[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection claims approximately 2 million lives per year, and improved efficacy of the BCG vaccine remains a World Health Organization priority. Successful vaccination against M. tuberculosis requires the induction and maintenance of T cells. Targeting molecules that promote T-cell survival may therefore provide an alternative strategy to classic adjuvants. We show that the interaction between T-cell-expressed OX40 and OX40L on antigen-presenting cells is critical for effective immunity to BCG. However, because OX40L is lost rapidly from antigen-presenting cells following BCG vaccination, maintenance of OX40-expressing vaccine-activated T cells may not be optimal. Delivering an OX40L:Ig fusion protein simultaneously with BCG provided superior immunity to intravenous and aerosol M. tuberculosis challenge even 6 months after vaccination, an effect that depends on natural killer 1.1(+) cells. Attenuated vaccines may therefore lack sufficient innate stimulation to maintain vaccine-specific T cells, which can be replaced by reagents binding inducible T-cell costimulators.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 03/2012; 205(6):975-83. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The lung must maintain a high threshold of immune 'ignorance' to innocuous antigens to avoid inflammatory disease that depends on the balance of positive inflammatory signals and repressor pathways. We demonstrate here that airway macrophages had higher expression of the negative regulator CD200 receptor (CD200R) than did their systemic counterparts. Lung macrophages were restrained by CD200 expressed on airway epithelium. Mice lacking CD200 had more macrophage activity and enhanced sensitivity to influenza infection, which led to delayed resolution of inflammation and, ultimately, death. The administration of agonists that bind CD200R, however, prevented inflammatory lung disease. Thus, CD200R is critical for lung macrophage immune homeostasis in the resting state and limits inflammatory amplitude and duration during pulmonary influenza infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms underlying exacerbation of asthma induced by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection have been extensively studied in human and animal models. However, most of these studies focused on acute inflammation and little is known of its long-term consequences on remodelling of the airway tissue.
The aim of the study was to use a murine model of prolonged allergen-induced airway inflammation to investigate the effect of RSV infection on allergic airway inflammation and tissue remodelling.
We subjected mice to RSV infection before or during the chronic phase of airway challenges with OVA and compared parameters of airway inflammation and remodelling at the end-point of the prolonged allergen-induced airway inflammation protocol.
RSV infection did not affect the severity of airway inflammation in any of the groups studied. However, RSV infection provoked airway remodelling in non-sensitized, allergen-challenged mice that did not otherwise develop any of the features of allergic airways disease. Increased collagen synthesis in the lung and thickening of the bronchial basal membrane was observed in non-sensitized allergen-challenged mice only after prior RSV infection. In addition, fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 but not TGF-beta(1) was increased in this group following RSV infection.
Our data show for the first time that RSV infection can prime the lung of mice that are not previously systemically sensitized, to develop airway remodelling in response to allergen upon sole exposure via the airways. Moreover, our results implicate RSV-induced FGF-2 in the remodelling process in vivo.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chlamydiae are atypical intracellular bacteria that infect via mucosal surfaces causing, for example, trachoma, pneumonia, cervicitis, urethritis and infertility. Existing antibiotics are only partially effective and no vaccines are available. Using surface expressed or secreted proteins previously identified by genomics and proteomics we tested five as vaccines against intranasal challenge with Chlamydia pneumoniae. One antigen, LcrE, induced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activation, type 1 cytokine secretion and neutralising antibodies and was completely effective in eliminating infection. Such antigens are highly conserved and essential to all Chlamydial species. The discovery of an effective vaccine for Chlamydiae pneumoniae has potential wide benefits for human health.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lung pathology observed during influenza infection is due to direct damage resulting from viral replication and bystander damage caused by overly exuberant antiviral immune mechanisms. In the absence of universally effective vaccines and antiviral therapies, knowledge of the cellular components required for immune containment of influenza is essential. ICOS is a late co-stimulatory molecule expressed by T cells 12-24 h after activation. We show for the first time that inhibition of ICOS with a monoclonal antibody reduces pulmonary T cell inflammation and associated cytokine expression. Surprisingly however, this reduction in T cells was not accompanied by an alleviation of weight loss and illness. Furthermore, lung viral titres were elevated following anti-ICOS treatment, suggesting that the beneficial outcome of reducing T cell pathology was masked by enhanced virus-induced damage and innate inflammation. This study demonstrates the delicate balance that exists between pathogen burden and pulmonary T cell inflammation during influenza infection and highlights the critical role of ICOS in this response.
European Journal of Immunology 12/2006; 36(11):2928-38. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, the prevalence of invasive fungal infections has increased, attributed mostly to the rising population of immunocompromised individuals. Cryptococcus neoformans has been one of the most devastating, with an estimated 6-8% of AIDS-infected patients succumbing to Cryptococcus-associated meningitis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are potent antimicrobial agents but also play a significant role in regulating immune cell phenotype, but cause immunopathology when produced in excess. We now show that mice lacking phagocyte NADPH oxidase have heightened macrophage and Th1 responses and improved pathogen containment within pulmonary granulomatous lesions. Consequently, dissemination of this fungus to the brain is diminished, an effect that is independent of IL-12. Similar results are described using the metalloporphyrin antioxidant manganese(III) tetrakis(N-ethyl pyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin, which also promoted a protective Th1 response and reduced dissemination to the brain. These findings are in sharp contrast to the protective potential of ROS against other fungal pathogens, and highlight the pivotal role that ROS can fulfill in shaping the profile of the host's immune response.
The Journal of Immunology 11/2006; 177(8):5509-16. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three influenza virus pandemics occurred in the last century, in 1918 killing 40-50 million people. In the absence of strain-specific vaccines, with potential resistance to antivirals and the threat of an imminent pandemic, strategies that alleviate symptoms are a priority. Reactive oxygen species are potent antimicrobial agents but cause immunopathology when produced in excess. Mice lacking a functional phagocyte NADPH oxidase (Cybb tm1 mice) or treated with the metalloporphyrin antioxidant manganese (III) tetrakis (N-ethyl pyridinium-2-yl) porpyhrin (MnTE-2-PyP) show heightened inflammatory infiltrates in their airways in response to pulmonary influenza infection, with augmented macrophage populations and a Th1-skewed T cell infiltrate. Underlying this exuberant macrophage response was a significant reduction in apoptosis and down-regulation of the myeloid inhibitory molecule CD200. Both, Cybb tm1 and MnTE-2-PyP-treated mice exhibited a reduced influenza titer in the lung parenchyma. Inflammatory infiltrate into the lung parenchyma was markedly reduced and lung function significantly improved. Manipulation of the homeostatic control of myeloid cells by inflammatory mediators therefore represents a novel therapeutic strategy in the treatment of influenza virus infection.
European Journal of Immunology 07/2006; 36(6):1364-73. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induction of immunity to one pathogen in the lungs modifies the microenvironment and alters immunopathological changes that result from a second, unrelated pulmonary infection. However, it is unclear whether immunity generated at distant sites also affects lung immune responses. Here, we show that infection with the gut-restricted bacterium Citrobacter rodentium modifies immunopathological changes that result from pulmonary Cryptococcus neoformans infection. Th2 cytokine-driven pulmonary eosinophilia induced by C. neoformans infection was reduced, and the enhanced Th1 cytokine environment afforded more-rapid clearance of the fungus in C. rodentium-immune mice. The activated and intraepithelial (CD103+) T cell populations that expand after C. neoformans infection were diminished in C. rodentium-immune mice. T cell cross-reactivity was absent, but cross-reactive antibodies were detected. It is of importance to the "hygiene hypothesis" that these data indicate that an immune response induced by a gut-restricted pathogen can modify the immune outcome after pulmonary infection, suggesting that cell-phenotype modifications occur across mucosal sites.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 02/2006; 193(2):223-30. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant-expressed vaccines may provide a unique opportunity for generating anti-pathogen immunity, especially in countries where cold storage is lacking. In the following study, we show that soluble protein from tobacco leaves expressing fragment C of tetanus toxin protected mice against a lethal tetanus toxin challenge. More importantly, we show that a single intranasal (i.n.) vaccination was as efficient as oral delivery, inducing high levels of activated CD4(+) T cells and anti-toxin antibody. Unlike the oral route, i.n. delivery did not require the presence of adjuvant (cholera toxin). Indeed, addition of cholera toxin induced bystander immune responses to plant proteins as well. This is the first study documenting protective immunity by a single i.n. dose of plant vaccine. Plant-based vaccines are promising because they are more heat stable, are easy to produce, cheap and do not require needles.
European Journal of Immunology 05/2005; 35(4):1320-6. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Respiratory infections are the third leading cause of death worldwide. Complications arise directly as a consequence of pathogen replication or indirectly due to aberrant or excessive immune responses. In the following report, we evaluate the efficacy, in a murine model, of nasally delivered DNA encoding TGF-beta1 to suppress immunopathology in response to a variety of infectious agents. A single nasal administration suppressed lymphocyte responses to Cryptococcus neoformans, influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus. The suppression did not depend on the phenotype of the responding T cell, since both Th1 and Th2 responses were affected. During Th2-inducing infection, pulmonary eosinophilic responses were significantly suppressed. In all cases, however, suppressed immunity correlated with increased susceptibility to infection. We conclude that nasal TGF-beta treatment could be used to prevent pulmonary, pathogen-driven eosinophilic disease, although anti-pathogen strategies will need to be administered concordantly.
Microbes and Infection 04/2005; 7(3):365-74. · 2.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytosine-phosphate-guanosine-containing oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODN) are important vaccine adjuvants that promote Th1-type immune responses. Cryptococcus neoformans is a serious human pathogen that replicates in the lung but may disseminate systemically leading to meningitis, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. Immunization of susceptible C57BL/6 mice with CpG ODN deviates the immune response from a Th2- toward a Th1-type response following infection with C. neoformans. CpG also induces IL-12, TNF, MCP-1 and macrophage nitric oxide production. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells producing IFN-gamma increase in frequency, while those producing IL-5 decrease. More importantly, pulmonary eosinophilia is significantly reduced, an effect that depends on IL-12 and CD8(+) T cells but not NK cells. CpG treatment also reduces the burden of C. neoformans in the lung, an effect that is IL-12-, NK cell- and T cell-independent and probably reflects a direct effect of CpG on pathogen opsonization or an enhancement of macrophage antimicrobial activity. An equivalent beneficial effect is also observed when CpG ODN treatment is delivered during established cryptococcal disease. This is the first study documenting that promotion of lung TLR9 signaling using synthetic agonists enhances host defense. Activation of innate immunity has clear therapeutic potential and may even be beneficial in patients with acquired immune deficiency.
European Journal of Immunology 02/2005; 35(1):273-81. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a healthy individual, the lung contains few lymphoid cells. However, amplified immune responses, as exemplified during lung infection, can cause extensive tissue damage. We have previously demonstrated that one lung infection modulates the immunopathological outcome to a subsequent unrelated pathogen. Mimicking heterologous immunity may provide a means of enhancing both innate and acquired immunity. We now show that prior lung administration of a modified heat-labile toxin from Escherichia coli (LTK63) enhances immunity to respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, and the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. Treatment with LTK63 decreased lung inflammation and tissue damage and improved the ability to resolve the infection. APCs expressing the activation markers MHC class II, CD80, and CD40 increased in number in the lung. LTK63 treatment increased the pathogen-specific IgA response in the nasal mucosa and simultaneously decreased inflammatory cytokine production (IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha) after infection. The number of activated CD8(+)CD44(+) T cells and the respiratory syncytial virus- or influenza-specific CD8-proliferative responses increased, although the total inflammatory infiltrate was reduced. LTK63 treatment matured lung APCs (LTK63 prevented efficient presentation of whole OVA to DO11.10 cells, whereas OVA peptide presentation was unaffected), enhanced immunity in both a Th1 and Th2 environment, was long lasting, and was not pathogen or host strain specific; the protective effects were partially independent of T and B cells. Innate imprinting by toxin-based immunotherapeutics may provide generic protection against infectious disease in the lung, without the need for coadministered pathogen-specific Ag.
The Journal of Immunology 01/2005; 173(12):7435-43. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Respiratory infections are the third leading cause of death worldwide. Illness is caused by pathogen replication and disruption of airway homeostasis by excessive expansion of cell numbers. One strategy to prevent lung immune-mediated damage involves reducing the cellular burden. To date, antiinflammatory strategies have affected both antigen-specific and naive immune repertoires. Here we report a novel form of immune intervention that specifically targets recently activated T cells alone. OX40 (CD134) is absent on naive T cells but up-regulated 1-2 d after antigen activation. OX40-immunoglobulin fusion proteins block the interaction of OX40 with its ligand on antigen-presenting cells and eliminate weight loss and cachexia without preventing virus clearance. Reduced proliferation and enhanced apoptosis of lung cells accompanied the improved clinical phenotype. Manipulation of this late costimulatory pathway has clear therapeutic potential for the treatment of dysregulated lung immune responses.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 10/2003; 198(8):1237-42. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some common childhood infections appear to prevent the development of atopy and asthma. In some Mycobacterium bovis BCG-vaccinated populations, strong delayed-type hypersensitivity responses to mycobacterial antigens are associated with a reduced risk of atopy. Although BCG exposure decreases allergen-induced lung eosinophilia in animal models, little attention has been given to the effect of immunity to BCG on responses against live pathogens. We used the murine Cryptococcus neoformans infection model to investigate whether prior BCG infection can alter such responses. The present study shows that persistent pulmonary BCG infection of C57BL/6 mice induced an increase in gamma interferon, a reduction in interleukin-5, and a decrease in lung eosinophilia during subsequent Cryptococcus infection. This effect was long lasting, depended on the presence of live bacteria, and required persistence of mycobacterial infection in the lung. Reduction of eosinophilia was less prominent after infection with a mutant BCG strain (DeltahspR), which was rapidly cleared from the lungs. These observations have important implications for the development of vaccines designed to prevent Th2-mediated disease and indicate that prior lung BCG vaccination can alter the pattern of subsequent host inflammation.
Infection and Immunity 07/2003; 71(6):3384-91. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary eosinophilia induced in C57BL/6 mice after Cryptococcus neoformans infection is driven by CD4(+) Th2 cells. The immunological mechanisms that protect against eosinophilia are not fully understood. Interaction of OX40 (CD134) and its ligand, OX40L, has been implicated in T cell activation and cell migration. Unlike CD28, OX40 is only expressed on T cells 1-2 days after Ag activation. Manipulation of this pathway would therefore target recently activated T cells, leaving the naive repertoire unaffected. In this study, we show that engagement of OX40 by an OX40L:Ig fusion protein drives IFN-gamma production by CD4(+) T cells and reduces eosinophilia and C. neoformans burden in the lung. Using gene-depleted mice, we show that reduction of eosinophilia and pathogen burden requires IL-12 and/or IFN-gamma. C. neoformans infection itself only partially induces OX40L expression by APCs. Provision of exogenous OX40L reveals a critical role of this pathway in the prevention of C. neoformans-induced eosinophilia.
The Journal of Immunology 07/2003; 170(12):6125-32. · 5.52 Impact Factor