Innate & Comparative Immunology-Publications

The Functional Diversity of Tissue-Resident Natural Killer Cells Against Infection


For decades, studies of natural killer (NK) cells have focused on those found in peripheral blood (PBNK cells) as the prototype for NK cell biology. Only recently have researchers begun to explore the diversity of tissue-resident NK (tr-NK) cells. While tr-NK cells were initially identified from mice parabiosis and intravascular staining experiments, they can also be identified by tissue retention markers such as CD69, CD103, and others. More importantly, tr-NK cells have distinct functions compared to PBNK cells.

Learning to Be Elite: Lessons From HIV-1 Controllers and Animal Models on Trained Innate Immunity and Virus Suppression


Although antiretroviral therapy (ART) has drastically changed the lives of people living with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), long-term treatment has been associated with a vast array of comorbidities. Therefore, a cure for HIV-1 remains the best option to globally eradicate HIV-1/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, development of strategies to achieve complete eradication of HIV-1 has been extremely challenging.

Probiotic supplementation reduces inflammatory profiles but does not prevent oral immune perturbations during SIV infection

HIV/SIV infections lead to massive loss of mucosal CD4 + T cells and breakdown of the epithelial mucosa resulting in severe microbial dysbiosis and chronic immune activation that ultimately drive disease progression. Moreover, disruption of one of the most understudied mucosal environments, the oral cavity, during HIV-induced immunosuppression results in significant microbial and neoplastic co-morbidities and contributes to and predicts distal disease complications.

Characterization of Rhesus Macaque Liver-Resident CD49a + NK Cells During Retrovirus Infections

CD49a+ tissue resident NK cells have been implicated in memory-like NK cell responses, but while this population is well-characterized in mice and in humans, they are poorly described in non-human primates (NHP) which are particularly critical for modeling human viral infections. Others and we have shown that memory-like NK cells are enriched in the liver and because of the importance of NHP in modeling HIV infection, understanding the immunobiology of CD49a+ NK cells in SIV-infected rhesus macaques is critical to explore the role of this cell type in retroviral infections.

Delineation and Modulation of the Natural Killer Cell Transcriptome in Rhesus Macaques During ZIKV and SIV Infections

Natural killer (NK) cells are crucial regulators of antiviral and anti-tumor immune responses. Although in humans some NK cell transcriptional programs are relatively well-established, NK cell transcriptional networks in non-human primates (NHP) remain poorly delineated. Here we performed RNA-Seq experiments using purified NK cells from experimentally naïve rhesus macaques, providing the first transcriptional characterization of pure NK cells in any NHP species.

Functional Perturbation of Mucosal Group 3 Innate Lymphoid and Natural Killer Cells in Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Infant Rhesus Macaques

Mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) via breastfeeding is responsible for nearly half of new infections of children with HIV. Although innate lymphoid cells (ILC) and natural killer (NK) cells are found throughout the oral mucosae, the effects of HIV/simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) in these tissues are largely unknown.

Brief Report: Decreased JC Virus-Specific Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity in HIV-Seropositive PML Survivors

Background: Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is an often fatal disease caused by JC virus (JCV) in severely immunocompromised patients, including HIV patients. Development of therapeutics to prevent or treat PML is an urgent medical need. While JCV-specific T cells are crucial to control JCV and recover from PML, the role played by antibodies remains unclear. Anti-JCV antibodies, including potent neutralizing antibodies, can be detected in most infected adults, yet in PML patients, JCV seems to escape from neutralization.

Semaphorin 7A modulates cytokine-induced memory-like responses by human natural killer cells

Cytokine-induced memory-like (CIML) NK cells are endowed with the capacity to mediate enhanced effector functions upon cytokine or activating receptor restimulation for several weeks following short-term preactivation with IL-12, IL-15, and IL-18. Promising results from a first-in-human clinical trial highlighted the clinical potential of CIML NK cells as adoptive immunotherapy for patients with hematologic malignancies. However, the mechanisms underlying CIML NK cell differentiation and increased functionality remain incompletely understood.

Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Modulates CD94 + (KLRD1 +) NK Cells in Rhesus Macaques

Recently, we and others have shown that natural killer (NK) cells exhibit memory-like recall responses against cytomegalovirus (CMV) and human immunodeficiency/virus simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV/SIV) infections. Although the mechanism(s) have not been fully delineated, several groups have shown that the activating receptor NKG2C is elevated on NK cells in the context of rhesus CMV (rhCMV) or human CMV (hCMV) infections. CD94, which heterodimerizes with NKG2C is also linked to adaptive NK cell responses.