Distinct susceptibility of HIV vaccine vector-induced CD4 T cells to HIV infection.
ABSTRACT: The concerns raised from adenovirus 5 (Ad5)-based HIV vaccine clinical trials, where excess HIV infections were observed in some vaccine recipients, have highlighted the importance of understanding host responses to vaccine vectors and the HIV susceptibility of vector-specific CD4 T cells in HIV vaccination. Our recent study reported that human Ad5-specific CD4 T cells induced by Ad5 vaccination (RV156A trial) are susceptible to HIV. Here we further investigated the HIV susceptibility of vector-specific CD4 T cells induced by ALVAC, a canarypox viral vector tested in the Thai trial RV144, as compared to Ad5 vector-specific CD4 T cells in the HVTN204 trial. We showed that while Ad5 vector-specific CD4 T cells were readily susceptible to HIV, ALVAC-specific CD4 T cells in RV144 PBMC were substantially less susceptible to both R5 and X4 HIV in vitro. The lower HIV susceptibility of ALVAC-specific CD4 T cells was associated with the reduced surface expression of HIV entry co-receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 on these cells. Phenotypic analyses identified that ALVAC-specific CD4 T cells displayed a strong Th1 phenotype, producing higher levels of IFN-? and CCL4 (MIP-1?) but little IL-17. Of interest, ALVAC and Ad5 vectors induced distinct profiles of vector-specific CD8 vs. CD4 T-cell proliferative responses in PBMC, with ALVAC preferentially inducing CD8 T-cell proliferation, while Ad5 vector induced CD4 T-cell proliferation. Depletion of ALVAC-, but not Ad5-, induced CD8 T cells in PBMC led to a modest increase in HIV infection of vector-specific CD4 T cells, suggesting a role of ALVAC-specific CD8 T cells in protecting ALVAC-specific CD4 T cells from HIV. Taken together, our data provide strong evidence for distinct HIV susceptibility of CD4 T cells induced by different vaccine vectors and highlight the importance of better evaluating anti-vector responses in HIV vaccination.
Project description:Viral vectors derived from different virus families, including poxvirus (canarypox virus vector ALVAC) and adenovirus (human Ad5 vector), have been widely used in vaccine development for a range of human diseases including HIV/AIDS. Less is known about the mechanisms underlying the host innate response to these vectors. Increasing evidence from clinical vaccine trials testing different viral vectors has suggested the importance of understanding basic elements of host-viral vector interactions. In this study, we investigated the innate interactions of APCs with two commonly used HIV vaccine vectors, ALVAC and Ad5, and identified AIM2 as an innate sensor for ALVAC, triggering strong inflammasome activation in both human and mouse APCs. Microarray and comprehensive gene-knockout analyses (CRISPR/Cas9) identified that ALVAC stimulated the cGAS/IFI16-STING-type I IFN pathway to prime AIM2, which was functionally required for ALVAC-induced inflammasome activation. We also provided evidence that, in contrast to ALVAC, the Ad5 vector itself was unable to induce inflammasome activation, which was related to its inability to stimulate the STING-type I IFN pathway and to provide inflammasome-priming signals. In preconditioned APCs, the Ad5 vector could stimulate inflammasome activation through an AIM2-independent mechanism. Therefore, our study identifies the AIM2 inflammasome and cGAS/IFI16-STING-type I IFN pathway as a novel mechanism for host innate immunity to the ALVAC vaccine vector.
Project description:Adenoviral (Ad) vaccine vectors represent both a vehicle to present a novel antigen to the immune system as well as restimulation of immune responses against the Ad vector itself. To what degree Ad-specific CD8(+) T cells are restimulated by Ad vector vaccination is unclear, although such knowledge would be important as vector-specific CD8(+) T cell expansion could potentially further limit Ad vaccine efficacy beyond Ad-specific neutralizing antibody alone.Here we addressed this issue by measuring human Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5)-specific CD8(+) T cells in recipients of the Merck Ad5 HIV-1 vaccine vector before, during, and after vaccination by multicolor flow cytometry. Ad5-specific CD8(+) T-cells were detectable in 95% of subjects prior to vaccination, and displayed primarily an effector-type functional profile and phenotype. Peripheral blood Ad5-specific CD8(+) T-cell numbers expanded after Ad5-HIV vaccination in all subjects, but differential expansion kinetics were noted in some baseline Ad5-neutralizing antibody (Ad5 nAb) seronegative subjects compared to baseline Ad5 nAb seropositive subjects. However, in neither group did vaccination alter polyfunctionality, mucosal targeting marker expression, or memory phenotype of Ad5-specific CD8(+) T-cells.These data indicate that repeat Ad5-vector administration in humans expands Ad5-specific CD8(+) T-cells without overtly affecting their functional capacity or phenotypic properties. This is a secondary analysis of samples collected during the 016 trial. Results of the Merck 016 trial safety and immunogenicity have been previously published in the journal of clinical infectious diseases .ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00849680[http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00849680].
Project description:Efficacy trials of adenovirus 5-vectored candidate HIV vaccines [recombinant Ad5 (rAd5)-HIV] were halted for futility due to lack of vaccine efficacy and unexpected excess HIV infections in the vaccine recipients. The potential immunologic basis for these observations is unclear. We comparatively evaluated the HIV susceptibility and phenotypes of human CD4 T cells specific to Ad5 and CMV, two viruses that have been used as HIV vaccine vectors. We show that Ad5-specific CD4 T cells, either induced by natural Ad5 exposure or expanded by rAd5 vaccination, are highly susceptible to HIV in vitro and are preferentially lost in HIV-infected individuals compared with CMV-specific CD4 T cells. Further investigation demonstrated that Ad5-specific CD4 T cells selectively display a proinflammatory Th17-like phenotype and express macrophage inflammatory protein 3α and α4β7 integrin, suggestive of gut mucosa homing potential of these cells. Analysis of HIV p24 and cytokine coexpression using flow cytometry revealed preferential infection of IL-17- and IL-2-producing, Ad5-specific CD4 T cells by HIV in vitro. Our data suggest a potential mechanism explaining the excess HIV infections in vaccine recipients after rAd5-HIV vaccination and highlight the importance of testing the HIV susceptibility of vaccine-generated, vector and insert-specific CD4 T cells in future HIV vaccine studies.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Maternal-to-child-transmission of HIV-1 infection remains a significant cause of HIV-1 infection despite successful prevention strategies. Testing protective HIV-1 vaccines remains a critical priority. The immunogenicity of ALVAC-HIV vCP1521 (ALVAC) in infants born to HIV-1-infected women in Uganda was evaluated in the first pediatric HIV-1 vaccine study in Africa. DESIGN:HIV Prevention Trials Network 027 was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase I trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of ALVAC in 60 infants born to HIV-1-infected mothers with CD4 counts of >500 cells per microliter, which were randomized to the ALVAC vaccine or placebo. ALVAC-HIV vCP1521 is an attenuated recombinant canarypox virus expressing HIV-1 clade E env, clade B gag, and protease gene products. METHODS:Infants were vaccinated at birth and 4, 8, and 12 weeks of age with ALVAC or placebo. Cellular and humoral immune responses were evaluated using interferon-? enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot, carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester proliferation, intracellular cytokine staining, and binding and neutralizing antibody assays. Fisher exact test was used to compare positive responses between the study arms. RESULTS:Low levels of antigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses (intracellular cytokine assay) were detected at 24 months (CD4-6/36 vaccine vs. 1/9 placebo; CD8-5/36 vaccine vs. 0/9 placebo) of age. There was a nonsignificant trend toward higher cellular immune response rates in vaccine recipients compared with placebo. There were minimal binding antibody responses and no neutralizing antibodies detected. CONCLUSIONS:HIV-1-exposed infants are capable of generating low levels of cellular immune responses to ALVAC vaccine, similar to responses seen in adults.
Project description:Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vaccine vectors elicit robust CD8+ T cell responses, but these responses typically exhibit a partially exhausted phenotype. However, the immunologic mechanism by which Ad5 vectors induce dysfunctional CD8+ T cells has not previously been elucidated. Here we demonstrate that, following immunization of B6 mice, Ad5 vectors elicit antigen-specific IL-10+CD4+ T cells with a distinct transcriptional profile in a dose-dependent fashion. In rhesus monkeys, we similarly observed upregulated expression of IL-10 and PD-1 by CD4+ T cells following Ad5 vaccination. These cells markedly suppressed vaccine-elicited CD8+ T cell responses in vivo and IL-10 blockade increased the frequency and functionality of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells as well as improved protective efficacy against challenge with recombinant Listeria monocytogenes. Moreover, induction of these inhibitory IL-10+CD4+ T cells correlated with IL-27 expression and IL-27 blockade substantially improved CD4+ T cell functionality. These data highlight a role for IL-27 in the induction of inhibitory IL-10+CD4+ T cells, which suppress CD8+ T cell magnitude and function following Ad5 vector immunization. A deeper understanding of the cytokine networks and transcriptional profiles induced by vaccine vectors should lead to strategies to improve the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of viral vector-based vaccines.
Project description:Immunization with recombinant ALVAC/gp120 alum vaccine provided modest protection from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) acquisition in humans and macaques. Vaccine-mediated protection was associated with the elicitation of IgG against the envelope V2 loop and of envelope-specific CD4+ T cell responses. We hypothesized that the simultaneous expression of the costimulatory molecule CD40L (CD154) by the ALVAC-HIV vector could increase both protective humoral and cellular responses. We engineered an ALVAC-SIV coexpressing CD40L with SIVmac251 (ALVAC-SIV/CD40L) gag, pol, and env genes. We compared its immunogenicity in macaques with that of a canonical ALVAC-SIV, with both given as a vector-prime/gp120 in alum boost strategy. The ALVAC-SIV/CD40L was superior to the ALVAC-SIV regimen in inducing binding and tier 1 neutralizing antibodies against the gp120. The increase in humoral responses was associated with the expression of the membrane-bound form of the CD40L by CD4+ T cells in lymph nodes. Unexpectedly, the ALVAC-SIV/CD40L vector had a blunting effect on CD4+ Th1 helper responses and instead favored the induction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells, the immune-suppressive interleukin-10 (IL-10) cytokine, and the down-modulatory tryptophan catabolism. Ultimately, this strategy failed to protect macaques from SIV acquisition. Taken together, these results underlie the importance of balanced vaccine-induced activating versus suppressive immune responses in affording protection from HIV.IMPORTANCE CD40-CD40 ligand (CD40L) interaction is crucial for inducing effective cytotoxic and humoral responses against pathogens. Because of its immunomodulatory function, CD40L has been used to enhance immune responses to vaccines, including candidate vaccines for HIV. The only successful vaccine ever tested in humans utilized a strategy combining canarypox virus-based vector (ALVAC) together with an envelope protein (gp120) adjuvanted in alum. This strategy showed limited efficacy in preventing HIV-1/SIV acquisition in humans and macaques. In both species, protection was associated with vaccine-induced antibodies against the HIV envelope and CD4+ T cell responses, including type 1 antiviral responses. In this study, we tested whether augmenting CD40L expression by coexpressing it with the ALVAC vector could increase the protective immune responses. Although coexpression of CD40L did increase humoral responses, it blunted type 1 CD4+ T cell responses against the SIV envelope protein and failed to protect macaques from viral infection.
Project description:The results of the recent Step Study highlight a need to clarify the effects of pre-existing natural immunity to a vaccine vector on vaccine-induced T-cell responses. To investigate this interaction, we examined the relationship between pre-existing Ad5 immunity and T-cell cytokine response profiles in healthy, HIV-uninfected recipients of MRKAd5 HIV-1 gag vaccine (HVTN 050, ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT00849732). Participants were grouped by baseline Ad5 neutralizing antibody titer as either Ad5-seronegative (titer ≤18; n = 36) or Ad5-seropositive (titer >200; n = 34). Samples from vaccine recipients were analyzed for immune responses to either HIV-1 Gag peptide pools or Ad5 empty vector using an ex vivo assay that measures thirty cytokines in the absence of long-term culture. The overall profiles of cytokine responses to Gag and Ad5 had similar combinations of induced Th1- and Th2-type cytokines, including IFN-γ, IL-2, TNF-α, IP-10, IL-13, and IL-10, although the Ad5-specific responses were uniformly higher than the Gag-specific responses (p<0.0001 for 9 out of 11 significantly expressed analytes). At the peak response time point, PBMC from Ad5-seronegative vaccinees secreted significantly more IP-10 in response to Gag (p = 0.008), and significantly more IP-10 (p = 0.0009), IL-2 (p = 0.006) and IL-10 (p = 0.05) in response to Ad5 empty vector than PBMC from Ad5-seropositive vaccinees. Additionally, similar responses to the Ad5 vector prior to vaccination were observed in almost all subjects, regardless of Ad5 neutralizing antibody status, and the levels of secreted IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-1Ra and GM-CSF were blunted following vaccination. The cytokine response profile of Gag-specific T cells mirrored the Ad5-specific response present in all subjects before vaccination, and included a number of Th1- and Th2-associated cytokines not routinely assessed in current vaccine trials, such as IP-10, IL-10, IL-13, and GM-CSF. Together, these results suggest that vector-specific humoral responses may reduce vaccine-induced T-cell responses by previously undetected mechanisms.
Project description:Recombinant viruses hold promise as vectors for vaccines to prevent infectious diseases with significant global health impacts. One of their major limitations is that preexisting anti-vector neutralizing antibodies can reduce T cell responses to the insert antigens; however, the impact of vector-specific cellular immunity on subsequent insert-specific T cell responses has not been assessed in humans. Here, we have identified and compared adenovirus-specific and HIV-specific T cell responses in subjects participating in two HIV-1 vaccine trials using a vaccine vectored by adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5). Higher frequencies of pre-immunization adenovirus-specific CD4? T cells were associated with substantially decreased magnitude of HIV-specific CD4? T cell responses and decreased breadth of HIV-specific CD8? T cell responses in vaccine recipients, independent of type-specific preexisting Ad5-specific neutralizing antibody titers. Further, epitopes recognized by adenovirus-specific T cells were commonly conserved across many adenovirus serotypes, suggesting that cross-reactivity of preexisting adenovirus-specific T cells can extend to adenovirus vectors derived from rare serotypes. These findings provide what we believe to be a new understanding of how preexisting viral immunity may impact the efficacy of vaccines under current evaluation for prevention of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Project description:Elevated risk of HIV-1 infection among recipients of an adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5)-vectored HIV-1 vaccine was previously reported in the Step HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trial. We assessed pre-infection cellular immune responses measured at 4 weeks after the second vaccination to determine their roles in HIV-1 infection susceptibility among Step study male participants.We examined ex vivo interferon-? (IFN-?) secretion from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) using an ELISpot assay in 112 HIV-infected and 962 uninfected participants. In addition, we performed flow cytometric assays to examine T-cell activation, and ex vivo IFN-? and interleukin-2 secretion from CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. We accounted for the sub-sampling design in Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of HIV-1 infection per 1-log(e) increase of the immune responses.We found that HIV-specific immune responses were not associated with risk of HIV-1 infection. However, each 1-log(e) increase of mock responses measured by the ELISpot assay (i.e., IFN-? secretion in the absence of antigen-specific stimulation) was associated with a 62% increase of HIV-1 infection risk among vaccine recipients (HR = 1.62, 95% CI: (1.28, 2.04), p<0.001). This association remains after accounting for CD4(+) or CD8(+) T-cell activation. We observed a moderate correlation between ELISpot mock responses and CD4(+) T-cells secreting IFN-? (? = 0.33, p = 0.007). In addition, the effect of the Step vaccine on infection risk appeared to vary with ELISpot mock response levels, especially among participants who had pre-existing anti-Ad5 antibodies (interaction p = 0.04).The proportion of cells, likely CD4(+) T-cells, producing IFN-? without stimulation by exogenous antigen appears to carry information beyond T-cell activation and baseline characteristics that predict risk of HIV-1 infection. These results motivate additional investigation to understand the potential link between IFN-? secretion and underlying causes of elevated HIV-1 infection risk among vaccine recipients in the Step study.
Project description:The recombinant canarypox vector, ALVAC-HIV, together with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gp120 envelope glycoprotein, has protected 31.2% of Thai individuals from HIV acquisition in the RV144 HIV vaccine trial. This outcome was unexpected, given the limited ability of the vaccine components to induce CD8(+) T-cell responses or broadly neutralizing antibodies. We vaccinated macaques with an immunization regimen intended to mimic the RV144 trial and exposed them intrarectally to a dose of the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV(mac251) that transmits few virus variants, similar to HIV transmission to humans. Vaccination induced anti-envelope antibodies in all vaccinees and CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses. Three of the 11 macaques vaccinated with ALVAC-SIV/gp120 were protected from SIV(mac251) acquisition, but the result was not significant. The remaining vaccinees were infected and progressed to disease. The magnitudes of vaccine-induced SIV(mac251)-specific T-cell responses and binding antibodies were not significantly different between protected and infected animals. However, sera from protected animals had higher avidity antibodies to gp120, recognized the variable envelope regions V1/V2, and reduced SIV(mac251) infectivity in cells that express high levels of ?(4)?(7) integrins, suggesting a functional role of antibodies to V2. The current results emphasize the utility of determining the titer of repeated mucosal challenge in the preclinical evaluation of HIV vaccines.