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1.
Frontiers in immunology ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1563522

ABSTRACT

Recent findings have shown that iron is a powerful regulator of immune responses, which is of broad importance because iron deficiency is highly prevalent worldwide. However, the underlying reasons of why iron is needed by lymphocytes remain unclear. Using a combination of mathematical modelling, bioinformatic analysis and experimental work, we studied how iron influences T-cells. We identified iron-interacting proteins in CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell proteomes that were differentially expressed during activation, suggesting that pathways enriched with such proteins, including histone demethylation, may be impaired by iron deficiency. Consistent with this, iron-starved Th17 cells showed elevated expression of the repressive histone mark H3K27me3 and displayed reduced RORγt and IL-17a, highlighting a previously unappreciated role for iron in T-cell differentiation. Quantitatively, we estimated T-cell iron content and calculated that T-cell iron demand rapidly and substantially increases after activation. We modelled that these increased requirements will not be met during clinically defined iron deficiency, indicating that normalizing serum iron may benefit adaptive immunity. Conversely, modelling predicted that excess serum iron would not enhance CD8+ T-cell responses, which we confirmed by immunising inducible hepcidin knock-out mice that have very high serum iron concentrations. Therefore, iron deficiency impairs multiple aspects of T-cell responses, while iron overload likely has milder effects.

2.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5376, 2021 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402068

ABSTRACT

Natural killer (NK) cells are important early responders against viral infections. Changes in metabolism are crucial to fuel NK cell responses, and altered metabolism is linked to NK cell dysfunction in obesity and cancer. However, very little is known about the metabolic requirements of NK cells during acute retroviral infection and their importance for antiviral immunity. Here, using the Friend retrovirus mouse model, we show that following infection NK cells increase nutrient uptake, including amino acids and iron, and reprogram their metabolic machinery by increasing glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism. Specific deletion of the amino acid transporter Slc7a5 has only discrete effects on NK cells, but iron deficiency profoundly impaires NK cell antiviral functions, leading to increased viral loads. Our study thus shows the requirement of nutrients and metabolism for the antiviral activity of NK cells, and has important implications for viral infections associated with altered iron levels such as HIV and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Retroviridae Infections/immunology , Animals , Bone Marrow , COVID-19 , Cytokines , HIV , HIV Infections , Large Neutral Amino Acid-Transporter 1/genetics , Large Neutral Amino Acid-Transporter 1/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Mitochondria , Retroviridae , Retroviridae Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
3.
Lancet Haematol ; 8(9): e666-e669, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370708

ABSTRACT

Vaccines are the most effective measure to prevent deaths and illness from infectious diseases. Nevertheless, the efficacy of several paediatric vaccines is lower in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), where mortality from vaccine-preventable infections remains high. Vaccine efficacy can also be decreased in adults in the context of some common comorbidities. Identifying and correcting the specific causes of impaired vaccine efficacy is of substantial value to global health. Iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency worldwide, affecting more than 2 billion people, and its prevalence in LMICs could increase as food security is threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Viewpoint, we highlight evidence showing that iron deficiency limits adaptive immunity and responses to vaccines, representing an under-appreciated additional disadvantage to iron deficient populations. We propose a framework for urgent detailed studies of iron-vaccine interactions to investigate and clarify the issue. This framework includes retrospective analysis of newly available datasets derived from trials of COVID-19 and other vaccines, and prospective testing of whether nutritional iron interventions, commonly used worldwide to combat anaemia, improve vaccine performance.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , Anemia, Iron-Deficiency/complications , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Developing Countries , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
4.
EMBO Rep ; 22(8): e52447, 2021 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278776

ABSTRACT

Cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP) is an immunostimulatory molecule produced by cGAS that activates STING. cGAMP is an adjuvant when administered alongside antigens. cGAMP is also incorporated into enveloped virus particles during budding. Here, we investigate whether inclusion of cGAMP within viral vaccine vectors enhances their immunogenicity. We immunise mice with virus-like particles (VLPs) containing HIV-1 Gag and the vesicular stomatitis virus envelope glycoprotein G (VSV-G). cGAMP loading of VLPs augments CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses. It also increases VLP- and VSV-G-specific antibody titres in a STING-dependent manner and enhances virus neutralisation, accompanied by increased numbers of T follicular helper cells. Vaccination with cGAMP-loaded VLPs containing haemagglutinin induces high titres of influenza A virus neutralising antibodies and confers protection upon virus challenge. This requires cGAMP inclusion within VLPs and is achieved at markedly reduced cGAMP doses. Similarly, cGAMP loading of VLPs containing the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein enhances Spike-specific antibody titres. cGAMP-loaded VLPs are thus an attractive platform for vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle , Animals , Humans , Mice , Nucleotides, Cyclic , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/genetics
5.
J Nutr ; 151(7): 1854-1878, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226546

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many nutrients have powerful immunomodulatory actions with the potential to alter susceptibility to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, progression to symptoms, likelihood of severe disease, and survival. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to review the latest evidence on how malnutrition across all its forms (under- and overnutrition and micronutrient status) may influence both susceptibility to, and progression of, COVID-19. METHODS: We synthesized information on 13 nutrition-related components and their potential interactions with COVID-19: overweight, obesity, and diabetes; protein-energy malnutrition; anemia; vitamins A, C, D, and E; PUFAs; iron; selenium; zinc; antioxidants; and nutritional support. For each section we provide: 1) a landscape review of pertinent material; 2) a systematic search of the literature in PubMed and EMBASE databases, including a wide range of preprint servers; and 3) a screen of 6 clinical trial registries. All original research was considered, without restriction to study design, and included if it covered: 1) severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (CoV) 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV), or SARS-CoV viruses and 2) disease susceptibility or 3) disease progression, and 4) the nutritional component of interest. Searches took place between 16 May and 11 August 2020. RESULTS: Across the 13 searches, 2732 articles from PubMed and EMBASE, 4164 articles from the preprint servers, and 433 trials were returned. In the final narrative synthesis, we include 22 published articles, 38 preprint articles, and 79 trials. CONCLUSIONS: Currently there is limited evidence that high-dose supplements of micronutrients will either prevent severe disease or speed up recovery. However, results of clinical trials are eagerly awaited. Given the known impacts of all forms of malnutrition on the immune system, public health strategies to reduce micronutrient deficiencies and undernutrition remain of critical importance. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes will reduce the risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes. This review is registered at PROSPERO as CRD42020186194.


Subject(s)
Anemia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Nutritional Status , Obesity/epidemiology , Protein-Energy Malnutrition/epidemiology , Antioxidants/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Comorbidity , Dietary Supplements , Disease Progression , Fatty Acids, Omega-3/immunology , Fatty Acids, Omega-6/immunology , Humans , Iron/immunology , Nutritional Support , SARS-CoV-2 , Selenium/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Vitamins/immunology , Zinc/immunology
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