Long-term protection against Toxoplasma gondii is dependent on robust CD8+ T cell immunity. In the absence of this response, the host is unable to maintain chronicity, which results in recrudescence of infection and possible death. Factors needed for the persistence of protective CD8+ T cells against the parasite need to be evaluated. Previous studies from our laboratory have reported that synergism between γ chain cytokines like IL-7 and IL-15 is critical for the generation of CD8+ T cell response needed for protection during acute infection. In this study we report that the situation is different during the recall response where CD8+ T cell response is almost entirely dependent on IL-15, with IL-7 at best playing a minor role. In the absence of IL-15, CD8+ T cells fail to respond optimally to parasitic re-challenge and hosts are unable to control their replication, which leads to their death. Thus T. gondii infection may represent a unique situation where CD8+ T cell response during secondary challenge is primarily dependent on IL-15 with other γ chain cytokines having nominal effect. These findings provide important information regarding factors involved in the generation of protective immunity against T.gondii with strong implications in developing immunotherapeutic agents against the pathogen.
Toxoplasma gondii; CD8+ T cells; IL-15; IL-7
Protozoan parasites cause severe morbidity and mortality in humans worldwide, especially in developing countries where access to chemotherapeutic agents is limited. Although parasites initially evoke a robust immune response, subsequent immunity fails to clear infection, ultimately leading to the chronic stage. This enigmatic situation was initially addressed in chronic viral models, where T cells lose their function, a phenomenon referred to as ’exhaustion‘. However, recent studies demonstrate that this paradigm can be extended to protozoan diseases as well, albeit with notable differences. These studies have revealed that T cell responses generated against Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium sp. and Leishmania sp. can become dysfunctional. This Review discusses T cell exhaustion in parasitic infection, mechanisms of development, and a possible role in disease outcome.
protozoan; exhaustion; parasite; Toxoplasma; Leishmania; Plasmodium; T cell
We reported earlier that during chronic toxoplasmosis CD8+ T cells become functionally exhausted with concomitant PD-1 upregulation, leading to eventual host mortality. However, how immune exhaustion specifically mediates attrition of CD8 polyfunctionality, a hallmark of potent T-cell response, during persistent infections has not been addressed. In this study, we demonstrate that PD-1 is preferentially expressed on polyfunctional memory CD8+ T cells, which renders them susceptible to apoptosis. In vitro blockade of the PD-1–PD-L1 pathway dramatically reduces apoptosis of polyfunctional and interferon γ+/granzyme B− memory but not effector CD8+ T cells. In summary, the present report underscores the critical role of the PD-1–PD-L1 pathway in mediating attrition of this important CD8+ T-cell subset and addresses the mechanistic basis of how αPD-L1 therapy reinvigorates polyfunctional CD8 response during chronic infections. The conclusions of this study can have profound immunotherapeutic implications in combating recrudescent toxoplasmosis as well other chronic infections.
The molecule of the title compound, C16H13BrO3, is built of two approximately planar fragments, viz. 3-bromobenzoate [maximum deviation = 0.055 (2) Å and 2-oxo-2-p-tolylethyl [maximum deviation = 0.042 (2) Å], inclined by 46.51 (7)°. In the crystal, weak C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds and Br⋯Br contacts [3.6491 (7) Å] connect the molecules into infinite layers parallel to (-221).
Questions remain about whether inflammation is a cause, consequence, or coincidence of aging. The purpose of this study was to define baseline immunological characteristics from blood to develop a model in rhesus macaques that could be used to address the relationship between inflammation and aging. Hematology, flow cytometry, clinical chemistry, and multiplex cytokine/chemokine analyses were performed on a group of 101 outdoor-housed captive rhesus macaques ranging from 2 to 24 years of age, approximately equivalent to 8 to 77 years of age in humans.
These results extend earlier reports correlating changes in lymphocyte subpopulations and cytokines/chemokines with increasing age. There were significant declines in numbers of white blood cells (WBC) overall, as well as lymphocytes, monocytes, and polymorphonuclear cells with increasing age. Among lymphocytes, there were no significant declines in NK cells and T cells, whereas B cell numbers exhibited significant declines with age. Within the T cell populations, there were significant declines in numbers of CD4+ naïve T cells and CD8+ naïve T cells. Conversely, numbers of CD4+CD8+ effector memory and CD8+effector memory T cells increased with age. New multiplex analyses revealed that concentrations of a panel of ten circulating cytokines/chemokines, IFNγ, IL1b, IL6, IL12, IL15, TNFα, MCP1, MIP1α, IL1ra, and IL4, each significantly correlated with age and also exhibited concordant pairwise correlations with every other factor within this group. To also control for outlier values, mean rank values of each of these cytokine concentrations in relation to age of each animal and these also correlated with age.
A panel of ten cytokines/chemokines were identified that correlated with aging and also with each other. This will permit selection of animals exhibiting relatively higher and lower inflammation status as a model to test mechanisms of inflammation status in aging with susceptibility to infections and vaccine efficacy.
Inflammation; Inflamm-aging; Cytokine; Chemokine; Multiplex; Rhesus macaque; Aging; Animal model; Immune senescence; Blood
CD8 exhaustion mediated by inhibitory PD-1-PD-L1 pathway occurs in several chronic infections including toxoplasmosis. While blockade of PD-1-PD-L1 pathway revives this response, the role of co-stimulatory receptors involved in this rescue has not been ascertained in any model of CD8 exhaustion. This is the first report which demonstrates that one such co-stimulatory pathway, CD40-CD40L, plays a critical role during rescue of exhausted CD8 T cells. Blockade of this pathway abrogates the ameliorative effects of αPD-L1 treatment on CD8 T cells. Additionally, this is the first report which demonstrates, in an infectious disease model, that CD8 intrinsic CD40 signaling is important for optimal CD8 polyfunctionality, proliferation, T-bet upregulation and IL-21 signaling, albeit in the context of CD8 rescue. The critical role of CD40 during the rescue of exhausted CD8 T cells may provide a rational basis for designing novel therapeutic vaccination approaches.
Encephalitozoon cuniculi (Phylum Microsporidia) infects a wide range of mammals, and replicates within resting macrophages. Activated macrophages, conversely, inhibit replication and destroy intracellular organisms. These studies were performed to assess mechanisms of innate immune responses expressed by macrophages to control E. cuniculi infection. Addition of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species inhibitors to activated murine peritoneal macrophages statistically significantly, rescued E. cuniculi infection ex vivo. Mice deficient in reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, or both survived ip inoculation of E. cuniculi, but carried significantly higher peritoneal parasite burdens than wild-type mice at 1 and 2 weeks post inoculation. Infected peritoneal macrophages could still be identified 4 weeks post inoculation in mice deficient in reactive nitrogen species. L-tryptophan supplementation of activated murine peritoneal macrophage cultures ex vivo failed to rescue microsporidia infection. Addition of ferric citrate to supplement iron, however, did significantly rescue E. cuniculi infection in activated macrophages and further increased parasite replication in non-activated macrophages over non-treated resting control macrophages. These results demonstrate the contribution of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, as well as iron sequestration, to innate immune responses expressed by macrophages to control E. cuniculi infection.
Microsporidia; parasites; parasite–host interactions; innate immunity; reactive nitrogen species; reactive oxygen species; peritoneal macrophages
Diarrhea is a worldwide problem facing both developing countries and developed countries, especially in pediatric population. Because of shortage of health facilities and lack of good food in developing countries, it is known fact that developing countries are facing this death taking problem more. The main purpose of this study was to examine the various factors which affect the recovery time of diarrhea. A multiple linear regression was applied to analyze the data and to select a model. The response variable for the study was the recovery time of diarrhea. The results of the analysis show that the Zinc is the main factor which affect the recovery time in Peshawar.
Diarrhea; Zinc; Multiple Regression; Sex.
Microsporidiosis poses a problem for immunocompromised individuals including patients with HIV infection as well as those with organ transplantation. Recent reports from Africa have suggested that microsporidiosis with diarrhea is an independent risk factor for malnutrition in children. Previous studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that CD8+ T cells are an essential component of protective immunity against the microsporidium Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Mutant mice lacking this T cell subset or cytotoxic function are unable to clear the infection and ultimately succumb to the disease. However, information regarding the antigens involved in the elicitation of CD8+ T cell response is not available. In this study, we report that immunization of animals with Encephalitozoon hellem polar tube protein 1 (rEhPTP1) induces a strong T cell response in vaccinated animals. Splenic dendritic cells pulsed with rEhPTP1 are able to induce E. cuniculi specific CD8+ T cell response with no effect on the CD4+ T cell subset. This is the first report identifying a protein capable of inducing CD8+ T cell immunity, which is conserved in other microsporidial species of human importance.
Microsporidia; T cells; Immunization
Injection drug users (IDUs) are considered as a high risk group to develop hepatitis C due to needle sharing. In this study we have examined 200 injection drug users from various regions of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for the prevalence of active HCV infection and HCV genotypes by Immunochromatographic assays, RT-PCR and Type-specific PCR. Our results indicated that 24% of the IDUs were actively infected with HCV while anti HCV was detected among 31.5% cases. Prevalent HCV genotypes were HCV 2a, 3a, 4 and 1a. Majority of the IDUs were married and had attained primary or middle school education. 95% of the IDUs had a previous history of needle sharing. Our study indicates that the rate of active HCV infection among the IDUs is higher with comparatively more prevalence of the rarely found HCV types in KPK. The predominant mode of HCV transmission turned out to be needle sharing among the IDUs.
IDUs; HCV; Genotype; RT-PCR; KPK
Age associated impairment of immune function results in inefficient vaccination, tumor surveillance and increased severity of infections. Several alterations in adaptive immunity have been observed and recent studies report age related declines in innate immune responses to opportunistic pathogens including Encephalitozoon cuniculi. We previously demonstrated that conventional dendritic cells (cDC) from 9-month-old animals exhibit sub-optimal response to E. cuniculi infection, suggesting that age associated immune senescence begins earlier than expected. We focused this study on how age affects plasmacytoid DC (pDC) function. More specifically how aged pDC affect cDC function as we observed that the latter are the predominant activators of CD8 T cells during this infection. Our present study demonstrates that pDC from middle-aged mice (12 months) suppress young (8 week old) cDC driven CD8 T cell priming against E. cuniculi infection. The suppressive effect of pDC from older mice decreased maturation of young cDC via cell contact. Aged mouse pDC exhibited higher expression of PD-L1 and blockade of their interaction with cDC via this molecule restored cDC maturation and T cell priming. Furthermore, the PD-L1 dependent suppression of cDC T cell priming was restricted to effector function of antigen-specific CD8 T cells not their expansion. To the best of our knowledge, the data presented here is the first report highlighting a cell contact dependent, PD-L1 regulated, age associated defect in a DC subpopulation that results in a sub-optimal immune response against E. cuniculi infection. These results have broad implications for design of immunotherapeutic approaches to enhance immunity for aging populations.
The importance of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) in immunoprotection against orally acquired pathogens is being increasingly recognized. Recent studies have demonstrated that Ag-specific IEL can be generated and can provide an important first line of defense against pathogens acquired via oral route. However, the mechanism involved in priming of IEL remains elusive. Our current study, using a microsporidial model of infection, demonstrates that priming of IEL is dependent on IFN-γ-producing dendritic cells (DC) from mucosal sites. DC from mice lacking the IFN-γ gene are unable to prime IEL, resulting in failure of these cells to proliferate and lyse pathogen-infected targets. Also, treatment of wild-type DC from Peyer’s patches with Ab to IFN-γ abrogates their ability to prime an IEL response against Encephalitozoon cuniculi in vitro. Moreover, when incubated with activated DC from IFN-γ knockout mice, splenic CD8+ T cells are not primed efficiently and exhibit reduced ability to home to the gut compartment. These data strongly suggest that IFN-γ-producing DC from mucosal sites play an important role in the generation of an Ag-specific IEL response in the small intestine. To our knowledge, this report is the first demonstrating a role for IFN-γ-producing DC from Peyer’s patches in the development of Ag-specific IEL population and their trafficking to the gut epithelium.
Microsporidia are obligate intracellular parasites, which can cause complications in immunocompromised individuals. Very little is known about the host immune response generated against these infectious agents. Encephalitozoon cuniculi is the best studied microsporidian and the protective immune response against this parasite is mediated by cytotoxic CD8+ T cells.
CD8 T cells are essential for control of Toxoplasma gondii infection. Once activated they undergo differentiation into short-lived effector and memory precursor effector cells. As effector cells, CD8 T cells exert immune pressure on the parasite via production of inflammatory cytokines and through their cytolytic activity. Once immune control has been established, the parasite encysts and develops into chronic infection regulated by the memory CD8 T-cell population. Several signals are needed for this process to be initiated and for development of fully differentiated memory CD8 T cells. With newly developed tools including CD8 T-cell tetramers and TCR transgenic mice, dissecting the biology behind T. gondii-specific CD8 T-cell responses can now be more effectively addressed. In this paper, we discuss what is known about the signals required for effective T. gondii-specific CD8 T-cell development, their differentiation, and effector function.
Encephalitozoon cuniculi continues to pose a problem for immunocompromised patients. Previous studies from our laboratory have elucidated the importance of the CD8+ T cell subset in the protection against systemic parasite infection. There have been no studies related to the mucosal immunity induced against this orally acquired pathogen. In the present study, the immune response generated in the gut after oral E. cuniculi infection was evaluated. An early and rapid increase of the intraepithelial lymphocyte (IEL) population of orally infected animals was observed. This increase in the IEL population started as early as day 3 and peaked at day 7 postinfection with persistent elevation thereafter. At day 7 postinfection, IELs expressed strong cytokine messages (IFN-γ and IL-10) and were highly cytotoxic for parasite-infected syngeneic macrophages. At an E:T ratio of 80:1, these cells were able to cause >60% Ag-specific target cell lysis. A significant increase in the CD8αα subset of IEL in response to an oral E. cuniculi infection was observed. To the best of our knowledge, such an early expansion of an IEL population exhibiting strong ex vivo cytotoxicity has not been reported with infectious models. These data suggest that IELs act as important barriers for multiplication of this organism leading to the successful resolution of infection. The protective role of IELs may be due both to their inflammatory (IFN-γ production and cytotoxic response) as well as immunoregulatory (IL-10 production) properties.
CD8+ T-cell immunity has been shown to play an important role in the protective immune response against Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Although earlier studies suggest that dendritic cells (DC) are important for the induction of this response, the factors responsible for initiation of the dendritic cell response against this pathogen have not been evaluated. In the current study, we demonstrate that E. cuniculi infection causes strong Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-dependent dendritic cell activation and a blockade of this molecule reduces the ability of DC to prime an antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell response. Pretreatment of DC with anti-TLR4 antibody causes a defect in both in vitro and in vivo CD8+ T-cell priming. These findings, for the first time, emphasize the contribution of TLR4 in the induction of CD8+ T-cell immunity against E. cuniculi infection.
A CD8+ T-cell response is critical for protection against Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection. However, the factors responsible for the generation of CD8+ T-cell immunity during E. cuniculi infection and the cytokines involved in this process have not been identified. In the present study, we demonstrated that p40-deficient animals, which are unable to produce interleukin-12 (IL-12), have a serious defect in expansion of the CD8+ T-cell response which compromises the survival of an infected host. Adoptive transfer of CD8+ T cells from immunocompetent donors protected SCID mice infected with E. cuniculi, whereas administration of CD8+ T cells from p40−/− mice failed to protect infected SCID mice. In vitro dendritic cell (DC) cultures from knockout mice pulsed with E. cuniculi spores were unable to develop a robust CD8+ T-cell immune response. Addition of exogenous IL-12 or transfer of CD8+ T cells that were initially primed with DC from p40−/− animals to DC cultures from immunocompetent mice (directly or via transwells) led to optimal expansion of these cells. This IL-12-mediated reinstatement of CD8+ T-effector immunity was independent of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) as addition of antibody to the cultures failed to have an effect. These studies demonstrated that IL-12 plays a predominant role in the expansion of effector CD8+ T-cell immunity against E. cuniculi, which is critical for host survival. These findings are very important for understanding the protective immune mechanisms needed to protect an immunocompromised host against an opportunistic infection and can be extended to other microsporidial pathogens.
CD8+ T cells play an essential role in the protection against both acute as well as chronic Toxoplasma gondii infection. Although the role of IL-15 has been reported to be important for the development of long-term CD8+ T cell immunity against the pathogen, the simultaneous roles played by both IL-15 and related γ-chain family cytokine IL-7 in the generation of this response during acute phase of infection has not been described. We demonstrate that while lack of IL-7 or IL-15 alone has minimal impact on splenic CD8+ T cell maturation or effector function development during acute Toxoplasmosis, absence of both IL-7 and IL-15 only in the context of infection severely down-regulates the development of a potent CD8+ T cell response. This impairment is characterized by reduction in CD44 expression, IFN-γ production, proliferation and cytotoxicity. However, attenuated maturation and decreased effector functions in these mice are essentially downstream consequences of reduced number of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. Interestingly, the absence of both cytokines did not impair initial CD8+ T cell generation but affected their survival and differentiation into memory phenotype IL-7Rαhi cells. Significantly lack of both cytokines severely affected expression of Bcl-2, an anti-apoptotic protein, but minimally affected proliferation. The overarching role played by these cytokines in eliciting a potent CD8+ T cell immunity against T. gondii infection is further evidenced by poor survival and high parasite burden in anti IL-7 treated IL-15−/− mice. These studies demonstrate that the two cytokines, IL-7 and IL-15, are exclusively important for the development of protective CD8+ T cell immune response against T. gondii. To the best of our knowledge this synergism between IL-7 and IL-15 in generating an optimal CD8+ T cell immunity against intracellular parasite or any other infectious disease model has not been previously reported.
The genus Musa is a large species complex which includes cultivars at diploid and triploid levels. These sterile and vegetatively propagated cultivars are based on the A genome from Musa acuminata, exclusively for sweet bananas such as Cavendish, or associated with the B genome (Musa balbisiana) in cooking bananas such as Plantain varieties. In M. acuminata cultivars, structural heterozygosity is thought to be one of the main causes of sterility, which is essential for obtaining seedless fruits but hampers breeding. Only partial genetic maps are presently available due to chromosomal rearrangements within the parents of the mapping populations. This causes large segregation distortions inducing pseudo-linkages and difficulties in ordering markers in the linkage groups. The present study aims at producing a saturated linkage map of M. acuminata, taking into account hypotheses on the structural heterozygosity of the parents.
An F1 progeny of 180 individuals was obtained from a cross between two genetically distant accessions of M. acuminata, 'Borneo' and 'Pisang Lilin' (P. Lilin). Based on the gametic recombination of each parent, two parental maps composed of SSR and DArT markers were established. A significant proportion of the markers (21.7%) deviated (p < 0.05) from the expected Mendelian ratios. These skewed markers were distributed in different linkage groups for each parent. To solve some complex ordering of the markers on linkage groups, we associated tools such as tree-like graphic representations, recombination frequency statistics and cytogenetical studies to identify structural rearrangements and build parsimonious linkage group order. An illustration of such an approach is given for the P. Lilin parent.
We propose a synthetic map with 11 linkage groups containing 489 markers (167 SSRs and 322 DArTs) covering 1197 cM. This first saturated map is proposed as a "reference Musa map" for further analyses. We also propose two complete parental maps with interpretations of structural rearrangements localized on the linkage groups. The structural heterozygosity in P. Lilin is hypothesized to result from a duplication likely accompanied by an inversion on another chromosome. This paper also illustrates a methodological approach, transferable to other species, to investigate the mapping of structural rearrangements and determine their consequences on marker segregation.
Down-regulation of immune response in aging individuals puts this population at a potential risk against infectious agents. In-depth studies conducted in humans and mouse models have demonstrated that with increasing age, T cell immune response against pathogens is compromised and response to vaccinations is subdued. In the present study, using a mouse model, we demonstrate that older animals exhibit greater susceptibility to Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection, and their ability to evoke an antigen-specific T cell response at the gut mucosal site is reduced. The dampening of T cell immunity was due to the defective priming by the dendritic cells (DC) isolated from the mucosal tissues of aging animals. When primed with DC from younger mice, T cells from older animals were able to exhibit optimal antigen-specific response. The functional defect in DC from older mice can be attributed to large extent to reduced IL-15 message in these cells, which can be reversed by addition of exogenous IL-15 to the cultures. IL-15 treatment led to optimal expression of co-stimulatory molecules (CD80 and CD86) on the surface of older DC and restored their ability to prime a T cell response against the pathogen. To our knowledge, this is the first report, which demonstrates the inability of DC population from aging animals to prime a robust T cell response against an infectious agent. Moreover, the observation that IL-15 treatment can reverse this defect has far reaching implications in developing strategies to increase vaccination protocols for aging population.
Dendritic cells; mucosa; microsporidia; IL-15; CTL
CD8+ T-cell immunity is important for long-term protection against Toxoplasma gondii infection. However, a Th1 cytokine environment, especially the presence of gamma interferon (IFN-γ), is essential for the development of primary CD8+ T-cell immunity against this obligate intracellular pathogen. Earlier studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that mice lacking optimal IFN-γ levels fail to develop robust CD8+ T-cell immunity against T. gondii. In the present study, induction of primary CD8+ T-cell immune response against T. gondii infection was evaluated in mice infected earlier with Heligmosomoides polygyrus, a gastrointestinal worm known to evoke a polarized Th2 response in the host. In the early stage of T. gondii infection, both CD4 and CD8+ T-cell responses against the parasite were suppressed in the dually infected mice. At the later stages, however, T. gondii-specific CD4+ T-cell immunity recovered, while CD8+ T-cell responses remained low. Unlike in mice infected with T. gondii alone, depletion of CD4+ T cells in the dually infected mice led to reactivation of chronic infection, leading to Toxoplasma-related encephalitis. Our observations strongly suggest that prior infection with a Th2 cytokine-polarizing pathogen can inhibit the development of CD8+ T-cell immune response against T. gondii, thus compromising long-term protection against a protozoan parasite. This is the first study to examine the generation of CD8+ T-cell immune response in a parasitic nematode and protozoan coinfection model that has important implications for infections where a CD8+ T-cell response is critical for host protection and reduced infection pathology.
We recently showed that the pyridinylimidazoles SB203580 and SB202190, drugs designed to block human p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation, also inhibited replication of the medically important intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii in cultured human fibroblasts through a direct effect on the parasite. We now show that additional pyridinylimidazole and imidazopyrimidine p38 MAPK inhibitors inhibit intracellular T. gondii replication in vitro and protect mice against fatal T. gondii infection. Mice surviving infection following treatment with p38 MAPK inhibitors were resistant to subsequent T. gondii challenge, demonstrating induction of protective immunity. Thus, drugs originally developed to block human p38 MAPK activation are useful for treating T. gondii infection without inducing significant immunosuppression. MAPK inhibitors combined with either of the approved anti-Toxoplasma drugs sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine resulted in improved survival among mice challenged with a fatal T. gondii inoculum. A MAPK inhibitor also treated mice infected with the Microsporidium parasite Encephalitozoon cuniculi, suggesting that MAPK inhibitors represent a novel class of agents that may have a broad spectrum of antiparasitic activity. Preliminary studies implicate a T. gondii MAPK homologue as the target of drug action, suggesting possibilities for more-selective agents.