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Cellules dendritiques plasmocytoïdes et infections virales : rôle physiopathologique et potentiel vaccinal

Abstract : The immune control of HBV infection is essential for viral clearance. The virus is able to modulate the immune system to escape this control. The mechanisms involved remain largely unknown. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) play a crucial role in anti‐viral immunity due to their ability to capture and process viral antigens and subsequently induce adaptive immune responses. PDCs are therefore promising to restore functional anti‐HBV immunity, but HBV could modulate the pDCs to escape the immune control. First, we investigated the potential of pDCs in triggering anti‐viral immunity against HBV during chronic infection. We used a HLA‐A*0201+ pDC line loaded with HLA‐A*0201-restricted peptides derived from HBc/HBs antigens to amplify specific T cells ex vivo from chronic HBV patients. Then we established an Hepato-HuPBL humanized mouse model to address the therapeutic potential of the strategy in vivo. Stimulation of PBMC or liver-infiltrated lymphocytes from HLA‐A*0201+ chronic HBV patients by the HBc peptide-loaded pDC line elicited functional HBV-specific CD8 T cells in 45.8% of cases. The “non-responder” group of patients was characterised by the presence of HBe Ag or higher level of regulatory T cells. The therapeutic efficacy of the pDC-based vaccine was evaluated in NOD-SCID β2m-/- mice reconstituted with HBV patients' PBMC and xenotransplanted with human HBV-transfected hepatocytes. Vaccination of these mice with the HBc/HBs peptide‐loaded pDC line elicited HBV-specific T cells in vivo able to specifically lyses infected hepatocytes. Thus pDCs loaded with HBV‐derived peptides can elicit functional virus-specific T cells in vitro and in vivo. This new cell-based immunotherapeutic strategy could restore functional anti‐viral immunity and clear the virus in chronic HBV patients. In the second part, we investigated the pathophysiological role of pDCs from chronic HBV patients and the functional consequences on pDC-NK cross-talk. Functional impairment have been observed in both pDC and NK cells in chronic HBV patients. However, the cross-talk pDC/NK and the mechanisms involved have not been elucidated. We studied the phenotype and the ability to respond to a TLR-L stimulation of the pDCs from HBV patients compared to healthy donors, and we investigated the consequences on the cross-talk between patients' (viremic or aviremic) pDCs and heterologous NK cells. PDCs show higher levels of activation in patients compared to healthy donors but were not able to respond to TLR9-L stimulation. In addition, pDCs from viremic chronic HBV patients failed to trigger a normal NK cytolytic function after TLR9-L stimulation. This pDC-dependant NK dysfunction was related to impaired IFNα secretion and OX40L expression by pDCs from viremic patients, and related to high plasma IP-10 levels found in patients. In conclusion HBV could escape the immune system by impairing pDC function and subsequent pDC/NK cross-talk by a mechanism involving IP10, OX40L and IFNα.
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Jérémie Martinet. Cellules dendritiques plasmocytoïdes et infections virales : rôle physiopathologique et potentiel vaccinal. Sciences agricoles. Université de Grenoble, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012GRENV065⟩. ⟨tel-00843008⟩

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