NK cell responses to simian immunodeficiency virus vaginal exposure in naive and vaccinated rhesus macaques.
ABSTRACT: NK cell responses to HIV/SIV infection have been well studied in acute and chronic infected patients/monkeys, but little is known about NK cells during viral transmission, particularly in mucosal tissues. In this article, we report a systematic study of NK cell responses to high-dose vaginal exposure to SIVmac251 in the rhesus macaque female reproductive tract (FRT). Small numbers of NK cells were recruited into the FRT mucosa following vaginal inoculation. The influx of mucosal NK cells preceded local virus replication and peaked at 1 wk and, thus, was in an appropriate time frame to control an expanding population of infected cells at the portal of entry. However, NK cells were greatly outnumbered by recruited target cells that fuel local virus expansion and were spatially dissociated from SIV RNA+ cells at the major site of expansion of infected founder populations in the transition zone and adjoining endocervix. The number of NK cells in the FRT mucosa decreased rapidly in the second week, while the number of SIV RNA+ cells in the FRT reached its peak. Mucosal NK cells produced IFN-? and MIP-1?/CCL3 but lacked several markers of activation and cytotoxicity, and this was correlated with inoculum-induced upregulation of the inhibitory ligand HLA-E and downregulation of the activating receptor CD122/IL-2R?. Examination of SIV?nef-vaccinated monkeys suggested that recruitment of NK cells to the genital mucosa was not involved in vaccine-induced protection from vaginal challenge. In summary, our results suggest that NK cells play, at most, a limited role in defenses in the FRT against vaginal challenge.
Project description:?? T cells act as a first line of defense against invading pathogens. However, despite their abundance in mucosal tissue, little information is available about their functionality in this compartment in the context of HIV/SIV infection. In this study, we evaluated the frequency, phenotype, and functionality of V?1 and V?2 T cells from blood, rectum, and the female reproductive tract (FRT) of rhesus macaques to determine whether these cells contribute to control of SIV infection. No alteration in the peripheral V?1/V?2 ratio in SIV-infected macaques was observed. However, CD8+ and CD4+CD8+ V?1 T cells were expanded along with upregulation of NKG2D, CD107, and granzyme B, suggesting cytotoxic function. In contrast, V?2 T cells showed a reduced ability to produce the inflammatory cytokine IFN-?. In the FRT of SIV+ macaques, V?1 and V?2 showed comparable levels across vaginal, ectocervical, and endocervical tissues; however, endocervical V?2 T cells showed higher inflammatory profiles than the two other regions. No sex difference was seen in the rectal V?1/V?2 ratio. Several peripheral V?1 and/or V?2 T cell subpopulations expressing IFN-? and/or NKG2D were positively correlated with decreased plasma viremia. Notably, V?2 CD8+ T cells of the endocervix were negatively correlated with chronic viremia. Overall, our results suggest that a robust V?1 and V?2 T cell response in blood and the FRT of SIV-infected macaques contribute to control of viremia.
Project description:The majority of new HIV infections occur in women as a result of heterosexual intercourse, overcoming multiple innate barriers to infection within the mucosa. However, the avenues through which infection is established, and the nature of bottlenecks to transmission, have been the source of considerable investigation and contention. Using a high dose of a single round non-replicating SIV-based vector containing a novel dual reporter system, we determined the sites of infection by the inoculum using the rhesus macaque vaginal transmission model. Here we show that the entire female reproductive tract (FRT), including the vagina, ecto- and endocervix, along with ovaries and local draining lymph nodes can contain transduced cells only 48 hours after inoculation. The distribution of infection shows that virions quickly disseminate after exposure and can access target cells throughout the FRT, with an apparent preference for infection in squamous vaginal and ectocervical mucosa. JRFL enveloped virions infect diverse CD4 expressing cell types, with T cells resident throughout the FRT representing the primary target. These findings establish a new perspective that the entire FRT is susceptible and virus can reach as far as the ovary and local draining lymph nodes. Based on these findings, it is essential that protective mechanisms for prevention of HIV acquisition must be present at protective levels throughout the entire FRT to provide complete protection.
Project description:The initial host response to viral infection occurs after Toll-like receptors (TLRs) on dendritic cells (DC) are stimulated by viral nucleic acids (double-stranded RNA, single-stranded RNA) and alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) and IFN-beta are produced. We hypothesized that pharmacologic induction of innate antiviral responses in the cervicovaginal mucosa by topical application of TLR agonists prior to viral exposure could prevent or blunt vaginal transmission of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). To test this hypothesis, we treated rhesus monkeys intravaginally with either the TLR9 agonist, CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN), or the TLR7 agonist, imiquimod. Both immune modifiers rapidly induced IFN-alpha and other antiviral effector molecules in the cervicovaginal mucosa of treated animals. However, both CpG ODN and imiquimod also induced proinflammatory cytokine expression in the cervicovaginal mucosa. In the vaginal mucosa of imiquimod-treated monkeys, we documented a massive mononuclear cell infiltrate consisting of activated CD4(+) T cells, DC, and beta-chemokine-secreting cells. After vaginal SIV inoculation, all TLR agonist-treated animals became infected and had plasma vRNA levels that were higher than those of control monkeys. We conclude that induction of mucosal innate immunity including an IFN-alpha response is not sufficient to prevent sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus.
Project description:The female reproductive tract (FRT) includes the oviducts (fallopian tubes), uterus, cervix and vagina. A layer of columnar epithelium separates the endocervix and uterus from the outside environment, while the vagina is lined with stratified squamous epithelium. The mucosa of the FRT is exposed to antigens originating from microflora, and occasionally from infectious microorganisms. Whether epithelial cells (ECs) of the FRT take up (sample) the lumen antigens is not known. To address this question, we examined the uptake of 20-40 nm nanoparticles (NPs) applied vaginally to mice which were not treated with hormones, epithelial disruptors, or adjuvants. We found that 20 and 40 nm NPs are quickly internalized by ECs of the upper FRT and within one hour could be observed in the lymphatic ducts that drain the FRT, as well as in the ileac lymph nodes (ILNs) and the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs). Chicken ovalbumin (Ova) conjugated to 20 nm NPs (NP-Ova) when administered vaginally reaches the internal milieu in an immunologically relevant form; thus vaginal immunization of mice with NP-Ova induces systemic IgG to Ova antigen. Most importantly, vaginal immunization primes the intestinal mucosa for secretion of sIgA. Sub-cutaneous (s.c) boosting immunization with Ova in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) further elevates the systemic (IgG1 and IgG2c) as well as mucosal (IgG1 and sIgA) antibody titers. These findings suggest that the modes of antigen uptake at mucosal surfaces and pathways of antigen transport are more complex than previously appreciated.
Project description:NK cells are essential for controlling viral infections. We investigated NK cell and innate lymphoid cell (ILC) dynamics and function in rhesus macaque rectal tissue and blood following mucosal priming with replicating adenovirus (Ad)-SIV recombinants, systemic boosting with SIV envelope protein, and subsequent repeated low-dose intravaginal SIV exposures. Mucosal memory-like NK and ILC subsets in rectal and vaginal tissues of chronically infected macaques were also evaluated. No differences in NK cell or ILC frequencies or cytokine production were seen between vaccinated and Ad-empty/alum controls, suggesting responses were due to the Ad-vector and alum vaccine components. Mucosal NKp44+ ILCs increased postvaccination and returned to prelevels postinfection. The vaccine regimen induced mucosal SIV-specific Ab, which mediated Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and was correlated with mucosal NKp44+CD16+ ILCs. Postvaccination NKp44+ and NKp44+IL-17+ ILC frequencies were associated with delayed SIV acquisition and decreased viremia. In chronically SIV-infected animals, NKp44+ ILCs negatively correlated with viral load, further suggesting a protective effect, whereas, NKG2A- NKp44- double-negative ILCs positively correlated with viral load, indicating a pathogenic role. No such associations of circulating NK cells were seen. ?? NK cells in mucosal tissues of chronically infected animals exhibited impaired cytokine production compared with non-?? NK cells but responded to anti-gp120 Ab and Gag peptides, whereas non-?? NK cells did not. Mucosal ?? NKp44+ and ?? DN cells were similarly associated with protection and disease progression, respectively. Thus, the data suggest NKp44+ ILCs and ?? cells contribute to SIV infection outcomes. Vaccines that promote mucosal NKp44+ and suppress double-negative ILCs are likely desirable.
Project description:The ER-resident chaperone gp96, when released by cell lysis, induces an immunogenic chemokine signature and causes innate immune activation of DC and NK cells. Here we show that intraperitoneal immunization with a genetically engineered, secreted form of gp96, gp96-Ig chaperoning SIV antigens, induces high levels of antigen specific CD8 CTL in the rectal and vaginal mucosa of Rhesus macaques. The frequency of SIV Gag- and SIV Tat-tetramer positive CD8 CTL in the intestinal mucosa reached 30-50% after the third immunization. Tetramer positive CD8 CTL expressed appropriate functional (granzyme B) and migration markers (CD103). The polyepitope specificity of the mucosal CD8 and CD4 response is evident from a strong, multifunctional cytokine response upon stimulation with peptides covering the gag, tat and env proteins. Induction of powerful mucosal effector CD8 CTL responses by cell-based gp96(SIV)-Ig immunization may provide a pathway to the development of safe and effective SIV/HIV vaccines.
Project description:Several studies suggest that progesterone and estrogens may affect HIV transmission in different, possibly opposing ways. Nonetheless, a direct comparison of their effects on the mucosal immune system has never been done. We hypothesize that sex hormones might impact the availability of cells and immune factors important in early stages of mucosal transmission, and, in doing so influence the risk of HIV acquisition. To test this hypothesis, we employed 15 ovarectomized rhesus macaques: 5 were treated with Depot Medroxy Progesterone Acetate (DMPA), 6 with 17-? estradiol (E2) and 4 were left untreated. All animals were euthanized 5 weeks after the initiation of hormone treatment, a time post-DMPA injection associated with high susceptibility to SIV infection. We found that DMPA-treated macaques exhibited higher expression of integrin ?4?7 (?4?7) on CD4+ T cells, the gut homing receptor and a marker of cells highly susceptible to HIV, in the endocervix than did the E2-treated animals. In contrast, the frequency of CCR5+ CD4+ T cells in DMPA-treated macaques was higher than in the E2-treated group in vaginal tissue, but lower in endocervix. ?4?7 expression on dendritic cells (DCs) was higher in the DMPA-treated group in the endocervical tissue, but lower in vaginal tissue and on blood DCs compared with the E2-treated animals. Soluble MAdCAM-1, the ?4?7 ligand, was present in the vaginal fluids of the control and E2-treated groups, but absent in the fluids from DMPA-treated animals. Both hormones modulated the expression and release of inflammatory factors and modified the distribution of sialomucins in the endocervix. In summary, we found that sex hormones profoundly impact mucosal immune factors that are directly implicated in HIV transmission. The effect is particularly significant in the endocervix. This may increase our understanding of the potential hormone-driven modulation of HIV susceptibility and potentially guide contraceptive policies in high-risk settings.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to determine whether rhesus monkeys of Chinese origin are suitable for studies of mucosal lentivirus transmission by comparing the relative ability of these animals and rhesus macaques of Indian origin to become infected by vaginal (IVAG) inoculation with SIVmac251. In addition, we sought to test the hypothesis that differences in viral load during the first few weeks after inoculation were due to the relative strength of the anti-SIV immune responses in the two populations of rhesus macaques. Significant difference was not observed between the number of Indian and Chinese origin monkeys that were infected after IVAG SIV inoculation in this study. For 8-9 weeks after infection there was considerable overlap in the range of viral loads among the Indian and Chinese animals and the variation among the Indian origin animals was greater than the variation among the Chinese origin monkeys. By 6 weeks postinfection, viral loads in SIV-infected Chinese origin monkeys tended to be at the lower end of the range of viral loads observed in SIV-infected Indian origin monkeys. The strength of the anti-SIV antibody response was also more variable in the Indian origin rhesus macaques, but at 6-8 weeks postinfection, Chinese and Indian origin rhesus macaques had similar titers of anti-SIV antibodies. Microsatellite allele frequencies differed between Chinese and Indian rhesus macaques; however, the majority of alleles present in Indian-origin animals were also found in Chinese macaques. Together these results show that host factors, other than geographic origin, determine the ability of a rhesus macaque to be infected after IVAG SIV exposure and that geographic origin does not predict the viral load of SIV-infected animals during the first 8-9 weeks after IVAG inoculation.
Project description:Microbial translocation (MT) causes systemic immune activation in chronic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The role of a novel subtype of innate lymphoid cells, the NKp44(+) NK cells, in HIV/simian immunodeficiency virus- (SIV-) induced MT remains unknown. In this study, 12 simian-human immunodeficiency virus- (SHIV-) infected macaques were chosen and split into two groups based on the MT level. Blood and Peripheral lymphoid tissue were sampled for flow cytometric analysis, viral load detection, and interleukin testing. Then, six naive Chinese macaques were used to determine the dynamics of cytokine secretion from mucosal NKp44(+) NK cells in different phases of SIV infection. As a result, the degranulation capacity and IL-22 production of mucosal NKp44(+) NK cells were associated with the MT level in the SHIV-infected macaques. And the number of mucosal NKp44(+) NK cells and IL-22 secretion by these cells were lower in the chronic phase than in the early acute phase of SIV infection. The number of mucosal NKp44(+) NK cells and interleukin-22 (IL-22) secretion by these cells increased before MT occurred. Therefore, we conclude that a decline in IL-22 production from mucosal NKp44(+) NK cells induced by virus infection may be one of the causes of microbial translocation in HIV/SIV infection.
Project description:While the contribution of CD8? cytotoxic T lymphocytes to early containment of HIV-1 spread is well established, a role for NK cells in controlling HIV-1 replication during primary infection has been uncertain. The highly polymorphic family of KIR molecules expressed on NK cells can inhibit or activate these effector cells and might therefore modulate their activity against HIV-1-infected cells. In the present study, we investigated copy number variation in KIR3DH loci encoding the only activating KIR receptor family in rhesus monkeys and its effect on simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replication during primary infection in rhesus monkeys. We observed an association between copy numbers of KIR3DH genes and control of SIV replication in Mamu-A*01? rhesus monkeys that express restrictive TRIM5 alleles. These findings provide further evidence for an association between NK cells and the early containment of SIV replication, and underscore the potential importance of activating KIRs in stimulating NK cell responses to control SIV spread.