[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background The study of autoinflammatory diseases has uncovered mechanisms underlying cytokine dysregulation and inflammation. Methods We analyzed the DNA of an index patient with early-onset systemic inflammation, cutaneous vasculopathy, and pulmonary inflammation. We sequenced a candidate gene, TMEM173, encoding the stimulator of interferon genes (STING), in this patient and in five unrelated children with similar clinical phenotypes. Four children were evaluated clinically and immunologically. With the STING ligand cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP), we stimulated peripheral-blood mononuclear cells and fibroblasts from patients and controls, as well as commercially obtained endothelial cells, and then assayed transcription of IFNB1, the gene encoding interferon-β, in the stimulated cells. We analyzed IFNB1 reporter levels in HEK293T cells cotransfected with mutant or nonmutant STING constructs. Mutant STING leads to increased phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), so we tested the effect of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors on STAT1 phosphorylation in lymphocytes from the affected children and controls. Results We identified three mutations in exon 5 of TMEM173 in the six patients. Elevated transcription of IFNB1 and other gene targets of STING in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from the patients indicated constitutive activation of the pathway that cannot be further up-regulated with stimulation. On stimulation with cGAMP, fibroblasts from the patients showed increased transcription of IFNB1 but not of the genes encoding interleukin-1 (IL1), interleukin-6 (IL6), or tumor necrosis factor (TNF). HEK293T cells transfected with mutant constructs show elevated IFNB1 reporter levels. STING is expressed in endothelial cells, and exposure of these cells to cGAMP resulted in endothelial activation and apoptosis. Constitutive up-regulation of phosphorylated STAT1 in patients' lymphocytes was reduced by JAK inhibitors. Conclusions STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy (SAVI) is an autoinflammatory disease caused by gain-of-function mutations in TMEM173. (Funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00059748 .).
New England Journal of Medicine 07/2014; · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To discuss a component of the pathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection in the context of phenotypic and functional alterations in B cells that are due to persistent viral replication leading to aberrant immune activation and cellular exhaustion. We explore how B-cell exhaustion arises during persistent viremia and how it compares with T-cell exhaustion and similar B-cell alterations in other diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, several neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies have been isolated from memory B cells of HIV-infected individuals. Despite extensive evidence of B cell dysfunction in HIV disease, little is known about the cells from which these rare HIV-specific antibodies originate. Accordingly, we used HIV envelope gp140 and CD4 or coreceptor (CoR) binding site (bs) mutant probes to evaluate HIV-specific responses in peripheral blood B cells of HIV-infected individuals at various stages of infection. In contrast to non-HIV responses, HIV-specific responses against gp140 were enriched within abnormal B cells, namely activated and exhausted memory subsets, which are largely absent in the blood of uninfected individuals. Responses against the CoRbs, which is a poorly neutralizing epitope, arose early, whereas those against the well-characterized neutralizing epitope CD4bs were delayed and infrequent. Enrichment of the HIV-specific response within resting memory B cells, the predominant subset in uninfected individuals, did occur in certain infected individuals who maintained low levels of plasma viremia and immune activation with or without antiretroviral therapy. The distribution of HIV-specific responses among memory B cell subsets was corroborated by transcriptional analyses. Taken together, our findings provide valuable insight into virus-specific B cell responses in HIV infection and demonstrate that memory B cell abnormalities may contribute to the ineffectiveness of the antibody response in infected individuals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major goal of systems biology is the development of models that accurately predict responses to perturbation. Constructing such models requires the collection of dense measurements of system states, yet transformation of data into predictive constructs remains a challenge. To begin to model human immunity, we analyzed immune parameters in depth both at baseline and in response to influenza vaccination. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell transcriptomes, serum titers, cell subpopulation frequencies, and B cell responses were assessed in 63 individuals before and after vaccination and were used to develop a systematic framework to dissect inter- and intra-individual variation and build predictive models of postvaccination antibody responses. Strikingly, independent of age and pre-existing antibody titers, accurate models could be constructed using pre-perturbation cell populations alone, which were validated using independent baseline time points. Most of the parameters contributing to prediction delineated temporally stable baseline differences across individuals, raising the prospect of immune monitoring before intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic defects in MOGS, the gene encoding mannosyl-oligosaccharide glucosidase (the first enzyme in the processing pathway of N-linked oligosaccharide), cause the rare congenital disorder of glycosylation type IIb (CDG-IIb), also known as MOGS-CDG. MOGS is expressed in the endoplasmic reticulum and is involved in the trimming of N-glycans. We evaluated two siblings with CDG-IIb who presented with multiple neurologic complications and a paradoxical immunologic phenotype characterized by severe hypogammaglobulinemia but limited clinical evidence of an infectious diathesis. A shortened immunoglobulin half-life was determined to be the mechanism underlying the hypogammaglobulinemia. Impaired viral replication and cellular entry may explain a decreased susceptibility to infections.
New England Journal of Medicine 04/2014; · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autosomal dominant gain of function mutations in the gene encoding PI3K p110δ were recently associated with a novel combined immune deficiency characterized by recurrent sinopulmonary infections, CD4 lymphopenia, reduced class-switched memory B cells, lymphadenopathy, CMV and/or EBV viremia and EBV-related lymphoma. A subset of affected patients also had elevated serum IgM. Here we describe three patients in two families who were diagnosed with HIGM at a young age and were recently found to carry heterozygous mutations in PIK3CD. These patients had an abnormal circulating B cell distribution featuring a preponderance of early transitional (T1) B cells and plasmablasts. When stimulated in vitro, PIK3CD mutated B cells were able to secrete class-switched immunoglobulins. This finding implies that the patients' elevated serum IgM levels were unlikely a product of an intrinsic B cell functional inability to class switch. All three patients developed malignant lymphoproliferative syndromes that were not associated with EBV. Thus, we identified a novel subset of patients with PIK3CD mutations associated with HIGM, despite indications of preserved in vitro B cell class switch recombination, as well as susceptibility to non-EBV-associated malignancies.
Journal of Clinical Immunology 03/2014; · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background We observed a syndrome of intermittent fevers, early-onset lacunar strokes and other neurovascular manifestations, livedoid rash, hepatosplenomegaly, and systemic vasculopathy in three unrelated patients. We suspected a genetic cause because the disorder presented in early childhood. Methods We performed whole-exome sequencing in the initial three patients and their unaffected parents and candidate-gene sequencing in three patients with a similar phenotype, as well as two young siblings with polyarteritis nodosa and one patient with small-vessel vasculitis. Enzyme assays, immunoblotting, immunohistochemical testing, flow cytometry, and cytokine profiling were performed on samples from the patients. To study protein function, we used morpholino-mediated knockdowns in zebrafish and short hairpin RNA knockdowns in U937 cells cultured with human dermal endothelial cells. Results All nine patients carried recessively inherited mutations in CECR1 (cat eye syndrome chromosome region, candidate 1), encoding adenosine deaminase 2 (ADA2), that were predicted to be deleterious; these mutations were rare or absent in healthy controls. Six patients were compound heterozygous for eight CECR1 mutations, whereas the three patients with polyarteritis nodosa or small-vessel vasculitis were homozygous for the p.Gly47Arg mutation. Patients had a marked reduction in the levels of ADA2 and ADA2-specific enzyme activity in the blood. Skin, liver, and brain biopsies revealed vasculopathic changes characterized by compromised endothelial integrity, endothelial cellular activation, and inflammation. Knockdown of a zebrafish ADA2 homologue caused intracranial hemorrhages and neutropenia - phenotypes that were prevented by coinjection with nonmutated (but not with mutated) human CECR1. Monocytes from patients induced damage in cocultured endothelial-cell layers. Conclusions Loss-of-function mutations in CECR1 were associated with a spectrum of vascular and inflammatory phenotypes, ranging from early-onset recurrent stroke to systemic vasculopathy or vasculitis. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Programs and others.).
New England Journal of Medicine 02/2014; · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported abnormalities in circulating B cells in patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) and those with HIV infection. Gastrointestinal complications are common to both diseases and likely involve perturbation of immune cells, including plasma cells (PCs). IgA is the most abundant immunoglobulin in the human body, with roles in protection and maintenance of intestinal homeostasis. IgA is produced primarily by PCs residing in mucosal tissues that are also thought to circulate in the blood.
We sought to characterize and compare PCs in patients with infectious (HIV) and noninfectious (CGD and Crohn disease) diseases that have been associated with intestinal inflammation.
Phenotypic and transcriptional analyses were performed on cells isolated from the blood and colon.
IgA-secreting CCR10-expressing PCs predominated in the guts of healthy subjects, whereas in patients with HIV, CGD, and Crohn disease, there was a significant increase in the proportion of IgG-secreting PCs. Where intestinal inflammation was present, IgG-secreting PCs expressed reduced levels of CCR10 and increased levels of CXCR4. The intensity of CXCR4 expression correlated with the frequency of IgG-expressing PCs and the frequency of CXCR4(+)/IgG(+) PCs was associated with the severity of intestinal inflammatory disease yet distinct from PCs and plasmablasts circulating in the blood.
These findings suggest that regardless of the underlying disease, the presence of CXCR4(+)/IgG(+) PCs in the gut is a strong yet localized indicator of intestinal inflammation. Furthermore, our findings suggest that CXCR4(+)/IgG(+) PCs might play a role in immune cell homeostasis during inflammatory processes of the gut.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 12/2013; · 12.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is causatively linked to two B cell lymphoproliferative disorders, multicentric Castleman's disease and primary effusion lymphoma. Latently infected B cells are a major KSHV reservoir, and virus activation from tonsillar B cells can result in salivary shedding and virus transmission. Paradoxically, human B cells (primary and continuous) are notoriously refractory to infection, thus posing a major obstacle to the study of KSHV in this cell type. By performing a strategic search of human B cell lymphoma lines, we found that MC116 cells were efficiently infected by cell-free KSHV. Upon exposure to recombinant KSHV.219, EGFP reporter expression was detected in 17-20% of MC116 cells. Latent phase transcription and protein synthesis were detected by RT-PCR and latency-associated nuclear antigen expression in cell lysates and individual cells. Selection based on the puromycin-resistance gene in KSHV.219 yielded cultures with all cells infected. After repeated passaging of the selected KSHV-infected cells without puromycin, latent KSHV was maintained in a small fraction of cells. Infected MC116 cells could be induced into lytic phase with histone deacetylase inhibitors as known for latently infected non-B cell lines, and also selectively by the B cell-specific pathway involving B cell receptor crosslinking. Lytic phase transition was documented by RFP reporter expression, late structural glycoprotein detection (K8.1A, gH), and infectious KSHV production. MC116 cells were CD27(-)/CD10(+), characteristic of transitional B cells. These findings represent an important step in the establishment of an efficient continuous B cell line model to study the biologically relevant steps of KSHV infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immune restoration disease (IRD) can develop in HIV-infected patients following antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation as unmasking or paradoxical worsening of opportunistic infections and, rarely, autoimmune phenomena. Although IRD usually occurs in the first months of ART during memory CD4 T-cell recovery, Graves' disease occurs as a distinctive late-onset IRD and its pathogenesis is unclear.
Seven patients who developed Graves' disease following ART initiation from the primary HIV care clinic at the National Institutes of Health were retrospectively identified and each was matched with two HIV-infected controls based on age, sex, and baseline CD4 T-cell count. Laboratory evaluations on stored cryopreserved samples were performed.
Immunophenotyping of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), T-cell receptor excision circle (TREC) analysis in PBMCs, measurement of serum cytokines, and luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS) analysis for autoimmune antibodies were performed on stored samples for cases and controls at baseline and longitudinally following ART initiation. TSH/thyrotropin receptor (TSH-R) antibody testing was performed on serum from cases. Data were analyzed using nonparametric testing.
In comparison with controls, the proportion of naive CD4 T cells increased significantly (P = 0.0027) in the Graves' disease-IRD patients. TREC/10 PBMCs also increased significantly following ART in Graves' disease-IRD patients compared with controls (P = 0.0071). Similarly, LIPS analysis demonstrated increases in nonthyroid-related autoantibody titers over time following ART in cases compared with controls.
Our data suggest that Graves' disease-IRD, in contrast to early-onset IRD, is associated with naive and primary thymic emigrant CD4 T-cell recovery and inappropriate autoantibody production.
AIDS (London, England) 08/2013; · 4.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elite controllers suppress HIV viremia to below the limit of detection in the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, precise frequencies of CD4(+) T cells carrying replication-competent HIV and/or the dynamics of the infectious viral reservoirs in response to initiation and discontinuation of ART in elite controllers are unknown. We show that the size of the pool of CD4(+) T cells harboring infectious HIV diminished significantly following initiation of ART and rebounded to baseline upon cessation of therapy. Our data provide compelling evidence that persistent viral replication occurs in untreated elite controllers even in the absence of detectable plasma viremia.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2013; · 5.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease is associated with dysregulation and dysfunction involving all major lymphocyte populations, including B cells. Such perturbations occur early in the course of infection and are driven in large part by immune activation resulting from ongoing HIV replication leading to bystander effects on B cells. While most of the knowledge regarding immune cell abnormalities in HIV-infected individuals has been gained from studies conducted on the peripheral blood, it is clear that the virus is most active and most damaging in lymphoid tissues. Here, we discuss B-cell perturbations in HIV-infected individuals, focusing on the skewing of B-cell subsets that circulate in the peripheral blood and their counterparts that reside in lymphoid tissues. This review also highlights recent advances in evaluating HIV-specific B-cell responses both in the memory B-cell compartment, as well as in circulating antibody-secreting plasmablasts and the more differentiated plasma cells residing in tissues. Finally, we consider how knowledge gained by investigating B cells in HIV-infected individuals may help inform the development of an effective antibody-based HIV vaccine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Terminal differentiation of B cells and hypergammaglobulinemia are hallmarks of B-cell hyperactivity in HIV disease. Plasmablasts are terminally differentiating B cells that circulate transiently in the blood following infection or vaccination; however, in HIV infection, they arise early and are maintained at abnormally high levels in viremic individuals. Here we show that only a small fraction of plasmablasts in the blood of viremic individuals is HIV-specific. Assessment of plasmablast immunoglobulin isotype distribution revealed increased IgG(+) plasmablasts in early and most prominently during chronic HIV viremia, contrasting with a predominantly IgA(+) plasmablast profile in HIV-negative individuals or in aviremic HIV-infected individuals on treatment. Of note, IgG is the predominant immunoglobulin isotype of plasmablasts that arise transiently in the blood following parenteral immunization. Serum immunoglobulin levels were also elevated in HIV-infected viremic individuals, especially IgG, and correlated with levels of IgG(+) plasmablasts. Several soluble factors associated with immune activation were also increased in the serum of HIV-infected individuals, especially in viremic individuals, and correlated with serum immunoglobulin levels, particularly IgG. Thus, our data suggest that while plasmablasts in the blood may contribute to the HIV-specific immune response, the majority of these cells are not HIV-specific and arise early, likely from indirect immune-activating effects of HIV replication and reflect over time the effects of chronic antigenic stimulation. Such B-cell dysregulation may help explain why the antibody response is inadequate in HIV-infected individuals, even during early infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) represent exquisite models for studying mechanisms of human host defense. In this study, we report on two unrelated kindreds, with two patients each, who had cryptosporidial infections associated with chronic cholangitis and liver disease. Using exome and candidate gene sequencing, we identified two distinct homozygous loss-of-function mutations in the interleukin-21 receptor gene (IL21R; c.G602T, p.Arg201Leu and c.240_245delCTGCCA, p.C81_H82del). The IL-21R(Arg201Leu) mutation causes aberrant trafficking of the IL-21R to the plasma membrane, abrogates IL-21 ligand binding, and leads to defective phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), STAT3, and STAT5. We observed impaired IL-21-induced proliferation and immunoglobulin class-switching in B cells, cytokine production in T cells, and NK cell cytotoxicity. Our study indicates that human IL-21R deficiency causes an immunodeficiency and highlights the need for early diagnosis and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in affected children.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 02/2013; · 13.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) controls genes involved in normal lymphocyte functions, but constitutive NF-κB activation is often associated with B cell malignancy. Using high-throughput whole transcriptome sequencing, we investigated a unique family with hereditary polyclonal B cell lymphocytosis. We found a novel germline heterozygous missense mutation (E127G) in affected patients in the gene encoding CARD11, a scaffolding protein required for antigen receptor (AgR)-induced NF-κB activation in both B and T lymphocytes. We subsequently identified a second germline mutation (G116S) in an unrelated, phenotypically similar patient, confirming mutations in CARD11 drive disease. Like somatic, gain-of-function CARD11 mutations described in B cell lymphoma, these germline CARD11 mutants spontaneously aggregate and drive constitutive NF-κB activation. However, these CARD11 mutants rendered patient T cells less responsive to AgR-induced activation. By reexamining this rare genetic disorder first reported four decades ago, our findings provide new insight into why activating CARD11 mutations may induce B cell expansion and preferentially predispose to B cell malignancy without dramatically perturbing T cell homeostasis.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 11/2012; · 13.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD27(+) memory B cells are reduced in the blood of patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) for reasons and consequences that remain unclear. Here we confirm not only decreased CD27(+) but also IgG(+) B cells in the blood of CGD patients compared to healthy donors (HD). However, among IgG(+) B cells, the ratio of CD27(-) to CD27(+) was significantly higher in CGD patients compared to HD. Similar to conventional memory B cells, CD27(-)IgG(+) B cells of CGD patients expressed activation markers and had undergone somatic hypermutation, albeit at levels lower than their CD27(+) counterparts. Functional analyses revealed slight reductions in frequencies of total IgG but not influenza-specific memory B-cell responses, as measured by Elispot in CGD patients compared to HD. Serum IgG levels and influenza-specific antibodies were also normal in these CGD patients. Finally, we provide evidence that influenza-specific memory B cells can be present within the CD27(-)IgG(+) B-cell compartment. Together these findings show that despite reduced circulating CD27(+) memory B cells, CGD patients maintain an intact humoral immunologic memory, with potential contribution from CD27(-) B cells.