VIPhyb, an antagonist of vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor, enhances cellular antiviral immunity in murine cytomegalovirus infected mice.
ABSTRACT: Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is a neuropeptide hormone that suppresses Th1-mediated cellular immunity. We previously reported that VIP-knockout (VIP-KO) mice have enhanced cellular immune responses and increased survival following murine cytomegalovirus (mCMV) infection in C57BL/6 mice. In this study, we tested whether treatment with a VIP receptor antagonistic peptide protects C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice from mCMV-infection. One week of daily subcutaneous injections of VIPhyb was non-toxic and did not alter frequencies of immune cell subsets in non-infected mice. VIPhyb administration to mCMV-infected C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice markedly enhanced survival, viral clearance, and reduced liver and lung pathology compared with saline-treated controls. The numbers of effector/memory CD8+ T-cells and mature NK cells were increased in VIPhyb-treated mice compared with PBS-treated groups. Pharmacological blockade of VIP-receptor binding or genetic blockade of VIP-signaling prevented the up-regulation of PD-L1 and PD-1 expression on DC and activated CD8+ T-cells, respectively, in mCMV-infected mice, and enhanced CD80, CD86, and MHC-II expression on conventional and plasmacytoid DC. VIPhyb-treatment increased type-I IFN synthesis, numbers of IFN-?- and TNF-?-expressing NK cells and T-cells, and the numbers of mCMV-M45 epitope-peptide-MHC-I tetramer CD8+ T-cells following mCMV infection. VIP-treatment lowered the percentage of Treg cells in spleens compared with PBS-treated WT mice following mCMV infection, while significantly decreasing levels of serum VEGF induced by mCMV-infection. The mice in all treated groups exhibited similar levels of anti-mCMV antibody titers. Short-term administration of a VIP-receptor antagonist represents a novel approach to enhance innate and adaptive cellular immunity in a murine model of CMV infection.
Project description:Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection following allogeneic bone marrow transplant (allo-BMT) is controlled by donor-derived cellular immunity. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) suppresses Th1 immunity. We hypothesized that blocking VIP-signaling would enhance anti-CMV immunity in murine recipients of allo-BMT. Recipients were transplanted with bone marrow (BM) and T-cells from major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mismatched VIP-knockout (KO) or wild-type donors, and treated with 7 daily subcutaneous injections of VIPhyb (peptidic VIP-antagonist) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Genetic and pharmacological blockade of VIP-signaling protected allo-BMT recipients from lethal murine CMV (mCMV) infection, improving survival without increasing graft-versus-host disease. Mice treated with VIPhyb or transplanted with VIP-KO allografts had significantly lower viral loads, increased numbers of mCMV-M45-peptide-MHC-tetramer(+) CD8(+) T-cells, with lower PD-1 expression, and enhanced primary and secondary cellular immune responses after mCMV infection than did PBS-treated mice. These results demonstrate that administration of a VIP antagonist after allo-BMT is a promising safely therapeutic approach to enhance antiviral cellular immunity.
Project description:Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) induces regulatory dendritic cells (DC) in vitro that inhibit cellular immune responses. We tested the role of physiological levels of VIP on immune responses to murine CMV (mCMV) using VIP-knockout (VIP-KO) mice and radiation chimeras engrafted with syngenic VIP-KO hematopoietic cells. VIP-KO mice had less weight loss and better survival following mCMV infection compared with wild-type (WT) littermates. mCMV-infected VIP-KO mice had lower viral loads, faster clearance of virus, with increased numbers of IFN-?(+) NK and NKT cells, and enhanced cytolytic activity of NK cells. Adaptive antiviral cellular immunity was increased in mCMV-infected VIP-KO mice compared with WT mice, with more Th1/Tc1-polarized T cells, fewer IL-10(+) T cells, and more mCMV-M45 epitope peptide MHC class I tetramer(+) CD8(+) T cells (tetramer(+) CD8 T cells). mCMV-immune VIP-KO mice had enhanced ability to clear mCMV peptide-pulsed target cells in vivo. Enhanced antiviral immunity was also seen in WT transplant recipients engrafted with VIP-KO hematopoietic cells, indicating that VIP synthesized by neuronal cells did not suppress immune responses. Following mCMV infection there was a marked upregulation of MHC-II and CD80 costimulatory molecule expression on DC from VIP-KO mice compared with DC from WT mice, whereas programmed death-1 and programmed death ligand-1 expression were upregulated in activated CD8(+) T cells and DC, respectively, in WT mice, but not in VIP-KO mice. Because the absence of VIP in immune cells increased innate and adaptive antiviral immunity by altering costimulatory and coinhibitory pathways, selective targeting of VIP signaling represents an attractive therapeutic target to enhance antiviral immunity.
Project description:Prior work using allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT) models showed that peritransplant administration of flagellin, a toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) agonist protected murine allo-BMT recipients from CMV infection while limiting graft-vs-host disease (GvHD). However, the mechanism by which flagellin-TLR5 interaction promotes anti-CMV immunity was not defined. Here, we investigated the anti-CMV immunity of NK cells in C57BL/6 (B6) mice treated with a highly purified cGMP grade recombinant flagellin variant CBLB502 (rflagellin) followed by murine CMV (mCMV) infection. A single dose of rflagellin administered to mice between 48 to 72 hours prior to MCMV infection resulted in optimal protection from mCMV lethality. Anti-mCMV immunity in rflagellin-treated mice correlated with a significantly reduced liver viral load and increased numbers of Ly49H+ and Ly49D+ activated cytotoxic NK cells. Additionally, the increased anti-mCMV immunity of NK cells was directly correlated with increased numbers of IFN-?, granzyme B- and CD107a producing NK cells following mCMV infection. rFlagellin-induced anti-mCMV immunity was TLR5-dependent as rflagellin-treated TLR5 KO mice had ?10-fold increased liver viral load compared with rflagellin-treated WT B6 mice. However, the increased anti-mCMV immunity of NK cells in rflagellin-treated mice is regulated indirectly as mouse NK cells do not express TLR5. Collectively, these data suggest that rflagellin treatment indirectly leads to activation of NK cells, which may be an important adjunct benefit of administering rflagellin in allo-BMT recipients.
Project description:The magnitude of CD8 T cell responses against viruses is checked by the balance of proliferation and death. Caspase-8 (CASP8) has the potential to influence response characteristics through initiation of apoptosis, suppression of necroptosis, and modulation of cell death-independent signal transduction. Mice deficient in CASP8 and RIPK3 (<i>Casp8</i> <sup><i>-/-</i></sup> <i>Ripk3</i> <sup><i>-/-</i></sup> ) mount enhanced peak CD8 T cell levels against the natural mouse pathogen murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) or the human pathogen herpes simplex virus-1 compared with littermate control RIPK3-deficient or WT C57BL/6 mice, suggesting an impact of CASP8 on the magnitude of antiviral CD8 T cell expansion and not on contraction. The higher peak response to MCMV in <i>Casp8</i> <sup><i>-/-</i></sup> <i>Ripk3</i> <sup><i>-/-</i></sup> mice resulted from accumulation of greater numbers of terminally differentiated KLRG1<sup>hi</sup> effector CD8 T cell subsets. Antiviral <i>Casp8</i> <sup><i>-/-</i></sup> <i>Ripk3</i> <sup><i>-/-</i></sup> T cells exhibited enhanced proliferation when splenocytes were transferred into WT recipient mice. Thus, cell-autonomous CASP8 normally restricts CD8 T cell proliferation following T cell receptor activation in response to foreign antigen. Memory inflation is a hallmark quality of the T cell response to cytomegalovirus infection. Surprisingly, MCMV-specific memory inflation was not sustained long-term in <i>Casp8</i> <sup><i>-/-</i></sup> <i>Ripk3</i> <sup><i>-/-</i></sup> mice even though these mice retained immunity to secondary challenge. In addition, the accumulation of abnormal B220<sup>+</sup>CD3<sup>+</sup> T cells in these viable CASP8-deficient mice was reduced by chronic MCMV infection. Combined, these data brings to light the cell death-independent role of CASP8 during CD8 T cell expansion in mice lacking the confounding impact of RIPK3-mediated necroptosis.
Project description:Cmv1 was the first mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) resistance locus identified in C57BL/6 mice. It encodes Ly49H, a NK cell-activating receptor that specifically recognizes the m157 viral protein at the surface of MCMV-infected cells. To dissect the effect of the Ly49h gene in host-pathogen interactions, we generated C57BL/6 mice lacking the Ly49h region. We found that 36 h after MCMV infection, the lack of Ly49h resulted in high viral replication in the spleen and dramatically enhanced proinflammatory cytokine production in the serum and spleen. At later points in time, we observed that MCMV induced a drastic loss in CD8(+) T cells in B6.Ly49h(-/-) mice, probably reflecting severe histological changes in the spleen. Overall, our results indicate that Ly49H(+) NK cells contain a systemic production of cytokines that may contribute to the MCMV-induced pathology and play a central role in maintaining normal spleen cell microarchitecture. Finally, we tested the ability of B6.Ly49h(-/-) mice to control replication of Leishmania major and ectromelia virus. Resistance to these pathogens has been previously mapped within the NK gene complex. We found that the lack of Ly49H(+) NK cells is not associated with an altered resistance to L. major. In contrast, absence of Ly49H(+) NK cells seems to afford additional protection against ectromelia infection in C57BL/6 mice, suggesting that Ly49H may recognize ectromelia-infected cells with detrimental effects. Taken together, these results confirm the pivotal role of the Ly49H receptor during MCMV infection and open the way for further investigations in host-pathogen interactions.
Project description:Natural killer (NK) cells are key mediators in the control of cytomegalovirus infection. Here, we show that Epstein-Barr virus-induced 3 (EBI3) is expressed by human NK cells after NKG2D or IL-12 plus IL-18 stimulation and by mouse NK cells during mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. The induction of EBI3 protein expression in mouse NK cells is a late activation event. Thus, early activation events of NK cells, such as IFN? production and CD69 expression, were not affected in EBI3-deficient (Ebi3-/- ) C57BL/6 (B6) mice during MCMV infection. Furthermore, comparable levels of early viral replication in spleen and liver were observed in MCMV-infected Ebi3-/- and wild-type (WT) B6 mice. Interestingly, the viral load in salivary glands and oral lavage was strongly decreased in the MCMV-infected Ebi3-/- B6 mice, suggesting that EBI3 plays a role in the establishment of MCMV latency. We detected a decrease in the sustained IL-10 production by NK cells and lower serum levels of IL-10 in the MCMV-infected Ebi3-/- B6 mice. Furthermore, we observed an increase in dendritic cell maturation markers and an increase in activated CD8+ T cells. Thus, EBI3 dampens the immune response against MCMV infection, resulting in prolonged viral persistence.
Project description:Recent work indicates that salivary glands are able to constitutively recruit CD8+ T cells and retain them as tissue-resident memory T cells, independently of local infection, inflammation, or Ag. To understand the mechanisms supporting T cell recruitment to the salivary gland, we compared T cell migration to the salivary gland in mice that were infected or not with murine CMV (MCMV), a herpesvirus that infects the salivary gland and promotes the accumulation of salivary gland tissue-resident memory T cells. We found that acute MCMV infection increased rapid T cell recruitment to the salivary gland but that equal numbers of activated CD8+ T cells eventually accumulated in infected and uninfected glands. T cell recruitment to uninfected salivary glands depended on chemokines and the integrin ?4 Several chemokines were expressed in the salivary glands of infected and uninfected mice, and many of these could promote the migration of MCMV-specific T cells in vitro. MCMV infection increased the expression of chemokines that interact with the receptors CXCR3 and CCR5, but neither receptor was needed for T cell recruitment to the salivary gland during MCMV infection. Unexpectedly, however, the chemokine receptor CXCR3 was critical for T cell accumulation in uninfected salivary glands. Together, these data suggest that CXCR3 and the integrin ?4 mediate T cell recruitment to uninfected salivary glands but that redundant mechanisms mediate T cell recruitment after MCMV infection.
Project description:Natural Killer (NK) cells contribute to the control of viral infection by directly killing target cells and mediating cytokine release. In C57BL/6 mice, the Ly49H activating NK cell receptor plays a key role in early resistance to mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection through specific recognition of the MCMV-encoded MHC class I-like molecule m157 expressed on infected cells. Here we show that transgenic expression of Ly49H failed to provide protection against MCMV infection in the naturally susceptible A/J mouse strain. Characterization of Ly49H(+) NK cells from Ly49h-A transgenic animals showed that they were able to mount a robust cytotoxic response and proliferate to high numbers during the course of infection. However, compared to NK cells from C57BL/6 mice, we observed an intrinsic defect in their ability to produce IFN? when challenged by either m157-expressing target cells, exogenous cytokines or chemical stimulants. This effect was limited to NK cells as T cells from C57BL/6 and Ly49h-A mice produced comparable cytokine levels. Using a panel of recombinant congenic strains derived from A/J and C57BL/6 progenitors, we mapped the genetic basis of defective IFN? production to a single 6.6 Mb genetic interval overlapping the Ifng gene on chromosome 10. Inspection of the genetic interval failed to reveal molecular differences between A/J and several mouse strains showing normal IFN? production. The chromosome 10 locus is independent of MAPK signalling or decreased mRNA stability and linked to MCMV susceptibility. This study highlights the existence of a previously uncovered NK cell-specific cis-regulatory mechanism of Ifn? transcript expression potentially relevant to NK cell function in health and disease.
Project description:Murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) is an important animal model of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a ?-Herpesvirus that infects the majority of the world's population and causes disease in neonates and immunocompromised adults. CD8(+) T cells are a major part of the immune response to MCMV and HCMV. Processing of peptides for presentation to CD8(+) T cells may be critically dependent on the immunoproteasome, expression of which is affected by MCMV. However, the overall importance of the immunoproteasome in the generation of immunodominant peptides from MCMV is not known. We therefore examined the role of the immunoproteasome in stimulation of CD8(+) T cell responses to MCMV - both conventional memory responses and those undergoing long-term expansion or "inflation". We infected LMP7(-/-) and C57BL/6 mice with MCMV or with newly-generated recombinant vaccinia viruses (rVVs) encoding the immunodominant MCMV protein M45 in either full-length or epitope-only minigene form. We analysed CD8(+) T cell responses using intracellular cytokine stain (ICS) and MHC Class I tetramer staining for a panel of MCMV-derived epitopes. We showed a critical role for immunoproteasome in MCMV affecting all epitopes studied. Interestingly we found that memory "inflating" epitopes demonstrate reduced immunoproteasome dependence compared to non-inflating epitopes. M45-specific responses induced by rVVs remain immunoproteasome-dependent. These results help to define a critical restriction point for CD8(+) T cell epitopes in natural cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and potentially in vaccine strategies against this and other viruses.
Project description:Prominent immune alterations associated with aging include the loss of naïve T-cell numbers, diversity and function. While genetic contributors and mechanistic details in the aging process have been addressed in multiple studies, the role of environmental agents in immune aging remains incompletely understood. From the standpoint of environmental infectious agents, latent cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been associated with an immune risk profile in the elderly humans, yet the cause-effect relationship of this association remains unclear. Here we present direct experimental evidence that mouse CMV (MCMV) infection results in select T-cell subset changes associated with immune aging, namely the increase of relative and absolute counts of CD8 T-cells in the blood, with a decreased representation of the naïve and the increased representation of the effector memory blood CD8 T-cells. Moreover, MCMV infection resulted in significantly weaker CD8 responses to superinfection with Influenza, Human Herpes Virus I or West-Nile-Virus, even 16 months following MCMV infection. These irreversible losses in T-cell function could not be observed in uninfected or in vaccinia virus-infected controls and were not due to the immune-evasive action of MCMV genes. Rather, the CD8 activation in draining lymph nodes upon viral challenge was decreased in MCMV infected mice and the immune response correlated directly to the frequency of the naïve and inversely to that of the effector cells in the blood CD8 pool. Therefore, latent MCMV infection resulted in pronounced changes of the T-cell compartment consistent with impaired naïve T-cell function.