Publications by authors named "Steven E Bosinger"

85 Publications

Luminal microvesicles uniquely influence translocating bacteria after SIV infection.

Mucosal Immunol 2021 Mar 17. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Barrier Immunity Section, Laboratory of Viral Diseases, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA.

Microbial translocation contributes to persistent inflammation in both treated and untreated HIV infection. Although translocation is due in part to a disintegration of the intestinal epithelial barrier, there is a bias towards the translocation of Proteobacteria. We hypothesized that intestinal epithelial microvesicle cargo differs after HIV infection and contributes to biased translocation. We isolated gastrointestinal luminal microvesicles before and after progressive simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection in rhesus macaques and measured miRNA and antimicrobial peptide content. We demonstrate that these microvesicles display decreased miR-28-5p, -484, -584-3p, and -584-5p, and let-7b-3p, as well as increased beta-defensin 1 after SIV infection. We further observed dose-dependent growth sensitivity of commensal Lactobacillus salivarius upon co-culture with isolated microvesicles. Infection-associated microvesicle differences were not mirrored in non-progressively SIV-infected sooty mangabeys. Our findings describe novel alterations of antimicrobial control after progressive SIV infection that influence the growth of translocating bacterial taxa. These studies may lead to the development of novel therapeutics for treating chronic HIV infection, microbial translocation, and inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41385-021-00393-8DOI Listing
March 2021

A modified vaccinia Ankara vector-based vaccine protects macaques from SARS-CoV-2 infection, immune pathology, and dysfunction in the lungs.

Immunity 2021 03 4;54(3):542-556.e9. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Emory Vaccine Center, Division of Microbiology and Immunology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Electronic address:

A combination of vaccination approaches will likely be necessary to fully control the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Here, we show that modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vectors expressing membrane-anchored pre-fusion stabilized spike (MVA/S) but not secreted S1 induced strong neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 in mice. In macaques, the MVA/S vaccination induced strong neutralizing antibodies and CD8 T cell responses, and conferred protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection and virus replication in the lungs as early as day 2 following intranasal and intratracheal challenge. Single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of lung cells on day 4 after infection revealed that MVA/S vaccination also protected macaques from infection-induced inflammation and B cell abnormalities and lowered induction of interferon-stimulated genes. These results demonstrate that MVA/S vaccination induces neutralizing antibodies and CD8 T cells in the blood and lungs and is a potential vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2021.02.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859620PMC
March 2021

Clinical and whole genome characterization of SARS-CoV-2 in India.

PLoS One 2021 2;16(2):e0246173. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India.

We report clinical profile of hundred and nine patients with SARS CoV-2 infection, and whole genome sequences (WGS) of seven virus isolates from the first reported cases in India, with various international travel histories. Comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease were frequently associated with severity of the disease. WBC and neutrophil counts showed an increase, while lymphocyte counts decreased in patients with severe infection suggesting a possible neutrophil mediated organ damage, while immune activity may be diminished with decrease in lymphocytes leading to disease severity. Increase in SGOT, SGPT and blood urea suggests the functional deficiencies of liver, heart, and kidney in patients who succumbed to the disease when compared to the group of recovered patients. The WGS analysis showed that these isolates were classified into two clades: I/A3i, and A2a (four according to GISAID: O, L, GR, and GH). Further, WGS phylogeny and travel history together indicate possible transmission from Middle East and Europe. Three S protein variants: Wuhan reference, D614G, and Y28H were identified predicted to possess different binding affinities to host ACE2.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0246173PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7853523PMC
February 2021

Early T follicular helper cell activity accelerates hepatitis C virus-specific B cell expansion.

J Clin Invest 2021 Jan;131(2)

Division of Infectious diseases, Emory Vaccine Center, Division of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Early appearance of neutralizing antibodies during acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with spontaneous viral clearance. However, the longitudinal changes in antigen-specific memory B cell (MBCs) associated with divergent HCV infection outcomes remain undefined. We characterized longitudinal changes in E2 glycoprotein-specific MBCs from subjects who either spontaneously resolved acute HCV infection or progressed to chronic infection, using single-cell RNA-seq and functional assays. HCV-specific antibodies in plasma from chronically infected subjects recognized multiple E2 genotypes, while those from spontaneous resolvers exhibited variable cross-reactivity to heterotypic E2. E2-specific MBCs from spontaneous resolvers peaked early after infection (4-6 months), following expansion of activated circulating T follicular helper cells (cTfh) expressing interleukin 21. In contrast, E2-specific MBCs from chronically infected subjects, enriched in VH1-69, expanded during persistent infection (> 1 year), in the absence of significantly activated cTfh expansion. Early E2-specific MBCs from spontaneous resolvers produced monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with fewer somatic hypermutations and lower E2 binding but similar neutralization as mAbs from late E2-specific MBCs of chronically infected subjects. These findings indicate that early cTfh activity accelerates expansion of E2-specific MBCs during acute infection, which might contribute to spontaneous clearance of HCV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI140590DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7810471PMC
January 2021

Baricitinib treatment resolves lower-airway macrophage inflammation and neutrophil recruitment in SARS-CoV-2-infected rhesus macaques.

Cell 2021 01 10;184(2):460-475.e21. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Division of Microbiology and Immunology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Electronic address:

SARS-CoV-2-induced hypercytokinemia and inflammation are critically associated with COVID-19 severity. Baricitinib, a clinically approved JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor, is currently being investigated in COVID-19 clinical trials. Here, we investigated the immunologic and virologic efficacy of baricitinib in a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Viral shedding measured from nasal and throat swabs, bronchoalveolar lavages, and tissues was not reduced with baricitinib. Type I interferon (IFN) antiviral responses and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses remained similar between the two groups. Animals treated with baricitinib showed reduced inflammation, decreased lung infiltration of inflammatory cells, reduced NETosis activity, and more limited lung pathology. Importantly, baricitinib-treated animals had a rapid and remarkably potent suppression of lung macrophage production of cytokines and chemokines responsible for inflammation and neutrophil recruitment. These data support a beneficial role for, and elucidate the immunological mechanisms underlying, the use of baricitinib as a frontline treatment for inflammation induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.11.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7654323PMC
January 2021

Hormonal contraception alters vaginal microbiota and cytokines in South African adolescents in a randomized trial.

Nat Commun 2020 11 4;11(1):5578. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Pathology, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Young women in sub-Saharan Africa are disproportionally affected by HIV infection and unintended pregnancies. However, hormonal contraceptive (HC) use may influence HIV risk through changes in genital tract microbiota and inflammatory cytokines. To investigate this, 130 HIV negative adolescent females aged 15-19 years were enrolled into a substudy of UChoose, an open-label randomized crossover study (NCT02404038), comparing acceptability and contraceptive product preference as a proxy for HIV prevention delivery methods. Participants were randomized to injectable norethisterone enanthate (Net-En), combined oral contraceptives (COC) or etonorgesterol/ethinyl estradiol combined contraceptive vaginal ring (CCVR) for 16 weeks, then crossed over to another HC for 16 weeks. Cervicovaginal samples were collected at baseline, crossover and exit for characterization of the microbiota and measurement of cytokine levels; primary endpoints were cervical T cell activation, vaginal microbial diversity and cytokine concentrations. Adolescents randomized to COCs had lower vaginal microbial diversity and relative abundance of HIV risk-associated taxa compared to Net-En or CCVR. Cervicovaginal inflammatory cytokine concentrations were significantly higher in adolescents randomized to CCVR compared to COC and Net-En. This suggests that COC use may induce an optimal vaginal ecosystem by decreasing bacterial diversity and inflammatory taxa, while CCVR use is associated with genital inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19382-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643181PMC
November 2020

Vascular Disease and Thrombosis in SARS-CoV-2-Infected Rhesus Macaques.

Cell 2020 11 9;183(5):1354-1366.e13. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address:

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to extensive morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Clinical features that drive SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in humans include inflammation and thrombosis, but the mechanistic details underlying these processes remain to be determined. In this study, we demonstrate endothelial disruption and vascular thrombosis in histopathologic sections of lungs from both humans and rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2. To define key molecular pathways associated with SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in macaques, we performed transcriptomic analyses of bronchoalveolar lavage and peripheral blood and proteomic analyses of serum. We observed macrophage infiltrates in lung and upregulation of macrophage, complement, platelet activation, thrombosis, and proinflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein, MX1, IL-6, IL-1, IL-8, TNFα, and NF-κB. These results suggest a model in which critical interactions between inflammatory and thrombosis pathways lead to SARS-CoV-2-induced vascular disease. Our findings suggest potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.10.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7546181PMC
November 2020

Baricitinib treatment resolves lower airway inflammation and neutrophil recruitment in SARS-CoV-2-infected rhesus macaques.

bioRxiv 2020 Sep 16. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Division of Microbiology and Immunology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Effective therapeutics aimed at mitigating COVID-19 symptoms are urgently needed. SARS-CoV-2 induced hypercytokinemia and systemic inflammation are associated with disease severity. Baricitinib, a clinically approved JAK1/2 inhibitor with potent anti-inflammatory properties is currently being investigated in COVID-19 human clinical trials. Recent reports suggest that baricitinib may also have antiviral activity in limiting viral endocytosis. Here, we investigated the immunologic and virologic efficacy of baricitinib in a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Viral shedding measured from nasal and throat swabs, bronchoalveolar lavages and tissues was not reduced with baricitinib. Type I IFN antiviral responses and SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses remained similar between the two groups. Importantly, however, animals treated with baricitinib showed reduced immune activation, decreased infiltration of neutrophils into the lung, reduced NETosis activity, and more limited lung pathology. Moreover, baricitinib treated animals had a rapid and remarkably potent suppression of alveolar macrophage derived production of cytokines and chemokines responsible for inflammation and neutrophil recruitment. These data support a beneficial role for, and elucidate the immunological mechanisms underlying, the use of baricitinib as a frontline treatment for severe inflammation induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.16.300277DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7523106PMC
September 2020

Innate, non-cytolytic CD8+ T cell-mediated suppression of HIV replication by MHC-independent inhibition of virus transcription.

PLoS Pathog 2020 09 17;16(9):e1008821. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Division of Microbiology and Immunology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and Emory Vaccine Center Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

MHC-I-restricted, virus-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells (CTLs) may control human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replication via the recognition and killing of productively infected CD4+ T cells. Several studies in SIV-infected macaques suggest that CD8+ T cells may also decrease virus production by suppressing viral transcription. Here, we show that non-HIV-specific, TCR-activated non-cytolytic CD8+ T cells suppress HIV transcription via a virus- and MHC-independent immunoregulatory mechanism that modulates CD4+ T cell proliferation and activation. We also demonstrate that this CD8+ T cell-mediated effect promotes the survival of infected CD4+ T cells harboring integrated, inducible virus. Finally, we used RNA sequencing and secretome analyses to identify candidate cellular pathways that are involved in the virus-silencing mediated by these CD8+ T cells. This study characterizes a previously undescribed mechanism of immune-mediated HIV silencing that may be involved in the establishment and maintenance of the reservoir under antiretroviral therapy and therefore represent a major obstacle to HIV eradication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008821DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7523993PMC
September 2020

Alterations in the Human Plasma Lipidome in Response to Tularemia Vaccination.

Vaccines (Basel) 2020 Jul 24;8(3). Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Department of Biochemistry, Emory School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Tularemia is a highly infectious and contagious disease caused by the bacterium . To better understand human response to a live-attenuated tularemia vaccine and the biological pathways altered post-vaccination, healthy adults were vaccinated, and plasma was collected pre- and post-vaccination for longitudinal lipidomics studies. Using tandem mass spectrometry, we fully characterized individual lipid species within predominant lipid classes to identify changes in the plasma lipidome during the vaccine response. Separately, we targeted oxylipins, a subset of lipid mediators involved in inflammatory pathways. We identified 14 differentially abundant lipid species from eight lipid classes. These included 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) which is indicative of lipoxygenase activity and, subsequently, inflammation. Results suggest that 5-HETE was metabolized to a dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid (DHET) by day 7 post-vaccination, shedding light on the kinetics of the 5-HETE-mediated inflammatory response. In addition to 5-HETE and DHET, we observed pronounced changes in 34:1 phosphatidylinositol, anandamide, oleamide, ceramides, 16:1 cholesteryl ester, and other glycerophospholipids; several of these changes in abundance were correlated with serum cytokines and T cell activation. These data provide new insights into alterations in plasma lipidome post-tularemia vaccination, potentially identifying key mediators and pathways involved in vaccine response and efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8030414DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7564507PMC
July 2020

Transcriptomic and Metabolic Responses to a Live-Attenuated Vaccine.

Vaccines (Basel) 2020 Jul 24;8(3). Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

The immune response to live-attenuated vaccine and its host evasion mechanisms are incompletely understood. Using RNA-Seq and LC-MS on samples collected pre-vaccination and at days 1, 2, 7, and 14 post-vaccination, we identified differentially expressed genes in PBMCs, metabolites in serum, enriched pathways, and metabolites that correlated with T cell and B cell responses, or gene expression modules. While an early activation of interferon α/β signaling was observed, several innate immune signaling pathways including TLR, TNF, NF-κB, and NOD-like receptor signaling and key inflammatory cytokines such as Il-1α, Il-1β, and TNF typically activated following infection were suppressed. The NF-κB pathway was the most impacted and the likely route of attack. Plasma cells, immunoglobulin, and B cell signatures were evident by day 7. MHC I antigen presentation was more actively up-regulated first followed by MHC II which coincided with the emergence of humoral immune signatures. Metabolomics analysis showed that glycolysis and TCA cycle-related metabolites were perturbed including a decline in pyruvate. Correlation networks that provide hypotheses on the interplay between changes in innate immune, T cell, and B cell gene expression signatures and metabolites are provided. Results demonstrate the utility of transcriptomics and metabolomics for better understanding molecular mechanisms of vaccine response and potential host-pathogen interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8030412DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7563297PMC
July 2020

Type I and Type III Interferons Restrict SARS-CoV-2 Infection of Human Airway Epithelial Cultures.

J Virol 2020 09 15;94(19). Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Center for Childhood Infections and Vaccines (CCIV), Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The newly emerged human coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused a pandemic of respiratory illness. Current evidence suggests that severe cases of SARS-CoV-2 are associated with a dysregulated immune response. However, little is known about how the innate immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we modeled SARS-CoV-2 infection using primary human airway epithelial (pHAE) cultures, which are maintained in an air-liquid interface. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infects and replicates in pHAE cultures and is directionally released on the apical, but not basolateral, surface. Transcriptional profiling studies found that infected pHAE cultures had a molecular signature dominated by proinflammatory cytokines and chemokine induction, including interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and CXCL8, and identified NF-κB and ATF-4 as key drivers of this proinflammatory cytokine response. Surprisingly, we observed a complete lack of a type I or III interferon (IFN) response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, pretreatment and posttreatment with type I and III IFNs significantly reduced virus replication in pHAE cultures that correlated with upregulation of antiviral effector genes. Combined, our findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 does not trigger an IFN response but is sensitive to the effects of type I and III IFNs. Our studies demonstrate the utility of pHAE cultures to model SARS-CoV-2 infection and that both type I and III IFNs can serve as therapeutic options to treat COVID-19 patients. The current pandemic of respiratory illness, COVID-19, is caused by a recently emerged coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. This virus infects airway and lung cells causing fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Severe cases of COVID-19 can result in lung damage, low blood oxygen levels, and even death. As there are currently no vaccines approved for use in humans, studies of the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection are urgently needed. Our research identifies an excellent system to model SARS-CoV-2 infection of the human airways that can be used to test various treatments. Analysis of infection in this model system found that human airway epithelial cell cultures induce a strong proinflammatory cytokine response yet block the production of type I and III IFNs to SARS-CoV-2. However, treatment of airway cultures with the immune molecules type I or type III interferon (IFN) was able to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, our model system identified type I or type III IFN as potential antiviral treatments for COVID-19 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00985-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7495371PMC
September 2020

Type I and Type III Interferons Restrict SARS-CoV-2 Infection of Human Airway Epithelial Cultures.

J Virol 2020 09 15;94(19). Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Center for Childhood Infections and Vaccines (CCIV), Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The newly emerged human coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused a pandemic of respiratory illness. Current evidence suggests that severe cases of SARS-CoV-2 are associated with a dysregulated immune response. However, little is known about how the innate immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we modeled SARS-CoV-2 infection using primary human airway epithelial (pHAE) cultures, which are maintained in an air-liquid interface. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infects and replicates in pHAE cultures and is directionally released on the apical, but not basolateral, surface. Transcriptional profiling studies found that infected pHAE cultures had a molecular signature dominated by proinflammatory cytokines and chemokine induction, including interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and CXCL8, and identified NF-κB and ATF-4 as key drivers of this proinflammatory cytokine response. Surprisingly, we observed a complete lack of a type I or III interferon (IFN) response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, pretreatment and posttreatment with type I and III IFNs significantly reduced virus replication in pHAE cultures that correlated with upregulation of antiviral effector genes. Combined, our findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 does not trigger an IFN response but is sensitive to the effects of type I and III IFNs. Our studies demonstrate the utility of pHAE cultures to model SARS-CoV-2 infection and that both type I and III IFNs can serve as therapeutic options to treat COVID-19 patients. The current pandemic of respiratory illness, COVID-19, is caused by a recently emerged coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. This virus infects airway and lung cells causing fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Severe cases of COVID-19 can result in lung damage, low blood oxygen levels, and even death. As there are currently no vaccines approved for use in humans, studies of the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection are urgently needed. Our research identifies an excellent system to model SARS-CoV-2 infection of the human airways that can be used to test various treatments. Analysis of infection in this model system found that human airway epithelial cell cultures induce a strong proinflammatory cytokine response yet block the production of type I and III IFNs to SARS-CoV-2. However, treatment of airway cultures with the immune molecules type I or type III interferon (IFN) was able to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, our model system identified type I or type III IFN as potential antiviral treatments for COVID-19 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00985-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7495371PMC
September 2020

Delineation and Modulation of the Natural Killer Cell Transcriptome in Rhesus Macaques During ZIKV and SIV Infections.

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2020 29;10:194. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States.

Natural killer (NK) cells are crucial regulators of antiviral and anti-tumor immune responses. Although in humans some NK cell transcriptional programs are relatively well-established, NK cell transcriptional networks in non-human primates (NHP) remain poorly delineated. Here we performed RNA-Seq experiments using purified NK cells from experimentally naïve rhesus macaques, providing the first transcriptional characterization of pure NK cells in any NHP species. This novel NK cell transcriptomic signature (NK RMtsig) overlaps with published human NK signatures, allowing us to identify new key signaling and transcription factor networks underlying NK cell function. Finally, we show that applying NK RMtsig to an unrelated rhesus macaque cohort infected with SIVmac251 or ZIKV can sensitively detect NK cell repertoire perturbations, thus confirming applicability of this approach. In sum, we propose this NHP NK cell signature will serve as a useful resource for future studies involving infection, disease or treatment modalities in NHP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2020.00194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7201019PMC
April 2020

Systemic HIV and SIV latency reversal via non-canonical NF-κB signalling in vivo.

Nature 2020 02 22;578(7793):160-165. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

International Center for the Advancement of Translational Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Long-lasting, latently infected resting CD4 T cells are the greatest obstacle to obtaining a cure for HIV infection, as these cells can persist despite decades of treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART). Estimates indicate that more than 70 years of continuous, fully suppressive ART are needed to eliminate the HIV reservoir. Alternatively, induction of HIV from its latent state could accelerate the decrease in the reservoir, thus reducing the time to eradication. Previous attempts to reactivate latent HIV in preclinical animal models and in clinical trials have measured HIV induction in the peripheral blood with minimal focus on tissue reservoirs and have had limited effect. Here we show that activation of the non-canonical NF-κB signalling pathway by AZD5582 results in the induction of HIV and SIV RNA expression in the blood and tissues of ART-suppressed bone-marrow-liver-thymus (BLT) humanized mice and rhesus macaques infected with HIV and SIV, respectively. Analysis of resting CD4 T cells from tissues after AZD5582 treatment revealed increased SIV RNA expression in the lymph nodes of macaques and robust induction of HIV in almost all tissues analysed in humanized mice, including the lymph nodes, thymus, bone marrow, liver and lung. This promising approach to latency reversal-in combination with appropriate tools for systemic clearance of persistent HIV infection-greatly increases opportunities for HIV eradication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-1951-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7111210PMC
February 2020

Robust and persistent reactivation of SIV and HIV by N-803 and depletion of CD8 cells.

Nature 2020 02 22;578(7793):154-159. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

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

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) persists indefinitely in individuals with HIV who receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) owing to a reservoir of latently infected cells that contain replication-competent virus. Here, to better understand the mechanisms responsible for latency persistence and reversal, we used the interleukin-15 superagonist N-803 in conjunction with the depletion of CD8 lymphocytes in ART-treated macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Although N-803 alone did not reactivate virus production, its administration after the depletion of CD8 lymphocytes in conjunction with ART treatment induced robust and persistent reactivation of the virus in vivo. We found viraemia of more than 60 copies per ml in all macaques (n = 14; 100%) and in 41 out of a total of 56 samples (73.2%) that were collected each week after N-803 administration. Notably, concordant results were obtained in ART-treated HIV-infected humanized mice. In addition, we observed that co-culture with CD8 T cells blocked the in vitro latency-reversing effect of N-803 on primary human CD4 T cells that were latently infected with HIV. These results advance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for latency reversal and lentivirus reactivation during ART-suppressed infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-1946-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7580846PMC
February 2020

Chromatin accessibility and transcription dynamics during in vitro astrocyte differentiation of Huntington's Disease Monkey pluripotent stem cells.

Epigenetics Chromatin 2019 11 13;12(1):67. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Division of Neuropharmacology and Neurologic Diseases, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.

Background: Huntington's Disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion, resulting in a mutant huntingtin protein. While it is now clear that astrocytes are affected by HD and significantly contribute to neuronal dysfunction and pathogenesis, the alterations in the transcriptional and epigenetic profiles in HD astrocytes have yet to be characterized. Here, we examine global transcription and chromatin accessibility dynamics during in vitro astrocyte differentiation in a transgenic non-human primate model of HD.

Results: We found global changes in accessibility and transcription across different stages of HD pluripotent stem cell differentiation, with distinct trends first observed in neural progenitor cells (NPCs), once cells have committed to a neural lineage. Transcription of p53 signaling and cell cycle pathway genes was highly impacted during differentiation, with depletion in HD NPCs and upregulation in HD astrocytes. E2F target genes also displayed this inverse expression pattern, and strong associations between E2F target gene expression and accessibility at nearby putative enhancers were observed.

Conclusions: The results suggest that chromatin accessibility and transcription are altered throughout in vitro HD astrocyte differentiation and provide evidence that E2F dysregulation contributes to aberrant cell-cycle re-entry and apoptosis throughout the progression from NPCs to astrocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13072-019-0313-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6852955PMC
November 2019

Rapid Germinal Center and Antibody Responses in Non-human Primates after a Single Nanoparticle Vaccine Immunization.

Cell Rep 2019 11;29(7):1756-1766.e8

Division of Vaccine Discovery, La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA 92103, USA. Electronic address:

The first immunization in a protein prime-boost vaccination is likely to be critical for how the immune response unfolds. Using fine needle aspirates (FNAs) of draining lymph nodes (LNs), we tracked the kinetics of the primary immune response in rhesus monkeys immunized intramuscularly (IM) or subcutaneously (s.c.) with an eOD-GT8 60-mer nanoparticle immunogen to facilitate clinical trial design. Significant numbers of germinal center B (B) cells and antigen-specific CD4 T cells were detectable in the draining LN as early as 7 days post-immunization and peaked near day 21. Strikingly, s.c. immunization results in 10-fold larger antigen-specific B cell responses compared to IM immunization. Lymphatic drainage studies revealed that s.c. immunization resulted in faster and more consistent axillary LN drainage than IM immunization. These data indicate robust antigen-specific germinal center responses can occur rapidly to a single immunization with a nanoparticle immunogen and vaccine drainage substantially impacts immune responses in local LNs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.10.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6905039PMC
November 2019

Macrophage-associated wound healing contributes to African green monkey SIV pathogenesis control.

Nat Commun 2019 11 8;10(1):5101. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Department of Immunology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Natural hosts of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) avoid AIDS despite lifelong infection. Here, we examined how this outcome is achieved by comparing a natural SIV host, African green monkey (AGM) to an AIDS susceptible species, rhesus macaque (RM). To asses gene expression profiles from acutely SIV infected AGMs and RMs, we developed a systems biology approach termed Conserved Gene Signature Analysis (CGSA), which compared RNA sequencing data from rectal AGM and RM tissues to various other species. We found that AGMs rapidly activate, and then maintain, evolutionarily conserved regenerative wound healing mechanisms in mucosal tissue. The wound healing protein fibronectin shows distinct tissue distribution and abundance kinetics in AGMs. Furthermore, AGM monocytes exhibit an embryonic development and repair/regeneration signature featuring TGF-β and concomitant reduced expression of inflammatory genes compared to RMs. This regenerative wound healing process likely preserves mucosal integrity and prevents inflammatory insults that underlie immune exhaustion in RMs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12987-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6841668PMC
November 2019

Impact of Hormonal Contraceptives on Cervical T-helper 17 Phenotype and Function in Adolescents: Results from a Randomized, Crossover Study Comparing Long-acting Injectable Norethisterone Oenanthate (NET-EN), Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills, and Combined Contraceptive Vaginal Rings.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 Oct;71(7):e76-e87

Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Background: Adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa are at risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and unintended pregnancies. Observational studies suggest that injectable hormonal contraceptives (HCs) increase the HIV risk, although their effects on genital inflammation, particularly HIV-susceptible T-helper 17 (Th17) cells, are unknown. In a randomized crossover study, the effect of injectable norethisterone oenanthate (NET-EN), combined contraceptive vaginal rings (CCVR; NuvaRing), and combined oral contraceptive pills (COCPs) on cervical Th17 cells and cytokines were compared.

Methods: Adolescents (n = 130; 15-19 years) were randomly assigned 1:1:1 to NET-EN, CCVR, or COCPs for 16 weeks, then subsequently crossed over to another HC for 16 weeks. Estrogen, follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were measured. Chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5), human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DR isotope, and cluster of differentiation 38 (CD38) expression by cervical cytobrush-derived CD4+ T cells was assessed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Th17 cells were defined as CCR6+ and CCR10-. Cervicovaginal Th17-related cytokines were measured by Luminex.

Results: CCVR use for the first 16 weeks was associated with reduced Th17 frequencies and lower FSH and LH concentrations, as compared to NET-EN and COCPs, with FSH concentrations and Th17 frequencies correlating significantly. However, Th17-related cytokine concentrations (interleukin [IL]-21, IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ) and CCR5, HLA-DR, CD38, and Th17 frequencies were significantly higher in CCVR than NET-EN and COCP. At crossover, CCVR users changing to COCPs or NET-EN did not resolve activation or cytokines, although switching from COCP to CCVRs increased cytokine concentrations.

Conclusions: CCVR use altered endogenous hormone levels and associated cervical Th17 cell frequencies to a greater extent than use of NET-EN or COCPs, although Th17 cells were more activated and Th17-related cytokine concentrations were elevated. While CCVRs may impact the HIV risk by regulating Th17 numbers, increased activation and inflammation may balance any risk gains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz1063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7755094PMC
October 2020

Enhanced Killing of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells by Reassortant Reovirus and Topoisomerase Inhibitors.

J Virol 2019 12 13;93(23). Epub 2019 Nov 13.

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

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States. Triple-negative breast cancer constitutes a subset of breast cancer that is associated with higher rates of relapse, decreased survival, and limited therapeutic options for patients afflicted with this type of breast cancer. Mammalian orthoreovirus (reovirus) selectively infects and kills transformed cells, and a serotype 3 reovirus is in clinical trials to assess its efficacy as an oncolytic agent against several cancers. It is unclear if reovirus serotypes differentially infect and kill triple-negative breast cancer cells and if reovirus-induced cytotoxicity of breast cancer cells can be enhanced by modulating the activity of host molecules and pathways. Here, we generated reassortant reoviruses by forward genetics with enhanced infective and cytotoxic properties in triple-negative breast cancer cells. From a high-throughput screen of small-molecule inhibitors, we identified topoisomerase inhibitors as a class of drugs that enhance reovirus infectivity and cytotoxicity of triple-negative breast cancer cells. Treatment of triple-negative breast cancer cells with topoisomerase inhibitors activates DNA damage response pathways, and reovirus infection induces robust production of type III, but not type I, interferon (IFN). Although type I and type III IFNs can activate STAT1 and STAT2, triple-negative breast cancer cellular proliferation is only negatively affected by type I IFN. Together, these data show that reassortant viruses with a novel genetic composition generated by forward genetics in combination with topoisomerase inhibitors more efficiently infect and kill triple-negative breast cancer cells. Patients afflicted by triple-negative breast cancer have decreased survival and limited therapeutic options. Reovirus infection results in cell death of a variety of cancers, but it is unknown if different reovirus types lead to triple-negative breast cancer cell death. In this study, we generated two novel reoviruses that more efficiently infect and kill triple-negative breast cancer cells. We show that infection in the presence of DNA-damaging agents enhances infection and triple-negative breast cancer cell killing by reovirus. These data suggest that a combination of a genetically engineered oncolytic reovirus and topoisomerase inhibitors may provide a potent therapeutic option for patients afflicted with triple-negative breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01411-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6854488PMC
December 2019

Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate intravaginal ring for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis in sexually active women: a phase 1, single-blind, randomised, controlled trial.

Lancet HIV 2019 08 15;6(8):e498-e508. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Background: An intravaginal ring that releases the tenofovir prodrug, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, provided 100% protection in macaques against simian HIV and was safe in a 14-day clinical trial in sexually abstinent women. We aimed to assess the safety and pharmacokinetics of this intravaginal ring over 90 days in sexually active women.

Methods: We did a phase 1, single-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial to assess safety, pharmacokinetics, and acceptability of a tenofovir disoproxil fumarate intravaginal ring used continuously with monthly ring changes for 3 months. Sexually active women who were HIV negative were randomly assigned (3:1) to a tenofovir disoproxil fumarate ring or placebo ring. Primary safety endpoint was the proportion of women who had grade 2 or higher genitourinary adverse events judged related to study product and any grade 2 or higher adverse event as defined by the Division of AIDS Table for Grading the Severity of Adult and Pediatric Adverse Events. We quantified tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and tenofovir concentrations in cervicovaginal fluid, tenofovir in plasma, and tenofovir diphosphate, the active metabolite, in cervical tissue and dried blood spots 1 month after each ring insertion. We compared changes over time in cervicovaginal fluid cytokine and chemokine concentrations and vaginal microbiota. The study was electively stopped early and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02762617.

Findings: Between Feb 24 and July 20, 2017, 17 women were enrolled before study termination. 12 were assigned to receive the tenofovir disoproxil fumarate ring and five were assigned to receive the placebo ring. Two participants in the tenofovir disoproxil fumarate ring group completed 3 months of continuous ring use; eight were asked to discontinue ring use early because of ulcerations (grade 1) near the ring; in the remaining two women, rings were electively removed by study staff on day 20 and day 23. Ulcers were detected a mean of 32 days after ring use (range 23-56). Four of eight participants with ulcers were symptomatic with vaginal discharge; four had ulcers identified when examined; three had two ulcers; all ulcers resolved after ring removal. No participants in the placebo group developed ulcers. No grade 2 product-related adverse events were reported in either group and four non-product-related grade 2 adverse events were reported in the tenofovir disoproxil fumarate ring group. Cervicovaginal fluid tenofovir concentrations did not differ at day 14 (p=0·14) comparing the eight patients who did (median 1·0 × 10 ng/mL [IQR 9·1 × 10-1·1 × 10]) with the four who did not (6·0 × 10 ng/mL [5·6 × 10-1·1 × 10]) develop ulcers. No significant changes in vaginal microbiota were detected in either group. Concentrations of multiple inflammatory cytokines and chemokines were significantly higher at days 14 and 28 compared with baseline in the tenofovir disoproxil fumarate ring group but not the placebo group.

Interpretation: Future studies are needed to establish whether the unanticipated finding of ulcerations is specific to this tenofovir disoproxil fumarate ring or generalisable to other sustained topical release formulations of tenofovir or its prodrugs.

Funding: National Institutes of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(19)30145-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6719300PMC
August 2019

Slow Delivery Immunization Enhances HIV Neutralizing Antibody and Germinal Center Responses via Modulation of Immunodominance.

Cell 2019 05 9;177(5):1153-1171.e28. Epub 2019 May 9.

Division of Vaccine Discovery, La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery (Scripps CHAVI-ID), The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. Electronic address:

Conventional immunization strategies will likely be insufficient for the development of a broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) vaccine for HIV or other difficult pathogens because of the immunological hurdles posed, including B cell immunodominance and germinal center (GC) quantity and quality. We found that two independent methods of slow delivery immunization of rhesus monkeys (RMs) resulted in more robust T follicular helper (T) cell responses and GC B cells with improved Env-binding, tracked by longitudinal fine needle aspirates. Improved GCs correlated with the development of >20-fold higher titers of autologous nAbs. Using a new RM genomic immunoglobulin locus reference, we identified differential IgV gene use between immunization modalities. Ab mapping demonstrated targeting of immunodominant non-neutralizing epitopes by conventional bolus-immunized animals, whereas slow delivery-immunized animals targeted a more diverse set of epitopes. Thus, alternative immunization strategies can enhance nAb development by altering GCs and modulating the immunodominance of non-neutralizing epitopes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.04.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6619430PMC
May 2019

Distinct amino acid and lipid perturbations characterize acute versus chronic malaria.

JCI Insight 2019 05 2;4(9). Epub 2019 May 2.

Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Chronic malaria is a major public health problem and significant challenge for disease eradication efforts. Despite its importance, the biological factors underpinning chronic malaria are not fully understood. Recent studies have shown that host metabolic state can influence malaria pathogenesis and transmission, but its role in chronicity is not known. Here, with the goal of identifying distinct modifications in the metabolite profiles of acute versus chronic malaria, metabolomics was performed on plasma from Plasmodium-infected humans and nonhuman primates with a range of parasitemias and clinical signs. In rhesus macaques infected with Plasmodium coatneyi, significant alterations in amines, carnitines, and lipids were detected during a high parasitemic acute phase and many of these reverted to baseline levels once a low parasitemic chronic phase was established. Plasmodium gene expression, studied in parallel in the macaques, revealed transcriptional changes in amine, fatty acid, lipid and energy metabolism genes, as well as variant antigen genes. Furthermore, a common set of amines, carnitines, and lipids distinguished acute from chronic malaria in plasma from human Plasmodium falciparum cases. In summary, distinct host-parasite metabolic environments have been uncovered that characterize acute versus chronic malaria, providing insights into the underlying host-parasite biology of malaria disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.125156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6538326PMC
May 2019

West Nile Virus-Inclusive Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Reveals Heterogeneity in the Type I Interferon Response within Single Cells.

J Virol 2019 03 5;93(6). Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Disease, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic mosquito-borne flavivirus of global importance. Neuroinvasive WNV infection results in encephalitis and can lead to prolonged neurological impairment or death. Type I interferon (IFN-I) is crucial for promoting antiviral defenses through the induction of antiviral effectors, which function to restrict viral replication and spread. However, our understanding of the antiviral response to WNV infection is mostly derived from analysis of bulk cell populations. It is becoming increasingly apparent that substantial heterogeneity in cellular processes exists among individual cells, even within a seemingly homogenous cell population. Here, we present WNV-inclusive single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), an approach to examine the transcriptional variation and viral RNA burden across single cells. We observed that only a few cells within the bulk population displayed robust transcription of IFN-β mRNA, and this did not appear to depend on viral RNA abundance within the same cell. Furthermore, we observed considerable transcriptional heterogeneity in the IFN-I response, with genes displaying high unimodal and bimodal expression patterns. Broadly, IFN-stimulated genes negatively correlated with viral RNA abundance, corresponding with a precipitous decline in expression in cells with high viral RNA levels. Altogether, we demonstrated the feasibility and utility of WNV-inclusive scRNA-seq as a high-throughput technique for single-cell transcriptomics and WNV RNA detection. This approach can be implemented in other models to provide insights into the cellular features of protective immunity and identify novel therapeutic targets. West Nile virus (WNV) is a clinically relevant pathogen responsible for recurrent epidemics of neuroinvasive disease. Type I interferon is essential for promoting an antiviral response against WNV infection; however, it is unclear how heterogeneity in the antiviral response at the single-cell level impacts viral control. Specifically, conventional approaches lack the ability to distinguish differences across cells with varying viral abundance. The significance of our research is to demonstrate a new technique for studying WNV infection at the single-cell level. We discovered extensive variation in antiviral gene expression and viral abundance across cells. This protocol can be applied to primary cells or models to better understand the underlying cellular heterogeneity following WNV infection for the development of targeted therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01778-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6401468PMC
March 2019

Combination anti-PD-1 and antiretroviral therapy provides therapeutic benefit against SIV.

JCI Insight 2018 09 20;3(18). Epub 2018 Sep 20.

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

Therapeutic strategies that augment antiviral immunity and reduce the viral reservoir are critical to achieving durable remission of HIV. The coinhibitory receptor programmed death-1 (PD-1) regulates CD8+ T cell dysfunction during chronic HIV and SIV infections. We previously demonstrated that in vivo blockade of PD-1 during chronic SIV infection improves the function of antiviral CD8+ T cells and B cells. Here, we tested the immunological and virological effects of PD-1 blockade combined with antiretroviral therapy (ART) in rhesus macaques. Administration of anti-PD-1 antibody 10 days prior to ART initiation rapidly enhanced antiviral CD8+ T cell function and diminished IFN-stimulated genes. This resulted in faster viral suppression in plasma and better Th17 cell reconstitution in the rectal mucosa following ART initiation. PD-1 blockade during ART resulted in lower levels of cell-associated replication-competent virus. Following ART interruption, PD-1 antibody-treated animals showed markedly higher expansion of proliferating CXCR5+perforin+granzyme B+ effector CD8+ T cells and lower regulatory T cells that resulted in better control of viremia. Our results show that PD-1 blockade can be administered safely with ART to augment antiviral CD8+ T cell function and reduce the viral reservoir, leading to improved control of viral rebound after ART interruption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.122940DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6237231PMC
September 2018

Type I IFN signaling blockade by a PASylated antagonist during chronic SIV infection suppresses specific inflammatory pathways but does not alter T cell activation or virus replication.

PLoS Pathog 2018 08 24;14(8):e1007246. Epub 2018 Aug 24.

Human Immunology Section, Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

Chronic activation of the immune system in HIV infection is one of the strongest predictors of morbidity and mortality. As such, approaches that reduce immune activation have received considerable interest. Previously, we demonstrated that administration of a type I interferon receptor antagonist (IFN-1ant) during acute SIV infection of rhesus macaques results in increased virus replication and accelerated disease progression. Here, we administered a long half-life PASylated IFN-1ant to ART-treated and ART-naïve macaques during chronic SIV infection and measured expression of interferon stimulated genes (ISG) by RNA sequencing, plasma viremia, plasma cytokines, T cell activation and exhaustion as well as cell-associated virus in CD4 T cell subsets sorted from peripheral blood and lymph nodes. Our study shows that IFN-1ant administration in both ART-suppressed and ART-untreated chronically SIV-infected animals successfully results in reduction of IFN-I-mediated inflammation as defined by reduced expression of ISGs but had no effect on plasma levels of IL-1β, IL-1ra, IL-6 and IL-8. Unlike in acute SIV infection, we observed no significant increase in plasma viremia up to 25 weeks after IFN-1ant administration or up to 15 weeks after ART interruption. Likewise, cell-associated virus measured by SIV gag DNA copies was similar between IFN-1ant and placebo groups. In addition, evaluation of T cell activation and exhaustion by surface expression of CD38, HLA-DR, Ki67, LAG-3, PD-1 and TIGIT, as well as transcriptome analysis showed no effect of IFN-I blockade. Thus, our data show that blocking IFN-I signaling during chronic SIV infection suppresses IFN-I-related inflammatory pathways without increasing virus replication, and thus may constitute a safe therapeutic intervention in chronic HIV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007246DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6126880PMC
August 2018