• Immunity to TBEV Related Flaviviruses with Reduced Pathogenicity Protects Mice from Disease but Not from TBEV Entry into the CNS.

      Petry, Monique; Palus, Martin; Leitzen, Eva; Mitterreiter, Johanna Gracia; Huang, Bei; Kröger, Andrea; Verjans, Georges M G M; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Rimmelzwaan, Guus F; Růžek, Daniel; et al. (MDPI, 2021-02-26)
      Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a leading cause of vector-borne viral encephalitis with expanding endemic regions across Europe. In this study we tested in mice the efficacy of preinfection with a closely related low-virulent flavivirus, Langat virus (LGTV strain TP21), or a naturally avirulent TBEV strain (TBEV-280) in providing protection against lethal infection with the highly virulent TBEV strain (referred to as TBEV-Hypr). We show that prior infection with TP21 or TBEV-280 is efficient in protecting mice from lethal TBEV-Hypr challenge. Histopathological analysis of brains from nonimmunized mice revealed neuronal TBEV infection and necrosis. Neuroinflammation, gliosis, and neuronal necrosis was however also observed in some of the TP21 and TBEV-280 preinfected mice although at reduced frequency as compared to the nonimmunized TBEV-Hypr infected mice. qPCR detected the presence of viral RNA in the CNS of both TP21 and TBEV-280 immunized mice after TBEV-Hypr challenge, but significantly reduced compared to mock-immunized mice. Our results indicate that although TBEV-Hypr infection is effectively controlled in the periphery upon immunization with low-virulent LGTV or naturally avirulent TBEV 280, it may still enter the CNS of these animals. These findings contribute to our understanding of causes for vaccine failure in individuals vaccinated with TBE vaccines.
    • Interferon regulatory factor-1 protects from fatal neurotropic infection with vesicular stomatitis virus by specific inhibition of viral replication in neurons.

      Nair, Sharmila; Michaelsen-Preusse, Kristin; Finsterbusch, Katja; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Bruder, Dunja; Grashoff, Martina; Korte, Martin; Köster, Mario; Kalinke, Ulrich; Hauser, Hansjörg; et al. (2014-03)
      The innate immune system protects cells against invading viral pathogens by the auto- and paracrine action of type I interferon (IFN). In addition, the interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-1 can induce alternative intrinsic antiviral responses. Although both, type I IFN and IRF-1 mediate their antiviral action by inducing overlapping subsets of IFN stimulated genes, the functional role of this alternative antiviral action of IRF-1 in context of viral infections in vivo remains unknown. Here, we report that IRF-1 is essential to counteract the neuropathology of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). IFN- and IRF-1-dependent antiviral responses act sequentially to create a layered antiviral protection program against VSV infections. Upon intranasal infection, VSV is cleared in the presence or absence of IRF-1 in peripheral organs, but IRF-1-/- mice continue to propagate the virus in the brain and succumb. Although rapid IFN induction leads to a decline in VSV titers early on, viral replication is re-enforced in the brains of IRF-1-/- mice. While IFN provides short-term protection, IRF-1 is induced with delayed kinetics and controls viral replication at later stages of infection. IRF-1 has no influence on viral entry but inhibits viral replication in neurons and viral spread through the CNS, which leads to fatal inflammatory responses in the CNS. These data support a temporal, non-redundant antiviral function of type I IFN and IRF-1, the latter playing a crucial role in late time points of VSV infection in the brain.
    • JAK2-V617F promotes venous thrombosis through β1/β2 integrin activation.

      Edelmann, Bärbel; Gupta, Nibedita; Schnoeder, Tina M; Oelschlegel, Anja M; Shahzad, Khurrum; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Philipsen, Lars; Weinert, Soenke; Ghosh, Aniket; Saalfeld, Felix C; et al. (2018-10-01)
      JAK2-V617F-positive chronic myeloproliferative neoplasia (CMN) commonly displays dysfunction of integrins and adhesion molecules expressed on platelets, erythrocytes, and leukocytes. However, the mechanism by which the 2 major leukocyte integrin chains, β1 and β2, may contribute to CMN pathophysiology remained unclear. β1 (α4β1; VLA-4) and β2 (αLβ2; LFA-1) integrins are essential regulators for attachment of leukocytes to endothelial cells. We here showed enhanced adhesion of granulocytes from mice with JAK2-V617F knockin (JAK2+/VF mice) to vascular cell adhesion molecule 1- (VCAM1-) and intercellular adhesion molecule 1-coated (ICAM1-coated) surfaces. Soluble VCAM1 and ICAM1 ligand binding assays revealed increased affinity of β1 and β2 integrins for their respective ligands. For β1 integrins, this correlated with a structural change from the low- to the high-affinity conformation induced by JAK2-V617F. JAK2-V617F triggered constitutive activation of the integrin inside-out signaling molecule Rap1, resulting in translocation toward the cell membrane. Employing a venous thrombosis model, we demonstrated that neutralizing anti-VLA-4 and anti-β2 integrin antibodies suppress pathologic thrombosis as observed in JAK2+/VF mice. In addition, aberrant homing of JAK2+/VF leukocytes to the spleen was inhibited by neutralizing anti-β2 antibodies and by pharmacologic inhibition of Rap1. Thus, our findings identified cross-talk between JAK2-V617F and integrin activation promoting pathologic thrombosis and abnormal trafficking of leukocytes to the spleen.
    • Ly6G deficiency alters the dynamics of neutrophil recruitment and pathogen capture during Leishmania major skin infection.

      Kleinholz, Corinna L; Riek-Burchardt, Monika; Seiß, Elena A; Amore, Jonas; Gintschel, Patricia; Philipsen, Lars; Bousso, Philippe; Relja, Borna; Schraven, Burkhart; Handschuh, Juliane; et al. (NPG, 2021-07-23)
      Neutrophils represent one of the first immune cell types recruited to sites of infection, where they can control pathogens by phagocytosis and cytotoxic mechanisms. Intracellular pathogens such as Leishmania major can hijack neutrophils to establish an efficient infection. However the dynamic interactions of neutrophils with the pathogen and other cells at the site of the infection are incompletely understood. Here, we have investigated the role of Ly6G, a homolog of the human CD177 protein, which has been shown to interact with cell adhesion molecules, and serves as a bona fide marker for neutrophils in mice. We show that Ly6G deficiency decreases the initial infection rate of neutrophils recruited to the site of infection. Although the uptake of L. major by subsequently recruited monocytes was tightly linked with the concomitant uptake of neutrophil material, this process was not altered by Ly6G deficiency of the neutrophils. Instead, we observed by intravital 2-photon microscopy that Ly6G-deficient neutrophils entered the site of infection with delayed initial recruitment kinetics. Thus, we conclude that by promoting neutrophils' ability to efficiently enter the site of infection, Ly6G contributes to the early engagement of intracellular pathogens by the immune system.
    • PI3Kγ deficiency delays the onset of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and ameliorates its clinical outcome.

      Berod, Luciana; Heinemann, Christina; Heink, Sylvia; Escher, Angelika; Stadelmann, Christine; Drube, Sebastian; Wetzker, Reinhard; Norgauer, Johannes; Kamradt, Thomas (2011-03)
      PI3Ks control signal transduction triggered by growth factors and G-protein-coupled receptors and regulate an array of biological processes, including cellular proliferation, differentiation, survival and migration. Herein, we investigated the role of PI3Kγ in the pathogenesis of EAE. We show that, in the absence of PI3Kγ expression, clinical signs of EAE were delayed and mitigated. PI3Kγ-deficient myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)(35-55) -specific CD4(+) T cells appeared later in the secondary lymphoid organs and in the CNS than their WT counterparts. Transfer of WT CD4(+) cells into PI3Kγ(-/-) mice prior to MOG(35-55) immunisation restored EAE severity to WT levels, supporting the relevance of PI3Kγ expression in Th cells for the pathogenesis of EAE; however, PI3Kγ was dispensable for Th1 and Th17 differentiation, thus excluding an altered expression of these pathogenetically relevant cytokines as the cause for ameliorated EAE in PI3Kγ(-/-) mice. These findings demonstrate that PI3Kγ contributes to the development of autoimmune CNS inflammation.
    • Rapid Sequestration of Leishmania mexicana by Neutrophils Contributes to the Development of Chronic Lesion.

      Hurrell, Benjamin P; Schuster, Steffen; Grün, Eva; Coutaz, Manuel; Williams, Roderick A; Held, Werner; Malissen, Bernard; Malissen, Marie; Yousefi, Shida; Simon, Hans-Uwe; et al. (2015-05)
      The protozoan Leishmania mexicana parasite causes chronic non-healing cutaneous lesions in humans and mice with poor parasite control. The mechanisms preventing the development of a protective immune response against this parasite are unclear. Here we provide data demonstrating that parasite sequestration by neutrophils is responsible for disease progression in mice. Within hours of infection L. mexicana induced the local recruitment of neutrophils, which ingested parasites and formed extracellular traps without markedly impairing parasite survival. We further showed that the L. mexicana-induced recruitment of neutrophils impaired the early recruitment of dendritic cells at the site of infection as observed by intravital 2-photon microscopy and flow cytometry analysis. Indeed, infection of neutropenic Genista mice and of mice depleted of neutrophils at the onset of infection demonstrated a prominent role for neutrophils in this process. Furthermore, an increase in monocyte-derived dendritic cells was also observed in draining lymph nodes of neutropenic mice, correlating with subsequent increased frequency of IFNγ-secreting T helper cells, and better parasite control leading ultimately to complete healing of the lesion. Altogether, these findings show that L. mexicana exploits neutrophils to block the induction of a protective immune response and impairs the control of lesion development. Our data thus demonstrate an unanticipated negative role for these innate immune cells in host defense, suggesting that in certain forms of cutaneous leishmaniasis, regulating neutrophil recruitment could be a strategy to promote lesion healing.
    • Targeted antigen delivery to dendritic cells elicits robust antiviral T cell-mediated immunity in the liver.

      Volckmar, Julia; Gereke, Marcus; Ebensen, Thomas; Riese, Peggy; Philipsen, Lars; Lienenklaus, Stefan; Wohlleber, Dirk; Klopfleisch, Robert; Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Müller, Andreas J; et al. (2017-03-07)
      Hepatotropic viruses such as hepatitis C virus cause life-threatening chronic liver infections in millions of people worldwide. Targeted in vivo antigen-delivery to cross-presenting dendritic cells (DCs) has proven to be extraordinarily efficient in stimulating antigen-specific T cell responses. To determine whether this approach would as well be suitable to induce local antiviral effector T cells in the liver we compared different vaccine formulations based on either the targeting of DEC-205 or TLR2/6 on cross-presenting DCs or formulations not involving in vivo DC targeting. As read-outs we used in vivo hepatotropic adenovirus challenge, histology and automated multidimensional fluorescence microscopy (MELC). We show that targeted in vivo antigen delivery to cross-presenting DCs is highly effective in inducing antiviral CTLs capable of eliminating virus-infected hepatocytes, while control vaccine formulation not involving DC targeting failed to induce immunity against hepatotropic virus. Moreover, we observed distinct patterns of CD8+ T cell interaction with virus-infected and apoptotic hepatocytes in the two DC-targeting groups suggesting that the different vaccine formulations may stimulate distinct types of effector functions. Our findings represent an important step toward the future development of vaccines against hepatotropic viruses and the treatment of patients with hepatic virus infection after liver transplantation to avoid reinfection.
    • TCR signalling network organization at the immunological synapses of murine regulatory T cells.

      van Ham, Marco; Teich, René; Philipsen, Lars; Niemz, Jana; Amsberg, Nicole; Wissing, Josef; Nimtz, Manfred; Gröbe, Lothar; Kliche, Stefanie; Thiel, Nadine; et al. (2017-08-17)
      Regulatory T (Treg) cells require T-cell receptor (TCR) signalling to exert their immunosuppressive activity, but the precise organization of the TCR signalling network compared to conventional T (Tconv) cells remains elusive. By using accurate mass spectrometry and multi-epitope ligand cartography (MELC) we characterized TCR signalling and recruitment of TCR signalling components to the immunological synapse (IS) in Treg cells and Tconv cells. With the exception of Themis which we detected in lower amounts in Treg cells, other major TCR signalling components were found equally abundant, however, their phosphorylation-status notably discriminates Treg cells from Tconv cells. Overall, this study identified 121 Treg cell-specific phosphorylations. Short-term triggering of T cell subsets via CD3 and CD28 widely harmonized these variations with the exception of eleven TCR signalling components that mainly regulate cytoskeleton dynamics and molecular transport. Accordingly, conjugation with B cells indeed caused variant cellular morphology and revealed a Treg cell-specific recruitment of TCR signalling components such as PKCθ, PLCγ1 and ZAP70 as well as B cell-derived CD86 into the IS. Together, results from this study support the existence of a Treg cell-specific IS and suggest Treg cell-specific cytoskeleton dynamics as a novel determinant for the unique functional properties of Treg cells.
    • Type I Interferon response in olfactory bulb, the site of tick-borne flavivirus accumulation, is primarily regulated by IPS-1.

      Kurhade, Chaitanya; Zegenhagen, Loreen; Weber, Elvira; Nair, Sharmila; Michaelsen-Preusse, Kristin; Spanier, Julia; Gekara, Nelson O; Kröger, Andrea; Överby, Anna K; Helmholtz Centre for infection research (HZI), Inhoffenstraße 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
      Although type I interferons (IFNs)-key effectors of antiviral innate immunity are known to be induced via different pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), the cellular source and the relative contribution of different PRRs in host protection against viral infection is often unclear. IPS-1 is a downstream adaptor for retinoid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptor signaling. In this study, we investigate the relative contribution of IPS-1 in the innate immune response in the different brain regions during infection with tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), a flavivirus that causes a variety of severe symptoms like hemorrhagic fevers, encephalitis, and meningitis in the human host.