[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Persistent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within the CD4(+) T-cell reservoir is an obstacle to eradication. We hypothesized that adding raltegravir and maraviroc to standard combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) during early HIV infection could substantially reduce viral reservoirs as a step towards eradication. Methods. A prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled pilot trial enrolled 32 participants with documented early (<6 months) HIV infection to either standard cART (emtricitabine/tenofovir/lopinavir/ritonavir) or intensive cART (standard regimen + raltegravir/maraviroc). Human immunodeficiency virus reservoirs were assessed at baseline and at 48 weeks by (1) proviral DNA, (2) cell-associated RNA, and (3) replication-competent virus, all from purified blood CD4(+) T cells, and (4) gut proviral DNA. A multiassay algorithm (MAA) on baseline sera estimated timing of infection. Results. Thirty individuals completed the study to the 48-week endpoint. The reduction in blood proviral burden was -1.03 log DNA copies/10(6) CD4(+) T cells versus -.84 log in the standard and intensive groups, respectively (P = .056). Overall, there was no significant difference in the rate of decline of HIV-associated RNA, replication-competent virus in blood CD4(+) T cells, nor proviral gut HIV DNA to 48 weeks. Individuals who presented with more recent HIV infection had significantly lower virus reservoirs, and cART tended to reduce their reservoirs to a greater extent. Conclusions. Intensive cART led to no additional reduction in the blood virus reservoir at 48 weeks compared with standard cART. Human immunodeficiency virus reservoir size is smaller earlier in HIV infection. Other novel treatment strategies in combination with early cART will be needed to eliminate the HIV latent reservoir.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A better understanding of the cellular targets of HIV infection in the female genital tract may inform HIV prevention efforts. Proposed correlates of cellular susceptibility include the HIV co-receptor CCR5, peripheral homing integrins, and immune activation. We used a CCR5-tropic pseudovirus to quantify HIV entry into unstimulated endocervical CD4(+) T cells collected by cytobrush. Virus entry was threefold higher into cervix-derived CD4(+) T cells than blood, but was strongly correlated between these two compartments. Cervix-derived CD4(+) T cells expressing CD69, α4β7, or α4β1 were preferential HIV targets; this enhanced susceptibility was strongly correlated with increased CCR5 expression in α4β7(+) and CD69(+) CD4(+) T cells, and to a lesser extent in α4β1(+) CD4(+) T cells. Direct binding of gp140 to integrins was not observed, integrin inhibitors had no effect on virus entry, and pseudotypes with an env that preferentially binds α4β7 still demonstrated enhanced entry into α4β1(+) cells. In summary, a rapid and sensitive HIV entry assay demonstrated enhanced susceptibility of activated endocervical CD4(+) T cells, and those expressing α4β7 or α4β1. This may relate to increased CCR5 expression by these cell subsets, but did not appear to be due to direct interaction of α4β7 or α4β1 with HIV envelope.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 15 April 2015; doi:10.1038/mi.2015.28.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic HIV infection results in a loss of HIV-specific CD8+ T cell effector function, termed "exhaustion," which is mediated, in part, by the membrane coinhibitory receptor T cell immunoglobulin mucin domain-3 (Tim-3). Like many other receptors, a soluble form of this protein has been described in human blood plasma. However, soluble Tim-3 (sTim-3) is poorly characterized, and its role in HIV disease is unknown. Here, we show that Tim-3 is shed from the surface of responding CD8+ T cells by the matrix metalloproteinase ADAM10, producing a soluble form of the coinhibitory receptor. Despite previous reports in the mouse model, no alternatively spliced, soluble form of Tim-3 was observed in humans. Shed sTim-3 was found in human plasma and was significantly elevated during early and chronic untreated HIV infection, but it was not found differentially modulated in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-treated HIV-infected subjects or in elite controllers compared to HIV-uninfected subjects. Plasma sTim-3 levels were positively correlated with HIV load and negatively correlated with CD4 counts. Thus, plasma sTim-3 shedding correlated with HIV disease progression. Despite these correlations, we found that shedding Tim-3 did not improve the function of CD8+ T cells in terms of gamma interferon production or prevent their apoptosis through galectin- 9. Further characterization studies of sTim-3 function are needed to understand the contribution of sTim-3 in HIV disease pathogenesis, with implications for novel therapeutic interventions.
Journal of Virology 01/2015; 89(7). DOI:10.1128/JVI.00006-15 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The T cell Ig- and mucin domain-containing molecule-3 (Tim-3) negative immune checkpoint receptor demarcates functionally exhausted CD8(+) T cells arising from chronic stimulation in viral infections like HIV. Tim-3 blockade leads to improved antiviral CD8(+) T cell responses in vitro and, therefore, represents a novel intervention strategy to restore T cell function in vivo and protect from disease progression. However, the Tim-3 pathway in the physiologically relevant rhesus macaque SIV model of AIDS remains uncharacterized. We report that Tim-3(+)CD8(+) T cell frequencies are significantly increased in lymph nodes, but not in peripheral blood, in SIV-infected animals. Tim-3(+)PD-1(+)CD8(+) T cells are similarly increased during SIV infection and positively correlate with SIV plasma viremia. Tim-3 expression was found primarily on effector memory CD8(+) T cells in all tissues examined. Tim-3(+)CD8(+) T cells have lower Ki-67 content and minimal cytokine responses to SIV compared with Tim-3(-)CD8(+) T cells. During acute-phase SIV replication, Tim-3 expression peaked on SIV-specific CD8(+) T cells by 2 wk postinfection and then rapidly diminished, irrespective of mutational escape of cognate Ag, suggesting non-TCR-driven mechanisms for Tim-3 expression. Thus, rhesus Tim-3 in SIV infection partially mimics human Tim-3 in HIV infection and may serve as a novel model for targeted studies focused on rejuvenating HIV-specific CD8(+) T cell responses.
The Journal of Immunology 10/2014; 193(11). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1400961 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T-cell immunoglobulin domain and mucin domain-3 (TIM-3, also known as HAVCR2) is an activation-induced inhibitory molecule involved in tolerance and shown to induce T-cell exhaustion in chronic viral infection and cancers. Under some conditions, TIM-3 expression has also been shown to be stimulatory. Considering that TIM-3, like cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death 1 (PD-1), is being targeted for cancer immunotherapy, it is important to identify the circumstances under which TIM-3 can inhibit and activate T-cell responses. Here we show that TIM-3 is co-expressed and forms a heterodimer with carcinoembryonic antigen cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1), another well-known molecule expressed on activated T cells and involved in T-cell inhibition. Biochemical, biophysical and X-ray crystallography studies show that the membrane-distal immunoglobulin-variable (IgV)-like amino-terminal domain of each is crucial to these interactions. The presence of CEACAM1 endows TIM-3 with inhibitory function. CEACAM1 facilitates the maturation and cell surface expression of TIM-3 by forming a heterodimeric interaction in cis through the highly related membrane-distal N-terminal domains of each molecule. CEACAM1 and TIM-3 also bind in trans through their N-terminal domains. Both cis and trans interactions between CEACAM1 and TIM-3 determine the tolerance-inducing function of TIM-3. In a mouse adoptive transfer colitis model, CEACAM1-deficient T cells are hyper-inflammatory with reduced cell surface expression of TIM-3 and regulatory cytokines, and this is restored by T-cell-specific CEACAM1 expression. During chronic viral infection and in a tumour environment, CEACAM1 and TIM-3 mark exhausted T cells. Co-blockade of CEACAM1 and TIM-3 leads to enhancement of anti-tumour immune responses with improved elimination of tumours in mouse colorectal cancer models. Thus, CEACAM1 serves as a heterophilic ligand for TIM-3 that is required for its ability to mediate T-cell inhibition, and this interaction has a crucial role in regulating autoimmunity and anti-tumour immunity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resting memory CD4+ T-cells harboring latent HIV proviruses represent a critical barrier to viral eradication. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis), such as suberanilohydroxamic acid (SAHA), romidepsin, and panobinostat have been shown to induce HIV expression in these resting cells. Recently, it has been demonstrated that the low levels of viral gene expression induced by a candidate HDACi may be insufficient to cause the death of infected cells by viral cytopathic effects, necessitating their elimination by immune effectors, such as cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL). Here, we study the impact of three HDACis in clinical development on T-cell effector functions. We report two modes of HDACi-induced functional impairment: i) the rapid suppression of cytokine production from viable T-cells induced by all three HDACis ii) the selective death of activated T-cells occurring at later time-points following transient exposures to romidepsin or, to a lesser extent, panobinostat. As a net result of these factors, HDACis impaired CTL-mediated IFN-γ production, as well as the elimination of HIV-infected or peptide-pulsed target cells, both in liquid culture and in collagen matrices. Romidepsin exerted greater inhibition of antiviral function than SAHA or panobinostat over the dose ranges tested. These data suggest that treatment with HDACis to mobilize the latent reservoir could have unintended negative impacts on the effector functions of CTL. This could influence the effectiveness of HDACi-based eradication strategies, by impairing elimination of infected cells, and is a critical consideration for trials where therapeutic interruptions are being contemplated, given the importance of CTL in containing rebound viremia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
A human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected infant started on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) at 30 hours of life was recently reported to have no detectable plasma viremia after discontinuing cART. The current study investigated the impact of early cART initiation on measures of HIV-1 reservoir size in HIV-1-infected children with sustained virologic suppression.
Children born to HIV-1-infected mothers and started on cART within 72 hours of birth at 3 Canadian centers were assessed. HIV serology, HIV-1-specific cell-mediated immune responses, plasma viremia, cell-associated HIV-1 DNA and RNA, presence of replication-competent HIV-1, and HLA genotype were determined for HIV-1-infected children with sustained virologic suppression.
Of 136 cART-treated children, 12 were vertically infected (8.8%). In the 4 who achieved sustained virologic suppression, HIV serology, HIV-1-specific cell-mediated immune responses (Gag, Nef), and ultrasensitive viral load were negative. HIV-1 DNA was not detected in enriched CD4(+) T cells of the 4 children (<2.6 copies/10(6) CD4(+) T cells), whereas HIV-1 RNA was detected (19.5-130 copies/1.5 µg RNA). No virion-associated HIV-1 RNA was detected following mitogenic stimulation of peripheral blood CD4(+) T cells (5.4-8.0 million CD4(+) T cells) in these 4 children, but replication competent virus was detected by quantitative co-culture involving a higher number of cells in 1 of 2 children tested (0.1 infectious units/10(6) CD4(+) T cells).
In perinatally HIV-1-infected newborns, initiation of cART within 72 hours of birth may significantly reduce the size of the HIV-1 reservoirs. Cessation of cART may be necessary to determine whether functional HIV cure can be achieved in such children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The enormous sequence diversity of HIV remains a major roadblock to the development of a prophylactic vaccine and new approaches to induce protective immunity are needed. Endogenous retrotransposable elements (ERE) such as endogenous retrovirus K (ERV)-K and long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1) are activated during HIV-1-infection and could represent stable, surrogate targets to eliminate HIV-1-infected cells. Here, we explored the hypothesis that vaccination against ERE would protect macaques from acquisition and replication of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Following vaccination with antigens derived from LINE-1 and ERV-K consensus sequences, animals mounted immune responses that failed to delay acquisition of SIVsmE660. We observed no differences in acute or set point viral loads between ERE-vaccinated and control animals suggesting that ERE-specific responses were not protective. Indeed, ERE-specific T cells failed to expand anamnestically in vivo following infection with SIVsmE660 and did not recognize SIV-infected targets in vitro, in agreement with no significant induction of targeted ERE mRNA by SIV in macaque CD4+ T cells. Instead, lower infection rates and viral loads correlated significantly to protective TRIM5α alleles. Cumulatively, these data demonstrate that vaccination against the selected ERE consensus sequences in macaques did not lead to immune-mediated recognition and killing of SIV-infected cells, as has been shown for HIV-infected human cells using patient-derived HERV-K-specific T cells. Thus, further research is required to identify the specific nonhuman primate EREs and retroviruses that recapitulate the activity of HIV-1 in human cells. These results also highlight the complexity in translating observations of the interplay between HIV-1 and human EREs to animal models.
PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e92012. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0092012 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A rare subset of IL-10-producing B cells, named regulatory B cells (Bregs), suppresses adaptive immune responses and inflammation in mice. In this study, we examined the role of IL-10-producing B cells in HIV-1 infection. Compared to uninfected controls, IL-10-producing B cell frequencies were elevated in both blood and sigmoid colon during the early and chronic phase of untreated HIV-1 infection. Ex vivo IL-10-producing B cell frequency in early HIV-1 infection directly correlated with viral load. IL-10-producing B cells from HIV-1 infected individuals were enriched in CD19(+)TIM-1(+) B cells and were enriched for specificity to trimeric HIV-1 envelope protein. Anti-retroviral therapy was associated with reduced IL-10-producing B cell frequencies. Treatment of B cells from healthy donors with microbial metabolites and Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists could induce an IL-10 producing phenotype, suggesting that the elevated bacterial translocation characteristic of HIV-1 infection may promote IL-10-producing B cell development. Similar to regulatory B cells found in mice, IL-10-producing B cells from HIV-1-infected individuals suppressed HIV-1-specific T cell responses in vitro, and this suppression is IL-10-dependent. Also, ex vivo IL-10-producing B cell frequency inversely correlated with contemporaneous ex vivo HIV-1-specific T cell responses. Our findings show that IL-10-producing B cells are induced early in HIV-1 infection, can be HIV-1 specific, and are able to inhibit effective anti-HIV-1 T cell responses. HIV-1 may dysregulate B cells toward Bregs as an immune evasion strategy.
PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e89236. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0089236 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD8(+) CTLs are adept at killing virally infected cells and cancer cells and releasing cytokines (e.g., IFN-γ) to aid this response. However, during cancer and chronic viral infections, such as with HIV, this CTL response is progressively impaired due to a process called T cell exhaustion. Previous work has shown that the glycoprotein T cell Ig and mucin domain-containing protein 3 (Tim-3) plays a functional role in establishing T cell exhaustion. Tim-3 is highly upregulated on virus and tumor Ag-specific CD8(+) T cells, and antagonizing Tim-3 helps restore function of CD8(+) T cells. However, very little is known of how Tim-3 signals in CTLs. In this study, we assessed the role of Tim-3 at the immunological synapse as well as its interaction with proximal TCR signaling molecules in primary human CD8(+) T cells. Tim-3 was found within CD8(+) T cell lipid rafts at the immunological synapse. Blocking Tim-3 resulted in a significantly greater number of stable synapses being formed between Tim-3(hi)CD8(+) T cells and target cells, suggesting that Tim-3 plays a functional role in synapse formation. Further, we confirmed that Tim-3 interacts with Lck, but not the phospho-active form of Lck. Finally, Tim-3 colocalizes with receptor phosphatases CD45 and CD148, an interaction that is enhanced in the presence of the Tim-3 ligand, galectin-9. Thus, Tim-3 interacts with multiple signaling molecules at the immunological synapse, and characterizing these interactions could aid in the development of therapeutics to restore Tim-3-mediated immune dysfunction.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2013; 192(2). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1302663 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The HIV RNA viral load (VL) in vaginal secretions and semen is an independent predictor of HIV transmission. Blood VL is associated with semen VL, and local mucosal factors such as semen CMV reactivation may play an important role.
Twenty-one HIV-CMV co-infected, antiretroviral-naïve men received 900mg of oral valganciclovir once daily for two weeks in an open-label study. Blood and semen were collected at baseline, after two weeks of valganciclovir, and two months after therapy completion. The primary endpoint was change in semen HIV levels at 2 weeks; secondary endpoints were change in semen HIV VL at 2 months and change in semen CMV levels.
The HIV VL fell significantly at 2 weeks in semen (median 3.44 to 3.02 log10 copies/ml; p=0.02) and blood (median 3.61 to 3.10 log10 copies/ml; p<0.01), and returned to baseline after therapy completion (median 3.24 and 3.71 log10 copies/ml in semen and blood, respectively). Semen CMV levels also fell on treatment (median log10, 2.13 to 1.62; p<0.01), and continued to fall after therapy completion (median 0.91 log10 copies/ml at week 8; p<0.001 vs. baseline).
The reduced semen CMV VL was associated with decreased semen T cell activation and enhanced CMV-specific T cell responses in blood; changes in the semen HIV VL were not associated with immune parameters. While valganciclovir therapy was associated with reduced HIV and semen CMV levels, these results suggest that the reduced HIV VL was a direct drug effect, rather than via a CMV antiviral effect or CMV-associated immune alterations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 1 long-interspersed nuclear elements (L1s) are autonomous retrotransposable elements that retain the potential for activity in the human genome, but are suppressed by host-factors. Retrotransposition of L1s into chromosomal DNA can lead to genomic instability, while reverse transcription of L1 in the cytosol has the potential to activate innate immune sensors. We hypothesized that HIV-1 infection would compromise cellular control of L1 elements, resulting in the induction of retrotransposition events. Here, we show that HIV-1 infection enhances L1 retrotransposition in Jurkat cells in a Vif- and Vpr-dependent manner. In primary CD4(+) cells, HIV-1 infection results in the accumulation of L1 DNA, at least the majority of which is extra-chromosomal. These data expose an unrecognized interaction between HIV-1 and endogenous retrotransposable elements, which may have implications for the innate immune response to HIV-1 infection, as well as for HIV-1-induced genomic instability and cytopathicity.
Journal of Virology 10/2013; 87(24). DOI:10.1128/JVI.02257-13 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mucosal Th17 cells maintain the gut epithelial barrier and prevent invasion by luminal bacteria through a delicate balance of immunosuppressive and proinflammatory functions. HIV infection is characterized by mucosal Th17 depletion, microbial translocation, and immune activation. Therefore, we assessed the function of blood and sigmoid Th17 cells during both early and chronic HIV infection, as well as the impact of short- and long-term antiretroviral therapy. Th17 cells were defined as IL-17a(+) CD4 T cells, and their functional capacity was assessed by the coproduction of the inflammatory cytokines IL-22, TNF-α, and IFN-γ, as well as the immunoregulatory cytokine IL-10. Gut Th17 cells had a much greater capacity to produce proinflammatory cytokines than did those from the blood, but this capacity was dramatically reduced from the earliest stages of HIV infection. Immunoregulatory skewing of mucosal Th17 cell function, characterized by an increased IL-10/TNF-α ratio, was uniquely seen during early HIV infection and was independently associated with reduced systemic immune activation. Antiretroviral therapy rapidly restored mucosal Th17 cell numbers; however, normalization of mucosal Th17 function, microbial translocation, and mucosal/systemic immune activation was much delayed. These findings emphasize that strategies to preserve or to more rapidly restore mucosal Th17 function may have important therapeutic benefit.
The Journal of Immunology 07/2013; 191(5). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1300829 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elite controllers suppress HIV viremia to below the limit of detection in the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, precise frequencies of CD4(+) T cells carrying replication-competent HIV and/or the dynamics of the infectious viral reservoirs in response to initiation and discontinuation of ART in elite controllers are unknown. We show that the size of the pool of CD4(+) T cells harboring infectious HIV diminished significantly following initiation of ART and rebounded to baseline upon cessation of therapy. Our data provide compelling evidence that persistent viral replication occurs in untreated elite controllers even in the absence of detectable plasma viremia.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2013; 208(9). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jit306 · 6.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: APOBEC3 proteins mediate potent anti-retroviral activity by hypermutating the retroviral genome during reverse transcription. To counteract APOBEC3 and gain a replicative advantage, lentiviruses such as HIV-1 and SIV have evolved the Vif protein, which targets APOBEC3 proteins for proteasomal degradation. However, the proteasome plays a critical role in the generation of T cell peptide epitopes. Whether Vif-mediated destruction of APOBEC3 proteins leads to the generation and presentation of APOBEC3-derived T cell epitopes on the surface of lentivirus-infected cells remains unknown. Here, using peptides derived from multiple Vif-sensitive APOBEC3 proteins, we identified APOBEC3-specific T cell responses in both HIV-1-infected patients and SIV-infected rhesus macaques. These results raise the possibility that these T cell responses may be part of the larger anti-retroviral immune response.
Journal of Virology 03/2013; 87(11). DOI:10.1128/JVI.00579-12 · 4.44 Impact Factor