Director's Biography, Awards, Testimony to Congress, and Scientific Publications
The Immunopathogenesis Section investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the immune dysfunction caused by HIV infection. Several major projects ongoing in the section are described below.
We and others previously demonstrated that the latent viral reservoir in the resting CD4+ T-cell compartment persists in virtually all infected individuals receiving effective antiretroviral therapy (ART). As a result of our work, this viral reservoir has been considered to be a major impediment to the eradication of HIV in vivo. In recent years, our studies have demonstrated that HIV continually replicates at low levels in chronically infected individuals who have been consistently aviremic for prolonged periods of time as a result of effective ART. Based on this observation, the Immunopathogenesis Section has focused its research on 1) dynamics of persistent viral reservoirs in infected individuals who initiated ART during the acute phase of HIV infection, 2) delineation of the mechanism by which HIV persists in infected individuals receiving effective ART for extended periods of time, and 3) role of gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) in the persistence of viral reservoirs in infected individuals receiving effective ART for extended periods of time.
Twenty years ago, LIR demonstrated that B cells of HIV-infected individuals manifested numerous signs of aberrant hyperactivity and dysfunction. Over the past several years, we have directed our efforts to delineating the mechanisms of B-cell dysfunction associated with ongoing HIV replication and disease progression. This has been made possible by the ability to study HIV-infected patients during the viremic and aviremic states, the latter induced by effective ART. Insight into B-cell dysfunction in HIV disease has been achieved using both basic science and clinical approaches. We have determined that ongoing HIV replication and CD4+ T-cell lymphopenia contribute to the expansion of aberrant B-cell subpopulations that, in turn, are unable to mount an effective antibody response against HIV and common immunogens.
The goal of this project is to characterize the interaction between the HIV envelope and its cellular receptors. This characterization will provide information fundamental to the basic pathogenic mechanisms that underlie HIV disease. The HIV envelope is remarkable in its ability to interact with at least three different cell surface receptors, and it is this unique property that has led us to undertake this project. Our approach involves combining biochemical characterization of envelope proteins with the responses of cells involved in immune responses to envelope treatment. We have recently developed a recombinant envelope expression system to produce and evaluate over a dozen different recombinant envelopes. These recombinants will be used to fully characterize the effects of HIV envelope proteins on the functionality of CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, NK cells, dendritic cells, and B cells. HIV-1 gp120 transduces near-simultaneous signals through CD4 and a chemokine receptor (CCR5 and/or CXCR4). Recent findings involve HIV-1 envelope protein gp120 binding to an activated form of α4β7 on CD4+ T cells, NK cells, and CD8+ T cells. Understanding the complexities and significance of the signaling processes that gp120 mediates will enhance our understanding of HIV-1 pathogenesis and may facilitate the discovery of new strategies for the treatment and prevention of HIV-1 disease.
Co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is seen in 15 to 30 percent of all HIV-infected individuals in the United States. With the marked reduction in AIDS-associated opportunistic infections due to the judicious use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), liver disease is becoming a leading cause of death in this group. Co-infection with HCV and HIV results in increased morbidity and mortality, rapid progression of liver fibrosis to cirrhosis, and poor cure rates for HCV. The pathophysiologic mechanisms that lead to poor outcomes in HIV/HCV co-infected individuals are currently unknown. We have focused on developing a translational research program to study HIV/HCV co-infection with an emphasis on innate immune responses and development of therapeutic approaches that maximize the cure rates of HCV infection and avoid serious adverse events among HIV/HCV co-infected individuals.
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Dr. Fauci received his A.B. from the College of the Holy Cross and his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College. He then completed an internship and residency at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. In 1968, Dr. Fauci came to NIH as a clinical associate in the NIAID Laboratory of Clinical Investigation. In 1980, he was appointed chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation, a position he still holds. Dr. Fauci became director of NIAID in 1984. He serves as one of the key advisors to the White House and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on global AIDS issues and on initiatives to bolster medical and public health preparedness against emerging infectious disease threats such as pandemic influenza.
Bottom row (left to right): Susan Moir, Ph.D.; Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.; Claudia Cicala, Ph.D.Top Row (left to right): Tae-Wook Chun, Ph.D.; Shyam Kottilil, M.D., Ph.D.; Jim Arthos, Ph.D.
Glimcher LH, Lindvall O, Aguirre V, Topalian SL, Musunuru K, Fauci AS. Translating research into therapies. Cell. 2012 Mar 16;148(6):1077-8.
Blazkova J, Murray D, Justement JS, Funk EK, Nelson AK, Moir S, Chun TW, Fauci AS. Paucity of HIV DNA methylation in latently infected, resting CD4+ T cells from infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy. J Virol. 2012 May;86(9):5390-2.
Moir S, Malaspina A, Fauci AS. Prospects for an HIV vaccine: leading B cells down the right path. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2011 Dec 5;18(12):1317-21.
Johnston MI, Fauci AS. HIV vaccine development--improving on natural immunity. N Engl J Med. 2011 Sep 8;365(10):873-5.
Kardava L, Moir S, Wang W, Ho J, Buckner CM, Posada JG, O'Shea MA, Roby G, Chen J, Sohn HW, Chun TW, Pierce SK, Fauci AS. Attenuation of HIV-associated human B cell exhaustion by siRNA downregulation of inhibitory receptors. J Clin Invest. 2011 Jul;121(7):2614-24.
Burbelo PD, Kovacs JA, Ching KH, Issa AT, Iadarola MJ, Murphy AA, Schlaak JF, Masur H, Polis MA, Kottilil S. Proteome-wide anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) and anti-HIV profiling for predicting and monitoring the response to HCV therapy in HIV-coinfected patients. J Infect Dis. 2010 Sep 15;202(6)894-8.
Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.
Arthos J, Cicala C, Fauci AS, inventors; The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Fusion protein including of CD4. United States patent US 7,368,114. 2008 May 6.
Scala G, Chen X, Cohen OJ, Fauci AS, inventors; The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. HIV related peptides. United States patent US 6,911,527. 2005 Jun 28.
Lane HC, Kovacs JA, Fauci AS, inventors; The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Immunologic enhancement with intermittent interleukin-2 therapy. United States patent US 6,548,055. 2003 Apr 15.
Lane HC, Kovacs JA, Fauci AS, inventors; The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Immunologic enhancement with intermittent interleukin-2 therapy. United States patent US 6,190,656. 2001 Feb 20.
Lane HC, Kovacs JA, Fauci AS, inventors; The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Immunologic enhancement with intermittent interleukin-2 therapy. United States patent US 5,696,079. 1997 Dec 9.
Last Updated July 27, 2015