(See the editorial commentary by Cunningham and Booth, on pages 1645–7.)
Background. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infects >70% of the United States population. We identified a 3-megabase region on human chromosome 21 containing 6 candidate genes associated with herpes simplex labialis (HSL, “cold sores”).
Methods. We conducted single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) scans of the chromosome 21 region to define which of 6 possible candidate genes were associated with cold sore frequency. We obtained the annual HSL frequency for 355 HSV-1 seropositive individuals and determined the individual genotypes by SNPlex for linkage analysis and parental transmission disequilibrium testing (ParenTDT).
Results. Two-point linkage analysis showed positive linkage between cold sore frequency and 2 SNPs within the C21orf91 region, 1 of which is nonsynonymous. ParenTDT analysis revealed a strong association between another C21orf91 SNP, predicted to lie in the 3′ untranslated region, and frequent HSL (P = .0047). C21orf 91 is a predicted open reading frame of unknown function that encodes a cytosolic protein.
Conclusions. We evaluated candidate genes in the cold sore susceptibility region using fine mapping with 45 SNP markers. 2 complementary techniques identified C21orf91 as a gene of interest for susceptibility to HSL. We propose that C21orf91 be designated the Cold Sore Susceptibility Gene-1 (CSSG1).
Antibody-mediated intracellular delivery of therapeutic agents has been considered for treatment of a variety of diseases. These approaches involve targeting cell-surface receptor proteins expressed by tumors or viral proteins expressed on infected cells. We examined the intracellular trafficking of a viral cell-surface-expressed protein, rabies G, with or without binding a specific antibody, ARG1. We found that antibody binding shifts the native intracellular trafficking pathway of rabies G in an Fc-independent manner. Kinetic studies indicate that the ARG1/rabies G complex progressively co-localized with clathrin, early endosomes, late endosomes, and lysosomes after addition to cells. This pathway was different from that taken by rabies G without addition of antibody, which localized with recycling endosomes. Findings were recapitulated using a cellular receptor with a well-defined endogenous recycling pathway. We conclude that antibody binding to cell-surface proteins induces redirection of intracellular trafficking of unbound or ligand bound receptors to a specific degradation pathway. These findings have broad implications for future developments of antibody-based therapeutics.
Endosomes; degradation; antibody; trafficking; internalization
Background. Recent studies demonstrate that long palate, lung, and nasal epithelium clone 1 protein (LPLUNC1) is involved in immune responses to Vibrio cholerae, and that variations in the LPLUNC1 promoter influence susceptibility to severe cholera in humans. However, no functional role for LPLUNC1 has been identified.
Metods. We investigated the role of LPLUNC1 in immune responses to V. cholerae, assessing its affect on bacterial growth and killing and on innate inflammatory responses to bacterial outer membrane components, including purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and outer membrane vesicles. We performed immunostaining for LPLUNC1 in duodenal biopsies from cholera patients and uninfected controls.
Results. LPLUNC1 decreased proinflammatory innate immune responses to V. cholerae and Escherichia coli LPS. The effect of LPLUNC1 was dose-dependent and occurred in a TLR4-dependent manner. LPLUNC1 did not affect lipoprotein-mediated TLR2 activation. Immunostaining demonstrated expression of LPLUNC1 in Paneth cells in cholera patients and controls.
Conclusions. Our results demonstrate that LPLUNC1 is expressed in Paneth cells and likely plays a role in modulating host inflammatory responses to V. cholerae infection. Attenuation of innate immune responses to LPS by LPLUNC1 may have implications for the maintenance of immune homeostasis in the intestine.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of liver transplantation and there is an urgent need to develop therapies to reduce rates of HCV infection of transplanted livers. Approved therapeutics for HCV are poorly tolerated and are of limited efficacy in this patient population. Human monoclonal antibody HCV1 recognizes a highly-conserved linear epitope of the HCV E2 envelope glycoprotein (amino acids 412–423) and neutralizes a broad range of HCV genotypes. In a chimpanzee model, a single dose of 250 mg/kg HCV1 delivered 30 minutes prior to infusion with genotype 1a H77 HCV provided complete protection from HCV infection, whereas a dose of 50 mg/kg HCV1 did not protect. In addition, an acutely-infected chimpanzee given 250 mg/kg HCV1 42 days following exposure to virus had a rapid reduction in viral load to below the limit of detection before rebounding 14 days later. The emergent virus displayed an E2 mutation (N415K/D) conferring resistance to HCV1 neutralization. Finally, three chronically HCV-infected chimpanzees were treated with a single dose of 40 mg/kg HCV1 and viral load was reduced to below the limit of detection for 21 days in one chimpanzee with rebounding virus displaying a resistance mutation (N417S). The other two chimpanzees had 0.5–1.0 log10 reductions in viral load without evidence of viral resistance to HCV1. In vitro testing using HCV pseudovirus (HCVpp) demonstrated that the sera from the poorly-responding chimpanzees inhibited the ability of HCV1 to neutralize HCVpp. Measurement of antibody responses in the chronically-infected chimpanzees implicated endogenous antibody to E2 and interference with HCV1 neutralization although other factors may also be responsible. These data suggest that human monoclonal antibody HCV1 may be an effective therapeutic for the prevention of graft infection in HCV-infected patients undergoing liver transplantation.
The majority of individuals infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) become chronically infected and many go on to develop liver failure requiring liver transplantation. Unfortunately, the transplanted liver becomes infected with HCV in nearly 100% of transplant patients. Current treatments for HCV are poorly tolerated after liver transplantation and graft health is compromised by infection. We have developed a monoclonal antibody called HCV1 that blocks HCV from infecting liver cells in culture. Using chimpanzees as a model for HCV infection, we demonstrate that HCV1 has the ability to prevent HCV infection. We also show that HCV1 can treat chimpanzees chronically infected with HCV and reduce plasma viral load to below the level of detection for a period of 7 to 21 days. The virus that reemerges in the treated chimpanzees was resistant to HCV1 neutralization demonstrating target engagement. Given the ability of HCV1 to protect chimpanzees from HCV infection, we speculate that HCV1 may be beneficial in HCV- infected patients undergoing liver transplant.
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) causes a spectrum of disease, including herpes labialis, herpes keratitis, and herpes encephalitis, which can be lethal. Viral recognition by pattern recognition receptors plays a central role in cytokine production and in the generation of antiviral immunity. The relative contributions of different Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in the innate immune response during central nervous system infection with HSV-1 have not been fully characterized. In this study, we investigate the roles of TLR2, TLR9, UNC93B1, and the type I interferon (IFN) receptor in a murine model of HSV-1 encephalitis. TLR2 is responsible for detrimental inflammatory cytokine production following intracranial infection with HSV-1, and the absence of TLR2 expression leads to increased survival in mice. We prove that inflammatory cytokine production by microglial cells, astrocytes, neutrophils, and monocytes is mediated predominantly by TLR2. We also demonstrate that type I IFNs are absolutely required for survival following intracranial HSV-1 infection, as mice lacking the type I IFN receptor succumb rapidly following infection and have high levels of HSV in the brain. However, the absence of TLR9 does not impact survival, type I IFN levels, or viral replication in the brain following infection. The absence of UNC93B1 leads to a survival disadvantage but does not impact viral replication or type I IFN levels in the brain in HSV-1-infected mice. These results illustrate the complex but important roles that innate immune receptors play in host responses to HSV-1 during infection of the central nervous system.
The toll-like receptors comprise one of the most conserved components of the innate immune system, signaling the presence of molecules of microbial origin. It has been proposed that signaling through TLR4, which requires CD14 to recognize bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), may generate low-grade inflammation and thereby affect insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. To examine the long-term influence of partial innate immune signaling disruption on glucose homeostasis, we analyzed knockout mice deficient in CD14 backcrossed into the diabetes-prone C57BL6 background at 6 or 12 months of age. CD14-ko mice, fed either normal or high-fat diets, displayed significant glucose intolerance compared to wild type controls. They also displayed elevated norepinephrine urinary excretion and increased adrenal medullary volume, as well as an enhanced norepinephrine secretory response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia. These results point out a previously unappreciated crosstalk between innate immune- and sympathoadrenal- systems, which exerts a major long-term effect on glucose homeostasis.
Signaling via the adapter protein, MyD88, is important in the host defense against Cryptococcus neoformans infection. While certain Toll-like receptors (TLRs) can enhance the clearance of Cryptococcus, the contributions of MyD88-dependent, TLR-independent pathways have not been fully investigated. We examined the roles of IL-1R and IL-18R in vivo by challenging C57BL/6 mice with a lethal strain of Cryptococcus. We found that the absence of IL-18R, but not IL-1R, causes a shift in the survival curve following pulmonary delivery of a virulent strain of C. neoformans (H99). Specifically, IL-18R-deficient mice have significantly shorter median survival times compared to wild-type mice following infection. Cytokine analysis of lung homogenates revealed that deficiency of IL-IR, IL-18R, or MyD88 is associated with diminished lung levels of IL-1β. In order to compare these findings with those related to TLR-deficiency, we studied the effects of TLR9-deficiency and found that deficiency of TLR9 also affects the survival curve of mice following challenge with C. neoformans. Yet the lungs from infected TLR9-deficient mice have robust levels of IL-1β. In summary, we found that multiple signaling components can contribute the MyD88-dependent host responses to cryptococcal infection in vivo and each drives distinct pulmonary responses.
Blockade of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated inflammatory responses represents a new approach in the development of anti-inflammation therapeutics. In the present study, we have screened for TLR2-mediated inflammation inhibitors from a small molecule compound library using a sensitive cell line stably expressing TLR2, CD14, and an NF-κB-driven-luciferase reporter gene. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) was used as a virus model. This arenavirus activates a TLR2/CD14-dependent NF-κB signaling pathway. We have identified 10 potential anti-inflammatory compounds out of 101306 compounds. We further evaluated 1 of these positive compounds, E567. We demonstrated that compound E567 efficiently inhibits both LCMV and Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) induced cytokine responses in both human and mouse cell cultures. We also demonstrated that E567 inhibits cytokine responses in the mouse. Remarkably, E567 is also capable of inhibiting LCMV replication in mice. This is a new model for developing drugs for use in treating viral illnesses.
Toll-like receptor (TLR); Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV); compound screening
Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a serious respiratory pathogen in infants and young children as well as elderly and immunocompromised populations. However, no RSV vaccines are available. We have explored the potential of virus-like particles (VLPs) as an RSV vaccine candidate. VLPs composed entirely of RSV proteins were produced at levels inadequate for their preparation as immunogens. However, VLPs composed of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) nucleocapsid and membrane proteins and chimera proteins containing the ectodomains of RSV F and G proteins fused to the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of NDV F and HN proteins, respectively, were quantitatively prepared from avian cells. Immunization of mice with these VLPs, without adjuvant, stimulated robust, anti-RSV F and G protein antibody responses. IgG2a/IgG1 ratios were very high, suggesting predominantly TH1 responses. In contrast to infectious RSV immunization, neutralization antibody titers were robust and stable for 4 months. Immunization with a single dose of VLPs resulted in the complete protection of mice from RSV replication in lungs. Upon RSV intranasal challenge of VLP-immunized mice, no enhanced lung pathology was observed, in contrast to the pathology observed in mice immunized with formalin-inactivated RSV. These results suggest that these VLPs are effective RSV vaccines in mice, in contrast to other nonreplicating RSV vaccine candidates.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) core and nonstructural 3 (NS3) proteins induce inflammation and immunity through a Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)-dependent pathway. Individuals with the R753Q single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the TLR2 gene have increased risk of allograft failure after liver transplantation for chronic hepatitis C.
To test the hypothesis that R753Q SNP impairs TLR2 recognition of HCV proteins, a series of in vitro experiments were performed wherein stable clones of wild-type TLR2-deficient HEK293 cells, and HEK293 cells transfected with wild-type (HEK293-TLR2) or variant TLR2 genes (HEK293-TLR2-R753Q) were stimulated with HCV core and NS3 proteins. Cellular activation was assessed by nuclear factor-kappa B (NFκB)-driven luciferase activity, cytokine secretion, and gene upregulation.
Compared to TLR2-deficient HEK293 cells, HEK293-TLR2 cells had marked NFκB-driven luciferase activity, had modest to marked upregulation in TLR2 signaling-associated genes, and secreted large quantities of interleukin-8 during exposure to HCV core and NS3 proteins. In contrast, HEK293-TLR2-R753Q cells did not respond to stimulation with HCV, and behaved similarly like the TLR2-deficient HEK293 cells.
R753Q SNP impairs TLR2-mediated immune recognition of HCV core and NS3 proteins. This biologic defect may account for the predisposition of patients to develop allograft failure after liver transplantation for chronic hepatitis C.
single nucleotide polymorphism; hepatitis C virus; liver transplantation
The discovery of the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and their importance in the regulation of host responses to infection raised attention to the complex interplay between viral gene products and the host innate immune responses in determining the outcome of virus infection. Robust inflammatory cytokine responses are observed in herpes simplex virus (HSV)-infected animals and cells. Our studies have demonstrated that Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) activation by HSV results in NF-κB activation with concomitant inflammatory cytokine production and that TLR2 activation plays a critical role in HSV-induced pathology and mortality. Here we demonstrate that the HSV-1 immediate-early ICP0 protein reduces the TLR2-mediated inflammatory response to HSV 1 (HSV-1) infection. Expression of ICP0 alone is sufficient to block TLR2-driven responses to both viral and nonviral ligands at or downstream of the MyD88 adaptor and upstream of p65. ICP0 alone can also reduce the levels of MyD88 and Mal (TIRAP). In HSV-infected cells, the E3 ligase function of ICP0 and cellular proteasomal activity are required for the inhibitory activity. Our results argue for a model in which ICP0 promotes the degradation of TLR adaptor molecules and inhibition of the inflammatory response, much as it inhibits the interferon response by sequestration and degradation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3).
Type I interferons (IFNs) play a critical role in the host defense against viruses. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection induces robust type I IFN production in its natural host, the mouse. However, the mechanisms underlying the induction of type I IFNs in response to LCMV infection have not yet been clearly defined. In the present study, we demonstrate that IRF7 is required for both the early phase (day 1 postinfection) and the late phase (day 2 postinfection) of the type I IFN response to LCMV, and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5)/mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS) signaling is crucial for the late phase of the type I IFN response to LCMV. We further demonstrate that LCMV genomic RNA itself (without other LCMV components) is able to induce type I IFN responses in various cell types by activation of the RNA helicases retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and MDA5. We also show that expression of the LCMV nucleoprotein (NP) inhibits the type I IFN response induced by LCMV RNA and other RIG-I/MDA5 ligands. These virus-host interactions may play important roles in the pathogeneses of LCMV and other human arenavirus diseases.
Complement-containing immune complexes can be presented to phagocytes by human erythrocytes bearing complement receptor 1 (CR1). Although this has long been assumed to be a mechanism by which humans are able to protect themselves from “extracellular” bacteria such as pneumococci, there is little direct evidence. In these studies we have investigated this question by comparing results for erythrocytes from transgenic mice expressing human CR1 on their erythrocytes to the results for wild-type mouse erythrocytes that do not express CR1. We demonstrate that human CR1 expression on murine erythrocytes allows immune adherence to beads opsonized with either mouse or human serum as a source of complement. The role of CR1 in immune adherence was supported by studies showing that it was blocked by the addition of antibody to human CR1. Furthermore, human CR1 expression enhances the immune adherence of opsonized pneumococci to erythrocytes in vitro, and the pneumococci attached to erythrocytes via CR1 can be transferred in vitro to live macrophages. Even more importantly, we observed that if complement-opsonized pneumococci are injected intravenously with CR1+ mouse erythrocytes into wild-type mice (after a short in vitro incubation), they are cleared faster than opsonized pneumococci similarly injected with wild-type mouse erythrocytes. Finally, we have shown that the intravenous (i.v.) injection of pneumococci into CR1+ mice also results in more rapid blood clearance than in wild-type mice. These data support that immune adherence via CR1 on erythrocytes likely plays an important role in the clearance of opsonized bacteria from human blood.
Insulin resistance is a major characteristic of type 2 diabetes and is causally associated with obesity. Inflammation plays an important role in obesity-associated insulin resistance, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Interleukin (IL)-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine with lower circulating levels in obese subjects, and acute treatment with IL-10 prevents lipid-induced insulin resistance. We examined the role of IL-10 in glucose homeostasis using transgenic mice with muscle-specific overexpression of IL-10 (MCK-IL10).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
MCK-IL10 and wild-type mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 3 weeks, and insulin sensitivity was determined using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps in conscious mice. Biochemical and molecular analyses were performed in muscle to assess glucose metabolism, insulin signaling, and inflammatory responses.
MCK-IL10 mice developed with no obvious anomaly and showed increased whole-body insulin sensitivity. After 3 weeks of HFD, MCK-IL10 mice developed comparable obesity to wild-type littermates but remained insulin sensitive in skeletal muscle. This was mostly due to significant increases in glucose metabolism, insulin receptor substrate-1, and Akt activity in muscle. HFD increased macrophage-specific CD68 and F4/80 levels in wild-type muscle that was associated with marked increases in tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-6, and C-C motif chemokine receptor-2 levels. In contrast, MCK-IL10 mice were protected from diet-induced inflammatory response in muscle.
These results demonstrate that IL-10 increases insulin sensitivity and protects skeletal muscle from obesity-associated macrophage infiltration, increases in inflammatory cytokines, and their deleterious effects on insulin signaling and glucose metabolism. Our findings provide novel insights into the role of anti-inflammatory cytokine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of serious respiratory infections in children as well as a serious cause of disease in elderly and immunosuppressed populations. There are no licensed vaccines available to prevent RSV disease. We have developed a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate for protection from RSV. The VLP is composed of the NP and M proteins of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) and a chimeric protein containing the cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains of the NDV HN protein and the ectodomain of the human RSV G protein (H/G). Immunization of mice with 10 or 40 μg total VLP-H/G protein by intraperitoneal or intramuscular inoculation stimulated antibody responses to G protein which were as good as or better than those stimulated by comparable amounts of UV-inactivated RSV. Immunization of mice with two doses or even a single dose of these particles resulted in the complete protection of mice from RSV replication in the lungs. Immunization with these particles induced neutralizing antibodies with modest titers. Upon RSV challenge of VLP-H/G-immunized mice, no enhanced pathology in the lungs was observed, although lungs of mice immunized in parallel with formalin-inactivated RSV (FI-RSV) showed the significant pathology that has previously been documented after immunization with FI-RSV. Thus, the VLP-H/G candidate vaccine was immunogenic in BALB/c mice and prevented replication of RSV in murine lungs, with no evidence of immunopathology. These data support further development of virus-like particle vaccine candidates for protection against RSV.
Coxsackie B viruses (CVB) are enteroviruses that have been associated with a variety of human diseases, including myocarditis. In the present study, we found that MDA5 and its adaptor molecule MAVS are critical for type I interferon responses to CVB, since the absence of either MAVS or MDA5 leads to deficient type I interferon production and early mortality in mice infected with CVB. Pancreatic and hepatic necrosis were observed on histopathological examination of MAVS and MDA5 knockout mice infected with CVB. Inflammatory cytokine production in response to systemic CVB infection was independent of MAVS. Surprisingly, virus titers were not elevated in MAVS-deficient mice, despite significant reductions in type I interferon levels. These data highlight the importance of type I interferon in host defense and provide insight on the mechanisms of innate immune responses following coxsackievirus infection.
Plasmodium falciparum is a highly lethal malaria parasite of humans. A major portion of its life cycle is dedicated to invading and multiplying inside erythrocytes. The molecular mechanisms of erythrocyte invasion are incompletely understood. P. falciparum depends heavily on sialic acid present on glycophorins to invade erythrocytes. However, a significant proportion of laboratory and field isolates are also able to invade erythrocytes in a sialic acid-independent manner. The identity of the erythrocyte sialic acid-independent receptor has been a mystery for decades. We report here that the complement receptor 1 (CR1) is a sialic acid-independent receptor for the invasion of erythrocytes by P. falciparum. We show that soluble CR1 (sCR1) as well as polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies against CR1 inhibit sialic acid-independent invasion in a variety of laboratory strains and wild isolates, and that merozoites interact directly with CR1 on the erythrocyte surface and with sCR1-coated microspheres. Also, the invasion of neuraminidase-treated erythrocytes correlates with the level of CR1 expression. Finally, both sialic acid-independent and dependent strains invade CR1 transgenic mouse erythrocytes preferentially over wild-type erythrocytes but invasion by the latter is more sensitive to neuraminidase. These results suggest that both sialic acid-dependent and independent strains interact with CR1 in the normal red cell during the invasion process. However, only sialic acid-independent strains can do so without the presence of glycophorin sialic acid. Our results close a longstanding and important gap in the understanding of the mechanism of erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum that will eventually make possible the development of an effective blood stage vaccine.
Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a blood parasite that lives for the most part inside red cells. It is responsible for the death of 1-2 million people every year. The mechanisms by which the parasite invades red cells are complex and not completely understood. For many years it has been known that proteins called glycophorins are used by the parasite to gain entry into the red cell. However, the existence of another protein that allows entry independent of glycophorins has been suspected for nearly as long. The identity of the alternative protein has been a mystery difficult to solve. In this article we present strong evidence that the alternative protein is the complement receptor 1. The complement receptor 1 is a well-studied protein that is known to be important in protecting red cells from attack by the host immune system as well as suspected of having other roles in the development of malaria complications. The recognition of the additional role of complement receptor 1 in red cell invasion will allow the definitive identification of malaria proteins that interact with it and that could be used in a future vaccine cocktail to block red cell invasion.
Nearly all livers transplanted into hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive patients become infected with HCV, and 10 to 25% of reinfected livers develop cirrhosis within 5 years. Neutralizing monoclonal antibody could be an effective therapy for the prevention of infection in a transplant setting. To pursue this treatment modality, we developed human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) directed against the HCV E2 envelope glycoprotein and assessed the capacity of these HuMAbs to neutralize a broad panel of HCV genotypes. HuMAb antibodies were generated by immunizing transgenic mice containing human antibody genes (HuMAb mice; Medarex Inc.) with soluble E2 envelope glycoprotein derived from a genotype 1a virus (H77). Two HuMAbs, HCV1 and 95-2, were selected for further study based on initial cross-reactivity with soluble E2 glycoproteins derived from genotypes 1a and 1b, as well as neutralization of lentivirus pseudotyped with HCV 1a and 1b envelope glycoproteins. Additionally, HuMAbs HCV1 and 95-2 potently neutralized pseudoviruses from all genotypes tested (1a, 1b, 2b, 3a, and 4a). Epitope mapping with mammalian and bacterially expressed proteins, as well as synthetic peptides, revealed that HuMAbs HCV1 and 95-2 recognize a highly conserved linear epitope spanning amino acids 412 to 423 of the E2 glycoprotein. The capacity to recognize and neutralize a broad range of genotypes, the highly conserved E2 epitope, and the fully human nature of the antibodies make HuMAbs HCV1 and 95-2 excellent candidates for treatment of HCV-positive individuals undergoing liver transplantation.
Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) is an essential adaptor protein in the Toll-like receptor-mediated innate signaling pathway, as well as in interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R) and IL-18R signaling. The importance of MyD88 in the regulation of innate immunity to microbial pathogens has been well demonstrated. However, its role in regulating acquired immunity to viral pathogens and neuropathogenesis is not entirely clear. In the present study, we examine the role of MyD88 in the CD4+ T-cell response following lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection. We demonstrate that wild-type (WT) mice developed a CD4+ T-cell-mediated wasting disease after intracranial infection with LCMV. In contrast, MyD88 knockout (KO) mice did not develop wasting disease in response to the same infection. This effect was not the result of MyD88 regulation of IL-1 or IL-18 responses since IL-1R1 KO and IL-18R KO mice were not protected from weight loss. In the absence of MyD88, naïve CD4+ T cells failed to differentiate to LCMV-specific CD4 T cells. We demonstrated that MyD88 KO antigen-presenting cells are capable of activating WT CD4+ T cells. Importantly, when MyD88 KO CD4+ T cells were reconstituted with an MyD88-expressing lentivirus, the rescued CD4+ T cells were able to respond to LCMV infection and support IgG2a antibody production. Overall, these studies reveal a previously unknown role of MyD88-dependent signaling in CD4+ T cells in the regulation of the virus-specific CD4+ T-cell response and in viral infection-induced immunopathology in the central nervous system.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of infection that is associated with a range of respiratory illnesses, from common cold-like symptoms to serious lower respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis. RSV is the single most important cause of serious lower respiratory tract illness in children <1 year of age. Host innate and acquired immune responses activated following RSV infection have been suspected to contribute to RSV disease. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) activate innate and acquired immunity and are candidates for playing key roles in the host immune response to RSV. Leukocytes express TLRs, including TLR2, TLR6, TLR3, TLR4, and TLR7, that can interact with RSV and promote immune responses following infection. Using knockout mice, we have demonstrated that TLR2 and TLR6 signaling in leukocytes can activate innate immunity against RSV by promoting tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6, CCL2 (monocyte chemoattractant protein 1), and CCL5 (RANTES). As previously noted, TLR4 also contributes to cytokine activation (L. M. Haynes, D. D. Moore, E. A. Kurt-Jones, R. W. Finberg, L. J. Anderson, and R. A. Tripp, J. Virol. 75:10730-10737, 2001, and E. A. Kurt-Jones, L. Popova, L. Kwinn, L. M. Haynes, L. P. Jones, R. A. Tripp, E. E. Walsh, M. W. Freeman, D. T. Golenbock, L. J. Anderson, and R. W. Finberg, Nat. Immunol. 1:398-401, 2000). Furthermore, we demonstrated that signals generated following TLR2 and TLR6 activation were important for controlling viral replication in vivo. Additionally, TLR2 interactions with RSV promoted neutrophil migration and dendritic cell activation within the lung. Collectively, these studies indicate that TLR2 is involved in RSV recognition and subsequent innate immune activation.
Type 5 adenovirus (Ad5) is a human pathogen that has been widely developed for therapeutic uses, with only limited success to date. We report here the novel finding that human erythrocytes present Coxsackie virus-adenovirus receptor (CAR) providing an Ad5 sequestration mechanism that protects against systemic infection. Interestingly, erythrocytes from neither mice nor rhesus macaques present CAR. Excess Ad5 fiber protein or anti-CAR antibody inhibits the binding of Ad5 to human erythrocytes and cryo-electron microscopy shows attachment via the fiber protein of Ad5, leading to close juxtaposition with the erythrocyte membrane. Human, but not murine, erythrocytes also present complement receptor (CR1), which binds Ad5 in the presence of antibodies and complement. Transplantation of human erythrocytes into nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mice extends blood circulation of intravenous Ad5 but decreases its extravasation into human xenograft tumors. Ad5 also shows extended circulation in transgenic mice presenting CAR on their erythrocytes, although it clears rapidly in transgenic mice presenting erythrocyte CR1. Hepatic infection is inhibited in both transgenic models. Erythrocytes may therefore restrict Ad5 infection (natural and therapeutic) in humans, independent of antibody status, presenting a formidable challenge to Ad5 therapeutics. “Stealthing” of Ad5 using hydrophilic polymers may enable circumvention of these natural virus traps.
In response to invading pathogens, Toll-like receptors (TLR) play a critical role in the initiation of the innate immune response, which can be either beneficial or detrimental to the host. In the present study, we demonstrated that central nervous system (CNS) glial cells are activated by Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) in a TLR2-MyD88/Mal-dependent manner. Specifically, in response to LCMV, both astrocytes and microglial cells isolated from wild type (WT) mice produced chemokines, such as MCP-1, RANTES and TNF-α. Similar responses occurred in TLR3 KO and TLR4 KO glial cells. In striking contrast, both astrocytes and microglial cells isolated from mice deficient in TLR2, MyD88, and Mal did not produce any of these chemokines. In addition, LCMV infection of glial cells induced up-regulation of TLR2, MHC-class-I and II, CD40, CD86 in a MyD88-dependent manner. These results define a functional role for TLR signaling in viral infection-induced activation of CNS glial cells as well as for the immunopathology in the CNS.
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV); Toll-like receptors; CNS glial cells
Although it has been known for 50 years that adenoviruses (Ads) interact with erythrocytes ex vivo, the molecular and structural basis for this interaction, which has been serendipitously exploited for diagnostic tests, is unknown. In this study, we characterized the interaction between erythrocytes and unrelated Ad serotypes, human 5 (HAd5) and 37 (HAd37), and canine 2 (CAV-2). While these serotypes agglutinate human erythrocytes, they use different receptors, have different tropisms and/or infect different species. Using molecular, biochemical, structural and transgenic animal-based analyses, we found that the primary erythrocyte interaction domain for HAd37 is its sialic acid binding site, while CAV-2 binding depends on at least three factors: electrostatic interactions, sialic acid binding and, unexpectedly, binding to the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) on human erythrocytes. We show that the presence of CAR on erythrocytes leads to prolonged in vivo blood half-life and significantly reduced liver infection when a CAR-tropic Ad is injected intravenously. This study provides i) a molecular and structural rationale for Ad–erythrocyte interactions, ii) a basis to improve vector-mediated gene transfer and iii) a mechanism that may explain the biodistribution and pathogenic inconsistencies found between human and animal models.
In most cases, adenoviruses are thought to initially enter the host via contact with epithelial cells and spread within the host via an unknown mechanism. Most adenovirus serotypes use a cell adhesion molecule dubbed “CAR” to attach to cells. To assess, predict and understand adenovirus biology and vectorology, many in vivo studies use mice and monkeys. These animal models have been considered reliable models in the realm of viral pathogenesis and gene transfer. One of the implications of our study suggests that the rat may be a more appropriate model during intravenous adenovirus delivery because like humans, and unlike mice and monkeys, they also express CAR on their erythrocytes. The identification of CAR on human erythrocytes explains a 50-year-old enigma of adenovirus hemagglutination, helps us better understand adenovirus in vivo biology and may open new avenues to understand the role of cell adhesion molecules during erythropoiesis.
Activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling by microbial signatures is critical to the induction of immune responses. Such responses demand tight regulation. RP105 is a TLR homolog, thought to be largely B cell-specific, which lacks a signaling domain. We report that RP105 expression is wide, directly mirroring that of TLR4 on antigen presenting cells. We further show that RP105 is a specific inhibitor of TLR4 signaling in HEK293 cells, a function conferred by its extracellular domain. Notably, RP105 and its helper molecule, MD-1, interacted directly with the TLR4 signaling complex, inhibiting its ability to bind microbial ligand. Finally, we demonstrate that RP105 regulates TLR4 signaling in dendritic cells, as well as endotoxin responses in vivo. Thus, these results identify RP105 as a physiological negative regulator of TLR4 responses.
Natural killer (NK) cells are essential for the early control of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. Here, we demonstrate that toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) plays a role in the NK cell-mediated control of MCMV. TLR2 knockout (KO) mice had elevated levels of MCMV in the spleen and liver on day 4 postinfection compared to C57BL/6 mice. In vivo depletion of NK cells with anti-NK1.1 antibodies, however, eliminated the differences in viral titers between the two groups, suggesting that the effect of TLR2 on MCMV clearance on day 4 was NK cell mediated. The defect in early antiviral control was associated with a decreased NK cell population in the spleen and liver and reduced amounts of interleukin-18 and α/β interferon secreted in the TLR2 KO mice. Our studies suggest that in addition to the reported involvement of TLR9 and TLR3, TLR2 is also involved in innate immune responses to MCMV infection.