Gene expression profile analysis of mouse whole spleen following infection by lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), comparing LCMV-Armstrong and LCMV-Clone 13 expression patterns at 0, 5, 9, and 30 days
ABSTRACT: To identify mechanisms behind immunosuppression during virus infections, we infected mice with LCMV-Armstrong and LCMV-Clone 13 expression patterns. LCMV-Armstrong induces a T-cell reaction that resolves infection within 8-10 days, while LCMV-Clone13 generates a persisten infection through immunosuppression. We used microarray to uncover splenic gene expression patterns specific to each LCMV infection at 5, 9, and 30 days C57BL6 mice, 6-10 weeks old, were infected with LCMV-Armstrong and LCMV-Clone 13 or left uninfected (naïve). At days 5, 9, and 30 whole spleens were harvested for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetric microarray.
Project description:CD4 and CD8 T cells display functional defects during chronic infection such as loss of certain cytokines. Recent studies have suggested that CD4 T cells may actually gain other functions, however. Here, we analyzed gene expression profiles from LCMV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells throughout the response to either acute LCMV or chronic LCMV infection. This alllowed us to identify CD4-specific changes during chronic infection compared to acute infection but also revealed shared core regulators between CD4 and CD8 T cells. LCMV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells were isolated 6, 8, 15 and 30 days post infection with LCMV Armstrong or LCMV clone 13. Naïve CD4 and CD8 T cells were also isolated from naïve mice as comparisons. Four replicates of each sample were hybridized. The only exception is LCMV-specific CD4 T cells isolated 6 days post infection with LCMV-Arm where only three replicates were hybridized.
Project description:Virus infections often result in quasispecies of viral strains that can have dramatic impacts on disease outcomes. However, sequencing of viruses to determine strain composition is time consuming and often cost-prohibitive. Rapid, cost-effective methods are needed for accurate measurement of virus diversity to understand virus evolution and can be useful for experimental systems.We have developed a novel molecular method for sequence-specific detection of RNA virus genetic variants called Tentacle Probes. The probes are modified molecular beacons that have dramatically improved false positive rates and specificity in routine qPCR. To validate this approach, we have designed Tentacle Probes for two different strains of Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) that differ by only 3 nucleotide substitutions, the parental Armstrong and the more virulent Clone-13 strain. One of these mutations is a missense mutation in the receptor protein GP1 that leads to the Armstrong strain to cause an acute infection and Clone-13 to cause a chronic infection instead. The probes were designed using thermodynamic calculations for hybridization between target or non-target sequences and the probe.Using this approach, we were able to distinguish these two strains of LCMV individually by a single nucleotide mutation. The assay showed high reproducibility among different concentrations of viral cDNA, as well as high specificity and sensitivity, especially for the Clone-13 Tentacle Probe. Furthermore, in virus mixing experiments we were able to detect less than 10% of Clone-13 cDNA diluted in Armstrong cDNA.Thus, we have developed a fast, cost-effective approach for identifying Clone-13 strain in a mix of other LCMV strains.
Project description:Activation of CD4(+) T cells helps establish and sustain other immune responses. We have previously shown that responses against a broad set of nine CD4(+) T-cell epitopes were present in the setting of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) Armstrong infection in the context of H-2(d). This is quite disparate to the H-2(b) setting, where only two epitopes have been identified. We were interested in determining whether a broad set of responses was unique to H-2(d) or whether additional CD4(+) T-cell epitopes could be identified in the setting of the H-2(b) background. To pursue this question, we infected C57BL/6 mice with LCMV Armstrong and determined the repertoire of CD4(+) T-cell responses using overlapping 15-mer peptides corresponding to the LCMV Armstrong sequence. We confirmed positive responses by intracellular cytokine staining and major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-peptide binding assays. A broad repertoire of responses was identified, consisting of six epitopes. These epitopes originate from the nucleoprotein (NP) and glycoprotein (GP). Out of the six newly identified CD4(+) epitopes, four of them also stimulate CD8(+) T cells in a statistically significant manner. Furthermore, we assessed these CD4(+) T-cell responses during the memory phase of LCMV Armstrong infection and after infection with a chronic strain of LCMV and determined that a subset of the responses could be detected under these different conditions. This is the first example of a broad repertoire of shared epitopes between CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in the context of viral infection. These findings demonstrate that immunodominance is a complex phenomenon in the context of helper responses.
Project description:The Clone 13 (Cl13) strain of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus is widely studied as a model of chronic systemic viral infection. Here, we used reverse genetic techniques to identify the molecular basis of Cl13 persistence and immunosuppression, the characteristics differentiating it from the closely related Armstrong strain. We found that a single-point mutation in the Cl13 polymerase was necessary and partially sufficient for viral persistence and immunosuppression. A glycoprotein mutation known to enhance dendritic cell targeting accentuated both characteristics but when introduced alone, failed to alter the phenotype of the Armstrong strain. The decisive polymerase mutation increased intracellular viral RNA load in plasmacytoid dendritic cells, which we identified as a main initial target cell type in vivo, and increased viremia in the early phase of infection. These findings establish the enhanced replicative capacity as the primary determinant of the Cl13 phenotype. Viral persistence and immunosuppression can, thus, represent a direct consequence of excessive viral replication overwhelming the host's antiviral defense.
Project description:Many chronic viral infections are marked by pathogen persistence and a generalized immunosuppression. The exact mechanisms by which this occurs are still unknown. Using a mouse model of persistent lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection, we demonstrate viral targeting of fibroblastic reticular cells (FRC) in the lymphoid organs. The FRC stromal networks are critical for proper lymphoid architecture and function. High numbers of FRC were infected by LCMV clone 13, which causes a chronic infection, whereas few were infected by the acute strain, LCMV Armstrong. The function of the FRC conduit network was altered after clone 13 infection by the action of CD8(+) T cells. Importantly, expression of the inhibitory programmed death ligand 1, which was up-regulated on FRC after infection, reduced early CD8(+) T cell-mediated immunopathology and prevented destruction of the FRC architecture in the spleen. Together, this reveals an important tropism during a persistent viral infection. These data also suggest that the inhibitory PD-1 pathway, which likely evolved to prevent excessive immunopathology, may contribute to viral persistence in FRC during chronic infection.
Project description:At the peak of the CD8 T cell response to acture viral and bacterial infections, expression of the Interleukin-7 Receptor (IL-7R) marks Memory Precursor Effector CD8 T Cells (MPECs) from other Short-Lived Effector CD8 T cells (SLECs), which are IL-7Rlo. This study was designed to determine the gene expression differences between these two subsets of effector CD8 T cells. Experiment Overall Design: This study compared IL-7Rhi and IL-7Rlo LCMV-specific P14 Transgenic CD8 T cells, sorted from LCMV armstrong infected recipient mice 6/7 days after infection. Data includes 3 independent replicates for the IL-7Rhi and IL-7Rlo groups.
Project description:Signaling through the Fas/Apo-1/CD95 death receptor is known to affect virus-specific cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses. We tested whether modulating the Fas-apoptotic pathway can enhance immune responses to DNA vaccination or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection. Mice were electroporated with plasmids expressing a variety of pro- or anti-apoptotic molecules related to Fas signaling and then either LCMV-infected or injected with plasmid DNA expressing SIV or HIV antigens. Whereas Fas or FasL knockout mice had improved CMI, down-regulation of Fas or FasL by shRNA or antibody failed to improve CMI and was accompanied by increases in regulatory T cells (Treg). Two "adjuvant" plasmids were discovered that significantly enhanced plasmid immunizations. The adjuvant effects of Fas-associated death domain (FADD) and of cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (cFLIP) were consistently accompanied by increased effector memory T lymphocytes and increased T cell proliferation. This adjuvant effect was also observed when comparing murine infections with LCMV-Armstrong and its persisting variant LCMV-Clone 13. LCMV-Armstrong was cleared in 100% of mice nine days after infection, while LCMV-Clone 13 persisted in all mice. However, half of the mice pre-electroporated with FADD or cFLIP plasmids were able to clear LCMV-Clone 13 by day nine, and, in the case of cFLIP, increased viral clearance was accompanied by higher CMI. Our studies imply that molecules in the Fas pathway are likely to affect a number of events in addition to the apoptosis of cells involved in immunity.
Project description:The forkhead O transcription factors (FOXO) integrate a range of extracellular signals including growth factor signaling, inflammation, oxidative stress and nutrient availability, to substantially alter the program of gene expression and modulate cell survival, cell cycle progression, and many cell-type specific responses yet to be unraveled. Naive antigen-specific CD8+ T cells undergo a rapid expansion and arming of effector function within days of pathogen exposure, but in addition, by the peak of expansion, they form precursors to memory T cells capable of self-renewal and indefinite survival. We used microarrays to determine whether FOXO1 broadly affects effector and memory differentiation, and to what extent FOXO1 determines the program of memory T cell gene expression. To obtain an unbiased analysis of genes differentially expressed in antigen-specific Foxo1-/- CD8+ T cells responding to infection, we obtained RNA and performed Affymetrix microarray analysis from KLRG1low and KLRG1high FACS-sorted congenically-marked WT and Foxo1-/- P14 cells obtained from mixed transfers, eight days post-infection with LCMV-Armstrong. We carried out gene deletion in Rosa26Cre-ERT2 Foxo1f/f (Foxo1-/-) P14 mice just prior to adoptive transfer (Kerdiles et al., 2009), and transfer equal numbers of P14 cells from the spleens of KO (Foxo1-/- P14) and WT P14 mice. Day8 post infection
Project description:CD47 is a ubiquitous cell surface receptor that directly regulates T cell immunity by interacting with its inhibitory ligand thrombospondin-1 and limits clearance of cells by phagocytes that express its counter-receptor signal-regulatory protein-?. Murine natural killer (NK) cells express higher levels of CD47 than other lymphocytes, but the role of CD47 in regulating NK cell homeostasis and immune function remains unclear. Cd47 -/- mice exhibited depletion of NK precursors in bone marrow, consistent with the antiphagocytic function of CD47. In contrast, antisense CD47 knockdown or gene disruption resulted in a dose dependent accumulation of immature and mature NK cells in spleen. Mature Cd47 -/- NK cells exhibited increased expression of NK effector and interferon gene signatures and an increased proliferative response to interleukin-15 in vitro. Cd47 -/- mice showed no defect in their early response to acute Armstrong lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection but were moderately impaired in controlling chronic Clone-13 LCMV infection, which was associated with depletion of splenic NK cells and loss of effector cytokine and interferon response gene expression in Cd47 -/- NK cells. Broad CD47-dependent differences in NK activation, survival, and exhaustion pathways were observed in NK cell transcriptional signatures in LCMV infected mice. These data identify CD47 as a cell-intrinsic and systemic regulator of NK cell homeostasis and NK cell function in responding to a viral infection.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) causes a variety of diseases, including asymptomatic infections, meningitis, and congenital infections in the fetus of infected mother. The development of a safe and effective vaccine against LCMV is imperative. This study aims to develop a new candidate vaccine against LCMV using a recombinant replication-incompetent rabies virus (RV) vector. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:In this study, we have generated a recombinant deficient RV expressing the LCMV glycoprotein precursor (GPC) (RV?P-LCMV/GPC) which is lacking the RV-P gene. RV?P-LCMV/GPC is able to propagate only in cells expressing the RV-P protein. In contrast, the LCMV-GPC can be expressed in general cells, which do not express RV-P protein. The ability of RV?P-LCMV/GPC to protect mice from LCMV infection and induce cellular immunity was assessed. Mice inoculated intraperitoneally with RV?P-LCMV/GPC showed higher survival rates (88.2%) than those inoculated with the parental recombinant RV-P gene-deficient RV (RV?P) (7.7%) following a LCMV challenge. Neutralizing antibody (NAb) against LCMV was not induced, even in the sera of surviving mice. CD8+ T-cell depletion significantly reduced the survival rates of RV?P-LCMV/GPC-inoculated mice after the LCMV challenge. These results suggest that CD8+ T cells play a major role in the observed protection against LCMV. In contrast, NAbs against RV were strongly induced in sera of mice inoculated with either RV?P-LCMV/GPC or RV?P. In safety tests, suckling mice inoculated intracerebrally with RV?P-LCMV/GPC showed no symptoms. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:These results show RV?P-LCMV/GPC might be a promising candidate vaccine with dual efficacy, protecting against both RV and LCMV.