Immunoprofiling of CD14+ blood monocytes upon Zika virus infection
ABSTRACT: Blood CD14+ monocytes are the frontline immunomodulators categorized into classical, intermediate or non-classical subsets, subsequently differentiating into M1 pro- or M2 anti-inflammatory macrophages upon stimulation. While Zika virus (ZIKV) rapidly establishes viremia, the target cells and immune responses, particularly during pregnancy, remain elusive. Furthermore, it is unknown whether African- and Asian-lineage ZIKV have different phenotypic impacts on host immune responses. Using human blood infection, we identified CD14+ monocytes as the primary target for African- or Asian-lineage ZIKV infection. When immunoprofiles of human blood infected with ZIKV were compared, a classical/intermediate monocyte-mediated M1-skewed inflammation by African-lineage ZIKV infection was observed, in contrast to a non-classical monocyte-mediated M2-skewed immunosuppression by Asian-lineage ZIKV infection. Importantly, infection of pregnant women’s blood revealed enhanced susceptibility to ZIKV infection. Specifically, Asian-lineage ZIKV infection of pregnant women’s blood led to an exacerbated M2-skewed immunosuppression of non-classical monocytes in conjunction with global suppression of type I interferon-signaling pathway and an aberrant expression of host genes associated with pregnancy complications. 30 ZIKV+ sera from symptomatic pregnant patients also showed elevated levels of M2-skewed immunosuppressive cytokines and pregnancy complication-associated fibronectin-1. This study demonstrates the differential immunomodulatory responses of blood monocytes, particularly during pregnancy, upon infection with different lineages of ZIKV. Overall design: Whole blood infection was performed with African ZIKV (MR766) and Asian ZIKV (H/PF/2013), followed by pan monocyte isolation at 40 hours post infection (hpi). Isolated monocytes were lysed in RLT buffer at a concentration of 6500 cells/ul. A volume of 1.5 ul of cell lysate per specimen was used for NanoString nCounter assay using Human Myeloid Panel (650 genes).
INSTRUMENT(S): NanoString nCounter Human Myeloid Innate Immunity Panel
Project description:Blood CD14+ monocytes are frontline immunomodulators categorized into classical, intermediate or non-classical subsets, and subsequently differentiated into M1 pro- or M2 anti-inflammatory macrophages on stimulation. Although the Zika virus (ZIKV) rapidly establishes viraemia, the target cells and immune responses, particularly during pregnancy, remain elusive. Furthermore, it is unknown whether African- and Asian-lineage ZIKV have different phenotypic impacts on host immune responses. Using human blood infection, we identified CD14+ monocytes as the primary target for African- or Asian-lineage ZIKV infection. When immunoprofiles of human blood infected with ZIKV were compared, a classical/intermediate monocyte-mediated M1-skewed inflammation by the African-lineage ZIKV infection was observed, in contrast to a non-classical monocyte-mediated M2-skewed immunosuppression by the Asian-lineage ZIKV infection. Importantly, infection of the blood of pregnant women revealed an enhanced susceptibility to ZIKV infection. Specifically, Asian-lineage ZIKV infection of pregnant women's blood led to an exacerbated M2-skewed immunosuppression of non-classical monocytes in conjunction with a global suppression of type I interferon-signalling pathway and an aberrant expression of host genes associated with pregnancy complications. Also, 30 ZIKV+ sera from symptomatic pregnant patients showed elevated levels of M2-skewed immunosuppressive cytokines and pregnancy-complication-associated fibronectin-1. This study demonstrates the differential immunomodulatory responses of blood monocytes, particularly during pregnancy, on infection with different lineages of ZIKV.
Project description:Studies in mice showed that African Zika virus (ZIKV) strains cause more damage in embryos. These studies, however, were limited to the mouse-adapted African MR766 strain or infection at early gestation. Here, we compared infection of Asian and African strains in the fetal pig model at midgestation. Both strains caused fetal infection. ZIKV was detected in placenta, amniotic membrane, amniotic fluid, fetal blood, and brain. The African strain produced more vigorous in utero infection as represented by more efficient virus transmission between siblings, and higher viral loads in fetal organs and membranes. Infection with both strains was associated with reduced fetal brain weight and increased number of placental CD163-positive cells, as well as elevated in utero interferon alpha and cortisol levels. This is the first large animal model study which demonstrated that African strain of ZIKV, with no passage history in experimental animals, can cause persistent infection in fetuses and fetal membranes at midgestation. Our studies also suggest that similar to Asian strains, ZIKV of African lineage might cause silent pathology which is difficult to identify in deceptively healthy fetuses. The findings emphasize the need for further studies to highlight the impact of ZIKV heterogeneity on infection outcomes during pregnancy.
Project description:Recent epidemics of Zika virus (ZIKV) have been associated with congenital malformation during pregnancy and Guillain-Barré syndrome. There are two ZIKV lineages (African and Asian) that share >95% amino acid identity. Little is known regarding the ability of neutralizing antibodies elicited against one lineage to protect against the other. We investigated the breadth of the neutralizing antibody response following ZIKV infection by measuring the sensitivity of six ZIKV strains to neutralization by ZIKV-confirmed convalescent human serum or plasma samples. Contemporary Asian and early African ZIKV strains were similarly sensitive to neutralization regardless of the cellular source of virus. Furthermore, mouse immune serum generated after infection with African or Asian ZIKV strains was capable of neutralizing homologous and heterologous ZIKV strains equivalently. Because our study only defines a single ZIKV serotype, vaccine candidates eliciting robust neutralizing antibody responses should inhibit infection of both ZIKV lineages, including strains circulating in the Americas.
Project description:Monocytes are primary targets for human CMV (HCMV) infection and are proposed to be responsible for hematogenous dissemination of the virus. Monocytes acquire different functional traits during polarization to the classical proinflammatory M1 macrophage or the alternative antiinflammatory M2 macrophage. We hypothesized that HCMV induced a proinflammatory M1 macrophage following infection to promote viral dissemination because, biologically, a proinflammatory state provides the tools to drive infected monocytes from the blood into the tissue. To test this hypothesis of monocyte conversion from a normal quiescent phenotype to an inflammatory phenotype, we used Affymetrix Microarray to acquire a transcriptional profile of infected monocytes at a time point our data emphasized is a key temporal regulatory point following infection. We found that HCMV significantly up-regulated 583 (5.2%) of the total genes and down-regulated 621 (5.5%) of the total genes>or=1.5-fold at 4 h postinfection. Further ontology analysis revealed that genes implicated in classical M1 macrophage activation were stimulated by HCMV infection. We found that 65% of genes strictly associated with M1 polarization were up-regulated, while only 4% of genes solely associated with M2 polarization were up-regulated. Analysis of the monocyte chemokinome at the transcriptional level showed that 44% of M1 and 33% of M2 macrophage chemokines were up-regulated. Proteomic analysis using chemokine Ab arrays confirmed the secretion of these chemotactic proteins from HCMV-infected monocytes. Overall, the results identify that the HCMV-infected monocyte transcriptome displayed a unique M1/M2 polarization signature that was skewed toward the classical M1 activation phenotype.
Project description:Maternal infection with Zika virus (ZIKV) during pregnancy can result in neonatal abnormalities, including neurological dysfunction and microcephaly. Experimental models of congenital Zika syndrome identified neural progenitor cells as a target of viral infection. Neural progenitor cells are responsible for populating the developing central nervous system with neurons and glia. Neural progenitor dysfunction can lead to severe birth defects, namely, lissencephaly, microcephaly, and cognitive deficits. For this study, the consequences of ZIKV infection in human pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitor (hNP) cells and neurons were evaluated. ZIKV isolates from Asian and African lineages displayed lineage-specific replication kinetics, cytopathic effects, and impacts on hNP function and neuronal differentiation. The currently circulating ZIKV isolates exhibit a unique profile of virulence, cytopathic effect, and impaired cellular functions that likely contribute to the pathological mechanism of congenital Zika syndrome. The authors found that infection with Asian-lineage ZIKV isolates impaired the proliferation and migration of hNP cells, and neuron maturation. In contrast, the African-lineage infections resulted in abrupt and extensive cell death. This work furthers the understanding of ZIKV-induced brain pathology.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy is associated with congenital brain abnormalities, a finding that highlights the urgent need to understand mother-to-fetus transmission mechanisms. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) are susceptible to ZIKV infection but the underlying mechanisms of viral susceptibility remain largely unexplored. In this study, we have characterized and compared host mRNA and miRNA expression profiles in hUCMSCs after infection with two lineages of ZIKV, African (MR766) and Asian (PRVABC59). RNA sequencing analysis identified differentially expressed genes involved in anti-viral immunity and mitochondrial dynamics following ZIKV infection. In particular, ZIKV-infected hUCMSCs displayed mitochondrial elongation and the treatment of hUCMSCs with mitochondrial fission inhibitor led to a dose-dependent increase in ZIKV gene expression and decrease in anti-viral signalling pathways. Moreover, small RNA sequencing analysis identified several significantly up- or down-regulated microRNAs. Interestingly, miR-142-5p was significantly downregulated upon ZIKV infection, whereas cellular targets of miR-142-5p, IL6ST and ITGAV, were upregulated. Overexpression of miR-142-5p resulted in the suppression of ZIKV replication. Furthermore, blocking ITGAV expression resulted in a significant suppression of ZIKV binding to cells, suggesting a potential role of ITGAV in ZIKV entry. In conclusion, these results demonstrate both common and specific host responses to African and Asian ZIKV lineages and indicate miR-142-5p as a key regulator of ZIKV replication in the umbilical cords.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that has emerged as an important human viral pathogen, causing congenital malformation including microcephaly among infants born to mothers infected with the virus during pregnancy. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that ZIKV can be classified into African and Asian lineages. In this study, we have developed a stable plasmid-based reverse genetic system for robust production of both ZIKV prototype African-lineage MR766 and clinical Asian-lineage FSS13025 strains using a tetracycline (Tet)-controlled gene expression vector. Transcription of the full-length ZIKV RNA is under the control of the Tet-responsive Ptight promoter at the 5' end and an antigenomic ribozyme of hepatitis delta virus at the 3' end. The transcription of infectious ZIKV RNA genome was efficiently induced by doxycycline. This novel ZIKV reverse genetics system will be valuable for the study of molecular viral pathogenesis of ZIKV and the development of new vaccines against ZIKV infection.
Project description:Recent Zika virus (ZIKV) infections have been associated with a range of neurological complications, in particular congenital microcephaly. Human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) are thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of microcephaly, and experimental ZIKV infection of hNPCs has been shown to induce cell death. However, the infection efficiency and rate of cell death have varied between studies, which might be related to intrinsic differences between African and Asian lineage ZIKV strains. Therefore, we determined the replication kinetics, including infection efficiency, burst size, and ability to induce cell death, of two Asian and two African ZIKV strains. African ZIKV strains replicated to higher titers in Vero cells, human glioblastoma (U87MG) cells, human neuroblastoma (SK-N-SH) cells, and hNPCs than Asian ZIKV strains. Furthermore, infection with Asian ZIKV strains did not result in significant cell death early after infection, whereas infection with African ZIKV strains resulted in high percentages of cell death in hNPCs. The differences between African and Asian lineage ZIKV strains highlight the importance of including relevant ZIKV strains to study the pathogenesis of congenital microcephaly and caution against extrapolation of experimental data obtained using historical African ZIKV strains to the current outbreak. Finally, the fact that Asian ZIKV strains infect only a minority of cells with a relatively low burst size together with the lack of early cell death induction might contribute to its ability to cause chronic infections within the central nervous system (CNS). IMPORTANCE The mechanism by which ZIKV causes a range of neurological complications, especially congenital microcephaly, is not well understood. The fact that congenital microcephaly is associated with Asian lineage ZIKV strains raises the question of why this was not discovered earlier. One possible explanation is that Asian and African ZIKV strains differ in their abilities to infect cells of the CNS and to cause neurodevelopmental problems. Here, we show that Asian ZIKV strains infect and induce cell death in human neural progenitor cells-which are important target cells in the development of congenital microcephaly-less efficiently than African ZIKV strains. These features of Asian ZIKV strains likely contribute to their ability to cause chronic infections, often observed in congenital microcephaly cases. It is therefore likely that phenotypic differences between ZIKV strains could be, at least in part, responsible for the ability of Asian ZIKV strains to cause congenital microcephaly.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted positive-sense RNA virus in the family Flaviviridae. ZIKV infections are associated with neurodevelopmental deficiencies termed Congenital Zika Syndrome. ZIKV strains are grouped into three phylogenetic lineages: East African, West African, and Asian, which contains the American lineage. RNA virus genomes exist as genetically-related sequences. The heterogeneity of these viral populations is implicated in viral fitness, and genome diversity is correlated to virulence. This study examines genetic diversity of representative ZIKV strains from all lineages utilizing next generation sequencing (NGS). Inter-lineage diversity results indicate that ZIKV lineages differ broadly from each other; however, intra-lineage comparisons of American ZIKV strains isolated from human serum or placenta show differences in diversity when compared to ZIKVs from Asia and West Africa. This study describes the first comprehensive NGS analysis of all ZIKV lineages and posits that sub-consensus-level diversity may provide a framework for understanding ZIKV fitness during infection.
Project description:Congenital Zika virus (ZIKV) infection was first linked to birth defects during the American outbreak in 2015/2016. It has been proposed that mutations unique to the Asian/American-genotype explain, at least in part, the ability of Asian/American ZIKV to cause congenital Zika syndrome (CZS). Recent studies identified mutations in ZIKV infecting humans that arose coincident with the outbreak in French Polynesia and were stably maintained during subsequent spread to the Americas. Here we show that African ZIKV can infect and harm fetuses and that the S139N substitution that has been associated with the American outbreak is not essential for fetal harm. Our findings, in a vertical transmission mouse model, suggest that ZIKV will remain a threat to pregnant women for the foreseeable future, including in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. Additional research is needed to better understand the risks associated with ZIKV infection during pregnancy, both in areas where the virus is newly endemic and where it has been circulating for decades.