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Larrea E.,University of Navarra | Riezu-Boj J.-I.,University of Navarra | Aldabe R.,University of Navarra | Guembe L.,Center for Applied Medical Research | And 6 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2014

Background: IL-7 and IL-15 are produced by hepatocytes and are critical for the expansion and function of CD8 T cells. IL-15 needs to be presented by IL-15Rα for efficient stimulation of CD8 T cells. Methods We analysed the hepatic levels of IL-7, IL-15, IL-15Rα and interferon regulatory factors (IRF) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) (78% genotype 1) and the role of IRF1 and IRF2 on IL-7 and IL-15Rá expression in Huh7 cells with or without hepatitis C virus (HCV) replicon. Results: Hepatic expression of both IL-7 and IL-15Rα, but not of IL-15, was reduced in CHC. These patients exhibited decreased hepatic IRF2 messenger RNA levels and diminished IRF2 staining in hepatocyte nuclei. We found that IRF2 controls basal expression of both IL-7 and IL-15Rα in Huh7 cells. IRF2, but not IRF1, is downregulated in cells with HCV genotype 1b replicon and this was accompanied by decreased expression of IL-7 and IL-15Rα, a defect reversed by overexpressing IRF2. Treating Huh7 cells with IFNα plus oncostatin M increased IL-7 and IL-15Rα mRNA more intensely than either cytokine alone. This effect was mediated by strong upregulation of IRF1 triggered by the combined treatment. Induction of IRF1, IL-7 and IL-15Rá by IFNá plus oncostatin M was dampened in replicon cells but the combination was more effective than either cytokine alone. Conclusions: HCV genotype 1 infection downregulates IRF2 in hepatocytes attenuating hepatocellular expression of IL-7 and IL-15Rα. Our data reveal a new mechanism by which HCV abrogates specific T-cell responses and point to a novel therapeutic approach to stimulate anti-HCV immunity. Source

Zaunders J.,Center for Applied Medical Research | Van Bockel D.,University of New South Wales
Frontiers in Immunology | Year: 2013

Long-term non-progressors (LTNP) were identified after 10-15 years of the epidemic, and have been the subject of intense investigation ever since. In a small minority of cases, infection with nef/3'LTR deleted attenuated viral strains allowed control over viral replication. A common feature of LTNP is the readily detected proliferation of CD4 T-cells in vitro, in response to p24. In some cases, the responding CD4 T-cells have cytotoxic effector function and may target conserved p24 epitopes, similar to the CD8 T-cells described below. LTNP may also carry much lower HIV DNA burden in key CD4 subsets, presumably resulting from lower viral replication during primary infection. Some studies, but not others, suggest that LTNP have CD4 T-cells that are relatively resistant to HIV infection in vitro. One possible mechanism may involve up-regulation of the cell cycle regulator p21/waf in CD4 T-cells from LTNP. Delayed progression in Caucasian LTNP is also partly associated with heterozygosity of the δ32 CCR5 allele, probably through decreased expression of CCR5 co-receptor on CD4 T-cells. However, in approximately half of Caucasian LTNP, two host genotypes, namely HLA-B57 and HLA-B27, are associated with viral control. Immunodominant CD8 T-cells from these individuals target epitopes in p24 that are highly conserved, and escape mutations have significant fitness costs to the virus. Furthermore, recent studies have suggested that these CD8 T-cells from LTNP, but not from HLA-B27 or HLA-B57 progressors, can cross-react with intermediate escape mutations, preventing full escape via compensatory mutations. Humoral immunity appears to play little part in LTNP subjects, since broadly neutralizing antibodies are rare, even amongst slow progressors. Recent genome-wide comparisons between LTNP and progressors have confirmed the HLA-B57, HLA-B27, and delta32 CCR5 allelic associations, plus indicated a role for HLA-C/KIR interactions, but have not revealed any new genotypes so far. Nevertheless, it is hoped that studying the mechanisms of intracellular restriction factors, such as the recently identified SAMHD1, will lead to a better understanding of non-progression. © 2013 Zaunders and van Bockel. Source

Malumbres R.,Center for Applied Medical Research
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2010

In this chapter, we provide a review on the functions of the most important miRNAs in lymphocytes. Most of them are involved in lymphopoiesis, immune response, and lymphoid malignancies, highlighting the importance of miRNAs in these cells. Source

Zaunders J.,Center for Applied Medical Research | Dyer W.B.,Red Cross | Dyer W.B.,University of Sydney | Churchill M.,Burnet Institute | Churchill M.,Monash University
Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS | Year: 2011

Purpose of review: The Sydney Blood Bank Cohort comprised eight individuals who were infected with an attenuated, nef/LTR-deleted strain of HIV-1 from a single donor. All six recipients with sufficient follow-up, as well as the donor, were long-term nonprogressors. Only three recipients have maintained undetectable plasma viral loads, allowing investigation of factors that determined elite control of attenuated HIV-1 infection. Recent findings: Follow-up of recipients showed that infection with this attenuated HIV-1 strain resulted in either low or absent viral replication in vivo for up to 29 years. The three patients without detectable viraemia have been studied for virological, genetic and immunological correlates of elite control. CD4 proliferation in vitro in response to p24 provided the clearest distinction of elite controllers from the slow progressors. Host factors are believed to differentiate the three elite controllers; only one, C135, has identifiable genetic polymorphisms that probably contributed to nonprogression: Δ32 CCR5 heterozygosity, HLA-B57 and HLA-DR13 alleles, in addition to infection with nef-defective HIV-1. Summary: Even nef-defective HIV-1 can lead to sufficient replication in vivo to enable viral evolution and eventual progression to immunodeficiency. Host factors modified the outcome of infection with attenuated HIV-1, as exemplified by the unique patient C135. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Pio R.,Center for Applied Medical Research | Pio R.,University of Navarra | Ajona D.,Center for Applied Medical Research | Lambris J.D.,University of Pennsylvania
Seminars in Immunology | Year: 2013

For decades, complement has been recognized as an effector arm of the immune system that contributes to the destruction of tumor cells. In fact, many therapeutic strategies have been proposed that are based on the intensification of complement-mediated responses against tumors. However, recent studies have challenged this paradigm by demonstrating a tumor-promoting role for complement. Cancer cells seem to be able to establish a convenient balance between complement activation and inhibition, taking advantage of complement initiation without suffering its deleterious effects. Complement activation may support chronic inflammation, promote an immunosuppressive microenvironment, induce angiogenesis, and activate cancer-related signaling pathways. In this context, inhibition of complement activation would be a therapeutic option for treating cancer. This concept is relatively new and deserves closer attention. In this article, we summarize the mechanisms of complement activation on cancer cells, the cancer-promoting effect of complement initiation, and the rationale behind the use of complement inhibition as a therapeutic strategy against cancer. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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