Multiple changes at the mucosal surface are induced by protective SIV vaccination
ABSTRACT: Systemic vaccination with the attenuated virus SIVmac239-∆Nef provides sterilizing or partial protection to rhesus monkeys challenged with WT SIV strains, providing important opportunities to study key immunological components of a protective host response. Here we show that intravenous vaccination with SIVmac239-∆Nef provides two potentially crucial immunological barriers localized at mucosal surfaces that correlate with the vaccine’s protective effects against WT SIVmac251 vaginal challenge: 1) a conditioned and coordinated response from the mucosal epithelium that blunts the early inflammatory and chemotactic signalling cascade that aids virus propagation and expansion; 2) early on-site generation/diversification of SIV-specific Abs from ectopic germinal center-like lymphoid aggregates. This unique host response to WT SIVmac251 in the female reproductive tract of SIVmac239-∆Nef-vaccinated animals points to a multi-layered strategy for a protective host response during immunodeficiency virus exposure—rapid induction of humroal immunity at mucosal surfaces without the deleterious inflammatory side effects tied to innate recognition of virus. This vaccine-induced host response highlights potential key protective mechanisms needed for an effective HIV vaccine Total RNA was isolated from the cervix of 17 Indian Rhesus macaques (3 uninfected animals; 5 unvaccinated animals 4-5 days post vaginal exposure with SIVmac251; 4 SIVmac239-∆Nef-vaccinated animals before challenge; 5 SIVmac239-∆Nef-vaccinated animals 4-5 days post vaginal exposure with SIVmac251) and prepared for hybridization on Affymetrix GeneChip Rhesus Macaque Genome Arrays. Replicate arrays were performed for a number of the samples to minimize assay noise and significant host genes altered during virus exposure in female reproductive tract tissue were identified by their associated q-values (< 0.2) and fold change in expression (> 1.2).
Project description:Immunization of macaques with attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) with deletions in nef (SIV?nef) is shown to elicit protective immunity to infection by pathogenic SIV, yet the mechanisms that orchestrate protection and prevent pathogenesis remains unknown. We utilized whole-genome transcriptional profiling to reveal molecular signatures of protective immunity in circulating CD8+ T cells of rhesus macaques vaccinated with SIVmac239?nef and challenged with pathogenic SIVmac251. Our findings suggest that protective immunity to pathogenic SIV infection induced by SIVmac239?nef is associated with balanced induction of T cell activation and immunoregulatory mechanisms and dampened activation of interferon-induced signaling pathways and cytolytic enzyme production as compared with pathogenic SIVmac251 infection of unvaccinated controls. We provide evidence that protective immunity to SIVmac251 correlates with induction of biomarkers of T cell activation, differentiation, signaling, and adhesion that were down regulated in unvaccinated controls. The study highlights potential immunomodulatory networks associated with protective immunity against the virus.
Project description:Vaccination with SIVmac239?nef provides robust protection against subsequent challenge with wild-type simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), but safety issues have precluded designing an HIV-1 vaccine based on a live-attenuated virus concept. Safe immunogens and adjuvants that could reproduce identified immune correlates of SIVmac239?nef protection therefore offer an alternative path for development of an HIV vaccine. Here we describe SIV envelope trimeric gp41 (gp41t) immunogens based on a protective correlate of antibodies to gp41t concentrated on the path of virus entry by the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) in cervical vaginal epithelium. We developed a gp41t immunogen-monophosphoryl lipid A adjuvant liposomal nanoparticle for intramuscular (i.m.) immunization and a gp41t-Fc immunogen for intranasal immunization for pilot studies in mice, rabbits, and rhesus macaques. Repeated immunizations to mimic persistent antigen exposure in infection elicited gp41t antibodies in rhesus macaques that were detectable in FcRn+ cervical vaginal epithelium, thus recapitulating one key feature of SIVmac239?nef vaccinated and protected animals. Although this strategy did not reproduce the system of local production of antibody in SIVmac239?nef-vaccinated animals, passive immunization experiments supported the concept that sufficiently high levels of antibody can be concentrated by the FcRn at mucosal frontlines, thus setting the stage for assessing protection against vaginal challenge by gp41t immunization.
Project description:In this study, we compared the immunogenicity and protection from repeated low-dose intrarectal SIVmac251 challenge in two groups of vaccinated RMs. Animals were immunized with live SIVmac239, which had been attenuated by a deletion of the nef sequence, or they were vaccinated twice with an E1-deleted AdHu5, expressing SIVmac239gag. The vaccinated animals and a cohort of unvaccinated control animals were then challenged 10 times in weekly intervals with low doses of SIVmac251 given rectally. Our results confirm previous studies showing that whereas SIV?nef provides some degree of protection against viral acquisition after repeated low-dose rectal SIVmac251 challenges, vaccination with an AdHu5gag vaccine designed to induce only antiviral T cell responses is ineffective. As immunological analyses of prechallenge, vaccine-induced T and B cell responses failed to reveal correlates of protection that distinguished the more susceptible from the more resistant vaccinated animals, we carried out RNA-Seq studies of paired pre- and postvaccination samples to identify transcriptional patterns that correlated with the differences in response. We show that gene expression signatures associated with the delayed SIV infection seen in some AdHu5gag recipients were largely present in prevaccination samples of those animals. In contrast, the responding SIV?nef-immunized animals showed a predominance of vaccine-induced changes, thus enabling us to define inherited and vaccine-induced gene expression signatures and their associated pathways that may play a role in preventing SIV acquisition.
Project description:Immunization of macaques with simian immunodeficiency virus with deletions in nef (SIVΔnef) has been shown to elicit protective immunity to infection by pathogenic SIV, yet our understanding of the mechanisms that orchestrate protection and prevent pathogenesis remains limited. In the study, we utilize whole-genome transcriptional profiling to reveal molecular signatures of protective immunity in circulating CD8+ T cells of rhesus macaques vaccinated with SIVmac239Δnef and challenged with pathogenic SIVmac251. Microarrays were used to characterize changes in gene expression in blood CD8+ T cells that occur following vaccination of rhesus macaques with attenuated SIV∆nef and subsequent challenge with pathogenic SIVmac251, in comparison to corresponding changes in healthy controls and unvaccinated animals infected with pathogenic SIVmac251 CD8+ T cells were isolated by magnetic beads from the blood of healthy uninfected macaques, macaques vaccinated with SIV∆nef, and unvaccinated controls infected with SIVmac251, and used for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays. Blood samples from vaccinated animals were collected prior to vaccination, at 3, 20, and 40 weeks following vaccination. After the 40 week vaccination period, macaques were challenged with SIVmac251, and blood was again collected at 3 weeks following challenge. Blood was collected from the unvaccinated controls at 3 weeks following infection with SIVmac251
Project description:A mutant simian immunodeficiency (SIVmac239) virus, found to be selected within chronically SIV-infected Burmese rhesus monkeys with relatively enhanced SIV-specific antibody responses, was reconstituted as a molecular clone. The virus (SIV Nef G63E) was then subjected to a preliminary analysis for their intracellular signal transduction and gene expression modulation patterns (as compared with wild type SIVmac239) within infected CD4+ T cells. Analysis implicated that the mutant virus had a moderately enhanced cytopathic phenotype. A SIV mutation (SIVmac239 Nef G63E) found to be enriched in rhesus monkeys with enhanced SIV-specific antibody responses was reconstituted on a pBR-based SIV molecular clone pBRmac239. HSC-F cynomolgus macaque central memory Th2-like T cells were infected with mutant and wild type SIVmac239 at MOI 5 in triplicate along with uninfected controls (i.e. a total of 9 samples) for 24 hours and subjected to analysis of their gene expression patterns.
Project description:Attenuated molecular clones of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmac) are important tools for studying the correlates of protective immunity to lentivirus infection in nonhuman primates. The most highly attenuated SIVmac mutants fail to induce disease but also fail to induce immune responses capable of protecting macaques from challenge with pathogenic virus. We recently described a novel attenuated virus, SIVmac-M4, containing multiple mutations in the transmembrane protein (TM) intracytoplasmic domain. This domain has been implicated in viral assembly, infectivity, and cytopathogenicity. Whereas parental SIVmac239-Nef(+) induced persistent viremia and simian AIDS in rhesus macaques, SIVmac-M4 induced transient viremia in juvenile and neonatal macaques, with no disease for at least 1 year postinfection. In this vaccine study, 8 macaques that were infected as juveniles (n = 4) or neonates (n = 4) with SIVmac-M4 were challenged with pathogenic SIVmac251 administered through oral mucosa. At 1 year postchallenge, six of the eight macaques had low to undetectable plasma viremia levels. Assays of cell-mediated immune responses to SIVmac Gag, Pol, Env, and Nef revealed that all animals developed strong CD8(+) T-cell responses to Gag after challenge but not before. Unvaccinated control animals challenged with SIVmac251 developed persistent viremia, had significantly weaker SIV-specific T-cell responses, and developed AIDS-related symptoms. These findings demonstrate that SIVmac-M4, which contains a full-length Nef coding region and multiple point mutations in the TM, can provide substantial protection from mucosal challenge with pathogenic SIVmac251.
Project description:The H196 residue in SIVmac239 Nef is conserved across the majority of HIV and SIV isolates, lies immediately adjacent to the AP-2 (adaptor protein 2) binding di-leucine domain (ExxxLM195), and is critical for several described AP-2 dependent Nef functions, including the downregulation of tetherin (BST-2/CD317), CD4, and others. Surprisingly, many stocks of the closely related SIVmac251 swarm virus harbor a nef allele encoding a Q196. In SIVmac239, this variant is associated with loss of multiple AP-2 dependent functions. Publicly available sequences for SIVmac251 stocks were mined for variants linked to Q196 that might compensate for functional defects associated with this residue. Variants were engineered into the SIVmac239 backbone and in Nef expression plasmids and flow cytometry was used to examine surface tetherin expression in primary CD4 T cells and surface CD4 expression in SupT1 cells engineered to express rhesus CD4. We found that SIVmac251 stocks that encode a Q196 residue in Nef uniformly also encode an upstream R191 residue. We show that R191 restores the ability of Nef to downregulate tetherin in the presence of Q196 and has a similar but less pronounced impact on CD4 expression. However, a published report showed Q196 commonly evolves to H196 in vivo, suggesting a fitness cost. R191 may represent compensatory evolution to restore the ability to downregulate tetherin lost in viruses harboring Q196.
Project description:SIV infection of macaques is the most widely employed model for preclinical AIDS vaccine and pathogenesis research. In macaques, high-titer virus-specific antibodies are induced by infection, and antibody responses can drive evolution of viral escape variants. However, neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) induced in response to SIVmac239 and SIVmac251 infection or immunization are generally undetectable or of low titer, and the identification and cloning of potent Nabs from SIVmac-infected macaques remains elusive. Based on recent advances in labeling HIV-specific B lymphocytes [1-3], we have generated recombinant, secreted, soluble SIVmac envelope (Env) proteins (gp120 and gp140) for detection and quantification of SIVmac Env-specific B lymphocytes. In contrast to HIV-1, we found that soluble SIVmac239 gp140 retains the ability to form stable oligomers without the necessity for introducing additional, stabilizing modifications. Soluble oligomeric gp140 reacted with rhesus anti-SIV Env-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), and was used to deplete Env-specific antibodies with SIV neutralization capability from plasma taken from a rhesus macaque immunized with live attenuated SIVmac239?nef. Soluble gp120 and gp140 bound to SIV-specific immortalized B cells, and to SIV Env-specific B lymphocytes in peripheral blood of immunized animals. These reagents will be useful for analyzing development of Env-specific B cell responses in preclinical studies using SIV-infected or vaccinated rhesus macaques.
Project description:To identify the mechanisms by which human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) might penetrate the epithelial barrier during sexual transmission to women and the mechanisms of vaccine-associated protection against entry, we characterized early epithelial responses to vaginal inoculation of simian immunodeficiency virus strain mac251 (SIVmac251) in naive or SIVmac239Δnef-vaccinated rhesus macaques. Vaginal inoculation induced an early stress response in the cervicovaginal epithelium, which was associated with impaired epithelial integrity, damaged barrier function, and virus and bacterial translocation. In vaccinated animals, early stress responses were suppressed, and the maintenance of epithelial barrier integrity correlated with prevention of virus entry. These vaccine-protective effects were associated with a previously described mucosal system for locally producing and concentrating trimeric gp41 antibodies at the mucosal interface and with formation of SIV-specific immune complexes that block the stress responses via binding to the epithelial receptor FCGR2B and subsequent inhibitory signaling. Thus, blocking virus entry may be one protective mechanism by which locally concentrated non-neutralizing Ab might prevent HIV sexual transmission to women.
Project description:The suppression of viral loads and identification of selection signatures in non-human primates after challenge are indicators for effective human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) vaccines. To mimic the protective immunity elicited by attenuated SIV vaccines, we developed an integration-defective SIV (idSIV) vaccine by inactivating integrase, mutating sequence motifs critical for integration, and inserting the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter for more efficient expression in the SIVmac239 genome. Chinese rhesus macaques were immunized with idSIV DNA and idSIV particles, and the cellular and humoral immune responses were measured. After the intravenous SIVmac239 challenge, viral loads were monitored and selection signatures in viral genomes from vaccinated monkeys were identified by single genome sequencing. T cell responses, heterologous neutralization against tier-1 viruses, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) were detected in idSIV-vaccinated macaques post immunization. After challenge, the median peak viral load in the vaccine group was significantly lower than that in the control group. However, this initial viral control did not last as viral set-points were similar between vaccinated and control animals. Selection signatures were identified in Nef, Gag, and Env proteins in vaccinated and control macaques, but these signatures were different, suggesting selection pressure on viruses from vaccine-induced immunity in the vaccinated animals. Our results showed that the idSIV vaccine exerted some pressure on the virus population early during the infection but future modifications are needed in order to induce more potent immune responses.