Compartmentalized HIV rebound in the central nervous system after interruption of antiretroviral therapy.
ABSTRACT: To design effective eradication strategies, it may be necessary to target HIV reservoirs in anatomic compartments other than blood. This study examined HIV RNA rebound following interruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to determine whether the central nervous system (CNS) might serve as an independent source of resurgent viral replication. Paired blood and CSF samples were collected longitudinally from 14 chronically HIV-infected individuals undergoing ART interruption. HIV env (C2-V3), gag (p24) and pol (reverse transcriptase) were sequenced from cell-free HIV RNA and cell-associated HIV DNA in blood and CSF using the Roche 454 FLX Titanium platform. Comprehensive sequence and phylogenetic analyses were performed to search for evidence of unique or differentially represented viral subpopulations emerging in CSF supernatant as compared with blood plasma. Using a conservative definition of compartmentalization based on four distinct statistical tests, nine participants presented a compartmentalized HIV RNA rebound within the CSF after interruption of ART, even when sampled within 2 weeks from viral rebound. The degree and duration of viral compartmentalization varied considerably between subjects and between time-points within a subject. In 10 cases, we identified viral populations within the CSF supernatant at the first sampled time-point after ART interruption, which were phylogenetically distinct from those present in the paired blood plasma and mostly persisted over time (when longitudinal time-points were available). Our data suggest that an independent source of HIV RNA contributes to viral rebound within the CSF after treatment interruption. The most likely source of compartmentalized HIV RNA is a CNS reservoir that would need to be targeted to achieve complete HIV eradication.
Project description:If strategies currently in development succeed in eradicating HIV reservoirs in peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues, residual sources of virus may remain in anatomic compartments. Paired blood and semen samples were collected from 12 individuals enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled therapeutic vaccine clinical trial in people with HIV (PWH) who began antiretroviral therapy (ART) during acute or early infection (ClinicalTrials registration no. NCT01859325). After the week 56 visit (postintervention), all participants interrupted ART. At the first available time points after viral rebound, we sequenced HIV-1 <i>env</i> (C2-V3), <i>gag</i> (p24), and <i>pol</i> (reverse transcriptase) regions amplified from cell-free HIV RNA in blood and seminal plasma using the MiSeq Illumina platform. Comprehensive sequence and phylogenetic analyses were performed to evaluate viral population structure, compartmentalization, and viral diversity in blood and seminal plasma. Compared to that in blood, HIV RNA rebound in semen occurred significantly later (median of 66 versus 42?days post-ART interruption, <i>P</i> < 0.01) and reached lower levels (median 164 versus 16,090 copies/ml, <i>P</i> < 0.01). Three of five participants with available sequencing data presented compartmentalized viral rebound between blood and semen in one HIV coding region. Despite early ART initiation, HIV RNA molecular diversity was higher in semen than in blood in all three coding regions for most participants. Higher HIV RNA molecular diversity in the genital tract (compared to that in blood plasma) and evidence of compartmentalization illustrate the distinct evolutionary dynamics between these two compartments after ART interruption. Future research should evaluate whether the genital compartment might contribute to viral rebound in some PWH interrupting ART.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> To cure HIV, we likely need to target the reservoirs in all anatomic compartments. Here, we used sophisticated statistical and phylogenetic methods to analyze blood and semen samples collected from 12 persons with HIV who began antiretroviral therapy (ART) during very early HIV infection and who interrupted their ART as part of a clinical trial. First, we found that HIV RNA rebound in semen occurred significantly later and reached lower levels than in blood. Second, we found that the virus in semen was genetically different in some participants compared to that in blood. Finally, we found increased HIV RNA molecular diversity in semen compared to that in blood in almost all study participants. These data suggest that the HIV RNA populations emerging from the genital compartment after ART interruption might not be the same as those emerging from blood plasma. Future research should evaluate whether the genital compartment might contribute to viral rebound in some people with HIV (PWH) interrupting ART.
Project description:HIV-1 subtype B replication in the CNS can occur in CD4+ T cells or macrophages/microglia in adults. However, little is known about CNS infection in children or the ability of subtype C HIV-1 to evolve macrophage-tropic variants. In this study, we examined HIV-1 variants in ART-naïve children aged three years or younger to determine viral genotypes and phenotypes associated with HIV-1 subtype C pediatric CNS infection. We examined HIV-1 subtype C populations in blood and CSF of 43 Malawian children with neurodevelopmental delay or acute neurological symptoms. Using single genome amplification (SGA) and phylogenetic analysis of the full-length env gene, we defined four states: equilibrated virus in blood and CSF (n?=?20, 47%), intermediate compartmentalization (n?=?11, 25%), and two distinct types of compartmentalized CSF virus (n?=?12, 28%). Older age and a higher CSF/blood viral load ratio were associated with compartmentalization, consistent with independent replication in the CNS. Cell tropism was assessed using pseudotyped reporter viruses to enter a cell line on which CD4 and CCR5 receptor expression can be differentially induced. In a subset of compartmentalized cases (n?=?2, 17%), the CNS virus was able to infect cells with low CD4 surface expression, a hallmark of macrophage-tropic viruses, and intermediate compartmentalization early was associated with an intermediate CD4 entry phenotype. Transmission of multiple variants was observed for 5 children; in several cases, one variant was sequestered within the CNS, consistent with early stochastic colonization of the CNS by virus. Thus we hypothesize two pathways to compartmentalization: early stochastic sequestration in the CNS of one of multiple variants transmitted from mother to child, and emergence of compartmentalized variants later in infection, on average at age 13.5 months, and becoming fully apparent in the CSF by age 18 months. Overall, compartmentalized viral replication in the CNS occurred in half of children by year three.
Project description:Therapies to achieve sustained antiretroviral therapy-free HIV remission will require validation in analytic treatment interruption (ATI) trials. Identifying biomarkers that predict time to viral rebound could accelerate the development of such therapeutics.A pooled analysis of participants from six AIDS Clinical Trials Group ATI studies to identify predictors of viral rebound.Cell-associated DNA (CA-DNA) and CA-RNA were quantified in pre-ATI peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples, and residual plasma viremia was measured using the single-copy assay.Participants who initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) during acute/early HIV infection and those on a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-containing regimen had significantly delayed viral rebound. Participants who initiated ART during acute/early infection had lower levels of pre-ATI CA-RNA (acute/early vs. chronic-treated: median <92 vs. 156 HIV-1 RNA copies/10 CD4 cells, P?<?0.01). Higher pre-ATI CA-RNA levels were significantly associated with shorter time to viral rebound (?4 vs. 5-8 vs. >8 weeks: median 182 vs. 107 vs. <92 HIV-1 RNA copies/10 CD4 cells, Kruskal-Wallis P?<?0.01). The proportion of participants with detectable plasma residual viremia prior to ATI was significantly higher among those with shorter time to viral rebound.Higher levels of HIV expression while on ART are associated with shorter time to HIV rebound after treatment interruption. Quantification of the active HIV reservoir may provide a biomarker of efficacy for therapies that aim to achieve ART-free HIV remission.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-associated dementia (HAD) is a severe neurological disease that affects a subset of HIV-1-infected individuals. Increased compartmentalization has been reported between blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) HIV-1 populations in subjects with HAD, but it is still not known when compartmentalization arises during the course of infection. To assess HIV-1 genetic compartmentalization early during infection, we compared HIV-1 populations in the peripheral blood and CSF in 11 primary infection subjects, with analysis of longitudinal samples over the first 18 months for a subset of subjects. We used heteroduplex tracking assays targeting the variable regions of env and single-genome amplification and sequence analysis of the full-length env gene to identify CSF-compartmentalized variants and to examine viral genotypes within the compartmentalized populations. For most subjects, HIV-1 populations were equilibrated between the blood and CSF compartments. However, compartmentalized HIV-1 populations were detected in the CSF of three primary infection subjects, and longitudinal analysis of one subject revealed that compartmentalization during primary HIV-1 infection was resolved. Clonal amplification of specific HIV-1 variants was identified in the CSF population of one primary infection subject. Our data show that compartmentalization can occur in the central nervous system (CNS) of subjects in primary HIV-1 infection in part through persistence of the putative transmitted parental variant or via viral genetic adaptation to the CNS environment. The presence of distinct HIV-1 populations in the CSF indicates that independent HIV-1 replication can occur in the CNS, even early after HIV-1 transmission.
Project description:HIV-1 compartmentalization in the central nervous system (CNS) and its contribution to neurological disease have been well documented. Previous studies were conducted among people infected with subtypes B or C where CNS compartmentalization has been observed when comparing viral sequences in the blood to virus in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). However, little is known about CNS compartmentalization in other HIV-1 subtypes. Using a deep sequencing approach with Primer ID, we conducted a cross-sectional study among Nigerian and Malawian HIV-1 cohorts with or without fungal Cryptococcus infection diagnosed as cryptococcal meningitis (CM) to determine the extent of CSF/CNS compartmentalization with CM. Paired plasma and CSF samples from 45 participants were also analyzed for cytokine/chemokine levels. Viral populations comparing virus in the blood and the CSF ranged from compartmentalized to equilibrated, including minor or partial compartmentalization or clonal amplification of a single viral sequence. The frequency of compartmentalized viral populations in the blood and CSF was similar between the CM- and CM+ participants. We confirmed the potential to see compartmentalization with subtype C infection and have also documented CNS compartmentalization of an HIV-1 subtype G infection. Cytokine profiles indicated a proinflammatory environment, especially within the CSF/CNS. However, sCD163 was suppressed in the CSF in the presence of CM, perhaps due to elevated levels of IL-4, which were also a feature of the cytokine profile, showing a distinct cytokine profile with CM.
Project description:Compartmentalized HIV-1 replication within the central nervous system (CNS) likely provides a foundation for neurocognitive impairment and a potentially important tissue reservoir. The timing of emergence and character of this local CNS replication has not been defined in a population of subjects. We examined the frequency of elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) HIV-1 RNA concentration, the nature of CSF viral populations compared to the blood, and the presence of a cellular inflammatory response (with the potential to bring infected cells into the CNS) using paired CSF and blood samples obtained over the first two years of infection from 72 ART-naïve subjects. Using single genome amplification (SGA) and phylodynamics analysis of full-length env sequences, we compared CSF and blood viral populations in 33 of the 72 subjects. Independent HIV-1 replication in the CNS (compartmentalization) was detected in 20% of sample pairs analyzed by SGA, or 7% of all sample pairs, and was exclusively observed after four months of infection. In subjects with longitudinal sampling, 30% showed evidence of CNS viral replication or pleocytosis/inflammation in at least one time point, and in approximately 16% of subjects we observed evolving CSF/CNS compartmentalized viral replication and/or a marked CSF inflammatory response at multiple time points suggesting an ongoing or recurrent impact of the infection in the CNS. Two subjects had one of two transmitted lineages (or their recombinant) largely sequestered within the CNS shortly after transmission, indicating an additional mechanism for establishing early CNS replication. Transmitted variants were R5 T cell-tropic. Overall, examination of the relationships between CSF viral populations, blood and CSF HIV-1 RNA concentrations, and inflammatory responses suggested four distinct states of viral population dynamics, with associated mechanisms of local viral replication and the early influx of virus into the CNS. This study considerably enhances the generalizability of our results and greatly expands our knowledge of the early interactions of HIV-1 in the CNS.
Project description:The role of lymphoid tissue as a potential source of HIV-1 rebound following interruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is uncertain. To address this issue, we compared the latent viruses obtained from CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood and lymph nodes to viruses emerging during treatment interruption. Latent viruses were characterized by sequencing near-full-length (NFL) proviral DNA and env from viral outgrowth assays (VOAs). Five HIV-1-infected individuals on ART were studied, four of whom participated in a clinical trial of a TLR9 agonist that included an analytical treatment interruption. We found that 98% of intact or replication-competent clonal sequences overlapped between blood and lymph node. In contrast, there was no overlap between 205 latent reservoir and 125 rebound sequences in the four individuals who underwent treatment interruption. However, rebound viruses could be accounted for by recombination. The data suggest that CD4+ T cells carrying latent viruses circulate between blood and lymphoid tissues in individuals on ART and support the idea that recombination may play a role in the emergence of rebound viremia.IMPORTANCE HIV-1 persists as a latent infection in CD4+ T cells that can be found in lymphoid tissues in infected individuals during ART. However, the importance of this tissue reservoir and its contribution to viral rebound upon ART interruption are not clear. In this study, we sought to compare latent HIV-1 from blood and lymph node CD4+ T cells from five HIV-1-infected individuals. Further, we analyzed the contribution of lymph node viruses to viral rebound. We observed that the frequencies of intact proviruses were the same in blood and lymph node. Moreover, expanded clones of T cells bearing identical proviruses were found in blood and lymph node. These latent reservoir sequences did not appear to be the direct origin of rebound virus. Instead, latent proviruses were found to contribute to the rebound compartment by recombination.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Validated biomarkers to evaluate HIV-1 cure strategies are currently lacking, therefore requiring analytical treatment interruption (ATI) in study participants. Little is known about the safety of ATI and its long-term impact on patient health.<h4>Objectives</h4>ATI safety was assessed and potential biomarkers predicting viral rebound were evaluated.<h4>Methods</h4>PBMCs, plasma and CSF were collected from 11 HIV-1-positive individuals at four different timepoints during ATI (NCT02641756). Total and integrated HIV-1 DNA, cell-associated (CA) HIV-1 RNA transcripts and restriction factor (RF) expression were measured by PCR-based assays. Markers of neuroinflammation and neuronal injury [neurofilament light chain (NFL) and YKL-40 protein] were measured in CSF. Additionally, neopterin, tryptophan and kynurenine were measured, both in plasma and CSF, as markers of immune activation.<h4>Results</h4>Total HIV-1 DNA, integrated HIV-1 DNA and CA viral RNA transcripts did not differ pre- and post-ATI. Similarly, no significant NFL or YKL-40 increases in CSF were observed between baseline and viral rebound. Furthermore, markers of immune activation did not increase during ATI. Interestingly, the RFs SLFN11 and APOBEC3G increased after ATI before viral rebound. Similarly, Tat-Rev transcripts were increased preceding viral rebound after interruption.<h4>Conclusions</h4>ATI did not increase viral reservoir size and it did not reveal signs of increased neuronal injury or inflammation, suggesting that these well-monitored ATIs are safe. Elevation of Tat-Rev transcription and induced expression of the RFs SLFN11 and APOBEC3G after ATI, prior to viral rebound, indicates that these factors could be used as potential biomarkers predicting viral rebound.
Project description:Background:Identifying host determinants associated with HIV reservoir size and timing of viral rebound after an analytic treatment interruption (ATI) is an important step in the search for an HIV functional cure. We performed a pooled analysis of 103 participants from 4 AIDS Clinical Trials Group ATI studies to identify the association between HLA class I alleles with HIV reservoir size and viral rebound timing. Methods:Total HIV DNA and cell-associated HIV RNA (CA-RNA) were quantified in pre-ATI peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples, and residual plasma viremia was measured using the single-copy assay. HLA class I typing was performed, and we generated an odds ratio (OR) of predicted HLA effect on HIV viremia control for each individual and compared this with time to viral rebound, and levels of HIV DNA and CA-RNA. Results:There was no significant association between the HLA ORs and levels of HIV DNA or CA-RNA, but carriage of protective HLA-B alleles (lower OR scores) was associated with delayed viral rebound (P = 0.02). Higher OR scores at the HLA-C locus were associated with longer duration of ART treatment (P = 0.02) and this trend was also seen with the combined OR score (P < 0.01). Individuals with protective HLA-B alleles had delayed viral rebound after treatment interruption that was not explained by differences in baseline reservoir size. Conclusions:The results indicate the vital role of cellular host immunity in preventing HIV rebound and the importance of taking into account the HLA status of study participants being evaluated in trials for an HIV cure.
Project description:Even when antiretroviral therapy (ART) is started early after infection, HIV DNA might persist in the central nervous system (CNS), possibly contributing to inflammation, brain damage and neurocognitive impairment. Paired blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were collected from 16 HIV-infected individuals on suppressive ART: 9 participants started ART <4 months of the estimated date of infection (EDI) ("early ART"), and 7 participants started ART >14 months after EDI ("late ART"). For each participant, neurocognitive functioning was measured by Global Deficit Score (GDS). HIV DNA levels were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and CSF cell pellets by droplet digital (dd)PCR. Soluble markers of inflammation (sCD163, IL-6, MCP-1, TNF-?) and neuronal damage (neurofilament light [NFL]) were measured in blood and CSF supernatant by immunoassays. HIV-1 partial C2V3 env deep sequencing data (Roche 454) were obtained for 8 paired PBMC and CSF specimens and used for phylogenetic and compartmentalization analysis. Median exposure to ART at the time of sampling was 2.6 years (IQR: 2.2-3.7) and did not differ between groups. We observed that early ART was significantly associated with lower molecular diversity of HIV DNA in CSF (p<0.05), and lower IL-6 levels in CSF (p = 0.02), but no difference for GDS, NFL, or HIV DNA detectability compared to late ART. Compartmentalization of HIV DNA populations between CSF and blood was detected in 6 out of 8 participants with available paired HIV DNA sequences (2 from early and 4 from late ART group). Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the presence of monophyletic HIV DNA populations within the CSF in 7 participants, and the same population was repeatedly sampled over a 5 months period in one participant with longitudinal sampling. Such compartmentalized provirus in the CNS needs to be considered for the design of future eradication strategies and might contribute to the neuropathogenesis of HIV.