The magnitude of the T cell response to a clinically significant dose of influenza virus is regulated by TRAIL.
ABSTRACT: An immune response of appropriate magnitude should be robust enough to control pathogen spread but not simultaneously lead to immunopathology. Primary infection with influenza A virus (IAV) results in a localized pulmonary infection and inflammation and elicits an IAV-specific CD8 T cell immune response necessary for viral clearance. Clearance of IAV-infected cells, and recovery from infection, is mediated by perforin/granzyme B- and Fas/FasL-mediated mechanisms. We recently reported that TRAIL is another means by which IAV-specific CD8 T cells can kill IAV-infected cells. The current study examined the role of TRAIL in the pulmonary CD8 T cell response to a clinically significant IAV [A/PR/8/34 (PR8; H1N1)] infection (i.e., leads to observable, but limited, morbidity and mortality in wild-type [WT] mice). Compared with WT mice, IAV-infected Trail(-/-) mice experienced increased morbidity and mortality despite similar rates of viral clearance from the lungs. The increased morbidity and mortality in Trail(-/-) mice correlated with increased pulmonary pathology and inflammatory chemokine production. Analysis of lung-infiltrating lymphocytes revealed increased numbers of IAV-specific CD8 T cells in infected Trail(-/-) mice, which correlated with increased pulmonary cytotoxic activity and increased pulmonary expression of MIG and MIP-1?. In addition, there was decreased apoptosis and increased proliferation of IAV-specific CD8 T cells in the lungs of Trail(-/-) mice compared with WT mice. Together, these data suggest that TRAIL regulates the magnitude of the IAV-specific CD8 T cell response during a clinically significant IAV infection to decrease the chance for infection-induced immunopathology.
Project description:Influenza A virus (IAV) is a seasonal pathogen with the potential to cause devastating pandemics. IAV infects multiple epithelial cell subsets in the respiratory tract, eliciting damage to the lungs. Clearance of IAV is primarily dependent on CD8+ T cells, which must balance control of the infection with immunopathology. Using a virus expressing Cre recombinase to permanently label infected cells in a Cre-inducible reporter mouse, we previously discovered infected club cells that survive both lytic virus replication and CD8+ T cell-mediated clearance. In this study, we demonstrate that ciliated epithelial cells, type I and type II alveolar cells can also become survivor cells. Survivor cells are stable in the lung long-term and demonstrate enhanced proliferation compared to uninfected cells. When we investigated how survivor cells evade CD8+ T cell killing we observed that survivor cells upregulated the inhibitory ligand PD-L1, but survivor cells did not use PD-L1 to evade CD8+ T cell killing. Instead our data suggest that survivor cells are not inherently resistant to CD8+ T cell killing, but instead no longer present IAV antigen and cannot be detected by CD8+ T cells. Finally, we evaluate the failure of CD8+ T cells to kill these previously infected cells. This work demonstrates that additional cell types can survive IAV infection and that these cells robustly proliferate and are stable long term. By sparing previously infected cells, the adaptive immune system may be minimizing pathology associated with IAV infection.
Project description:Influenza A virus (IAV) is a leading cause of respiratory tract disease worldwide. Anti-viral CD8(+) T lymphocytes responding to IAV infection are believed to eliminate virally infected cells by direct cytolysis but may also contribute to pulmonary inflammation and tissue damage via the release of pro-inflammatory mediators following recognition of viral antigen displaying cells. We have previously demonstrated that IAV antigen expressing inflammatory cells of hematopoietic origin within the infected lung interstitium serve as antigen presenting cells (APC) for infiltrating effector CD8(+) T lymphocytes; however, the spectrum of inflammatory cell types capable of serving as APC was not determined. Here, we demonstrate that viral antigen displaying neutrophils infiltrating the IAV infected lungs are an important cell type capable of acting as APC for effector CD8(+) T lymphocytes in the infected lungs and that neutrophils expressing viral antigen as a result of direct infection by IAV exhibit the most potent APC activity. Our findings suggest that in addition to their suggested role in induction of the innate immune responses to IAV, virus clearance, and the development of pulmonary injury, neutrophils can serve as APCs to anti-viral effector CD8(+) T cells within the infected lung interstitium.
Project description:Respiratory infection of influenza A virus (IAV) is frequently characterized by extensive immunopathology and proinflammatory signaling that can persist after virus clearance. In this report, we identify cells that become infected, but survive, acute influenza virus infection. We demonstrate that these cells, known as club cells, elicit a robust transcriptional response to virus infection, show increased interferon stimulation, and induce high levels of proinflammatory cytokines after successful viral clearance. Specific depletion of these surviving cells leads to a reduction in lung tissue damage associated with IAV infection. We propose a model in which infected, surviving club cells establish a proinflammatory environment aimed at controlling virus levels, but at the same time contribute to lung pathology.
Project description:Circulating androgens can modulate immune cell activity, but the impact of androgens on viral pathogenesis remains unclear. Previous data demonstrate that testosterone reduces the severity of influenza A virus (IAV) infection in male mice by mitigating pulmonary inflammation rather than by affecting viral replication. To examine the immune responses mediated by testosterone to mitigate IAV-induced inflammation, adult male mice remained gonadally intact or were gonadectomized and treated with either placebo or androgen-filled (i.e., testosterone or dihydrotestosterone) capsules prior to sublethal IAV infection. Like intact males, treatment of gonadectomized males with androgens improved the outcome of IAV infection, which was not mediated by changes in the control of virus replication or pulmonary cytokine activity. Instead, androgens accelerated pulmonary leukocyte contraction to limit inflammation. To identify which immune cells were contracting in response to androgens, the composition of pulmonary cellular infiltrates was analyzed and revealed that androgens specifically accelerated the contraction of total pulmonary inflammatory monocytes during peak disease, as well as CD8+ T cells, IAV-specific CD8+ T numbers, cytokine production and degranulation by IAV-specific CD8+ T cells, and the influx of eosinophils into the lungs following clearance of IAV. Neither depletion of eosinophils nor adoptive transfer of CD8+ T cells could reverse the ability of testosterone to protect males against IAV suggesting these were secondary immunologic effects. The effects of testosterone on the contraction of immune cell numbers and activity were blocked by co-administration of the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide and mimicked by treatment with dihydrotestosterone, which was also able to reduce the severity of IAV in female mice. These data suggest that androgen receptor signaling creates a local pulmonary environment that promotes downregulation of detrimental inflammatory immune responses to protect against prolonged influenza disease.
Project description:Inducible Co-stimulator (ICOS) plays a critical role in mediating T cell differentiation and function and is considered a key player in balancing T effector and T regulatory (Treg) cell responses. Here we show that activation of the ICOS signalling pathway during acute influenza A virus (IAV) infection by application of an agonistic ICOS antibody reduced the frequency of CD8+ T cells in the respiratory tract of IAV infected animals and delayed pathogen elimination. In line with this, immune-mediated influenza pneumonia was significantly ameliorated in mice that received ICOS agonist as indicated by significantly reduced alveolar infiltrations and bronchointerstitial pneumonia, while at the same time virus-related pathology remained unaffected. Importantly, ICOS agonist treatment resulted in expansion of CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs in IAV infected mice, which was associated with elevated levels of the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10 in the alveolar space. Together, our findings suggest a prominent role of ICOS signaling during acute IAV infection by increasing the Treg/CD8+ T cell ratio with beneficial outcome on immune-mediated pneumonia and underline the suitability of ICOS as potential therapeutic target for immune intervention in those infectious conditions characterized by strong immunopathology rather than virus-mediated cytopathic effects.
Project description:Influenza A viruses (IAV) can cause lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is characterized by accumulation of excessive fluid (edema) in the alveolar airspaces and leads to hypoxemia and death if not corrected. Clearance of excess edema fluid is driven mostly by the alveolar epithelial Na,K-ATPase and is crucial for survival of patients with ARDS. We therefore investigated whether IAV infection alters Na,K-ATPase expression and function in alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) and the ability of the lung to clear edema. IAV infection reduced Na,K-ATPase in the plasma membrane of human and murine AECs and in distal lung epithelium of infected mice. Moreover, induced Na,K-ATPase improved alveolar fluid clearance (AFC) in IAV-infected mice. We identified a paracrine cell communication network between infected and noninfected AECs and alveolar macrophages that leads to decreased alveolar epithelial Na,K-ATPase function and plasma membrane abundance and inhibition of AFC. We determined that the IAV-induced reduction of Na,K-ATPase is mediated by a host signaling pathway that involves epithelial type I IFN and an IFN-dependent elevation of macrophage TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Our data reveal that interruption of this cellular crosstalk improves edema resolution, which is of biologic and clinical importance to patients with IAV-induced lung injury.
Project description:Memory CD8 T cells can provide protection from re-infection by respiratory viruses such as influenza and SARS. However, the relative contribution of memory CD8 T cells in providing protection against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is currently unclear. To address this knowledge gap, we utilized a prime-boost immunization approach to induce robust memory CD8 T cell responses in the absence of RSV-specific CD4 T cells and antibodies. Unexpectedly, RSV infection of mice with pre-existing CD8 T cell memory led to exacerbated weight loss, pulmonary disease, and lethal immunopathology. The exacerbated disease in immunized mice was not epitope-dependent and occurred despite a significant reduction in RSV viral titers. In addition, the lethal immunopathology was unique to the context of an RSV infection as mice were protected from a normally lethal challenge with a recombinant influenza virus expressing an RSV epitope. Memory CD8 T cells rapidly produced IFN-? following RSV infection resulting in elevated protein levels in the lung and periphery. Neutralization of IFN-? in the respiratory tract reduced morbidity and prevented mortality. These results demonstrate that in contrast to other respiratory viruses, RSV-specific memory CD8 T cells can induce lethal immunopathology despite mediating enhanced viral clearance.
Project description:Estriol (E3) is an endogenous estrogen in females with broad biological activity within diverse tissue types. In the context of certain T-cell-mediated autoimmune inflammatory diseases, E3 can ameliorate disease severity through immunomodulatory mechanisms that decrease tissue inflammation. Severe disease caused by influenza A virus (IAV) infection is also characterized by aberrant inflammation and immunopathology. How E3 might affect the pathogenesis of IAV infection, however, has not been explored. Gonadally intact female C57BL/6 mice that were treated with exogenous E3 during infection with mouse-adapted 2009 H1N1 had reduced total pulmonary inflammation and improved disease outcomes compared with females that received no hormone. Furthermore, compared with no hormone treatment, E3 treatment reduced the induction of genes associated with proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine responses in the lungs, which preceded clinical disease, reductions in innate immune cell recruitment, altered pulmonary T-cell skewing, and reduced antibody titers during IAV infection. Although E3 treatment was associated with reduced local and systemic anti-influenza adaptive immune responses, there was no effect of E3 on viral replication or clearance. Together, these data suggest that exogenous E3 confers protection during IAV infection through immunomodulatory mechanisms and that E3 may have broad therapeutic potential in the context of both infectious and noninfectious inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Pulmonary infection with influenza virus is frequently complicated by bacterial superinfection, with Streptococcus pneumoniae being the most prevalent causal pathogen and hence often associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Local immunosuppression due to pulmonary influenza virus infection has been identified as a major cause of the pathogenesis of secondary bacterial lung infection. Thus, specific local stimulation of the pulmonary innate immune system in subjects with influenza virus infection might improve the host defense against secondary bacterial pathogens. In the present study, we examined the effect of pulmonary immunostimulation with Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR-2)-stimulating macrophage-activating lipopeptide 2 (MALP-2) in influenza A virus (IAV)-infected mice on the course of subsequent pneumococcal superinfection. Female C57BL/6N mice infected with IAV were treated with MALP-2 on day 5 and challenged with S. pneumoniae on day 6. Intratracheal MALP-2 application increased proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine release and enhanced the recruitment of leukocytes, mainly neutrophils, into the alveolar space of IAV-infected mice, without detectable systemic side effects. Local pulmonary instillation of MALP-2 in IAV-infected mice 24 h before transnasal pneumococcal infection considerably reduced the bacterial number in the lung tissue without inducing exaggerated inflammation. The pulmonary viral load was not altered by MALP-2. Clinically, MALP-2 treatment of IAV-infected mice increased survival rates and reduced hypothermia and body weight loss after pneumococcal superinfection compared to those of untreated coinfected mice. In conclusion, local immunostimulation with MALP-2 in influenza virus-infected mice improved pulmonary bacterial elimination and increased survival after subsequent pneumococcal superinfection.
Project description:The transcription factor NR4A1 has emerged as a pivotal regulator of the inflammatory response and immune homeostasis. Although contribution of NR4A1 in the innate immune response has been demonstrated, its role in host defense against viral infection remains to be investigated. In the present study, we show that administration of cytosporone B (Csn-B), a specific agonist of NR4A1, to mice infected with influenza virus (IAV) reduces lung viral loads and improves pulmonary function. Our results demonstrate that administration of Csn-B to naive mice leads to a modest production of type 1 IFN. However, in IAV-infected mice, such production of IFNs is markedly increased following treatment with Csn-B. Our study also reveals that alveolar macrophages (AMs) appear to have a significant role in Csn-B effects, since selective depletion of AMs with clodronate liposome correlates with a marked reduction of IFN production, viral clearance and morbidity in IAV-infected mice. Furthermore, when reemergence of AMs is observed following clodronate liposome administration, an increased production of IFNs was detected in bronchoalveolar fluids of IAV-infected mice treated with Csn-B, supporting the contribution of AMs in Csn-B effects. While treatment of mice with Csn-B induces phosphorylation of transcriptional factors IRF3 and IRF7, the latter appears to be less indispensable since effects of Csn-B treatment on the synthesis of IFNs were slightly affected in IAV-infected mice lacking functional IRF7. Together, our results highlight the capacity of Csn-B and consequently of NR4A1 transcription factor in controlling IAV infection.