[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms by which Regulatory T cells suppress IL-2 production of effector CD4+ T cells in pathological conditions are unclear. A subpopulation of human Treg expresses the ectoenzyme CD39, which in association with CD73 converts ATP/ADP/AMP to adenosine. We show here that Treg/CD39+ suppress IL-2 expression of activated CD4+ T-cells more efficiently than Treg/CD39-. This inhibition is due to the demethylation of an essential CpG site of the il-2 gene promoter, which was reversed by an anti-CD39 mAb. By recapitulating the events downstream CD39/adenosine receptor (A2AR) axis, we show that A2AR agonist and soluble cAMP inhibit CpG site demethylation of the il-2 gene promoter. A high frequency of Treg/CD39+ is associated with a low clinical outcome in HIV infection. We show here that CD4+ T-cells from HIV-1 infected individuals express high levels of A2AR and intracellular cAMP. Following in vitro stimulation, these cells exhibit a lower degree of demethylation of il-2 gene promoter associated with a lower expression of IL-2, compared to healthy individuals. These results extend previous data on the role of Treg in HIV infection by filling the gap between expansion of Treg/CD39+ in HIV infection and the suppression of CD4+ T-cell function through inhibition of IL-2 production.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV-1 infection is characterized by a chronic activation of the immune system and suppressed function of T lymphocytes. Regulatory CD4+ CD25(high) FoxP3+CD127(low) T cells (Treg) play a key role in both conditions. Here, we show that HIV-1 positive patients have a significant increase of Treg-associated expression of CD39/ENTPD1, an ectoenzyme which in concert with CD73 generates adenosine. We show in vitro that the CD39/adenosine axis is involved in Treg suppression in HIV infection. Treg inhibitory effects are relieved by CD39 down modulation and are reproduced by an adenosine-agonist in accordance with a higher expression of the adenosine A2A receptor on patients' T cells. Notably, the expansion of the Treg CD39+ correlates with the level of immune activation and lower CD4+ counts in HIV-1 infected patients. Finally, in a genetic association study performed in three different cohorts, we identified a CD39 gene polymorphism that was associated with down-modulated CD39 expression and a slower progression to AIDS.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be grown in the hepatocarcinoma-derived cell line Huh-7, a cell-culture model is needed that supports its complete, productive infection cycle in normal, quiescent, highly differentiated human hepatocytes. We sought to develop such a system.
Primary cultures of human adult hepatocytes were inoculated with HCV derived from Huh-7 cell culture (HCVcc) and monitored for expression of hepatocyte differentiation markers and replication of HCV. Culture supernatants were assayed for HCV RNA, core antigen, and infectivity titer. The buoyant densities of input and progeny virus were compared in iodixanol gradients.
While retaining expression of differentiation markers, primary hepatocytes supported the complete infectious cycle of HCV, including production of significant titers of new infectious progeny virus, which was called primary-culture-derived virus (HCVpc). Compared with HCVcc, HCVpc had lower average buoyant density and higher specific infectivity; this was similar to the characteristics of virus particles associated with the very-low-density lipoproteins that are produced during in vivo infection. These properties were lost after re-culture of HCVpc in poorly differentiated Huh-7 cells, suggesting that authentic virions can be produced only by normal hepatocytes that secrete authentic very-low-density lipoproteins.
We have established a cell-culture-based system that allows production of infectious HCV in physiologically relevant human hepatocytes. This provides a useful tool for the study of HCV interactions with its natural host cell and for the development of antiviral therapies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV-1 infection is characterized by a progressive decline in CD4(+) T cells leading to a state of profound immunodeficiency. IL-2 therapy has been shown to improve CD4(+) counts beyond that observed with antiretroviral therapy. Recent phase III trials revealed that despite a sustained increase in CD4(+) counts, IL-2-treated patients did not experience a better clinical outcome [Abrams D, et al. (2009) N Engl J Med 361(16):1548-1559]. To explain these disappointing results, we have studied phenotypic, functional, and molecular characteristics of CD4(+) T cell populations in IL-2-treated patients. We found that the principal effect of long-term IL-2 therapy was the expansion of two distinct CD4(+)CD25(+) T cell populations (CD4(+)CD25(lo)CD127(lo)FOXP3(+) and CD4(+)CD25(hi)CD127(lo)FOXP3(hi)) that shared phenotypic markers of Treg but could be distinguished by the levels of CD25 and FOXP3 expression. IL-2-expanded CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells suppressed proliferation of effector cells in vitro and had gene expression profiles similar to those of natural regulatory CD4(+)CD25(hi)FOXP3(+) T cells (Treg) from healthy donors, an immunosuppressive T cell subset critically important for the maintenance of self-tolerance. We propose that the sustained increase of the peripheral Treg pool in IL-2-treated HIV patients may account for the unexpected clinical observation that patients with the greatest expansion of CD4(+) T cells had a higher relative risk of clinical progression to AIDS.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2010; 107(23):10632-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and Aim. Primary cultures of human adult hepatocytes provide a relevant model for hepatitis C virus (HCV) natural host cells
but do not support efficient production of progeny virions upon infection with sera from HCV-infected patients. Recently, cell culture
production of infectious virus (HCVcc) has been achieved using the HCV strain JFH1, or chimeras derived thereof, and Huh-7 sublines, but
these transformed cells are only distantly related to differentiated hepatocytes. Here we have used HCVcc to achieve productive infection innormal human adult hepatocytes. Methods. Human hepatocytes isolated from liver resection by collagenase perfusion were seeded at high
density on collagen-coated plates, and then inoculated with HCVcc produced from Huh-7 sublines replicating JFH1 (genotype 2a) or a
genotype 1b-chimera. Cultures were monitored for expression of hepatocyte differentiation markers and replication of HCV genome. Culture
supernatants were examined for HCV core antigen (immunoassay), HCV RNA (standardized viral load assay), and infectivity titer (focus
formation assay). The buoyant densities of input and progeny virions were compared by isopycnic iodixanol gradient ultracentrifugation.
Results. While maintaining expression of differentiation markers, hepatocytes replicated and expressed HCV genome, and produced high
titers of progeny virions (HCVpc) that were infectious for both Huh-7 subline cells and primary human hepatocytes. Antibodies directed to
HCV E1 glycoprotein or to host cell CD81 neutralized infection in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, HCVpc had a higher specific
infectivity value (ratio of the infectious titer to the amount of viral RNA) than HCVcc, correlating with a lower average buoyant density.
Conclusions. Collectively, the results show that primary cultures of differentiated human hepatocytes can support the complete life cycle of
HCV, including production of highly infectious low-density particles. This novel system thus provides a relevant model for studying
HCV/host cell interactions and testing candidate antiviral drugs in the context of liver physiology.
13th International Symposium on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease; 03/2009
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The balanced manifestation of effector functions and the generation of long-living memory cells is a hallmark of efficient CD8(+) T-cell response. Accumulating data pinpoint CD4(+) CD25(high) regulatory T (Treg) cells as a key factor for the inefficiency of CD8(+) T-cell responses in viral persistence. Little is known about the effects of Treg cells on the homeostasis of healthy donor CD8(+) T cells. The present study demonstrates that Treg cells exert differential effects on CD8(+) T-cell subsets. Treg cells inhibited mostly the polyclonal proliferation of CD27(-) effector cells compared with CD27(+) memory CD8(+) T cells. Moreover, they inhibited the polyclonal and antigen-driven differentiation of memory cells into functional effectors as defined by IFN-gamma secretion and induction of CD160 expression. Finally, Treg cells reduced the apoptosis of memory but not of effector and terminal effector cell populations. These effects were at least in part mediated by a decreased expression of PD-L1, but not of programmed death 1 (PD-1), on CD8(+) T cells after activation. Thus, in the setting of a healthy immune system, Treg cells fine-tune the memory/effector cell balance and promote the accumulation of long-living memory cells in case of strong stimulation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alternative, non-invasive techniques are necessary to monitor the progression of liver disease during chronic hepatitis C. Firstly, because serum is the most accessible material for studies using qPCR in microplates, gene transcription was compared in 219 selected genes involved in the pathogenesis of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection between sera, PBMCs and liver samples collected simultaneously from five patients infected chronically. Secondly, using sera, gene profiles were compared between HCV-infected patients (n = 10) and healthy controls (n = 10). In addition, the influence of alcohol intake was examined in patients infected with HCV genotype-1. Firstly, amplifiable mRNAs were obtained in all samples. After amplification, significant correlations were observed between: liver versus serum; liver versus PBMCs; and serum versus PBMCs (r(2) = 0.37, r(2) = 0.54, r(2) = 0.49, respectively). A comparison of gene transcription by gene involved in T- and B-cell markers, adhesion molecules, apoptosis, liver matrix turnover and inflammation, revealed comparable, significant correlations between serum and liver, (r(2) = 0.30, r(2) = 0.60, r(2) = 0.51, r(2) = 0.51, r(2) = 0.26, and r(2) = 0.61 respectively). Secondly, a quantitative analysis of gene expression in sera between genotype-1b-infected patients and healthy controls revealed that 41 genes involved closely in T-cell activation and apoptosis were over-expressed significantly in patients infected with HCV. In these patients, alcohol consumption was associated with an increased expression of six genes involved in the inflammatory response, together with a decrease of genes associated with dendritic cell function. It is concluded that in patients infected with HCV, serum can be used to evaluate expression of liver genes. Further prospective studies are clearly needed to validate the initial results and to define the relevant genes.
Journal of Medical Virology 02/2009; 81(3):473-80. · 2.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The detection of negative-strand hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA is a hallmark of replication. A highly sensitive and specific method is required to quantify the very low level of replication inherent to in vitro infection systems. Based on reverse transcription with a tagged primer in the 5' non-coding region of the HCV genome, followed by a nested PCR with a second round of real-time PCR, a novel method is described with improved sensitivity for negative-strand HCV RNA quantification. The lower detection level was 25 copies per reaction of negative-strand HCV RNA, even in the presence of 1 x 10(5) copies of positive-strand HCV RNA. This protocol was applied to the detection of negative HCV strand RNA in the liver of HCV-infected patients as well as in primary human hepatocytes infected in vitro. In both models, and particularly in each of three, independent in vitro infection experiments, this assay permitted the quantitation of HCV replication.
Journal of Medical Virology 03/2007; 79(2):155-60. · 2.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol consumption has a major impact on the natural history of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, although the underlying mechanisms are still debated. We designed a clinical study to evaluate the impact of alcohol abuse on both viral load and expression of low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) and CD81 expression. Thirty-eight consecutive HCV-infected patients were enrolled. Group 1 (n = 18), < or =10 g alcohol/day, group 2 (n = 8), < or =30 g alcohol/day, group 3 (n = 12), >or =30 g alcohol/day. Receptors expression was measured by flow cytometry analysis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and by specific real-time retrotranscription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in the liver. Serum viral load was evaluated by quantification of both HCV genomic RNA and total core antigen. The hepatic viral load was assessed by real-time RT-PCR. Serum HCV-RNA and total core antigen were significantly correlated, and were higher, albeit not significantly, in group 3 than in group 1. Alcohol consumption had no effect on expression of HCV putative receptors in PBMC, except for CD81, which was upregulated on monocytes in group 2. In the liver, viral load and levels of LDLR transcripts were significantly higher in group 3 than in group 1. Remarkably, a significant positive correlation was found between LDLR transcripts and HCV-RNA (r2 = 0.83, P < 10(-3)). Finally, in vitro experiments suggested that the effect of ethanol on LDLR expression was indirectly mediated by both tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1beta. In conclusion, this study is the first to support a role for LDLR in the natural infection by HCV in man.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis 10/2006; 13(9):633-42. · 3.08 Impact Factor