Selective expansion of myeloid and NK cells in humanized mice yields human-like vaccine responses.
ABSTRACT: Mice engrafted with components of a human immune system have become widely-used models for studying aspects of human immunity and disease. However, a defined methodology to objectively measure and compare the quality of the human immune response in different models is lacking. Here, by taking advantage of the highly immunogenic live-attenuated yellow fever virus vaccine YFV-17D, we provide an in-depth comparison of immune responses in human vaccinees, conventional humanized mice, and second generation humanized mice. We demonstrate that selective expansion of human myeloid and natural killer cells promotes transcriptomic responses akin to those of human vaccinees. These enhanced transcriptomic profiles correlate with the development of an antigen-specific cellular and humoral response to YFV-17D. Altogether, our approach provides a robust scoring of the quality of the human immune response in humanized mice and highlights a rational path towards developing better pre-clinical models for studying the human immune response and disease.
Project description:By taking advantage of the highly immunogenic live-attenuated yellow fever virus vaccine YFV-17D, we performed an in-depth comparison of transcriptomic responses in human vaccinees, conventional humanized mice, and second generation humanized mice. We demonstrate that selective expansion of human myeloid and natural killer cells in humanized mice promotes transcriptomic responses akin to those of human vaccinees Overall design: The transcriptome of human PBMCs from different humanized mouse models (conventional model: 3 cohorts/samples of 5 mice each; NFA2-HIS/Fluc model: 2 cohorts/samples of 4 mice each; NFA2-HIS/Flt3LG model: 3 cohorts/samples of 4 mouse each) was determined by RNA-Seq prior (day 0 post infection; control) and after YFV-17D infection (day 11 post infection; post infection). Resulting data sets of differentially expressed genes were compared to data sets from human vaccinees (GSE13485 and GSE13699). Total number of samples processed for RNA-seq: 16
Project description:A gold standard of antiviral vaccination has been the safe and effective live-attenuated 17D-based yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccines. Among more than 500 million vaccinees, only a handful of cases have been reported in which vaccinees developed a virulent wild type YFV infection. This efficacy is presumed to be the result of both neutralizing antibodies and a robust T cell response. However, the particular immune components required for protection against YFV have never been evaluated. An understanding of the immune mechanisms that underlie 17D-based vaccine efficacy is critical to the development of next-generation vaccines against flaviviruses and other pathogens. Here we have addressed this question for the first time using a murine model of disease. Similar to humans, vaccination elicited long-term protection against challenge, characterized by high neutralizing antibody titers and a robust T cell response that formed long-lived memory. Both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were polyfunctional and cytolytic. Adoptive transfer of immune sera or CD4+ T cells provided partial protection against YFV, but complete protection was achieved by transfer of both immune sera and CD4+ T cells. Thus, robust CD4+ T cell activity may be a critical contributor to protective immunity elicited by highly effective live attenuated vaccines.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The once-in-a-lifetime recommendation for vaccination against yellow fever virus (YFV) has been controversial, leading to increased scrutiny of the durability of immunity after 17D vaccination.<h4>Methods</h4>This is a cross-sectional analysis of 17D vaccinees living in nonendemic Portland, Oregon. Neutralization assays were used to determine YFV immunity. The relationships between 17D immunity and vaccination history, demographics, and travel were evaluated using nominal logistic regression.<h4>Results</h4>Seventy-one of 92 (77.2%) subjects were YFV seropositive (90 percent plaque reduction neutralization test ≥1:10) at all timepoints, and 24 of 38 (63.8%) were YFV seropositive at ≥10 years after single-dose vaccination. No relationship was found between YFV immunity and time in endemic countries, other flavivirus immunity, or demographics. Subjects were most likely to become seronegative between 3 and 12 years postvaccination (logistic regression, odds ratio [OR] = 1.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-2.73). A comparison of our results and 4 previous studies of YFV nonendemic vaccinees found that overall, 79% (95% CI, 70%-86%) of vaccinees are likely to be seropositive ≥10 years postvaccination.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results suggest that 1 in 5 17D vaccinees will lack neutralizing antibodies at ~10 years postvaccination, and a booster vaccination should be considered for nonendemic vaccinees before travel to regions where there is a high risk of YFV transmission.
Project description:We performed an in-depth characterization and comparison of the immune system diversity and complexity in the spleen of conventional NRG-HIS mice and NFA2-HIS/Ftl3LG mice upon YFV-17D infection, a live-attenuated virus that induce that induce potent protective immunity in human. To do so, we employed Seq-Well, a recently developed platform for massively parallel single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq), on splenocytes from NRG-HIS mice and NFA2-HIS/Flt3LG mice at six-weeks post YFV-17D infection. Our data provide an in-depth view of the cellular composition of the HIS in conventional and second-generation humanized mice. They also highlight the enhanced engraftment and functionality of the critical role of the myeloid and NK cell compartment in NFA2-HIS/Flt3LG mice, which is likely critical in promoting an enhanced transcriptomic, cellular and humoral response to YFV-17D. Overall design: We isolated splenocytes from two NRG-HIS mice and two NFA2-HIS/Flt3LG mice at six-weeks post YFV-17D infection and sorted these cells by human CD45 (hCD45) or human CD33 (hCD33) expression. We ran parallel Seq-Well arrays for each sorted population, enabling both unbiased characterization of the relative abundances of all lymphocytes, as well as a deeper examination of the cellular diversity within the myeloid compartment.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV)-17D is an empirically developed, highly effective live-attenuated vaccine that has been administered to human beings for almost a century. YFV-17D has stood as a paradigm for a successful viral vaccine, and has been exploited as a potential virus vector for the development of recombinant vaccines against other diseases. In this study, a DNA-launched YFV-17D construct (pBeloBAC-FLYF) was explored as a new modality to the standard vaccine to combine the commendable features of both DNA vaccine and live-attenuated viral vaccine. The DNA-launched YFV-17D construct was characterized extensively both in cell culture and in mice. High titres of YFV-17D were generated upon transfection of the DNA into cells, whereas a mutant with deletion in the capsid-coding region (pBeloBAC-YF/?C) was restricted to a single round of infection, with no release of progeny virus. Homologous prime-boost immunization of AAD mice with both pBeloBAC-FLYF and pBeloBAC-YF/?C elicited specific dose-dependent cellular immune response against YFV-17D. Vaccination of A129 mice with pBeloBAC-FLYF resulted in the induction of YFV-specific neutralizing antibodies in all vaccinated subjects. These promising results underlined the potential of the DNA-launched YFV both as an alternative to standard YFV-17D vaccination and as a vaccine platform for the development of DNA-based recombinant YFV vaccines.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV) is an arthropod-borne flavivirus, infecting ~200,000 people worldwide annually and causing about 30,000 deaths. The live attenuated vaccine strain, YFV-17D, has significantly contributed in controlling the global burden of yellow fever worldwide. However, the viral and host contributions to YFV-17D attenuation remain elusive. Type I interferon (IFN-α/β) signaling and type II interferon (IFN-γ) signaling have been shown to be mutually supportive in controlling YFV-17D infection despite distinct mechanisms of action in viral infection. However, it remains unclear how type III IFN (IFN-λ) integrates into this antiviral system. Here, we report that while wild-type (WT) and IFN-λ receptor knockout (λR-/-) mice were largely resistant to YFV-17D, deficiency in type I IFN signaling resulted in robust infection. Although IFN-α/β receptor knockout (α/βR-/-) mice survived the infection, mice with combined deficiencies in both type I signaling and type III IFN signaling were hypersusceptible to YFV-17D and succumbed to the infection. Mortality was associated with viral neuroinvasion and increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). α/βR-/- λR-/- mice also exhibited distinct changes in the frequencies of multiple immune cell lineages, impaired T-cell activation, and severe perturbation of the proinflammatory cytokine balance. Taken together, our data highlight that type III IFN has critical immunomodulatory and neuroprotective functions that prevent viral neuroinvasion during active YFV-17D replication. Type III IFN thus likely represents a safeguard mechanism crucial for controlling YFV-17D infection and contributing to shaping vaccine immunogenicity.IMPORTANCE YFV-17D is a live attenuated flavivirus vaccine strain recognized as one of the most effective vaccines ever developed. However, the host and viral determinants governing YFV-17D attenuation and its potent immunogenicity are still unknown. Here, we analyzed the role of type III interferon (IFN)-mediated signaling, a host immune defense mechanism, in controlling YFV-17D infection and attenuation in different mouse models. We uncovered a critical role of type III IFN-mediated signaling in preserving the integrity of the blood-brain barrier and preventing viral brain invasion. Type III IFN also played a major role in regulating the induction of a potent but balanced immune response that prevented viral evasion of the host immune system. An improved understanding of the complex mechanisms regulating YFV-17D attenuation will provide insights into the key virus-host interactions that regulate host immune responses and infection outcomes as well as open novel avenues for the development of innovative vaccine strategies.
Project description:Mosquito-borne yellow fever virus (YFV) causes highly lethal, viscerotropic disease in humans and non-human primates. Despite the availability of efficacious live-attenuated vaccine strains, 17D-204 and 17DD, derived by serial passage of pathogenic YFV strain Asibi, YFV continues to pose a significant threat to human health. Neither the disease caused by wild-type YFV, nor the molecular determinants of vaccine attenuation and immunogenicity, have been well characterized, in large part due to the lack of a small animal model for viscerotropic YFV infection. Here, we describe a small animal model for wild-type YFV that manifests clinical disease representative of that seen in primates without adaptation of the virus to the host, which was required for the current hamster YF model. Investigation of the role of type I interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) in protection of mice from viscerotropic YFV infection revealed that mice deficient in the IFN-alpha/beta receptor (A129) or the STAT1 signaling molecule (STAT129) were highly susceptible to infection and disease, succumbing within 6-7 days. Importantly, these animals developed viscerotropic disease reminiscent of human YF, instead of the encephalitic signs typically observed in mice. Rapid viremic dissemination and extensive replication in visceral organs, spleen and liver, was associated with severe pathologies in these tissues and dramatically elevated MCP-1 and IL-6 levels, suggestive of a cytokine storm. In striking contrast, infection of A129 and STAT129 mice with the 17D-204 vaccine virus was subclinical, similar to immunization in humans. Although, like wild-type YFV, 17D-204 virus amplified within regional lymph nodes and seeded a serum viremia in A129 mice, infection of visceral organs was rarely established and rapidly cleared, possibly by type II IFN-dependent mechanisms. The ability to establish systemic infection and cause viscerotropic disease in A129 mice correlated with infectivity for A129-derived, but not WT129-derived, macrophages and dendritic cells in vitro, suggesting a role for these cells in YFV pathogenesis. We conclude that the ability of wild-type YFV to evade and/or disable components of the IFN-alpha/beta response may be primate-specific such that infection of mice with a functional IFN-alpha/beta antiviral response is attenuated. Consequently, subcutaneous YFV infection of A129 mice represents a biologically relevant model for studying viscerotropic infection and disease development following wild-type virus inoculation, as well as mechanisms of 17D-204 vaccine attenuation, without a requirement for adaptation of the virus.
Project description:Immune response to infection involves the regulation of numerouse genes in numerous cell types. The number and type of genes that become differentially expressed in response to infection can result in very different pathophysiologic presentations and disease course. Wild type YFV and 17D despite having very few genetic differences result in very different disease outcomes in human and monkey hosts. We used microarrays to detail the global programme of gene expression of Rhesus macaque immune cells responding to both wild type and 17D strains of YFV. We identified distinct classes of gene expression as well as marked differences in differential gene expression between responses to 17D and wild type strains of YFV. Rhesus PBMC were isolated before and on day 3 of either vaccination with 17D or infection with wild type YFV with an n of 3 per group. Total RNA was extracted and hybridized on Affymetrix microarrays.
Project description:Objectives:T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are the principal T helper cell subset that provides help to B cells for potent antibody responses against various pathogens. In this study, we took advantage of the live-attenuated yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine strain, YF-17D, as a model system for studying human antiviral immune responses in vivo following exposure to an acute primary virus challenge under safe and highly controlled conditions, to comprehensively analyse the dynamics of circulating Tfh (cTfh) cells. Methods:We tracked and analysed the response of cTfh and other T and B cell subsets in peripheral blood of healthy volunteers by flow cytometry over the course of 4 weeks after YF-17D vaccination. Results:Using surface staining of cell activation markers to track YFV-specific T cells, we found increasing cTfh cell frequencies starting at day 3 and peaking around 2 weeks after YF-17D vaccination. This kinetic was confirmed in a subgroup of donors using MHC multimer staining for four known MHC class II epitopes of YF-17D. The subset composition of cTfh cells changed dynamically during the course of the immune response and was dominated by the cTfh1-polarised subpopulation. Importantly, frequencies of cTfh1 cells correlated with the strength of the neutralising antibody response, whereas frequencies of cTfh17 cells were inversely correlated. Conclusion:In summary, we describe detailed cTfh kinetics during YF-17D vaccination. Our results suggest that cTfh expansion and polarisation can serve as a prognostic marker for vaccine success. These insights may be leveraged in the future to improve current vaccine design and strategies.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV) is a mosquito-borne member of the genus flavivirus, including other important human-pathogenic viruses, such as dengue, Japanese encephalitis, and Zika. Herein, we report identifying 129 YFV Class II epitopes in donors vaccinated with the live attenuated YFV vaccine (YFV-17D). A total of 1156 peptides predicted to bind 17 different common HLA-DRB1 allelic variants were tested using IFN? ELISPOT assays in vitro re-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from twenty-six vaccinees. Overall, we detected responses against 215 YFV epitopes. We found that the capsid and envelope proteins, as well as the non-structural (NS) proteins NS3 and NS5, were the most targeted proteins by CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells from YF-VAX vaccinated donors. In addition, we designed and validated by flow cytometry a CD4<sup>+</sup> mega pool (MP) composed of structural and non-structural epitopes in an independent cohort of vaccinated donors. Overall, this study provides a comprehensive prediction and validation of YFV epitopes in a cohort of YF-17D vaccinated individuals. With the design of a CD4 epitope MP, we further provide a useful tool to detect ex vivo responses of YFV-specific CD4 T cells in small sample volumes.