Publications by authors named "Stella J Berendam"

10 Publications

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Harnessing early life immunity to develop a pediatric HIV vaccine that can protect through adolescence.

PLoS Pathog 2020 11 12;16(11):e1008983. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, United States of America.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008983DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7660516PMC
November 2020

Systematic Assessment of Antiviral Potency, Breadth, and Synergy of Triple Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Combinations against Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Viruses.

J Virol 2021 01 13;95(3). Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Daily burden and clinical toxicities associated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) emphasize the need for alternative strategies to induce long-term human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remission upon ART cessation. Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) can both neutralize free virions and mediate effector functions against infected cells and therefore represent a leading immunotherapeutic approach. To increase potency and breadth, as well as to limit the development of resistant virus strains, it is likely that bNAbs will need to be administered in combination. It is therefore critical to identify bNAb combinations that can achieve robust polyfunctional antiviral activity against a high number of HIV strains. In this study, we systematically assessed the abilities of single bNAbs and triple bNAb combinations to mediate robust polyfunctional antiviral activity against a large panel of cross-clade simian-human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIVs), which are commonly used as tools for validation of therapeutic strategies targeting the HIV envelope in nonhuman primate models. We demonstrate that most bNAbs are capable of mediating both neutralizing and nonneutralizing effector functions against cross-clade SHIVs, although the susceptibility to V3 glycan-specific bNAbs is highly strain dependent. Moreover, we observe a strong correlation between the neutralization potencies and nonneutralizing effector functions of bNAbs against the transmitted/founder SHIV CH505. Finally, we identify several triple bNAb combinations comprising of CD4 binding site-, V2-glycan-, and gp120-gp41 interface-targeting bNAbs that are capable of mediating synergistic polyfunctional antiviral activities against multiple clade A, B, C, and D SHIVs. Optimal bNAb immunotherapeutics will need to mediate multiple antiviral functions against a broad range of HIV strains. Our systematic assessment of triple bNAb combinations against SHIVs will identify bNAbs with synergistic, polyfunctional antiviral activity that will inform the selection of candidate bNAbs for optimal combination designs. The identified combinations can be validated in future passive immunization studies using the SHIV challenge model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01667-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7925105PMC
January 2021

Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus SHIV.C.CH505 Persistence in ART-Suppressed Infant Macaques Is Characterized by Elevated SHIV RNA in the Gut and a High Abundance of Intact SHIV DNA in Naive CD4 T Cells.

J Virol 2020 12 22;95(2). Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) continues to cause new pediatric cases of infection through breastfeeding, a setting where it is not always possible to initiate early antiretroviral therapy (ART). Without novel interventions that do not rely on daily ART, HIV-1-infected children face lifelong medications to control infection. A detailed analysis of virus persistence following breast milk transmission of HIV-1 and ART has not been performed. Here, we used infant rhesus macaques orally infected with simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) (SHIV.C.CH505) to identify cellular and anatomical sites of virus persistence under ART. Viral DNA was detected at similar levels in blood and tissue CD4 T cells after a year on ART, with virus in blood and lymphoid organs confirmed to be replication competent. Viral RNA/DNA ratios were elevated in rectal CD4 T cells compared to those of other sites (0.0001), suggesting that the gastrointestinal tract is an active site of virus transcription during ART-mediated suppression of viremia. SHIV.C.CH505 DNA was detected in multiple CD4 T cell subsets, including cells with a naive phenotype (CD45RA CCR7 CD95). While the frequency of naive cells harboring intact provirus was lower than in memory cells, the high abundance of naive cells in the infant CD4 T cell pool made them a substantial source of persistent viral DNA (approximately 50% of the total CD4 T cell reservoir), with an estimated 1:2 ratio of intact provirus to total viral DNA. This viral reservoir profile broadens our understanding of virus persistence in a relevant infant macaque model and provides insight into targets for cure-directed approaches in the pediatric population. Uncovering the sanctuaries of the long-lived HIV-1 reservoir is crucial to develop cure strategies. Pediatric immunity is distinct from that of adults, which may alter where the reservoir is established in infancy. Thus, it is important to utilize pediatric models to inform cure-directed approaches for HIV-1-infected children. We used an infant rhesus macaque model of HIV-1 infection via breastfeeding to identify key sites of viral persistence under antiretroviral therapy (ART). The gastrointestinal tract was found to be a site for low-level viral transcription during ART. We also show that naive CD4 T cells harbored intact provirus and were a major contributor to blood and lymphoid reservoir size. This is particularly striking, as memory CD4 T cells are generally regarded as the main source of latent HIV/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of adult humans and rhesus macaques. Our findings highlight unique features of reservoir composition in pediatric infection that should be considered for eradication efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01669-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944446PMC
December 2020

Pediatric HIV: the Potential of Immune Therapeutics to Achieve Viral Remission and Functional Cure.

Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 2020 06;17(3):237-248

Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, 2 Genome Court MSRBII, Durham, NC, 27710, USA.

Purpose Of Review: In the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART), more than 50% of perinatally HIV-infected children die by 2 years of age. Early ART from infancy is therefore a global recommendation and significantly improves immune health, child survival, and disease outcome. However, even early treatment does not prevent or eradicate the latent reservoir necessitating life-long ART. Adherence to life-long ART is challenging for children and longstanding ART during chronic HIV infection led to higher risks of non-AIDS co-morbidities and virologic failure in infected children. Thus, HIV-infected children are an important population for consideration for immune-based interventions to achieve ART-free remission and functional cure. This review summarizes how the uniqueness of the early life immune system can be harnessed for the development of ART-free remission and functional cure, which means complete virus control in absence of ART. In addition, recent advances in therapeutics in the HIV cure field and their potential for the treatment of pediatric HIV infections are discussed.

Recent Findings: Preclinical studies and clinical trials demonstrated that immune-based interventions target HIV replication, limit size of virus reservoir, maintain virus suppression, and delay time to virus rebound. However, these studies have been performed so far only in carefully selected HIV-infected adults, highlighting the need to evaluate the efficacy of immune-based therapeutics in HIV-infected children and to design interventions tailored to the early life maturing immune system. Immune-based therapeutics alone or in combination with ART should be actively explored as potential strategies to achieve viral remission and functional cure in HIV-infected pediatric populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11904-020-00495-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7296986PMC
June 2020

The Antigen Processing and Presentation Machinery in Lymphatic Endothelial Cells.

Front Immunol 2019 7;10:1033. Epub 2019 May 7.

Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology, Carter Immunology Center, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, United States.

Until a few years ago, lymphatic vessels and lymphatic endothelial cells (LEC) were viewed as part of a passive conduit for lymph and immune cells to reach lymph nodes (LN). However, recent work has shown that LEC are active immunological players whose interaction with dendritic cells and T cells is of important immunomodulatory relevance. While the immunological interaction between LEC and other immune cells has taken a center stage, molecular analysis of LEC antigen processing and presentation machinery is still lagging. Herein we review the current knowledge of LEC MHC I and MHC II antigen processing and presentation pathways, Including the role of LEC in antigen phagocytosis, classical, and non-classical MHC II presentation, proteasome processing and MHC I presentation, and cross-presentation. The ultimate goal is to provide an overview of the LEC antigen processing and presentation machinery that constitutes the molecular basis for their role in MHC I and MHC II-restricted immune responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513971PMC
June 2020

Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis Identifies a Range of Immunologically Related Functional Elaborations of Lymph Node Associated Lymphatic and Blood Endothelial Cells.

Front Immunol 2019 16;10:816. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, Carter Immunology Center, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, United States.

Lymphatic and blood vessels are formed by specialized lymphatic endothelial cells (LEC) and blood endothelial cells (BEC), respectively. These endothelial populations not only form peripheral tissue vessels, but also critical supporting structures in secondary lymphoid organs, particularly the lymph node (LN). Lymph node LEC (LN-LEC) also have been shown to have important immunological functions that are not observed in LEC from tissue lymphatics. LN-LEC can maintain peripheral tolerance through direct presentation of self-antigen via MHC-I, leading to CD8 T cell deletion; and through transfer of self-antigen to dendritic cells for presentation via MHC-II, resulting in CD4 T cell anergy. LN-LEC also can capture and archive foreign antigens, transferring them to dendritic cells for maintenance of memory CD8 T cells. The molecular basis for these functional elaborations in LN-LEC remain largely unexplored, and it is also unclear whether blood endothelial cells in LN (LN-BEC) might express similar enhanced immunologic functionality. Here, we used RNA-Seq to compare the transcriptomic profiles of freshly isolated murine LEC and BEC from LN with one another and with freshly isolated LEC from the periphery (diaphragm). We show that LN-LEC, LN-BEC, and diaphragm LEC (D-LEC) are transcriptionally distinct from one another, demonstrating both lineage and tissue-specific functional specializations. Surprisingly, tissue microenvironment differences in gene expression profiles were more numerous than those determined by endothelial cell lineage specification. In this regard, both LN-localized endothelial cell populations show a variety of functional elaborations that suggest how they may function as antigen presenting cells, and also point to as yet unexplored roles in both positive and negative regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. The present work has defined in depth gene expression differences that point to functional specializations of endothelial cell populations in different anatomical locations, but especially the LN. Beyond the analyses provided here, these data are a resource for future work to uncover mechanisms of endothelial cell functionality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00816DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6478037PMC
September 2020

Isolation, characterization, and functional analysis of ferret lymphatic endothelial cells.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2015 Feb 3;163(3-4):134-45. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. Electronic address:

The lymphatic endothelium (LE) serves as a conduit for transport of immune cells and soluble antigens from peripheral tissues to draining lymph nodes (LNs), contributing to development of host immune responses and possibly dissemination of microbes. Lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) are major constituents of the lymphatic endothelium. These specialized cells could play important roles in initiation of host innate immune responses through sensing of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), including toll-like receptors (TLRs). LECs secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines to create local inflammatory conditions for recruitment of naïve antigen presenting cells (APCs) such as dendritic cells (DCs) to sites of infection and/or vaccine administration. In this study, we examined the innate immune potential of primary LEC populations derived from multiple tissues of an animal model for human infectious diseases - the ferret. We generated a total of six primary LEC populations from lung, tracheal, and mesenteric LN tissues from three different ferrets. Standard RT-PCR characterization of these primary LECs showed that they varied in their expression of LEC markers. The ferret LECs were examined for their ability to respond to poly I:C (TLR3 and RIG-I ligand) and other known TLR ligands as measured by production of proinflammatory cytokine (IFNα, IL6, IL10, Mx1, and TNFα) and chemokine (CCL5, CCL20, and CXCL10) mRNAs using real time RT-PCR. Poly I:C exposure induced robust proinflammatory responses by all of the primary ferret LECs. Chemotaxis was performed to determine the functional activity of CCL20 produced by the primary lung LECs and showed that the LEC-derived CCL20 was abundant and functional. Taken together, our results continue to reveal the innate immune potential of primary LECs during pathogen-host interactions and expand our understanding of the roles LECs might play in health and disease in animal models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2014.11.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4323863PMC
February 2015

Human herpesvirus 8 induces polyfunctional B lymphocytes that drive Kaposi's sarcoma.

mBio 2014 Sep 2;5(5):e01277-14. Epub 2014 Sep 2.

Unlabelled: Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is an unusual neoplasia wherein the tumor consists primarily of endothelial cells infected with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8; Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus) that are not fully transformed but are instead driven to excess proliferation by inflammatory and angiogenic factors. This oncogenic process has been postulated but unproven to depend on a paracrine effect of an abnormal excess of host cytokines and chemokines produced by HHV-8-infected B lymphocytes. Using newly developed measures for intracellular detection of lytic cycle proteins and expression of cytokines and chemokines, we show that HHV-8 targets a range of naive B cell, IgM memory B cell, and plasma cell-like populations for infection and induction of interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha, macrophage inhibitory protein 1α, macrophage inhibitory protein 1β, and interleukin-8 in vitro and in the blood of HHV-8/HIV-1-coinfected subjects with KS. These B cell lineage subsets that support HHV-8 infection are highly polyfunctional, producing combinations of 2 to 5 of these cytokines and chemokines, with greater numbers in the blood of subjects with KS than in those without KS. Our study provides a new paradigm of B cell polyfunctionality and supports a key role for B cell-derived cytokines and chemokines produced during HHV-8 infection in the development of KS.

Importance: Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is the most common cancer in HIV-1-infected persons and is caused by one of only 7 human cancer viruses, i.e., human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8). It is unclear how this virus causes neoplastic transformation. Development and outgrowth of endothelial cell lesions characteristic of KS are hypothesized to be dependent on virus replication and multiple immune mediators produced by the KS cells and inflammatory cells, yet the roles of these viral and cell factors have not been defined. The present study advances our understanding of KS in that it supports a central role for HHV-8 infection of B cells inducing multiple cytokines and chemokines that can drive development of the cancer. Notably, HIV-1-infected individuals who developed KS had greater numbers of such HHV-8-infected, polyfunctional B cells across a range of B cell phenotypic lineages than did HHV-8-infected persons without KS. This intriguing production of polyfunctional immune mediators by B cells serves as a new paradigm for B cell function and classification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01277-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4173773PMC
September 2014

Alterations in cholesterol metabolism restrict HIV-1 trans infection in nonprogressors.

mBio 2014 Apr 29;5(3):e01031-13. Epub 2014 Apr 29.

ABSTRACT HIV-1-infected nonprogressors (NP) inhibit disease progression for years without antiretroviral therapy. Defining the mechanisms for this resistance to disease progression could be important in determining strategies for controlling HIV-1 infection. Here we show that two types of professional antigen-presenting cells (APC), i.e., dendritic cells (DC) and B lymphocytes, from NP lacked the ability to mediate HIV-1 trans infection of CD4(+) T cells. In contrast, APC from HIV-1-infected progressors (PR) and HIV-1-seronegative donors (SN) were highly effective in mediating HIV-1 trans infection. Direct cis infection of T cells with HIV-1 was comparably efficient among NP, PR, and SN. Lack of HIV-1 trans infection in NP was linked to lower cholesterol levels and an increase in the levels of the reverse cholesterol transporter ABCA1 (ATP-binding cassette transporter A1) in APC but not in T cells. Moreover, trans infection mediated by APC from NP could be restored by reconstitution of cholesterol and by inhibiting ABCA1 by mRNA interference. Importantly, this appears to be an inherited trait, as it was evident in APC obtained from NP prior to their primary HIV-1 infection. The present study demonstrates a new mechanism wherein enhanced lipid metabolism in APC results in remarkable control of HIV-1 trans infection that directly relates to lack of HIV-1 disease progression. IMPORTANCE HIV-1 can be captured by antigen-presenting cells (APC) such as dendritic cells and transferred to CD4 helper T cells, which results in greatly enhanced viral replication by a mechanism termed trans infection. A small percentage of HIV-1-infected persons are able to control disease progression for many years without antiretroviral therapy. In our study, we linked this lack of disease progression to a profound inability of APC from these individuals to trans infect T cells. This effect was due to altered lipid metabolism in their APC, which appears to be an inherited trait. These results provide a basis for therapeutic interventions to control of HIV-1 infection through modulation of cholesterol metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01031-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4010827PMC
April 2014

Macaque paneth cells express lymphoid chemokine CXCL13 and other antimicrobial peptides not previously described as expressed in intestinal crypts.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2013 Aug 26;20(8):1320-8. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

CXCL13 is a constitutively expressed chemokine that controls migration of immune cells to lymphoid follicles. Previously, we found CXCL13 mRNA levels increased in rhesus macaque spleen tissues during AIDS. This led us to examine the levels and locations of CXCL13 by detailed in situ methods in cynomolgus macaque lymphoid and intestinal tissues. Our results revealed that there were distinct localization patterns of CXCL13 mRNA compared to protein in germinal centers. These patterns shifted during the course of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection, with increased mRNA expression within and around follicles during AIDS compared to uninfected or acutely infected animals. Unexpectedly, CXCL13 expression was also found in abundance in Paneth cells in crypts throughout the small intestine. Therefore, we expanded our analyses to include chemokines and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) not previously demonstrated to be expressed by Paneth cells in intestinal tissues. We examined the expression patterns of multiple chemokines, including CCL25, as well as α-defensin 6 (DEFA6), β-defensin 2 (BDEF2), rhesus θ-defensin 1 (RTD-1), and Reg3γ in situ in intestinal tissues. Of the 10 chemokines examined, CXCL13 was unique in its expression by Paneth cells. BDEF2, RTD-1, and Reg3γ were also expressed by Paneth cells. BDEF2 and RTD-1 previously have not been shown to be expressed by Paneth cells. These findings expand our understanding of mucosal immunology, innate antimicrobial defenses, homeostatic chemokine function, and host protective mechanisms against microbial translocation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00651-12DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3754526PMC
August 2013