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1.
Infect Disord Drug Targets ; 21(4): 541-552, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496791

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since December 2019, a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has caused global public health issues after being reported for the first time in Wuhan province of China. So far, there have been approximately 14.8 million confirmed cases and 0.614 million deaths due to the SARS-CoV-2 infection globally, and still, numbers are increasing. Although the virus has caused a global public health concern, no effective treatment has been developed. OBJECTIVE: One of the strategies to combat the COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is the development of vaccines that can make humans immune to these infections. Considering this approach, in this study, an attempt has been made to design epitope-based vaccine for combatting COVID-19 disease by analyzing the complete proteome of the virus by using immuno-informatics tools. METHODS: The protein sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 was retrieved and the individual proteins were checked for their allergic potential. Then, from non-allergen proteins, antigenic epitopes were identified that could bind with MHCII molecules. The epitopes were modeled and docked to predict the interaction with MHCII molecules. The stability of the epitope-MHCII complex was further analyzed by performing a molecular dynamics simulation study. The selected vaccine candidates were also analyzed for their global population coverage and conservancy among SARS-related coronavirus species. RESULTS: The study has predicted 5 peptide molecules that can act as potential candidates for epitope- based vaccine development. Among the 5 selected epitopes, the peptide LRARSVSPK can be the most potent epitope because of its high geometric shape complementarity score, low ACE and very high response towards it by the world population (81.81% global population coverage). Further, molecular dynamic simulation analysis indicated the formation of a stable epitope-MHCII complex. The epitope LRARSVSPK was also found to be highly conserved among the SARS-CoV- -2 isolated from different countries. CONCLUSION: The study has predicted T-cell epitopes that can elicit a robust immune response in the global human population and act as potential vaccine candidates. However, the ability of these epitopes to act as vaccine candidate needs to be validated in wet lab studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
J Virol ; 95(15): e0053021, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486507

ABSTRACT

Elicitation of lung tissue-resident memory CD8 T cells (TRMs) is a goal of T cell-based vaccines against respiratory viral pathogens, such as influenza A virus (IAV). C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2)-dependent monocyte trafficking plays an essential role in the establishment of CD8 TRMs in lungs of IAV-infected mice. Here, we used a combination adjuvant-based subunit vaccine strategy that evokes multifaceted (TC1/TC17/TH1/TH17) IAV nucleoprotein-specific lung TRMs to determine whether CCR2 and monocyte infiltration are essential for vaccine-induced TRM development and protective immunity to IAV in lungs. Following intranasal vaccination, neutrophils, monocytes, conventional dendritic cells (DCs), and monocyte-derived dendritic cells internalized and processed vaccine antigen in lungs. We found that basic leucine zipper ATF-like transcription factor 3 (BATF3)-dependent DCs were essential for eliciting T cell responses, but CCR2 deficiency enhanced the differentiation of CD127hi, KLRG-1lo, OX40+ve CD62L+ve, and mucosally imprinted CD69+ve CD103+ve effector and memory CD8 T cells in lungs and airways of vaccinated mice. Mechanistically, increased development of lung TRMs induced by CCR2 deficiency was linked to dampened expression of T-bet but not altered TCF-1 levels or T cell receptor signaling in CD8 T cells. T1/T17 functional programming, parenchymal localization of CD8/CD4 effector and memory T cells, recall T cell responses, and protective immunity to a lethal IAV infection were unaffected in CCR2-deficient mice. Taken together, we identified a negative regulatory role for CCR2 and monocyte trafficking in mucosal imprinting and differentiation of vaccine-induced TRMs. Mechanistic insights from this study may aid the development of T-cell-based vaccines against respiratory viral pathogens, including IAV and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). IMPORTANCE While antibody-based immunity to influenza A virus (IAV) is type and subtype specific, lung- and airway-resident memory T cells that recognize conserved epitopes in the internal viral proteins are known to provide heterosubtypic immunity. Hence, broadly protective IAV vaccines need to elicit robust T cell memory in the respiratory tract. We have developed a combination adjuvant-based IAV nucleoprotein vaccine that elicits strong CD4 and CD8 T cell memory in lungs and protects against H1N1 and H5N1 strains of IAV. In this study, we examined the mechanisms that control vaccine-induced protective memory T cells in the respiratory tract. We found that trafficking of monocytes into lungs might limit the development of antiviral lung-resident memory T cells following intranasal vaccination. These findings suggest that strategies that limit monocyte infiltration can potentiate vaccine-induced frontline T-cell immunity to respiratory viruses, such as IAV and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunologic Memory , Influenza A virus/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Receptors, CCR2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , Animals , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/pharmacology , Lung/immunology , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/prevention & control , Receptors, CCR2/genetics
3.
Viral Immunol ; 34(6): 416-420, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475758

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has infected millions of individuals in the world. However, the long-term effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the organs of recovered patients remains unclear. This study is to evaluate the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the spleen and T lymphocytes. Seventy-six patients recovered from COVID-19, including 66 cases of moderate pneumonia and 10 cases of severe pneumonia were enrolled in the observation group. The control group consisted of 55 age-matched healthy subjects. The thickness and length of spleen were measured by using B-ultrasound and the levels of T lymphocytes were detected by flow cytometry. Results showed that the mean length of spleen in the observation group was 89.57 ± 11.49 mm, which was significantly reduced compared with that in the control group (103.82 ± 11.29 mm, p < 0.001). The mean thicknesses of spleen between observation group and control group were 29.97 ± 4.04 mm and 32.45 ± 4.49 mm, respectively, and the difference was significant (p < 0.001). However, no significant difference was observed in the size of spleen between common pneumonia and severe pneumonia (p > 0.05). In addition, the decreased count of T lymphocyte was observed in part of recovered patients. The counts of T suppressor lymphocytes in patients with severe pneumonia were significantly decreased compared with those with moderate pneumonia (p = 0.005). Therefore, these data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 infection affects the size of spleen and T lymphocytes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spleen/pathology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
4.
J Infect Dis ; 224(6): 956-966, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429243

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to be a major public health challenge globally. The identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-derived T-cell epitopes is of critical importance for peptide vaccines or diagnostic tools of COVID-19. METHODS: In this study, several SARS-CoV-2-derived human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-I binding peptides were predicted by NetMHCpan-4.1 and selected by Popcover to achieve pancoverage of the Chinese population. The top 5 ranked peptides derived from each protein of SARS-CoV-2 were then evaluated using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from unexposed individuals (negative for SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G). RESULTS: Seven epitopes derived from 4 SARS-CoV-2 proteins were identified. It is interesting to note that most (5 of 7) of the SARS-CoV-2-derived peptides with predicted affinities for HLA-I molecules were identified as HLA-II-restricted epitopes and induced CD4+ T cell-dependent responses. These results complete missing pieces of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells and suggest that pre-existing T cells targeting all SARS-CoV-2-encoded proteins can be discovered in unexposed populations. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, in the current study, we present an alternative and effective strategy for the identification of T-cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 in healthy subjects, which may indicate an important role in the development of peptide vaccines for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cell Line , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 105(2): 395-400, 2021 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374604

ABSTRACT

Data on the longevity of humoral and cell-mediated immune responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are limited. We evaluated the detailed kinetics of antibody and T-cell responses at the acute, convalescent, and post-convalescent phases in COVID-19 patients with a wide range of severity. We enrolled patients with COVID-19 prospectively from four hospitals and one community treatment center between February 2020 and January 2021. symptom severity was classified as mild, moderate, or severe/critical. Patient blood samples were collected at 1 week (acute), 1 month (convalescent), and 2 months after symptom onset (post-convalescent). Human SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM antibodies were measured using in-house-developed ELISA. The SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses against overlapping peptides of spike proteins and nucleoprotein were measured by interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assays. Twenty-five COVID-19 patients were analyzed (mild, n = 5; moderate, n = 9; severe/critical, n = 11). IgM and IgG antibody responses peaked at 1 month after symptom onset and decreased at 2 months. IgG response levels were significantly greater in the severe/critical group compared with other groups. Interferon-γ-producing T-cell responses increased between 1 week and 1 month after symptom onset, and had a trend toward decreasing at 2 months, but did not show significant differences according to severity. Our data indicate that SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses were greater in those with severe symptoms and waned after reaching a peak around 1 month after symptom onset. However, SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses were not significantly different according to symptom severity, and decreased slowly during the post-convalescent phase.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Acute Disease , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Convalescence , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Interferon-gamma/analysis , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies
6.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 631, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1283664

ABSTRACT

IL22 is an important cytokine involved in the intestinal defense mechanisms against microbiome. By using ileum-derived organoids, we show that the expression of anti-microbial peptides (AMPs) and anti-viral peptides (AVPs) can be induced by IL22. In addition, we identified a bacterial and a viral route, both leading to IL22 production by T cells, but via different pathways. Bacterial products, such as LPS, induce enterocyte-secreted SAA1, which triggers the secretion of IL6 in fibroblasts, and subsequently IL22 in T cells. This IL22 induction can then be enhanced by macrophage-derived TNFα in two ways: by enhancing the responsiveness of T cells to IL6 and by increasing the expression of IL6 by fibroblasts. Viral infections of intestinal cells induce IFNß1 and subsequently IL7. IFNß1 can induce the expression of IL6 in fibroblasts and the combined activity of IL6 and IL7 can then induce IL22 expression in T cells. We also show that IL22 reduces the expression of viral entry receptors (e.g. ACE2, TMPRSS2, DPP4, CD46 and TNFRSF14), increases the expression of anti-viral proteins (e.g. RSAD2, AOS, ISG20 and Mx1) and, consequently, reduces the viral infection of neighboring cells. Overall, our data indicates that IL22 contributes to the innate responses against both bacteria and viruses.


Subject(s)
Interleukins/biosynthesis , Interleukins/metabolism , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Cell Culture Techniques , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Enterocytes/immunology , Enterocytes/metabolism , Female , Fibroblasts/immunology , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Interleukins/immunology , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , Intestines/physiology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Myeloid Cells/immunology , Myeloid Cells/metabolism , Organoids/metabolism , Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins/genetics , Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins/metabolism
7.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(6): 100312, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275763

ABSTRACT

Knowledge of the epitopes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) targeted by T cells in recovered (convalescent) individuals is important for understanding T cell immunity against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This information can aid development and assessment of COVID-19 vaccines and inform novel diagnostic technologies. Here, we provide a unified description and meta-analysis of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes compiled from 18 studies of cohorts of individuals recovered from COVID-19 (852 individuals in total). Our analysis demonstrates the broad diversity of T cell epitopes that have been recorded for SARS-CoV-2. A large majority are seemingly unaffected by current variants of concern. We identify a set of 20 immunoprevalent epitopes that induced T cell responses in multiple cohorts and in a large fraction of tested individuals. The landscape of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes we describe can help guide immunological studies, including those related to vaccines and diagnostics. A web-based platform has been developed to help complement these efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
8.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0066721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274527

ABSTRACT

Cellular immune responses play a key role in the control of viral infection. The nucleocapsid (N) protein of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a major immunogenic protein that can induce protective immunity. To screen for potential T-cell epitopes on IBV N protein, 40 overlapping peptides covering the entirety of the N protein were designed and synthesized. Four T-cell epitope peptides were identified by gamma interferon (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot), intracellular cytokine staining, and carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) lymphocyte proliferation assays; among them, three peptides (N211-230, N271-290, and N381-400) were cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes, and one peptide (N261-280) was a dual-specific T-cell epitope, which can be recognized by both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. Multi-epitope gene transcription cassettes comprising four neutralizing epitope domains and four T-cell epitope peptides were synthesized and inserted into the genome of Newcastle disease virus strain La Sota between the P and M genes. Recombinant IBV multi-epitope vaccine candidate rLa Sota/SBNT was generated via reverse genetics, and its immune protection efficacy was evaluated in specific-pathogen-free chickens. Our results show that rLa Sota/SBNT induced IBV-specific neutralizing antibody and T-cell responses and provided significant protection against homologous and heterologous IBV challenge. Thus, the T-cell epitope peptides identified in this study could be good candidates for IBV vaccine development, and recombinant Newcastle disease virus-expressing IBV multi-epitope genes represent a safe and effective vaccine candidate for controlling infectious bronchitis. IMPORTANCE T-cell-mediated immune responses are critical for the elimination of IBV-infected cells. To screen conserved T-cell epitopes in the IBV N protein, 40 overlapping peptides covering the entirety of the N protein were designed and synthesized. By combining IFN-γ ELISpot, intracellular cytokine staining, and CFSE lymphocyte proliferation assays, we identified three CTL epitopes and one dual-specific T-cell epitope. The value of T-cell epitope peptides identified in the N protein was further verified by the design of an IBV multi-epitope vaccine. Results show that IBV multi-epitope vaccine candidate rLa Sota/SBNT provided cross protection against challenges with a QX-like or a TW-like IBV strain. So, T-cell-mediated immune responses play an important role in the control of viral infection, and conserved T-cell epitopes serve as promising candidates for use in multi-epitope vaccine construction. Our results provide a new perspective for the development of a safer and more effective IBV vaccine.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Infectious bronchitis virus/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Poultry Diseases/prevention & control , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Animals , Chickens , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Immunity, Cellular/drug effects , Poultry Diseases/immunology , Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology
9.
Sci Immunol ; 6(60)2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276879

ABSTRACT

The nutrient-sensing mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is integral to cell fate decisions after T cell activation. Sustained mTORC1 activity favors the generation of terminally differentiated effector T cells instead of follicular helper and memory T cells. This is particularly pertinent for T cell responses of older adults who have sustained mTORC1 activation despite dysfunctional lysosomes. Here, we show that lysosome-deficient T cells rely on late endosomes rather than lysosomes as an mTORC1 activation platform, where mTORC1 is activated by sensing cytosolic amino acids. T cells from older adults have an increased expression of the plasma membrane leucine transporter SLC7A5 to provide a cytosolic amino acid source. Hence, SLC7A5 and VPS39 deficiency (a member of the HOPS complex promoting early to late endosome conversion) substantially reduced mTORC1 activities in T cells from older but not young individuals. Late endosomal mTORC1 is independent of the negative-feedback loop involving mTORC1-induced inactivation of the transcription factor TFEB that controls expression of lysosomal genes. The resulting sustained mTORC1 activation impaired lysosome function and prevented lysosomal degradation of PD-1 in CD4+ T cells from older adults, thereby inhibiting their proliferative responses. VPS39 silencing of human T cells improved their expansion to pertussis and to SARS-CoV-2 peptides in vitro. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of CD4+ Vps39-deficient LCMV-specific SMARTA cells improved germinal center responses, CD8+ memory T cell generation, and recall responses to infection. Thus, curtailing late endosomal mTORC1 activity is a promising strategy to enhance T cell immunity.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Endosomes/metabolism , Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction/genetics , Adoptive Transfer/methods , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , Autophagy-Related Proteins/deficiency , Autophagy-Related Proteins/genetics , Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors/genetics , Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Female , Forkhead Box Protein O1/deficiency , Forkhead Box Protein O1/genetics , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Large Neutral Amino Acid-Transporter 1/metabolism , Lysosomes/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Signal Transduction/immunology , Transfection , Vesicular Transport Proteins/deficiency , Vesicular Transport Proteins/genetics , Young Adult
10.
Immunol Cell Biol ; 99(9): 990-1000, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258941

ABSTRACT

In-depth understanding of human T-cell-mediated immunity in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is needed if we are to optimize vaccine strategies and immunotherapies. Identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) T-cell epitopes and generation of peptide-human leukocyte antigen (peptide-HLA) tetramers facilitate direct ex vivo analyses of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells and their T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoires. We utilized a combination of peptide prediction and in vitro peptide stimulation to validate novel SARS-CoV-2 epitopes restricted by HLA-A*24:02, one of the most prominent HLA class I alleles, especially in Indigenous and Asian populations. Of the peptides screened, three spike-derived peptides generated CD8+ IFNγ+ responses above background, S1208-1216 (QYIKWPWYI), S448-456 (NYNYLYRLF) and S193-201 (VFKNIDGYF), with S1208 generating immunodominant CD8+ IFNγ+ responses. Using peptide-HLA-I tetramers, we performed direct ex vivo tetramer enrichment for HLA-A*24:02-restricted CD8+ T cells in COVID-19 patients and prepandemic controls. The precursor frequencies for HLA-A*24:02-restricted epitopes were within the range previously observed for other SARS-CoV-2 epitopes for both COVID-19 patients and prepandemic individuals. Naïve A24/SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells increased nearly 7.5-fold above the average precursor frequency during COVID-19, gaining effector and memory phenotypes. Ex vivo single-cell analyses of TCRαß repertoires found that the A24/S448 + CD8+ T-cell TCRαß repertoire was driven by a common TCRß chain motif, whereas the A24/S1208 + CD8+ TCRαß repertoire was diverse across COVID-19 patients. Our study provides an in depth characterization and important insights into SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T-cell responses associated with a prominent HLA-A*24:02 allomorph. This contributes to our knowledge on adaptive immune responses during primary COVID-19 and could be exploited in vaccine or immunotherapeutic approaches.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , HLA-A24 Antigen , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Clin Invest ; 131(11)2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249494

ABSTRACT

With increasing age, individuals are more vulnerable to viral infections such as with influenza or the SARS-CoV-2 virus. One age-associated defect in human T cells is the reduced expression of miR-181a. miR-181ab1 deficiency in peripheral murine T cells causes delayed viral clearance after infection, resembling human immune aging. Here we show that naive T cells from older individuals as well as miR-181ab1-deficient murine T cells develop excessive replication stress after activation, due to reduced histone expression and delayed S-phase cell cycle progression. Reduced histone expression was caused by the miR-181a target SIRT1 that directly repressed transcription of histone genes by binding to their promoters and reducing histone acetylation. Inhibition of SIRT1 activity or SIRT1 silencing increased histone expression, restored cell cycle progression, diminished the replication-stress response, and reduced the production of inflammatory mediators in replicating T cells from old individuals. Correspondingly, treatment with SIRT1 inhibitors improved viral clearance in mice with miR-181a-deficient T cells after LCMV infection. In conclusion, SIRT1 inhibition may be beneficial to treat systemic viral infection in older individuals by targeting antigen-specific T cells that develop replication stress due to miR-181a deficiency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cellular Senescence/immunology , Histones/deficiency , MicroRNAs/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Cellular Senescence/genetics , Female , Histones/immunology , Humans , Male , Mice, Knockout , MicroRNAs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sirtuin 1/genetics , Sirtuin 1/immunology
12.
J Immunol ; 206(12): 2900-2908, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1248084

ABSTRACT

The relatively low partial pressure of oxygen, reduced oxygen saturation, and aberrant plasma metabolites in COVID-19 may alter energy metabolism in peripheral immune cells. However, little is known regarding the immunometabolic defects of T cells in COVID-19 patients, which may contribute to the deregulated immune functions of these cells. In this study, we longitudinally characterized the metabolic profiles of resting and activated T cells from acutely infected and convalescent COVID-19 patients by flow cytometry and confirmed the metabolic profiles with a Seahorse analyzer. Non-COVID-19 and healthy subjects were enrolled as controls. We found that ex vivo T cells from acutely infected COVID-19 patients were highly activated and apoptotic and displayed more extensive mitochondrial metabolic dysfunction, especially cells in CD8+ T cell lineages, than those from convalescent COVID-19 patients or healthy controls, but slightly disturbed mitochondrial metabolic activity was observed in non-COVID-19 patients. Importantly, plasma IL-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels positively correlated with mitochondrial mass and negatively correlated with fatty acid uptake in T cells from COVID-19 patients. Additionally, compared with those from healthy controls, in vitro-activated T cells from acutely infected COVID-19 patients showed signs of lower glycolysis, a reduced glycolytic capacity, and a decreased glycolytic reserve, accompanied by lower activation of mTOR signaling. Thus, newly identified defects in T cell mitochondrial metabolic functions and metabolic reprogramming upon activation might contribute to immune deficiency in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Glycolysis , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Aging Cell ; 20(6): e13372, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247110

ABSTRACT

Severe respiratory viral infectious diseases such as influenza and COVID-19 especially affect the older population. This is partly ascribed to diminished CD8+ T-cell responses a result of aging. The phenotypical diversity of the CD8+ T-cell population has made it difficult to identify the impact of aging on CD8+ T-cell subsets associated with diminished CD8+ T-cell responses. Here we identify a novel human CD8+ T-cell subset characterized by expression of Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR+ ) and CD45RA (RA+ ). These KIR+ RA+ T cells accumulated with age in the blood of healthy individuals (20-82 years of age, n = 50), expressed high levels of aging-related markers of T-cell regulation, and were functionally capable of suppressing proliferation of other CD8+ T cells. Moreover, KIR+ RA+ T cells were a major T-cell subset becoming activated in older adults suffering from an acute respiratory viral infection (n = 36), including coronavirus and influenza virus infection. In addition, older adults with influenza A infection showed that higher activation status of their KIR+ RA+ T cells associated with longer duration of respiratory symptoms. Together, our data indicate that KIR+ RA+ T cells are a unique human T-cell subset with regulatory properties that may explain susceptibility to viral respiratory disease at old age.


Subject(s)
Aging/physiology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/virology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Influenza, Human/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, KIR/blood , Receptors, KIR/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol ; 43(3): 265-270, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246577

ABSTRACT

Understanding the exact role of current drugs in Covid-19 disease is essential in the era of global pandemics. Metformin which prescribed as the first-line treatment of type 2 diabetes has beneficial effects on Sars-cov2 infection. These effects are including regulation of immune system, Renin-Angiotensin System and Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 function in Covid-19 infection. It also activates ACE2, the main receptor of Sars-cov2, in the epithelial cells of respiratory tissue through AMPK signaling and subsequently decreases the rate of viral adhesion. Metformin also declines the adherence of Sars-cov2 to DPP4 (the other receptor of the virus) on T cells. Hence, regulatory effects of metformin on membranous ACE2, and DPP4 can modulate immune reaction against Sars-cov2. Also, immunometabolic effects of metformin on inflammatory cells impair hyper-reactive immune response against the virus through reduction of glycolysis and propagation of mitochondrial oxidation. Metformin also decreases platelet aggravation and risk of thrombosis. In this article, we argue that metformin has beneficial effects on Covid-19 infection in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. This opinion should be investigated in future clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Drug Repositioning , Insulin Resistance , Metformin/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/drug therapy , Humans
15.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3010, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237999

ABSTRACT

Resident memory T cells (TRM) positioned within the respiratory tract are probably required to limit SARS-CoV-2 spread and COVID-19. Importantly, TRM are mostly non-recirculating, which reduces the window of opportunity to examine these cells in the blood as they move to the lung parenchyma. Here, we identify circulating virus-specific T cell responses during acute infection with functional, migratory and apoptotic patterns modulated by viral proteins and associated with clinical outcome. Disease severity is associated predominantly with IFNγ and IL-4 responses, increased responses against S peptides and apoptosis, whereas non-hospitalized patients have increased IL-12p70 levels, degranulation in response to N peptides and SARS-CoV-2-specific CCR7+ T cells secreting IL-10. In convalescent patients, lung-TRM are frequently detected even 10 months after initial infection, in which contemporaneous blood does not reflect tissue-resident profiles. Our study highlights a balanced anti-inflammatory antiviral response associated with a better outcome and persisting TRM cells as important for future protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Lung/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Apoptosis/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Movement/immunology , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-4/immunology , Interleukin-4/metabolism , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
16.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 71, 2021 May 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228257

ABSTRACT

Natural and vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 immunity in humans has been described but correlates of protection are not yet defined. T cells support the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response, clear virus-infected cells, and may be required to block transmission. In this study, we identified peptide epitopes associated with SARS-CoV-2 T-cell immunity. Using immunoinformatic methods, T-cell epitopes from spike, membrane, and envelope were selected for maximal HLA-binding potential, coverage of HLA diversity, coverage of circulating virus, and minimal potential cross-reactivity with self. Direct restimulation of PBMCs collected from SARS-CoV-2 convalescents confirmed 66% of predicted epitopes, whereas only 9% were confirmed in naive individuals. However, following a brief period of epitope-specific T-cell expansion, both cohorts demonstrated robust T-cell responses to 97% of epitopes. HLA-DR3 transgenic mouse immunization with peptides co-formulated with poly-ICLC generated a potent Th1-skewed, epitope-specific memory response, alleviating safety concerns of enhanced respiratory disease associated with Th2 induction. Taken together, these epitopes may be used to improve our understanding of natural and vaccine-induced immunity, and to facilitate the development of T-cell-targeted vaccines that harness pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 immunity.

17.
J Immunol ; 206(11): 2527-2535, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227097

ABSTRACT

The T cell response is an important detection index in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine development. The present study was undertaken to determine the T cell epitopes in the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 that dominate the T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. PBMCs from rhesus macaques vaccinated with a DNA vaccine encoding the full-length S protein were isolated, and an ELISPOT assay was used to identify the recognized T cell epitopes among a total of 158 18-mer and 10-aa-overlapping peptides spanning the full-length S protein. Six multipeptide-based epitopes located in the S1 region, with four of the six located in the receptor-binding domain, were defined as the most frequently recognized epitopes in macaques. The conservation of the epitopes across species was also verified, and peptide mixtures for T cell response detection were established. Six newly defined T cell epitopes were found in the current study, which may provide a novel potential target for T cell response detection and the diagnosis and vaccine design of SARS-CoV-2 based on multipeptide subunit-based epitopes.


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Macaca mulatta
18.
J Virol ; 95(15): e0053021, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218208

ABSTRACT

Elicitation of lung tissue-resident memory CD8 T cells (TRMs) is a goal of T cell-based vaccines against respiratory viral pathogens, such as influenza A virus (IAV). C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2)-dependent monocyte trafficking plays an essential role in the establishment of CD8 TRMs in lungs of IAV-infected mice. Here, we used a combination adjuvant-based subunit vaccine strategy that evokes multifaceted (TC1/TC17/TH1/TH17) IAV nucleoprotein-specific lung TRMs to determine whether CCR2 and monocyte infiltration are essential for vaccine-induced TRM development and protective immunity to IAV in lungs. Following intranasal vaccination, neutrophils, monocytes, conventional dendritic cells (DCs), and monocyte-derived dendritic cells internalized and processed vaccine antigen in lungs. We found that basic leucine zipper ATF-like transcription factor 3 (BATF3)-dependent DCs were essential for eliciting T cell responses, but CCR2 deficiency enhanced the differentiation of CD127hi, KLRG-1lo, OX40+ve CD62L+ve, and mucosally imprinted CD69+ve CD103+ve effector and memory CD8 T cells in lungs and airways of vaccinated mice. Mechanistically, increased development of lung TRMs induced by CCR2 deficiency was linked to dampened expression of T-bet but not altered TCF-1 levels or T cell receptor signaling in CD8 T cells. T1/T17 functional programming, parenchymal localization of CD8/CD4 effector and memory T cells, recall T cell responses, and protective immunity to a lethal IAV infection were unaffected in CCR2-deficient mice. Taken together, we identified a negative regulatory role for CCR2 and monocyte trafficking in mucosal imprinting and differentiation of vaccine-induced TRMs. Mechanistic insights from this study may aid the development of T-cell-based vaccines against respiratory viral pathogens, including IAV and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). IMPORTANCE While antibody-based immunity to influenza A virus (IAV) is type and subtype specific, lung- and airway-resident memory T cells that recognize conserved epitopes in the internal viral proteins are known to provide heterosubtypic immunity. Hence, broadly protective IAV vaccines need to elicit robust T cell memory in the respiratory tract. We have developed a combination adjuvant-based IAV nucleoprotein vaccine that elicits strong CD4 and CD8 T cell memory in lungs and protects against H1N1 and H5N1 strains of IAV. In this study, we examined the mechanisms that control vaccine-induced protective memory T cells in the respiratory tract. We found that trafficking of monocytes into lungs might limit the development of antiviral lung-resident memory T cells following intranasal vaccination. These findings suggest that strategies that limit monocyte infiltration can potentiate vaccine-induced frontline T-cell immunity to respiratory viruses, such as IAV and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunologic Memory , Influenza A virus/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Receptors, CCR2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , Animals , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/pharmacology , Lung/immunology , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/prevention & control , Receptors, CCR2/genetics
19.
Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol ; 2021: 6627141, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201679

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2) is a newly emerged beta coronavirus and etiolating agent of COVID-19. Considering the unprecedented increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency internationally on 11th March 2020. However, existing drugs are insufficient in dealing with this contagious virus infection; therefore, a vaccine is exigent to curb this pandemic disease. In the present study, B- and T-cell immune epitopes were identified for RdRp (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) protein using immunoinformatic techniques, which is proved to be a rapid and efficient method to explore the candidate peptide vaccine. Subsequently, antigenicity and interactions with HLA (human leukocyte antigen) alleles were estimated. Further, physicochemical properties, allergenicity, toxicity, and stability of RdRp protein were evaluated to demonstrate the specificity of the epitope candidates. Interestingly, we identified a total of 36 B-cell and 16 T-cell epitopes using epitopes predictive tools. Among the predicted epitopes, 26 B-cell and 9 T-cell epitopes showed non-allergenic, non-toxic, and highly antigenic properties. Altogether, our study revealed that RdRp of SARS-CoV-2 (an epitope-based peptide fragment) can be a potentially good candidate for the development of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.

20.
Pathogens ; 10(5)2021 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201175

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has inspired renewed interest in understanding the fundamental pathology of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) following infection. However, the pathogenesis of ARDS following SRAS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown. In the present study, we examined apoptosis in postmortem lung sections from COVID-19 patients and in lung tissues from a non-human primate model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, in a cell-type manner, including type 1 and 2 alveolar cells and vascular endothelial cells (ECs), macrophages, and T cells. Multiple-target immunofluorescence assays and Western blotting suggest both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways are activated during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we observed that SARS-CoV-2 fails to induce apoptosis in human bronchial epithelial cells (i.e., BEAS2B cells) and primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), which are refractory to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, infection of co-cultured Vero cells and HUVECs or Vero cells and BEAS2B cells with SARS-CoV-2 induced apoptosis in both Vero cells and HUVECs/BEAS2B cells but did not alter the permissiveness of HUVECs or BEAS2B cells to the virus. Post-exposure treatment of the co-culture of Vero cells and HUVECs with a novel non-cyclic nucleotide small molecule EPAC1-specific activator reduced apoptosis in HUVECs. These findings may help to delineate a novel insight into the pathogenesis of ARDS following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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