The popularity of nonreplicating adenoviruses of chimpanzee origin (ChAdVs) as vectors for subunit vaccines is on the rise. This is mainly for their excellent safety and impressive immunogenicity observed in human studies to date. Here, we recloned the chimpanzee adenovirus sero type 68 (ChAdV-68), also designated SAdV-25 and AdC68, genome and demonstrated its straightforward genetic manipulation facilitated by the use of bacterial artificial chromosome recombineering. To generate the ChAdV68.GagB vaccine, the HIV-1 consensus clade B Gag-derived Tg was inserted into the E1 region. In part confirming previous observations, the ChAdV68.GagB vaccine alone and in heterologous prime-boost regimens with plasmid DNA- and modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-vectored vaccines induced robust polyfunctional HIV-1-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell responses with a gut-homing phenotype. Importantly, we showed that when a single epitope is expressed as an immunodominant CD8+ T-cell determinant, responses elicited by ChAdV68.GagB alone and in combination lowered surrogate challenge EcoHIV/NDK (where EcoHIV is chimeric ecotropic HIV) virus load in mice both at the peak T-cell frequencies 2 weeks after vaccination and 16 weeks later indicating development of protective effector memory. These results parallel the immunogenicity of similar vaccine regimens in macaques and an ongoing phase I/IIa trial in humans, and support further development of vaccines vectored by ChAdVs.
Chimpanzee adenovirus; EcoHIV challenge; Heterologous prime-boost regimen; T-cell vaccines
Heterosexual transmission accounts for the majority of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases worldwide. The current approach to investigate HIV heterosexual transmission in animals involves application of virus stock to the vaginal surface, a method that does not reproduce the physiological conditions of vaginal intercourse that influence the rate of transmission. We have previously described efficient infection of conventional mice using EcoHIV/NL4-3 and EcoHIV/NDK, chimeric HIV molecular clones constructed to express all HIV structural and regulatory genes except envelope, which is replaced by a rodent-tropic envelope gene. Here we investigated whether EcoHIV/NDK-infected male mice transmit virus to females during coitus, and the sensitivity of this transmission to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis and the estrus state. Our general approach was to allow mating between EcoHIV/NDK-infected male mice and uninfected females for 1–7 nights. At 1–6 weeks after mating, mice were euthanized and virus burdens were measured by quantitative PCR (qPCR) amplification of HIV RNA or DNA in peritoneal macrophages, inguinal lymph node cells, spleen cells or vas deferens, or by ELISA for antibodies to HIV Gag. We found that 70–100% of female mice mated to EcoHIV/NDK-infected males acquired infection. Pericoital treatment of females with either 2′,3′-dideoxcytidine (ddC) or tenofovir largely prevented their EcoHIV/NDK infection by mating (P<0.05 and P<0.003, respectively). In males, T cells were dispensable for virus transmission. The rate of EcoHIV/NDK sexual transmission to females in estrus declined sharply (P=0.003) but their infection by injection was unaffected, indicating that the local environment in the female reproductive tract influences susceptibility to HIV. We conclude that this system of EcoHIV/NDK transmission during mouse mating reproduces key features of heterosexual transmission of HIV in humans and can be used to investigate its biology and control.
HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND) is a common manifestation of HIV infection that afflicts about 50 % of HIV-positive individuals. As people with access to antiretroviral treatments live longer, HAND can be found in increasing segments of populations at risk for other chronic, neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). If brain diseases of diverse etiologies utilize similar biological pathways in the brain, they may coexist in a patient and possibly exacerbate neuropathogenesis and morbidity. To test this proposition, we conducted comparative meta-analysis of selected publicly available microarray datasets from brain tissues of patients with HAND, AD, and MS. In pair-wise and three-way analyses, we found a large number of dysregulated genes and biological processes common to either HAND and AD or HAND and MS, or to all three diseases. The common characteristic of all three diseases was up-regulation of broadly ranging immune responses in the brain. In addition, HAND and AD share down-modulation of processes involved, among others, in synaptic transmission and cell-cell signaling while HAND and MS share defective processes of neurogenesis and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase activity. Our approach could provide insight into the identification of common disease mechanisms and better intervention strategies for complex neurocognitive disorders.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11481-012-9409-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Transcriptome meta-analysis; Microarrays; HIV; HAND; Alzheimer’s disease; Multiple sclerosis
Immunodominance in T cell responses to complex antigens like viruses is still incompletely understood. Some data indicate that the dominant responses to viruses are not necessarily the most protective, while other data imply that dominant responses are the most important. The issue is of considerable importance to the rational design of vaccines, particularly against variable escaping viruses like human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and hepatitis C virus. Here, we showed that sequential inactivation of dominant epitopes up-ranks the remaining subdominant determinants. Importantly, we demonstrated that subdominant epitopes can induce robust responses and protect against whole viruses if they are allowed at least once in the vaccination regimen to locally or temporally dominate T cell induction. Therefore, refocusing T cell immune responses away from highly variable determinants recognized during natural virus infection towards subdominant, but conserved regions is possible and merits evaluation in humans.
The body's reaction to infections is dominated by strong immune responses focused on a small number of protein regions, while ignoring the other. These strong responses may be protective against invariant viruses, but fail to control viruses that can change quickly. In particular for the AIDS virus, it happens that the few targeted regions during natural infection are highly variable, and rapidly change and become unrecognized by the mounted responses, i.e. escape. Here, we demonstrated that even the naturally under-recognized protein regions can induce robust responses and confer protection against whole viruses, and therefore should be made use of by vaccination strategies.
Following fusion of the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) with host cells' membrane and reverse transcription of the viral RNA, the resulted cDNA is integrated into the host genome by the viral integrase enzyme (IN). Quantitative estimations have revealed that only 1–2 copies are integrated per infected cell, although many copies of the viral RNA are reverse-transcribed. The molecular mechanism that restricts the integration degree has not, so far, been elucidated. Following integration, expressed partially spliced and unspliced transcripts are exported from the nuclei by the viral Rev protein. Here, we show that in virally infected cells, the Rev interacts with the IN forming a Rev–IN complex and consequently limits the number of integration events. Disruption of the Rev–IN complex by selected IN-derived peptides or infection by a Rev-deficient virus stimulate integration resulting in large numbers of integration event/cell. Conversely, infection of Rev-expression cells blocks integration and inhibits virus production. Increased integration appears to correlate with increased cell death of infected cultures. Our results thus demonstrate a new regulatory function of Rev and probably establish a link between Rev restriction of HIV-1 integration and protection of HIV-1-infected cells from premature cell death.
cell death; HIV-1; integrase; integration regulation; Rev
Infection by some viruses induces immunity to reinfection, providing a means to identify protective epitopes. To investigate resistance to reinfection in an animal model of HIV disease and its control, we employed infection of mice with chimeric HIV, EcoHIV. When immunocompetent mice were infected by intraperitoneal (IP) injection of EcoHIV, they resisted subsequent secondary infection by IP injection, consistent with a systemic antiviral immune response. To investigate the potential role of these responses in restricting neurotropic HIV infection, we established a protocol for efficient EcoHIVexpression in the brain following intracranial (IC) inoculation of virus. When mice were inoculated by IP injection and secondarily by IC injection, they also controlled EcoHIV replication in the brain. To investigate their role in EcoHIV antiviral responses, CD8+ T lymphocytes were isolated from spleens of EcoHIV infected and uninfected mice and adoptively transferred to isogenic recipients. Recipients of EcoHIV primed CD8+ cells resisted subsequent EcoHIV infection compared to recipients of cells from uninfected donors. CD8+ spleen cells from EcoHIV-infected mice also mounted modest but significant interferon-γ responses to two HIV Gag peptide pools. These findings suggest EcoHIV-infected mice may serve as a useful system to investigate the induction of anti-HIV protective immunity for eventual translation to human beings.
Mouse model; Chimeric HIV; Superinfection; Adaptive immune responses; HIV neuropathogenesis; Brain
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) invades the central nervous system early after viral exposure but causes progressive cognitive, behavior, and motor impairments years later with the onset of immune deficiency. Although in the brain, HIV preferentially replicates productively in cells of mononuclear phagocyte (MP; blood borne macrophage and microglia), astrocytes also can be infected, at low and variable frequency, particularly in patients with encephalitis. Among their many functions, astrocytes network with microglia to provide the first line of defense against microbial infection; however, very little is known about its consequences on MP. Here, we addressed this question using co-culture systems of HIV infected mouse astrocytes and microglia. Pseudotyped vesicular stomatis virus/HIV was used to circumvent absence of viral receptors and ensure cell genotypic uniformity for studies of intercellular communication. The study demonstrated that infected astrocytes show modest changes in protein elements as compared to uninfected cells. In contrast, infected astrocytes induce robust changes in the proteome of HIV-1 infected microglia. Accelerated cell death and redox proteins, amongst others, were produced in abundance. The observations confirmed the potential of astrocytes to influence the neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 infection by specifically altering the neurotoxic potential of infected microglia and in this manner, disease progression.
astrocytes; microgial; human immunodeficiency virus; pseudotyped viral infection; proteomics; cell mobility; neurotoxicity
Progressive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection and virus-induced neuroinflammatory responses effectuates monocyte-macrophage transmigration across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A key factor in mediating these events is monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1). Upregulated glial-derived MCP-1 in HIV-1 infected brain tissues generates a gradient for monocyte recruitment into the nervous system. We posit that the inter-relationships between MCP-1, voltage gated ion channels, cell shape and volume, and cell mobility underlie monocyte transmigration across the BBB. In this regard, MCP-1 serves both as a chemoattractant and an inducer of monocyte-macrophage ion flux affecting cell shape and mobility. To address this hypothesis, MCP-1 treated bone marrow derived macrophages (BMM) were analyzed for gene and protein expression, electrophysiology, and capacity to migrate across a laboratory constructed BBB. MCP-1 enhanced K+ channel gene (KCNA3) and channel protein expression. Electrophysiological studies revealed that MCP-1 increased outward K+ currents in a dose dependent manner. In vitro studies demonstrated that MCP-1 increased BMM migration across an artificial BBB and the MCP-1-induced BMM migration was blocked by tetraethylammonium, a voltage-gated K+ channel blocker. Together these data demonstrated that MCP-1 affects macrophage migratory movement through regulation of voltage-gated K+ channels and as such, provides a novel therapeutic strategy for neuroAIDS
Monocyte; Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1; K+ Channels; Blood-Brain Barrier
EcoHIV/NL4-3 is a chimeric human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) that can productively infect mice. This study tests the utility of EcoHIV/NL4-3 infection to reveal protective immune responses to an HIV-1 vaccine. Immunocompetent mice were first immunized with VRC 4306 which encodes subtype B consensus sequences of gag, pol, and nef and then were infected by EcoHIV/NL4-3. Anti-Gag antibodies were sampled during immunization and infection. The extent of EcoHIV/NL4-3 infection in spleen cells and peritoneal macrophages was determined by quantitative real-time PCR (QPCR). Although antibody titres were not significantly different in control and vaccinated groups, VRC 4306 immunization induced protective responses that significantly reduced virus burden in both lymphocyte and macrophage compartments. These results indicate that EcoHIV/NL4-3 infection can be controlled by HIV-1 vaccine induced responses, introducing a small animal model to test vaccine efficacy against HIV-1 infection.
HIV-1; mouse model; DNA vaccine
HIV-1-infected and immune competent brain mononuclear phagocytes (MP; macrophages and microglia) secrete cellular and viral toxins that affect neuronal damage during advanced disease. In contrast, astrocytes can affect disease by modulating the nervous system's microenvironment. Interestingly, little is known how astrocytes communicate with MP to influence disease.
Methods and Findings
MP-astrocyte crosstalk was investigated by a proteomic platform analysis using vesicular stomatitis virus pseudotyped HIV infected murine microglia. The microglial-astrocyte dialogue was significant and affected microglial cytoskeleton by modulation of cell death and migratory pathways. These were mediated, in part, through F-actin polymerization and filament formation. Astrocyte secretions attenuated HIV-1 infected microglia neurotoxicity and viral growth linked to the regulation of reactive oxygen species.
These observations provide unique insights into glial crosstalk during disease by supporting astrocyte-mediated regulation of microglial function and its influence on the onset and progression of neuroAIDS. The results open new insights into previously undisclosed pathogenic mechanisms and open the potential for biomarker discovery and therapeutics that may influence the course of HIV-1-mediated neurodegeneration.
Exposure of adult humans to manganese (Mn) has long been known to cause neurotoxicity. Recent evidence also suggests that exposure of children to Mn is associated with developmental neurotoxicity. Astrocytes are critical for the proper functioning of the nervous system, and they play active roles in neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and synaptic neurotransmission. In this report, to help elucidate the molecular events underlying Mn neurotoxicity, we systematically identified the molecular targets of Mn in primary human astrocytes at a genome-wide level, by using microarray gene expression profiling and computational data analysis algorithms. We found that Mn altered the expression of diverse genes ranging from those encoding cytokines and transporters to signal transducers and transcriptional regulators. Particularly, 28 genes encoding proinflammatory chemokines, cytokines and related functions were up-regulated whereas 15 genes encoding functions involved in DNA replication and repair and cell cycle checkpoint control were down-regulated. Consistent with the increased expression of proinflammatory factors, analysis of common regulators revealed that 16 targets known to be positively affected by the interferon-γ signaling pathway were up-regulated by Mn2+. In addition, 68 genes were found to be similarly up- or down-regulated by both Mn2+ and hypoxia. These results from genomic analysis are further supported by data from real-time RT-PCR, Western blotting, flow cytometric and toxicological analyses. Together, these analyses show that Mn2+ selectively affects cell cycle progression, the expression of hypoxia-responsive genes, and the expression of proinflammatory factors in primary human astrocytes. These results provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying Mn neurotoxicity.
Manganese; Inflammatory factors; Human Astrocytes; Microarray; Gene expression
Tumor progression and metastasis are complex processes involving intricate interplay among multiple gene products. Astrocyte Elevated Gene (AEG)-1 was cloned as an HIV-1- and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α)-inducible transcript in primary human fetal astrocytes by a rapid subtraction hybridization approach. AEG-1 downregulates the expression of the glutamate transporter EAAT2, thus it is implicated in glutamate-induced excitotoxic damage to neurons as evident in HIV-associated neurodegeneration. Interestingly, AEG-1 expression is elevated in subsets of breast cancer, glioblastoma multiforme and melanoma cells and AEG-1 cooperates with Ha-ras to augment the transformed phenotype of normal immortal cells. Moreover, AEG-1 is overexpressed in >95% of human malignant glioma samples when compared with normal human brain. Overexpression of AEG-1 increases and siRNA inhibition of AEG-1 decreases migration and invasion of human glioma cells, respectively. AEG-1 contains a lung-homing domain facilitating breast tumor metastasis to lungs. These findings indicate that AEG-1 might play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis, progression and metastasis of diverse cancers. Our recent observations indicate that AEG-1 exerts its effects by activating the NF-κB pathway and AEG-1 is a downstream target of Ha-ras and plays an important role in Ha-ras-mediated tumorigenesis. These provocative findings are intensifying interest in AEG-1 as a crucial regulator of tumor progression and metastasis and as a potential mediator of neurodegeneration. In this review, we discuss the cloning, structure and function(s) of AEG-1 and provide recent insights into the diverse actions and intriguing properties of this molecule.
AEG-1; Progression; Metastasis; Ha-ras oncogene; Glutamate excitotoxicity; AEG-1 promoter
HIV-1 infects human astrocytes in vitro and in vivo but the frequency of infected cells is low and its biological significance is unknown. In studies in vitro, recombinant gp120 alone can induce profound effects on astrocyte biology, suggesting that HIV-1 interaction with astrocytes and its functional consequences extend beyond the limited levels of infection in these cells. Here we determined the relative efficiencies of HIV-1 binding and infection in human fetal astrocytes (HFA), mainly at the single cell level, using HIV-1 tagged with green fluorescence protein (GFP)-Vpr fusion proteins, termed HIV-GFP, to detect virus binding and HIV-1 expressing Rev and NefGFP fusion proteins to detect productive infection.
Essentially all HFA in a population bound HIV-GFP specifically and independently of CCR5 and CXCR4. The dynamics of this binding at 37°C resembled binding of an HIV fusion mutant to CD4-positive cells, indicating that most of HIV-GFP arrested infection of HFA at the stage of virus-cell fusion. Despite extensive binding, only about 1% of HFA were detectably infected by HIV-RevGFP or HIV-NefGFP, but this proportion increased to the majority of HFA when the viruses were pseudotyped with vesicular stomatitis virus envelope glycoprotein G, confirming that HFA impose a restriction upon HIV-1 entry. Exposure of HFA to HIV-1 through its native proteins rapidly induced synthesis of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 with increased mRNA detected within 3 h and increased protein detected within 18 h of exposure.
Our results indicate that HIV-1 binding to human astrocytes, although extensive, is not generally followed by virus entry and replication. Astrocytes respond to HIV-1 binding by rapidly increased cytokine production suggesting a role of this virus-brain cell interaction in HIV-1 neuropathogenesis.
DNA microarrays are a powerful technology that can provide a wealth of gene expression data for disease studies, drug development, and a wide scope of other investigations. Because of the large volume and inherent variability of DNA microarray data, many new statistical methods have been developed for evaluating the significance of the observed differences in gene expression. However, until now little attention has been given to the characterization of dispersion of DNA microarray data.
Here we examine the expression data obtained from 682 Affymetrix GeneChips® with 22 different types and we demonstrate that the Gaussian (normal) frequency distribution is characteristic for the variability of gene expression values. However, typically 5 to 15% of the samples deviate from normality. Furthermore, it is shown that the frequency distributions of the difference of expression in subsets of ordered, consecutive pairs of genes (consecutive samples) in pair-wise comparisons of replicate experiments are also normal. We describe a consecutive sampling method, which is employed to calculate the characteristic function approximating standard deviation and show that the standard deviation derived from the consecutive samples is equivalent to the standard deviation obtained from individual genes. Finally, we determine the boundaries of probability intervals and demonstrate that the coefficients defining the intervals are independent of sample characteristics, variability of data, laboratory conditions and type of chips. These coefficients are very closely correlated with Student's t-distribution.
In this study we ascertained that the non-systematic variations possess Gaussian distribution, determined the probability intervals and demonstrated that the Kα coefficients defining these intervals are invariant; these coefficients offer a convenient universal measure of dispersion of data. The fact that the Kα distributions are so close to t-distribution and independent of conditions and type of arrays suggests that the quantitative data provided by Affymetrix technology give "true" representation of physical processes, involved in measurement of RNA abundance.
This article was reviewed by Yoav Gilad (nominated by Doron Lancet), Sach Mukherjee (nominated by Sandrine Dudoit) and Amir Niknejad and Shmuel Friedland (nominated by Neil Smalheiser).
Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) is a microarray data analysis method that uses predefined gene sets and ranks of genes to identify significant biological changes in microarray data sets. GSEA is especially useful when gene expression changes in a given microarray data set is minimal or moderate.
We developed a modified gene set enrichment analysis method based on a parametric statistical analysis model. Compared with GSEA, the parametric analysis of gene set enrichment (PAGE) detected a larger number of significantly altered gene sets and their p-values were lower than the corresponding p-values calculated by GSEA. Because PAGE uses normal distribution for statistical inference, it requires less computation than GSEA, which needs repeated computation of the permutated data set. PAGE was able to detect significantly changed gene sets from microarray data irrespective of different Affymetrix probe level analysis methods or different microarray platforms. Comparison of two aged muscle microarray data sets at gene set level using PAGE revealed common biological themes better than comparison at individual gene level.
PAGE was statistically more sensitive and required much less computational effort than GSEA, it could identify significantly changed biological themes from microarray data irrespective of analysis methods or microarray platforms, and it was useful in comparison of multiple microarray data sets. We offer PAGE as a useful microarray analysis method.
NF-κB is a transcriptional activator that often regulates inflammatory responses. We demonstrate that human immunodeficiency virus type 1 activates nuclear localization of NF-κB in macrophages in a manner dependent upon virus strain but independent of virus replication. Through the use of an inhibitor, NF-κB activation was found to be responsible for the cytokine and chemokine induction that we recently reported.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) interacts with its target cells through CD4 and a coreceptor, generally CCR5 or CXCR4. Macrophages display CD4, CCR5, and CXCR4 that are competent for binding and entry of virus. Virus binding also induces several responses by lymphocytes and macrophages that can be dissociated from productive infection. We investigated the responses of macrophages to exposure to a series of HIV-1 species, R5 species that productively infect and X4 species that do not infect macrophages. We chose to monitor production of several physiologically relevant factors within hours of treatment to resolve virally induced effects that may be unlinked to HIV-1 production. Our novel findings indicate that independently of their coreceptor phenotype and independently of virus replication, exposure to certain R5 and X4 HIV-1 species induced secretion of high levels of macrophage inflammatory protein 1α (MIP-1α), MIP-1β, RANTES, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. However two of the six R5 species tested, despite efficient infection, were unable to induce rapid chemokine production. The acute effects of virus on macrophages could be mimicked by exposure to purified R5 or the X4 HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120. Depletion of intracellular Ca2+ or inhibition of protein synthesis blocked the chemokine induction, implicating Ca2+-mediated signal transduction and new protein synthesis in the response. The group of viruses able to induce this chemokine response was not consistent with coreceptor usage. We conclude that human macrophages respond rapidly to R5 and X4 envelope binding by production of high levels of physiologically active proteins that are implicated in HIV-1 pathogenesis.
Human astrocytes can be infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in vitro and in vivo, but, in contrast to T lymphocytes and macrophages, virus expression is inefficient. To investigate the HIV-1 life cycle in human fetal astrocytes, we infected cells with HIV-1 pseudotyped with envelope glycoproteins of either amphotropic murine leukemia virus or vesicular stomatitis virus. Infection by both pseudotypes was productive and long lasting and reached a peak of 68% infected cells and 1.7 μg of viral p24 per ml of culture supernatant 7 days after virus inoculation and then continued with gradually declining levels of virus expression through 7 weeks of follow-up. This contrasted with less than 0.1% HIV-1 antigen-positive cells and 400 pg of extracellular p24 per ml at the peak of astrocyte infection with native HIV-1. Cell viability and growth kinetics were similar in infected and control cells. Northern blot analysis revealed the presence of major HIV-1 RNA species of 9, 4, and 2 kb in astrocytes exposed to pseudotyped (but not wild-type) HIV-1 at 2, 14, and 28 days after infection. Consistent with productive infection, the 9- and 4-kb viral transcripts in astrocytes infected by pseudotyped HIV-1 were as abundant as the 2-kb mRNA during 4 weeks of follow-up, and both structural and regulatory viral proteins were detected in infected cells by immunoblotting or cell staining. The progeny virus released by these cells was infectious. These results indicate that the major barrier to HIV-1 infection of primary astrocytes is at virus entry and that astrocytes have no intrinsic intracellular restriction to efficient HIV-1 replication.
Vif is a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protein that is essential for the production of infectious virus. Most of Vif synthesized during HIV infection localizes within cells, and the extent of Vif packaging into virions and its function there remain controversial. Here we show that a small but detectable amount of Vif remains associated with purified virions even after their treatment with the protease subtilisin. However, treatment of these virions with 1% Triton X-100 revealed that most of the virion-associated Vif segregated with detergent-resistant virus particles consisting of unprocessed Gag, indicating that detergent-soluble, mature virions contain very little Vif. To investigate the control of Vif packaging in immature virus particles, we tested its association with Gag-containing virus-like particles (VLPs) in a Vif and Gag coexpression system in human cells. Only a small proportion of Vif molecules synthesized in this system became packaged into VLPs, and the VLP-associated Vif was protected from exogenous protease and detergent treatment, indicating that it is stably incorporated into immature virion-like cores. About 10-fold more Vpr than Vif was packaged into VLPs but most of the VLP-associated Vpr was removed by treatment with detergent. Mutagenesis of the C-terminal sequences in Gag previously shown to be responsible for interaction with Vif did not reduce the extent of Vif packaging into Gag VLPs. Surprisingly, short deletions in the capsid domain (CA) of Gag (amino acid residues 284 to 304 and 350 to 362) increased Vif packaging over 10-fold. The 350 to 363 deletion introduced into CA in HIV provirus also increased Vif incorporation into purified virions. Our results show that Vif can be packaged at low levels into aberrant virus particles or immature virions and that Vif is not present significantly in mature virions. Overall, these results indicate that the Vif content in virions is tightly regulated and also argue against a function of virion-associated Vif.
A panel of CD4+ T-cell clones were generated from peripheral blood lymphocytes from a patient with a nonprogressing infection of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) by using herpesvirus saimiri as described recently. By and large, all of the clones expressed an activated T-cell phenotype (Th class 1) and grew without any further stimulation in interleukin-2-containing medium. None of these clones produced HIV-1, and all clones were negative for HIV-1 DNA. When these clones were infected with primary and laboratory (IIIB) strains of HIV-1 with syncytium-inducing (SI) phenotypes, dramatic variation of virus production was observed. While two clones were highly susceptible, other clones were relatively or completely resistant to infection with SI viruses. The HIV-resistant clones expressed CXCR4 coreceptors and were able to fuse efficiently with SI virus env-expressing cells, indicating that no block to virus entry was present in the resistant clones. Additionally, HIV-1 DNA was detectable after infection of the resistant clones, further suggesting that HIV resistance occurred in these clones after virus entry and probably after integration. We further demonstrate that the resistant clones secrete a factor(s) that can inhibit SI virus production from other infected cells and from a chronically infected producer cell line. Finally, we show that the resistant clones do not express an increased amount of ligands (stromal-derived factor SDF-1) of CXCR4 or other known HIV-inhibitory cytokines. Until now, the ligands of HIV coreceptors were the only natural substances that had been shown to play antiviral roles of any real significance in vivo. Our data from this study show that differential expression of another anti-HIV factor(s) by selected CD4+ T cells may be responsible for the protection of these cells against SI viruses. Our results also suggest a novel mechanism of inhibition of SI viruses that acts at a stage after virus entry.
Recent studies have demonstrated that the β-chemokines RANTES, MIP-1α, and MIP-1β suppress human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication in vitro and may play an important role in protecting exposed but uninfected individuals from HIV-1 infection. However, levels of β-chemokines in AIDS patients are comparable to and can exceed levels in nonprogressing individuals, indicating that global β-chemokine production may have little effect on HIV-1 disease progression. We sought to clarify the role of β-chemokines in nonprogressors and AIDS patients by examination of β-chemokine production and HIV-1 infection in patient T-lymphocyte clones established by herpesvirus saimiri immortalization. Both CD4+ and CD8+ clones were established, and they resembled primary T cells in their phenotypes and expression of activated T-cell markers. CD4+ T-cell clones from all patients had normal levels of mRNA-encoding CCR5, a coreceptor for non-syncytium-inducing (NSI) HIV-1. CD4+ clones from nonprogressors and CD8+ clones from AIDS patients secreted high levels of RANTES, MIP1α, and MIP-1β. In contrast, CD4+ clones from AIDS patients produced no RANTES and little or no MIP-1α or MIP-1β. The infection of CD4+ clones with the NSI HIV-1 strain ADA revealed an inverse correlation to β-chemokine production; clones from nonprogressors were poorly susceptible to ADA replication, but clones from AIDS patients were highly infectable. The resistance to ADA infection in CD4+ clones from nonprogressors could be partially reversed by treatment with anti-β-chemokine antibodies. These results indicate that CD4+ cells can be protected against NSI-HIV-1 infection in culture through endogenously produced factors, including β-chemokines, and that β-chemokine production by CD4+, but not CD8+, T cells may constitute one mechanism of disease-free survival for HIV-1-infected individuals.
The roles of Type I interferon (IFN) in human immunodeficiency virus Type 1 (HIV-1) neuropathogenesis are poorly understood; both protective and deleterious effects of IFN signaling have been described. We used genetically modified mice deficient in the Type I IFN receptor (IFNRKO) to analyze the progress of HIV-1 brain infection and neuropathogenesis in the absence of IFN signaling. IFNRKO and wild-type (WT) mice on the 129xSv/Ev or C57BL/6 strain backgrounds were infected systemically with EcoHIV, a chimeric HIV-1 that productively infects mice. IFNRKO mice showed higher HIV-1 expression in spleen and peritoneal macrophages and greater virus infiltration into the brain compared to WT mice. Neuropathogenesis was studied by histopathological, immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence, and polymerase chain reaction analyses of brain tissues after the virus was inoculated into the brain by stereotaxic intracerebral injection. Both IFNRKO and WT mice showed readily detectable HIV-1 and brain lesions, including microglial activation, astrocytosis, and increased expression of genes coding for inflammatory cytokines and chemokines typical of human HIV-1 brain disease. Parameters of HIV-1 neuropathogenesis, including HIV-1 expression in microglia/macrophages, were significantly greater in IFNRKO than in WT mice. Our results show unequivocally that Type I IFN signaling and responses limit HIV-1 infection and pathogenesis in the brains of mice.
HIV-1; Interferon α/β receptor; IFN signaling; Neuropathogenesis; Receptor knockout mice; Stereotaxic injection; Type I interferon
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has reduced morbidity and mortality in HIV-1 infection; however HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) persist despite treatment. The reasons for the limited efficacy of ART in the brain are unknown. Here we used functional genomics to determine ART effectiveness in the brain and to identify molecular signatures of HAND under ART. We performed genome-wide microarray analysis using Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 Arrays, real-time PCR, and immunohistochemistry in brain tissues from seven treated and eight untreated HAND patients and six uninfected controls. We also determined brain virus burdens by real-time PCR. Treated and untreated HAND brains had distinct gene expression profiles with ART transcriptomes clustering with HIV-1-negative controls. The molecular disease profile of untreated HAND showed dysregulated expression of 1470 genes at p<0.05, with activation of antiviral and immune responses and suppression of synaptic transmission and neurogenesis. The overall brain transcriptome changes in these patients were independent of histological manifestation of HIV-1 encephalitis and brain virus burdens. Depending on treatment compliance, brain transcriptomes from patients on ART had 83% to 93% fewer dysregulated genes and significantly lower dysregulation of biological pathways compared to untreated patients, with particular improvement indicated for nervous system functions. However a core of about 100 genes remained similarly dysregulated in both treated and untreated patient brain tissues. These genes participate in adaptive immune responses, and in interferon, cell cycle, and myelin pathways. Fluctuations of cellular gene expression in the brain correlated in Pearson's formula analysis with plasma but not brain virus burden. Our results define for the first time an aberrant genome-wide brain transcriptome of untreated HAND and they suggest that antiretroviral treatment can be broadly effective in reducing pathophysiological changes in the brain associated with HAND. Aberrantly expressed transcripts common to untreated and treated HAND may contribute to neurocognitive changes defying ART.
HAND is a common complication of HIV-1 infection in the nervous system presenting a varied spectrum of clinical manifestations with cognitive, motor and behavioral symptoms. Introduction of ART has greatly reduced morbidity and mortality in HIV-1 infection; however HAND persists and its overall prevalence appears to have increased despite treatment. The effects of the treatment on neurological disease are not well understood. Here, we used genomic analysis to compare gene expression profiles in brain tissues from treated and untreated patients who died with HAND. We identified a large number of genes and biological pathways dysregulated in untreated HAND compared with uninfected controls. ART appears to be effective in mitigating aberrant gene expression in brain tissues of patients with HAND but a fraction of genes remained dysregulated under ART and the patients continued to manifest HAND in the last evaluation prior to death. Our study provides new insights into the molecular changes in brain tissues of patients with HAND and the effect of the treatment on brain transcriptome. The identification of aberrantly expressed genes common to untreated and treated HAND may contribute to understand the neurocognitive impairment observed in patients under ART.