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      Extracellular vesicles from infected cells: potential for direct pathogenesis


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          Infections that result in natural or manmade spread of lethal biological agents are a concern and require national and focused preparedness. In this manuscript, as part of an early diagnostics and pathogen treatment strategy, we have focused on extracellular vesicles (EVs) that arise following infections. Although the field of biodefense does not currently have a rich resource in EVs literature, none the less, similar pathogens belonging to the more classical emerging and non-emerging diseases have been studied in their EV/exosomal contents and function. These exosomes are formed in late endosomes and released from the cell membrane in almost every cell type in vivo. These vesicles contain proteins, RNA, and lipids from the cells they originate from and function in development, signal transduction, cell survival, and transfer of infectious material. The current review focuses on how different forms of infection exploit the exosomal pathway and how exosomes can be exploited artificially to treat infection and disease and potentially also be used as a source of vaccine. Virally-infected cells can secrete viral as well as cellular proteins and RNA in exosomes, allowing viruses to cause latent infection and spread of miRNA to nearby cells prior to a subsequent infection. In addition to virally-infected host cells, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi can all release small vesicles that contain pathogen-associated molecular patterns, regulating the neighboring uninfected cells. Examples of exosomes from both virally and bacterially infected cells point toward a re-programming network of pathways in the recipient cells. Finally, many of these exosomes contain cytokines and miRNAs that in turn can effect gene expression in the recipient cells through the classical toll-like receptor and NFκB pathway. Therefore, although exosomes do not replicate as an independent entity, they however facilitate movement of infectious material through tissues and may be the cause of many pathologies seen in infected hosts.

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          Most cited references 111

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          Indirect activation of naïve CD4+ T cells by dendritic cell-derived exosomes.

          Dendritic cells (DCs) secrete vesicles of endosomal origin, called exosomes, that bear major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and T cell costimulatory molecules. Here, we found that injection of antigen- or peptide-bearing exosomes induced antigen-specific naïve CD4+ T cell activation in vivo. In vitro, exosomes did not induce antigen-dependent T cell stimulation unless mature CD8alpha- DCs were also present in the cultures. These mature DCs could be MHC class II-negative, but had to bear CD80 and CD86. Therefore, in addition to carrying antigen, exosomes promote the exchange of functional peptide-MHC complexes between DCs. Such a mechanism may increase the number of DCs bearing a particular peptide, thus amplifying the initiation of primary adaptive immune responses.
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            Exosomes released from macrophages infected with intracellular pathogens stimulate a proinflammatory response in vitro and in vivo.

            Intracellular pathogens and the molecules they express have limited contact with the immune system. Here, we show that macrophages infected with intracellular pathogens Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M bovis BCG, Salmonella typhimurium, or Toxoplasma gondii release from cells small vesicles known as exosomes which contain pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). These exosomes, when exposed to uninfected macrophages, stimulate a proinflammatory response in a Toll-like receptor- and myeloid differentiation factor 88-dependent manner. Further, exosomes isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of M bovis BCG-infected mice contain the mycobacteria components lipoarabinomannan and the 19-kDa lipoprotein and can stimulate TNF-alpha production in naive macrophages. Moreover, exosomes isolated from M bovis BCG- and M tuberculosis-infected macrophages, when injected intranasally into mice, stimulate TNF-alpha and IL-12 production as well as neutrophil and macrophage recruitment in the lung. These studies identify a previously unknown function for exosomes in promoting intercellular communication during an immune response to intracellular pathogens, and we hypothesize that extracellular release of exosomes containing PAMPs is an important mechanism of immune surveillance.
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              Exosome-mediated transmission of hepatitis C virus between human hepatoma Huh7.5 cells.

              Recent evidence indicates there is a role for small membrane vesicles, including exosomes, as vehicles for intercellular communication. Exosomes secreted by most cell types can mediate transfer of proteins, mRNAs, and microRNAs, but their role in the transmission of infectious agents is less established. Recent studies have shown that hepatocyte-derived exosomes containing hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA can activate innate immune cells, but the role of exosomes in the transmission of HCV between hepatocytes remains unknown. In this study, we investigated whether exosomes transfer HCV in the presence of neutralizing antibodies. Purified exosomes isolated from HCV-infected human hepatoma Huh7.5.1 cells were shown to contain full-length viral RNA, viral protein, and particles, as determined by RT-PCR, mass spectrometry, and transmission electron microscopy. Exosomes from HCV-infected cells were capable of transmitting infection to naive human hepatoma Huh7.5.1 cells and establishing a productive infection. Even with subgenomic replicons, lacking structural viral proteins, exosome-mediated transmission of HCV RNA was observed. Treatment with patient-derived IgGs showed a variable degree of neutralization of exosome-mediated infection compared with free virus. In conclusion, this study showed that hepatic exosomes can transmit productive HCV infection in vitro and are partially resistant to antibody neutralization. This discovery sheds light on neutralizing antibodies resistant to HCV transmission by exosomes as a potential immune evasion mechanism.

                Author and article information

                Front Microbiol
                Front Microbiol
                Front. Microbiol.
                Frontiers in Microbiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                20 October 2015
                : 6
                [1] 1Laboratory of Molecular Virology, School of Systems Biology, George Mason University , Manassas, VA, USA
                [2] 2School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University , Washington, DC, USA
                [3] 3Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. , Manassas, VA, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Aftab A. Ansari, Emory University School of Medicine, USA

                Reviewed by: Mirko Paiardini, Emory University School of Medicine, USA; Byeongwoon Song, University of California, Davis, USA

                *Correspondence: Fatah Kashanchi, fkashanc@ 123456gmu.edu ; Ramin M. Hakami, rhakami@ 123456gmu.edu

                This article was submitted to Infectious Diseases, a section of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.

                Copyright © 2015 Schwab, Meyering, Lepene, Iordanskiy, Van Hoek, Hakami and Kashanchi.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 166, Pages: 18, Words: 15785
                Public Health

                Microbiology & Virology

                exosome, virus, extracellular vesicle, bacteria, protozoa, pathogen, parasite


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