[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cluster of differentiation (CD)8(+) T cells are like a double edged sword during chronic viral infections because they not only promote virus elimination but also induce virus-mediated immunopathology. Elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been reported during virus infections. However, the role of ROS in T-cell-mediated immunopathology remains unclear. Here we used the murine lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus to explore the role of ROS during the processes of virus elimination and induction of immunopathology. We found that virus infection led to elevated levels of ROS producing granulocytes and macrophages in virus-infected liver and spleen tissues that were triggered by the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase. Lack of the regulatory subunit p47phox of the NADPH oxidase diminished ROS production in these cells. While CD8(+) T cells exhibited ROS production that was independent of NADPH oxidase expression, survival and T-cell function was elevated in p47phox-deficient (Ncf1(-/-)) mice. In the absence of p47phox, enhanced T-cell immunity promoted virus elimination and blunted corresponding immunopathology. In conclusion, we find that NADPH-mediated production of ROS critically impairs the immune response, impacting elimination of virus and outcome of liver cell damage.
Cell death and differentiation 04/2013; 40(4):649-58. · 8.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The acquisition of pathogen-derived antigen by dendritic cells (DCs) is a key event in the generation of cytotoxic CD8(+) T cell responses. In mice, the intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is directed from the blood to splenic CD8α(+) DCs. We report that L. monocytogenes rapidly associated with platelets in the bloodstream in a manner dependent on GPIb and complement C3. Platelet association targeted a small but immunologically important portion of L. monocytogenes to splenic CD8α(+) DCs, diverting bacteria from swift clearance by other, less immunogenic phagocytes. Thus, an effective balance is established between maintaining sterility of the circulation and induction of antibacterial immunity by DCs. Other gram-positive bacteria also were rapidly tagged by platelets, revealing a broadly active shuttling mechanism for systemic bacteria.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The innate immune response plays an essential role in the prevention of early viral dissemination. We used the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus model system to analyze the role of tissue macrophages/Kupffer cells in this process. Our findings demonstrated that Kupffer cells are essential for the efficient capture of infectious virus and for preventing viral replication. The latter process involved activation of Kupffer cells by interferon (IFN)-I and prevented viral spread to neighboring hepatocytes. In the absence of Kupffer cells, hepatocytes were not able to suppress virus replication, even in the presence of IFN-I, leading to prolonged viral replication and severe T cell-dependent immunopathology. CONCLUSION: Tissue-resident macrophages play a crucial role in early viral capture and represent the major liver cell type exhibiting responsiveness to IFN-I and providing control of viral replication.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Newborn higher vertebrates are largely immuno-incompetent and generally survive infections--including poxviruses--by maternal antibody protection. Here, we show that mice survived epidemics as adults only if exposed to lethal orthopoxvirus infections during infancy under the umbrella of maternal protective antibodies. This implies that both the absence of exposure to infection during early infancy or of effective vaccination renders the population highly susceptible to new or old re-emerging pathogens.
European Journal of Immunology 10/2009; 40(1):113-6. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocytes in circulation and provide a primary innate immune defense function against bacterial pathogens before development of a specific immune response. These specialized phagocytes are short lived (12-24 hours) and continuously replenished from bone marrow. We found that if the host is overwhelmed by a high inoculum of Listeria monocytogenes, neutrophils are depleted despite high granulocyte-colony stimulating factor induction. In contrast to a low-dose innocuous L. monocytogenes infection, high-dose Listeria challenge blocks neutrophil recruitment to infectious abscesses and bacterial proliferation is not controlled, resulting in lethal outcomes. Administering synthetic TLR2-ligand or heat-killed bacteria during the innocuous L. monocytogenes infection reproduced these effects, once again leading to overwhelming bacterial propagation. The same stimuli also severely aggravated Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes systemic infection. These data implicate systemic innate immune stimulation as a mechanism of bone marrow neutrophil exhaustion which negatively influences the outcome of bacterial infections.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2009; 106(17):7107-12. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retroviruses have the potential to acquire host cell-derived genetic material during reverse transcription and can integrate into the genomes of larger, more complex DNA viruses. In contrast, RNA viruses were believed not to integrate into the host's genome under any circumstances. We found that illegitimate recombination between an exogenous nonretroviral RNA virus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, and the endogenous intracisternal A-type particle (IAP) retrotransposon occurred and led to reverse transcription of exogenous viral RNA. The resulting complementary DNA was integrated into the host's genome with an IAP element. Thus, RNA viruses should be closely scrutinized for any capacity to interact with endogenous retroviral elements before their approval for therapeutic use in humans.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anti-helminth immunity involves CD4+ T cells, yet the precise effector mechanisms responsible for parasite killing or expulsion remain elusive. We now report an essential role for antibodies in mediating immunity against the enteric helminth Heligmosomoides polygyrus (Hp), a natural murine parasite that establishes chronic infection. Polyclonal IgG antibodies, present in naive mice and produced following Hp infection, functioned to limit egg production by adult parasites. Comparatively, affinity-matured parasite-specific IgG and IgA antibodies that developed only after multiple infections were required to prevent adult worm development. These data reveal complementary roles for polyclonal and affinity-matured parasite-specific antibodies in preventing enteric helminth infection by limiting parasite fecundity and providing immune protection against reinfection, respectively. We propose that parasite-induced polyclonal antibodies play a dual role, whereby the parasite is allowed to establish chronicity, while parasite load and spread are limited, likely reflecting the long coevolution of helminth parasites with their hosts.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: More than 500 million people worldwide are persistently infected with hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus. Although both viruses are poorly cytopathic, persistence of either virus carries a risk of chronic liver inflammation, potentially resulting in liver steatosis, liver cirrhosis, end-stage liver failure or hepatocellular carcinoma. Virus-specific T cells are a major determinant of the outcome of hepatitis, as they contribute to the early control of chronic hepatitis viruses, but they also mediate immunopathology during persistent virus infection. We have analyzed the role of platelet-derived vasoactive serotonin during virus-induced CD8(+) T cell-dependent immunopathological hepatitis in mice infected with the noncytopathic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. After virus infection, platelets were recruited to the liver, and their activation correlated with severely reduced sinusoidal microcirculation, delayed virus elimination and increased immunopathological liver cell damage. Lack of platelet-derived serotonin in serotonin-deficient mice normalized hepatic microcirculatory dysfunction, accelerated virus clearance in the liver and reduced CD8(+) T cell-dependent liver cell damage. In keeping with these observations, serotonin treatment of infected mice delayed entry of activated CD8(+) T cells into the liver, delayed virus control and aggravated immunopathological hepatitis. Thus, vasoactive serotonin supports virus persistence in the liver and aggravates virus-induced immunopathology.
Nature medicine 08/2008; 14(7):756-61. · 27.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The secreted phosphatidylserine-binding protein milk fat globule epidermal growth factor 8 (Mfge8) mediates engulfment of apoptotic germinal center B cells by tingible-body macrophages (TBMphis). Impairment of this process can contribute to autoimmunity. We show that Mfge8 is identical to the mouse follicular dendritic cell (FDC) marker FDC-M1. In bone-marrow chimeras between wild-type and Mfge8(-/-) mice, all splenic Mfge8 was derived from FDCs rather than TBMphis. However, Mfge8(-/-) TBMphis acquired and displayed Mfge8 only when embedded in Mfge8(+/+) stroma, or when situated in lymph nodes draining exogenous recombinant Mfge8. These findings indicate a licensing role for FDCs in TBMphi-mediated removal of excess B cells. Lymphotoxin-deficient mice lacked FDCs and splenic Mfge8, and suffer from autoimmunity similar to Mfge8(-/-) mice. Hence, FDCs facilitate TBMphi-mediated corpse removal, and their malfunction may be involved in autoimmunity.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 07/2008; 205(6):1293-302. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many vaccination strategies and immune cell therapies aim at increasing the numbers of memory T cells reactive to protective antigens. However, the differentiation lineage and therefore the optimal generation conditions of CD4 memory cells remain controversial. Linear and divergent differentiation models have been proposed, suggesting CD4 memory T cell development from naive precursors either with or without an effector-stage intermediate, respectively. Here, we address this question by using newly available techniques for the identification and isolation of effector T cells secreting effector cytokines. In adoptive cell transfers into normal, nonlymphopenic mice, we show that long-lived virus-specific memory T cells can efficiently be generated from purified interferon gamma-secreting T helper (Th) type 1 and interleukin (IL)-4- or IL-10-secreting Th2 effectors primed in vitro or in vivo. Importantly, such effector-derived memory T cells were functional in viral challenge infections. They proliferated vigorously, rapidly modulated IL-7 receptor expression, exhibited partial stability and flexibility of their cytokine patterns, and exerted differential effects on virus-induced immunopathology. Thus, cytokine-secreting effectors can evade activation-induced cell death and develop into long-lived functional memory cells. These findings demonstrate the efficiency of linear memory T cell differentiation and encourage the design of vaccines and immune cell therapies based on differentiated effector T cells.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 02/2008; 205(1):53-61. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal antibodies protect newborns whilst they are immunologically immature. This study shows that maternal antibodies can also shape the B cell repertoire of the offspring long after the maternal antibodies themselves become undetectable. V(H)DJ(H) gene-targeted (VI10) mice expressing a heavy chain specific for vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) produce a 20-fold increased spontaneous titer of VSV-neutralizing antibodies. When transferred from mother to offspring, these antibodies prevented accumulation of Ag-specific transitional type 2 and marginal zone B cells with an activated phenotype and favored selection to the B cell follicles. This effect was B cell-intrinsic and lasted up to adulthood. The pups nursed by mothers producing specific antibodies developed higher endogenous antibody titers of this specificity which perpetuated the effects of specific B cell selection into the mature follicular compartment, presumably by blocking auto-Ag-dependent development of transitional type 2 B cells in the spleen. This repertoire change was functional, as following infection of adult mice with VSV, those pups that had received specific maternal antibodies as neonates had increased pre-immune titers and mounted strong early IgG neutralizing antibodies.
European Journal of Immunology 02/2008; 38(1):90-101. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is a murine arenavirus whose glycoprotein consists of a transmembrane subunit (GP-2) and a receptor-binding subunit (GP-1). LCMV-neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) are directed against a single site on GP-1 and occur 1 month after the infection of cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte (CTL) deficient mice. In wild-type mice, however, CTLs control early infection, and weak nAb titers emerge very late (after 70 to 150 days) if at all. Production of recombinant GP-1 in native conformation enabled us to study the emergence of GP-1-binding antibodies directed against the neutralizing epitope. By combining binding and neutralization assays, we correlated the development of binding antibodies versus nAbs in wild-type and CTL-deficient mice after infection with different LCMV doses. We found that wild-type mice developed GP-1-specific antibodies already by day 8 after exposure to high but not low doses, demonstrating that naive GP-1-specific B cells were infrequent. Furthermore, the induced antibodies bound to the neutralizing GP-1 epitope but failed to neutralize the virus and therefore were of low affinity. In CTL-deficient mice, where massive viremia quickly levels initial differences in viral load, low and high doses induced low-affinity non-neutralizing GP-1-binding antibodies with kinetics similar to high-dose-infected wild-type mice. Only in CTL-deficient mice, however, the GP-1-specific antibodies developed into nAbs within 1 month. We conclude that LCMV uses a dual strategy to evade nAb responses in wild-type mice. First, LCMV exploits a "hole" in the murine B-cell repertoire, which provides only a small and narrow initial pool of low-affinity GP-1-specific B cells. Second, affinity maturation of the available low-affinity non-neutralizing antibodies is impaired.
Journal of Virology 12/2007; 81(21):11650-7. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Germinal centers are structures that promote humoral memory cell formation and affinity maturation, but the triggers for their development are not entirely clear. Activated extrafollicular B cells can form IgM-producing plasmablasts or enter a germinal center reaction and differentiate into memory or plasma cells, mostly of the IgG isotype. Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) induces both types of response, allowing events that promote each of these pathways to be studied. In this work, extrafollicular vs germinal center responses were examined at a cellular level, analyzing VSV-specific B cells in infected mice. We show that VSV-specific germinal centers are transiently formed when insufficient proportions of specific T cell help is available and that strong B cell activation in cells expressing high levels of the VSV-specific BCR promoted their differentiation into early blasts, whereas moderate stimulation of B cells or interaction with Th cells restricted extrafollicular responses and promoted germinal center formation.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2007; 179(9):5877-85. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T helper cells can support the functions of CD8(+) T cells against persistently infecting viruses such as murine lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), cytomegalovirus, hepatitis C virus and HIV. These viruses often resist complete elimination and remain detectable at sanctuary sites, such as the kidneys and other extralymphatic organs. The mechanisms underlying this persistence are not well understood. Here we show that mice with potent virus-specific T-cell responses have reduced levels and delayed formation of neutralizing antibodies, and these mice fail to clear LCMV from extralymphatic epithelia. Transfer of virus-specific B cells but not virus-specific T cells augmented virus clearance from persistent sites. Virus elimination from the kidneys was associated with the formation of IgG deposits in the interstitial space, presumably from kidney-infiltrating B cells. CD8(+) T cells in the kidneys of mice that did not clear virus from this site were activated but showed evidence of exhaustion. Thus, we conclude that in this model of infection, site-specific virus persistence develops as a consequence of potent immune activation coupled with reductions in virus-specific neutralizing antibodies. Our results suggest that sanctuary-site formation depends both on organ anatomy and on the induction of different adaptive immune effector mechanisms. Boosting T-cell responses alone may not reduce virus persistence.
Nature Medicine 12/2007; 13(11):1316-23. · 22.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MyD88 is a key adaptor molecule in innate resistance, engaged in most Toll-like receptor, as well as IL-1 and IL-18, signalling. Here, we analyzed the role of MyD88 in innate resistance during infection with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) using myd88(-/-) mice. We found an increased susceptibility to VSV in myd88(-/-) mice, which was not explained by reduced type I IFN or neutralizing antibody responses. Susceptibility of myd88(-/-) mice correlated with impaired recruitment of immune cells to the site of infection. In the absence of MyD88 signalling, VSV rapidly spread to the spinal cord and brain causing lethal encephalitis.
European Journal of Immunology 10/2007; 37(9):2434-40. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies indicate that T cell cross-priming preferentially occurs against long-lived, stable proteins. We have studied cross-priming by using the glycoprotein (GP) of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a protein that normally is not MHC class I cross-presented. This study shows that a C-terminally truncated, noncleavable variant of LCMV-GP led to the accumulation of stable, soluble GP trimers in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of the antigen donor cell, and thereby converted LCMV-GP into a potent immunogen for cytotoxic T lymphocyte cross-priming. Immunization of mice with tumor cells expressing an ER-retained LCMV-GP variant cross-primed protective antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses in vivo at least 10,000-fold better than immunization with cells expressing the cross-presentation-"resistant" wild-type LCMV-GP. Thus the ER is a cellular compartment that can provide antigen for cross-presentation, and modifications affecting stability and subcellular localization of the antigen significantly increase its availability for MHC class I cross-presentation. These findings impinge on vaccine strategies.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2007; 104(33):13426-31. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identification and characterization of IgE-inducing antigens are important for elucidating the mechanisms involved in IgE-mediated immune responses in allergic diseases and parasite infections. While many allergens have been characterized, little is known about parasite antigens inducing specific IgE following infection. In order to identify antigens from the nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, we generated an IgE-producing B cell hybridoma from N. brasiliensis-infected C57BL/6 mice and constructed a cDNA phage display library from N. brasiliensis. We successfully cloned and expressed an N. brasiliensis antigen (Nb-Ag1) that showed specific binding to anti-N. brasiliensis IgE. Nb-Ag1 localized to the pharynx of adult N. brasiliensis, suggesting that Nb-Ag1 is a potential pharyngeal gland antigen. Nb-Ag1-specific IgE could be detected in the serum of N. brasiliensis-infected mice, but only for a short time and only following a challenge infection. In contrast, local administration of Nb-Ag1 during primary, secondary and tertiary infections induced Nb-Ag1-specific IgE-mediated active cutaneous anaphylaxis. Therefore, amongst the high amounts of polyclonal total IgE, low levels of parasite-specific IgE responses are induced during primary helminth infections. Here, we show that even such low levels of parasite-specific IgE are sufficient to prime mast cells in vivo and mediate degranulation.
European Journal of Immunology 06/2007; 37(5):1275-84. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immune system has co-evolved with microbes that cause acute infectious disease. Immune responses must be appropriate to allow survival of both the individual and the species. These responses involve complex interactions that often go unmeasured.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prion protein (PrP) is crucially involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), but neither its exact role in disease nor its physiological function are known. Here we show for mice, using histological, immunochemical and PCR-based methods, that stimulation of innate resistance was followed by appearance of numerous endogenous retroviruses and ensuing PrP up-regulation in germinal centers of the spleen. Subsequently, the activated retroviruses disappeared in a PrP-dependent manner. Our results reveal the regular involvement of endogenous retroviruses in murine immune responses and provide evidence for an essential function of PrP in the control of the retroviral activity. The interaction between PrP and ubiquitous endogenous retroviruses may allow new interpretations of TSE pathophysiology and explain the evolutionary conservation of PrP.
PLoS ONE 02/2007; 2(11):e1158. · 3.73 Impact Factor