Clusters of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia: analysis of person-to-person transmission by genotyping.
Genotyping at the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the nuclear rRNA operon was performed on isolates of P. carinii sp. f. hominis from three clusters of P. carinii pneumonia among eight patients with haematological malignancies and six with HIV infection. Nine different ITS sequence types of P. carinii sp. f. hominis were identified in the samples from the patients with haematological malignancies, suggesting that this cluster of cases of P. carinii pneumonia was unlikely to have resulted from nosocomial transmission. A common ITS sequence type was observed in two of the patients with haematological malignancies who shared a hospital room, and also in two of the patients with HIV infection who had prolonged close contact on the ward. In contrast, different ITS sequence types were detected in samples from an HIV-infected homosexual couple who shared the same household. These data suggest that person-to-person transmission of P. carinii sp. f. hominis may occur from infected to susceptible immunosuppressed patients with close contact within hospital environments. However direct transmission between patients did not account for the majority of cases within the clusters, suggesting that person-to-person transmission of P. carinii sp. f. hominis infection may be a relatively infrequent event and does not constitute the major route of transmission in man. (+info)
Development and function of autospecific dual TCR+ T lymphocytes.
Recent studies have challenged the long held concept that each T lymphocyte expresses on its surface only a single, unique alphabetaTCR. Dual TCR+ T cells have been recognized, however, their origin and potential to escape screening for self-reactivity remain obscure. We now report the thymic generation of dual alphabetaTCR+ T cells in the H-2Db/H-Y-specific TCR transgenic (Tg) mouse. Dual TCR+ thymocytes were positively selected less efficiently than single TCR+ thymocytes, although a subset attained maturity. Importantly, when TCR Tg mice were bred onto a negatively selecting background, auto-specific cells survived central deletion and matured as CD4+ dual TCR+ cells. These cells were autoreactive when CD8 expression was restored. The existence of autospecific, dual TCR+ T cells may have implications for the maintenance of self tolerance. (+info)
Immunosurveillance of alglucerase enzyme therapy for Gaucher patients: induction of humoral tolerance in seroconverted patients after repeat administration.
Alglucerase, a macrophage-targeted enzyme replacement therapy for Gaucher disease, has been successfully used for several years to improve clinical symptoms and reverse disease progression. As part of an immunosurveillance program, 1,122 Gaucher patients were monitored for antibody response to glucocerebrosidase, the active component of alglucerase. Seroconversion was detected in 142 patients (12.8%) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and confirmed by radioimmunoprecipitation. The majority (75%) of the seroconverted population had no detectable levels of circulating inhibitory antibody as assessed by in vitro inhibition of enzymatic activity of the therapeutic molecule. Of the remaining patients with putative inhibitory antibodies, the majority had only low levels of serum inhibitory activity, which was transient. A very small number of patients were identified as developing true neutralizing antibodies, as defined by the development of antibodies that impacted clinical efficacy. Many of the patient antibody responses were also diminished with time. Eighty-two of the 142 seroconverted patients have stopped producing antibody to the molecule and appear tolerized. The mean time for humoral tolerization was 28 months from initiation of therapy. Of 64 seroconverted patients followed for at least 30 months of therapy, the tolerization rate was 93%. These results show that although 12.8% of the patients on therapy developed antibodies to the molecule, 90% of these patients became tolerized over time. (+info)
Tolerance to antigen-presenting cell-depleted islet allografts is CD4 T cell dependent.
Pretreatment of pancreatic islets in 95% oxygen culture depletes graft-associated APCs and leads to indefinite allograft acceptance in immunocompetent recipients. As such, the APC-depleted allograft represents a model of peripheral alloantigen presentation in the absence of donor-derived costimulation. Over time, a state of donor-specific tolerance develops in which recipients are resistant to donor APC-induced graft rejection. Thus, persistence of the graft is sufficient to induce tolerance independent of other immune interventions. Donor-specific tolerance could be adoptively transferred to immune-deficient SCID recipient mice transplanted with fresh immunogenic islet allografts, indicating that the original recipient was not simply "ignorant" of donor antigens. Interestingly, despite the fact that the original islet allograft presented only MHC class I alloantigens, CD8+ T cells obtained from tolerant animals readily collaborated with naive CD4+ T cells to reject donor-type islet grafts. Conversely, tolerant CD4+ T cells failed to collaborate effectively with naive CD8+ T cells for the rejection of donor-type grafts. In conclusion, the MHC class I+, II- islet allograft paradoxically leads to a change in the donor-reactive CD4 T cell subset and not in the CD8 subset. We hypothesize that the tolerant state is not due to direct class I alloantigen presentation to CD8 T cells but, rather, occurs via the indirect pathway of donor Ag presentation to CD4 T cells in the context of host MHC class II molecules. (+info)
IL-4 and IL-10 are both required for the induction of oral tolerance.
Protection from the development of experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) can be induced by feeding mice interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein before uveitogenic challenge with the same protein. Two different regimens are equally effective in inducing protective tolerance, although they seem to do so through different mechanisms: one involving regulatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-10, and TGF-beta), and the other with minimal involvement of cytokines. Here we studied the importance of IL-4 and IL-10 for the development of oral tolerance using mice genetically engineered to lack either one or both of these cytokines. In these animals we were able to protect against EAU only through the regimen inducing cytokine-independent tolerance. When these animals were fed a regimen that in the wild-type animal is thought to predominantly induce regulatory cells and is associated with cytokine secretion, they were not protected from EAU. Interestingly, both regimens were associated with reduced IL-2 production and proliferation in response to interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein. These findings indicate that both IL-4 and IL-10 are required for induction of protective oral tolerance dependent on regulatory cytokines, and that one cytokine cannot substitute for the other in this process. These data also underscore the fact that oral tolerance, manifested as suppression of proliferation and IL-2 production, is not synonymous with protection from disease. (+info)
Altered helper T lymphocyte function associated with chronic hepatitis B virus infection and its role in response to therapeutic vaccination in humans.
Theradigm-hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an experimental lipopeptide vaccine designed to stimulate induction of HBV-specific CTL responses in HLA-A2 individuals. Previous studies had demonstrated high immunogenicity in healthy volunteers, but comparatively weak CTL responses in chronically infected HBV patients. Herein, we examined helper T lymphocyte (HTL) responses in chronically infected patients. Despite normal proliferation and IL-2 secretion, IL-12 and IFN-gamma secretion in vitro in response to the vaccine was reduced compared with healthy volunteers. A similar pattern of cytokine secretion was observed following mitogen stimulation, suggesting a general altered balance of Th1/Th2 responses. Further analysis indicated that HTL recall responses to whole tetanus toxoid protein were reduced in chronically infected subjects, and reduced responsiveness correlated with the outcome of Theradigm-HBV immunization. Finally, experiments in HBV transgenic mice indicated that the nonnatural Pan DR HTL epitope, PADRE, is capable of inducing high levels of IFN-gamma secretion and that its inclusion in a lipopeptide incorporating an immunodominant Ld-restricted CTL epitope resulted in breaking tolerance at the CTL level. Overall, our results demonstrate an alteration in the quality of HTL responses induced in chronically infected HBV patients and suggest that use of a potent HTL epitope may be important to overcome CTL tolerance against specific HBV Ags. (+info)
Activation in vivo of retroperitoneal fibromatosis-associated herpesvirus, a simian homologue of human herpesvirus-8.
Retroperitoneal fibromatosis-associated herpesvirus of rhesus macaques (RFHVMm) is a gammaherpesvirus closely related to human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), which is thought to be a necessary cofactor for the development of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in humans. Here, RFHVMm infection of rhesus macaques exposed to the D-type retrovirus simian retrovirus-2 (SRV-2) is described. Development of SRV-2 viraemia, infection with simian immunodeficiency virus or administration of cyclosporin A could result in persistent RFHVMm viraemia. From this, it is concluded that productive retrovirus infection or otherwise-induced immune suppression has the ability to activate this herpesvirus in vivo. Elevated levels of circulating interleukin-6, a cytokine that plays a central role in KS, were found in RFHVMm-viraemic animals. In viraemic animals, RFHVMm was found in tissues that are common sites for the development of AIDS-associated KS, especially the oral cavity. Together, these data suggest a common biology between RFHVMm infection of macaques and HHV-8 infection and pathogenesis in humans. (+info)
B7-2 expressed on EL4 lymphoma suppresses antitumor immunity by an interleukin 4-dependent mechanism.
For T cells to become functionally activated they require at least two signals. The B7 costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2 provide the "second signal" pivotal for T cell activation. In this report, we studied the relative roles of B7-1 and B7-2 molecules in the induction of antitumor immunity to the T cell thymoma, EL4. We generated EL4 tumor cells that expressed B7-1, B7-2, and B7-1+B7-2 by transfecting murine cDNAs. Our results demonstrate that EL4-B7-1 cells are completely rejected in syngeneic mice. Unlike EL4-B7-1 cells, we find that EL4-B7-2 cells are not rejected but progressively grow in the mice. A B7-1- and B7-2-EL4 double transfectant was generated by introducing B7-2 cDNA into the EL4-B7-1 tumor line that regressed in vivo. The EL4-B7-1+B7-2 double transfectant was not rejected when implanted into syngeneic mice but progressively grew to produce tumors. The double transfectant EL4 cells could costimulate T cell proliferation that could be blocked by anti-B7-1 antibodies, anti-B7-2 antibodies, or hCTLA4 immunoglobulin, showing that the B7-1 and B7-2 molecules expressed on the EL4 cells were functional. In vivo, treatment of mice implanted with double-transfected EL4 cells with anti-B7-2 monoclonal antibody resulted in tumor rejection. Furthermore, the EL4-B7-2 and EL4-B7-1+B7-2 cells, but not the wild-type EL4 cells, were rejected in interleukin 4 (IL-4) knockout mice. Our data suggests that B7-2 expressed on some T cell tumors inhibits development of antitumor immunity, and IL-4 appears to play a critical role in abrogation of the antitumor immune response. (+info)