 2013

Interleukin-21 is a critical cytokine for the generation of virus-specific long-lived plasma cells.

J Virol 2013 Jul 1;87(13):7737-46. Epub 2013 May 1.

Emory Vaccine Center and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Long-lived plasma cells that reside in the bone marrow constitutively produce antibody in the absence of antigen and are the cellular basis of durable humoral immunity. The generation of these long-lived plasma cells depends upon a series of highly orchestrated interactions between antigen-specific CD4 T cells and B cells and the formation of germinal centers (GCs). In this study, we have examined the role of the cytokine interleukin-21 (IL-21) in regulating humoral immunity during acute viral infections. Using IL-21 receptor-deficient (IL-21R(-/-)) mice, we found that virus-specific CD4 T cells were generated after infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and that these CD4 T cells differentiated into T follicular helper (TFH)-like cells in the absence of IL-21 signaling. There was also no defect in the formation of GCs, although after day 15 these GCs disappeared faster in IL-21R(-/-) mice than in wild-type mice. Isotype switching and the initial LCMV-specific IgG response were normal in IL-21R(-/-) mice. However, these mice exhibited a profound defect in generating long-lived plasma cells and in sustaining antibody levels over time. Similar results were seen after infection of IL-21R(-/-) mice with vesicular stomatitis virus and influenza virus. Using chimeric mice containing wild-type or IL-21R(-/-) CD4 T cells and B cells, we showed that both B and CD4 T cells need IL-21 signaling for generating long-term humoral immunity. Taken together, our results highlight the importance of IL-21 in humoral immunity to viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00063-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700268PMC
July 2013

Distinct memory CD4+ T cells with commitment to T follicular helper- and T helper 1-cell lineages are generated after acute viral infection.

Immunity 2013 Apr 11;38(4):805-17. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Emory Vaccine Center and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

CD4(+) T follicular helper (Tfh) cells provide the required signals to B cells for germinal center reactions that are necessary for long-lived antibody responses. However, it remains unclear whether there are CD4(+) memory T cells committed to the Tfh cell lineage after antigen clearance. By using adoptive transfer of antigen-specific memory CD4(+) T cell subpopulations in the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection model, we found that there are distinct memory CD4(+) T cell populations with commitment to either Tfh- or Th1-cell lineages. Our conclusions are based on gene expression profiles, epigenetic studies, and phenotypic and functional analyses. Our findings indicate that CD4(+) memory T cells "remember" their previous effector lineage after antigen clearance, being poised to reacquire their lineage-specific effector functions upon antigen reencounter. These findings have important implications for rational vaccine design, where improving the generation and engagement of memory Tfh cells could be used to enhance vaccine-induced protective immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2013.02.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3741679PMC
April 2013

Critical Role of STAT5 transcription factor tetramerization for cytokine responses and normal immune function.

Immunity 2012 Apr;36(4):586-99

Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1674, USA.

Cytokine-activated STAT proteins dimerize and bind to high-affinity motifs, and N-terminal domain-mediated oligomerization of dimers allows tetramer formation and binding to low-affinity tandem motifs, but the functions of dimers versus tetramers are unknown. We generated Stat5a-Stat5b double knockin (DKI) N-domain mutant mice in which STAT5 proteins form dimers but not tetramers, identified cytokine-regulated genes whose expression required STAT5 tetramers, and defined dimer versus tetramer consensus motifs. Whereas Stat5-deficient mice exhibited perinatal lethality, DKI mice were viable; thus, STAT5 dimers were sufficient for survival. Nevertheless, STAT5 DKI mice had fewer CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells, NK cells, and CD8(+) T cells, with impaired cytokine-induced and homeostatic proliferation of CD8(+) T cells. Moreover, DKI CD8(+) T cell proliferation after viral infection was diminished and DKI Treg cells did not efficiently control colitis. Thus, tetramerization of STAT5 is critical for cytokine responses and normal immune function, establishing a critical role for STAT5 tetramerization in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2012.02.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551341PMC
April 2012