[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advanced chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is associated with profound immunodeficiency, including changes in T regulatory cells (T(regs)). We determined the pattern of expression of forkhead box P3 (FoxP3), CD25, CD27 and CD127 and showed that the frequency of CD4+ FoxP3+ T cells was increased in CLL patients (12% versus 8% in controls). This increase was seen only in advanced disease, with selective expansion of FoxP3-expressing cells in the CD4+ CD25(low) population, whereas the number of CD4+ CD25(high) FoxP3+ cells was unchanged. CD4+ CD25(low) cells showed reduced expression of CD127 and increased CD27, and this regulatory phenotype was also seen on all CD4 T cells subsets in CLL patients, irrespective of CD25 or FoxP3 expression. Incubation of CD4+ T cells with primary CLL tumours led to a sixfold increase in the expression of FoxP3 in CD4+ CD25- T cells. Patients undergoing treatment with fludarabine demonstrated a transient increase in the percentage of CD4+ FoxP3+ T cells, but this reduced to normal levels post-treatment. This work demonstrates that patients with CLL exhibit a systemic T cell dysregulation leading to the accumulation of CD4+ FoxP3+ T cells. This appears to be driven by interaction with malignant cells, and increased understanding of the mechanisms that are involved could provide novel avenues for treatment.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD8 T cells that recognize cytomegalovirus (CMV) -encoded peptides can be readily detected by staining with human leucocyte antigen (HLA) -peptide tetramers. These cells are invariably highly differentiated effector memory cells with high avidity T-cell receptors (TCR). In this report we demonstrate an HLA-A*0201 restricted CMV-specific CD8 T-cell response (designated YVL) that represents several percent of the CD8 T-cell subset, yet fails to bind tetrameric major histocompatibility complex (MHC) ligands. However, these tetramer-negative cells are both phenotypically and functionally similar to other CMV-specific CD8 T cells. YVL peptide-specific CD8 T-cell clones were generated and found to be of high avidity in both cytotoxicity and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) assays, and comparable with other CMV peptide-specific CD8 T-cell clones. However, under conditions of CD8 blockade, the response was almost nullified even at very high ligand concentrations. This was also the case in IFN-γ experiments using peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with peptide ex vivo. In contrast, all other CMV specificities (tetramer-positive) displayed minimal or only partial CD8 dependence. This suggests that YVL-specific responses depict a low-affinity TCR-MHC-peptide interaction, that is compensated by substantial CD8 involvement for functional purposes, yet cannot engage multivalent soluble ligands for ex vivo analysis. It is interesting that such a phenomenon is apparent in the face of a persistent virus infection such as CMV, where the responding cells represent an immunodominant response in that individual and may present a highly differentiated effector phenotype.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An increased proportion of CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells has been reported in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) and may represent an accumulation of regulatory T cells (Treg). CD25 is also expressed on recently activated effector T cells. We have determined the relative proportion of these subsets in a large patient cohort. The fraction of Treg in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients and healthy controls was determined by assessment of Foxp3 expression on CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells. The functional activity of Treg was determined by their ability to suppress proliferation and cytokine production in response to proteinase-3. Although WG patients demonstrated an increased fraction of CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells, the percentage of Foxp3-positive cells was decreased. In addition, the percentage of Treg was inversely related to the rate of disease relapse. CD4(+) CD25(hi) T cells were able to suppress T-cell proliferation to proteinase-3 in healthy controls and anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA)- negative patients (at time of sampling) but not in ANCA-positive patients. In patients with active disease, an increased proportion of CD4(+) Foxp3(+) cells was associated with a more rapid disease remission. Patients with WG demonstrate abnormalities in the number and function of Treg and this is most pronounced in those with most active disease. This information is of value in understanding the pathogenesis and potential treatment of this disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In immunocompetent individuals, the stability of the herpesvirus-host balance limits opportunities to study the disappearance of a virus-specific CD8(+) T-cell response. However, we noticed that in HLA-A 0201-positive infectious mononucleosis (IM) patients undergoing primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, the initial CD8 response targets three EBV lytic antigen-derived epitopes, YVLDHLIVV (YVL), GLCTLVAML (GLC), and TLDYKPLSV (TLD), but only the YVL and GLC reactivities persist long-term; the TLD response disappears within 10 to 27 months. While present, TLD-specific cells remained largely indistinguishable from YVL and GLC reactivities in many phenotypic and functional respects but showed unique temporal changes in two markers of T-cell fate, interleukin 7 receptor alpha (IL-7Ralpha; CD127) and programmed death 1 (PD-1). Thus, following the antigen-driven downregulation of IL-7Ralpha seen on all populations in acute IM, in every case, the TLD-specific population recovered expression unusually quickly post-IM. As well, in four of six patients studied, TLD-specific cells showed very strong PD-1 upregulation in the last blood sample obtained before the cells' disappearance. Our data suggest that the disappearance of this individual epitope reactivity from an otherwise stable EBV-specific response (i) reflects a selective loss of cognate antigen restimulation (rather than of IL-7-dependent signals) and (ii) is immediately preceded, and perhaps mediated, by PD-1 upregulation to unprecedented levels.
Journal of Virology 08/2009; 83(18):9068-78. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infects most individuals and elicits a strong CMV-specific immune response. We have studied the influence of CMV-seropositivity on the size of lymphoid subsets in healthy donors and demonstrate that the virus substantially modulates the peripheral lymphoid pool. CD8(+) T cell numbers are increased in all CMV-seropositive individuals because of a striking 60% increment in the CD8(+) T cell memory pool. The CD45RA(+) resting memory pool is doubled after CMV infection and increases further with age. The magnitude of the naïve CD8(+) T cell pool is dramatically reduced in CMV-seropositive individuals at all ages, and this accelerates the physiological decline by approximately 40 years. The number of CD4(+) effector memory T cells is increased in CMV-seropositive individuals and is differentially accommodated by a reduction in the number of naïve and central memory CD4(+) T cells in young and elderly donors respectively. CMV-seropositivity also increases the total number of B cells in older donors and suppresses the number of CD5(+) B cells. These data reveal that CMV has a profound influence on the immune system of all healthy individuals and add to growing concern regarding the clinical and immunomodulatory significance of CMV infection in healthy donors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The bone marrow plays a unique role within the immune system. We compared the phenotype and function of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells from matched samples of human peripheral blood and bone marrow. Analysis of virus-specific memory CD8(+) T cells showed widely divergent partition of antigen-specific populations between blood and bone marrow. T cells specific for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) lytic antigens were enriched 3-fold in marrow compared with blood, whereas the response to EBV latent epitopes was equivalent between the 2 compartments. No difference in EBV viral load or expression of the EBV lytic protein was observed between blood and bone marrow. In direct contrast, although cytomegalo-virus (CMV)-specific T cells were the largest virus-specific population within peripheral blood, they were reduced by 60% within marrow. Bone marrow T cells were found to exhibit a unique CCR5(+)CXCR6(+)CXCR3(-) homing phenotype which has not been observed on T cells from other secondary lymphoid organs or peripheral organs. Expression of CCR5 and CXCR6 was higher on EBV-specific T cells within peripheral blood compared with CMV-specific populations. These observations identify a novel bone marrow homing phenotype for CD8(+) memory T cells, which necessitates a reevaluation of the magnitude of antigen-specific populations within the lymphoid system.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antigen-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells often demonstrate extreme conservation of T-cell receptor (TCR) usage between different individuals, but similar characteristics have not been documented for CD4(+) T cells. CD4(+) T cells predominantly have a helper immune role, but a cytotoxic CD4(+) T-cell subset has been characterized, and we have studied the cytotoxic CD4(+) T-cell response to a peptide from human cytomegalovirus glycoprotein B presented through HLA-DRB*0701. We show that this peptide elicits a cytotoxic CD4(+) T-cell response that averages 3.6% of the total CD4(+) T-cell repertoire of cytomegalovirus-seropositive donors. Moreover, CD4(+) cytotoxic T-cell clones isolated from different individuals exhibit extensive conservation of TCR usage, which indicates strong T-cell clonal selection for peptide recognition. Remarkably, this TCR sequence was recently reported in more than 50% of cases of CD4(+) T-cell large granular lymphocytosis. Immunodominance of cytotoxic CD4(+) T cells thus parallels that of CD8(+) subsets and suggests that cytotoxic effector function is critical to the development of T-cell clonal selection, possibly from immune competition secondary to lysis of antigen-presenting cells. In addition, these TCR sequences are highly homologous to those observed in HLA-DR7(+) patients with CD4(+) T-cell large granular lymphocytosis and implicate cytomegalovirus as a likely antigenic stimulus for this disorder.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV), a beta-herpesvirus, is common within the population. Although asymptomatic, infection is associated with increased serum concentrations of cytokines such as TNFalpha and IL-6, which are also related to mood and wellbeing. The present study examined whether infection with CMV was associated with mood in a community-based sample of older adults. Blood samples and scores on the General Health Questionnaire were available for 137 participants. Serum was analysed for the presence of CMV-specific IgG and the antibody titre was used as an indirect measure of viral load. The majority of the participants (66%) were CMV-seropositive and seropositive status was not associated with psychological morbidity. However, within the CMV-positive group, individuals with higher CMV-specific antibody titres were more likely to be depressed, anxious, and suffer more overall psychological morbidity. This association could be mediated by the impact of affect-moderating cytokines secreted through the CMV-specific immune response.
Brain Behavior and Immunity 02/2008; 22(1):52-5. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immune function in the elderly is associated with a number of phenotypic and functional abnormalities, and this phenomenon of immune senescence is associated with increased susceptibility to infection. The immune response to pathogens frequently declines with age, but the CD8(+) T-cell response to cytomegalovirus (CMV) is unusual, as it demonstrates a significant expansion over time. Here we have documented the CD4(+) T-cell immune response to CMV in healthy donors of different ages. The magnitude of the CMV-specific CD4(+) T-cell immune response increases from a mean of 2.2% of the CD4(+) T-cell pool in donors below 50 years of age to 4.7% in donors aged over 65 years. In addition, CMV-specific CD4(+) T cells in elderly donors demonstrate decreased production of interleukin-2 and less dependence on costimulation. CMV seropositivity is associated with marked changes in the phenotype of the overall CD4(+) T-cell repertoire in healthy aged donors, including an increase in CD57(+) expression and a decrease in CD28 and CD27 expression, a phenotypic profile characteristic of immune senescence. This memory inflation of CMV-specific CD4(+) T cells contributes to evidence that CMV infection may be damaging to immune function in elderly individuals.
Journal of Virology 08/2007; 81(14):7759-65. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Replication of human cytomegalovirus is controlled by a vigorous CD8 T cell response. The persistent nature of infection is believed to periodically stimulate T cell responses resulting in considerable expansions of virus-specific CD8 T cells over time. In this study, we describe the magnitude and breadth of CD8 T cell responses against the immunodominant viral Ags, IE-1 and pp65, in acute and long-term infection using the IFN-gamma ELISPOT assay. Simultaneously, we have identified several novel MHC class I restricted CD8 T cell epitopes. Acute phase responses in immunocompetent donors appear to be extremely focused as early as 1 week post diagnosis with dominant peptide-specific responses observed against both proteins. These dominant responses remain detectable at all later time points over a 4-year follow-up. Interestingly the IE-1 responses show an increase over time whereas the pp65 responses do not, which contrasts with data showing that responses against both Ags are elevated in elderly individuals. We also observe the rapid emergence of an effector memory phenotype for virus-specific CD8 T cells as observed in persistent infection. Over time the revertant CD45RA(pos) effector cell population is also expanded, and this is more evident in the preferentially expanded IE-1 responses. We postulate that periodic low-level virus reactivation after the acute infection phase preferentially stimulates these responses whereas pp65-specific T cell expansions probably occur during the infrequent episodes of lytic viral replication or secondary infection.
The Journal of Immunology 05/2007; 178(7):4455-65. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In humans, circulating CD8(+) memory T cells to a nonpersistent virus (influenza) lie within CCR7(+)CD45RA(-) central memory, whereas memory to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent, EBV lytic, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigens are progressively larger in size and are more biased toward CCR7(-)CD45RA(-) effector memory and CCR7(-)CD45RA(+) terminally differentiated compartments. We found that these populations are also distinguished by progressively lower expression of the interleukin-7 receptor (IL-7R alpha) and by lower IL-7 responsiveness; indeed, percentage IL-7R alpha -positive values showed a tight inverse correlation with population size. However, these relationships among size, differentiation phenotype, and IL-7R alpha status in blood did not hold in tonsillar tissue. In tonsil tissue, although EBV reactivities outnumbered their CMV and influenza counterparts, the distinct CCR7/CD45 isoform signatures of the different virus-specific populations were retained. Moreover, all detectable reactivities showed high levels of IL-7R alpha expression. As a discriminator between different virus-specific populations, IL-7R alpha therefore appears to be more susceptible to tissue location than the classical CCR7/CD45 markers.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 02/2007; 195(2):268-78. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a persistent DNA virus that has evolved with humans to establish a finely balanced host-virus relationship. This balance is maintained by host immune surveillance since deficiencies in these processes can result in life-threatening disease, as observed in immunologically immature neonates and pharmacologically immunosuppressed transplant recipients. Both T cells and natural killer cells are intimately involved in maintaining asymptomatic infection by specific and non-specific recognition of infected cells. Under pressure from such host immune responses, CMV appears to have evolved elaborate strategies to subvert these responses in order to persist in the host. CMV target antigens are well characterized, with many CD8 T cell and CD4 T cell epitopes reported. This information is now being exploited to treat immunocompromised patients in order to boost virus-specific immunity. This review also discusses our current understanding of how virus carriage may skew lymphocyte populations in immunocompetent subjects and the association of CMV-seropositivity with immunosenescence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural killer (NK) cells are cytotoxic lymphocytes that lack CD3 and express variable levels of CD16, CD56 and CD57. In recent years NK cells have been categorised into two major groups based on the level of CD56 expression. This phenotypic classification correlates with functional activity as CD56bright NK cells are the major cytokine producing subset whereas CD56dim NK cells exhibit greater cytotoxic activity. Previous studies have revealed a reduction in total NK cell numbers in association with ageing and this study sought to determine the potential influence of ageing on the number of NK cell subsets within peripheral blood.
The number of NK (CD56+CD3-) cells within peripheral blood did not change with increasing age. The number of CD56dim NK cells also remained stable with ageing. In contrast the absolute number of CD56bright NK cells within peripheral blood declined by 48% with ageing from a mean of 15.6/microl in individuals aged 20-40 years to 8.1/microl in those aged 60+ years (p = 0.0004).
The number of CD56bright NK cells within peripheral blood declines with age. As this population plays a central role in cytokine secretion during the innate immune response this decline may contribute to impaired immune regulation in elderly individuals.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The expression of cancer germline antigens (CGAgs) is normally restricted to the testis but is also present in many types of malignant cells including plasma cells from patients with myeloma. Because T-cell immune responses to CGAg have been identified in patients with solid tumors, this may offer a novel target for immunotherapy in patients with myeloma. We have used 12 peptide epitopes from a range of CGAgs to screen for CGAg-specific T cells in blood from patients with multiple myeloma at various stages of their disease. T cells from 15 of 37 patients responded to one or more CGAg peptides and the magnitude of the CGAg-specific CD8+ T-cell response ranged between 0.0004% and 0.1% of the total CD8+ T-cell pool. Serial analyses showed that these immune responses were detectable in individual patients at multiple time points during the course of their disease. In patients undergoing treatment or in disease relapse, the magnitude of the CGAg-specific T-cell response was positively correlated with the level of paraprotein. Functional T cells specific for CGAgs are therefore present in a proportion of patients with multiple myeloma and offer the possibility of a novel approach for immunotherapy in this disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract
Natural killer (NK) cells are cytotoxic lymphocytes that lack CD3 and express variable levels of CD16, CD56 and CD57. In recent years NK cells have been categorised into two major groups based on the level of CD56 expression. This phenotypic classification correlates with functional activity as CD56<sup>bright </sup>NK cells are the major cytokine producing subset whereas CD56<sup>dim </sup>NK cells exhibit greater cytotoxic activity. Previous studies have revealed a reduction in total NK cell numbers in association with ageing and this study sought to determine the potential influence of ageing on the number of NK cell subsets within peripheral blood.
The number of NK (CD56<sup>+</sup>CD3<sup>-</sup>) cells within peripheral blood did not change with increasing age. The number of CD56<sup>dim </sup>NK cells also remained stable with ageing. In contrast the absolute number of CD56<sup>bright </sup>NK cells within peripheral blood declined by 48% with ageing from a mean of 15.6/μl in individuals aged 20–40 years to 8.1/μl in those aged 60+ years ( p = 0.0004 ).
The number of CD56<sup>bright </sup>NK cells within peripheral blood declines with age. As this population plays a central role in cytokine secretion during the innate immune response this decline may contribute to impaired immune regulation in elderly individuals
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with infectious mononucleosis (IM) undergoing primary EBV infection show large expansions of EBV-specific CD8+ T cells in the blood. While latent infection of the B cell pool is quickly controlled, virus shedding from lytically infected cells in the oropharynx remains high for several months. We therefore studied how responses localize to the tonsil, a major target site for EBV, during primary infection and persistence. In acute IM, EBV-specific effectors were poorly represented among CD8+ T cells in tonsil compared with blood, coincident with absence of the CCR7 lymphoid homing marker on these highly activated cells. In patients who had recently recovered from IM, latent epitope reactivities were quicker than lytic reactivities both to acquire CCR7 and to accumulate in the tonsil, with some of these cells now expressing the CD103 integrin, which mediates retention at mucosal sites. By contrast, in long-term virus carriers in whom both lytic and latent infections had been controlled, there was 2- to 5-fold enrichment of lytic epitope reactivities and 10- to 20-fold enrichment of latent epitope reactivities in tonsil compared with blood; up to 20% of tonsillar CD8+ T cells were EBV specific, and many now expressed CD103. We suggest that efficient control of EBV infection requires appropriate CD8+ T cell homing to oropharyngeal sites.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 10/2005; 115(9):2546-55. · 12.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome (XLP) experience excessive T cell proliferation after primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, due to mutations in the signalling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) associated protein (SAP) molecule. We examined the impact of dysfunctional proliferative control on the extent of CD8+ T cell differentiation in XLP patients who recovered from primary EBV infection. Although these young patients have normal numbers of lytic and latent EBV-epitope-specific CD8+ T cells, they were extremely differentiated as defined by loss of CCR7 and CD27, low telomerase activity and very short telomeres. This was not a direct effect arising from the loss of SAP, but was due to excessive T cell stimulation due to this defect. Thus, transduction of XLP CD8+ T cells with the catalytic component of telomerase (hTERT), but not SAP, prevented telomere loss and considerably extended proliferative lifespan in vitro. These results indicate that excessive proliferation in CD8+ T cells in XLP patients may lead to end-stage differentiation and loss of functional EBV-specific CD8+ T cells through replicative senescence. This may contribute to the defective immunity found in XLP patients who survive acute EBV infection who develop EBV-related B cell lymphomas before the fourth decade of life.
Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 09/2005; 126(8):855-65. · 3.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stem cell transplantation is used widely in the management of a range of diseases of the hemopoietic system. Patients are immunosuppressed profoundly in the early posttransplant period, and reactivation of cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Adoptive transfer of donor-derived CMV-specific CD8+ T cell clones has been shown to reduce the rate of viral reactivation; however, the complexity of this approach severely limits its clinical application. We have purified CMV-specific CD8+ T cells from the blood of stem cell transplant donors using staining with HLA-peptide tetramers followed by selection with magnetic beads. CMV-specific CD8+ cells were infused directly into nine patients within 4 h of selection. Median cell dosage was 8.6 x 10(3)/kg with a purity of 98% of all T cells. CMV-specific CD8+ T cells became detectable in all patients within 10 d of infusion, and TCR clonotype analysis showed persistence of infused cells in two patients studied. CMV viremia was reduced in every case and eight patients cleared the infection, including one patient who had a prolonged history of CMV infection that was refractory to antiviral therapy. This novel approach to adoptive transfer has considerable potential for antigen-specific T cell therapy.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 09/2005; 202(3):379-86. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor-1 (LIR-1) is an inhibitory receptor that negatively regulates T cell effector functions after interaction with host class I major histocompatibility complex molecules and, additionally, binds to UL18, a human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-encoded class I homologue. Here, we demonstrate that virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) differentially express LIR-1, with high frequencies of expression on HCMV-specific CD8+ T cells and intermediate and low frequencies of expression on influenza virus-specific and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific CTLs, respectively. Expression of LIR-1 was dependent on CTL-antigen specificity and was associated with a differentiated effector memory phenotype, as demonstrated by decreased expression of CD28 and increased expression of CD57. During primary HCMV and EBV infections, expression of LIR-1 on virus-specific CTLs was low and increased slowly. These results indicate that expression of LIR-1 increases during differentiation of virus-specific CD8+ effector T cells. Furthermore, they suggest that a potential immunoregulatory function of UL18 may be to preferentially target highly differentiated HCMV-specific effector memory T cells during persistent infection.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2005; 191(11):1842-53. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ageing is associated with evidence of immune deficiency and dysregulation. Key changes in the immune system with ageing include a progressive reduction in naive T cell output associated with thymic involution and peripheral expansion of oligoclonal memory T cells. These features are associated with evidence of impaired immune responsiveness both in vitro and in vivo, termed immune senescence. CD4+ CD25+ T cells have recently been recognized as mediators of peripheral immune regulation and play a role in the control of autoimmune and pathogen-specific immune responses. The significance of CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells in the context of immunosenescence is not known. We have investigated the number, phenotype and function of CD4+ CD25+ T cells in healthy volunteers over a wide age range. We demonstrate that the number of CD4+ CD25+ and CD4+ CD25high T cells in healthy volunteers increases with age. In both age groups CD4+ CD25+ T cells showed a phenotype consistent with that described for regulatory T cells. Further analysis of CD4+ CD25high T cells in young and elderly donors showed equivalent expression of intracellular CTLA-4 and surface expression of activation markers. In vitro, functional titration assays of CD4+ CD25high T cells demonstrated equivalent regulatory function in both young and elderly donors, with suppression of proliferation and cytokine production in response to polyclonal T cell stimulation. These observations demonstrate an increase in peripheral blood CD4+ CD25high regulatory T cells associated with ageing. The relevance of these expanded cells in relation to the immune senescence seen in the elderly as yet remains unclear.