Selective retention of herpes simplex virus-specific T cells in latently infected human trigeminal ganglia.
ABSTRACT: Primary infection with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and varicella zoster virus (VZV) results in lifelong latent infections of neurons in sensory ganglia such as the trigeminal ganglia (TG). It has been postulated that T cells retained in TG inhibit reactivation of latent virus. The acquisition of TG specimens of individuals within hours after death offered the unique opportunity to characterize the phenotype and specificity of TG-resident T cells in humans. High numbers of activated CD8(+) T cells expressing a late effector memory phenotype were found to reside in latently infected TG. The T cell infiltrate was oligoclonal, and T cells selectively clustered around HSV-1 but not VZV latently infected neurons. Neuronal damage was not observed despite granzyme B expression by the neuron-interacting CD8(+) T cells. The TG-resident T cells, mainly CD8(+) T cells, were directed against HSV-1 and not to VZV, despite neuronal expression of VZV proteins. The results implicate that herpesvirus latency in human TG is associated with a local, persistent T cell response, comprising activated late effector memory CD8(+) T cells that appear to control HSV-1 latency by noncytolytic pathways. In contrast, T cells do not seem to be directly involved in controlling VZV latency in human TG.
Project description:Varicella-zoster virus (VZV), an alphaherpesvirus, establishes lifelong latent infection in the neurons of >90% humans worldwide, reactivating in one-third to cause shingles, debilitating pain and stroke. How VZV maintains latency remains unclear. Here, using ultra-deep virus-enriched RNA sequencing of latently infected human trigeminal ganglia (TG), we demonstrate the consistent expression of a spliced VZV mRNA, antisense to VZV open reading frame 61 (ORF61). The spliced VZV latency-associated transcript (VLT) is expressed in human TG neurons and encodes a protein with late kinetics in productively infected cells in vitro and in shingles skin lesions. Whereas multiple alternatively spliced VLT isoforms (VLTly) are expressed during lytic infection, a single unique VLT isoform, which specifically suppresses ORF61 gene expression in co-transfected cells, predominates in latently VZV-infected human TG. The discovery of VLT links VZV with the other better characterized human and animal neurotropic alphaherpesviruses and provides insights into VZV latency.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) establishes latency within the sensory neurons of the trigeminal ganglia (TG). HSV-specific memory CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells play a critical role in preventing HSV-1 reactivation from TG and subsequent virus shedding in tears that trigger recurrent corneal herpetic disease. The CXC chemokine ligand 10 (CXCL10)/CXC chemokine receptor 3 (CXCR3) chemokine pathway promotes T cell immunity to many viral pathogens, but its importance in CD8<sup>+</sup> T cell immunity to recurrent herpes has been poorly elucidated. In this study, we determined how the CXCL10/CXCR3 pathway affects TG- and cornea-resident CD8<sup>+</sup> T cell responses to recurrent ocular herpesvirus infection and disease using a well-established murine model in which HSV-1 reactivation was induced from latently infected TG by UV-B light. Following UV-B-induced HSV-1 reactivation, a significant increase in both the number and function of HSV-specific CXCR3<sup>+</sup> CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells was detected in TG and corneas of protected C57BL/6 (B6) mice, but not in TG and corneas of nonprotected CXCL10<sup>-/-</sup> or CXCR3<sup>-/-</sup> deficient mice. This increase was associated with a significant reduction in both virus shedding and recurrent corneal herpetic disease. Furthermore, delivery of exogenous CXCL10 chemokine in TG of CXCL10<sup>-/-</sup> mice, using the neurotropic adeno-associated virus type 8 (AAV8) vector, boosted the number and function of effector memory CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells (T<sub>EM</sub>) and tissue-resident memory CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells (T<sub>RM</sub>), but not of central memory CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells (T<sub>CM</sub>), locally within TG, and improved protection against recurrent herpesvirus infection and disease in CXCL10<sup>-/-</sup> deficient mice. These findings demonstrate that the CXCL10/CXCR3 chemokine pathway is critical in shaping CD8<sup>+</sup> T cell immunity, locally within latently infected tissues, which protects against recurrent herpesvirus infection and disease.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> We determined how the CXCL10/CXCR3 pathway affects CD8<sup>+</sup> T cell responses to recurrent ocular herpesvirus infection and disease. Using a well-established murine model, in which HSV-1 reactivation in latently infected trigeminal ganglia was induced by UV-B light, we demonstrated that lack of either CXCL10 chemokine or its CXCR3 receptor compromised the mobilization of functional CD8<sup>+</sup> T<sub>EM</sub> and CD8<sup>+</sup> T<sub>RM</sub> cells within latently infected trigeminal ganglia following virus reactivation. This lack of T cell mobilization was associated with an increase in recurrent ocular herpesvirus infection and disease. Inversely, augmenting the amount of CXCL10 in trigeminal ganglia of latently infected CXCL10-deficient mice significantly restored the number of local antiviral CD8<sup>+</sup> T<sub>EM</sub> and CD8<sup>+</sup> T<sub>RM</sub> cells associated with protection against recurrent ocular herpes. Based on these findings, a novel "prime/pull" therapeutic ocular herpes vaccine strategy is proposed and discussed.
Project description:Simian varicella virus (SVV) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV) are closely related alphaherpesviruses that cause varicella (chickenpox) in nonhuman primates and humans, respectively. After resolution of the primary disease, SVV and VZV establish latent infection of neural ganglia and may later reactivate to cause a secondary disease (herpes zoster). This study investigated SVV gene expression in neural ganglia derived from latently infected vervet monkeys. SVV transcripts were detected in neural ganglia, but not in liver or lung tissues, of latently infected animals. A transcript mapping to open reading frame (ORF) 61 (herpes simplex virus type 1 [HSV-1] ICP0 homolog) was consistently detected in latently infected trigeminal, cervical, and lumbar ganglia by reverse transcriptase PCR. Further analysis confirmed that this SVV latency-associated transcript (LAT) was oriented antisense to the gene 61 mRNA. SVV ORF 21 transcripts were also detected in 42% of neural ganglia during latency. In contrast, SVV ORF 28, 29, 31, 62, and 63 transcripts were not detected in ganglia, liver, or lung tissues of latently infected animals. The results demonstrate that viral gene expression is limited during SVV latency and that a LAT antisense to an ICP0 homolog is expressed. In this regard, SVV gene expression during latency is similar to that of HSV-1 and other neurotropic animal alphaherpesviruses but differs from that reported for VZV.
Project description:Reactivation of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) from neurons in sensory ganglia such as the trigeminal ganglia (TG) is influenced by virus-specific CD8+ T cells that infiltrate the ganglia at the onset of latency and contract to a stable activated tissue-resident memory population. In C57BL/6 mice, half of HSV-specific CD8+ T cells (gB-CD8s) recognize one dominant epitope (residues 498 to 505) on glycoprotein B (gB498-505), while the remainder (non-gB-CD8s) recognize 19 subdominant epitopes from 12 viral proteins. To address how expression by HSV-1 influences the formation and ganglionic retention of CD8+ T cell populations, we developed recombinant HSV-1 with the native immunodominant gB epitope disrupted but then expressed ectopically from different viral promoters. In mice, the epitope expressed from the gB promoter restored full gB-CD8 immunodominance to 50%. Intriguingly, earlier expression from constitutive, immediate-early, and early promoters did not significantly increase immunodominance, indicating that these promoters cannot elicit more than half of the CD8 compartment. Epitope expressed from candidate viral promoters of "true late" HSV-1 genes either delayed or reduced the priming efficiency of gB-CD8s and their levels in the TG at early times. HSV expressing the epitope from the full latency-associated transcript promoter did not efficiently prime gB-CD8s; however, gB-CD8s primed by a concurrent wild-type flank infection infiltrated the TG and were retained long term, suggesting that latent epitope expression is sufficient to retain gB-CD8s. Taken together, the data indicate that viral promoters shape latent HSV-1-specific CD8+ T cell populations and should be an important consideration in future vaccine design.IMPORTANCE Latency of HSV-1 in host neurons enables long-term persistence from which reactivation may occur to cause recurrent diseases, such as blinding herpetic stromal keratitis. Latency is not antigenically silent, and viral proteins are sporadically expressed at low levels without full virion production. This protein expression is recognized by ganglion-resident HSV-1-specific CD8+ T cells that maintain a protective resident population. Since these T cells can influence lytic/latent decisions in reactivating neurons, we argue that improving their ganglionic retention and function may offer a strategy in vaccine design to reduce reactivation and recurrent disease. To understand factors driving the infiltration and retention of ganglionic CD8s, we examined several HSV recombinants that have different viral promoters driving expression of the immunodominant gB epitope. We show that the selection of epitope promoter influences CD8+ T cell population hierarchies and their function.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection results in lifelong chronic infection of trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons, also referred to as neuronal HSV-1 latency, with periodic reactivation leading to recrudescent herpetic disease in some persons. HSV-1 proteins are expressed in a temporally coordinated fashion during lytic infection, but their expression pattern during latent infection is largely unknown. Selective retention of HSV-1 reactive T-cells in human TG suggests their role in controlling reactivation by recognizing locally expressed HSV-1 proteins. We characterized the HSV-1 proteins recognized by virus-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cells recovered from human HSV-1-infected TG. T-cell clusters, consisting of both CD4 and CD8 T-cells, surrounded neurons and expressed mRNAs and proteins consistent with in situ antigen recognition and antiviral function. HSV-1 proteome-wide scans revealed that intra-TG T-cell responses included both CD4 and CD8 T-cells directed to one to three HSV-1 proteins per person. HSV-1 protein ICP6 was targeted by CD8 T-cells in 4 of 8 HLA-discordant donors. In situ tetramer staining demonstrated HSV-1-specific CD8 T-cells juxtaposed to TG neurons. Intra-TG retention of virus-specific CD4 T-cells, validated to the HSV-1 peptide level, implies trafficking of viral proteins from neurons to HLA class II-expressing non-neuronal cells for antigen presentation. The diversity of viral proteins targeted by TG T-cells across all kinetic and functional classes of viral proteins suggests broad HSV-1 protein expression, and viral antigen processing and presentation, in latently infected human TG. Collectively, the human TG represents an immunocompetent environment for both CD4 and CD8 T-cell recognition of HSV-1 proteins expressed during latent infection. HSV-1 proteins recognized by TG-resident T-cells, particularly ICP6 and VP16, are potential HSV-1 vaccine candidates.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) latency in sensory ganglia such as trigeminal ganglia (TG) is associated with a persistent immune infiltrate that includes effector memory CD8+ T cells that can influence HSV-1 reactivation. In C57BL/6 mice, HSV-1 induces a highly skewed CD8+ T cell repertoire, in which half of CD8+ T cells (gB-CD8s) recognize a single epitope on glycoprotein B (gB498-505), while the remainder (non-gB-CD8s) recognize, in varying proportions, 19 subdominant epitopes on 12 viral proteins. The gB-CD8s remain functional in TG throughout latency, while non-gB-CD8s exhibit varying degrees of functional compromise. To understand how dominance hierarchies relate to CD8+ T cell function during latency, we characterized the TG-associated CD8+ T cells following corneal infection with a recombinant HSV-1 lacking the immunodominant gB498-505 epitope (S1L). S1L induced a numerically equivalent CD8+ T cell infiltrate in the TG that was HSV-specific, but lacked specificity for gB498-505. Instead, there was a general increase of non-gB-CD8s with specific subdominant epitopes arising to codominance. In a latent S1L infection, non-gB-CD8s in the TG showed a hierarchy targeting different epitopes at latency compared to at acute times, and these cells retained an increased functionality at latency. In a latent S1L infection, these non-gB-CD8s also display an equivalent ability to block HSV reactivation in ex vivo ganglionic cultures compared to TG infected with wild type HSV-1. These data indicate that loss of the immunodominant gB498-505 epitope alters the dominance hierarchy and reduces functional compromise of CD8+ T cells specific for subdominant HSV-1 epitopes during viral latency.
Project description:Analysis of cells infected by a wide range of herpesviruses has identified numerous virally encoded microRNAs (miRNAs), and several reports suggest that these viral miRNAs are likely to play key roles in several aspects of the herpesvirus life cycle. Here we report the first analysis of human ganglia for the presence of virally encoded miRNAs. Deep sequencing of human trigeminal ganglia latently infected with two pathogenic alphaherpesviruses, herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV), confirmed the expression of five HSV-1 miRNAs, miR-H2 through miR-H6, which had previously been observed in mice latently infected with HSV-1. In addition, two novel HSV-1 miRNAs, termed miR-H7 and miR-H8, were also identified. Like four of the previously reported HSV-1 miRNAs, miR-H7 and miR-H8 are encoded within the second exon of the HSV-1 latency-associated transcript. Although VZV genomic DNA was readily detectable in the three human trigeminal ganglia analyzed, we failed to detect any VZV miRNAs, suggesting that VZV, unlike other herpesviruses examined so far, may not express viral miRNAs in latently infected cells.
Project description:HSV type 1 (HSV-1) is a prevalent human pathogen that infects >3.72 billion individuals worldwide and can cause potentially blinding recurrent corneal herpetic disease. HSV-1 establishes latency within sensory neurons of trigeminal ganglia (TG), and TG-resident CD8+ T cells play a critical role in preventing its reactivation. The repertoire, phenotype, and function of protective CD8+ T cells are unknown. Bolstering the apparent feeble numbers of CD8+ T cells in TG remains a challenge for immunotherapeutic strategies. In this study, a comprehensive panel of 467 HLA-A*0201-restricted CD8+ T cell epitopes was predicted from the entire HSV-1 genome. CD8+ T cell responses to these genome-wide epitopes were compared in HSV-1-seropositive symptomatic individuals (with a history of numerous episodes of recurrent herpetic disease) and asymptomatic (ASYMP) individuals (who are infected but never experienced any recurrent herpetic disease). Frequent polyfunctional HSV-specific IFN-?+CD107a/b+CD44highCD62LlowCD8+ effector memory T cells were detected in ASYMP individuals and were primarily directed against three "ASYMP" epitopes. In contrast, symptomatic individuals have more monofunctional CD44highCD62LhighCD8+ central memory T cells. Furthermore, therapeutic immunization with an innovative prime/pull vaccine, based on priming with multiple ASYMP epitopes (prime) and neurotropic TG delivery of the T cell-attracting chemokine CXCL10 (pull), boosted the number and function of CD44highCD62LlowCD8+ effector memory T cells and CD103highCD8+ tissue-resident T cells in TG of latently infected HLA-A*0201-transgenic mice and reduced recurrent ocular herpes following UV-B-induced reactivation. These findings have profound implications in the development of T cell-based immunotherapeutic strategies to treat blinding recurrent herpes infection and disease.
Project description:HSV-specific CD8(+) T cells provide constant immunosurveillance of HSV-1 latently infected neurons in sensory ganglia, and their functional properties are influenced by the presence of latent virus. In this study, we show that ganglionic HSV-specific CD8(+) T cells exhibit a higher functional avidity (ability to respond to low epitope density) than their counterparts in noninfected lungs, satisfying a need for memory effector cells that can respond to low densities of viral epitopes on latently infected neurons. We further show that lack of CD4(+) T cell help during priming leads to a transient inability to control latent virus, which was associated with a PD-1/PD-L1 mediated reduced functional avidity of ganglionic HSV-specific CD8(+) T cells. CD4(+) T cells are not needed to maintain CD8(+) T cell memory through 34 d after infection, nor do they have a direct involvement in the maintenance of HSV-1 latency.
Project description:Increasing evidence supports the role of neurotropic herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, it is unclear whether previously reported findings in HSV-1 cell culture and animal models can be translated to humans. Here, we analyzed clinical specimens from latently HSV-1 infected individuals and individuals with lytic HSV infection of the brain (herpes simplex encephalitis; HSE). Latent HSV-1 DNA load and latency-associated transcript (LAT) expression were identical between trigeminal ganglia (TG) of AD patients and controls. Amyloid β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau (pTau) were not detected in latently HSV-infected TG neurons. Aging-related intraneuronal Aβ accumulations, neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), and/or extracellular Aβ plaques were observed in the brain of some HSE patients, but these were neither restricted to HSV-infected neurons nor brain regions containing virus-infected cells. Analysis of unique brain material from an AD patient with concurrent HSE showed that HSV-infected cells frequently localized close to Aβ plaques and NFT, but were not associated with exacerbated AD-related pathology. HSE-associated neuroinflammation was not associated with specific Aβ or pTau phenotypes. Collectively, we observed that neither latent nor lytic HSV infection of human neurons is directly associated with aberrant Aβ or pTau protein expression in ganglia and brain.