Background. Unlike cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and aging, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) decreases the proportion of CD28−CD8+ T cells expressing CD57. Whether this abnormality predicts mortality in treated HIV infection and can be reversed by early antiretroviral therapy (ART) remains unknown.
Methods. We sampled recently HIV-infected individuals (<6 months) and HIV-uninfected controls and compared longitudinal changes in the proportion of CD28−CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 between those who initiated ART early (<6 months) vs later (≥2 years). We also assessed the relationship between this phenotype and mortality in a nested case-control study of ART-suppressed chronically infected individuals.
Results. Compared to HIV-uninfected controls (n = 15), individuals who were recently infected with HIV had lower proportions of CD28−CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 (P < .001), and these proportions increased during ART. The early ART group (n = 33) achieved normal levels, whereas the later ART group (n = 30) continued to have lower levels than HIV-uninfected controls (P = .02). Among 141 ART-suppressed participants in the SOCA study, those in the lowest quartile of CD28−CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 had 5-fold higher odds of mortality than those in the highest quartile (95% CI, 1.6–15.9, P = .007).
Conclusions. Abnormally low proportions of CD28−CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 predict increased mortality during treated HIV infection and may be reversed with early ART initiation.
HIV; CD57; CD28; Immunosenescence; aging; mortality; antiretroviral therapy; immune activation
Viral escape from HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cells has been demonstrated in numerous studies previously. However, the qualitative features driving the emergence of mutations within epitopes are still unclear. In this study, we aimed to distinguish whether specific functional characteristics of HLA-B*5701-restricted CD8+ T cells influence the emergence of mutations in high-risk progressors (HRPs) versus low-risk progressors (LRPs). Single genome sequencing was performed to detect viral mutations (variants) within seven HLA-B*5701-restricted epitopes in Gag (n = 4) and Nef (n = 3) in six untreated HLA-B*5701 subjects followed from early infection up to seven years. Several well-characterized effector markers (IFN-γ, IL-2, MIP-1β, TNF, CD107a and perforin) were identified by flow cytometry following autologous (initial and emerging variant/s) epitope stimulations. This study demonstrates that specific functional attributes may facilitate the outgrowth of mutations within HLA-B*5701-restricted epitopes. A significantly lower fraction of IL-2 producing cells and a decrease in functional avidity and polyfunctional sensitivity were evident in emerging epitope variants compared to the initial autologous epitopes. Interestingly, the HRPs mainly drove these differences, while the LRPs maintained a directed and maintained functional response against emerging epitope variants. In addition, LRPs induced improved cell cycle progression and perforin up-regulation after autologous and emerging epitope variant stimulations in contrast to HRPs. The maintained quantitative and qualitative features of the CD8+ T cell responses in LRPs toward emerging epitope variants provide insights into why HLA-B*5701 subjects have different risks of HIV-1 disease progression.
HIV-1; Immunity; cellular; CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes; HLA-B57 Antigen; Disease progression
Objective: To characterize Ayurvedic perspectives on the etiopathogenesis and supportive treatments for a biomedical diagnosis of cancer.
Methods: Hour-long, digitally recorded interviews were conducted with 10 experienced Ayurvedic clinicians, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using techniques of qualitative thematic analysis.
Results: Four major themes were identified. The Ayurvedic description of the pathophysiology of cancer uses traditional concepts translated into a modern context. Although the biomedical treatment of cancer is considered valuable, from an Ayurvedic perspective it results in degeneration and depletion. In cases where biomedical treatment of cancer is not feasible, an Ayurvedic approach focusing on strengthening digestion, eliminating toxins, reducing tumor growth, and improving tissue metabolism is useful. An Ayurvedic approach to cancer supportive care focuses on restoring equilibrium, building strength, and rejuvenation.
Conclusion: Ayurvedic medicine offers a unique perspective on the biomedical diagnosis of cancer that emphasizes restoring wholeness, uses natural remedies, includes a focus on emotional health, and emphasizes prevention strategies.
CD8+ T cells are important for HIV-1 virus control, but are also a major contributing factor that drives HIV-1 virus sequence evolution. Although HIV-1 cytotoxic T cell (CTL) escape mutations are a common aspect during HIV-1 infection, less is known about the importance of T cell pressure in reversing HIV-1 virus back to a consensus sequences. In this study we aimed to assess the frequency with which reversion of transmitted mutations in T cell epitopes were associated with T cell responses to the mutation. This study included 14 HIV-1 transmission pairs consisting of a ‘source’ (virus-donor) and a ‘recipient’ (newly infected individual). Non-consensus B sequence amino acids (mutations) in T cell epitopes in HIV-1 gag regions p17, p24, p2 and p7 were identified in each pair and transmission of mutations to the recipient was verified with population viral sequencing. Longitudinal analyses of the recipient’s viral sequence were used to identify whether reversion of mutations back to the consensus B sequence occurred. Autologous 12-mer peptides overlapping by 11 were synthesized, representing the sequence region surrounding each reversion and longitudinal analysis of T cell responses to source-derived mutated and reverted epitopes were assessed. We demonstrated that mutations in the source were frequently transmitted to the new host and on an average 17 percent of mutated epitopes reverted to consensus sequence in the recipient. T cell responses to these mutated epitopes were detected in 7 of the 14 recipients in whom reversion occurred. Overall, these findings indicate that transmitted non-consensus B epitopes are frequently immunogenic in HLA-mismatched recipients and new T cell pressures to T cell escape mutations following transmission play a significant role in maintaining consensus HIV-1 sequences.
Background. Identifying persons with recent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody seroconversion is useful for treatment, research, and prevention, but the sensitivity and specificity of tests for this purpose are uncertain.
Methods. We used longitudinal specimens panels from 155 persons identified prior to HIV seroconversion to assess antibody-based methods for classifying persons as within 30, 60, or 90 days of seroconversion, including 2 incidence assays, a less-sensitive (LS) enzyme immunoassay (EIA), and the BED assay.
Results. Sensitivity and specificity, respectively, for identifying persons within 30 days of seroconversion were: 34%–57% and 98%–100% for 2 standard EIAs (employing a signal-to-cutoff ≤4.0; ≥1.0 defines HIV positive), 84% and 73% for the LS-EIA (≤0.2 cutoff), 88% and 72% for the BED (≤0.2 cutoff), and 43%–58% and 98% (≤3 bands) for 2 Western blot (WB) assays. By area under the receiver operator curves, the best test for identifying persons within 30 days of seroconversion was the number of bands on the Bio-Rad WB (0.90); within 60 days, the LS-EIA and BED (both 0.85); and for persons within 90 days the BED (0.86).
Conclusions. Standard EIAs, Western blots, and HIV incidence assays provide useful information for identifying persons 30 to 90 days after seroconversion.
In this study, we investigated the expression levels of host restriction factors in six untreated HIV-1-positive patients over the course of infection. We found that the host restriction factor gene expression profile consistently increased over time and was significantly associated with CD4+ T cell activation and viral load. Our data are among the first to demonstrate the dynamic nature of host restriction factors in vivo over time.
Background. Transmitted human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) drug resistance (TDR) mutations can become replaced over time by emerging wild-type viral variants with improved fitness. The impact of class-specific mutations on this rate of mutation replacement is uncertain.
Methods. We studied participants with acute and/or early HIV infection and TDR in 2 cohorts (San Francisco, California, and São Paulo, Brazil). We followed baseline mutations longitudinally and compared replacement rates between mutation classes with use of a parametric proportional hazards model.
Results. Among 75 individuals with 195 TDR mutations, M184V/I became undetectable markedly faster than did nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) mutations (hazard ratio, 77.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 14.7–408.2; P < .0001), while protease inhibitor and NNRTI replacement rates were similar. Higher plasma HIV-1 RNA level predicted faster mutation replacement, but this was not statistically significant (hazard ratio, 1.71 log10 copies/mL; 95% CI, .90–3.25 log10 copies/mL; P = .11). We found substantial person-to-person variability in mutation replacement rates not accounted for by viral load or mutation class (P < .0001).
Conclusions. The rapid replacement of M184V/I mutations is consistent with known fitness costs. The long-term persistence of NNRTI and protease inhibitor mutations suggests a risk for person-to-person propagation. Host and/or viral factors not accounted for by viral load or mutation class are likely influencing mutation replacement and warrant further study.
Overweight and obese individuals differ in their degree of hedonic eating. This may reflect adaptations in reward-related neural circuits, regulated in part by opioidergic activity. We examined an indirect, functional measure of central opioidergic activity by assessing cortisol and nausea responses to acute opioid blockade using the opioid antagonist naltrexone in overweight/obese women (mean BMI = 31.1 ± 4.8) prior to the start of a mindful eating intervention to reduce stress eating. In addition, we assessed indices of hedonic-related eating, including eating behaviors (binge eating, emotional eating, external eating, restraint) and intake of sweets/desserts and carbohydrates (Block Food Frequency); interoceptive awareness (which is associated with dysregulated eating behavior); and level of adiposity at baseline. Naltrexone-induced increases in cortisol were associated with greater emotional and restrained eating and lower interoceptive awareness. Naltrexone-induced nausea was associated with binge eating and higher adiposity. Furthermore, in a small exploratory analysis, naltrexone-induced nausea predicted treatment response to the mindful eating intervention, as participants with more severe nausea at baseline maintained weight whereas those without nausea responses tended to gain weight. These preliminary data suggest that naltrexone-induced cortisol release and nausea may help identify individuals who have greater underlying food reward dependence, which leads to an excessive drive to eat. Future research is needed to confirm this finding and to test if these markers of opioidergic tone might help predict success in certain types of weight management programs.
naltrexone; hedonic eating; food addiction; cortisol; nausea; obesity
HIV-1 viral load in early infection predicts the risk of subsequent disease progression but the factors responsible for the differences between individuals in viral load during this period have not been fully identified. We sought to determine the relationship between HIV-1 RNA levels in the source partner and recently infected recipient partners within transmission pairs.
We recruited donor partners of persons who presented with acute or recent (< 6 months) HIV infection. Transmission was confirmed by phyologenetic comparison of virus sequence in the donor and recipient partners. We compared viral load in the donor partner and the recipient in the first 6 months of HIV infection.
We identified 24 transmission pairs. The median estimated time from infection to evaluation in acutely/recently infected recipient individuals was 72 days. The viral load in the donor was closely associated with viral load at presentation in the recipient case (r=0.55, P=0.006).
The strong correlation between HIV-1 RNA levels within HIV transmission pairs indicates that virus characteristics are an important determinant of viral load in early HIV infection.
HIV-1 RNA; acute HIV-1 infection; HIV-1 transmission; viral load set-point; HIV-1 pathogenesis
We estimate the relative transmission rate in early versus later infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in San Francisco, California, by studying the characteristics of a sample of transmitters, recruited through newly diagnosed, recently infected MSM between 1996 and 2009. Of 36 transmitters identified, 9 were determined on the basis of testing history and serologic testing to have been recently infected. The unadjusted odds ratio of transmitting during early infection was 15.2 (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.3–33.4; P < .001); the odds ratio was 8.9 (95% CI, 4.1–19.4) after adjustment for self-reported antiretroviral treatment. This high transmissibility could be due to both high infectiousness and high rates of sex partner change or concurrent partnerships.
HIV; transmission rate; early infection; men who have sex with men; San Francisco
The association between the host immune environment and the size of the HIV reservoir during effective antiretroviral therapy is not clear. Progress has also been limited by the lack of a well-accepted assay for quantifying HIV during therapy. We examined the association between multiple measurements of HIV and T cell activation (as defined by markers including CD38, HLA-DR, CCR5 and PD-1) in 30 antiretroviral-treated HIV-infected adults. We found a consistent association between the frequency of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressing HLA-DR and the frequency of resting CD4+ T cells containing HIV DNA. This study highlights the need to further examine this relationship and to better characterize the biology of markers commonly used in HIV studies. These results may also have implications for reactivation strategies.
There is intense interest in the role of programmed death 1 (PD-1) in causing persistent T-cell dysfunction in HIV infection. However, the impact of HIV infection and antiretroviral treatment (ART) on the expression of PD-1 on T cells is still poorly defined.
PD-1 was measured longitudinally in a cohort of recently HIV-infected individuals (n = 121) who started ART early (<6 months after infection) vs. later (≥2 years after infection). PD-1 was also measured cross-sectionally in a diverse cohort of chronically HIV-infected adults (n = 206).
PD-1 expression levels were high on CD8+ T cells during early HIV infection. PD-1 levels increased on both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells populations in those who delayed therapy (11 and 10%/year, respectively). PD-1 levels declined and were similar in those treated early vs. late after 1 year of ART. In both cohorts, PD-1 expression on CD4+ T cells was associated with CD4+ T-cell activation (CD38+HLA-DR+) and inversely with CD4+ cell count. In contrast, PD-1 expression on CD8+ T cells was most strongly associated with CD8+ T-cell activation and with plasma viral load in viremic individuals.
Across two large cohorts of untreated and treated individuals, we found consistent associations between HIV RNA levels, CD8+ T-cell activation and PD-1 expression on CD8+ T cells. In contrast, CD4+ T-cell counts and CD4+ T-cell activation were more consistent correlates of PD-1 expression on CD4+ T cells. PD-1 expression appears to be driven by both direct antigen and homeostatic pathways.
CD4+ lymphocyte count; early antiretroviral therapy; HIV antiretroviral therapy; HIV-1/immunology/*physiology; humans; programmed death-1; T-cell activation; T lymphocytes/immunology/*physiology; virus replication/physiology
Background. CD4+/CD8+ T-cell activation levels often remain elevated in chronic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection despite initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). T-cell activation predicts early death and blunted CD4+ T-cell recovery during ART and may affect persistent HIV reservoir size. We investigated whether very early ART initiation is associated with lower on-therapy immune activation and HIV persistence.
Methods. From a cohort of patients with early HIV infection (<6 months duration since infection) we identified persons who started ART early (<6 months after infection) or later (≥2 years after infection) and maintained ≥2 years of virologic suppression; at-risk HIV-negative persons were controls. We measured CD4+/CD8+ T-cell activation (percent CD38+/HLA-DR+) and HIV reservoir size (based on HIV DNA and cell-associated RNA levels).
Results. In unadjusted analyses, early ART predicted lower on-therapy CD8+ T-cell activation (n = 34; mean, 22.1%) than achieved with later ART (n = 32; mean, 28.8%; P = .009), although levels in early ART remained elevated relative to HIV-negative controls (P = .02). Early ART also predicted lower CD4+ T-cell activation than with later ART (5.3% vs 7.5%; P = .06). Early ART predicted 4.8-fold lower DNA levels than achieved with later ART (P = .005), and lower cell-associated RNA levels (difference in signal-to-cutoff ratio (S/Co), 3.2; P = .035).
Conclusions. ART initiation <6 months after infection is associated with lower levels of T-cell activation and smaller HIV DNA and RNA reservoir size during long-term therapy.
HIV antiretroviral therapy; early ART; T-cell activation; inflammation; HIVreservoir; HIV eradication; HIV cure
HLA-B*5701 is the host factor most strongly associated with slow HIV-1 disease progression, although risk of progression may vary among patients carrying this allele. The interplay between HIV-1 evolutionary rate variation and risk of progression to AIDS in HLA-B*5701 subjects was studied using longitudinal viral sequences from high-risk progressors (HRPs) and low-risk progressors (LRPs). Posterior distributions of HIV-1 genealogies assuming a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock were used to estimate the absolute rates of nonsynonymous and synonymous substitutions for different set of branches. Rates of viral evolution, as well as in vitro viral replication capacity assessed using a novel phenotypic assay, were correlated with various clinical parameters. HIV-1 synonymous substitution rates were significantly lower in LRPs than HRPs, especially for sets of internal branches. The viral population infecting LRPs was also characterized by a slower increase in synonymous divergence over time. This pattern did not correlate to differences in viral fitness, as measured by in vitro replication capacity, nor could be explained by differences among subjects in T cell activation or selection pressure. Interestingly, a significant inverse correlation was found between baseline CD4+ T cell counts and mean HIV-1 synonymous rate (which is proportional to the viral replication rate) along branches representing viral lineages successfully propagating through time up to the last sampled time point. The observed lower replication rate in HLA-B*5701 subjects with higher baseline CD4+ T cell counts provides a potential model to explain differences in risk of disease progression among individuals carrying this allele.
The clinical course of HIV-1 infection is characterized by considerable variability in the rate of progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) among patients with different genetic background. The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) B*5701 is the host factor most strongly associated with slow HIV-1 disease progression. However, the risk of progression to AIDS also varies among patients carrying this specific allele. To gain a better understanding of the interplay between HIV-1 evolutionary rate variation and risk of disease progression, we followed untreated HLA-B*5701 subjects from early infection up to the onset of AIDS. The analysis of longitudinal viral sequences with advanced computational biology techniques based on coalescent Bayesian methods showed a highly significant association between lower synonymous substitution rates and higher baseline CD4+ T cell counts in HLA-B*5701 subjects. The finding provides a potential model to explain differences in risk of disease progression among individuals carrying this allele and might have translational impact on clinical practice, since synonymous rates, which are proportional to in vivo viral replication rates, could be used as a novel evolutionary marker of disease progression.
A rare subset of HIV-infected individuals, designated viremic non-progressors (VNP), remain asymptomatic and maintain normal levels of CD4+ T-cells despite persistently high viremia. To identify mechanisms potentially responsible for the VNP phenotype, we compared VNPs (average >9 years of HIV infection) to HIV-infected individuals who have similar CD4+ T-cell counts and viral load, but who are likely to progress if left untreated (“putative progressors”, PP), thus avoiding the confounding effect of differences related to substantial CD4+ T cell depletion. We found that VNPs, compared to PPs, had preserved levels of CD4+ stem cell memory cells (TSCM (p<0.0001), which was associated with decreased HIV infection of these cells in VNPs (r = −0.649, p = 0.019). In addition, VNPs had decreased HIV infection in CD4+ central memory (TCM) cells (p = 0.035), and the total number of TCM cells was associated with increased proliferation of memory CD4+ T cells (r = 0.733, p = 0.01). Our results suggest that, in HIV-infected VNPs, decreased infection of CD4+ TCM and TSCM, cells are involved in preservation of CD4+ T cell homeostasis and lack of disease progression despite high viremia.
Here we assessed correlates of protection from disease progression in a rare subset of HIV-infected individuals, viremic non-progressors (VNP). These individuals have high viral load for several years. In contrast to the majority of infected individuals, however, these individuals do not progress to AIDS. Here we found this lack of progression was associated with selective preservation of two critical subsets of memory CD4+ T cells, central memory (TCM) and stem-cell memory (TSCM) cells. Compared to HIV-infected putative progressors, VNPs had higher proliferation of these indispensable subsets of memory cells. In addition, the long-lived CD4+ TCM and TSCM cells in VNPs had decreased HIV infection compared to the less critical effector memory CD4+ T cells, which indicates a possible mechanism by which VNPs maintain their CD4+ T cell pool after several years of infection, and remain free from AIDS progression.
Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem in many countries including India. Yoga may be an effective type 2 diabetes prevention strategy in India, particularly given its cultural familiarity.
This was a parallel, randomized controlled pilot study to collect feasibility and preliminary efficacy data on yoga for diabetes risk factors among people at high risk of diabetes. Primary outcomes included: changes in BMI, waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, blood pressure, and cholesterol. We also looked at measures of psychological well-being including changes in depression, anxiety, positive and negative affect and perceived stress. Forty-one participants with elevated fasting blood glucose in Bangalore, India were randomized to either yoga (n = 21) or a walking control (n = 20). Participants were asked to either attend yoga classes or complete monitored walking 3–6 days per week for eight weeks. Randomization and allocation was performed using computer-generated random numbers and group assignments delivered in sealed, opaque envelopes generated by off-site study staff. Data were analyzed based on intention to treat.
This study was feasible in terms of recruitment, retention and adherence. In addition, yoga participants had significantly greater reductions in weight, waist circumference and BMI versus control (weight −0.8 ± 2.1 vs. 1.4 ± 3.6, p = 0.02; waist circumference −4.2 ± 4.8 vs. 0.7 ± 4.2, p < 0.01; BMI −0.2 ± 0.8 vs. 0.6 ± 1.6, p = 0.05). There were no between group differences in fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, insulin resistance or any other factors related to diabetes risk or psychological well-being. There were significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, anxiety, depression, negative affect and perceived stress in both the yoga intervention and walking control over the course of the study.
Among Indians with elevated fasting blood glucose, we found that participation in an 8-week yoga intervention was feasible and resulted in greater weight loss and reduction in waist circumference when compared to a walking control. Yoga offers a promising lifestyle intervention for decreasing weight-related type 2 diabetes risk factors and potentially increasing psychological well-being.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identified NCT00090506.
Yoga; Prediabetes; Type 2 diabetes; India; Randomized controlled pilot
Natural killer (NK) cells are believed to play a role in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease progression, and NK cell levels are reduced in individuals with chronic HIV-1 infection. Interleukin (IL)–2 therapy results in an expansion of CD4+ T cells as well as NK cells; however, little is known about the detailed effects of IL-2 therapy on NK cells in HIV-1 infection in general and in early infection in particular. Here, we investigated the effects of combined IL-2 therapy and antiretroviral therapy (ART) on the number, frequency, phenotype, and interferon (IFN)–γ production of NK cells in individuals with early HIV-1 infection. Patients randomized to receive combined ART and IL-2 therapy predominantly expanded CD56dim NK cells, and the expansion was greater than in patients randomized to receive ART alone. Importantly, NK cell receptor expression and IFN-γ production were maintained over time. This reconstitution of NK cells may be useful in helping contain viremia if patients discontinue therapy or develop drug resistance.
A low CD4/CD8 ratio in elderly HIV-uninfected adults is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. A subset of HIV-infected adults receiving effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) fails to normalize this ratio, even after they achieve normal CD4+ T cell counts. The immunologic and clinical characteristics of this clinical phenotype remain undefined. Using data from four distinct clinical cohorts and three clinical trials, we show that a low CD4/CD8 ratio in HIV-infected adults during otherwise effective ART (after CD4 count recovery above 500 cells/mm3) is associated with a number of immunological abnormalities, including a skewed T cell phenotype from naïve toward terminally differentiated CD8+ T cells, higher levels of CD8+ T cell activation (HLADR+CD38+) and senescence (CD28− and CD57+CD28−), and higher kynurenine/tryptophan ratio. Changes in the peripheral CD4/CD8 ratio are also reflective of changes in gut mucosa, but not in lymph nodes. In a longitudinal study, individuals who initiated ART within six months of infection had greater CD4/CD8 ratio increase compared to later initiators (>2 years). After controlling for age, gender, ART duration, nadir and CD4 count, the CD4/CD8 ratio predicted increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Hence, a persistently low CD4/CD8 ratio during otherwise effective ART is associated with increased innate and adaptive immune activation, an immunosenescent phenotype, and higher risk of morbidity/mortality. This ratio may prove useful in monitoring response to ART and could identify a unique subset of individuals needed of novel therapeutic interventions.
The CD4/CD8 ratio, a hallmark of the collection of T cell defects related to aging –“immunosenescence”- and a predictor of mortality in the general population, often fails to normalize in an important proportion of HIV-infected individuals with adequate CD4+ T cell recovery after ART initiation. However, the immunological and clinical characteristics of this clinical phenotype have not been elucidated. Herein we show that during treated HIV infection, expansion of CD8+ T cells, reflected as a low CD4/CD8 ratio, identifies a subgroup of individuals with a number of immunological abnormalities and a poor prognosis. These subjects exhibit increased innate and adaptive immune activation, an immunosenescent phenotype, CD4+ and CD8+ imbalance in the gut mucosa and higher risk of morbidity and mortality. In contrast, those who normalize the CD4/CD8 ratio have traits of a healthy immune system. We observed that early ART initiation might contribute to more rapid and robust CD4/CD8 ratio normalization compared to later initiation. Hence, the CD4/CD8 ratio might help to further discriminate the risk of disease progression of successfully treated HIV-infected individuals, and a successful response to ART may require both normalization of the peripheral CD4+ T cell count and the ratio of CD4+ to CD8+ T cell counts.
Chronic stress has deleterious effects on immune function, which can lead to adverse health outcomes. However, studies investigating the impact of stress reduction interventions on immunity in clinical research have yielded divergent results, potentially stemming from differences in study design and genetic heterogeneity, among other clinical research challenges. To test the hypothesis that reducing glucocorticoid levels enhances certain immune functions, we administered influenza vaccine once (prime) or twice (boost) to mice housed in either standard control caging or environmental enrichment (EE) caging. We have shown that this approach reduces mouse corticosterone production. Compared with controls, EE mice had significantly lower levels of fecal corticosterone metabolites (FCMs) and increased splenic B and T lymphocyte numbers. Corticosterone levels were negatively associated with the numbers of CD19+ (r2 = 0.43, p = 0.0017), CD4+ (r2 = 0.28, p = 0.0154) and CD8+ cells (r2 = 0.20, p = 0.0503). Vaccinated mice showed nonsignificant differences in immunoglobulin G (IgG) titer between caging groups, although EE mice tended to exhibit larger increases in titer from prime to boost than controls; the interaction between the caging group (control versus EE) and vaccine group (prime versus boost) showed a strong statistical trend (cage-group*vaccine-group, F = 4.27, p = 0.0555), suggesting that there may be distinct effects of EE caging on primary versus secondary IgG vaccine responses. Vaccine-stimulated splenocytes from boosted EE mice had a significantly greater frequency of interleukin 5 (IL-5)-secreting cells than boosted controls (mean difference 7.7, IL-5 spot-forming units/106 splenocytes, 95% confidence interval 0.24–135.1, p = 0.0493) and showed a greater increase in the frequency of IL-5–secreting cells from prime to boost. Our results suggest that corticosterone reduction via EE caging was associated with enhanced secondary vaccine responses, but had little effect on primary responses in mice. These findings help identify differences in primary and secondary vaccine responses in relationship to stress mediators that may be relevant in clinical studies.
We aimed to investigate whether the character of the immunodominant HIV-Gag peptide (variable or conserved) targeted by CD8+ T cells in early HIV infection would influence the quality and quantity of T cell responses, and whether this would affect the rate of disease progression. Treatment-naive HIV-infected study subjects within the OPTIONS cohort at the University of California, San Francisco, were monitored from an estimated 44 days postinfection for up to 6 years. CD8+ T cells responses targeting HLA-matched HIV-Gag-epitopes were identified and characterized by multicolor flow cytometry. The autologous HIV gag sequences were obtained. We demonstrate that patients targeting a conserved HIV-Gag-epitope in early infection maintained their epitope-specific CD8+ T cell response throughout the study period. Patients targeting a variable epitope showed decreased immune responses over time, although there was no limitation of the functional profile, and they were likely to target additional variable epitopes. Maintained immune responses to conserved epitopes were associated with no or limited sequence evolution within the targeted epitope. Patients with immune responses targeting conserved epitopes had a significantly lower median viral load over time compared to patients with responses targeting a variable epitope (0.63 log10 difference). Furthermore, the rate of CD4+ T cell decline was slower for subjects targeting a conserved epitope (0.85% per month) compared to subjects targeting a variable epitope (1.85% per month). Previous studies have shown that targeting of antigens based on specific HLA types is associated with a better disease course. In this study we show that categorizing epitopes based on their variability is associated with clinical outcome.
Chronic antigenic stimulation by cytomegalovirus (CMV) is thought to increase “immunosenesence” of aging, characterized by accumulation of terminally differentiated CD28- CD8+ T cells and increased CD57, a marker of proliferative history. Whether chronic HIV infection causes similar effects is currently unclear.
We compared markers of CD8+ T cell differentiation (e.g., CD28, CD27, CCR7, CD45RA) and CD57 expression on CD28- CD8+ T cells in healthy HIV-uninfected adults with and without CMV infection and in both untreated and antiretroviral therapy (ART)-suppressed HIV-infected adults with asymptomatic CMV infection.
Compared to HIV-uninfected adults without CMV (n = 12), those with asymptomatic CMV infection (n = 31) had a higher proportion of CD28-CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 (P = 0.005). Older age was also associated with greater proportions of CD28-CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 (rho: 0.47, P = 0.007). In contrast, untreated HIV-infected CMV+ participants (n = 55) had much lower proportions of CD28- CD8+ cells expressing CD57 than HIV-uninfected CMV+ participants (P<0.0001) and were enriched for less well-differentiated CD28- transitional memory (TTR) CD8+ T cells (P<0.0001). Chronically HIV-infected adults maintaining ART-mediated viral suppression (n = 96) had higher proportions of CD28-CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 than untreated patients (P<0.0001), but continued to have significantly lower levels than HIV-uninfected controls (P = 0.001). Among 45 HIV-infected individuals initiating their first ART regimen, the proportion of CD28-CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 declined (P<0.0001), which correlated with a decline in percent of transitional memory CD8+ T cells, and appeared to be largely explained by a decline in CD28-CD57- CD8+ T cell counts rather than an expansion of CD28-CD57+ CD8+ T cell counts.
Unlike CMV and aging, which are associated with terminal differentiation and proliferation of effector memory CD8+ T cells, HIV inhibits this process, expanding less well-differentiated CD28- CD8+ T cells and decreasing the proportion of CD28- CD8+ T cells that express CD57.
Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) comprise about 8% of the human genome and have lost their ability to replicate or to produce infectious particles after having accumulated mutations over time. We assessed the kinetics of expression of HERV-K (HML-2) Envelope mRNA transcript and surface unit (SU) and transmembrane (TM) subunit proteins during HIV-1 infection. We also mapped the specificity of the humoral response to HERV-K (HML-2) Envelope protein in HIV-1 infected subjects at different stages of disease, and correlated the response with plasma viral load.
We found that HIV-1 modified HERV-K (HML-2) Env mRNA expression, resulting in the expression of a fully N-glycosylated HERV-K (HML-2) envelope protein on the cell surface. Serological mapping of HERV-K (HML-2) envelope protein linear epitopes revealed two major immunogenic domains, one on SU and another on the ectodomain of TM. The titers of HERV-K (HML-2) TM antibodies were dramatically increased in HIV-1 infected subjects (p < 0.0001). HIV-1 infected adults who control HIV-1 in the absence of therapy (“elite” controllers) had a higher titer response against TM compared to antiretroviral-treated adults (p < 0.0001) and uninfected adults (p < 0.0001).
These data collectively suggest that HIV-1 infection induces fully glycosylated HERV-K (HML-2) envelope TM protein to which antibodies are induced. These anti-HERV-K (HML-2) TM antibodies are a potential marker of HIV-1 infection, and are at higher titer in elite controllers. HERV-K (HML-2) envelope TM protein may be a new therapeutic target in HIV-1 infection.
HIV; Antibody; HERV; Endogenous retroviruses; Transmembrane; Envelope; Elite controllers; Alternative transcripts
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the current leading causes of disability worldwide. Adolescence is a vulnerable period for the onset of depression, with MDD affecting 8–20% of all youth. Traditional treatment methods have not been sufficiently effective to slow the increasing prevalence of adolescent depression. We therefore propose a new model for the treatment of adolescent depression – Training for Awareness, Resilience, and Action (TARA) – that is based on current understanding of developmental and depression neurobiology. The TARA model is aligned with the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) of the National Institute of Mental Health. In this article, we first address the relevance of RDoC to adolescent depression. Second, we identify the major RDoC domains of function involved in adolescent depression and organize them in a way that gives priority to domains thought to be driving the psychopathology. Third, we select therapeutic training strategies for TARA based on current scientific evidence of efficacy for the prioritized domains of function in a manner that maximizes time, resources, and feasibility. The TARA model takes into consideration the developmental limitation in top-down cognitive control in adolescence and promotes bottom-up strategies such as vagal afference to decrease limbic hyperactivation and its secondary effects. The program has been informed by mindfulness-based therapy and yoga, as well as modern psychotherapeutic techniques. The treatment program is semi-manualized, progressive, and applied in a module-based approach designed for a group setting that is to be conducted one session per week for 12 weeks. We hope that this work may form the basis for a novel and more effective treatment strategy for adolescent depression, as well as broaden the discussion on how to address this challenge.
adolescent depression; RDoC; treatment development; emotion regulation; attention training; yoga-based movement; mindfulness
A subset of CD3negCD56negCD16+ Natural Killer (NK) cells is highly expanded during chronic HIV-1 infection. The role of this subset in HIV-1 pathogenesis remains unclear. The lack of NK cell lineage-specific markers has complicated the study of minor NK cell subpopulations.
Using CD7 as an additional NK cell marker, we found that CD3negCD56negCD16+ cells are a heterogeneous population comprised of CD7+ NK cells and CD7neg non-classical myeloid cells. CD7+CD56negCD16+ NK cells are significantly expanded in HIV-1 infection. CD7+CD56negCD16+ NK cells are mature and express KIRs, the C-type lectin-like receptors NKG2A and NKG2C, and natural cytotoxicity receptors similar to CD7+CD56+CD16+ NK cells. CD7+CD56neg NK cells in healthy donors produced minimal IFNγ following K562 target cell or IL-12 plus IL-18 stimulation; however, they degranulated in response to K562 stimulation similar to CD7+CD56+ NK cells. HIV-1 infection resulted in reduced IFNγ secretion following K562 or cytokine stimulation by both NK cell subsets compared to healthy donors. Decreased granzyme B and perforin expression and increased expression of CD107a in the absence of stimulation, particularly in HIV-1-infected subjects, suggest that CD7+CD56negCD16+ NK cells may have recently engaged target cells. Furthermore, CD7+CD56negCD16+ NK cells have significantly increased expression of CD95, a marker of NK cell activation.
Taken together, CD7+CD56negCD16+ NK cells are activated, mature NK cells that may have recently engaged target cells.
Natural killer cells; NK cells; CD7; Human immunodeficiency virus; HIV-1; HIV pathogenesis; CD56neg NK cells