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.
The four dengue virus (DENV) serotypes are mosquito-borne flaviviruses responsible for dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. People exposed to DENV develop antibodies (Abs) that strongly neutralize the serotype responsible for infection. Historically, infection with DENV serotype 4 (DENV4) has been less common and less studied than infections with the other three serotypes. However, DENV4 has been responsible for recent large and sustained epidemics in Asia and Latin America. The neutralizing antibody responses and the epitopes targeted against DENV4 have not been characterized in human infection. In this study, we mapped and characterized epitopes on DENV4 recognized by neutralizing antibodies in people previously exposed to DENV4 infections or to a live attenuated DENV4 vaccine. To study the fine specificity of DENV4 neutralizing human antibodies, B cells from two people exposed to DENV4 were immortalized and screened to identify DENV-specific clones. Two human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that neutralized DENV4 were isolated, and their epitopes were finely mapped using recombinant viruses and alanine scan mutation array techniques. Both antibodies bound to quaternary structure epitopes near the hinge region between envelope protein domain I (EDI) and EDII. In parallel, to characterize the serum neutralizing antibody responses, convalescence-phase serum samples from people previously exposed to primary DENV4 natural infections or a monovalent DENV4 vaccine were analyzed. Natural infection and vaccination also induced serum-neutralizing antibodies that targeted similar epitope domains at the EDI/II hinge region. These studies defined a target of neutralizing antigenic site on DENV4 targeted by human antibodies following natural infection or vaccination. The four serotypes of dengue virus are the causative agents of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. People exposed to primary DENV infections develop long-term neutralizing antibody responses, but these principally recognize only the infecting serotype. An effective vaccine against dengue should elicit long-lasting protective antibody responses to all four serotypes simultaneously. We and others have defined antigenic sites on the envelope (E) protein of viruses of dengue virus serotypes 1, 2, and 3 targeted by human neutralizing antibodies. The epitopes on DENV4 E protein targeted by the human neutralizing antibodies and the mechanisms of serotype 4 neutralization are poorly understood. Here, we report the properties of human antibodies that neutralize dengue virus serotype 4. People exposed to serotype 4 infections or a live attenuated serotype 4 vaccine developed neutralizing antibodies that bound to similar sites on the viral E protein. These studies have provided a foundation for developing and evaluating DENV4 vaccines.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
Sepsis is defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by dysregulated host responses to infection (Third International Consensus definition for Sepsis and septic shock). Despite decades of research, sepsis remains the leading cause of death in intensive care units. More than 40 clinical trials, most of which have targeted the sepsis-associated pro-inflammatory response, have failed. Thus, antibiotics and fluid resuscitation remain the mainstays of supportive care and there is intense need to discover and develop novel, targeted therapies to treat sepsis. Both pre-clinical and clinical studies over the past decade demonstrate unequivocally that sepsis not only causes hyper-inflammation, but also leads to simultaneous adaptive immune system dysfunction and impaired antimicrobial immunity. Evidences for immunosuppression include immune cell depletion (T cells most affected), compromised T cell effector functions, T cell exhaustion, impaired antigen presentation, increased susceptibility to opportunistic nosocomial infections, dysregulated cytokine secretion, and reactivation of latent viruses. Therefore, targeting immunosuppression provides a logical approach to treat protracted sepsis. Numerous pre-clinical studies using immunomodulatory agents such as interleukin-7, anti-programmed cell death 1 antibody (anti-PD-1), anti-programmed cell death 1 ligand antibody (anti-PD-L1), and others have demonstrated reversal of T cell dysfunction and improved survival. Therefore, identifying immunosuppressed patients with the help of specific biomarkers and administering specific immunomodulators holds significant potential for sepsis therapy in the future. This review focusses on T cell dysfunction during sepsis and discusses the potential immunotherapeutic agents to boost T cell function during sepsis and improve host resistance to infection.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Histologic chorioamnionitis (HCA) is commonly associated with preterm birth and deleterious post-natal outcomes including sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis. Transcriptomic analysis has been used to uncover gene signatures that permit diagnosis and prognostication, show new therapeutic targets, and reveal mechanisms that underlie differential outcomes with other complex disease states in neonates such as sepsis.
AIMS - To define the transcriptomic and inflammatory protein response in peripheral blood among infants with exposure to histologic chorioamnionitis.
STUDY DESIGN - Prospective, observational study.
SUBJECTS - Uninfected preterm neonates retrospectively categorized based on placental pathology with no HCA exposure (n=18) or HCA exposure (n=15).
OUTCOMES MEASURES - We measured the transcriptomic and inflammatory mediator response in prospectively collected whole blood.
RESULTS - We found 488 significant (p<0.001), differentially expressed genes in whole blood samples among uninfected neonates with HCA exposure that collectively represented activated innate and adaptive immune cellular pathways and revealed a potential regulatory role for the pleotropic microRNA molecule miR-155. Differentially secreted plasma cytokines in patients with HCA exposure compared to patients without HCA included MCP-1, MPO, and MMP-9 (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS - Exposure to HCA distinctively activates the neonatal immune system in utero with potentially long-term health consequences.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Severely burned patients are highly susceptible to opportunistic infections and sepsis, owing to the loss of the protective skin barrier and immunological dysfunction. Interleukin-15 (IL-15) belongs to the IL-2 family of common gamma chain cytokines and stimulates the proliferation and activation of T (specifically memory CD8), NK and NKT cells. It has been shown to preserve T cell function and improve survival during cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis in mice. However, the therapeutic efficacy of IL-15 or IL-15 superagonist (SA) during infection after burn injury has not been evaluated. Moreover, very few, if any, studies have examined, in detail, the effect of burn injury and infection on the adaptive immune system. Thus, we examined the effect of burn and sepsis on adaptive immune cell populations and the effect of IL-15 SA treatment on the host response to infection.
METHODS - Mice were subjected to a 35% total body surface area burn, followed by wound infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In some experiments, IL-15 SA was administered after burn injury, but before infection. Leukocytes in spleen, liver and peritoneal cavity were characterized using flow cytometry. Bacterial clearance, organ injury and survival were also assessed.
RESULTS - Burn wound infection led to a significant decline in total white blood cell and lymphocyte counts and induced organ injury and sepsis. Burn injury caused decline in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the spleen, which was worsened by infection. IL-15 treatment inhibited this decline and significantly increased cell numbers and activation, as determined by CD69 expression, of CD4+, CD8+, B, NK and NKT cells in the spleen and liver after burn injury. However, IL-15 SA treatment failed to prevent burn wound sepsis-induced loss of CD4+, CD8+, B, NK and NKT cells and failed to improve bacterial clearance and survival.
CONCLUSION - Cutaneous burn injury and infection cause significant adaptive immune dysfunction. IL-15 SA does not augment host resistance to burn wound sepsis in mice despite inducing proliferation and activation of lymphocyte subsets.
Technological advances in next-generation DNA sequencing offer great potential to probe the human immune system. On 3 April 2015, leading immunologists and bioinformatics scientists met to consider how best to harness these advances for decoding the human immunome.
The spectrum of vascular inflammatory disease ranges from atherosclerosis and hypertension, widespread conditions affecting large proportions of the population, to the vasculitides, rare syndromes leading to fast and irreversible organ failure. Atherosclerosis progresses over decades, inevitably proceeding through multiple phases of disease and causes its major complications when the vessel wall lesion ruptures, giving rise to lumen-occlusive atherothrombosis. Vasculitides of medium and large arteries progress rapidly, causing tissue ischemia through lumen-occlusive intimal hyperplasia. In both disease entities, macrophages play a decisive role in pathogenesis, but function in the context of other immune cells that direct their differentiation and their functional commitments. In atherosclerosis, macrophages are involved in the removal of lipids and tissue debris and make a critical contribution to tissue damage and wall remodeling. In several of the vasculitides, macrophages contribute to granuloma formation, a microstructural platform optimizing macrophage-T-cell interactions, antigen containment and inflammatory amplification. By virtue of their versatility and plasticity, macrophages are able to promote a series of pathogenic functions, ranging from the release of cytokines and enzymes, the production of reactive oxygen species, presentation of antigen and secretion of tissue remodeling factors. However, as short-lived cells that lack memory, macrophages are also amendable to reprogramming, making them promising targets for anti-inflammatory interventions.
For >50 years, it has been recognized that immunity contributes to hypertension. Recent data have defined an important role of T cells and various T cell-derived cytokines in several models of experimental hypertension. These studies have shown that stimuli like angiotensin II, deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt, and excessive catecholamines lead to formation of effector like T cells that infiltrate the kidney and perivascular regions of both large arteries and arterioles. There is also accumulation of monocyte/macrophages in these regions. Cytokines released from these cells, including interleukin-17, interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factorα, and interleukin-6 promote both renal and vascular dysfunction and damage, leading to enhanced sodium retention and increased systemic vascular resistance. The renal effects of these cytokines remain to be fully defined, but include enhanced formation of angiotensinogen, increased sodium reabsorption, and increased renal fibrosis. Recent experiments have defined a link between oxidative stress and immune activation in hypertension. These have shown that hypertension is associated with formation of reactive oxygen species in dendritic cells that lead to formation of gamma ketoaldehydes, or isoketals. These rapidly adduct to protein lysines and are presented by dendritic cells as neoantigens that activate T cells and promote hypertension. Thus, cells of both the innate and adaptive immune system contribute to end-organ damage and dysfunction in hypertension. Therapeutic interventions to reduce activation of these cells may prove beneficial in reducing end-organ damage and preventing consequences of hypertension, including myocardial infarction, heart failure, renal failure, and stroke.
© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
Recent studies have emphasized a role of adaptive immunity, and particularly T cells, in the genesis of hypertension. We sought to determine the T-cell subtypes that contribute to hypertension and renal inflammation in angiotensin II-induced hypertension. Using T-cell receptor spectratyping to examine T-cell receptor usage, we demonstrated that CD8(+) cells, but not CD4(+) cells, in the kidney exhibited altered T-cell receptor transcript lengths in Vβ3, 8.1, and 17 families in response to angiotensin II-induced hypertension. Clonality was not observed in other organs. The hypertension caused by angiotensin II in CD4(-/-) and MHCII(-/-) mice was similar to that observed in wild-type mice, whereas CD8(-/-) mice and OT1xRAG-1(-/-) mice, which have only 1 T-cell receptor, exhibited a blunted hypertensive response to angiotensin II. Adoptive transfer of pan T cells and CD8(+) T cells but not CD4(+)/CD25(-) cells conferred hypertension to RAG-1(-/-) mice. In contrast, transfer of CD4(+)/CD25(+) cells to wild-type mice receiving angiotensin II decreased blood pressure. Mice treated with angiotensin II exhibited increased numbers of kidney CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. In response to a sodium/volume challenge, wild-type and CD4(-/-) mice infused with angiotensin II retained water and sodium, whereas CD8(-/-) mice did not. CD8(-/-) mice were also protected against angiotensin-induced endothelial dysfunction and vascular remodeling in the kidney. These data suggest that in the development of hypertension, an oligoclonal population of CD8(+) cells accumulates in the kidney and likely contributes to hypertension by contributing to sodium and volume retention and vascular rarefaction.
© 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.
Amphibians are suffering unprecedented global declines. A leading cause is the infectious disease chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Chytridiomycosis is a skin disease which disrupts transport of essential ions leading to death. Soluble factors produced by B. dendrobatidis impair amphibian and mammalian lymphocytes in vitro, but previous studies have not shown the effects of these inhibitory factors in vivo. To demonstrate in vivo inhibition of immunity by B. dendrobatidis, a modified delayed-type-hypersensitivity (DTH) protocol was developed to induce innate and adaptive inflammatory swelling in the feet of Xenopus laevis by injection of killed bacteria or phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Compared to previous protocols for PHA injection in amphibians, this method induced up to 20-fold greater inflammatory swelling. Using this new protocol, we measured DTH responses induced by killed bacteria or PHA in the presence of B. dendrobatidis supernatants. Swelling induced by single injection of PHA or killed bacteria was not significantly affected by B. dendrobatidis supernatants. However, swelling caused by a secondary injection of PHA, was significantly reduced by B. dendrobatidis supernatants. As previously described in vitro, factors from B. dendrobatidis appear to inhibit lymphocyte-mediated inflammatory swelling but not swelling caused by an inducer of innate leukocytes. This suggests that B. dendrobatidis is capable of inhibiting lymphocytes in a localized response to prevent adaptive immune responses in the skin. The modified protocol used to induce inflammatory swelling in the present study may be more effective than previous methods to investigate amphibian immune competence, particularly in nonmodel species.
Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Expression of molecules involved in lipid homeostasis such as the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) on antigen presenting cells (APCs) has been shown to enhance invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell function. However, the contribution to iNKT cell activation by other lipoprotein receptors with shared structural and ligand binding properties to the LDLr has not been described. In this study, we investigated whether a structurally related receptor to the LDLr, known as LDL receptor-related protein (LRP), plays a role in iNKT cell activation. We found that, unlike the LDLr which is highly expressed on all immune cells, the LRP was preferentially expressed at high levels on F4/80+ macrophages (MΦ). We also show that CD169+ MΦs, known to present antigen to iNKT cells, exhibited increased expression of LRP compared to CD169- MΦs. To test the contribution of MΦ LRP to iNKT cell activation we used a mouse model of MΦ LRP conditional knockout (LRP-cKO). LRP-cKO MΦs pulsed with glycolipid alpha-galactosylceramide (αGC) elicited normal IL-2 secretion by iNKT hybridoma and in vivo challenge of LRP-cKO mice led to normal IFN-γ, but blunted IL-4 response in both serum and intracellular expression by iNKT cells. Flow cytometric analyses show similar levels of MHC class-I like molecule CD1d on LRP-cKO MΦs and normal glycolipid uptake. Survey of the iNKT cell compartment in LRP-cKO mice revealed intact numbers and percentages and no homeostatic disruption as evidenced by the absence of programmed death-1 and Ly-49 surface receptors. Mixed bone marrow chimeras showed that the inability iNKT cells to make IL-4 is cell extrinsic and can be rescued in the presence of wild type APCs. Collectively, these data demonstrate that, although MΦ LRP may not be necessary for IFN-γ responses, it can contribute to iNKT cell activation by enhancing early IL-4 secretion.