The Enigma of Lymphocyte Apoptosis in the Response to Influenza Virus Infection
In the pathogenesis of influenza virus infection, lymphocyte apoptosis as a part of the infection and/or the immune response to the virus can be somewhat puzzling. The percentage of human T lymphocytes within the peripheral blood mononuclear cell population that becomes apoptotic greatly exceeds the percentage that are infected after exposure to the virus, consistent with substantial apoptosis of bystander T lymphocytes. Studies reveal an important role of viral neuraminidase expression by co-cultured monocyte/macrophages in induction of apoptosis, including that of uninfected bystander lymphocytes. Despite these observations, it is a reasonable perspective to recognize that the development of lymphocyte apoptosis during the response to infection does not preclude a successful immune response and recovery of the infected host in the great majority of cases. Further investigation is clearly warranted to understand its role in the pathogenesis of influenza virus infection for human subjects.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Update [Editorial]
Since the initial identification of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in 1956, much has been learned about the epidemiological impact and clinical manifestations of RSV infections [...].
The Continued Threat of Influenza A Viruses [Editorial]
Influenza A virus (IAV) is a major cause of respiratory infections worldwide, with the most severe cases occurring in the very young and in elderly individuals [...].
Further discussion of a likely explanation for decreased peripheral blood anti-influenza CD8+ T cell activity during severe infection
HLA-associated protection of lymphocytes during influenza virus infection
BACKGROUND:Heterozygosity at HLA class I loci is generally considered beneficial for host defense. We report here an element of HLA class I homozygosity that may or may not help preserve its existence in populations but which could indicate a new avenue for antiviral research. METHODS:Lymphocytes from serologically HLA-homozygous or -heterozygous donors were examined for synthesis of influenza virus proteins and RNA after exposure to virus as peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The virus-exposed lymphocytes were also examined for internalization of the virus after exposure, and for susceptibility to virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in comparison with virus-exposed monocytes/macrophages and unseparated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Results were compared using two-tailed Fisher's exact test. RESULTS:Serologically-defined HLA-A2-homozygous lymphocytes, in contrast to heterozygous lymphocytes, did not synthesize detectable influenza virus RNA or protein after exposure to the virus. HLA-A2-homozygous lymphocytes, including both homozygous and heterozygous donors by genetic sequence subtyping, did internalize infectious virus but were not susceptible to lysis by autologous virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes ("fratricide"). Similar intrinsic resistance to influenza virus infection was observed with HLA-A1- and HLA-A11-homozygous lymphocytes and with HLA-B-homozygous lymphocytes. CONCLUSIONS:A significant proportion of individuals within a population that is characterized by common expression of HLA class I alleles may possess lymphocytes that are not susceptible to influenza virus infection and thus to mutual virus-specific lysis. Further study may identify new approaches to limit influenza virus infection.
Diverse and Unexpected Roles of Human Monocytes/Macrophages in the Immune Response to Influenza Virus
Human monocytes/macrophages play a central role in the immune response and defense of the host from influenza virus infection. They classically act as antigen-presenting cells for lymphocytes in the context of an immune cell cluster. In that setting, however, monocytes/macrophages exhibit additional, unexpected, roles. They are required for influenza virus infection of the lymphocytes in the cluster, and they are responsible for lymphocyte apoptosis via their synthesis and expression of the viral neuraminidase. Surprisingly, human alveolar macrophages, expected to be among the first cells to encounter the virus, are not susceptible to direct infection by a human influenza virus but can be infected when the virus is complexed with an antibody. Such monocyte/macrophage responses to influenza virus challenge should be considered part of a very complex but quite effective defense, since the common outcome is recovery of the host with development of immunity to the challenging strain of virus.
Respiratory syncytial virus suppression of the antiviral immune response: Implications for evaluation of candidate vaccines
Respiratory syncytial virus infections recur throughout life despite induction of immunity by the first natural infection. Results of an extensive series of studies indicate that the virus adversely affects the human antiviral recall response to challenge, although subsequent infections are less severe than the initial illness. The observations suggest that candidate vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus should not be expected to prevent clinical illness upon subsequent exposure. Candidate vaccines may be considered effective if they render a subsequent natural infection less severe. This is what would be expected from an initial and commonly more severe natural infection and sensitization.
The role of cell surface expression of influenza virus neuraminidase in induction of human lymphocyte apoptosis
The immunopathological mechanisms as well as the role played by influenza A virus infection of human leukocytes and induction of apoptosis have not been fully elucidated. We confirm here that the percentage of cells that are infected is less than the percent of apoptotic cells. Depletion of monocytes/macrophages and depletion of cells expressing influenza neuraminidase from the cultures after exposure to virus decreased lymphocyte apoptosis. Treatment of virus-exposed leukocyte cultures with anti-neuraminidase antibodies but not with anti-hemagglutinin antibodies, reduced lymphocyte production of active caspase-3 and induction of apoptosis. Different strains of virus induced different levels of apoptosis. Variations in induction of apoptosis correlated with production and expression of viral neuraminidase by infected leukocytes. The data suggest that cell surface expression of neuraminidase plays an important role in the induction of apoptosis in human lymphocytes. The benefit, or cost, to the host of lymphocyte apoptosis warrants continued investigation.
Influenza Virus Infection of Human Lymphocytes Occurs in the Immune Cell Cluster of the Developing Antiviral Response
Monocytes-macrophages and lymphocytes are recruited to the respiratory tract in response to influenza virus challenge and are exposed to the virus during the establishment of immune defenses. The susceptibility of human lymphocytes to infection was assessed. The presence of monocytes-macrophages was required to attain infection of both resting and proliferating lymphocytes. Lymphocyte infection occurred in the context of immune cell clusters and was blocked by the addition of anti-intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) antibody to prevent cell clustering. Both peripheral blood-derived and bronchoalveolar lymphocytes were susceptible to infection. Both CD4âº and CD8âº T lymphocytes were susceptible to influenza virus infection, and the infected CD4âº and CD8âº lymphocytes served as infectious foci for other nonpermissive or even virus-permissive cells. These data show that monocytes-macrophages and both CD4âº and CD8âº lymphocytes can become infected during the course of an immune response to influenza virus challenge. The described leukocyte interactions during infection may play an important role in the development of effective anti-influenza responses.
Reduced activation and proliferation of human lymphocytes exposed to respiratory syncytial virus compared to cells exposed to influenza virus
Both respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza A virus (IAV) may infect human peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes (PBMC) during the immune response to viral challenge as the cells are recruited to the respiratory tract. The current studies demonstrated differences in PBMC responses to the two viruses very early after exposure, including reduced fos protein and CD69 expression and IL-2 production by RSV-exposed T lymphocytes. Exposure to RSV resulted in reduced lymphocyte proliferation despite evidence of a virus-specific T lymphocyte frequency equivalent to that for influenza virus. Reduced RSV-induced proliferation was not due to apoptosis, which was itself reduced relative to that of influenza virus-exposed T lymphocytes. The data indicate that differential immune responses to RSV and influenza virus are determined early after exposure of human PBMC and support the concept that the anamnestic immune response that might prevent clinically evident reinfection is attenuated very soon after exposure to RSV. Thus, candidate RSV vaccines should be expected to reduce but not prevent clinical illness upon subsequent infection by RSV. Furthermore, effective therapeutic agents for RSV are likely to be needed, especially for high-risk populations, even after vaccine development.