• Actions of Retinoic Acid in the Pathophysiology of HIV Infection

      Sidell, Neil; Kane, Maureen A. (MDPI AG, 2022-04-01)
      The vitamin A metabolite all-trans retinoic acid (RA) plays a key role in tissue homeostasis and mucosal immunity. RA is produced by gut-associated dendritic cells, which are among the first cells encountered by HIV. Acute HIV infection results in rapid reduction of RA levels and dysregulation of immune cell populations whose identities and function are largely controlled by RA. Here, we discuss the potential link between the roles played by RA in shaping intestinal immune responses and the manifestations and pathogenesis of HIV-associated enteropathy and similar conditions observed in SIV-infected non-human primate models. We also present data demonstrating the ability of RA to enhance the activation of replication-competent viral reservoirs from subjects on suppressive anti-retroviral therapy. The data suggest that retinoid supplementation may be a useful adjuvant for countering the pathologic condition of the gastro-intestinal tract associated with HIV infection and as part of a strategy for reactivating viral reservoirs as a means of depleting latent viral infection. © 2022 by the authors.
    • B and T Cell Immunity in Tissues and Across the Ages.

      Booth, Jayaum S; Toapanta, Franklin R (MDPI AG, 2021-01-06)
      B and T cells are key components of the adaptive immune system and coordinate multiple facets of immunity including responses to infection, vaccines, allergens, and the environment. In humans, B- and T-cell immunity has been determined using primarily peripheral blood specimens. Conversely, human tissues have scarcely been studied but they host multiple adaptive immune cells capable of mounting immune responses to pathogens and participate in tissue homeostasis. Mucosal tissues, such as the intestines and respiratory track, are constantly bombarded by foreign antigens and contain tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells that exhibit superior protective capacity to pathogens. Also, tissue-resident memory B (BRM) cells have been identified in mice but whether humans have a similar population remains to be confirmed. Moreover, the immune system evolves throughout the lifespan of humans and undergoes multiple changes in its immunobiology. Recent studies have shown that age-related changes in tissues are not necessarily reflected in peripheral blood specimens, highlighting the importance of tissue localization and subset delineation as essential determinants of functional B and T cells at different life stages. This review describes our current knowledge of the main B- and T-cell subsets in peripheral blood and tissues across age groups.
    • The Effect of Preexisting Immunity on Virus Detection and Immune Responses in a Phase II, Randomized Trial of a Russian-Backbone, Live, Attenuated Influenza Vaccine in Bangladeshi Children

      Brickley, E.B.; Neuzil, K.M.; Ortiz, J.R. (Oxford University Press, 2018)
      Background: In a 2012 Phase II clinical trial, 300 Bangladeshi children aged 24 to 59 months with no prior influenza vaccine exposure were randomized to receive a single intranasally-administered dose of either trivalent, Russian-backbone, live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) or placebo. Protocol-defined analyses, presented in the companion manuscript, demonstrate decreased viral detection and immunogenicity for A/H1N1pdm09, relative to the A/H3N2 and B strains. This post hoc analysis of the trial data aims to investigate the LAIV strain differences by testing the hypothesis that preexisting humoral and mucosal immunity may influence viral recovery and immune responses after LAIV receipt. Methods: We used logistic regressions to evaluate the relations between markers of preexisting immunity (ie, hemagglutination inhibition [HAI], microneutralization, and immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin A (both serum and mucosal antibodies) and LAIV viral recovery in the week post-vaccination. We then tested for potential effect modification by baseline HAI titers (ie, <10 versus ≥10) and week 1 viral recovery on the LAIV-induced serum and mucosal immune responses, measured between days 0 and 21 post-vaccination. Results: Higher levels of preexisting immunity to influenza A/H3N2 and B were strongly associated with strain-specific prevention of viral shedding upon LAIV receipt. While evidence of LAIV immunogenicity was observed for all 3 strains, the magnitudes of immune responses were most pronounced in children with no evidence of preexisting HAI and in those with detectable virus. Conclusions: The results provide evidence for a bidirectional association between viral replication and immunity, and underscore the importance of accounting for preexisting immunity when evaluating virologic and immunologic responses to LAIVs. Clinical Trials Registration: NCT01625689. Copyright 2018 The Author(s) 2018.
    • HIV-Associated Interactions Between Oral Microbiota and Mucosal Immune Cells: Knowledge Gaps and Future Directions

      Coker, Modupe O; Cairo, Cristiana; Garzino-Demo, Alfredo (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-09-20)
      Even with sustained use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV-infected individuals have an increased risk of systemic comorbid conditions and oral pathologies, including opportunistic infections, oral mucosal inflammation, and gingival and periodontal diseases. The immune-mediated mechanisms that drive this increased risk, in the context of sustained viral suppression, are unclear. HIV infection, even when controlled, alters microbial communities contributing to a chronic low-grade inflammatory state that underlies these non-HIV co-morbidities. The higher prevalence of dental caries, and mucosal and periodontal inflammation reported in HIV-infected individuals on ART is often associated with differentially abundant oral microbial communities, possibly leading to a heightened susceptibility to inflammation. This mini-review highlights current gaps in knowledge regarding the microbe-mediated oral mucosal immunity with HIV infection while discussing opportunities for future research investigations and implementation of novel approaches to elucidate these gaps. Interventions targeting both inflammation and microbial diversity are needed to mitigate oral inflammation-related comorbidities, particularly in HIV-infected individuals. More broadly, additional research is needed to bolster general models of microbiome-mediated chronic immune activation and aid the development of precise microbiota-targeted interventions to reverse or mitigate adverse outcomes.