Hendrik Streeck

University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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Publications (85)684.12 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Attrition within the CD4+ T cell compartment, high viremia and a cytokine storm characterize the early days after HIV infection. When the first emerging HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses gain control over viral replication, it is incomplete, and clearance of HIV infection is not achieved even in the rare cases of individuals who spontaneously control viral replication to near to immeasurable low levels. Thus, despite their partial ability to control viremia, HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses are insufficient to clear HIV infection. Studying individuals in the first few days of acute HIV infection, we detected the emergence of a unique population of CD38+CD27-CD8+ T cells characterized by a low expression of the CD8 receptor (CD8 dim ). Interestingly, while a high frequency of HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses are within the CD38+CD27-CD8 dim T cell population, the minority populations of CD8 bright T cells are significantly more effective in inhibiting HIV replication. Furthermore, the frequency of CD8 dim T cells directly correlates with viral load and clinical predictors of more rapid disease progression. We found that a canonical burst of proliferative cytokines coincides with the emergence CD8 dim T cells and the size of this population inversely correlates with the acute loss of CD4+ T cells. These data indicate, for the first time, that early CD4+ T cell loss coincides with the expansion of a functionally impaired HIV specific CD8 dim T cell population less efficient in controlling HIV viremia. Importance: A distinct population of activated CD8+ T cells appears during acute HIV infection with diminished capacity to inhibit HIV replication and is predictive of viral set-point, offering the first immunologic evidence of CD8+ T cell dysfunction during acute infection.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Journal of Virology
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    ABSTRACT: A central effort in HIV vaccine development is to generate protective broadly neutralizing antibodies, a process dependent on T follicular helper (Tfh) cells. The feasibility of using peripheral blood counterparts of lymph node Tfh cells to assess the immune response and the influence of viral and vaccine antigens on their helper functions remain obscure. We assessed circulating HIV-specific IL-21+CD4+ T cells and showed transcriptional and phenotypic similarities to lymphoid Tfh cells, and hence representing peripheral Tfh (pTfh) cells. pTfh cells were functionally active and B cell helper quality differed depending on antigen specificity. Furthermore, we found higher frequency of pTfh cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cell specimens from the ALVAC+AIDSVAX (RV144) HIV vaccine trial associated with protective antibody responses compared to the non-protective DNA+Ad5 vaccine trial. Together, we identify IL-21+CD4+ T cells as pTfh cells, implicating them as key populations in the generation of vaccine-evoked antibody responses.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Immunity
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    ABSTRACT: Recent successes in immune therapeutic strategies aimed to improve control over tumor growth have sparked hope that long-lived control of cancer through stimulation of the immune system can be possible. However, the underlying immunological mechanisms that are induced by immunotherapeutic strategies are not well understood. In this study, we used the highly immunogenic Friend virus-induced FBL-3 tumor as a model to study the mechanisms of immunological tumor control by CD4(+) T cells in the course of CD137 (4-1BB) agonist immunotherapy in the absence of a CD8 T cell response. We demonstrate that treatment with a CD137 agonist resulted in complete FBL-3 tumor regression in CD8(+) T cell-deficient mice. CD137 signaling enhanced the production of proinflammatory cytokines and cytotoxic molecules in tumor-specific CD4(+) T cells. Interestingly, a subset of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells was reprogrammed to eliminate immunogenic virus-induced tumor cells in response to CD137 agonist treatment. These cells expressed markers characteristic for Th cells (CD154) and produced the cytokine TNF-α or the T-box transcriptional factor Eomesodermin and granzyme B without loss of Foxp3 expression. Foxp3 Eomes double-positive CD4(+) T cells were capable of eliminating immunogenic virus-induced tumor cells in vivo. Thus, our data show that tumor-induced Foxp3(+)CD4(+) T cells can be reprogrammed into cytotoxic effector cells upon therapeutic costimulatory signaling and restore antitumor immunity.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: While antibody titers and neutralization are considered the gold standard for the selection of successful vaccines, these parameters are often inadequate predictors of protective immunity. As antibodies mediate an array of extra-neutralizing Fc functions, when neutralization fails to predict protection, investigating Fc-mediated activity may help identify immunological correlates and mechanism(s) of humoral protection. Here, we used an integrative approach termed Systems Serology to analyze relationships among humoral responses elicited in four HIV vaccine trials. Each vaccine regimen induced a unique humoral "Fc fingerprint." Moreover, analysis of case:control data from the first moderately protective HIV vaccine trial, RV144, pointed to mechanistic insights into immune complex composition that may underlie protective immunity to HIV. Thus, multi-dimensional relational comparisons of vaccine humoral fingerprints offer a unique approach for the evaluation and design of novel vaccines against pathogens for which correlates of protection remain elusive.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Cell
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    ABSTRACT: The importance of Fc-dependent effector functions of Abs induced by vaccination is increasingly recognized. However, vaccination of mice against HIV envelope (Env) induced a skewed Th cell response leading to Env-specific Abs with reduced effector function. To overcome this bias, GagPol-specific Th cells were harnessed to provide intrastructural help for Env-specific B cells after immunization with virus-like particles containing GagPol and Env. This led to a balanced Env-specific humoral immune response with a more inflammatory Fc glycan profile. The increased quality in the Ab response against Env was confirmed by FcγR activation assays. Because the Env-specific Th cell response was also biased in human vaccinees, intrastructural help is an attractive novel approach to increase the efficacy of prophylactic HIV Env-based vaccines and may also be applicable to other particulate vaccines.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Initial events after exposure determine HIV-1 disease progression, underscoring a critical need to understand host mechanisms that interfere with initial viral replication. Although associated with chronic HIV-1 control, it is not known whether interleukin-21 (IL-21) contributes to early HIV-1 immunity. Here we take advantage of tractable primary human lymphoid organ aggregate cultures to show that IL-21 directly suppresses HIV-1 replication, and identify microRNA-29 (miR-29) as an antiviral factor induced by IL-21 in CD4 T cells. IL-21 promotes transcription of all miR-29 species through STAT3, whose binding to putative regulatory regions within the MIR29 gene is enriched by IL-21 signalling. Notably, exogenous IL-21 limits early HIV-1 infection in humanized mice, and lower viremia in vivo is associated with higher miR-29 expression. Together, these findings reveal a novel antiviral IL-21-miR-29 axis that promotes CD4 T-cell-intrinsic resistance to HIV-1 infection, and suggest a role for IL-21 in initial HIV-1 control in vivo.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: CD4+ T cells play a pivotal role in the control of chronic viral infections. Recently, nontraditional CD4+ T cell functions beyond helper effects have been described, and a role for cytolytic CD4+ T cells in the control of HIV infection has been suggested. We define here the transcriptional, phenotypic, and functional profiles of HIV-specific cytolytic CD4+ T cells. Fluidigm BioMark and multiparameter flow cytometric analysis of HIV-specific cytolytic CD4+ T cells revealed a distinct transcriptional signature compared to Th1 CD4+ cells but shared similar features with HIV-specific cytolytic CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, HIV-specific cytolytic CD4+ T cells showed comparable killing activity relative to HIV-specific CD8+ T cells and worked cooperatively in the elimination of virally infected cells. Interestingly, we found that cytolytic CD4+ T cells emerge early during acute HIV infection and tightly follow acute viral load trajectory. This emergence was associated to the early viral set point, suggesting an involvement in early control, in spite of CD4 T cell susceptibility to HIV infection. Our data suggest cytolytic CD4+ T cells as an independent subset distinct from Th1 cells that show combined activity with CD8+ T cells in the long-term control of HIV infection. IMPORTANCE The ability of the immune system to control chronic HIV infection is of critical interest to both vaccine design and therapeutic approaches. Much research has focused on the effect of the ability of CD8+ T cells to control the virus, while CD4+ T cells have been overlooked as effectors in HIV control due to the fact that they are preferentially infected. We show here that a subset of HIV-specific CD4+ T cells cooperate in the cytolytic control of HIV replication. Moreover, these cells represent a distinct subset of CD4+ T cells showing significant transcriptional and phenotypic differences compared to HIV-specific Th1 cells but with similarities to CD8+ T cells. These findings are important for our understanding of HIV immunopathology.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Virology
  • Hendrik Streeck
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    ABSTRACT: A study of SIV-infected rhesus macaques suggests that T follicular helper (T-FH) cells, a specialized CD4(+) T cell subset within the B cell follicles, are a sanctuary for SIV that is largely inaccessible to CD8(+) T cells. These findings may open new avenues for research aimed at eradicating HIV.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Nature Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Fc-related antibody activities, such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), or more broadly, antibody-mediated cellular viral inhibition (ADCVI), play a role in curbing early SIV viral replication, are enriched in human long-term infected non-progressors, and could potentially contribute to protection from infection. However, little is known about the mechanism by which such humoral immune responses are naturally induced following infection. Here we focused on the early evolution of the functional antibody response, largely driven by the Fc portion of the antibody, in the context of the evolving binding and neutralizing antibody response, which is driven mainly by the antibody binding fragment (Fab). We show that ADCVI/ADCC-inducing responses in humans are rapidly generated following acute HIV-1 infection, peak at approximately 6 months post-infection, but decay rapidly in the setting of persistent immune activation, as Fab-related activities persistently increase. Moreover, the loss of Fc activity occurred in synchrony with a loss of HIV-specific IgG3 responses. Our data strongly suggest that Fc- and Fab-related antibody functions are modulated in a distinct manner following acute HIV infection. Vaccination strategies intended to optimally induce both sets of antiviral antibody activities may, therefore, require a fine-tuning of the inflammatory response.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · European Journal of Immunology

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Events during primary HIV-1 infection have been shown to be critical for the subsequent rate of disease progression. Early control of viral replication, resolution of clinical symptoms and development of a viral set point have been associated with the emergence of HIV-specific CD8 T cell responses. Here we assessed which particular HIV-specific CD8 T cell responses contribute to long-term control of HIV-1. A total of 620 individuals with primary HIV-1 infection were screened by gamma interferon (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay for HLA class I-restricted, epitope-specific CD8 T cell responses using optimally defined epitopes approximately 2 months after initial presentation. The cohort was predominantly male (97%) and Caucasian (83%) (Fiebig stages II/III [n = 157], IV [n = 64], V [n = 286], and VI [n = 88] and Fiebig stage not determined [n = 25]). Longitudinal viral loads, CD4 count, and time to ART were collected for all patients. We observed strong associations between viral load at baseline (initial viremia) and the established early viral set points (P < 0.0001). Both were significantly associated with HLA class I genotypes (P = 0.0009). While neither the breadth nor the magnitude of HIV-specific CD8 T cell responses showed an influence on the early viral set point, a broader HIV-specific CD8 T cell response targeting epitopes within HIV-1 Gag during primary HIV-1 infection was associated with slower disease progression. Moreover, the induction of certain HIV-specific CD8 T cell responses--but not others--significantly influenced the time to ART initiation. Individual epitope-specific CD8 T cell responses contribute significantly to HIV-1 disease control, demonstrating that the specificity of the initial HIV-specific CD8 T cell response rather than the restricting HLA class I molecule alone is a critical determinant of antiviral function. Importance: Understanding which factors are involved in the control of HIV-1 infection is critical for the design of therapeutic strategies for patients living with HIV/AIDS. Here, using a cohort of over 600 individuals with acute and early HIV-1 infection, we assessed in unprecedented detail the individual contribution of epitope-specific CD8 T cell responses directed against HIV-1 to control of viremia and their impact on the overall course of disease progression.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Virology
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    ABSTRACT: Recent immune correlates analysis from the RV144 vaccine trial has renewed interest in the role of non-neutralizing antibodies in mediating protection from infection. While neutralizing antibodies have proven difficult to induce through vaccination, extra-neutralizing antibodies, such as those that mediate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), are associated with long-term control of infection. However, while several non-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies have been tested for their protective efficacy in vivo, no studies to date have tested the protective activity of naturally produced polyclonal antibodies from individuals harboring potent ADCC activity. Because ADCC-inducing antibodies are highly enriched in elite controllers (EC), we passively transferred highly functional non-neutralizing polyclonal antibodies, purified from an EC, to assess the potential impact of polyclonal non-neutralizing antibodies on a stringent SHIV-SF162P3 challenge in rhesus monkeys. Passive transfer of a low-dose of ADCC inducing antibodies did not protect from infection following SHIV-SF162P3 challenge. Passively administered antibody titers and gp120-specific, but not gp41-specific, ADCC and antibody induced phagocytosis (ADCP) were detected in the majority of the monkeys, but did not correlate with post infection viral control. Thus these data raise the possibility that gp120-specific ADCC activity alone may not be sufficient to control viremia post infection but that other specificities or Fc-effector profiles, alone or in combination, may have an impact on viral control and should be tested in future passive transfer experiments.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Effector CD4 T cell responses have been shown to be critically involved in the containment and clearance of viral pathogens. However, their involvement in the pathogenesis of HIV infection is less clear, given their additional role as preferred viral targets. We previously demonstrated that the presence of HIV-specific CD4 T cell responses is somewhat associated with HIV control and that specific CD4 T cell functions, such as direct cytolytic activity, can contribute to control of HIV viremia. However, little is known about how the induction of HIV-specific CD4 T cell responses during acute HIV infection influences disease progression and whether responses induced during the early phase of infection are preferentially depleted. We therefore longitudinally assessed, in a cohort of 55 acutely HIV-infected individuals, HIV-specific CD4 T cell responses from acute to chronic infection. Interestingly, we found that the breadth, magnitude, and protein dominance of HIV-specific CD4 T cell responses remained remarkably stable over time. Moreover, we found that the epitopes targeted at a high frequency in acute HIV infection were recognized at the same frequency by HIV-specific CD4 T cells in chronic HIV infection. Interestingly the induction of Gag-specific CD4 T cell responses in acute HIV infection was significantly inversely correlated with viral set point in chronic HIV infection (R = -0.5; P = 0.03), while the cumulative contribution of Env-specific CD4 T cell responses showed the reverse effect. Moreover, individuals with HIV-specific CD4 T cell responses dominantly targeting Gag over Env in acute HIV infection remained off antiretroviral therapy significantly longer (P = 0.03; log rank). Thus, our data suggest that the induction of HIV-specific CD4 T cell responses during acute HIV infection is beneficial overall and does not fuel disease progression. Importance: CD4 T cells are critical for the clearance and control of viral infections. However, HIV preferentially infects HIV-specific CD4 T cells. Thus, their contribution to the control of HIV viremia is uncertain. Here, we study HIV-specific CD4 T cell responses from acute to chronic HIV infection and show that the generation of certain CD4 responses is associated with control rather than disease progression.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Virology
  • Franco Pissani · Hendrik Streeck
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    ABSTRACT: Inducing cross-reactive broadly neutralizing antibody (bNAb) responses to HIV through vaccination remains an insurmountable challenge. T follicular helper (TFH) cells are fundamental for the development of antigen-specific antibody responses and therefore crucial for anti-HIV vaccine design. Here, we review recent studies supporting an intricate involvement of TFH cells in HIV pathogenesis and bNAb development during HIV infection. We also examine emerging data suggesting that TFH cell responses may be traceable in peripheral blood, and discuss the implications of these findings in the context of vaccine design and future research in TFH cell immunobiology.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Trends in Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: The human phase 2B RV144 ALVAC-HIV vCP1521/AIDSVAX B/E vaccine trial, held in Thailand, resulted in an estimated 31.2% efficacy against HIV infection. By contrast, vaccination with VAX003 (consisting of only AIDSVAX B/E) was not protective. Because protection within RV144 was observed in the absence of neutralizing antibody activity or cytotoxic T cell responses, we speculated that the specificity or qualitative differences in Fc-effector profiles of nonneutralizing antibodies may have accounted for the efficacy differences observed between the two trials. We show that the RV144 regimen elicited nonneutralizing antibodies with highly coordinated Fc-mediated effector responses through the selective induction of highly functional immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3). By contrast, VAX003 elicited monofunctional antibody responses influenced by IgG4 selection, which was promoted by repeated AIDSVAX B/E protein boosts. Moreover, only RV144 induced IgG1 and IgG3 antibodies targeting the crown of the HIV envelope V2 loop, albeit with limited coverage of breakthrough viral sequences. These data suggest that subclass selection differences associated with coordinated humoral functional responses targeting strain-specific protective V2 loop epitopes may underlie differences in vaccine efficacy observed between these two vaccine trials.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Science translational medicine
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    Heiko Jessen · Todd M Allen · Hendrik Streeck
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    ABSTRACT: A follow-up report on a patient whose HIV infection was treated early, but briefly, 15 years ago reveals a likely explanation for the control of HIV without antiretroviral therapy.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · New England Journal of Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: HLA-B alleles are associated with viral control in chronic HIV-1 infection, however, their role in primary HIV-1 disease is unclear. This study sought to determine the role of HLA-B alleles in viral control during the acute phase of HIV-1 infection and establishment of the early viral load set point (VLSP). Individuals identified during primary HIV-1 infection were HLA class I typed and followed longitudinally. Associations between HLA-B alleles and HIV-1 viral replication during acute infection and VLSP were analyzed in untreated subjects. The results showed that neither HLA-B*57 nor HLA-B*27 were significantly associated with viral control during acute HIV-1 infection (Fiebig stage I-IV, n=171). HLA-B*57 was however significantly associated with a subsequent lower VLSP (p<0.001, n=135) with nearly 1 log10 less median viral load. Analysis of a known polymorphism at position 97 of HLA-B showed significant associations with both lower initial viral load (p<0.01) and lower VLSP (p<0.05). However, this association was dependent on different amino acids at this position for each endpoint. The effect of HLA-B*57 on viral control is more pronounced during the later stages of primary HIV-1 infection, which suggests the underlying mechanism of control occurs at a critical period in the first several months after HIV-1 acquisition. The risk profile of polymorphisms at position 97 of HLA-B are more broadly associated with HIV-1 viral load during primary infection and may serve as a focal point in further studies of HLA-B function.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Retrovirology

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2013
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    ABSTRACT: The contribution of HLA class II-restricted CD4(+) T cell responses to HIV immune control is poorly defined. Here, we delineated previously uncharacterized peptide-DRB1 restrictions in functional assays and analyzed the host genetic effects of HLA-DRB1 alleles on HIV viremia in a large cohort of HIV controllers and progressors. We found distinct stratifications in the effect of HLA-DRB1 alleles on HIV viremia, with HLA-DRB1*15:02 significantly associated with low viremia and HLA-DRB1*03:01 significantly associated with high viremia. Notably, a subgroup of HLA-DRB1 variants linked with low viremia showed the ability to promiscuously present a larger breadth of peptides with lower functional avidity when compared to HLA-DRB1 variants linked with high viremia. Our data provide systematic evidence that HLA-DRB1 variant expression has a considerable impact on the control of HIV replication, an effect that seems to be mediated primarily by the protein specificity of CD4(+) T cell responses to HIV Gag and Nef.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Nature medicine
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    ABSTRACT: While the induction of a neutralizing antibody response against HIV remains a daunting goal, data from both natural infection and vaccine-induced immune responses suggest that it may be possible to induce antibodies with enhanced Fc effector activity and improved antiviral control via vaccination. However, the specific features of naturally induced HIV-specific antibodies that allow for the potent recruitment of antiviral activity and the means by which these functions are regulated are poorly defined. Because antibody effector functions are critically dependent on antibody Fc domain glycosylation, we aimed to define the natural glycoforms associated with robust Fc-mediated antiviral activity. We demonstrate that spontaneous control of HIV and improved antiviral activity are associated with a dramatic shift in the global antibody-glycosylation profile toward agalactosylated glycoforms. HIV-specific antibodies exhibited an even greater frequency of agalactosylated, afucosylated, and asialylated glycans. These glycoforms were associated with enhanced Fc-mediated reduction of viral replication and enhanced Fc receptor binding and were consistent with transcriptional profiling of glycosyltransferases in peripheral B cells. These data suggest that B cell programs tune antibody glycosylation actively in an antigen-specific manner, potentially contributing to antiviral control during HIV infection.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · The Journal of clinical investigation

Publication Stats

4k Citations
684.12 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • University of Duisburg-Essen
      Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2014-2015
    • U.S. Military HIV Research Program
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
    • Silver Spring Networks
      레드우드시티, California, United States
    • Henry M Jackson Foundation
      Maryland City, Maryland, United States
  • 2013-2015
    • Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
      Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
  • 2008-2014
    • Harvard University
      • Center for AIDS Research
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    • Université Libre de Bruxelles
      Bruxelles, Brussels Capital Region, Belgium
  • 2009-2012
    • Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
      Charlestown, Maryland, United States
  • 2005-2012
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Division of AIDS
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2006-2011
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Division of Infectious Diseases
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2010
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    • The University of Tokyo
      Tōkyō, Japan
  • 2006-2007
    • University of Bonn
      • Institute of Molecular Medicine
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany