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All Publications

  • Clonal composition and persistence of antigen-specific circulating T follicular helper cells. European journal of immunology Hu, M., Notarbartolo, S., Foglierini, M., Jovic, S., Mele, F., Jarrossay, D., Lanzavecchia, A., Cassotta, A., Sallusto, F. 2022


    T follicular helper (TFH ) cells play an essential role in promoting B cell responses and antibody affinity maturation in germinal centres (GC). A subset of memory CD4+ T cells expressing the chemokine receptor CXCR5 has been described in human blood as phenotypically and clonally related to GC TFH cells. However, the antigen specificity and relationship of these circulating TFH (cTFH ) cells with other memory CD4+ T cells remain poorly defined. Combining antigenic stimulation and T cell receptor (TCR) Vβ sequencing, we found T cells specific to tetanus toxoid (TT), influenza vaccine (Flu) or Candida albicans (C.alb) in both cTFH and non-cTFH subsets, although with different frequencies and effector functions. Interestingly, cTFH and non-cTFH cells specific for C.alb or TT had a largely overlapping TCR Vβ repertoire while the repertoire of Flu-specific cTFH and non-cTFH cells was distinct. Furthermore, Flu-specific but not C.alb-specific PD-1+ cTFH cells had a "GC TFH -like" phenotype, with overexpression of IL21, CXCL13, and BCL6. Longitudinal analysis of serial blood donations showed that Flu-specific cTFH and non-cTFH cells persisted as stable repertoires for years. Collectively, our study provides insights on the relationship of cTFH with non-cTFH cells and on the heterogeneity and persistence of antigen-specific human cTFH cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/eji.202250190

    View details for PubMedID 36480793

  • Assessment of the TCR Repertoire of Human Circulating T Follicular Helper Cells. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) Hu, M., Sallusto, F. 2022; 2380: 149-163


    Every T cell clone has its unique T cell receptor that results from somatic recombination of V(D)J genes in developing T cells. This process leads to a highly diverse TCR repertoire of naïve T cells, which is selected, upon antigenic recognition, to form the repertoires of effector and memory T cells. The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology allows for the high-throughput analysis of the TCR repertoires in the different T cell populations. TFH cells, since their initial discovery in human tonsils and in mouse lymphoid organs, have become the subject of intense investigations due to their essential role in regulating B cell responses and the process of antibody affinity maturation. Circulating follicular helper T cells (cTFH) are considered a helper T cell linage in the blood that to some extent relates with bona fide TFH cells in the germinal centers of secondary lymphoid organs. Due to the limited access to the secondary lymphoid organs, cTFH have become a more accessible immunological readout. The assessment of the TCR repertoires of TFH and of cTFH cells is of both fundamental and clinical importance being instrumental to define the linage relationship of cTFH with other T cell subsets and to monitor response to infections or vaccination or disease states. In this chapter, we will provide detailed methods for isolation of antigen-specific cTFH cells in vitro and subsequent protocols for the high-throughput TCR sequencing, followed by repertoire data analysis.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/978-1-0716-1736-6_13

    View details for PubMedID 34802129

  • Durable protection against the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is induced by an adjuvanted subunit vaccine. Science translational medicine Arunachalam, P. S., Feng, Y., Ashraf, U., Hu, M., Walls, A. C., Edara, V. V., Zarnitsyna, V. I., Aye, P. P., Golden, N., Miranda, M. C., Green, K. W., Threeton, B. M., Maness, N. J., Beddingfield, B. J., Bohm, R. P., Scheuermann, S. E., Goff, K., Dufour, J., Russell-Lodrigue, K., Kepl, E., Fiala, B., Wrenn, S., Ravichandran, R., Ellis, D., Carter, L., Rogers, K., Shirreff, L. M., Ferrell, D. E., Deb Adhikary, N. R., Fontenot, J., Hammond, H. L., Frieman, M., Grifoni, A., Sette, A., O'Hagan, D. T., Van Der Most, R., Rappuoli, R., Villinger, F., Kleanthous, H., Rappaport, J., Suthar, M. S., Veesler, D., Wang, T. T., King, N. P., Pulendran, B. 2022; 14 (658): eabq4130


    Despite the remarkable efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, waning immunity and the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants such as Omicron represents a global health challenge. Here, we present data from a study in nonhuman primates demonstrating durable protection against the Omicron BA.1 variant induced by a subunit SARS-CoV-2 vaccine comprising the receptor binding domain of the ancestral strain (RBD-Wu) on the I53-50 nanoparticle adjuvanted with AS03, which was recently authorized for use in individuals 18 years or older. Vaccination induced neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers that were maintained at high concentrations for at least 1 year after two doses, with a pseudovirus nAb geometric mean titer (GMT) of 1978 and a live virus nAb GMT of 1331 against the ancestral strain but not against the Omicron BA.1 variant. However, a booster dose at 6 to 12 months with RBD-Wu or RBD-beta (RBD from the Beta variant) displayed on I53-50 elicited high neutralizing titers against the ancestral and Omicron variants. In addition, we observed persistent neutralization titers against a panel of sarbecoviruses, including SARS-CoV. Furthermore, there were substantial and persistent memory T and B cell responses reactive to Beta and Omicron variants. Vaccination resulted in protection against Omicron infection in the lung and suppression of viral burden in the nares at 6 weeks after the final booster immunization. Even at 6 months after vaccination, we observed protection in the lung and rapid control of virus in the nares. These results highlight the durable and cross-protective immunity elicited by the AS03-adjuvanted RBD-I53-50 nanoparticle vaccine.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.abq4130

    View details for PubMedID 35976993

  • Durability of immune responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine MED Suthar, M. S., Arunachalam, P. S., Hu, M., Reis, N., Trisal, M., Raeber, O., Chinthrajah, S., Davis-Gardner, M. E., Manning, K., Mudvari, P., Boritz, E., Godbole, S., Henry, A. R., Douek, D. C., Halfmann, P., Kawaoka, Y., Boyd, S. D., Davis, M. M., Zarnitsyna, V. I., Nadeau, K., Pulendran, B. 2022; 3 (1): 25-27
  • Durability of immune responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Med (New York, N.Y.) Suthar, M. S., Arunachalam, P. S., Hu, M., Reis, N., Trisal, M., Raeber, O., Chinthrajah, S., Davis-Gardner, M. E., Manning, K., Mudvari, P., Boritz, E., Godbole, S., Henry, A. R., Douek, D. C., Halfmann, P., Kawaoka, Y., Boyd, S. D., Davis, M. M., Zarnitsyna, V. I., Nadeau, K., Pulendran, B. 2022; 3 (1): 25-27


    Antibody responses to the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine waned substantially 6 months after the second vaccination.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.medj.2021.12.005

    View details for PubMedID 35590141