Defective T-cell control of Epstein-Barr virus infection in multiple sclerosis.
ABSTRACT: Mounting evidence indicates that infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has a major role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Defective elimination of EBV-infected B cells by CD8+ T cells might cause MS by allowing EBV-infected autoreactive B cells to accumulate in the brain. Here we undertake a comprehensive analysis of the T-cell response to EBV in MS, using flow cytometry and intracellular IFN-? staining to measure T-cell responses to EBV-infected autologous lymphoblastoid cell lines and pools of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-class-I-restricted peptides from EBV lytic or latent proteins and cytomegalovirus (CMV), in 95 patients and 56 EBV-seropositive healthy subjects. In 20 HLA-A2+ healthy subjects and 20 HLA-A2+ patients we also analysed CD8+ T cells specific for individual peptides, measured by binding to HLA-peptide complexes and production of IFN-?, TNF-? and IL-2. We found a decreased CD8+ T-cell response to EBV lytic, but not CMV lytic, antigens at the onset of MS and at all subsequent disease stages. CD8+ T cells directed against EBV latent antigens were increased but had reduced cytokine polyfunctionality indicating T-cell exhaustion. During attacks the EBV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell populations expanded, with increased functionality of latent-specific CD8+ T cells. With increasing disease duration, EBV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells progressively declined, consistent with T-cell exhaustion. The anti-EBNA1 IgG titre correlated inversely with the EBV-specific CD8+ T-cell frequency. We postulate that defective CD8+ T-cell control of EBV reactivation leads to an expanded population of latently infected cells, including autoreactive B cells.
Project description:It has long been known that multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with an increased Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) seroprevalence and high immune reactivity to EBV and that infectious mononucleosis increases MS risk. This evidence led to postulate that EBV infection plays a role in MS etiopathogenesis, although the mechanisms are debated. This study was designed to assess the prevalence and magnitude of CD8+ T-cell responses to EBV latent (EBNA-3A, LMP-2A) and lytic (BZLF-1, BMLF-1) antigens in relapsing-remitting MS patients (n?=?113) and healthy donors (HD) (n?=?43) and to investigate whether the EBV-specific CD8+ T cell response correlates with disease activity, as defined by clinical evaluation and gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. Using HLA class I pentamers, lytic antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses were detected in fewer untreated inactive MS patients than in active MS patients and HD while the frequency of CD8+ T cells specific for EBV lytic and latent antigens was higher in active and inactive MS patients, respectively. In contrast, the CD8+ T cell response to cytomegalovirus did not differ between HD and MS patients, irrespective of the disease phase. Marked differences in the prevalence of EBV-specific CD8+ T cell responses were observed in patients treated with interferon-? and natalizumab, two licensed drugs for relapsing-remitting MS. Longitudinal studies revealed expansion of CD8+ T cells specific for EBV lytic antigens during active disease in untreated MS patients but not in relapse-free, natalizumab-treated patients. Analysis of post-mortem MS brain samples showed expression of the EBV lytic protein BZLF-1 and interactions between cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and EBV lytically infected plasma cells in inflammatory white matter lesions and meninges. We therefore propose that inability to control EBV infection during inactive MS could set the stage for intracerebral viral reactivation and disease relapse.
Project description:gamma 1-Herpesviruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have a unique ability to amplify virus loads in vivo through latent growth-transforming infection. Whether they, like alpha- and beta-herpesviruses, have been driven to actively evade immune detection of replicative (lytic) infection remains a moot point. We were prompted to readdress this question by recent work (Pudney, V.A., A.M. Leese, A.B. Rickinson, and A.D. Hislop. 2005. J. Exp. Med. 201:349-360; Ressing, M.E., S.E. Keating, D. van Leeuwen, D. Koppers-Lalic, I.Y. Pappworth, E.J.H.J. Wiertz, and M. Rowe. 2005. J. Immunol. 174:6829-6838) showing that, as EBV-infected cells move through the lytic cycle, their susceptibility to EBV-specific CD8(+) T cell recognition falls dramatically, concomitant with a reductions in transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) function and surface human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I expression. Screening of genes that are unique to EBV and closely related gamma 1-herpesviruses of Old World primates identified an early EBV lytic cycle gene, BNLF2a, which efficiently blocks antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell recognition through HLA-A-, HLA-B-, and HLA-C-restricting alleles when expressed in target cells in vitro. The small (60-amino acid) BNLF2a protein mediated its effects through interacting with the TAP complex and inhibiting both its peptide- and ATP-binding functions. Furthermore, this targeting of the major histocompatibility complex class I pathway appears to be conserved among the BNLF2a homologues of Old World primate gamma 1-herpesviruses. Thus, even the acquisition of latent cycle genes endowing unique growth-transforming ability has not liberated these agents from evolutionary pressure to evade CD8(+) T cell control over virus replicative foci.
Project description:EBV elicits primary CD8(+) T cell responses that, by T cell cloning from infectious mononucleosis (IM) patients, appear skewed toward immediate early (IE) and some early (E) lytic cycle proteins, with late (L) proteins rarely targeted. However, L Ag-specific responses have been detected regularly in polyclonal T cell cultures from long-term virus carriers. To resolve this apparent difference between responses to primary and persistent infection, 13 long-term carriers were screened in ex vivo IFN-? ELISPOT assays using peptides spanning the two IE, six representative E, and seven representative L proteins. This revealed memory CD8 responses to 44 new lytic cycle epitopes that straddle all three protein classes but, in terms of both frequency and size, maintain the IE > E > L hierarchy of immunodominance. Having identified the HLA restriction of 10 (including 7 L) new epitopes using memory CD8(+) T cell clones, we looked in HLA-matched IM patients and found such reactivities but typically at low levels, explaining why they had gone undetected in the original IM clonal screens. Wherever tested, all CD8(+) T cell clones against these novel lytic cycle epitopes recognized lytically infected cells naturally expressing their target Ag. Surprisingly, however, clones against the most frequently recognized L Ag, the BNRF1 tegument protein, also recognized latently infected, growth-transformed cells. We infer that BNRF1 is also a latent Ag that could be targeted in T cell therapy of EBV-driven B-lymphoproliferative disease.
Project description:Long term carriers were shown to generate robust polyfunctional T cell (PFC) responses against lytic and latent antigens of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). However, the time of emergence of PFC responses against EBV antigens, pattern of immunodominance and difference between CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses during various stages of EBV infection are not clearly understood. A longitudinal study was performed to assess the development of antigen-specific PFC responses in children diagnosed to have primary symptomatic (infectious mononucleosis [IM]) and asymptomatic (AS) EBV infection. Evaluation of IFN-? secreting CD8+ T cell responses upon stimulation by HLA class I-specific peptides of EBV lytic and latent proteins by ELISPOT assay followed by assessment of CD4+ and CD8+ PFC responses upon stimulation by a panel of overlapping EBV peptides for co-expression of IFN-?, TNF-?, IL-2, perforin and CD107a by flow cytometry were performed. Cytotoxicity of T cells against autologous lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) as well as EBV loads in PBMC and plasma were also determined. Both IM and AS patients had elevated PBMC and plasma viral loads which declined steadily during a 12-month period from the time of diagnosis whilst decrease in the magnitude of CD8+ T cell responses toward EBV lytic peptides in contrast to increase toward latent peptides was shown with no significant difference between those of IM and AS patients. Both lytic and latent antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells demonstrated polyfunctionality (defined as greater or equal to three functions) concurrent with enhanced cytotoxicity against autologous LCLs and steady decrease in plasma and PBMC viral loads over time. Immunodominant peptides derived from BZLF1, BRLF1, BMLF1 and EBNA3A-C proteins induced the highest proportion of CD8+ as well as CD4+ PFC responses. Diverse functional subtypes of both CD4+ and CD8+ PFCs were shown to emerge at 6-12 months. In conclusion, EBV antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ PFC responses emerge during the first year of primary EBV infection, with greatest responses toward immunodominant epitopes in both lytic and latent proteins, correlating to steady decline in PBMC and plasma viral loads.
Project description:Patients with infectious mononucleosis (IM) undergoing primary EBV infection show large expansions of EBV-specific CD8+ T cells in the blood. While latent infection of the B cell pool is quickly controlled, virus shedding from lytically infected cells in the oropharynx remains high for several months. We therefore studied how responses localize to the tonsil, a major target site for EBV, during primary infection and persistence. In acute IM, EBV-specific effectors were poorly represented among CD8+ T cells in tonsil compared with blood, coincident with absence of the CCR7 lymphoid homing marker on these highly activated cells. In patients who had recently recovered from IM, latent epitope reactivities were quicker than lytic reactivities both to acquire CCR7 and to accumulate in the tonsil, with some of these cells now expressing the CD103 integrin, which mediates retention at mucosal sites. By contrast, in long-term virus carriers in whom both lytic and latent infections had been controlled, there was 2- to 5-fold enrichment of lytic epitope reactivities and 10- to 20-fold enrichment of latent epitope reactivities in tonsil compared with blood; up to 20% of tonsillar CD8+ T cells were EBV specific, and many now expressed CD103. We suggest that efficient control of EBV infection requires appropriate CD8+ T cell homing to oropharyngeal sites.
Project description:Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a latent and oncogenic human herpesvirus. Lytic viral protein expression plays an important role in EBV-associated malignancies. The EBV envelope glycoprotein 350 (gp350) is expressed abundantly during EBV lytic reactivation and sporadically on the surface of latently infected cells. Here we tested T cells expressing gp350-specific chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) containing scFvs derived from two novel gp350-binding, highly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. The scFvs were fused to CD28/CD3? signaling domains in a retroviral vector. The produced gp350CAR-T cells specifically recognized and killed gp350+ 293T cells in vitro. The best-performing 7A1-gp350CAR-T cells were cytotoxic against the EBV+ B95-8 cell line, showing selectivity against gp350+ cells. Fully humanized Nod.Rag.Gamma mice transplanted with cord blood CD34+ cells and infected with the EBV/M81/fLuc lytic strain were monitored dynamically for viral spread. Infected mice recapitulated EBV-induced lymphoproliferation, tumor development, and systemic inflammation. We tested adoptive transfer of autologous CD8+gp350CAR-T cells administered protectively or therapeutically. After gp350CAR-T cell therapy, 75% of mice controlled or reduced EBV spread and showed lower frequencies of EBER+ B cell malignant lymphoproliferation, lack of tumor development, and reduced inflammation. In summary, CD8+gp350CAR-T cells showed proof-of-concept preclinical efficacy against impending EBV+ lymphoproliferation and lymphomagenesis.
Project description:Lifelong persistence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in infected hosts is mainly owed to the virus' pronounced abilities to evade immune responses of its human host. Active immune evasion mechanisms reduce the immunogenicity of infected cells and are known to be of major importance during lytic infection. The EBV genes BCRF1 and BNLF2a encode the viral homologue of IL-10 (vIL-10) and an inhibitor of the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP), respectively. Both are known immunoevasins in EBV's lytic phase. Here we describe that BCRF1 and BNLF2a are functionally expressed instantly upon infection of primary B cells. Using EBV mutants deficient in BCRF1 and BNLF2a, we show that both factors contribute to evading EBV-specific immune responses during the earliest phase of infection. vIL-10 impairs NK cell mediated killing of infected B cells, interferes with CD4+ T-cell activity, and modulates cytokine responses, while BNLF2a reduces antigen presentation and recognition of newly infected cells by EBV-specific CD8+ T cells. Together, both factors significantly diminish the immunogenicity of EBV-infected cells during the initial, pre-latent phase of infection and may improve the establishment of a latent EBV infection in vivo.
Project description:Human herpesviruses are antigenically rich agents that induce strong CD8+T cell responses in primary infection yet persist for life, continually challenging T cell memory through recurrent lytic replication and potentially influencing the spectrum of antigen-specific responses. Here we describe the first lytic proteome-wide analysis of CD8+ T cell responses to a gamma1-herpesvirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and the first such proteome-wide analysis of primary versus memory CD8+ T cell responses to any human herpesvirus. Primary effector preparations were generated directly from activated CD8+ T cells in the blood of infectious mononucleosis (IM) patients by in vitro mitogenic expansion. For memory preparations, EBV-specific cells in the blood of long-term virus carriers were first re-stimulated in vitro by autologous dendritic cells loaded with a lysate of lytically-infected cells, then expanded as for IM cells. Preparations from 7 donors of each type were screened against each of 70 EBV lytic cycle proteins in combination with the donor's individual HLA class I alleles. Multiple reactivities against immediate early (IE), early (E) and late (L) lytic cycle proteins, including many hitherto unrecognised targets, were detected in both contexts. Interestingly however, the two donor cohorts showed a different balance between IE, E and L reactivities. Primary responses targeted IE and a small group of E proteins preferentially, seemingly in line with their better presentation on the infected cell surface before later-expressed viral evasins take full hold. By contrast, target choice equilibrates in virus carriage with responses to key IE and E antigens still present but with responses to a select subset of L proteins now often prominent. We infer that, for EBV at least, long-term virus carriage with its low level virus replication and lytic antigen release is associated with a re-shaping of the virus-specific response.
Project description:CD8+ T-cell deficiency is a feature of many chronic autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren's syndrome, systemic sclerosis, dermatomyositis, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, psoriasis, vitiligo, bullous pemphigoid, alopecia areata, idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, type 1 diabetes mellitus, Graves' disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, myasthenia gravis, IgA nephropathy, membranous nephropathy, and pernicious anaemia. It also occurs in healthy blood relatives of patients with autoimmune diseases, suggesting it is genetically determined. Here it is proposed that this CD8+ T-cell deficiency underlies the development of chronic autoimmune diseases by impairing CD8+ T-cell control of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, with the result that EBV-infected autoreactive B cells accumulate in the target organ where they produce pathogenic autoantibodies and provide costimulatory survival signals to autoreactive T cells which would otherwise die in the target organ by activation-induced apoptosis. Autoimmunity is postulated to evolve in the following steps: (1) CD8+ T-cell deficiency, (2) primary EBV infection, (3) decreased CD8+ T-cell control of EBV, (4) increased EBV load and increased anti-EBV antibodies, (5) EBV infection in the target organ, (6) clonal expansion of EBV-infected autoreactive B cells in the target organ, (7) infiltration of autoreactive T cells into the target organ, and (8) development of ectopic lymphoid follicles in the target organ. It is also proposed that deprivation of sunlight and vitamin D at higher latitudes facilitates the development of autoimmune diseases by aggravating the CD8+ T-cell deficiency and thereby further impairing control of EBV. The hypothesis makes predictions which can be tested, including the prevention and successful treatment of chronic autoimmune diseases by controlling EBV infection.
Project description:Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection expands CD8+ T cells specific for lytic antigens to high frequencies during symptomatic primary infection, and maintains these at significant numbers during persistence. Despite this, the protective function of these lytic EBV antigen-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that lytic EBV replication does not significantly contribute to virus-induced B cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo in a mouse model with reconstituted human immune system components (huNSG mice). However, we report a trend to reduction of EBV-induced lymphoproliferation outside of lymphoid organs upon diminished lytic replication. Moreover, we could demonstrate that CD8+ T cells against the lytic EBV antigen BMLF1 can eliminate lytically replicating EBV-transformed B cells from lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and in vivo, thereby transiently controlling high viremia after adoptive transfer into EBV infected huNSG mice. These findings suggest a protective function for lytic EBV antigen-specific CD8+ T cells against EBV infection and against virus-associated tumors in extra-lymphoid organs. These specificities should be explored for EBV-specific vaccine development.