[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1) is the causative agent of the incapacitating, neuroinflammatory disease HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Currently, there are no disease-modifying therapies with long-term clinical benefits or validated biomarkers for clinical follow-up in HAM/TSP. Although CD80 and CD86 costimulatory molecules play prominent roles in immune regulation and reflect disease status in multiple sclerosis (MS), data in HAM/TSP are lacking.
Using flow cytometry, we quantified ex vivo and in vitro expression of CD80 and CD86 in PBMCs of healthy controls, HTLV-1-infected individuals with and without HAM/TSP, and MS patients. We hypothesized ex vivo CD80 and CD86 expressions and their in vitro regulation by interferon (IFN)-alpha/beta mirror similarities between HAM/TSP and MS and hence might reveal clinically useful biomarkers in HAM/TSP.
Ex vivo expression of CD80 and CD86 in T and B cells increased in all HTLV-1 infected individuals, but with a selective defect for B cell CD86 upregulation in HAM/TSP. Despite decreased total B cells with increasing disease duration (p = 0.0003, r = -0.72), CD80+ B cells positively correlated with disease severity (p = 0.0017, r = 0.69) in HAM/TSP. B cell CD80 expression was higher in women with HAM/TSP, underscoring that immune markers can reflect the female predominance observed in most autoimmune diseases. In contrast to MS patients, CD80+ (p = 0.0001) and CD86+ (p = 0.0054) lymphocytes expanded upon in vitro culture in HAM/TSP patients. The expansion of CD80+ and CD86+ T cells but not B cells was associated with increased proliferation in HTLV-1 infection. In vitro treatment with IFN-beta but not IFN-alpha resulted in a pronounced increase of B cell CD86 expression in healthy controls, as well as in patients with neuroinflammatory disease (HAM/TSP and MS), similar to in vivo treatment in MS.
We propose two novel biomarkers, ex vivo CD80+ B cells positively correlating to disease severity and CD86+ B cells preferentially induced by IFN-beta, which restores defective upregulation in HAM/TSP. This study suggests a role for B cells in HAM/TSP pathogenesis and opens avenues to B cell targeting (with proven clinical benefit in MS) in HAM/TSP but also CD80-directed immunotherapy, unprecedented in both HAM/TSP and MS.
Journal of Neuroinflammation 01/2014; 11(1):18. · 4.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human T-lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus that persists lifelong by driving clonal proliferation of infected T-cells. HTLV-1 causes a neuroinflammatory disease and adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Strongyloidiasis, a gastrointestinal infection by the helminth Strongyloides stercoralis, and Infective Dermatitis associated with HTLV-1 (IDH), appear to be risk factors for the development of HTLV-1 related diseases. We used high-throughput sequencing to map and quantify the insertion sites of the provirus in order to monitor the clonality of the HTLV-1-infected T-cell population (i.e. the number of distinct clones and abundance of each clone). A newly developed biodiversity estimator called "DivE" was used to estimate the total number of clones in the blood. We found that the major determinant of proviral load in all subjects without leukemia/lymphoma was the total number of HTLV-1-infected clones. Nevertheless, the significantly higher proviral load in patients with strongyloidiasis or IDH was due to an increase in the mean clone abundance, not to an increase in the number of infected clones. These patients appear to be less capable of restricting clone abundance than those with HTLV-1 alone. In patients co-infected with Strongyloides there was an increased degree of oligoclonal expansion and a higher rate of turnover (i.e. appearance and disappearance) of HTLV-1-infected clones. In Strongyloides co-infected patients and those with IDH, proliferation of the most abundant HTLV-1(+) T-cell clones is independent of the genomic environment of the provirus, in sharp contrast to patients with HTLV-1 infection alone. This implies that new selection forces are driving oligoclonal proliferation in Strongyloides co-infection and IDH. We conclude that strongyloidiasis and IDH increase the risk of development of HTLV-1-associated diseases by increasing the rate of infection of new clones and the abundance of existing HTLV-1(+) clones.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV-1 M originated from SIVcpz endemic in chimpanzees from southeast Cameroon or neighboring areas, and it started to spread in the early 20th century. Here we examine the factors that may have contributed to simian-to-human transmission, local transmission between humans, and export to a city. The region had intense ape hunting, social disruption, commercial sex work, STDs, and traffic to/from Kinshasa in the period 1899-1923. Injection treatments increased sharply around 1930; however, their frequency among local patients was far lower than among modern groups experiencing parenteral HIV-1 outbreaks. Recent molecular datings of HIV-1 M fit better the period of maximal resource exploitation and trade links than the period of high injection intensity. We conclude that although local parenteral outbreaks might have occurred, these are unlikely to have caused massive transmission. World War I led to additional, and hitherto unrecognized, risks of HIV-1 emergence. We propose an Enhanced Heterosexual Transmission Hypothesis for the origin of HIV-1 M, featuring at the time and place of its origin a coincidence of favorable co-factors (ape hunting, social disruption, STDs, and mobility) for both cross-species transmission and heterosexual spread. Our hypothesis does not exclude a role for parenteral transmission in the initial viral adaptation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clear therapeutic guidelines for HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) are missing due to the lack of randomized double-blind controlled clinical trials. Moderate yet similar clinical benefit has been demonstrated for IFN-α and high-dose ascorbic acid (AA) monotherapy in a large open clinical trial. However, there is a lack of in vivo and in vitro studies exploring and comparing the effects of high-dose AA and IFN-α treatment in the context of HAM/TSP. Therefore, we performed the first comparative analysis of the ex vivo and in vitro molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of IFN-α and high-dose AA in HAM/TSP.
Through thymidine incorporation and quantification of Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokines, we demonstrate that high-dose AA displays differential and superior antiproliferative and immunomodulatory effects over IFN-α in HAM/TSP PBMCs ex vivo. In addition, high-dose AA, but not IFN-α, induced cell death in both HAM/TSP PBMCs and HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines MT-2 and MT-4. Microarray data combined with pathway analysis of MT-2 cells revealed AA-induced regulation of genes associated with cell death, including miR-155. Since miR-155 has recently been demonstrated to up-regulate IFN-γ, this microRNA might represent a novel therapeutic target in HAM/TSP, as recently demonstrated in multiple sclerosis, another neuroinflammatory disease. On the other hand, IFN-α selectively up-regulated antiviral and immune-related genes.
In comparison to IFN-α, high-dose AA treatment has superior ex vivo and in vitro cell death-inducing, antiproliferative and immunomodulatory anti-HTLV-1 effects. Differential pathway activation by both drugs opens up avenues for targeted treatment in specific patient subsets.