Virus-like nanostructures for tuning immune response.
ABSTRACT: Synthetic vaccines utilize viral signatures to trigger immune responses. Although the immune responses raised against the biochemical signatures of viruses are well characterized, the mechanism of how they affect immune response in the context of physical signatures is not well studied. In this work, we investigated the ability of zero- and one-dimensional self-assembled peptide nanostructures carrying unmethylated CpG motifs (signature of viral DNA) for tuning immune response. These nanostructures represent the two most common viral shapes, spheres and rods. The nanofibrous structures were found to direct immune response towards Th1 phenotype, which is responsible for acting against intracellular pathogens such as viruses, to a greater extent than nanospheres and CpG ODN alone. In addition, nanofibers exhibited enhanced uptake into dendritic cells compared to nanospheres or the ODN itself. The chemical stability of the ODN against nuclease-mediated degradation was also observed to be enhanced when complexed with the peptide nanostructures. In vivo studies showed that nanofibers promoted antigen-specific IgG production over 10-fold better than CpG ODN alone. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report showing the modulation of the nature of an immune response through the shape of the carrier system.
Project description:The immunological immaturity of the innate immune system during the first-week post-hatch enables pathogens to infect chickens, leading to the death of the animals. Current preventive solutions to improve the resistance of chicks to infections include vaccination, breeding, and sanitation. Other prophylactic solutions have been investigated, such as the stimulation of animal health with immunostimulants. Recent studies showed that administration of immune-modulators to one-day-old chicks, or in ovo, significantly reduces mortality in experimental bacterial or viral infection challenge models. Owing to a lack of molecular biomarkers required to evaluate chicken immune responses and assess the efficacy of vaccines or immune-modulators, challenge models are still used. One way to reduce challenge experiments is to define molecular signatures through omics approaches, resulting in new methodologies to rapidly screen candidate molecules or vaccines. This study aims at identifying a dual transcriptomics and metabolomics blood signature after administration of CpG-ODN (cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotides), a reference immune-stimulatory molecule. A clinical study was conducted with chicks and transcriptomics and metabolomics analyses were performed on whole-blood and plasma samples, respectively. Differentially expressed genes and metabolites with different abundance were identified in chicks treated with CpG-ODN. The results showed that CpG-ODN activated the innate immune system, within hours after administration, and its effect lasted over time, as metabolomics and transcriptomics profiles still varied 6 D after administration. In conclusion, through an integrated clinical omics approach, we deciphered in part the mode of action of CpG-ODN in post-hatch chicks.
Project description:CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN) stimulate immune cells from a wide spectrum of mammalian species. Class C CpG-ODN is relatively stable and has the combined immune effects of both A and B classes of CpG-ODN. Trypanosoma evansi produces the state of immuno-suppression in the infected hosts. The current chemotherapeutic agents against this parasite are limited in number and usually associated with severe side effects. The present work aimed to determine the immunostimulatory effects of CpG-ODN class C in T. evansi infected rabbits. Rabbits inoculated with CpG C and challenged with T. evansi resulted in delayed onset of clinical signs with reduced severity in comparison to that of T. evansi infected rabbits. The treatment also enhanced humoral immune responses. Histopathological findings in liver and spleen revealed enhancement of mononuclear cell infiltration and secondary B cell follicles. These results demonstrate that CpG-ODN class C, has immunostimulatory properties in rabbit model of trypanosomosis. The use of booster doses or sustained delivery of CpG-ODN will further elucidate the prolonged CpG-ODN generated immune responses.
Project description:Schistosomiasis is a neglected parasitic disease of major public health concern as it affects over 250 million people in developing countries. Currently there is no licensed vaccine available against schistosomiasis. The Schistosoma mansoni calpain protein, Sm-p80, is a leading vaccine candidate now ready to move to clinical trials. In order to better assess Sm-p80 vaccine immunogenicity; here we used a systems biology approach employing RNA-sequencing to identify gene signatures and epistatic interactions following Sm-p80 vaccination in mouse and baboon models that may predict vaccine efficacy. Recombinant Sm-p80 + CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) vaccine formulation induced both cellular and humoral immunity genes with a predominant TH1 response as well as TH2 and TH17 gene signatures. Early gene responses and gene-network interactions in mice immunized with rSm-p80 + ODN appear to be initiated through TLR4 signaling. CSF genes, S100A alarmin genes and TNFRSF genes appear to be a signature of vaccine immunogenicity/efficacy as identified by their participation in gene network interactions in both mice and baboons. These gene families may provide a basis for predicting desirable outcomes for vaccines against schistosomiasis leading to a better understanding of the immune system response to vaccination.
Project description:Oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG-ODN) induce innate immunity against bacterial infections. Despite recent advances, how CpG-ODN alone protects against bacterial infections remained elusive. Here, we report for the first time, to our knowledge, that CpG-ODN orchestrates anti-microbial protective immunity by inducing a rapid enrichment of various immune compartments in chickens. In this study, eighteen-day-old embryonated eggs were injected with either 50?µg of CpG-ODN or saline (~n?=?90 per group). In the first experiment, four days after CpG-ODN treatment, chicks were challenged subcutaneously with a virulent strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and mortality was monitored for 8 days. We found significant protection, and reduced clinical scores in CpG-ODN treated chicks. To gain insights into mechanisms of protection induced by CpG-ODN, first we investigated cytokine expression kinetics elicited by CpG-ODN. The spleen and lung were collected from embryos or chicks (n?=?3-4 per group) at 10 time points post-CpG-ODN inoculation. Multiplex gene analysis (interleukin (IL)-1, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-18, interferon (IFN)-?, IFN-?, and lipopolysaccharide induced tumor necrosis factor (LITAF), revealed a significantly higher expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines following CpG-ODN treatment compared to the saline controls. In our study, LITAF stands out in the cytokine profiles of spleen and lungs, underscoring its role in CpG-ODN-induced protection. The third experiment was designed to examine the effects of CpG-ODN on immune cell populations in spleen, lungs, and thymus. Flow cytometry analysis was conducted at 24, 48 and 72?hrs (thymus only collected at 72?hr) after CpG-ODN administration to examine the changes in CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets, monocyte/macrophage cell populations and their expression of maturation markers (CD40 and CD86). Flow cytometry data indicated a significant enrichment of macrophages, CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets in both spleen and lungs of CpG-ODN treated embryos and chicks. Macrophages in spleen and lungs showed an upregulation of CD40 but not CD86, whereas thymocytes revealed significantly high CD4 and CD8 expression. Overall, the present study has demonstrated that CpG-ODN provides protection in neonatal chicks against E. coli infection not only by eliciting cytokine responses and stimulating immune cells but also through enriching immunological niches in spleen and lungs.
Project description:Stimulation of toll-like receptor-9 by CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN) has been shown to counteract the immunosuppressive microenvironment and to inhibit tumor growth in glioma models. These studies, however, have used high doses of CpG-ODN, which can induce toxicity in a clinical setting. The goal of this study was to evaluate the antitumor efficacy of multiple low-dose intratumoral CpG-ODN in a glioma model.Mice bearing 4-day-old intracranial GL261 gliomas received a single or multiple (two or four) intratumoral injections of CpG-ODN (3 microg) every 4 days. Tumor growth was measured by bioluminescent imaging, brain histology, and animal survival. Flow cytometry and cytotoxicity assays were used to assess anti-glioma immune response.Two and four intracranial injections of low-dose CpG-ODN, but not a single injection, eradicated gliomas in 70% of mice. Moreover, surviving animals exhibited durable tumor-free remission (> 3 months) and were protected from intracranial rechallenge with GL261 gliomas, showing the capacity for long-term antitumor immunity. Although most inflammatory cells seemed to increase, activated natural killer (NK) cells (i.e., NK(+)CD107a(+)) were more frequent than CD8(+)CD107a(+) in the brains of rechallenged CpG-ODN-treated animals and showed a stronger in vitro cytotoxicity against GL261 target cells. Leukocyte depletion studies confirmed that NK cells played an important role in the initial CpG-ODN antitumor response, but both CD8 and NK cells were equally important in long-term immunity against gliomas.These findings suggest that multiple low-dose intratumoral injections of CpG-ODN can eradicate intracranial gliomas possibly through mechanisms involving NK-mediated effector function.
Project description:There is an urgent need for innovative therapies against ovarian cancer, one of the leading causes of death from gynecological cancers in the United States. Immunotherapy employing Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands, such as CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN), may serve as a potentially promising approach in the control of ovarian tumors. The CpG-ODN requires intracellular delivery into the endosomal compartment, where it can bind to TLR9 in order to activate the immune system. In the current study, we aim to investigate whether the antimicrobial polypeptide from the cathelicidin family, LL-37, could enhance the immunostimulatory effects of CpG-ODN by increasing the uptake of CpG-ODN into the immune cells, thus enhancing the antitumor effects against ovarian cancer. We found that treatment with the combination of CpG-ODN and LL-37 generated significantly better therapeutic antitumor effects and enhanced survival in murine ovarian tumor-bearing mice compared with treatment with CpG-ODN or LL-37 alone. We also observed that treatment with the combination of CpG-ODN and LL-37 enhanced proliferation and activation of natural killer (NK) cells, but not CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells, in the peritoneal cavity. Furthermore, in vivo antibody depletion experiments indicated that peritoneal NK cells played a critical role in the observed antitumor effects. Thus, our data suggest that the combination of CpG-ODN with LL-37 peptide may lead to the control of ovarian tumors through the activation of innate immunity.
Project description:To determine if deoxycytidyl-deoxyguanosine oligonucleotides (CpG ODN) can be used effectively as nonspecific inducers of innate immune defenses for preventative or therapeutic interventions in infectious disease models for nonhuman primates, the present study evaluated the response of rhesus monkey peripheral blood mononuclear cells to three different synthetic CpG ODN classes by defining the cytokine gene expression patterns and by characterizing IFN-alpha/beta responses. Depending on the type and dose of CpG ODN used for stimulation, distinct gene expression patterns were induced. CpG ODN class A (CpG-A ODN) and CpG-C ODN, but not CpG-B ODN, were potent inducers of alpha interferon (IFN-alpha), and this response was due to IFN-alpha production by TLR9-positive plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Importantly, there was a dose-dependent increase in IFN-alpha responses to CpG-A ODN but a dose-dependent decrease in IFN-alpha responses by CpG-B ODN. The most sustained IFN-alpha response was induced by CpG-A ODN and was associated with a stronger induction of interferon regulatory factor 7 and the induction of several interferon-stimulated genes. In contrast, and independent of the dose, CpG-B ODN were the weakest inducers of IFN-alpha but the most potent inducers of proinflammatory cytokines. CpG-C ODN induced cytokine gene expression patterns that were intermediate between those of CpG-A and CpG-B ODN. Thus, the different types of CpG ODN induce different post-TLR9 signaling pathways that result in distinct cytokine gene expression patterns. Based on these findings, A and C class CpG ODN, but not B class CpG ODN, may be particularly suited for use as therapeutic or prophylactic antiviral interventions.
Project description:Adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene delivery to skeletal muscle is being explored for systemic delivery of therapeutic proteins. To better understand the signals that govern antibody formation against secreted transgene products in this approach, we administered an intramuscular dose of AAV1 vector expressing human coagulation factor IX (hFIX), which does not cause antibody formation against hFIX in C57BL/6 mice. Interestingly, co-administration of a TLR9 agonist (CpG-deoxyoligonucleotide, ODN) but not of lipopolysaccharide, caused a transient anti-hFIX response. ODN activated monocyte-derived dendritic cells and enhanced T follicular helper cell responses. While depletion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) also caused an antibody response, TLR9 activation combined with Treg depletion instead resulted in prolonged CD8+ T cell infiltration of transduced muscle. Thus, Tregs modulate the response to the TLR9 agonist. Further, Treg re-population eventually resolved humoral and cellular immune responses. Therefore, specific modes of TLR9 activation and Tregs orchestrate antibody formation in muscle gene transfer.
Project description:The transition to antibiotic-free poultry production in the face of pathogenic threats is a very challenging task. We recently demonstrated that mucosal delivery of CpG-ODN alone by the intrapulmonary route (IPL) has potential as an effective alternative to antibiotics in neonatal chicks against Escherichia coli septicemia. How exactly mucosal delivery of CpG-ODN elicits, protective antibacterial immunity remained poorly understood. In this study, CpG-ODN or saline was delivered via the intrapulmonary route to day-old chicks (n?=?80/group) using a compressor nebulizer in an acrylic chamber (1?mg/mL CpG-ODN for 15?minutes). In the first part of the study, two days after mucosal CpG-ODN delivery, 40 chicks from each group were challenged subcutaneously with 1?×?105 cfu (n?=?20) or 1?×?106 cfu (n?=?20) of E. coli and the mortality pattern was monitored for seven days. We found significantly higher survival, better clinical conditions and lower bacterial loads in chicks that received mucosal CpG-ODN. To explore the mechanisms behind this protective immunity, we first looked at the kinetics of the cytokine gene expression (three birds/ group/ time for 10 time-points) in the lungs and spleens. Multiplex gene analysis demonstrated a significant elevation of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes mRNA in the CpG-ODN group. Interleukin (IL)-1? robustly upregulated many folds in the lung after CpG-ODN delivery. Lipopolysaccharide-induced tumor necrosis factor (LITAF) and IL-18 showed expression for an extended period in the lungs. Anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was upregulated in both lungs and spleen, whereas IL-4 showed upregulation in the lungs. To investigate the kinetics of immune enrichment in the lungs and spleens, we performed flow cytometry, histology, and immunohistochemistry at 24, 48 and 72 hrs after CpG-ODN delivery. CpG-ODN treated lungs showed a significant enrichment with monocytes/macrophages and CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets. Macrophages in CpG-ODN treated group demonstrated mature phenotypes (higher CD40 and MHCII expression). Importantly, mucosal delivery of CpG-ODN via the intrapulmonary route significantly enriched immune compartment in the spleen as well, suggesting a systemic effect in neonatal chicks. Altogether, intrapulmonary delivery of aerosolized CpG-ODN orchestrates protective immunity against E. coli septicemia by not only enhancing mucosal immunity but also the systemic immune responses.
Project description:Avian infectious bronchitis (IB) is an acute, highly infectious and contagious viral disease of chickens caused by avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) belonging to the genus Coronavirus and family Coronaviridae. It can affect all age groups of birds. The toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a major class of innate immune pattern recognition receptors that have a key role in immune response and defense against various infections.The TLRs are essential for initiation of innate immune responses and in the development of adaptive immune responses. An in ovo model was employed to study the antiviral activity of TLR ligands (Pam3CSK4, LPS and CpG ODN) on replication of IBV. It was hypothesized that optimum dose and specific timing of TLR ligands may reduce viral load of IBV in specific pathogen free (SPF) embryonated chicken eggs (ECEs). Further, the mechanism involved in the TLR-mediated antiviral response in chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of ECEs was investigated. The ECEs of 9-11 days old were treated with different doses (high, intermediate and low) of TLR-2 (Pam3CSK4), TLR-4 (LPS) and TLR-21 (CpG ODN) ligands. In addition, to know the timing of TLR ligand treatment, six time intervals were analyzed viz. 36, 24 and 12?h prior to infection, time of infection (co-administration of TLR ligands and avian IBV) and 12 and 24?h post-IBV infection. For studying the relative expression of immuno-stimulatory genes (IFN-?, IFN-?, IFN-?, IL-1?, iNOS and OAS) in CAM, TLR ligands were administered through intra-allantoicroute and CAM were collected at 4, 8 and 16?h post treatment. The results demonstrated that intermediate dose of all the three TLR ligands significantly reduced virus titers and used in the present study. However, the LPS reduced virus titer pre- and post-IBV infection but Pam3CSK4 and CpG ODN reduced only pre-IBV infection. Further analysis showed that TLR ligands induced IFN-?, IL-1? and IFN stimulated genes viz. iNOS and OAS genes in CAM. The present study pointed towards the novel opportunities for rational design of LPS as immuno-stimulatory agent in chickens with reference to IBV. It may be speculated that in ovo administration of these TLR ligands may enhance resistance against viral infection in neonatal chicken and may contribute towards the development of more effective and safer vaccines including in ovo vaccines.