The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
BACKGROUND - Severe myocarditis associated with electrical conduction abnormalities and occasionally heart failure has been well documented following treatment with immune checkpoint blockade with an estimated incidence of less than 1%. However, the incidence, early detection, and management of less severe immune-related myocarditis are unknown since most immunotherapy trials have not included routine cardiac monitoring. Herein, we provide the first description of subclinical or smoldering myocarditis with minimal signs and symptoms following immune checkpoint blockade with a single dose of ipilimumab and nivolumab.
CASE PRESENTATION - Our patient was diagnosed with immune checkpoint blockade-induced myocarditis based upon an acute rise in serum cardiac troponin I beginning 2 weeks after the initial dose of ipilimumab/nivolumab consistent with the reported median onset of clinical myocarditis at 17 days, as well as a lack of other causes despite extensive cardiac evaluation. The patient initially presented with intractable nausea with no known gastrointestinal etiology. High dose glucocorticoid therapy led to rapid resolution of nausea and a four-fold decrease in troponin I over 4 days. Serum troponin I spiked again following a steroid taper to 13 times the upper limit of normal with endomyocardial biopsy revealing collagen fibrosis and lymphocytic inflammation predominantly comprised of CD8+ T cells consistent with chronic smoldering myocarditis. Serum anti-striated muscle antibodies were also detected with no evidence of rhabdomyolysis. Serum cardiac troponin I levels as an indicator of ongoing myocyte damage gradually improved with chronic prednisone at 10 mg daily. Late addition of intravenous immunoglobulin was associated with rapid normalization of creatine kinase-myocardial band.
CONCLUSIONS - This case demonstrates that subclinical, smoldering myocarditis may occur following immune checkpoint blockade, with evidence of both humoral and cell-mediated immunity responsive to corticosteroid therapy. This experience supports early monitoring for myocarditis with serial electrocardiograms and serum troponin I determinations in large, prospective cohorts of patients receiving combination immune checkpoint blockade as early detection and initiation of immunosuppression may forestall fulminant presentation of this disease and limit myocardial damage.
Metastatic breast cancers continue to elude current therapeutic strategies, including those utilizing PI3K inhibitors. Given the prominent role of PI3Kα,β in tumor growth and PI3Kγ,δ in immune cell function, we sought to determine whether PI3K inhibition altered antitumor immunity. The effect of PI3K inhibition on tumor growth, metastasis, and antitumor immune response was characterized in mouse models utilizing orthotopic implants of 4T1 or PyMT mammary tumors into syngeneic or -null mice, and patient-derived breast cancer xenografts in humanized mice. Tumor-infiltrating leukocytes were characterized by IHC and FACS analysis in BKM120 (30 mg/kg, every day) or vehicle-treated mice and versus mice. On the basis of the finding that PI3K inhibition resulted in a more inflammatory tumor leukocyte infiltrate, the therapeutic efficacy of BKM120 (30 mg/kg, every day) and anti-PD1 (100 μg, twice weekly) was evaluated in PyMT tumor-bearing mice. Our findings show that PI3K activity facilitates tumor growth and surprisingly restrains tumor immune surveillance. These activities could be partially suppressed by BKM120 or by genetic deletion of in the host. The antitumor effect of loss in host, but not tumor, was partially reversed by CD8 T-cell depletion. Treatment with therapeutic doses of both BKM120 and antibody to PD-1 resulted in consistent inhibition of tumor growth compared with either agent alone. PI3K inhibition slows tumor growth, enhances antitumor immunity, and heightens susceptibility to immune checkpoint inhibitors. We propose that combining PI3K inhibition with anti-PD1 may be a viable therapeutic approach for triple-negative breast cancer. .
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.
RATIONALE - Inflammation and adaptive immunity play a crucial role in the development of hypertension. Angiotensin II and probably other hypertensive stimuli activate the central nervous system and promote T-cell activation and end-organ damage in peripheral tissues.
OBJECTIVE - To determine if renal sympathetic nerves mediate renal inflammation and T-cell activation in hypertension.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Bilateral renal denervation using phenol application to the renal arteries reduced renal norepinephrine levels and blunted angiotensin II-induced hypertension. Bilateral renal denervation also reduced inflammation, as reflected by decreased accumulation of total leukocytes, T cells, and both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the kidney. This was associated with a marked reduction in renal fibrosis, albuminuria, and nephrinuria. Unilateral renal denervation, which partly attenuated blood pressure, only reduced inflammation in the denervated kidney, suggesting that this effect is pressure independent. Angiotensin II also increased immunogenic isoketal-protein adducts in renal dendritic cells (DCs) and increased surface expression of costimulation markers and production of interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, and IL-6 from splenic DCs. Norepinephrine also dose dependently stimulated isoketal formation in cultured DCs. Adoptive transfer of splenic DCs from angiotensin II-treated mice primed T-cell activation and hypertension in recipient mice. Renal denervation prevented these effects of hypertension on DCs. In contrast to these beneficial effects of ablating all renal nerves, renal afferent disruption with capsaicin had no effect on blood pressure or renal inflammation.
CONCLUSIONS - Renal sympathetic nerves contribute to DC activation, subsequent T-cell infiltration and end-organ damage in the kidney in the development of hypertension.
© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2, Tnfrsf1b) regulates multiple aspects of immune function, but little is known about its role in the immunopathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We investigated whether TNFR2 restricts the activity of specific immune cell subtypes to protect against the development of colitis in mice.
METHODS - Tnfr2(-/-) mice were crossed with interleukin (Il) 10(-/-) mice, which spontaneously develop colitis, to generate Il10(-/-)Tnfr2(-/-) mice. Colonic tissues were collected from Il10(-/-)Tnfr2(-/-) mice along with Il10(-/-) mice (controls) and analyzed by flow cytometry and histology. Bone marrow was transplanted into Il10(-/-) and Il10(-/-)Tnfr2(-/-) mice from Il10(-/-) or Il10(-/-)Tnfr2(-/-) donors by intravenous injection. CD8(+) T cells were neutralized in Il10(-/-)Tnfr2(-/-) mice by intraperitoneal injection of anti-CD8 or isotype control antibodies. Colitis was induced in Rag2(-/-) mice by intravenous injections of naïve CD8(+) T cells isolated from C57BL/6 or Tnfr2(-/-) mice.
RESULTS - Il10(-/-)Tnfr2(-/-) mice spontaneously developed more severe colitis compared with Il10(-/-) controls, characterized by selective expansion of colonic CD8(+) T cells. Transplantation of TNFR2-deficient bone marrow resulted in significantly increased incidence and severity of colitis. Transcriptome analyses showed that the expression of genes regulated by TNFR2 were specific to CD8(+) T cells and included genes associated with risk for IBD. Depletion of CD8(+) T cells from Il10(-/-)Tnfr2(-/-) mice prevented colonic inflammation. Adoptive transfer of TNFR2-null naïve CD8(+) T cells compared with CD8(+) T cells from control mice increased the severity of colitis that developed in Rag2(-/-) mice.
CONCLUSIONS - TNFR2 protects mice from colitis by inhibiting the expansion of colonic CD8(+) T cells. TNFR2 regulates expression of genes that regulate CD8(+) T cells and have been associated with susceptibility to IBD. Disruption in TNFR2 signaling might therefore be associated with pathogenesis. Strategies to increase levels or activity of TNFR2 and thereby reduce the activity of CD8(+) T cells might be developed to treat IBD patients with CD8(+) T cell dysfunction.
Copyright © 2015 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Visual prognosis after an open globe injury is typically worse than after a closed globe injury due, in part, to the immune response that ensues following open globe trauma. There is a need for an animal model of open globe injury in order to investigate mechanisms of vision loss and test potential therapeutics.
METHODS - The left eyes of DBA/2 J mice were exposed to an overpressure airwave blast. This strain lacks a fully functional ocular immune privilege, so even though the blast wave does not rupture the globe, immune infiltrate and neuroinflammation occurs as it would in an open globe injury. For the first month after blast wave exposure, the gross pathology, intraocular pressure, visual function, and retinal integrity of the blast-exposed eyes were monitored. Eyes were collected at three, seven, and 28 days to study the histology of the cornea, retina, and optic nerve, and perform immunohistochemical labeling with markers of cell death, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
RESULTS - The overpressure airwave caused anterior injuries including corneal edema, neovascularization, and hyphema. Immune infiltrate was detected throughout the eyes after blast wave exposure. Posterior injuries included occasional retinal detachments and epiretinal membranes, large retinal pigment epithelium vacuoles, regional photoreceptor cell death, and glial reactivity. Optic nerve degeneration was evident at 28 days post-blast wave exposure. The electroretinogram (ERG) showed an early deficit in the a wave that recovered over time. Both visual acuity and the ERG b wave showed an early decrease, then a transient improvement that was followed by further decline at 28 days post-blast wave exposure.
CONCLUSIONS - Ocular blast injury in the DBA/2 J mouse recapitulates damage that is characteristic of open globe injuries with the advantage of a physically intact globe that prevents complications from infection. The injury was more severe in DBA/2 J mice than in C57Bl/6 J mice, which have an intact ocular immune privilege. Early injury to the outer retina mostly recovers over time. In contrast, inner retinal dysfunction seems to drive later vision loss.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART) have long been associated with abnormalities in adipose tissue distribution and metabolism. More-recent evidence demonstrates that adipocytes and adipose-resident immune cells have a role in the response to HIV. Clinical and laboratory studies indicate that viral proteins and antiretroviral medications alter adipocyte biology to enhance the persistent, systemic inflammatory state characteristic of untreated and treated HIV infection. Relationships between body composition and lymphocyte populations, cellular immune activation, and immune reconstitution in HIV-infected individuals receiving ART suggest that adipose tissue may also affect cellular immune function. This is further supported by in vitro studies demonstrating the effect of adipocytes and adipokines on lymphocyte proliferation, differentiation, and activation. Synthesis of the literature on adipose tissue biology and immune function in uninfected individuals may shed light on major outstanding research questions in the HIV field.
Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in risk of respiratory illness. We determined whether serum vitamin D levels are related to influenza vaccine response measured by hemagglutination antibody inhibition (HAI) titer in adults aged ≥50 years old. The study was a prospective cohort study conducted over two influenza seasons (fall 2008-spring 2009 and fall 2009-spring 2010) in Marshfield, WI and Nashville, TN including 1103 community-dwelling adult volunteers ≥50 years of age. Pre-vaccination levels of serum vitamin D and HAI titer levels pre- and 21-28 days post-influenza vaccination were measured. Seroprotection was defined as HAI ≥40; seroconversion was defined as ≥4-fold rise in HAI titers from pre- to post-vaccination. More than 25% of participants were vitamin D deficient (<25ng/mL). Vitamin D measured as a continuous variable was not related to pre- or post-vaccination seroprotection or seroconversion for any vaccine strain in any year. Vitamin D deficiency was associated with a greater frequency of post-vaccination seroprotection for seasonal H1N1 in the first year of the study, but was not related to seroprotection or seroconversion for any other strain in either year. No consistent association was found between vitamin D levels or vitamin D deficiency and serologic response to influenza vaccination in older adults. Cell-mediated immune parameters should also be explored in order to further investigate possible relationships between micronutrient status and influenza vaccine response.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Numerous studies have suggested that an effective Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) vaccine must induce strong cytotoxic and IFN-γ+ T cell responses targeting the non-structural region of the virus. Most importantly, these responses must be able to migrate into and remain functional within the liver, an organ known to cause T cell tolerance. Using three novel HCV DNA vaccines encoding non-structural proteins NS4B, NS5A and NS5B, we assessed the ability of peripheral immunization to induce functional intrahepatic immunity both in the presence and absence of cognate HCV antigen expression within the liver. We have shown that these constructs induced potent HCV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in the spleen of C57BL/6 mice and that these responses were detected within the liver following peripheral immunization. Additionally, using a transfection method to express HCV antigen within the liver, we showed that intrahepatic HCV-specific T cells remained highly functional within the liver and retained the ability to become highly activated as evidenced by upregulation of IFN-γ and clearance of HCV protein expressing hepatocytes. Taken together, these findings suggest that peripheral immunization can induce potent HCV-specific T cell responses able to traffic to and function within the tolerant environment of the liver.