Inactivated simian immunodeficiency virus-pulsed autologous fresh blood cells as an immunotherapy strategy.
ABSTRACT: Practical immunotherapies for human immunodeficiency virus infection are needed. We evaluated inactivated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) pulsed onto fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells in 12 pigtail macaques with chronic SIV(mac251) infection for T-cell immunogenicity in a randomized cross-over design study. The immunotherapy was safe and convincingly induced high levels of SIV-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses (mean, 5.9% +/- 1.3% of all CD4(+) T cells) and to a lesser extent SIV-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses (mean, 0.7% +/- 0.4%). Responses were primarily directed toward Gag and less frequently toward Env but not Pol or regulatory/accessory SIV proteins. T-cell responses against Gag were generally broad and polyfunctional, with a mean of 2.7 CD4(+) T-cell epitopes mapped per animal and more than half of the SIV Gag-specific CD4(+) T cells expressing three or more effector molecules. The immunogenicity was comparable to that found in previous studies of peptide-pulsed blood cells. Despite the high-level immunogenicity, no reduction in viral load was observed in the chronically viremic macaques. This contrasts with our studies of immunization with peptide-pulsed blood cells during early SIV infection in macaques. Future studies of inactivated virus-pulsed blood cell immunotherapy during early infection of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy are warranted.
Project description:Effective immunotherapies for HIV are needed. Drug therapies are life-long with significant toxicities. Dendritic-cell based immunotherapy approaches are promising but impractical for widespread use. A simple immunotherapy, reinfusing fresh autologous blood cells exposed to overlapping SIV peptides for 1 hour ex vivo, was assessed for the control of SIV(mac251) replication in 36 pigtail macaques. An initial set of four immunizations was administered under antiretroviral cover and a booster set of three immunizations administered 6 months later. Vaccinated animals were randomized to receive Gag peptides alone or peptides spanning all nine SIV proteins. High-level, SIV-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell immunity was induced following immunization, both during antiretroviral cover and without. Virus levels were durably approximately 10-fold lower for 1 year in immunized animals compared to controls, and a significant delay in AIDS-related mortality resulted. Broader immunity resulted following immunizations with peptides spanning all nine SIV proteins, but the responses to Gag were weaker in comparison to animals only immunized with Gag. No difference in viral outcome occurred in animals immunized with all SIV proteins compared to animals immunized against Gag alone. Peptide-pulsed blood cells are an immunogenic and effective immunotherapy in SIV-infected macaques. Our results suggest Gag alone is an effective antigen for T-cell immunotherapy. Fresh blood cells pulsed with overlapping Gag peptides is proceeding into trials in HIV-infected humans.
Project description:Control of infectious disease may be accomplished by successful vaccination or by complex immunologic and genetic factors favoring Ag-specific multicellular immune responses. Using a rhesus macaque model, we evaluated Ag-specific T cell-dependent NK cell immune responses in SIV-infected macaques, designated "controlling" or "noncontrolling" based on long-term chronic viremia levels, to determine whether NK cell effector functions contribute to control of SIV infection. We observed that Gag stimulation of macaque PBMCs induced subset-specific NK cell responses in SIV-controlling but not SIV-noncontrolling animals, as well as that circulatory NK cell responses were dependent on Ag-specific IL-2 production by CD4(+) central memory T cells. NK cell activation was blocked by anti-IL-2-neutralizing Ab and by CD4(+) T cell depletion, which abrogated the Gag-specific responses. Among tissue-resident cells, splenic and circulatory NK cells displayed similar activation profiles, whereas liver and mucosal NK cells displayed a decreased activation profile, similar in SIV-controlling and -noncontrolling macaques. Lack of T cell-dependent NK cell function was rescued in SIV-noncontrolling macaques through drug-mediated control of viremia. Our results indicate that control of disease progression in SIV-controlling macaques is associated with cooperation between Ag-specific CD4(+) T cells and NK cell effector function, which highlight the importance of such cell-to-cell cooperativity in adaptive immunity and suggest that this interaction should be further investigated in HIV vaccine development and other prophylactic vaccine approaches.
Project description:Immunization with recombinant ALVAC/gp120 alum vaccine provided modest protection from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) acquisition in humans and macaques. Vaccine-mediated protection was associated with the elicitation of IgG against the envelope V2 loop and of envelope-specific CD4+ T cell responses. We hypothesized that the simultaneous expression of the costimulatory molecule CD40L (CD154) by the ALVAC-HIV vector could increase both protective humoral and cellular responses. We engineered an ALVAC-SIV coexpressing CD40L with SIVmac251 (ALVAC-SIV/CD40L) gag, pol, and env genes. We compared its immunogenicity in macaques with that of a canonical ALVAC-SIV, with both given as a vector-prime/gp120 in alum boost strategy. The ALVAC-SIV/CD40L was superior to the ALVAC-SIV regimen in inducing binding and tier 1 neutralizing antibodies against the gp120. The increase in humoral responses was associated with the expression of the membrane-bound form of the CD40L by CD4+ T cells in lymph nodes. Unexpectedly, the ALVAC-SIV/CD40L vector had a blunting effect on CD4+ Th1 helper responses and instead favored the induction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells, the immune-suppressive interleukin-10 (IL-10) cytokine, and the down-modulatory tryptophan catabolism. Ultimately, this strategy failed to protect macaques from SIV acquisition. Taken together, these results underlie the importance of balanced vaccine-induced activating versus suppressive immune responses in affording protection from HIV.IMPORTANCE CD40-CD40 ligand (CD40L) interaction is crucial for inducing effective cytotoxic and humoral responses against pathogens. Because of its immunomodulatory function, CD40L has been used to enhance immune responses to vaccines, including candidate vaccines for HIV. The only successful vaccine ever tested in humans utilized a strategy combining canarypox virus-based vector (ALVAC) together with an envelope protein (gp120) adjuvanted in alum. This strategy showed limited efficacy in preventing HIV-1/SIV acquisition in humans and macaques. In both species, protection was associated with vaccine-induced antibodies against the HIV envelope and CD4+ T cell responses, including type 1 antiviral responses. In this study, we tested whether augmenting CD40L expression by coexpressing it with the ALVAC vector could increase the protective immune responses. Although coexpression of CD40L did increase humoral responses, it blunted type 1 CD4+ T cell responses against the SIV envelope protein and failed to protect macaques from viral infection.
Project description:Prime-boost immunization with heterologous vaccines elicits potent cellular immunity. In this study, we assessed the influence of various TLR ligands on SIV Gag-specific T cell immunity and protection following prime-boost immunization. Rhesus macaques (RMs) were primed with SIV Gag protein emulsified in Montanide ISA51 with or without TLR3 (polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly-IC]), TLR4 (monophosphoryl lipid A), TLR7/8 (3M-012), TLR9 (CpG), or TLR3 (poly-IC) combined with TLR7/8 ligands, then boosted with replication defective adenovirus 5 expressing SIV Gag (rAd5-Gag). After priming, RMs that received SIV Gag protein plus poly-IC developed significantly higher frequencies of SIV Gag-specific CD4(+) Th1 responses in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid lymphocytes compared with all other adjuvants, and low-level SIV Gag-specific CD8(+) T cell responses. After the rAd5-Gag boost, the magnitude and breadth of SIV Gag-specific CD8(+) T cell responses were significantly increased in RM primed with SIV Gag protein plus poly-IC, with or without the TLR7/8 ligand, or CpG. However, the anamnestic, SIV Gag-specific CD8(+) T cell response to SIVmac251 challenge was not significantly enhanced by SIV Gag protein priming with any of the adjuvants. In contrast, the anamnestic SIV Gag-specific CD4(+) T cell response in BAL was enhanced by SIV Gag protein priming with poly-IC or CpG, which correlated with partial control of early viral replication after SIVmac251 challenge. These results demonstrate that prime-boost vaccination with SIV Gag protein/poly-IC improves magnitude, breadth, and durability of CD4(+) T cell immune responses, which could have a role in the control of SIV viral replication.
Project description:HIV-1-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes are important for HIV-1 replication control. F4/AS01 consists of F4 recombinant fusion protein (containing clade B Gag/p24, Pol/RT, Nef and Gag/p17) formulated in AS01 Adjuvant System, and was shown to induce F4-specific polyfunctional CD4+ T-cell responses in humans. While replication-incompetent recombinant HIV-1/SIV antigen-expressing human adenoviral vectors can elicit high-frequency antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell responses, their use is hampered by widespread pre-existing immunity to human serotypes. Non-human adenovirus serotypes associated with lower prevalence may offer an alternative strategy. We evaluated the immunogenicity of AdC7-GRN ('A'), a recombinant chimpanzee adenovirus type 7 vector expressing clade B Gag, RT and Nef, and F4/AS01 ('P'), when delivered intramuscularly in homologous (PP or AA) and heterologous (AAPP or PPAA) prime-boost regimens, in macaques and mice. Vaccine-induced HIV-1-antigen-specific T cells in peripheral blood (macaques), liver, spleen, and intestinal and genital mucosa (mice) were characterized by intracellular cytokine staining. Vaccine-specific IgG antibodies (macaques) were detected using ELISA. In macaques, only the heterologous prime-boost regimens induced polyfunctional, persistent and balanced CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses specific to each HIV-1 vaccine antigen. AdC7-GRN priming increased the polyfunctionality of F4/AS01-induced CD4+ T cells. Approximately 50% of AdC7-GRN-induced memory CD8+ T cells exhibited an effector-memory phenotype. HIV-1-specific antibodies were detected with each regimen. In mice, antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were detected in the mucosal and systemic anatomical compartments assessed. When administered in heterologous prime-boost regimens, AdC7-GRN and F4/AS01 candidate vaccines acted complementarily in inducing potent and persistent peripheral blood HIV-1-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses and antibodies in macaques. Besides, adenoviral vector priming modulated the cytokine-expression profile of the protein-induced CD4+ T cells. Each regimen induced HIV-1-specific T-cell responses in systemic/local tissues in mice. This suggests that prime-boost regimens combining adjuvanted protein and low-seroprevalent chimpanzee adenoviral vectors represent an attractive vaccination strategy for clinical evaluation.
Project description:An important focus in vaccine research is the design of vaccine vectors with low seroprevalence and high immunogenicity. Replication-incompetent lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (rLCMV) vectors do not elicit vector-neutralizing antibody responses, and homologous prime-boost regimens with rLCMV vectors induce boostable and protective T cell responses to model antigens in mice. However, cellular and humoral immune responses following homologous rLCMV vaccine regimens have not been rigorously evaluated in non-human primates (NHPs). To test whether rLCMV vectors constitute an effective vaccine platform in NHPs, we developed rLCMV vectors expressing SIVmac239 Env and Gag antigens and assessed their immunogenicity in mice and cynomolgus macaques. Immunization with rLCMV vaccine vectors expressing SIV Env and Gag was effective at generating SIV-specific T cell and antibody responses in both mice and NHPs. Epitope mapping using SIV Env in C57BL/6 mice demonstrated that rLCMV vectors induced sustained poly-functional responses to both dominant and subdominant epitopes. Our results suggest the potential of rLCMV vectors as vaccine candidates. Future SIV challenge experiments in rhesus macaques will be needed to assess immune protection by these vaccine vectors.
Project description:It has been suggested that poor immunogenicity may explain the lack of vaccine efficacy in preventing or controlling HIV infection in the Step trial. To investigate this issue we vaccinated eight Indian rhesus macaques with a trivalent replication-incompetent adenovirus serotype 5 vaccine expressing SIV Gag, Pol, and Nef using a regimen similar to that employed in the Step trial. We detected broad vaccine-induced CD8(+) (2-7 pool-specific responses) and CD4(+) (5-19 pool-specific responses) T-cell responses in IFN-? ELISPOT assays at one week post-boost using fresh PBMC. However, using cryopreserved cells at one and four weeks post-boost we observed a reduction in both the number and magnitude of most vaccine-induced responses. This demonstrates that the time points and conditions chosen to perform immune assays may influence the observed breadth and frequency of vaccine-induced T-cell responses. To evaluate protective efficacy, we challenged the immunized macaques, along with naïve controls, with repeated, limiting doses of the heterologous swarm isolate SIVsmE660. Vaccination did not significantly affect acquisition or control of virus replication in vaccinees compared to naïve controls. Post-infection we observed an average of only two anamnestic CD8(+) T-cell responses per animal, which may not have been sufficiently broad to control heterologous virus replication. While the trivalent vaccine regimen induced relatively broad T-cell responses in rhesus macaques, it failed to protect against infection or control viral replication. Our results are consistent with those observed in the Step trial and indicate that SIV immunization and challenge studies in macaque models of HIV infection can be informative in assessing pre-clinical HIV vaccines.
Project description:Rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) strain 68-1-vectored simian immunodeficiency virus (RhCMV/SIV) vaccines are associated with complete clearance of pathogenic SIV challenge virus, non-canonical major histocompatibility complex restriction, and absent antibody responses in recipients previously infected with wild-type RhCMV. This report presents the first investigation of RhCMV/SIV vaccines in RhCMV-seronegative macaques lacking anti-vector immunity. Fifty percent of rhesus macaques (RM) vaccinated with a combined RhCMV-Gag, -Env, and -Retanef (RTN) vaccine controlled pathogenic SIV challenge despite high peak viremia. However, kinetics of viral load control by vaccinated RM were considerably delayed compared to previous reports. Impact of a TLR5 agonist (flagellin; FliC) on vaccine efficacy and immunogenicity was also examined. An altered vaccine regimen containing an SIV Gag-FliC fusion antigen instead of Gag was significantly less immunogenic and resulted in reduced protection. Notably, RhCMV-Gag and RhCMV-Env vaccines elicited anti-Gag and anti-Env antibodies in RhCMV-seronegative RM, an unexpected contrast to vaccination of RhCMV-seropositive RM. These findings confirm that RhCMV-vectored SIV vaccines significantly protect against SIV pathogenesis. However, pre-existing vector immunity and a pro-inflammatory vaccine adjuvant may influence RhCMV/SIV vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. Future investigation of the impact of pre-existing anti-vector immune responses on protective immunity conferred by this vaccine platform is warranted.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection in macaques chronically receiving ethanol results in significantly higher plasma viral loads and more rapid progression to end-stage disease. We thus hypothesized that the increased plasma viral load in ethanol-treated, SIV-infected macaques would negatively correlate with antigen-specific immune responses. METHODS:Rhesus macaques were administered ethanol or sucrose (n = 12 per group) by indwelling gastric catheters for 3 months and then intravenously infected with SIVMAC251. Peripheral blood T- and B-cell immunophenotyping and quantification were performed. Plasma was examined for viremia, levels of SIVEnv-specific binding, and neutralizing antibodies. Virus-specific interferon ? and tumor necrosis factor ? cytokine responses to SIV-Nef, Gag, or Env peptide pools were measured in peripheral blood CD8 T cells. RESULTS:Macaques receiving ethanol had both higher plasma viremia and virus-specific cellular immune responses compared with the sucrose-treated group. The emergence of virus-specific cytokine responses temporally correlated with the decline in mean plasma viral load after 14 days postinfection in all SIV-infected animals. However, neither the breadth and specificity nor the magnitude of virus-specific CD8 T-cell responses correlated with early postpeak reductions in plasma viral loads. In fact, increased cytokine responses against Gag, gp120, and gp41 positively correlated with plasma viremia. Levels of SIV envelope-specific immunoglobulin G and neutralizing antibodies were similar over the disease course in both groups of macaques. CONCLUSIONS:Persistently higher antigen-specific cytokine responses in animals receiving ethanol are likely an effect of the higher viral loads and antigen persistence, rather than a cause of the increased viremia.
Project description:The rapid onset of massive, systemic viral replication during primary HIV or simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection and the immune evasion capabilities of these viruses pose fundamental problems for vaccines that depend upon initial viral replication to stimulate effector T cell expansion and differentiation. We hypothesized that vaccines designed to maintain differentiated effector memory T cell (TEM cell) responses at viral entry sites might improve efficacy by impairing viral replication at its earliest stage, and we have therefore developed SIV protein-encoding vectors based on rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV), the prototypical inducer of life-long TEM cell responses. RhCMV vectors expressing SIV Gag, Rev-Tat-Nef and Env persistently infected rhesus macaques, regardless of preexisting RhCMV immunity, and primed and maintained robust, SIV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ TEM cell responses (characterized by coordinate tumor necrosis factor, interferon-gamma and macrophage inflammatory protein-1beta expression, cytotoxic degranulation and accumulation at extralymphoid sites) in the absence of neutralizing antibodies. Compared to control rhesus macaques, these vaccinated rhesus macaques showed increased resistance to acquisition of progressive SIVmac239 infection upon repeated limiting-dose intrarectal challenge, including four macaques who controlled rectal mucosal infection without progressive systemic dissemination. These data suggest a new paradigm for AIDS vaccine development--vaccines capable of generating and maintaining HIV-specific TEM cells might decrease the incidence of HIV acquisition after sexual exposure.