[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the overwhelming benefits of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in curtailing viral load in HIV-infected individuals, ART does not fully restore cellular and humoral immunity. HIV-infected individuals under ART show reduced responses to vaccination and infections and are unable to mount an effective antiviral immune response upon ART cessation. Many factors contribute to these defects, including persistent inflammation, especially in lymphoid tissues, where T follicular helper (Tfh) cells instruct and help B cells launch an effective humoral immune response. In this study we investigated the phenotype and function of circulating memory Tfh cells as a surrogate of Tfh cells in lymph nodes and found significant impairment of this cell population in chronically HIV-infected individuals, leading to reduced B cell responses. We further show that these aberrant memory Tfh cells exhibit an IL-2-responsive gene signature and are more polarized toward a Th1 phenotype. Treatment of functional memory Tfh cells with IL-2 was able to recapitulate the detrimental reprogramming. Importantly, this defect was reversible, as interfering with the IL-2 signaling pathway helped reverse the abnormal differentiation and improved Ab responses. Thus, reversible reprogramming of memory Tfh cells in HIV-infected individuals could be used to enhance Ab responses. Altered microenvironmental conditions in lymphoid tissues leading to altered Tfh cell differentiation could provide one explanation for the poor responsiveness of HIV-infected individuals to new Ags. This explanation has important implications for the development of therapeutic interventions to enhance HIV- and vaccine-mediated Ab responses in patients under ART.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autosomal recessive mutations in proteasome subunit β 8 (PSMB8), which encodes the inducible proteasome subunit β5i, cause the immune-dysregulatory disease chronic atypical neutrophilic dermatosis with lipodystrophy and elevated temperature (CANDLE), which is classified as a proteasome-associated autoinflammatory syndrome (PRAAS). Here, we identified 8 mutations in 4 proteasome genes, PSMA3 (encodes α7), PSMB4 (encodes β7), PSMB9 (encodes β1i), and proteasome maturation protein (POMP), that have not been previously associated with disease and 1 mutation in PSMB8 that has not been previously reported. One patient was compound heterozygous for PSMB4 mutations, 6 patients from 4 families were heterozygous for a missense mutation in 1 inducible proteasome subunit and a mutation in a constitutive proteasome subunit, and 1 patient was heterozygous for a POMP mutation, thus establishing a digenic and autosomal dominant inheritance pattern of PRAAS. Function evaluation revealed that these mutations variably affect transcription, protein expression, protein folding, proteasome assembly, and, ultimately, proteasome activity. Moreover, defects in proteasome formation and function were recapitulated by siRNA-mediated knockdown of the respective subunits in primary fibroblasts from healthy individuals. Patient-isolated hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells exhibited a strong IFN gene-expression signature, irrespective of genotype. Additionally, chemical proteasome inhibition or progressive depletion of proteasome subunit gene transcription with siRNA induced transcription of type I IFN genes in healthy control cells. Our results provide further insight into CANDLE genetics and link global proteasome dysfunction to increased type I IFN production.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The persistence of HIV reservoirs remains a formidable obstacle to achieving sustained virologic remission in HIV-infected individuals after antiretroviral therapy (ART) is discontinued, even if plasma viremia has been successfully suppressed for prolonged periods of time. Numerous approaches aimed at eradicating the virus, as well as maintaining its prolonged suppression in the absence of ART, have had little success. A better understanding of the pathophysiologic nature of HIV reservoirs and the impact of various interventions on their persistence is essential for the development of successful therapeutic strategies against HIV or the long-term control of infection. Here, we discuss the persistent HIV reservoir as a barrier to cure as well as the current therapeutic strategies aimed at eliminating or controlling the virus in the absence of ART.
No preview · Article · May 2015 · Nature Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several potent and broadly neutralizing Abs to HIV-1 have been isolated recently from peripheral blood B cells of infected individuals, based on prescreening of Ab activity in the serum. However, little is known regarding the cells that make the Abs that circulate in the blood. Accordingly, we investigated the most likely source, the bone marrow, of chronically HIV-1-infected individuals who were not receiving antiretroviral therapy. Increased frequencies of plasma cells, as well as B cell precursors, namely preB-I and preB-II, and decreased frequencies of mature B cells were observed in bone marrow aspirates of these individuals compared with HIV-negative counterparts. Increased frequencies of bone marrow plasma cells are consistent with known hallmarks of HIV-1 infection, namely hypergammaglobulinemia and increased frequencies of peripheral blood plasmablasts. Levels of HIV-1 envelope (Env)-binding and HIV-1-neutralizing Abs were measured in serum, and corresponding frequencies of Ab-secreting or Env-binding cells were measured in the blood (plasmablasts and memory B cells) and in the bone marrow (plasma cells). A strong correlation was observed between serum HIV-1-specific Abs and Env-specific bone marrow-derived plasma cells, but not circulating plasmablasts or memory B cells. These findings demonstrate that, despite HIV-1-induced phenotypic and functional B cell dysregulation in the peripheral blood and secondary lymphoid tissues, bone marrow plasma cells remain a primary source for circulating HIV-1-specific Abs in HIV-1-infected individuals.
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Activating germline mutations in CARD11 have recently been linked to a rare genetic disorder associated with congenital B cell lymphocytosis. We describe a patient with a similar clinical phenotype who had a de novo germline G123D CARD11 mutation.
Whole exome sequencing was performed on DNA from the patient and his biological parents. Laboratory studies examined characteristics of the patient's B and T lymphocytes. A CARD11 cDNA containing the mutation was transfected into a lymphocyte cell line to gain an understanding of its function. RNA sequencing was performed on samples from the patient and from patients with alternate germline CARD11 mutations and differential gene expression analysis was performed.
The patient had a decade-long history of severe polyclonal B lymphocytosis in the 20,000-90,000 lymphocytes/mm(3) range, which was markedly exacerbated by EBV infection and splenectomy at different times. He had a heterozygous germline CARD11 mutation causing a G123D amino acid substitution, which was demonstrated to induce NF-κB activation in unstimulated lymphocytes. In contrast to previous patients with CARD11 mutations, this patient's B cells exhibited higher expression of several cell cycle progression genes, as well as enhanced proliferation and improved survival following B cell receptor stimulation.
This is the third reported germline and first de novo CARD11 mutation shown to cause congenital B cell lymphocytosis. The mutation was associated with a dramatically greater lymphocytosis than in previously described cases, disproportionate to the level of constitutive NF-κB activation. However, comparative review of the patient's clinical history, combined with additional genomic and functional analyses, underscore other important variables that may affect pathophysiology or regulate mutant CARD11 function in B cell proliferation and disease. We now refer to these patients as having BENTA disease (B cell Expansion with NF-κB and T cell Anergy).
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Clinical Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several highly potent and broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against HIV have recently been isolated from B cells of infected individuals. However, the effects of these antibodies on the persistent viral reservoirs in HIV-infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) are unknown. We show that several HIV-specific monoclonal antibodies-in particular, PGT121, VRC01, and VRC03-potently inhibited entry into CD4(+) T cells of HIV isolated from the latent viral reservoir of infected individuals whose plasma viremia was well controlled by ART. In addition, we demonstrate that HIV replication in autologous CD4(+) T cells derived from infected individuals receiving ART was profoundly suppressed by three aforementioned and other HIV-specific monoclonal antibodies. These findings have implications for passive immunotherapy as an approach toward controlling plasma viral rebound in patients whose ART is withdrawn.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The study of autoinflammatory diseases has uncovered mechanisms underlying cytokine dysregulation and inflammation.
We analyzed the DNA of an index patient with early-onset systemic inflammation, cutaneous vasculopathy, and pulmonary inflammation. We sequenced a candidate gene, TMEM173, encoding the stimulator of interferon genes (STING), in this patient and in five unrelated children with similar clinical phenotypes. Four children were evaluated clinically and immunologically. With the STING ligand cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP), we stimulated peripheral-blood mononuclear cells and fibroblasts from patients and controls, as well as commercially obtained endothelial cells, and then assayed transcription of IFNB1, the gene encoding interferon-β, in the stimulated cells. We analyzed IFNB1 reporter levels in HEK293T cells cotransfected with mutant or nonmutant STING constructs. Mutant STING leads to increased phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), so we tested the effect of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors on STAT1 phosphorylation in lymphocytes from the affected children and controls.
We identified three mutations in exon 5 of TMEM173 in the six patients. Elevated transcription of IFNB1 and other gene targets of STING in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from the patients indicated constitutive activation of the pathway that cannot be further up-regulated with stimulation. On stimulation with cGAMP, fibroblasts from the patients showed increased transcription of IFNB1 but not of the genes encoding interleukin-1 (IL1), interleukin-6 (IL6), or tumor necrosis factor (TNF). HEK293T cells transfected with mutant constructs show elevated IFNB1 reporter levels. STING is expressed in endothelial cells, and exposure of these cells to cGAMP resulted in endothelial activation and apoptosis. Constitutive up-regulation of phosphorylated STAT1 in patients' lymphocytes was reduced by JAK inhibitors.
STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy (SAVI) is an autoinflammatory disease caused by gain-of-function mutations in TMEM173. (Funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00059748.).
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · New England Journal of Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose of review:
To discuss a component of the pathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection in the context of phenotypic and functional alterations in B cells that are due to persistent viral replication leading to aberrant immune activation and cellular exhaustion. We explore how B-cell exhaustion arises during persistent viremia and how it compares with T-cell exhaustion and similar B-cell alterations in other diseases.
HIV-associated B-cell exhaustion was first described in 2008, soon after the demonstration of persistent virus-induced T-cell exhaustion, as well as the identification of a subset B cells in tonsil tissues with immunoregulatory features similar to those observed in T-cell exhaustion. Our understanding of B-cell exhaustion has since expanded in two important areas: the role of inhibitory receptors in the unresponsiveness of exhausted B cells and the increasing evidence that similar B cells are found in other diseases that are associated with aberrant immune activation and inflammation.
The phenomenon of B-cell exhaustion is now well established in HIV infection and other diseases characterized by immune activation. Over the coming years, it will be important to understand how cellular exhaustion affects the capacity of the immune system to respond to persisting primary pathogens, as well as to other microbial antigens, whether encountered as secondary infections or following immunization.
No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Current opinion in HIV and AIDS
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, several neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies have been isolated from memory B cells of HIV-infected individuals. Despite extensive evidence of B cell dysfunction in HIV disease, little is known about the cells from which these rare HIV-specific antibodies originate. Accordingly, we used HIV envelope gp140 and CD4 or coreceptor (CoR) binding site (bs) mutant probes to evaluate HIV-specific responses in peripheral blood B cells of HIV-infected individuals at various stages of infection. In contrast to non-HIV responses, HIV-specific responses against gp140 were enriched within abnormal B cells, namely activated and exhausted memory subsets, which are largely absent in the blood of uninfected individuals. Responses against the CoRbs, which is a poorly neutralizing epitope, arose early, whereas those against the well-characterized neutralizing epitope CD4bs were delayed and infrequent. Enrichment of the HIV-specific response within resting memory B cells, the predominant subset in uninfected individuals, did occur in certain infected individuals who maintained low levels of plasma viremia and immune activation with or without antiretroviral therapy. The distribution of HIV-specific responses among memory B cell subsets was corroborated by transcriptional analyses. Taken together, our findings provide valuable insight into virus-specific B cell responses in HIV infection and demonstrate that memory B cell abnormalities may contribute to the ineffectiveness of the antibody response in infected individuals.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major goal of systems biology is the development of models that accurately predict responses to perturbation. Constructing such models requires the collection of dense measurements of system states, yet transformation of data into predictive constructs remains a challenge. To begin to model human immunity, we analyzed immune parameters in depth both at baseline and in response to influenza vaccination. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell transcriptomes, serum titers, cell subpopulation frequencies, and B cell responses were assessed in 63 individuals before and after vaccination and were used to develop a systematic framework to dissect inter- and intra-individual variation and build predictive models of postvaccination antibody responses. Strikingly, independent of age and pre-existing antibody titers, accurate models could be constructed using pre-perturbation cell populations alone, which were validated using independent baseline time points. Most of the parameters contributing to prediction delineated temporally stable baseline differences across individuals, raising the prospect of immune monitoring before intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic defects in MOGS, the gene encoding mannosyl-oligosaccharide glucosidase (the first enzyme in the processing pathway of N-linked oligosaccharide), cause the rare congenital disorder of glycosylation type IIb (CDG-IIb), also known as MOGS-CDG. MOGS is expressed in the endoplasmic reticulum and is involved in the trimming of N-glycans. We evaluated two siblings with CDG-IIb who presented with multiple neurologic complications and a paradoxical immunologic phenotype characterized by severe hypogammaglobulinemia but limited clinical evidence of an infectious diathesis. A shortened immunoglobulin half-life was determined to be the mechanism underlying the hypogammaglobulinemia. Impaired viral replication and cellular entry may explain a decreased susceptibility to infections.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · New England Journal of Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autosomal dominant gain of function mutations in the gene encoding PI3K p110δ were recently associated with a novel combined immune deficiency characterized by recurrent sinopulmonary infections, CD4 lymphopenia, reduced class-switched memory B cells, lymphadenopathy, CMV and/or EBV viremia and EBV-related lymphoma. A subset of affected patients also had elevated serum IgM. Here we describe three patients in two families who were diagnosed with HIGM at a young age and were recently found to carry heterozygous mutations in PIK3CD. These patients had an abnormal circulating B cell distribution featuring a preponderance of early transitional (T1) B cells and plasmablasts. When stimulated in vitro, PIK3CD mutated B cells were able to secrete class-switched immunoglobulins. This finding implies that the patients' elevated serum IgM levels were unlikely a product of an intrinsic B cell functional inability to class switch. All three patients developed malignant lymphoproliferative syndromes that were not associated with EBV. Thus, we identified a novel subset of patients with PIK3CD mutations associated with HIGM, despite indications of preserved in vitro B cell class switch recombination, as well as susceptibility to non-EBV-associated malignancies.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Clinical Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
We observed a syndrome of intermittent fevers, early-onset lacunar strokes and other neurovascular manifestations, livedoid rash, hepatosplenomegaly, and systemic vasculopathy in three unrelated patients. We suspected a genetic cause because the disorder presented in early childhood. Methods
We performed whole-exome sequencing in the initial three patients and their unaffected parents and candidate-gene sequencing in three patients with a similar phenotype, as well as two young siblings with polyarteritis nodosa and one patient with small-vessel vasculitis. Enzyme assays, immunoblotting, immunohistochemical testing, flow cytometry, and cytokine profiling were performed on samples from the patients. To study protein function, we used morpholino-mediated knockdowns in zebrafish and short hairpin RNA knockdowns in U937 cells cultured with human dermal endothelial cells. ResultsAll nine patients carried recessively inherited mutations in CECR1 (cat eye syndrome chromosome region, candidate 1), encoding adenosine deaminase 2 (ADA2), that were predicted to be deleterious; these mutations were rare or absent in healthy controls. Six patients were compound heterozygous for eight CECR1 mutations, whereas the three patients with polyarteritis nodosa or small-vessel vasculitis were homozygous for the p.Gly47Arg mutation. Patients had a marked reduction in the levels of ADA2 and ADA2-specific enzyme activity in the blood. Skin, liver, and brain biopsies revealed vasculopathic changes characterized by compromised endothelial integrity, endothelial cellular activation, and inflammation. Knockdown of a zebrafish ADA2 homologue caused intracranial hemorrhages and neutropenia phenotypes that were prevented by coinjection with nonmutated (but not with mutated) human CECR1. Monocytes from patients induced damage in cocultured endothelial-cell layers. Conclusions
Loss-of-function mutations in CECR1 were associated with a spectrum of vascular and inflammatory phenotypes, ranging from early-onset recurrent stroke to systemic vasculopathy or vasculitis. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Programs and others.) Adenosine deaminase 2 (ADA2) is an enzyme involved in purine metabolism and a growth factor that influences the development of endothelial cells and leukocytes. This study shows that defects in ADA2 cause recurrent fevers, vascular pathologic features, and mild immunodeficiency. Patients with autoinflammatory disease sometimes present with clinical findings that encompass multiple organ systems.(1) Three unrelated children presented to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center with intermittent fevers, recurrent lacunar strokes, elevated levels of acute-phase reactants, livedoid rash, hepatosplenomegaly, and hypogammaglobulinemia. Collectively, these findings do not easily fit with any of the known inherited autoinflammatory diseases. Hereditary or acquired vascular disorders can have protean manifestations yet be caused by mutations in a single gene. Diseases such as the Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome,(2),(3) polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy,(4) sickle cell anemia,(5) livedoid vasculopathy,(6) and the small-vessel vasculitides(7),(8) are examples of systemic ...
Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · New England Journal of Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported abnormalities in circulating B cells in patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) and those with HIV infection. Gastrointestinal complications are common to both diseases and likely involve perturbation of immune cells, including plasma cells (PCs). IgA is the most abundant immunoglobulin in the human body, with roles in protection and maintenance of intestinal homeostasis. IgA is produced primarily by PCs residing in mucosal tissues that are also thought to circulate in the blood.
We sought to characterize and compare PCs in patients with infectious (HIV) and noninfectious (CGD and Crohn disease) diseases that have been associated with intestinal inflammation.
Phenotypic and transcriptional analyses were performed on cells isolated from the blood and colon.
IgA-secreting CCR10-expressing PCs predominated in the guts of healthy subjects, whereas in patients with HIV, CGD, and Crohn disease, there was a significant increase in the proportion of IgG-secreting PCs. Where intestinal inflammation was present, IgG-secreting PCs expressed reduced levels of CCR10 and increased levels of CXCR4. The intensity of CXCR4 expression correlated with the frequency of IgG-expressing PCs and the frequency of CXCR4(+)/IgG(+) PCs was associated with the severity of intestinal inflammatory disease yet distinct from PCs and plasmablasts circulating in the blood.
These findings suggest that regardless of the underlying disease, the presence of CXCR4(+)/IgG(+) PCs in the gut is a strong yet localized indicator of intestinal inflammation. Furthermore, our findings suggest that CXCR4(+)/IgG(+) PCs might play a role in immune cell homeostasis during inflammatory processes of the gut.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology