Adam R Hersperger

Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, United States

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Publications (9)59.78 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: CD4(+) T cells are generally regarded as helpers and regulators of the immune response. Although cytolytic CD4(+) T cells have been described, whether those generated during the course of a viral infection play a role in virus control remains unknown. Here we show that during acute infection with ectromelia virus, the mouse homolog of the human virus of smallpox, large numbers of CD4(+) T cells in the draining lymph node and liver of resistant mice have a cytotoxic phenotype. We also show that these cells kill targets in vivo in a perforin-dependent manner and that mice with specific deficiency of perforin in CD4(+) T cells have impaired virus control. Thus, perforin-dependent CD4(+) T-cell killing of infected cells is an important mechanism of antiviral defense.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2012; 109(25):9983-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vaccinia virus (VACV) stimulates long-term immunity against highly pathogenic orthopoxvirus infection of humans (smallpox) and mice (mousepox [ectromelia virus {ECTV}]) despite the lack of a natural host-pathogen relationship with either of these species. Previous research revealed that VACV is able to induce polyfunctional CD8(+) T-cell responses after immunization of humans. However, the degree to which the functional profile of T cells induced by VACV is similar to that generated during natural poxvirus infection remains unknown. In this study, we monitored virus-specific T-cell responses following the dermal infection of C57BL/6 mice with ECTV or VACV. Using polychromatic flow cytometry, we measured levels of degranulation, cytokine expression (gamma interferon [IFN-γ], tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], and interleukin-2 [IL-2]), and the cytolytic mediator granzyme B. We observed that the functional capacities of T cells induced by VACV and ECTV were of a similar quality in spite of the markedly different replication abilities and pathogenic outcomes of these viruses. In general, a significant fraction (≥50%) of all T-cell responses were positive for at least three functions both during acute infection and into the memory phase. In vivo killing assays revealed that CD8(+) T cells specific for both viruses were equally cytolytic (∼80% target cell lysis after 4 h), consistent with the similar levels of granzyme B and degranulation detected among these cells. Collectively, these data provide a mechanism to explain the ability of VACV to induce protective T-cell responses against pathogenic poxviruses in their natural hosts and provide further support for the use of VACV as a vaccine platform able to induce polyfunctional T cells.
    Journal of Virology 04/2012; 86(13):7298-309. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past 2 years, a clearer picture has emerged regarding the properties of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells associated with immunologic control of HIV replication. These properties represent a potential mechanism by which rare patients might control HIV replication in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. This review addresses the background and recent findings that have lead to our current understanding of these mechanism(s). Patients with immunologic control of HIV are not distinguished by targeted specificities, or greater numbers or breadth of their HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell response. For this reason, recent work has focused greater attention on qualitative features of this response. The qualitative features most closely associated with immunologic control of HIV are related to the granule-exocytosis-mediated elimination of HIV-infected CD4 T cells. The ability of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells to increase their contents of proteins known to mediate cytotoxicity, such as granzyme B and perforin, appears to be a critical means by which HIV-specific cytotoxic capacity is regulated. Investigation from multiple groups has now focused upon HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell granule-exocytosis-mediated cytotoxicity as a correlate of immunologic control of HIV. In the near future, a more detailed understanding of the qualities associated with immunologic control may provide critical insights regarding the necessary features of a response that should be stimulated by immunotherapies or T-cell-based vaccines.
    Current opinion in HIV and AIDS 03/2011; 6(3):169-73. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent data suggest that CD8+ T-cell effector activity is an important component in the control of HIV replication in elite controllers (ECs). One critical element of CD8+ T-cell effector function and differentiation is the T-box transcription factor T-bet. In the present study, we assessed T-bet expression, together with the effector proteins perforin, granzyme A (Grz A), granzyme B (Grz B), and granulysin, in HIV-specific CD8+ T cells from ECs (n = 20), chronically infected progressors (CPs; n = 18), and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-suppressed individuals (n = 19). Compared with the other cohort groups, HIV-specific CD8+ T cells among ECs demonstrated a superior ability to express perforin and Grz B, but with no detectable difference in the levels of Grz A or granulysin. We also observed higher levels of T-bet in HIV-specific CD8+ T cells from ECs, with an ensuing positive correlation between T-bet and levels of both perforin and Grz B. Moreover, HIV-specific CD8+ T cells in ECs up-regulated T-bet to a greater extent than CPs after in vitro expansion, with concomitant up-regulation of perforin and Grz B. These results suggest that T-bet may play an important role in driving effector function, and its modulation may lead to enhanced effector activity against HIV.
    Blood 02/2011; 117(14):3799-808. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many immune correlates of CD8(+) T-cell-mediated control of HIV replication, including polyfunctionality, proliferative ability, and inhibitory receptor expression, have been discovered. However, no functional correlates using ex vivo cells have been identified with the known ability to cause the direct elimination of HIV-infected cells. We have recently discovered the ability of human CD8(+) T-cells to rapidly upregulate perforin--an essential molecule for cell-mediated cytotoxicity--following antigen-specific stimulation. Here, we examined perforin expression capability in a large cross-sectional cohort of chronically HIV-infected individuals with varying levels of viral load: elite controllers (n = 35), viremic controllers (n = 29), chronic progressors (n = 27), and viremic nonprogressors (n = 6). Using polychromatic flow cytometry and standard intracellular cytokine staining assays, we measured perforin upregulation, cytokine production, and degranulation following stimulation with overlapping peptide pools encompassing all proteins of HIV. We observed that HIV-specific CD8(+) T-cells from elite controllers consistently display an enhanced ability to express perforin directly ex vivo compared to all other groups. This ability is not restricted to protective HLA-B haplotypes, does not require proliferation or the addition of exogenous factors, is not restored by HAART, and primarily originates from effector CD8(+) T-cells with otherwise limited functional capability. Notably, we found an inverse relationship between HIV-specific perforin expression and viral load. Thus, the capability of HIV-specific CD8(+) T-cells to rapidly express perforin defines a novel correlate of control in HIV infection.
    PLoS Pathogens 05/2010; 6(5):e1000917. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prevailing paradigm of T lymphocyte control of viral replication is that the protective capacity of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells is directly proportional to the number of functions they can perform, with IL-2 production capacity considered critical. Having recently defined rapid perforin upregulation as a novel effector function of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells, here we sought to determine whether new perforin production is a component of polyfunctional CD8(+) T cell responses that contributes to the control of several human viral infections: cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), influenza (flu), and adenovirus (Ad). We stimulated normal human donor PBMC with synthetic peptides whose amino acid sequences correspond to defined CTL epitopes in the aforementioned viruses, and then used polychromatic flow cytometry to measure the functional capacity and the phenotype of the responding CD8(+) T cells. While EBV and flu-specific CD8(+) T cells rarely upregulate perforin, CMV-specific cells often do and Ad stimulates an exceptionally strong perforin response. The differential propensity of CD8(+) T cells to produce either IL-2 or perforin is in part related to levels of CD28 and the transcription factor T-bet, as CD8(+) T cells that rapidly upregulate perforin harbor high levels of T-bet and those producing IL-2 express high amounts of CD28. Thus, "polyfunctional" profiling of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells must not be limited to simply the number of functions the cell can perform, or one particular memory phenotype, but should actually define which combinations of memory markers and functions are relevant in each pathogenic context.
    PLoS Pathogens 01/2010; 6(3):e1000798. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CTL are endowed with the ability to eliminate pathogens through perforin-mediated cytotoxic activity. The mechanism for perforin-mediated Ag-specific killing has been solely attributed to cytotoxic granule exocytosis from activated CD8(+) T cells. In this study, we redefine this mechanism, demonstrating that virus-specific CD8(+) T cells rapidly up-regulate perforin in response to stimulation temporally with IFN-gamma and CD107a expression. Following Ag-specific activation, newly synthesized perforin rapidly appears at the immunological synapse, both in association with and independent of cytotoxic granules, where it functions to promote cytotoxicity. Our work suggests a novel mechanism of CTL cytotoxicity and identifies a novel correlate of CD8(+) T cell-mediated immunity.
    The Journal of Immunology 06/2009; 182(9):5560-9. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    Retrovirology 01/2009; · 5.66 Impact Factor
  • Adam R Hersperger, George Makedonas, Michael R Betts
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    ABSTRACT: Perforin and granzymes work synergistically to induce apoptosis in target cells recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. While perforin is readily detectable by flow cytometry in resting CD8 T cells, upregulation of perforin in activated cells is thought to require proliferation. However, perforin undergoes numerous conformational changes during its maturation, which may affect the ability of conventional antibodies to recognize newly synthesized perforin. Polychromatic flow cytometry was used to detect perforin and cytokine production following stimulation of ex vivo human CD8 T cells. Two different anti-perforin antibodies, clones B-D48 and deltaG9, were used to discriminate various forms of perforin after cellular activation. We provide evidence for the rapid upregulation of perforin protein, which may contribute to the ability of CD8 T cells to kill multiple targets over time. The deltaG9 clone recognizes the granule-associated conformation of perforin, while the B-D48 clone is able to detect perforin in multiple forms. Finally, we show there is variability in the ability of CD8 T cells to upregulate perforin. Human CD8 T cells are capable of new perforin production immediately following activation. This work defines a novel flow cytometric procedure that can be used to more completely assess the cytotoxic capacity of human CD8 T cells.
    Cytometry Part A 08/2008; 73(11):1050-7. · 3.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

257 Citations
66 Downloads
619 Views
59.78 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012
    • Thomas Jefferson University
      • Department of Microbiology & Immunology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Microbiology (Medicine)
      Philadelphia, PA, United States