[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of Type I interferon (IFN) during pathogenic HIV and SIV infections remains unclear, with conflicting observations suggesting protective versus immunopathological effects. We therefore examined the effect of IFNα/β on T cell death and viremia in HIV infection. Ex vivo analysis of eight pro- and anti-apoptotic molecules in chronic HIV-1 infection revealed that pro-apoptotic Bak was increased in CD4+ T cells and correlated directly with sensitivity to CD95/Fas-mediated apoptosis and inversely with CD4+ T cell counts. Apoptosis sensitivity and Bak expression were primarily increased in effector memory T cells. Knockdown of Bak by RNA interference inhibited CD95/Fas-induced death of T cells from HIV-1-infected individuals. In HIV-1-infected patients, IFNα-stimulated gene expression correlated positively with ex vivo T cell Bak levels, CD95/Fas-mediated apoptosis and viremia and negatively with CD4+ T cell counts. In vitro IFNα/β stimulation enhanced Bak expression, CD95/Fas expression and CD95/Fas-mediated apoptosis in healthy donor T cells and induced death of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells from HIV-1-infected patients. HIV-1 in vitro sensitized T cells to CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis and this was Toll-like receptor (TLR)7/9- and Type I IFN-dependent. This sensitization by HIV-1 was due to an indirect effect on T cells, as it occurred in peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures but not purified CD4+ T cells. Finally, peak IFNα levels and viral loads correlated negatively during acute SIV infection suggesting a potential antiviral effect, but positively during chronic SIV infection indicating that either the virus drives IFNα production or IFNα may facilitate loss of viral control. The above findings indicate stage-specific opposing effects of Type I IFNs during HIV-1 infection and suggest a novel mechanism by which these cytokines contribute to T cell depletion, dysregulation of cellular immunity and disease progression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We found upregulation of expression of the microRNA miR-155 in primary effector and effector memory CD8(+) T cells, but low miR-155 expression in naive and central memory cells. Antiviral CD8(+) T cell responses and viral clearance were impaired in miR-155-deficient mice, and this defect was intrinsic to CD8(+) T cells, as miR-155-deficient CD8(+) T cells mounted greatly diminished primary and memory responses. Conversely, miR-155 overexpression augmented antiviral CD8(+) T cell responses in vivo. Gene-expression profiling showed that miR-155-deficient CD8(+) T cells had enhanced type I interferon signaling and were more susceptible to interferon's antiproliferative effect. Inhibition of the type I interferon-associated transcription factors STAT1 or IRF7 resulted in enhanced responses of miR-155-deficient CD8(+) T cells in vivo. We have thus identified a previously unknown role for miR-155 in regulating responsiveness to interferon and CD8(+) T cell responses to pathogens in vivo.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytokines play a central role in the pathogenesis of many diseases, including HIV infection. However, the role of the cytokine network in early HIV infection is only now starting to be elucidated. A number of studies conducted in recent years have indicated that cytokines of the acute/early stages of HIV and SIV infection can impact viral set-point months later, and this is of critical importance since viral set-point during chronic HIV infection affects virus transmission and disease progression. This raises the question whether modulating the cytokine environment during acute/early HIV infection can be a target for novel approaches to develop a vaccine and therapeutics. In this review we focus on the kinetics and function of cytokines during acute HIV and SIV infection and how these may impact viral set-point. We also discuss unresolved questions that are essential for our understanding of the role of acute infection cytokines in HIV infection and that, if answered, may suggest novel therapeutic and vaccine strategies to control the worldwide HIV pandemic.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is characterized by a progressive loss of memory CD4(+) T cells in multiple tissues, especially at mucosal surfaces where most of these cells reside. Although antiretroviral therapy (ART) suppresses viral replication and promotes the recovery of peripheral CD4(+) T cells, HIV-infected patients fail to fully reconstitute the CD4(+) T-cell pool at mucosal sites. IL-15 has been shown to preferentially expand memory-phenotype T cells and promote their migration to nonlymphoid tissues. Here we examined IL-15 treatment in combination with highly active ART in chronically SIV-infected rhesus macaques and found that IL-15 delayed viral suppression and failed to enhance ART-induced total and antigen-specific CD4(+) T-cell reconstitution at mucosal and lymphoid sites. IL-15 was able to induce the transient proliferation of SIV-specific, CMV-specific, and total memory CD8(+) T cells, but not of SIV-specific or total CD4(+) T cells. Moreover, upon treatment interruption, macaques receiving combined IL-15+ART lost CD4(+) T cells faster than those receiving ART alone. These results suggest that the combination of IL-15 with highly active ART is not more efficient than ART alone in promoting CD4(+) T-cell recovery in HIV-infected individuals and may accelerate CD4+ T-cell loss after treatment interruption.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although much is known about the initiation of immune responses, much less is known about what controls the effector phase. CD8(+) T cell responses are believed to be programmed in lymph nodes during priming without any further contribution by dendritic cells (DCs) and Ag. In this study, we report the requirement for DCs, Ag, and CD28 costimulation during the effector phase of the CD8(+) T cell response. Depleting DCs or blocking CD28 after day 6 of primary influenza A virus infection decreases the virus-specific CD8(+) T cell response by inducing apoptosis, and this results in decreased viral clearance. Furthermore, effector CD8(+) T cells adoptively transferred during the effector phase fail to expand without DC, CD28 costimulation, and cognate Ag. The absence of costimulation also leads to reduced survival of virus-specific effector cells as they undergo apoptosis mediated by the proapoptotic molecule Bim. Finally, IL-2 treatment restored the effector response in the absence of CD28 costimulation. Thus, in contrast to naive CD8(+) T cells, which undergo an initial Ag-independent proliferation, effector CD8(+) T cells expanding in the lungs during the effector phase require Ag, CD28 costimulation, and DCs for survival and expansion. These requirements would greatly impair effector responses against viruses and tumors that are known to inhibit DC maturation and in chronic infections and aging where CD28(-/-) CD8(+) T cells accumulate.
The Journal of Immunology 03/2011; 186(8):4599-608. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Topical microbicides may prove to be an important strategy for preventing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission. We examined the safety and efficacy of sequence-nonspecific phosphorothioate 2' deoxyribose oligomers as potential novel microbicides. A short, 13-mer poly(T) phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide (OPB-T) significantly inhibited infection of primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by high-titer HIV-1(Ba-L) and simian immunodeficiency virus mac251 (SIV(mac251)). Continuous exposure of human vaginal and foreskin tissue explants to OPB-T showed no toxicity. An abasic 14-mer phosphorothioate 2' deoxyribose backbone (PDB) demonstrated enhanced anti-HIV-1 activity relative to OPB-T and other homo-oligodeoxynucleotide analogs. When PDB was used to pretreat HIV-1, PDB was effective against R5 and X4 isolates at a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of <1 μM in both PBMC and P4-R5 MAGI cell infections. PDB also reduced HIV-1 infectivity following the binding of virus to target cells. This novel topical microbicide candidate exhibited an excellent in vitro safety profile in human PBMC and endocervical epithelial cells. PDB also retained activity in hydroxyethylcellulose gel at pH 4.4 and after transition to a neutral pH and was stable in this formulation for 30 days at room temperature. Furthermore, the compound displayed potent antiviral activity following incubation with a Lactobacillus strain derived from normal vaginal flora. Most importantly, PDB can inhibit HIV-1-induced alpha interferon production. Phosphorothioate 2' deoxyribose oligomers may therefore be promising microbicide candidates that inhibit HIV-1 infection and also dampen the inflammation which is critical for the initial spread of the virus.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 10/2010; 54(10):4064-73. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that interleukin-15 (IL-15) is produced during acute HIV and SIV infection, and may impact viremia and viral set point. This is further supported by the findings that administration of IL-15 during acute SIV infection dramatically increases viral set point. Although the role of intrinsic IL-15 during chronic infection is much less defined, in vivo administration of IL-15 does not increase viral replication in SIV-infected animals. Recent data also suggest that IL-15 acts, not only on CD8+ T cells and natural killer cells, but also on effector memory CD4+ T cells. IL-15 clearly expands very different CD4+ T cell subpopulations than IL-2 in SIV-infected animals, and may be useful for the restoration of effector memory CD4+ T cells that are depleted early in HIV and SIV infection. Understanding IL-15's role in SIV infection may help us to design novel therapeutic approaches to HIV infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that depletion of CD8(+) cells during acute and chronic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection leads to increased viral replication, morbidity, and mortality, which have been attributed to loss of CD8(+) T cell-mediated control of SIV. However, these studies did not exclude that CD8(+) cell depletion increased homeostatic proliferation of CD4(+) T cells, resulting in increased viral targets and, therefore, viral rebound. Chronically SHIV89.6P-infected cynomolgus macaques were CD8(+) cell-depleted, and the frequency, cell number, and phenotype of CD4(+) T cells and viral infection were examined using flow cytometry and quantitative real-time PCR. The frequency and number of Ki-67-expressing CD4(+) T cells were increased with CD8(+) cell depletion. This proliferation of CD4(+) T cells occurred even in animals with no rebound of viral loads. Most of the proliferating cells were effector memory CD4(+) T cells. Plasma simian HIV (SHIV) RNA copies positively correlated with proliferating CD4(+) T cells and SHIV DNA copies in Ki-67(+) CD4(+) T cells. Although this study does not exclude an important role for virus-specific CD8(+) T cells in SIV and SHIV infection, our data suggest that homeostatic proliferation is an important contributor to increases in plasma viremia that follow CD8(+) cell depletion.
The Journal of Immunology 10/2009; 183(8):5006-12. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The failure of CD8(+) T cells to respond to chronic infection has been termed "exhaustion" and describes the condition in which CD8(+) T cells exhibit reduced differentiation, proliferation, and effector function. CD8(+) T cell exhaustion has been extensively studied in the murine model of chronic infection, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). Although LCMV-based studies have yielded many interesting findings, they have not allowed for discrimination between the roles of cytokine- and Ag-driven exhaustion. We have created a system of chronic Ag stimulation using murine influenza A virus that leads to exhaustion and functional disability of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells, in the absence of high viral titers, sustained proinflammatory cytokine production and lymphocyte infection. Our findings show that Ag alone is sufficient to drive CD8(+) T cell impairment, that Ag-driven loss of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells is TRAIL mediated, and that removal of Ag reverses exhaustion. Although programmed death 1 was up-regulated on chronic Ag-stimulated CD8(+) T cells, it played no role in the exhaustion. These findings provide a novel insight into the mechanisms that control functional exhaustion of CD8(+) T cells in chronic infection.
The Journal of Immunology 07/2009; 182(11):6697-708. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have revealed the critical role of programmed death-1 (PD-1) in exhaustion of HIV- and SIV-specific CD8(+) T cells. In this study, we show that high expression of PD-1 correlates with increased ex vivo spontaneous and CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis, particularly in the "effector-memory" CD8(+) T cell population from HIV(+) donors. High expression of PD-1 was linked to a proapoptotic phenotype characterized by low expression of Bcl-2 and IL7-R alpha, high expression of CD95/Fas and high mitochondrial mass. Expression of PD-1 and CD57 was differentially associated with the maturation status of CD8(+) T cells in HIV infection. CD57 was linked to higher apoptosis resistance, with cells expressing a PD-1(L)CD57(H) phenotype exhibiting lower levels of cell death. The majority of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells were found to express a PD-1(H)CD57(L) or PD-1(H)CD57(H) phenotype. No correlation was found between PD-1 expression and ex vivo polyfunctionality of either HIV- or CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells. Contrary to CD57, high expression of PD-1 was characterized by translocation of PD-1 into the area of CD95/Fas-capping, an early necessary step of CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis. Thus, our data further support the role of PD-1 as a preapoptotic factor for CD8(+) T cells in HIV infection.
The Journal of Immunology 07/2009; 183(2):1120-32. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute SIV infection is characterized by explosive infection of memory CD4 T cells in peripheral and mucosal tissues. Interestingly, relatively few memory CD4 T cells are infected until as late as days 7-8 after challenge. However, by day 10 postinfection, most of the memory CD4 T cells are infected and carry viral DNA. The rapidity with which infection expands within 2-3 days to encompass virtually the entire memory CD4 T cell compartment suggests significant alterations in the susceptibility of memory CD4 T cells to infection during this period. The mechanism(s) underlying this increased permissiveness to infection is not known. In this study, we show that IL-15 secretion significantly correlates with the up-regulated expression of CD4 on memory CD4 T cells that is associated with increased permissiveness to SIV infection. Activation and proliferation of memory CD8, but not memory CD4 T cells, preceded the amplification of viral infection. Although memory CD4 T cells did not express normal activation markers, they displayed a significant up-regulation in the density of CD4 but not CCR5 expression between days 7 and 10 postinfection that correlated with increased plasma IL-15 levels and infection in these cells. Culture of purified CD4 T cells with IL-15 and/or SIV was associated with a significant increase in the expression of CD4 and infection of these sorted cells. Our results demonstrate that IL-15 contributes to the increased susceptibility of memory CD4 T cells to SIV during the early phase of acute SIV infection.
The Journal of Immunology 03/2009; 182(3):1439-48. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We used pathogenic and nonpathogenic simian models of SIV infection of Chinese and Indian rhesus macaque (RMs) and African green monkeys (AGMs), respectively, to investigate the relationship between polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) death and the extent of viral replication and disease outcome. In this study, we showed that PMN death increased early during the acute phase of SIV infection in Chinese RMs and coincided with the peak of viral replication on day 14. The level of PMN death was significantly more severe in RMs that progressed more rapidly to AIDS and coincided with neutropenia. Neutropenia was also observed in Indian RMs and was higher in non-Mamu-A*01 compared with Mamu-A*01 animals. In stark contrast, no changes in the levels of PMN death were observed in the nonpathogenic model of SIVagm-sab (sabaeus) infection of AGMs despite similarly high viral replication. PMN death was a Bax and Bak-independent mitochondrial insult, which is prevented by inhibiting calpain activation but not caspases. We found that BOB/GPR15, a SIV coreceptor, is expressed on the PMN surface of RMs at a much higher levels than AGMs and its ligation induced PMN death, suggesting that SIV particle binding to the cell surface is sufficient to induce PMN death. Taken together, our results suggest that species-specific differences in BOB/GPR15 receptor expression on PMN can lead to increased acute phase PMN death. This may account for the decline in PMN numbers that occurs during primary SIV infection in pathogenic SIV infection and may have important implications for subsequent viral replication and disease progression.
The Journal of Immunology 01/2009; 181(12):8613-23. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we examined the effect of in vivo treatment of acutely SIV-infected Mamu-A*01+ rhesus macaques with IL-15. IL-15 treatment during acute infection increased viral set point by 3 logs and accelerated the development of simian AIDS in two of six animals with one developing early minimal lesion SIV meningoencephalitis. Although IL-15 induced a 2- to 3-fold increase in SIV-specific CD8+ T cell and NK cell numbers at peak viremia and reduced lymph node (LN) SIV-infected cells, this had no impact on peak viremia and did not lower viral set point. At viral set point, however, activated SIV-specific CD8+ T cells and NK cells were reduced in the blood of IL-15-treated animals and LN SIV-infected cells were increased. Week 30 LN from IL-15-treated animals had significantly increased Gag-specific CD8+ T cell numbers, whereas total cell, lymphocyte, and CD4+ T cell numbers were reduced. IL-15 treatment significantly reduced anti-SIV Ab concentrations at week 3 and viral set point. IL-15 increased Ki-67+CD4+ T cells at week 1 of treatment and reduced blood CCR5+ and CD45RA-CD62L- CD4+ T cells. The frequency of day 7 Ki-67+CD4+ T cells strongly correlated with viral set point. These findings suggest that CD4+ T cell activation during acute infection determines subsequent viral set point and IL-15 treatment by increasing such activation elevates viral set point. Finally, IL-15-treated acutely SIV-infected primates may serve as a useful model to investigate the poorly understood mechanisms that control viral set point and disease progression in HIV infection.
The Journal of Immunology 02/2008; 180(1):350-60. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have recently provided data suggesting a potential role for mitochondria and Bcl-2-family molecules in apoptosis sensitivity of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells. Here, we report on the role of filamentous (F) actin in this process. Disruption of actin by cytochalasin D (cytD) or lantrunculin A remarkably reduced CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells while their spontaneous apoptosis was unaffected. This inhibition cannot be attributed to changes of CD95/Fas distribution or levels in these cells. Furthermore, cytD treatment reduced CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis of CD8+ T cells from HIV+ patients independently of their differentiation status. CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis of both CD38+ and CD38- HIV-specific CD8+ T cells was inhibited by cytD treatment indicating that actin mediates this apoptotic process independently of the activation level of these cells. CytD was found to reduce the activation of caspase-8 induced by short treatment of purified CD8+ T cells from HIV+ patients with anti-CD95/Fas. Our data reveal actin as a critical mediator of HIV-specific CD8+ T cell apoptosis; further analysis of the molecular mechanisms governing this process may potentially contribute to design new therapies targeting the enhancement of the immune system in HIV infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD8(+) T cells are a critical component of the adaptive immune response against infections and tumors. A current paradigm in immunology is that naive CD8(+) T cells require CD28 costimulation, whereas memory CD8(+) T cells do not. We show here, however, that during viral infections of mice, costimulation is required in vivo for the reactivation of memory CD8(+) T cells. In the absence of CD28 costimulation, secondary CD8(+) T cell responses are greatly reduced and this impairs viral clearance. The failure of CD8(+) T cells to expand in the absence of CD28 costimulation is CD4(+) T cell help independent and is accompanied by a failure to down-regulate Bcl-2 and by cell cycle arrest. This requirement for CD28 costimulation was shown in both influenza A and HSV infections. Thus, contrary to current dogma, memory CD8(+) T cells require CD28 costimulation to generate maximal secondary responses against pathogens. Importantly, this CD28 requirement was shown in the context of real infections were multiple other cytokines and costimulators may be up-regulated. Our findings have important implications for pathogens, such as HIV and measles virus, and tumors that evade the immune response by failing to provide CD28 costimulation. These findings also raise questions about the efficacy of CD8(+) T cell-based vaccines against such pathogens and tumors.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2007; 179(10):6494-503. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Differentiation and survival defects of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific CD8(+) T cells may contribute to the failure of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells to control HIV replication. It is not known, however, whether simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaques show comparable defects in these virus-specific CD8(+) T cells or when such defects are established during infection. Peripheral blood cells from acutely and chronically infected rhesus macaques were stained ex vivo for memory subpopulations and examined by in vitro assays for apoptosis sensitivity. We show here that SIV-specific CD8(+) T cells from chronically SIV infected rhesus macaques show defects comparable to those observed in HIV infection, namely, a skewed CD45RA(-) CD62L(-) effector memory phenotype, reduced Bcl-2 levels, and increased levels of spontaneous and CD95-induced apoptosis of SIV-specific CD8(+) T cells. Longitudinal studies showed that the survival defects and phenotype are established early in the first few weeks of SIV infection. Most importantly, they appear to be antigen driven, since most probably the loss of epitope recognition due to viral escape results in the reversal of the phenotype and reduced apoptosis sensitivity, something we observed also for animals treated with antiretroviral therapy. These findings further support the use of SIV-infected rhesus macaques to investigate the phenotypic changes and apoptotic defects of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells and indicate that such defects of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells are the result of chronic antigen stimulation.
Journal of Virology 11/2007; 81(20):10861-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: What governs the increased apoptosis sensitivity of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells is poorly understood. Here, we examined the involvement of mitochondria in this apoptosis. Remarkably higher mitochondrial mass (MM) was found in HIV-specific compared with CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells from HIV(+) patients and this could not be attributed to their different differentiation status. MM(High) phenotype characterized those CD8(+) T cells from HIV(+) patients that are sensitive to spontaneous and CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis. CD38 expression did not correlate with high MM, whereas Bcl-2 levels were significantly reduced in both CD38(+) and CD38(-) HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells. Although CD38(+) HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells were more susceptible to apoptosis, CD38 expression does not explain on its own the selective apoptosis sensitivity of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells, as CD38(-) HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells were more apoptotic than CD38(+) CMV-specific ones. Proapoptotic HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells were CD38(+)Bcl-2(Low)MM(High). Copolarization of mitochondria with CD95/Fas capping, very early in CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells, suggests that mitochondria act as an amplification step for this apoptosis. Thus, an extensive mitochondrial network contributes to apoptosis sensitivity of CD8(+) T cells and, when this occurs together with reduced levels of Bcl-2 and chronic activation, determines the proapoptotic state of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin-15 (IL-15) in vitro treatment of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals specifically enhances the function and survival of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells, while in vivo IL-15 treatment of mice preferentially expands memory CD8+ T cells. In this study, we investigated the in vivo effect of IL-15 treatment in 9 SIVmac251-infected cynomolgus macaques (low dose of IL-15, 10 microg/kg of body weight, n = 3; high dose of IL-15, 100 microg/kg, n = 3; control [saline], n = 3; dose administered twice weekly for 4 weeks). IL-15 treatment induced a nearly threefold increase in peripheral blood CD8+CD3- NK cells. Furthermore, CD8+ T-cell numbers increased more than twofold, mainly due to an increase in the CD45RA-CD62L- and CD45RA+CD62L- effector memory CD8+ T cells. Expression of Ki-67 in the CD8+ T cells indicated expansion of CD8+ T cells and not redistribution. IL-15 did not affect CD4+ T-cell, B-cell, and CD14+ macrophage numbers. No statistically significant differences in changes from baseline in the viral load were observed when control-, low-dose-, and high-dose-treated animals were compared. No clinical adverse effects were observed in any of the animals studied. The selective expansion of effector memory CD8+ T cells and NK cells by IL-15 further supports IL-15's possible therapeutic use in viral infections such as HIV infection.
Journal of Virology 05/2005; 79(8):4877-85. · 5.08 Impact Factor