Late interleukin-6 escalates T follicular helper cell responses and controls a chronic viral infection.
ABSTRACT Multiple inhibitory molecules create a profoundly immunuosuppressive environment during chronic viral infections in humans and mice. Therefore, eliciting effective immunity in this context represents a challenge. Here, we report that during a murine chronic viral infection, interleukin-6 (IL-6) was produced by irradiation-resistant cells in a biphasic manner, with late IL-6 being absolutely essential for viral control. The underlying mechanism involved IL-6 signaling on virus-specific CD4 T cells that caused up-regulation of the transcription factor Bcl6 and enhanced T follicular helper cell responses at late, but not early, stages of chronic viral infection. This resulted in escalation of germinal center reactions and improved antibody responses. Our results uncover an antiviral strategy that helps to safely resolve a persistent infection in vivo.
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ABSTRACT: There is little information on the timing, magnitude, specificity, and clinical relevance of the antibody response to acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We investigated the specificity, titer, and neutralizing potential of antibody responses to acute infection by examining 12 injection drug users before, during, and after infection. Seroconversion was defined as incident detection of HCV-specific antibodies by using a commercially available enzyme-linked immuosorbent assay (ELISA). HCV protein-specific antibody responses were measured using recombinant antigens in an ELISA. For neutralization assays, plasma was incubated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-HCV H77 or control HIV-murine leukemia virus (MLV) pseudotype virus and then allowed to infect Hep3B hepatoma cells. The mean time to HCV seroconversion was 6 weeks after the onset of viremia. Antibody responses to nonstructural proteins were detected before responses to the structural proteins, and antibodies to both were primarily restricted to the immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) subclass. The maximum median end point titers for antibody responses to structural and nonstructural proteins were 1 : 600 and 1 : 6400, respectively. Antibodies that neutralized a retroviral pseudotype bearing HCV 1a envelope glycoproteins were detected at seroconversion in only 1 subject and at 6-8 months after seroconversion in 3 subjects. The delayed appearance of neutralizing antibodies was consistent with the late development of antibodies specific for the viral envelope glycoproteins, which are believed to mediate virus neutralization. The humoral immune response to acute HCV infection is of relatively low titer, is restricted primarily to the IgG1 subclass, and is delayed. A better understanding of why production of neutralizing antibody is delayed may improve efforts to prevent HCV infection.Clinical Infectious Diseases 10/2005; 41(5):667-75. · 9.15 Impact Factor
Article: Follicular dendritic cell networks of primary follicles and germinal centers: phenotype and function.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) were identified decades ago by their ability to retain immune complexes and more recent findings indicate that they are a source of B cell attractants and trophic factors. New imaging studies have shown that B cells closely associate with their dendritic processes during migration. Here we will review the properties of these specialized follicular stromal cells and provide an update on the requirements for their maturation into phenotypically distinct cells within germinal center light and dark zones. We will then discuss current understanding of how they help support the B cell immune response.Seminars in Immunology 03/2008; 20(1):14-25. · 6.39 Impact Factor
Article: IL-6 controls Th17 immunity in vivo by inhibiting the conversion of conventional T cells into Foxp3+ regulatory T cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The conditions leading to the induction of adaptive Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (T-regs) from peripheral T cells in vivo are incompletely understood. Here, we show that unresponsiveness of T cells to IL-6 by T cell-selective deletion of gp130 or immunization of wild-type mice with antigen in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA), which fails to induce IL-6, promotes the conversion of peripheral CD4(+) T cells into adaptive Foxp3(+) T-regs. Thus, both T cell-conditional gp130 knockout (KO) mice immunized with MOG35-55 in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) and wild-type mice immunized with MOG35-55 in IFA develop overwhelming antigen-specific T-reg responses and are protected from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Depletion of T-regs restores T helper (Th)17 responses and clinical EAE in MOG/CFA-immunized T cell-conditional gp130 KO mice, but not in MOG/IFA-immunized wild-type mice. We conclude that in the absence of T-regs, IL-6 signaling is dispensable for the induction of Th17 cells, and alternative pathways exist to induce Th17 cells and EAE in the absence of IL-6 signaling. However, IL-6 signaling is dominant in inhibiting the conversion of conventional T cells into Foxp3(+) T-regs in vivo, and in the absence of IL-6 signaling, no other cytokine can substitute in inhibiting T-reg conversion. These data identify IL-6 as an important target to modulate autoimmune responses and chronic inflammation.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2008; 105(47):18460-5. · 9.68 Impact Factor