[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many persistent viral infections are characterized by a hypofunctional T cell response and the upregulation of negative immune regulators. These events occur days after the initiation of infection. However, the very early host-virus interactions that determine the establishment of viral persistence remain poorly uncharacterized. Here we show that to establish persistence, LCMV must counteract an innate anti-viral immune response within eight hours after infection. While the virus triggers cytoplasmic RNA sensing pathways soon after infection, LCMV counteracts this pathway through a rapid increase in viral titers leading to a dysfunctional immune response characterized by a high cytokine and chemokine expression profile. This altered immune environment allows for viral replication in the splenic white pulp as well as infection of immune cells essential to an effective anti-viral immune response. Our findings illustrate how early events during infection critically dictate the characteristics of the immune response to infection and facilitate either virus control and clearance or persistence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The outcome of a viral infection reflects the balance between virus virulence and host susceptibility. The clone 13 (Cl13) variant of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus-a prototype of Old World arenaviruses closely related to Lassa fever virus-elicits in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice abundant negative immunoregulatory molecules, associated with T-cell exhaustion, negligible T-cell-mediated injury, and high virus titers that persist. Conversely, here we report that in NZB mice, despite the efficient induction of immunoregulatory molecules and high viremia, Cl13 generated a robust cytotoxic T-cell response, resulting in thrombocytopenia, pulmonary endothelial cell loss, vascular leakage, and death within 6-8 d. These pathogenic events required type I IFN (IFN-I) signaling on nonhematopoietic cells and were completely abrogated by IFN-I receptor blockade. Thus, IFN-I may play a prominent role in hemorrhagic fevers and other acute virus infections associated with severe vascular pathology, and targeting IFN-I or downstream effector molecules may be an effective therapeutic approach.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: On a clonal level, certain antibodies and T cells can interact with dissimilar antigens found in microbes and in host cells. More than 5% of over 800 monoclonal antibodies derived from multiple RNA and DNA viruses, as well as from a large number of T cell clones, engage in such interactions. Several of these cross-reactions, which we termed molecular mimicry, are against unique host proteins involved in autoimmune responses and diseases. Thus, molecular mimicry initiated as a host response to a virus or a microbial infection, but alternatively cross-reacting with an appropriate host-antigen, can be a mechanism for instigating an autoimmune disease. Molecular mimicry provides an explanation for the genetic observation that identical twins rarely manifest the same autoimmune disease and the documented epidemiologic evidence that microbial and/or viral infections often precede autoimmune disorders.
Monoclonal antibodies in immunodiagnosis and immunotherapy. 04/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytokine storm is an intensified, dysregulated, tissue injurious inflammatory response driven by cytokine and immune cell components. Cytokine storm has been well characterized during influenza virus infection whereby the amplified innate immune response is primarily responsible for pulmonary damage. Now we describe a novel event where virus-specific T cells induce cytokine storm. The paramyxovirus, pneumonia virus of mice (PVM), is a model of human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV). Unexpectedly, when C57Bl/6 mice were infected with PVM the innate inflammatory response was undetectable until day 5 post-infection, at which time CD8(+) T cells infiltrated into the lung initiating cytokine storm by their production of IFN-γ and TNF-α. Administration of an immunomodulatory sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor 1 (S1P1R) agonist significantly inhibited PVM-elicited cytokine storm by blunting the PVM-specific CD8(+) T cell response resulting in diminished pulmonary disease and enhanced survival.
Dysregulated overly exuberant immune response termed "cytokine storm" accompanies virus-induced acute respiratory diseases (VARV), is primarily responsible for the accompanying high morbidity and mortality and can be controlled therapeutically in influenza virus infection of mice and ferrets by administration of sphingosine-1-phosphate 1 receptor (S1P1R) agonists. Here two novel findings are recorded. First, in contrast to influenza infection where cytokine storm is initiated early by the innate immune system, for pneumonia virus of mice (PVM), a model of RSV, cytokine storm is initiated late in infection by the adoptive immune response specifically by virus-specific CD8 T cells via their release of interferon-γ and TNF-α. Blockading these cytokines with neutralizing antibodies blunts cytokine storm and protects the host. Second, PVM infection is controlled by administration of S1P1R agonist.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza infection of humans remains an important public health problem. Vaccine strategies result in a significant but only partial control (65–85%) of infection. Thus, chemotherapeutic approaches are needed to provide a solution both for vaccine failures and to limit infection in the unvaccinated population. Previously (9 and 10) documented that sphingosine-1-phosphate 1 receptor (S1P1R) agonists significantly protected mice against pathogenic H1N1 influenza virus by limiting immunopathologic damage while allowing host control of the infection. Here we extend that observation by documenting S1P1R agonist can control pathogenic H1N1 influenza infection in ferrets. S1P1R agonist was more effective in reducing pulmonary injury than the antiviral drug oseltamivir but, importantly, combined therapy was significantly more effective than either therapy alone.
Virology 03/2014; s 452–453:152–157. · 3.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During pathogenic influenza virus infection, robust cytokine production (cytokine storm), excessive inflammatory infiltrates, and virus-induced tissue destruction all contribute to morbidity and mortality. Earlier we reported that modulation of sphingosine-1-phosphate-1 receptor (S1P1R) signaling provided a chemically tractable approach for the effective blunting of cytokine storm, leading to the improvement of clinical and survival outcomes. Here, we show that S1P1R agonist treatment suppresses global cytokine amplification. Importantly, S1P1R agonist treatment was able to blunt cytokine/chemokine production and innate immune cell recruitment in the lung independently of endosomal and cytosolic innate sensing pathways. S1P1R signaling suppression of cytokine amplification was independent of multiple innate signaling adaptor pathways for myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) and IFN-β promoter stimulator-1 signaling, indicating a common pathway inhibition of cytokine storm. We identify the MyD88 adaptor molecule as responsible for the majority of cytokine amplification observed following influenza virus challenge.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2014; 111(10). · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytokine storm defines a dysregulation of and an excessively exaggerated immune response most often accompanying selected viral infections and several autoimmune diseases. Newly emerging and re-emerging infections of the respiratory tract, especially influenza, SARS, and hantavirus post considerable medical problems. Their morbidities and mortalities are often a direct result of cytokine storm. This chapter visits primarily influenza virus infection and resultant cytokine storm. It provides the compelling evidence that illuminates cytokine storm in influenza pathogenesis and the clear findings that cytokine storm is chemically tractable by therapy directed toward sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor (S1PR) modulation, specifically S1P1R agonist therapy. The mechanism(s) of how S1P1R signaling works and the pathways involved are subjects of this review.
Current topics in microbiology and immunology 01/2014; 378:129-47. · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clearance of viral infections is reliant on the coordination and balance of inflammatory factors necessary for viral destruction and immunoregulatory mechanisms necessary to prevent host pathology. In the case of persistent viral infections, immunoregulatory pathways prevent the immune response from clearing the virus, resulting in a long-term equilibrium between host and pathogen. Consequently, negative immune regulators are being considered as a therapeutic target to treat persistent and chronic viral infections. In this review, we will highlight the current understanding of the important negative immune regulator interleukin-10 (IL-10) in persistent viral infection. Though its main role for the host is to limit immune-mediated pathology, IL-10 is a multifunctional cytokine that differentially regulates a number of different hematopoietic cell types. IL-10 has been shown to play a role in a number of infectious diseases and many viral pathogens specifically exploit the IL-10 pathway to help evade host immunity. Recent advances have demonstrated that manipulation of IL-10 signaling during persistent viral infection can alter T cell responses in vivo and that this manipulation can lead to the clearance of persistent viral infection. Furthermore, there have been crucial advances in the understanding of factors that induce IL-10. We summarize lessons learned about IL-10 in model organisms and human persistent infections and conclude with the potential use of IL-10 to treat persistent viral infections.
Current topics in microbiology and immunology 01/2014; 380:129-44. · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The paramyxovirus, pneumonia virus of mice (PVM), is a rodent model of human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) pathogenesis. Here we characterized the PVM-specific CD8(+) T-cell repertoire in susceptible C57Bl/6 mice. In total, 15 PVM-specific CD8(+) T-cell epitopes restricted by H-2D(b) and/or K(b) were identified. These data open the door for using widely profiled, genetically manipulated, C57Bl/6 mice to study the contribution of epitope-specific CD8(+) T-cells to PVM pathogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Follicular helper T cells (TFH cells) provide critical help to B cells during humoral immune responses. Here we report that mice with T cell-specific deletion of the miR-17∼92 family of microRNAs (miRNAs) had substantially compromised TFH differentiation, germinal-center formation and antibody responses and failed to control chronic viral infection. Conversely, mice with T cell-specific expression of a transgene encoding miR-17∼92 spontaneously accumulated TFH cells and developed a fatal immunopathology. Mechanistically, the miR-17∼92 family controlled the migration of CD4(+) T cells into B cell follicles by regulating signaling intensity from the inducible costimulator ICOS and kinase PI(3)K by suppressing expression of the phosphatase PHLPP2. Our findings demonstrate an essential role for the miR-17∼92 family in TFH differentiation and establish PHLPP2 as an important mediator of their function in this process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In most forms of prion disease, infectivity is present primarily in the central nervous system or immune system organs such as spleen and lymph node. However, a transgenic mouse model of prion disease has demonstrated that prion infectivity can also be present as amyloid deposits in heart tissue. Deposition of infectious prions as amyloid in human heart tissue would be a significant public health concern. Although abnormal disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) has not been detected in heart tissue from several amyloid heart disease patients, it has been observed in the heart tissue of a patient with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (sCJD), the most common form of human prion disease. In order to determine whether prion infectivity can be found in heart tissue, we have inoculated formaldehyde fixed brain and heart tissue from two sCJD patients, as well as prion protein positive fixed heart tissue from two amyloid heart disease patients, into transgenic mice overexpressing the human prion protein. While the sCJD brain samples led to clinical or subclinical prion infection and deposition of PrP(Sc) in the brain, none of the inoculated heart samples resulted in disease or accumulation of PrP(Sc). Thus, our results suggest that prion infectivity is not likely present in cardiac tissue from sCJD or amyloid heart disease patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Persistent viral infections are the result of a series of connected events that culminate in diminished immunity and the inability to eliminate infection. By building our understanding of how distinct components of the immune system function both individually and collectively in productive versus abortive responses, new potential therapeutic targets can be developed to overcome immune dysfunction and thus fight persistent infections. Using lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) as a model of a persistent virus infection and drawing parallels to persistent human viral infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV), we describe the cellular relationships and interactions that determine the outcome of initial infection and highlight immune targets for therapeutic intervention to prevent or treat persistent infections. Ultimately, these findings will further our understanding of the immunologic basis of persistent viral infection and likely lead to strategies to treat human viral infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lassa virus (LASV) is a BSL-4 restricted agent. To allow study of infection by LASV under BSL-2 conditions, we generated a recombinant virus in which the LASV glycoprotein (Gp) was placed on the backbone of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) Cl13 nucleoprotein, Z and polymerase genes (rLCMV Cl13/LASV Gp). The recombinant virus displayed high tropism for dendritic cells following in vitro or in vivo infection. Inoculation of immunocompetent adults resulted in an acute infection, generation of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells and clearance of the infection. Inoculation of newborn mice with rLCMV Cl13/LASV Gp resulted in a life-long persistent infection. Interestingly, adoptive transfer of rLCMV Cl13/LASV Gp immune memory cells into such persistently infected mice failed to purge virus but, in contrast, cleared virus from mice persistently infected with wt LCMV Cl13.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During persistent viral infections, chronic immune activation, negative immune regulator expression, an elevated interferon signature, and lymphoid tissue destruction correlate with disease progression. We demonstrated that blockade of type I interferon (IFN-I) signaling using an IFN-I receptor neutralizing antibody reduced immune system activation, decreased expression of negative immune regulatory molecules, and restored lymphoid architecture in mice persistently infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. IFN-I blockade before and after establishment of persistent virus infection resulted in enhanced virus clearance and was CD4 T cell-dependent. Hence, we demonstrate a direct causal link between IFN-I signaling, immune activation, negative immune regulator expression, lymphoid tissue disorganization, and virus persistence. Our results suggest that therapies targeting IFN-I may help control persistent virus infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infectious prions cause diverse clinical signs and form an extraordinary range of structures, from amorphous aggregates to fibrils. How the conformation of a prion dictates the disease phenotype remains unclear. Mice expressing GPI-anchorless or GPI-anchored prion protein exposed to the same infectious prion develop fibrillar or nonfibrillar aggregates, respectively, and show a striking divergence in the disease pathogenesis. To better understand how a prion's physical properties govern the pathogenesis, infectious anchorless prions were passaged in mice expressing anchorless prion protein and the resulting prions were biochemically characterized. Serial passage of anchorless prions led to a significant decrease in the incubation period to terminal disease and altered the biochemical properties, consistent with a transmission barrier effect. After an intraperitoneal exposure, anchorless prions were only weakly neuroinvasive, as prion plaques rarely occurred in the brain yet were abundant in extracerebral sites such as heart and adipose tissue. Anchorless prions consistently showed very high stability in chaotropes or when heated in SDS, and were highly resistant to enzyme digestion. Consistent with the results in mice, anchorless prions from a human patient were also highly stable in chaotropes. These findings reveal that anchorless prions consist of fibrillar and highly stable conformers. The additional finding from our group and others that both anchorless and anchored prion fibrils are poorly neuroinvasive strengthens the hypothesis that a fibrillar prion structure impedes efficient CNS invasion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza-induced lung edema and inflammation are exacerbated by a positive feedback loop of cytokine and chemokine production termed a 'cytokine storm', a hallmark of increased influenza-related morbidity and mortality. Upon infection, an immune response is rapidly initiated in the lungs and draining lymph node, leading to expansion of virus-specific effector cells. Using two-photon microscopy, we imaged the dynamics of dendritic cells (DC) and virus-specific eGFP(+)CD8(+) T cells in the lungs and draining mediastinal lymph nodes during the first two weeks following influenza infection. Three distinct phases of T cell and CD11c(+) DC behavior were revealed: 1) Priming, facilitated by the arrival of lung DCs in the lymph node and characterized by antigen recognition and expansion of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells; asymmetric T cell division in contact with DCs was frequently observed. 2) Clearance, during which DCs re-populate the lung and T cells leave the draining lymph node and re-enter the lung tissue where enlarged, motile T cells come into contact with DCs and form long-lived interactions. 3) Maintenance, characterized by T-cell scanning of the lung tissue and dissociation from local antigen presenting cells; the T cells spend less time in association with DCs and migrate rapidly on collagen. A single dose of a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor agonist, AAL-R, sufficient to suppress influenza-induced cytokine-storm, altered T cell and DC behavior during influenza clearance, delaying T cell division, cellular infiltration in the lung, and suppressing T-DC interactions in the lung. Our results provide a detailed description of T cell and DC choreography and dynamics in the lymph node and the lung during influenza infection. In addition, we suggest that phase lags in T cell and DC dynamics induced by targeting S1P receptors in vivo may attenuate the intensity of the immune response and can be manipulated for therapeutic benefit.
PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e58033. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor signaling system has biological and medical importance and is the first lipid G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structure to be solved to 2.8-Å resolution. S1P binds to five high-affinity GPCRs generating multiple downstream signals that play essential roles in vascular development and endothelial integrity, control of cardiac rhythm, and routine oral treatment of multiple sclerosis. Genetics, chemistry, and now structural biology have advanced this integrated biochemical system. The S1P receptors have a novel N-terminal fold that occludes access to the binding pocket from the extracellular environment as well as orthosteric and bitopic ligands with very different physicochemical properties. S1P receptors and metabolizing enzymes have been deleted, inducibly deleted, and knocked in as tagged or altered receptors in mice. An array of genetic models allows analysis of integrated receptor function in vivo. We can now directly understand causal relationships among protein expression, signal, and control points in physiology and pathology. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 82 is June 02, 2013. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
Annual review of biochemistry 03/2013; · 29.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viruses have unique lifestyles. To describe the pathogenesis and significance of viral infection in terms of host responses, resultant injury, and therapy, we focused on two RNA viruses: lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) and influenza (Flu). Many of the currently established concepts and consequences about viruses and immunologic tolerance, virus-induced immunosuppression, virus-induced autoimmunity, immune complex disease, and virus-lymphocyte and virus-dendritic cell interactions evolved through studies of LCMV in its natural murine host. Similarly, the mechanisms, aftermath, and treatment of persistent RNA viruses emerged, in large part, from research on LCMV. Analysis of acute influenza virus infections uncovered the prominent direct role that cytokine storm plays in the pathogenesis, morbidity, and mortality from this disease. Cytokine storm of influenza virus infection is initiated via a pulmonary endothelial cell amplification loop involving IFN-producing cells and virus-infected pulmonary epithelial cells. Importantly, the cytokine storm is chemically treatable with specific agonist therapy directed to the sphingosphine 1 phosphate receptor 1, which is located on pulmonary endothelial cells, pointing to the endothelial cells as the gatekeepers of this hyperaggressive host immune response.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent publication indicated that overexpression of Axl, a cellular receptor that negatively regulates TLR signaling, enhanced entry of viruses pseudotyped with the glycoprotein of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) in vitro. In testing the biological relevance of these observations, we found neither differences in viral kinetics between LCMV-infection of Axl(-/-) and wild-type mice nor in T-cell responses prior to spontaneous viral clearance. Thus, Axl is not required for productive LCMV infection of mice.