Publications by authors named "Pyone Aye"

45 Publications

Neutralizing antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus infection of B cells can protect from oral viral challenge in the rhesus macaque animal model.

Cell Rep Med 2021 Jul 21;2(7):100352. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Department of Microbiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and related lymphocryptoviruses (LCVs) from nonhuman primates are transmitted through oral secretions, penetrate the mucosal epithelium, and establish persistent infection in B cells. To determine whether neutralizing antibodies against epithelial or B cell infection could block oral transmission and persistent LCV infection, we use rhesus macaques, the most accurate animal model for EBV infection by faithfully reproducing acute and persistent infection in humans. Naive animals are infused with monoclonal antibodies neutralizing epithelial cell infection or B cell infection and then challenged orally with recombinant rhesus LCV. Our data show that high-titer B cell-neutralizing antibodies alone, but not epithelial cell-neutralizing antibodies, can provide complete protection of rhesus macaques from oral LCV challenge, but not in all hosts. Thus, neutralizing antibodies against B cell infection are important targets for EBV vaccine development, but they may not be sufficient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2021.100352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8324488PMC
July 2021

Adjuvanting a subunit COVID-19 vaccine to induce protective immunity.

Nature 2021 06 19;594(7862):253-258. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, LA, USA.

The development of a portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate the global population remains an urgent public health imperative. Here we demonstrate the capacity of a subunit vaccine, comprising the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain displayed on an I53-50 protein nanoparticle scaffold (hereafter designated RBD-NP), to stimulate robust and durable neutralizing-antibody responses and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. We evaluated five adjuvants including Essai O/W 1849101, a squalene-in-water emulsion; AS03, an α-tocopherol-containing oil-in-water emulsion; AS37, a Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist adsorbed to alum; CpG1018-alum, a TLR9 agonist formulated in alum; and alum. RBD-NP immunization with AS03, CpG1018-alum, AS37 or alum induced substantial neutralizing-antibody and CD4 T cell responses, and conferred protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the pharynges, nares and bronchoalveolar lavage. The neutralizing-antibody response to live virus was maintained up to 180 days after vaccination with RBD-NP in AS03 (RBD-NP-AS03), and correlated with protection from infection. RBD-NP immunization cross-neutralized the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant efficiently but showed a reduced response against the B.1.351 variant. RBD-NP-AS03 produced a 4.5-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351 whereas the group immunized with RBD-NP-AS37 produced a 16-fold reduction in neutralization of B.1.351, suggesting differences in the breadth of the neutralizing-antibody response induced by these adjuvants. Furthermore, RBD-NP-AS03 was as immunogenic as a prefusion-stabilized spike immunogen (HexaPro) with AS03 adjuvant. These data highlight the efficacy of the adjuvanted RBD-NP vaccine in promoting protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and have led to phase I/II clinical trials of this vaccine (NCT04742738 and NCT04750343).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03530-2DOI Listing
June 2021

Zika virus infection during pregnancy protects against secondary infection in the absence of CD8 cells.

Virology 2021 Jul 9;559:100-110. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Tulane National Primate Research Center, Tulane University, Covington, LA, USA; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA. Electronic address:

While T cell immunity is an important component of the immune response to Zika virus (ZIKV) infection generally, the efficacy of these responses during pregnancy remains unknown. Here, we tested the capacity of CD8 lymphocytes to protect from secondary challenge in four macaques, two of which were depleted of CD8 cells prior to rechallenge with a heterologous ZIKV isolate. The initial challenge during pregnancy produced transcriptional signatures suggesting complex patterns of immune modulation as well as neutralizing antibodies that persisted until rechallenge, which all animals efficiently controlled, demonstrating that the primary infection conferred adequate protection. The secondary challenge promoted activation of innate and adaptive immune cells, possibly suggesting a brief period of infection prior to clearance. These data confirm that ZIKV infection during pregnancy induces sufficient immunity to protect from a secondary challenge and suggest that this protection is not dependent on CD8 T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2021.03.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8212702PMC
July 2021

Adjuvanting a subunit SARS-CoV-2 nanoparticle vaccine to induce protective immunity in non-human primates.

bioRxiv 2021 Feb 11. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

The development of a portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to vaccinate the global population remains an urgent public health imperative. Here, we demonstrate the capacity of a subunit vaccine under clinical development, comprising the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein receptor-binding domain displayed on a two-component protein nanoparticle (RBD-NP), to stimulate robust and durable neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in non-human primates. We evaluated five different adjuvants combined with RBD-NP including Essai O/W 1849101, a squalene-in-water emulsion; AS03, an alpha-tocopherol-containing squalene-based oil-in-water emulsion used in pandemic influenza vaccines; AS37, a TLR-7 agonist adsorbed to Alum; CpG 1018-Alum (CpG-Alum), a TLR-9 agonist formulated in Alum; or Alum, the most widely used adjuvant. All five adjuvants induced substantial nAb and CD4 T cell responses after two consecutive immunizations. Durable nAb responses were evaluated for RBD-NP/AS03 immunization and the live-virus nAb response was durably maintained up to 154 days post-vaccination. AS03, CpG-Alum, AS37 and Alum groups conferred significant protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the pharynges, nares and in the bronchoalveolar lavage. The nAb titers were highly correlated with protection against infection. Furthermore, RBD-NP when used in conjunction with AS03 was as potent as the prefusion stabilized Spike immunogen, HexaPro. Taken together, these data highlight the efficacy of the RBD-NP formulated with clinically relevant adjuvants in promoting robust immunity against SARS-CoV-2 in non-human primates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.10.430696DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885918PMC
February 2021

Effects of Social Housing Changes on Immunity and Vaccine-Specific Immune Responses in Adolescent Male Rhesus Macaques.

Front Immunol 2020 15;11:565746. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Division of Veterinary Medicine, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, LA, United States.

Nonhuman primates (NHPs) in research institutions may be housed in a variety of social settings, such as group housing, pair housing or single housing based on the needs of studies. Furthermore, housing may change over the course of studies. The effects of housing and changes in housing on cell activation and vaccine mediated immune responses are not well documented. We hypothesized that animals moved indoors from group to single housing (GH-SH) would experience more stress than those separated from groups into pair housing (GH-PH), or those placed briefly into pair housing and separated 5 weeks later into single housing (GH-PH-SH). We also compared the effects of separation from group to pair housing with the separation from pair to single housing. Eighteen male rhesus macaques were followed over the course of changes in housing condition over 10-14 weeks, as well as prior to and after primary vaccination with a commercially available measles vaccine. We identified two phenotypic biomarkers, namely total CD8 population and proliferating B cells, that differed significantly across treatment groups over time. At 10 weeks post-separation, levels of proliferating B cells were higher in GH-SH subjects compared to GH-PH subjects, and in the latter, levels were lower at 10 weeks than prior to removal from group housing. At 2 weeks post-separation from group to single housing, the frequency of CD8+ T cells was higher in GH-SH subjects compared to one week post separation from pair into single housing in the GH-PH-SH subjects. Comparing the same elapsed time since the most recent separation activated CD20 populations were persistently higher in the GH-SH animals than the GH-PH-SH animals. Housing configuration did not influence vaccine-mediated responses. Overall, our study found benefits of pair housing over single housing, suggesting that perturbations in immune function will be more severe following separation from group to single housing than from pair to single housing, and supporting the use of short-duration pair housing even when animals must subsequently be separated. These findings are useful for planning the housing configurations of research NHPs used for vaccine studies and other studies where immune response is being assessed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.565746DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7593645PMC
May 2021

Co-immunization of DNA and Protein in the Same Anatomical Sites Induces Superior Protective Immune Responses against SHIV Challenge.

Cell Rep 2020 05;31(6):107624

Division of Comparative Pathology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, LA 70433, USA.

We compare immunogenicity and protective efficacy of an HIV vaccine comprised of env and gag DNA and Env (Envelope) proteins by co-administration of the vaccine components in the same muscles or by separate administration of DNA + protein in contralateral sites in female rhesus macaques. The 6-valent vaccine includes gp145 Env DNAs, representing six sequentially isolated Envs from the HIV-infected individual CH505, and matching GLA-SE-adjuvanted gp120 Env proteins. Interestingly, only macaques in the co-administration vaccine group are protected against SHIV CH505 acquisition after repeated low-dose intravaginal challenge and show 67% risk reduction per exposure. Macaques in the co-administration group develop higher Env-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Non-neutralizing Env antibodies, ADCC, and antibodies binding to FcγRIIIa are associated with decreased transmission risk. These data suggest that simultaneous recognition, processing, and presentation of DNA + Env protein in the same draining lymph nodes play a critical role in the development of protective immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107624DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7329227PMC
May 2020

Postnatal Zika virus infection of nonhuman primate infants born to mothers infected with homologous Brazilian Zika virus.

Sci Rep 2019 09 5;9(1):12802. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Recent data in a nonhuman primate model showed that infants postnatally infected with Zika virus (ZIKV) were acutely susceptible to high viremia and neurological damage, suggesting the window of vulnerability extends beyond gestation. In this pilot study, we addressed the susceptibility of two infant rhesus macaques born healthy to dams infected with Zika virus during pregnancy. Passively acquired neutralizing antibody titers dropped below detection limits between 2 and 3 months of age, while binding antibodies remained detectable until viral infection at 5 months. Acute serum viremia was comparatively lower than adults infected with the same Brazilian isolate of ZIKV (n = 11 pregnant females, 4 males, and 4 non-pregnant females). Virus was never detected in cerebrospinal fluid nor in neural tissues at necropsy two weeks after infection. However, viral RNA was detected in lymph nodes, confirming some tissue dissemination. Though protection was not absolute and our study lacks an important comparison with postnatally infected infants born to naïve dams, our data suggest infants born healthy to infected mothers may harbor a modest but important level of protection from postnatally acquired ZIKV for several months after birth, an encouraging result given the potentially severe infection outcomes of this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49209-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6728326PMC
September 2019

Polyclonal HIV envelope-specific breast milk antibodies limit founder SHIV acquisition and cell-associated virus loads in infant rhesus monkeys.

Mucosal Immunol 2018 11 16;11(6):1716-1726. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

Breast milk HIV-1 transmission is currently the predominant contributor to pediatric HIV infections. Yet, only ~10% of breastfeeding infants born to untreated HIV-infected mothers become infected. This study assessed the protective capacity of natural HIV envelope-specific antibodies isolated from the milk of HIV-infected women in an infant rhesus monkey (RM), tier 2 SHIV oral challenge model. To mimic placental and milk maternal antibody transfer, infant RMs were i.v. infused and orally treated at the time of challenge with a single weakly neutralizing milk monoclonal antibody (mAb), a tri-mAb cocktail with weakly neutralizing and ADCC functionalities, or an anti-influenza control mAb. Of these groups, the fewest tri-mAb-treated infants had SHIV detectable in plasma or tissues (2/6, 5/6, and 7/8 animals infected in tri-mAb, single-mAb, and control-mAb groups, respectively). Tri-mAb-treated infants demonstrated significantly fewer plasma transmitted/founder variants and reduced peripheral CD4+ T cell proviral loads at 8 weeks post-challenge compared to control mAb-treated infants. Abortive infection was observed as detectable CD4+ T cell provirus in non-viremic control mAb- and single mAb-, but not in tri-mAb-treated animals. These results suggest that polyfunctional milk antibodies contribute to the natural inefficiency of HIV-1 transmission through breastfeeding and infant vaccinations eliciting non-neutralizing antibody responses could reduce postnatal HIV transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41385-018-0067-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6420805PMC
November 2018

Fetal demise and failed antibody therapy during Zika virus infection of pregnant macaques.

Nat Commun 2018 04 24;9(1):1624. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Road, Covington, LA, 70433, USA.

Zika virus (ZIKV) infection of pregnant women is associated with pathologic complications of fetal development. Here, we infect pregnant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with a minimally passaged ZIKV isolate from Rio de Janeiro, where a high rate of fetal development complications was observed. The infection of pregnant macaques with this virus results in maternal viremia, virus crossing into the amniotic fluid (AF), and in utero fetal deaths. We also treated three additional ZIKV-infected pregnant macaques with a cocktail of ZIKV-neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies (nmAbs) at peak viremia. While the nmAbs can be effective in clearing the virus from the maternal sera of treated monkeys, it is not sufficient to clear ZIKV from AF. Our report suggests that ZIKV from Brazil causes fetal demise in non-human primates (NHPs) without additional mutations or confounding co-factors. Treatment with a neutralizing anti-ZIKV nmAb cocktail is insufficient to fully stop vertical transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04056-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5915455PMC
April 2018

The self-curing phenomenon of schistosome infection in rhesus macaques: insight from in vitro studies.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2017 11;1408(1):79-89

Center for Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas.

A reduction in the burden of schistosomiasis is potentially achievable by integrating a schistosomiasis vaccine with current control measures. Here, we determine parasite-specific in vitro responses of B, T, and NK cells from naive uninfected rhesus macaques to Schistosoma mansoni (Sm) egg (SmEA) and worm antigen (SmWA) preparations isolated from infected baboons. Pronounced B cell responses to SmEA and NK cell responses to both SmEA and SmWA were observed. High levels of IL-2 and IL-21 responses against Sm antigens were observed in T and non-T cells of lymph nodes (LNs) and gut lamina propria-derived lymphocytes (LPLs). Data analysis showed multifunctionality of LN-derived CD4 , CD8 , and CD4 CD8 double positive T cells against either SmWA or SmWA+SmEA antigen preparations. Distinct SmEA-specific multifunctional responses were observed in gut LPLs, suggesting simultaneous responses against egg antigens. These data provide insight into the immune effectors involved in schistosome responses by rhesus macaques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13565DOI Listing
November 2017

TLR7/8 adjuvant overcomes newborn hyporesponsiveness to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at birth.

JCI Insight 2017 03 23;2(6):e91020. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Infection is the most common cause of mortality in early life, and immunization is the most promising biomedical intervention to reduce this burden. However, newborns fail to respond optimally to most vaccines. Adjuvantation is a key approach to enhancing vaccine immunogenicity, but responses of human newborn leukocytes to most candidate adjuvants, including most TLR agonists, are functionally distinct. Herein, we demonstrate that 3M-052 is a locally acting lipidated imidazoquinoline TLR7/8 agonist adjuvant in mice, which, when properly formulated, can induce robust Th1 cytokine production by human newborn leukocytes in vitro, both alone and in synergy with the alum-adjuvanted pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13 (PCV13). When admixed with PCV13 and administered i.m. on the first day of life to rhesus macaques, 3M-052 dramatically enhanced generation of Th1 CRM-197-specific neonatal CD4 cells, activation of newborn and infant polysaccharide-specific (PnPS-specific) B cells as well as serotype-specific antibody titers, and opsonophagocytic killing. Remarkably, a single dose at birth of PCV13 plus 0.1 mg/kg 3M-052 induced PnPS-specific IgG responses that were approximately 10-100 times greater than a single birth dose of PCV13 alone, rapidly exceeding the serologic correlate of protection, as early as 28 days of life. This potent immunization strategy, potentially effective with one birth dose, could represent a new paradigm in early life vaccine development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.91020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5360187PMC
March 2017

Dietary Gluten-Induced Gut Dysbiosis Is Accompanied by Selective Upregulation of microRNAs with Intestinal Tight Junction and Bacteria-Binding Motifs in Rhesus Macaque Model of Celiac Disease.

Nutrients 2016 Oct 28;8(11). Epub 2016 Oct 28.

Division of Microbiology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, LA 70433, USA.

The composition of the gut microbiome reflects the overall health status of the host. In this study, stool samples representing the gut microbiomes from 6 gluten-sensitive (GS) captive juvenile rhesus macaques were compared with those from 6 healthy, age- and diet-matched peers. A total of 48 samples representing both groups were studied using V4 16S rRNA gene DNA analysis. Samples from GS macaques were further characterized based on type of diet administered: conventional monkey chow, i.e., wheat gluten-containing diet (GD), gluten-free diet (GFD), barley gluten-derived diet (BOMI) and reduced gluten barley-derived diet (RGB). It was hypothesized that the GD diet would lower the gut microbial diversity in GS macaques. This is the first report illustrating the reduction of gut microbial alpha-diversity ( < 0.05) following the consumption of dietary gluten in GS macaques. Selected bacterial families (e.g., and ) were enriched in GS macaques while was enriched in healthy animals. Within several weeks after the replacement of the GD by the GFD diet, the composition (beta-diversity) of gut microbiome in GS macaques started to change ( = 0.011) towards that of a normal macaque. Significance for alpha-diversity however, was not reached by the day 70 when the feeding experiment ended. Several inflammation-associated microRNAs (miR-203, -204, -23a, -23b and -29b) were upregulated ( < 0.05) in jejunum of 4 biopsied GS macaques fed GD with predicted binding sites on 16S ribosomal RNA of (accession number: NR_025911), (NR_041364) and (AJ297218) that were overrepresented in feces. Additionally, claudin-1, a validated tight junction protein target of miR-29b was significantly downregulated in jejunal epithelium of GS macaques. Taken together, we predict that with the introduction of effective treatments in future studies the diversity of gut microbiomes in GS macaques will approach those of healthy individuals. Further studies are needed to elucidate the regulatory pathways of inflammatory miRNAs in intestinal mucosa of GS macaques and to correlate their expression with gut dysbiosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu8110684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133072PMC
October 2016

Supplementation of Reduced Gluten Barley Diet with Oral Prolyl Endopeptidase Effectively Abrogates Enteropathy-Associated Changes in Gluten-Sensitive Macaques.

Nutrients 2016 Jun 28;8(7). Epub 2016 Jun 28.

Arcadia Biosciences Inc., Seattle, WA 98119, USA.

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder that affects approximately three million people in the United States. Furthermore, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) affects an estimated additional 6% of the population, e.g., 20 million in the U.S. The only effective treatment of CD and NCGS requires complete removal of gluten sources from the diet. While required adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) is extremely difficult to accomplish, efforts to develop additional supportive treatments are needed. To facilitate these efforts, we developed a gluten-sensitive (GS) rhesus macaque model to study the effects of novel therapies. Recently reported results from phase one of this project suggest that partial improvement-but not remission-of gluten-induced disease can be accomplished by 100-fold reduction of dietary gluten, i.e., 200 ppm-by replacement of conventional dietary sources of gluten with a mutant, reduced gluten (RG) barley (lys3a)-derived source. The main focus of this (phase two) study was to determine if the inflammatory effects of the residual gluten in lys3a mutant barley grain could be further reduced by oral supplementation with a prolylendopeptidase (PE). Results reveal that PE supplementation of RG barley diet induces more complete immunological, histopathological and clinical remission than RG barley diet alone. The combined effects of RG barley diet and PE supplementation resulted in a further decrease of inflammatory mediators IFN-γ and TNF secretion by peripheral lymphocytes, as well as decreased plasma anti-gliadin and anti-intestinal tissue transglutaminase (TG2) antibodies, diminished active caspase production in small intestinal mucosa, and eliminated clinical diarrhea-all comparable with a gluten-free diet induced remission. In summary, the beneficial results of a combined RG barley and PE administration in GS macaques may warrant the investigation of similar synergistic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu8070401DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4963877PMC
June 2016

Derivation and Characterization of a CD4-Independent, Non-CD4-Tropic Simian Immunodeficiency Virus.

J Virol 2016 05 29;90(10):4966-4980. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Unlabelled: CD4 tropism is conserved among all primate lentiviruses and likely contributes to viral pathogenesis by targeting cells that are critical for adaptive antiviral immune responses. Although CD4-independent variants of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) have been described that can utilize the coreceptor CCR5 or CXCR4 in the absence of CD4, these viruses typically retain their CD4 binding sites and still can interact with CD4. We describe the derivation of a novel CD4-independent variant of pathogenic SIVmac239, termed iMac239, that was used to derive an infectious R5-tropic SIV lacking a CD4 binding site. Of the seven mutations that differentiate iMac239 from wild-type SIVmac239, a single change (D178G) in the V1/V2 region was sufficient to confer CD4 independence in cell-cell fusion assays, although other mutations were required for replication competence. Like other CD4-independent viruses, iMac239 was highly neutralization sensitive, although mutations were identified that could confer CD4-independent infection without increasing its neutralization sensitivity. Strikingly, iMac239 retained the ability to replicate in cell lines and primary cells even when its CD4 binding site had been ablated by deletion of a highly conserved aspartic acid at position 385, which, for HIV-1, plays a critical role in CD4 binding. iMac239, with and without the D385 deletion, exhibited an expanded host range in primary rhesus peripheral blood mononuclear cells that included CCR5(+) CD8(+) T cells. As the first non-CD4-tropic SIV, iMac239-ΔD385 will afford the opportunity to directly assess the in vivo role of CD4 targeting on pathogenesis and host immune responses.

Importance: CD4 tropism is an invariant feature of primate lentiviruses and likely plays a key role in pathogenesis by focusing viral infection onto cells that mediate adaptive immune responses and in protecting virions attached to cells from neutralizing antibodies. Although CD4-independent viruses are well described for HIV and SIV, these viruses characteristically retain their CD4 binding site and can engage CD4 if available. We derived a novel CD4-independent, CCR5-tropic variant of the pathogenic molecular clone SIVmac239, termed iMac239. The genetic determinants of iMac239's CD4 independence provide new insights into mechanisms that underlie this phenotype. This virus remained replication competent even after its CD4 binding site had been ablated by mutagenesis. As the first truly non-CD4-tropic SIV, lacking the capacity to interact with CD4, iMac239 will provide the unique opportunity to evaluate SIV pathogenesis and host immune responses in the absence of the immunomodulatory effects of CD4(+) T cell targeting and infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02851-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4859711PMC
May 2016

Persistent Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Drives Differentiation, Aberrant Accumulation, and Latent Infection of Germinal Center Follicular T Helper Cells.

J Virol 2016 02 25;90(3):1578-87. Epub 2015 Nov 25.

Tulane National Primate Research Center, Tulane University School of Medicine, Covington, Louisiana, USA

Unlabelled: CD4(+) follicular T helper (Tfh) cells play a prominent role in humoral immune responses, but the mechanisms of their accumulation and infection in AIDS remain unclear. Here we found that germinal center (GC) Tfh cells, defined here as CXCR5(+) PD-1(HIGH) CD4(+) T cells, do not express the HIV coreceptor CCR5 yet serve as a latent reservoir in GCs. With disease progression, an expansion of GC Tfh cells is accompanied by increases in dysfunctional CD8(+) T cells. In contrast, Tfh precursor (CXCR5(-) CD4(+) T) cells in lymph nodes do express CCR5 and differentiate into GC Tfh cells following interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-21 stimulation, and viral DNA is detectable in fully differentiated GC Tfh cells ex vivo. This suggests that SIV-infected GC Tfh cells may be derived from Tfh precursor cell subsets that become infected in marginal zones and then migrate into GCs as fully mature GC Tfh cells that serve as persistent virus reservoirs. These findings suggest that viral persistence in lymph nodes drives compensatory differentiation, aberrant accumulation, and latent infection of GC Tfh cells, resulting in marked impairment of humoral immune responses.

Importance: Generation of antibodies that can effectively eliminate viruses requires interactions of B cells with highly specialized T cells in GCs of lymphoid tissues called follicular T helper cells. Here we show that in simian immunodeficiency virus infection, these cells are initially infected in a precursor stage that leads to alterations in their homing, accumulation, and function that may be responsible for the inability of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients to generate effective antibody responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02471-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4719631PMC
February 2016

Elite Control, Gut CD4 T Cell Sparing, and Enhanced Mucosal T Cell Responses in Macaca nemestrina Infected by a Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Lacking a gp41 Trafficking Motif.

J Virol 2015 Oct 29;89(20):10156-75. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Unlabelled: Deletion of Gly-720 and Tyr-721 from a highly conserved GYxxØ trafficking signal in the SIVmac239 envelope glycoprotein cytoplasmic domain, producing a virus termed ΔGY, leads to a striking perturbation in pathogenesis in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Infected macaques develop immune activation and progress to AIDS, but with only limited and transient infection of intestinal CD4(+) T cells and an absence of microbial translocation. Here we evaluated ΔGY in pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina), a species in which SIVmac239 infection typically leads to increased immune activation and more rapid progression to AIDS than in rhesus macaques. In pig-tailed macaques, ΔGY also replicated acutely to high peak plasma RNA levels identical to those for SIVmac239 and caused only transient infection of CD4(+) T cells in the gut lamina propria and no microbial translocation. However, in marked contrast to rhesus macaques, 19 of 21 pig-tailed macaques controlled ΔGY replication with plasma viral loads of <15 to 50 RNA copies/ml. CD4(+) T cells were preserved in blood and gut for up to 100 weeks with no immune activation or disease progression. Robust antiviral CD4(+) T cell responses were seen, particularly in the gut. Anti-CD8 antibody depletion demonstrated CD8(+) cellular control of viral replication. Two pig-tailed macaques progressed to disease with persisting viremia and possible compensatory mutations in the cytoplasmic tail. These studies demonstrate a marked perturbation in pathogenesis caused by ΔGY's ablation of the GYxxØ trafficking motif and reveal, paradoxically, that viral control is enhanced in a macaque species typically predisposed to more pathogenic manifestations of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection.

Importance: The pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) reflects a balance between viral replication, host innate and adaptive antiviral immune responses, and sustained immune activation that in humans and Asian macaques is associated with persistent viremia, immune escape, and AIDS. Among nonhuman primates, pig-tailed macaques following SIV infection are predisposed to more rapid disease progression than are rhesus macaques. Here, we show that disruption of a conserved tyrosine-based cellular trafficking motif in the viral transmembrane envelope glycoprotein cytoplasmic tail leads in pig-tailed macaques to a unique phenotype in which high levels of acute viral replication are followed by elite control, robust cellular responses in mucosal tissues, and no disease. Paradoxically, control of this virus in rhesus macaques is only partial, and progression to AIDS occurs. This novel model should provide a powerful tool to help identify host-specific determinants for viral control with potential relevance for vaccine development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01134-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4580161PMC
October 2015

The effects of reduced gluten barley diet on humoral and cell-mediated systemic immune responses of gluten-sensitive rhesus macaques.

Nutrients 2015 Mar 6;7(3):1657-71. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

Arcadia Biosciences Inc., Seattle, WA 98119, USA.

Celiac disease (CD) affects approximately 1% of the general population while an estimated additional 6% suffers from a recently characterized, rapidly emerging, similar disease, referred to as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). The only effective treatment of CD and NCGS requires removal of gluten sources from the diet. Since required adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) is difficult to accomplish, efforts to develop alternative treatments have been intensifying in recent years. In this study, the non-human primate model of CD/NCGS, e.g., gluten-sensitive rhesus macaque, was utilized with the objective to evaluate the treatment potential of reduced gluten cereals using a reduced gluten (RG; 1% of normal gluten) barley mutant as a model. Conventional and RG barleys were used for the formulation of experimental chows and fed to gluten-sensitive (GS) and control macaques to determine if RG barley causes a remission of dietary gluten-induced clinical and immune responses in GS macaques. The impacts of the RG barley diet were compared with the impacts of the conventional barley-containing chow and the GFD. Although remission of the anti-gliadin antibody (AGA) serum responses and an improvement of clinical diarrhea were noted after switching the conventional to the RG barley diet, production of inflammatory cytokines, e.g., interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) by peripheral CD4+ T helper lymphocytes, persisted during the RG chow treatment and were partially abolished only upon re-administration of the GFD. It was concluded that the RG barley diet might be used for the partial improvement of gluten-induced disease but its therapeutic value still requires upgrading-by co-administration of additional treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu7031657DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377872PMC
March 2015

Aerosol vaccination with AERAS-402 elicits robust cellular immune responses in the lungs of rhesus macaques but fails to protect against high-dose Mycobacterium tuberculosis challenge.

J Immunol 2014 Aug 14;193(4):1799-811. Epub 2014 Jul 14.

Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892;

Development of a vaccine against pulmonary tuberculosis may require immunization strategies that induce a high frequency of Ag-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells in the lung. The nonhuman primate model is essential for testing such approaches because it has predictive value for how vaccines elicit responses in humans. In this study, we used an aerosol vaccination strategy to administer AERAS-402, a replication-defective recombinant adenovirus (rAd) type 35 expressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ags Ag85A, Ag85B, and TB10.4, in bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-primed or unprimed rhesus macaques. Immunization with BCG generated low purified protein derivative-specific CD4 T cell responses in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage. In contrast, aerosolized AERAS-402 alone or following BCG induced potent and stable Ag85A/b-specific CD4 and CD8 effector T cells in bronchoalveolar lavage that largely produced IFN-γ, as well as TNF and IL-2. Such responses induced by BCG, AERAS-402, or both failed to confer overall protection following challenge with 275 CFUs M. tuberculosis Erdman, although vaccine-induced responses associated with reduced pathology were observed in some animals. Anamnestic T cell responses to Ag85A/b were not detected in blood of immunized animals after challenge. Overall, our data suggest that a high M. tuberculosis challenge dose may be a critical factor in limiting vaccine efficacy in this model. However, the ability of aerosol rAd immunization to generate potent cellular immunity in the lung suggests that using different or more immunogens, alternative rAd serotypes with enhanced immunogenicity, and a physiological challenge dose may achieve protection against M. tuberculosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1400676DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4119487PMC
August 2014

miR-190b is markedly upregulated in the intestine in response to simian immunodeficiency virus replication and partly regulates myotubularin-related protein-6 expression.

J Immunol 2014 Aug 30;193(3):1301-13. Epub 2014 Jun 30.

Division of Comparative Pathology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, LA 70433.

HIV replication and the cellular micro-RNA (miRNA) machinery interconnect at several posttranscriptional levels. To understand their regulatory role in the intestine, a major site of HIV/SIV replication, dissemination, and CD4(+) T cell depletion, we profiled miRNA expression in colon following SIV infection (10 acute SIV, 5 uninfected). Nine (four up and five down) miRNAs showed statistically significant differential expression. Most notably, miR-190b expression showed high statistical significance (adjusted p = 0.0032), the greatest fold change, and was markedly elevated in colon and jejunum throughout SIV infection. In addition, miR-190b upregulation was detected before peak viral replication and the nadir of CD4(+) T cell depletion predominantly in lamina propria leukocytes. Interestingly non-SIV-infected macaques with diarrhea and colitis failed to upregulate miR-190b, suggesting that its upregulation was neither inflammation nor immune-activation driven. SIV infection of in vitro-cultured CD4(+) T cells and primary intestinal macrophages conclusively identified miR-190b upregulation to be driven in response to viral replication. Further miR-190b expression levels in colon and jejunum positively correlated with tissue viral loads. In contrast, mRNA expression of myotubularin-related protein 6 (MTMR6), a negative regulator of CD4(+) T cell activation/proliferation, significantly decreased in SIV-infected macrophages. Luciferase reporter assays confirmed MTMR6 as a direct miR-190b target. To our knowledge, this is the first report, which describes dysregulated miRNA expression in the intestine, that identifies a potentially significant role for miR-190b in HIV/SIV pathogenesis. More importantly, miR-190b-mediated MTMR6 downregulation suggests an important mechanism that could keep infected cells in an activated state, thereby promoting viral replication. In the future, the mechanisms driving miR-190b upregulation including other cellular processes it regulates in SIV-infected cells need determination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1303479DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4108538PMC
August 2014

A single amino acid mutation in the envelope cytoplasmic tail restores the ability of an attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus mutant to deplete mucosal CD4+ T cells.

J Virol 2013 Dec 11;87(23):13048-52. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, Louisiana, USA.

Disruption of the conserved motif GYxxØ in the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) SIVmac239 envelope (Env) cytoplasmic tail resulted in a virus (ΔGY) that exhibited a high plasma peak but uniquely failed to acutely deplete mucosal CD4(+) T cells. Here, we show that ΔGY containing a flanking S727P mutation that was acquired in ΔGY-infected macaques reacquired the ability to rapidly deplete CD4(+) T cells in lamina propria. This suggests that the GYxxØ motif and S727P each contribute to SIV's targeting to mucosal tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02126-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3838135PMC
December 2013

Focused examination of the intestinal epithelium reveals transcriptional signatures consistent with disturbances in enterocyte maturation and differentiation during the course of SIV infection.

PLoS One 2013 9;8(4):e60122. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Division of Comparative Pathology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, Louisiana, United States of America.

The Gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays a pivotal role in AIDS pathogenesis as it is the primary site for viral transmission, replication and CD4(+) T cell destruction. Accordingly, GI disease (enteropathy) has become a well-known complication and a driver of AIDS progression. To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying GI disease we analyzed global gene expression profiles sequentially in the intestinal epithelium of the same animals before SIV infection and at 21 and 90 days post infection (DPI). More importantly we obtained sequential excisional intestinal biopsies and examined distinct mucosal components (epithelium. intraepithelial lymphocytes, lamina propria lymphocytes, fibrovascular stroma) separately. Here we report data pertaining to the epithelium. Overall genes associated with epithelial cell renewal/proliferation/differentiation, permeability and adhesion were significantly down regulated (<1.5-7 fold) at 21 and 90DPI. Genes regulating focal adhesions (n = 6), gap junctions (n = 3), ErbB (n = 3) and Wnt signaling (n = 4) were markedly down at 21DPI and the number of genes in each of these groups that were down regulated doubled between 21 and 90DPI. Notable genes included FAK, ITGA6, PDGF, TGFβ3, Ezrin, FZD6, WNT10A, and TCF7L2. In addition, at 90DPI genes regulating ECM-receptor interactions (laminins and ITGB1), epithelial cell gene expression (PDX1, KLF6), polarity/tight junction formation (PARD3B&6B) and histone demethylase (JMJD3) were also down regulated. In contrast, expression of NOTCH3, notch target genes (HES4, HES7) and EZH2 (histone methyltransferase) were significantly increased at 90DPI. The altered expression of genes linked to Wnt signaling together with decreased expression of PDX1, PARD3B, PARD6B and SDK1 suggests marked perturbations in intestinal epithelial function and homeostasis leading to breakdown of the mucosal barrier. More importantly, the divergent expression patterns of EZH2 and JMJD3 suggests that an epigenetic mechanism involving histone modifications may contribute to the massive decrease in gene expression at 90DPI leading to defects in enterocyte maturation and differentiation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0060122PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3621888PMC
October 2013

Gluten-sensitive enteropathy coincides with decreased capability of intestinal T cells to secrete IL-17 and IL-22 in a macaque model for celiac disease.

Clin Immunol 2013 Apr 28;147(1):40-49. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Division of Microbiology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, LA, USA. Electronic address:

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder caused by intolerance to dietary gluten. The interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-22 function as innate regulators of mucosal integrity. Impaired but not well-understood kinetics of the IL-17/22 secretion was described in celiac patients. Here, the IL-17 and IL-22-producing intestinal cells were studied upon their in vitro stimulation with mitogens in class II major histocompatibility complex-defined, gluten-sensitive rhesus macaques. Pediatric biopsies were collected from distal duodenum during the stages of disease remission and relapse. Regardless of dietary gluten content, IL-17 and IL-22-producing cells consisted of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes as well as of lineage-negative (Lin-) cells. Upon introduction of dietary gluten, capability of intestinal T cells to secrete IL-17/22 started to decline (p<0.05), which was paralleled with gradual disruption of epithelial integrity. These data indicate that IL-17/22-producing cells play an important role in maintenance of intestinal mucosa in gluten-sensitive primates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2013.02.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3732447PMC
April 2013

Loss of a tyrosine-dependent trafficking motif in the simian immunodeficiency virus envelope cytoplasmic tail spares mucosal CD4 cells but does not prevent disease progression.

J Virol 2013 Feb 14;87(3):1528-43. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, Louisiana, USA.

A hallmark of pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections is the rapid and near-complete depletion of mucosal CD4(+) T lymphocytes from the gastrointestinal tract. Loss of these cells and disruption of epithelial barrier function are associated with microbial translocation, which has been proposed to drive chronic systemic immune activation and disease progression. Here, we evaluate in rhesus macaques a novel attenuated variant of pathogenic SIVmac239, termed ΔGY, which contains a deletion of a Tyr and a proximal Gly from a highly conserved YxxØ trafficking motif in the envelope cytoplasmic tail. Compared to SIVmac239, ΔGY established a comparable acute peak of viremia but only transiently infected lamina propria and caused little or no acute depletion of mucosal CD4(+) T cells and no detectable microbial translocation. Nonetheless, these animals developed T-cell activation and declining peripheral blood CD4(+) T cells and ultimately progressed with clinical or pathological features of AIDS. ΔGY-infected animals also showed no infection of macrophages or central nervous system tissues even in late-stage disease. Although the ΔGY mutation persisted, novel mutations evolved, including the formation of new YxxØ motifs in two of four animals. These findings indicate that disruption of this trafficking motif by the ΔGY mutation leads to a striking alteration in anatomic distribution of virus with sparing of lamina propria and a lack of microbial translocation. Because these animals exhibited wild-type levels of acute viremia and immune activation, our findings indicate that these pathological events are dissociable and that immune activation unrelated to gut damage can be sufficient for the development of AIDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01928-12DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3554169PMC
February 2013

Focused examination of the intestinal lamina propria yields greater molecular insight into mechanisms underlying SIV induced immune dysfunction.

PLoS One 2012 12;7(4):e34561. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Division of Comparative Pathology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, Louisiana, United States of America.

Background: The Gastrointestinal (GI) tract is critical to AIDS pathogenesis as it is the primary site for viral transmission and a major site of viral replication and CD4(+) T cell destruction. Consequently GI disease, a major complication of HIV/SIV infection can facilitate translocation of lumenal bacterial products causing localized/systemic immune activation leading to AIDS progression.

Methodology/principal Findings: To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying GI disease we analyzed global gene expression profiles sequentially in the intestine of the same animals prior to and at 21 and 90d post SIV infection (PI). More importantly we maximized information gathering by examining distinct mucosal components (intraepithelial lymphocytes, lamina propria leukocytes [LPL], epithelium and fibrovascular stroma) separately. The use of sequential intestinal resections combined with focused examination of distinct mucosal compartments represents novel approaches not previously attempted. Here we report data pertaining to the LPL. A significant increase (±1.7-fold) in immune defense/inflammation, cell adhesion/migration, cell signaling, transcription and cell division/differentiation genes were observed at 21 and 90d PI. Genes associated with the JAK-STAT pathway (IL21, IL12R, STAT5A, IL10, SOCS1) and T-cell activation (NFATc1, CDK6, Gelsolin, Moesin) were notably upregulated at 21d PI. Markedly downregulated genes at 21d PI included IL17D/IL27 and IL28B/IFNγ3 (anti-HIV/viral), activation induced cytidine deaminase (B-cell function) and approximately 57 genes regulating oxidative phosphorylation, a critical metabolic shift associated with T-cell activation. The 90d transcriptome revealed further augmentation of inflammation (CXCL11, chitinase-1, JNK3), immune activation (CD38, semaphorin7A, CD109), B-cell dysfunction (CD70), intestinal microbial translocation (Lipopolysaccharide binding protein) and mitochondrial antiviral signaling (NLRX1) genes. Reduced expression of CD28, CD4, CD86, CD93, NFATc1 (T-cells), TLR8, IL8, CCL18, DECTIN1 (macrophages), HLA-DOA and GPR183 (B-cells) at 90d PI suggests further deterioration of overall immune function.

Conclusions/significance: The reported transcriptional signatures provide significant new details on the molecular pathology of HIV/SIV induced GI disease and provide new opportunity for future investigation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0034561PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325268PMC
December 2012

SIV antigen immunization induces transient antigen-specific T cell responses and selectively activates viral replication in draining lymph nodes in retroviral suppressed rhesus macaques.

Retrovirology 2011 Jul 13;8:57. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Background: HIV infection causes a qualitative and quantitative loss of CD4+ T cell immunity. The institution of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) restores CD4+ T cell responses to many pathogens, but HIV-specific responses remain deficient. Similarly, therapeutic immunization with HIV antigens of chronically infected, ART treated subjects results in poor induction of HIV-specific CD4 responses. In this study, we used a macaque model of ART treatment during chronic infection to study the virologic consequences of SIV antigen stimulation in lymph nodes early after immunization. Rhesus CMV (RhCMV) seropositive, Mamu A*01 positive rhesus macaques were chronically infected with SIVmac251 and treated with ART. The immune and viral responses to SIV gag and RhCMV pp65 antigen immunization in draining lymph nodes and peripheral blood were analyzed. Animals were immunized on contralateral sides with SIV gag and RhCMV pp65 encoding plasmids, which allowed lymph nodes draining each antigen to be obtained at the same time from the same animal for direct comparison.

Results: We observed that both SIV and RhCMV immunizations stimulated transient antigen-specific T cell responses in draining lymph nodes. The RhCMV-specific responses were potent and sustained (50 days post-immunization) in the periphery, while the SIV-specific responses were transient and extinguished quickly. The SIV antigen stimulation selectively induced transient SIV replication in draining lymph nodes.

Conclusions: The data are consistent with a model whereby viral replication in response to SIV antigen stimulation limits the generation of SIV antigen-specific responses and suggests a potential mechanism for the early loss and poor HIV-specific CD4+ T cell response observed in HIV-infected individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1742-4690-8-57DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3148979PMC
July 2011

Improved xenobiotic metabolism and reduced susceptibility to cancer in gluten-sensitive macaques upon introduction of a gluten-free diet.

PLoS One 2011 Apr 12;6(4):e18648. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

Division of Microbiology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, Louisiana, United States of America.

Background: A non-human primate (NHP) model of gluten sensitivity was employed to study the gene perturbations associated with dietary gluten changes in small intestinal tissues from gluten-sensitive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta).

Methodology: Stages of remission and relapse were accomplished in gluten-sensitive animals by administration of gluten-free (GFD) and gluten-containing (GD) diets, as described previously. Pin-head-sized biopsies, obtained non-invasively by pediatric endoscope from duodenum while on GFD or GD, were used for preparation of total RNA and gene profiling, using the commercial Rhesus Macaque Microarray (Agilent Technologies),targeting expression of over 20,000 genes.

Principal Findings: When compared with normal healthy control, gluten-sensitive macaques showed differential gene expressions induced by GD. While observed gene perturbations were classified into one of 12 overlapping categories--cancer, metabolism, digestive tract function, immune response, cell growth, signal transduction, autoimmunity, detoxification of xenobiotics, apoptosis, actin-collagen deposition, neuronal and unknown function--this study focused on cancer-related gene networks such as cytochrome P450 family (detoxification function) and actin-collagen-matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) genes.

Conclusions/significance: A loss of detoxification function paralleled with necessity to metabolize carcinogens was revealed in gluten-sensitive animals while on GD. An increase in cancer-promoting factors and a simultaneous decrease in cancer-preventing factors associated with altered expression of actin-collagen-MMP gene network were noted. In addition, gluten-sensitive macaques showed reduced number of differentially expressed genes including the cancer-associated ones upon withdrawal of dietary gluten. Taken together, these findings indicate potentially expanded utility of gluten-sensitive rhesus macaques in cancer research.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0018648PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3075256PMC
April 2011

Engineering HIV-resistant human CD4+ T cells with CXCR4-specific zinc-finger nucleases.

PLoS Pathog 2011 Apr 14;7(4):e1002020. Epub 2011 Apr 14.

Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

HIV-1 entry requires the cell surface expression of CD4 and either the CCR5 or CXCR4 coreceptors on host cells. Individuals homozygous for the ccr5Δ32 polymorphism do not express CCR5 and are protected from infection by CCR5-tropic (R5) virus strains. As an approach to inactivating CCR5, we introduced CCR5-specific zinc-finger nucleases into human CD4+ T cells prior to adoptive transfer, but the need to protect cells from virus strains that use CXCR4 (X4) in place of or in addition to CCR5 (R5X4) remains. Here we describe engineering a pair of zinc finger nucleases that, when introduced into human T cells, efficiently disrupt cxcr4 by cleavage and error-prone non-homologous DNA end-joining. The resulting cells proliferated normally and were resistant to infection by X4-tropic HIV-1 strains. CXCR4 could also be inactivated in ccr5Δ32 CD4+ T cells, and we show that such cells were resistant to all strains of HIV-1 tested. Loss of CXCR4 also provided protection from X4 HIV-1 in a humanized mouse model, though this protection was lost over time due to the emergence of R5-tropic viral mutants. These data suggest that CXCR4-specific ZFNs may prove useful in establishing resistance to CXCR4-tropic HIV for autologous transplant in HIV-infected individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1002020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3077364PMC
April 2011

Neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1-R) expression in the brains of SIV-infected rhesus macaques: implications for substance P in NK1-R immune cell trafficking into the CNS.

Am J Pathol 2010 Sep 29;177(3):1286-97. Epub 2010 Jul 29.

Tulane National Primate Research Center, Division of Comparative Pathology, Covington, LA 70433, USA.

Recent studies suggest a link between neuropsychiatric disorders and HIV/SIV infection. Most evidence indicates that monocytes/macrophages are the primary cell type infected within the CNS and that they contribute to CNS inflammation and neurological disease. Substance P (SP), a pleotropic neuropeptide implicated in inflammation, depression, and immune modulation via interaction with its cognate receptor, the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1-R), is produced by monocyte/macrophages. While the presence of NK1-R on neurons is well known, its role on cells of the immune system such as monocyte/macrophages is just beginning to emerge. Therefore, we have examined the expression of SP and NK1-R and their relationship to SIV/HIV encephalitis (SIVE/HIVE) lesions and SIV-infected cells. These studies demonstrated intense expression of SP and NK1-R in SIVE lesions, with macrophages being the principal cell expressing NK1-R. Interestingly, all of the SIV-infected macrophages expressed NK1-R. Additionally, we examined the functional role of SP as a proinflammatory mediator of monocyte activation and chemotaxis. These studies demonstrated that treatment of monocytes with SP elicited changes in cell-surface expression for CCR5 and NK1-R in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, pretreatment with SP enhanced both SP- and CCL5-mediated chemotaxis. All of these findings suggest that SP and NK1-R are important in SIV infection of macrophages and the development of SIVE lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2353/ajpath.2010.091109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928962PMC
September 2010

Rabies virus-based vaccines elicit neutralizing antibodies, poly-functional CD8+ T cell, and protect rhesus macaques from AIDS-like disease after SIV(mac251) challenge.

Vaccine 2009 Dec 29;28(2):299-308. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

Jefferson Vaccine Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Highly attenuated rabies virus (RV) vaccine vectors were evaluated for their ability to protect against highly pathogenic SIV(mac251) challenge. Mamu-A*01 negative rhesus macaques were immunized in groups of four with either: RV expressing SIV(mac239)-GagPol, a combination of RV expressing SIV(mac239)-Env and RV expressing SIV(mac239)-GagPol, or with empty RV vectors. Eight weeks later animals received a booster immunization with a heterologous RV expressing the same antigens. At 12 weeks post-boost, all animals were challenged intravenously with 100 TCID(50) of pathogenic SIV(mac251-CX). Immunized macaques in both vaccine groups had 1.3-1.6-log-fold decrease in viral set point compared to control animals. The GagPol/Env immunized animals also had a significantly lower peak viral load. When compared to control animals following challenge, vaccinated macaques had a more rapid induction of SIV(mac251) neutralizing antibodies and of CD8(+) T cell responses to various SIV epitopes. Moreover, vaccinated macaques better maintained peripheral memory CD4(+) T cells and were able to mount a poly-functional CD8(+) T cell response in the mucosa. These findings indicate promise for RV-based vectors and have important implications for the development of an efficacious HIV vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.10.051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2826816PMC
December 2009
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