Sousa, Ana E.

Sousa´s lab aims to understand the pathogenesis of immunodeficiency and find new strategies for immune reconstitution.

We revealed mechanisms involved in human immune regulation through the study of unique clinical settings, such as HIV-2 infection.  HIV-2 establishes a better equilibrium with the host than HIV-1, leading to a much slower rate of disease progression and lower levels of circulating virus. The comparative study of these two infections allowed us to clarify central issues in AIDS immunopathogenesis, taking advantage of the fact that Portugal is the only non-African country with a significant HIV-2 prevalence.

Additionally, our lab integrates a reference centre that performs diagnosis, specialized follow-up and research in primary immunodeficiencies, rare diseases considered natural experiments from which we can learn a great deal about the human immune system.

The ultimate goal is that our research on T-cell development in the human thymus and lymphoid tissue preservation, particularly in the context of persistent immune activation, translates into innovative immune-based therapies.

Models available:

  • HIV-1 and HIV-2 infected cohorts
  • Cohort of individuals with Common Variable Immunodeficiency Disorders
  • Individual cases with Primary Immunodeficiency
  • Access to human blood and lymphoid tissue samples (thymus, tonsil, and gut)

Cells available:

  • Human Monocytes
  • Human Dendritic Cells
  • Human T cell subsets

Technology available:

  • Flow cytometry (up to 12-colors)
  • Immunohistochemistry and Immunofluorescence
  • Cellular immunology
  • Isolation of different populations of immune cells and in vitro functional characterisation.

Key publications related to Mye-EUNITER:

  1. Amaral AJ, Andrade J, Foxall RB, Matoso P, Matos AM, Soares RS, Rocha C, Ramos CG, Tendeiro R, Serra-Caetano A, Guerra-Assunção JA, Santa-Marta M, Gonçalves J, Gama-Carvalho M, Sousa AE. (2017) miRNA profiling of human naive CD4 T cells links miR-34c-5p to cell activation and HIV replication. EMBO J. 36:346-360.

  2. Silva SL, Albuquerque AS, Serra-Caetano A, Foxall RB, Pires AR, Matoso P, Fernandes SM, Ferreira J, Cheynier R, Victorino RMM, Caramalho I, Barata JT, Sousa AE. (2016) Human naïve regulatory T-cells feature high steady-state turnover and are maintained by IL-7. Oncotarget 7(11):12163-75.

  3. Caramalho I, V Nunes-Silva, AR Pires, C Mota, AI Pinto, H Nunes-Cabaço, RB Foxall, AE Sousa. (2015) Human regulatory T-cell development is dictated by Interleukin-2 and -15 expressed in a non-overlapping pattern in the thymus. J Autoimmun 56:98-110.

  4. Fernandes SM, AR Pires, C Ferreira, RB Foxall, J Rino, C Santos, L Correia, J Poças, H Veiga-Fernandes, AE Sousa. (2014) Enteric Mucosa Integrity in the Presence of a Preserved Innate Interleukin 22 Compartment in HIV Type 1-Treated Individuals..J Infect Dis 210:630-40.

  5. Cavaleiro R, R Tendeiro, RB Foxall, RS Soares, AP Baptista, P Gomes, E Valadas, RMM Victorino, AE Sousa. (2013) Monocyte and myeloid dendritic cell activation occurs throughout the course of HIV-2 infection, an attenuated form of HIV disease. J Infect Dis 207:1730-42.

  6. Tendeiro R, RB Foxall, AP Baptista, F Pinto, RS Soares, R Cavaleiro, E Valadas, P Gomes, RM Victorino, AE Sousa (2012). PD-1 and its ligand PD-L1 are progressively up-regulated on CD4 and CD8 T-cells in HIV-2 infection irrespective of the presence of viremia. AIDS; 26:1065-1071.

  7. Barbosa RR, SP Silva, SL Silva, R Tendeiro, AC Melo, E Pedro, MP Barbosa, MC Pereira-Santos, RMM Victorino, AE Sousa (2012).  Monocyte activation is a feature of Common Variable Immunodeficiency irrespective of plasma LPS levels. Clin Exp Immunol; 169:263-72.

  8. Cavaleiro R, AP Baptista, RS Soares, R Tendeiro, RB Foxall, P Gomes, RMM Victorino, AE Sousa. (2009) Major Depletion of Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells in HIV-2 Infection, an Attenuated Form of HIV Disease. Plos Pathogens  5(11): e1000667.

  9. Cavaleiro R, GJ Brunn, AS Albuquerque, RMM Victorino, JL Platt, AE Sousa. (2007) Monocyte-mediated T-cell suppression by HIV-2 envelope proteins. Eur J Immunol 37: 3435-44.

  10. Sousa, AE, J Carneiro, M Meier-Schellersheim, Z Grossman, RM Victorino (2002) CD4 T cell depletion is linked directly to immune activation in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 and HIV-2 but only indirectly to the viral load. J Immunol 169:3400-06.