Indexed on: 21 Aug '18Published on: 21 Aug '18Published in: PLoS pathogens
Following repeated encounters with adenoviruses most of us develop robust humoral and cellular immune responses that are thought to act together to combat ongoing and subsequent infections. Yet in spite of robust immune responses, adenoviruses establish subclinical persistent infections that can last for decades. While adenovirus persistence pose minimal risk in B-cell compromised individuals, if T-cell immunity is severely compromised reactivation of latent adenoviruses can be life threatening. This dichotomy led us to ask how anti-adenovirus antibodies influence adenovirus T-cell immunity. Using primary human blood cells, transcriptome and secretome profiling, and pharmacological, biochemical, genetic, molecular, and cell biological approaches, we initially found that healthy adults harbor adenovirus-specific regulatory T cells (Tregs). As peripherally induced Tregs are generated by tolerogenic dendritic cells (DCs), we then addressed how tolerogenic DCs could be created. Here, we demonstrate that DCs that take up immunoglobulin-complexed (IC)-adenoviruses create an environment that causes bystander DCs to become tolerogenic. These adenovirus antigen loaded tolerogenic DCs can drive naïve T cells to mature into adenovirus-specific Tregs. Our study reveals a mechanism by which an antiviral humoral responses could, counterintuitively, favor virus persistence.