IL-4/IL-13 polarization of macrophages enhances Ebola virus glycoprotein-dependent infection.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Ebolavirus (EBOV) outbreaks, while sporadic, cause tremendous morbidity and mortality. No therapeutics or vaccines are currently licensed; however, a vaccine has shown promise in clinical trials. A critical step towards development of effective therapeutics is a better understanding of factors that govern host susceptibility to this pathogen. As macrophages are an important cell population targeted during virus replication, we explore the effect of cytokine polarization on macrophage infection. METHODS/MAIN FINDINGS:We utilized a BSL2 EBOV model virus, infectious, recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus encoding EBOV glycoprotein (GP) (rVSV/EBOV GP) in place of its native glycoprotein. Macrophages polarized towards a M2-like anti-inflammatory state by combined IL-4 and IL-13 treatment were more susceptible to rVSV/EBOV GP, but not to wild-type VSV (rVSV/G), suggesting that EBOV GP-dependent entry events were enhanced by these cytokines. Examination of RNA expression of known surface receptors that bind and internalize filoviruses demonstrated that IL-4/IL-13 stimulated expression of the C-type lectin receptor DC-SIGN in human macrophages and addition of the competitive inhibitor mannan abrogated IL-4/IL-13 enhanced infection. Two murine DC-SIGN-like family members, SIGNR3 and SIGNR5, were upregulated by IL-4/IL-13 in murine macrophages, but only SIGNR3 enhanced virus infection in a mannan-inhibited manner, suggesting that murine SIGNR3 plays a similar role to human DC-SIGN. In vivo IL-4/IL-13 administration significantly increased virus-mediated mortality in a mouse model and transfer of ex vivo IL-4/IL-13-treated murine peritoneal macrophages into the peritoneal cavity of mice enhanced pathogenesis. SIGNIFICANCE:These studies highlight the ability of macrophage polarization to influence EBOV GP-dependent virus replication in vivo and ex vivo, with M2a polarization upregulating cell surface receptor expression and thereby enhancing virus replication. Our findings provide an increased understanding of the host factors in macrophages governing susceptibility to filoviruses and identify novel murine receptors mediating EBOV entry.
Project description:Certain viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites target dendritic cells through the interaction with the cellular attachment factor DC-SIGN, making this C-type lectin an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. Studies on DC-SIGN function would be greatly aided by the establishment of a mouse model, however, it is unclear if the murine (m) homologue of human (h) DC-SIGN also binds to pathogens. Here, we investigated the interaction of mDC-SIGN, also termed CIRE, with the Ebolavirus glycoprotein (EBOV-GP), a ligand of hDC-SIGN. We found that mDC-SIGN neither binds EBOV-GP nor enhances infection by reporterviruses pseudotyped with EBOV-GP. Analysis of chimeras between mDC-SIGN and hDC-SIGN provided evidence that determinants in the carbohydrate recognition domain and in the neck domain of mDC-SIGN inhibit a functional interaction with EBOV-GP. Moreover, mDC-SIGN was found be monomeric, suggesting that lack of multimerization, which is believed to be required for efficient pathogen recognition by hDC-SIGN, might be one factor that prevents binding of mDC-SIGN to EBOV-GP. Our results suggest that mDC-SIGN on murine dendritic cells is not an adequate model for pathogen interactions with hDC-SIGN.
Project description:BACKGROUND:T cell immunoglobulin mucin domain-1 (TIM-1) is a phosphatidylserine (PS) receptor, mediating filovirus entry into cells through interactions with PS on virions. TIM-1 expression has been implicated in Ebola virus (EBOV) pathogenesis; however, it remains unclear whether this is due to TIM-1 serving as a filovirus receptor in vivo or, as others have suggested, TIM-1 induces a cytokine storm elicited by T cell/virion interactions. Here, we use a BSL2 model virus that expresses EBOV glycoprotein to demonstrate the importance of TIM-1 as a virus receptor late during in vivo infection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Infectious, GFP-expressing recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus encoding either full length EBOV glycoprotein (EBOV GP/rVSV) or mucin domain deleted EBOV glycoprotein (EBOV GP?O/rVSV) was used to assess the role of TIM-1 during in vivo infection. GFP-expressing rVSV encoding its native glycoprotein G (G/rVSV) served as a control. TIM-1-sufficient or TIM-1-deficient BALB/c interferon ?/? receptor-/- mice were challenged with these viruses. While G/rVSV caused profound morbidity and mortality in both mouse strains, TIM-1-deficient mice had significantly better survival than TIM-1-expressing mice following EBOV GP/rVSV or EBOV GP?O/rVSV challenge. EBOV GP/rVSV or EBOV GP?O/rVSV in spleen of infected animals was high and unaffected by expression of TIM-1. However, infectious virus in serum, liver, kidney and adrenal gland was reduced late in infection in the TIM-1-deficient mice, suggesting that virus entry via this receptor contributes to virus load. Consistent with higher virus loads, proinflammatory chemokines trended higher in organs from infected TIM-1-sufficient mice compared to the TIM-1-deficient mice, but proinflammatory cytokines were more modestly affected. To assess the role of T cells in EBOV GP/rVSV pathogenesis, T cells were depleted in TIM-1-sufficient and -deficient mice and the mice were challenged with virus. Depletion of T cells did not alter the pathogenic consequences of virus infection. CONCLUSIONS:Our studies provide evidence that at late times during EBOV GP/rVSV infection, TIM-1 increased virus load and associated mortality, consistent with an important role of this receptor in virus entry. This work suggests that inhibitors which block TIM-1/virus interaction may serve as effective antivirals, reducing virus load at late times during EBOV infection.
Project description:Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV) is a member of the Filoviridae family of negative sense, single-stranded RNA viruses. EBOV infection causes Ebola virus disease (EVD), characterized by coagulopathy, lymphopenia, and multi-organ failure, which can culminate in death. In 2019, the FDA approved the first vaccine against EBOV, a recombinant live-attenuated viral vector wherein the G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus is replaced with the glycoprotein (GP) of EBOV (rVSV-EBOV-GP, Ervebo® by Merck). This vaccine demonstrates high efficacy in nonhuman primates by providing prophylactic, rapid, and post-exposure protection. In humans, rVSV-EBOV-GP demonstrated 100% protection in several phase III clinical trials in over 10,000 individuals during the 2013-2016 West Africa epidemic. As of 2020, over 218,000 doses of rVSV-EBOV-GP have been administered to individuals with high risk of EBOV exposure. Despite licensure and robust preclinical studies, the mechanisms of rVSV-EBOV-GP-mediated protection are not fully understood. Such knowledge is crucial for understanding vaccine-mediated correlates of protection from EVD and to aid the further design and development of therapeutics against filoviruses. Here, we summarize the current literature regarding the host response to vaccination and EBOV exposure, and evidence regarding innate and adaptive immune mechanisms involved in rVSV-EBOV-GP-mediated protection, with a focus on the host transcriptional response. Current data strongly suggest a protective synergy between rapid innate and humoral immunity.
Project description:Recent West African Ebola virus (EBOV) epidemics have led to testing different anti-EBOV vaccines, including a replication-defective adenovirus (RD-Ad) vector (ChAd3-EBOV) and an infectious, replication-competent recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus expressing the EBOV glycoprotein (rVSV-EBOV; also known as rVSV-ZEBOV). While RD-Ads elicit protection, when scaled up to human trials, the level of protection may be much lower than that of vaccines containing viruses that can replicate. Although a replication-competent Ad (RC-Ad) vaccine might generate a level of protection approximating that of rVSV, this infectious vector would also risk causing adenovirus disease. We recently described a "single-cycle" adenovirus (SC-Ad) vector that amplifies antigen genes like RC-Ad, but that avoids the risk of adenovirus infection. Here we have tested an SC-Ad6 vector expressing the glycoprotein (GP) from a 2014 EBOV strain in mice, hamsters, and rhesus macaques. We show that SC-Ad6-EBOV GP induces a high level of serum antibodies in all species and mediates significant protection against pseudo-challenge with rVSV-EBOV expressing luciferase in mice and hamsters. These data suggest that SC-Ad6-EBOV GP may be useful during future EBOV outbreaks.
Project description:Filoviruses, including Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV), cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates with high mortality rates. There is no approved therapy against these deadly viruses. Antiviral drug development has been hampered by the requirement of a biosafety level (BSL)-4 facility to handle infectious EBOV and MARV because of their high pathogenicity to humans. In this study, we aimed to establish a surrogate animal model that can be used for anti-EBOV and -MARV drug screening under BSL-2 conditions by focusing on the replication-competent recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) pseudotyped with the envelope glycoprotein (GP) of EBOV (rVSV/EBOV) and MARV (rVSV/MARV), which has been investigated as vaccine candidates and thus widely used in BSL-2 laboratories. We first inoculated mice, rats, and hamsters intraperitoneally with rVSV/EBOV and found that only hamsters showed disease signs and succumbed within 4 days post-infection. Infection with rVSV/MARV also caused lethal infection in hamsters. Both rVSV/EBOV and rVSV/MARV were detected at high titers in multiple organs including the liver, spleen, kidney, and lungs of infected hamsters, indicating acute and systemic infection resulting in fatal outcomes. Therapeutic effects of passive immunization with an anti-EBOV neutralizing antibody were specifically observed in rVSV/EBOV-infected hamsters. Thus, this animal model is expected to be a useful tool to facilitate in vivo screening of anti-filovirus drugs targeting the GP molecule.
Project description:Many acute viral infections target tissue M?s, yet the mechanisms of M?-mediated control of viruses are poorly understood. Here, we report that CD40 expressed by peritoneal M?s restricts early infection of a broad range of RNA viruses. Loss of CD40 expression enhanced virus replication as early as 12-24 h of infection and, conversely, stimulation of CD40 signaling with an agonistic Ab blocked infection. With peritoneal cell populations infected with the filovirus, wild-type (WT) Ebola virus (EBOV), or a BSL2 model virus, recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus encoding Ebola virus glycoprotein (rVSV/EBOV GP), we examined the mechanism conferring protection. Here, we demonstrate that restricted virus replication in M?s required CD154/CD40 interactions that stimulated IL-12 production through TRAF6-dependent signaling. In turn, IL-12 production resulted in IFN-? production, which induced proinflammatory polarization of M?s, protecting the cells from infection. These CD40-dependent events protected mice against virus challenge. CD40<sup>-/-</sup> mice were exquisitely sensitive to intraperitoneal challenge with a dose of rVSV/EBOV GP that was sublethal to CD40<sup>+/+</sup> mice, exhibiting viremia within 12 h of infection and rapidly succumbing to infection. This study identifies a previously unappreciated role for M?-intrinsic CD40 signaling in controlling acute virus infection.
Project description:For Ebola virus (EBOV), 4 different species are known: Zaire, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, and Reston ebolavirus. The newly discovered Bundibugyo ebolavirus has been proposed as a 5th species. So far, no cross-neutralization among EBOV species has been described, aggravating progress toward cross-species protective vaccines. With the use of recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV)-based vaccines, guinea pigs could be protected against Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) infection only when immunized with a vector expressing the homologous, but not a heterologous, EBOV glycoprotein (GP). However, infection of guinea pigs with nonadapted wild-type strains of the different species resulted in full protection of all animals against subsequent challenge with guinea pig-adapted ZEBOV, showing that cross-species protection is possible. New vectors were generated that contain EBOV viral protein 40 (VP40) or EBOV nucleoprotein (NP) as a second antigen expressed by the same rVSV vector that encodes the heterologous GP. After applying a 2-dose immunization approach, we observed an improved cross-protection rate, with 5 of 6 guinea pigs surviving the lethal ZEBOV challenge if vaccinated with rVSV-expressing SEBOV-GP and -VP40. Our data demonstrate that cross-protection between the EBOV species can be achieved, although EBOV-GP alone cannot induce the required immune response.
Project description:Multivalent protein-carbohydrate interactions initiate the first contacts between virus/bacteria and target cells, which ultimately lead to infection. Understanding the structures and binding modes involved is vital to the design of specific, potent multivalent inhibitors. However, the lack of structural information on such flexible, complex, and multimeric cell surface membrane proteins has often hampered such endeavors. Herein, we report that quantum dots (QDs) displayed with a dense array of mono-/disaccharides are powerful probes for multivalent protein-glycan interactions. Using a pair of closely related tetrameric lectins, DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR, which bind to the HIV and Ebola virus glycoproteins (EBOV-GP) to augment viral entry and infect target cells, we show that such QDs efficiently dissect the different DC-SIGN/R-glycan binding modes (tetra-/di-/monovalent) through a combination of multimodal readouts: Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), hydrodynamic size measurement, and transmission electron microscopy imaging. We also report a new QD-FRET method for quantifying QD-DC-SIGN/R binding affinity, revealing that DC-SIGN binds to the QD >100-fold tighter than does DC-SIGNR. This result is consistent with DC-SIGN's higher trans-infection efficiency of some HIV strains over DC-SIGNR. Finally, we show that the QDs potently inhibit DC-SIGN-mediated enhancement of EBOV-GP-driven transduction of target cells with IC50 values down to 0.7 nM, matching well to their DC-SIGN binding constant (apparent Kd = 0.6 nM) measured by FRET. These results suggest that the glycan-QDs are powerful multifunctional probes for dissecting multivalent protein-ligand recognition and predicting glyconanoparticle inhibition of virus infection at the cellular level.
Project description:Ebola virus (EBOV), a member of the <i>Filoviridae</i> family, causes the most severe form of viral hemorrhagic fever. Although no FDA licensed vaccine or treatment against Ebola virus disease (EVD) is currently available, Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP) is the major antigen used in all candidate Ebola vaccines. Recent reports of protection as quickly as within 6 days of administration of the rVSV-based vaccine expressing EBOV GP before robust humoral responses were generated suggests that the innate immune responses elicited early after vaccination may contribute to the protection. However, the innate immune responses induced by EBOV GP in the absence of viral vectors or adjuvants have not been fully characterized <i>in vivo</i>. Our recent studies demonstrated that immunization with highly purified recombinant GP in the absence of adjuvants induced a robust IgG response and partial protection against EBOV infection suggesting that GP alone can induce protective immunity. In this study we investigated the early immune response to purified EBOV GP alone <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>. We show that GP was efficiently internalized by antigen presenting cells and subsequently induced production of key inflammatory cytokines. <i>In vivo</i>, immunization of mice with EBOV GP triggered the production of key Th1 and Th2 innate immune cytokines and chemokines, which directly governed the recruitment of CD11b<sup>+</sup> macrophages and CD11c<sup>+</sup> dendritic cells to the draining lymph nodes (DLNs). Pre-treatment of mice with a TLR4 antagonist inhibited GP-induced cytokine production and recruitment of immune cells to the DLN. EBOV GP also upregulated the expression of costimulatory molecules in bone marrow derived macrophages suggesting its ability to enhance APC stimulatory capacity, which is critical for the induction of effective antigen-specific adaptive immunity. Collectively, these results provide the first <i>in vivo</i> evidence that early innate immune responses to EBOV GP are mediated via the TLR4 pathway and are able to modulate the innate-adaptive interface. These mechanistic insights into the adjuvant-like property of EBOV GP may help to develop a better understanding of how optimal prophylactic efficacy of EBOV vaccines can be achieved as well as further explore the potential post-exposure use of vaccines to prevent filoviral disease.
Project description:Ebola virus (EBOV) poses a significant threat to human health as highlighted by the recent epidemic in West Africa. Data from animal studies and a ring vaccination clinical trial conducted in Guinea during the recent epidemic demonstrated that a recombinant VSV where G protein is replaced with EBOV GP (rVSV-EBOV) is safe and highly efficacious. We previously established that antibodies are essential for rVSV-EBOV mediated protection against EBOV; however, the mechanisms by which this vaccine induces a humoral response and the role of T-cells in rVSV-EBOV mediated protection remain poorly understood. Since this is the only vaccine platform that has completed Phase III clinical studies, it is imperative to gain a better understanding of its mechanisms of protection. Therefore, we performed a longitudinal gene expression analysis of samples collected from controls and T-cell-depleted macaques after rVSV-EBOV vaccination and EBOV challenge. We show that rVSV-EBOV vaccination induces gene expression changes consistent with anti-viral immunity and B-cell proliferation. We also report a previously unappreciated role for CD8+ T-cells in mediating rVSV-EBOV protection. Finally, limited viral transcription in surviving animals may boost protective responses after EBOV challenge by maintaining transcriptional changes. This study presents a novel approach in determining mechanisms of vaccine efficacy.