Efficient transmission and persistence of low-frequency SIVmac251 variants in CD8-depleted rhesus macaques with different neuropathology.
ABSTRACT: Infection of CD8-depleted rhesus macaques with the genetically heterogeneous simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)mac251 viral swarm provides a rapid-disease model for simian acquired immune deficiency syndrome and SIV-encephalitis (SIVE). The objective was to evaluate how the diversity of the swarm influences the initial seeding of the infection that may potentially affect disease progression. Plasma, lymphoid and non-lymphoid (brain and lung) tissues were collected from two infected macaques euthanized at 21 days post-infection (p.i.), as well as longitudinal specimens and post-mortem tissues from four macaques followed throughout the infection. About 1300 gp120 viral sequences were obtained from the infecting SIVmac251 swarm and the macaques longitudinal and post-mortem samples. Phylogenetic and amino acid signature pattern analyses were carried out to assess frequency, transmission dynamics and persistence of specific viral clusters. Although no significant reduction in viral heterogeneity was found early in infection (21 days p.i.), transmission and replication of SIV variants was not entirely random. In particular, two distinct motifs under-represented (<4 %) in the infecting swarm were found at high frequencies (up to 14 %) in all six macaques as early as 21 days p.i. Moreover, a macrophage tropic variant not detected in the viral swarm (<0.3 %) was present at high frequency (29-100 %) in sequences derived from the brain of two macaques with meningitis or severe SIVE. This study demonstrates the highly efficient transmission and persistence in vivo of multiple low frequency SIVmac251 founder variants, characterized by specific gp120 motifs that may be linked to pathogenesis in the rapid-disease model of neuroAIDS.
Project description:Despite the success of combined antiretroviral therapy in controlling viral replication in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, commonly referred to as neuroAIDS, remain a frequent and poorly understood complication. Infection of CD8(+) lymphocyte-depleted rhesus macaques with the SIVmac251 viral swarm is a well-established rapid disease model of neuroAIDS that has provided critical insight into HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorder onset and progression. However, no studies so far have characterized in depth the relationship between intra-host viral evolution and pathogenesis in this model. Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) env gp120 sequences were obtained from six infected animals. Sequences were sampled longitudinally from several lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues, including individual lobes within the brain at necropsy, for four macaques; two animals were sacrificed at 21 days post-infection (p.i.) to evaluate early viral seeding of the brain. Bayesian phylodynamic and phylogeographic analyses of the sequence data were used to ascertain viral population dynamics and gene flow between peripheral and brain tissues, respectively. A steady increase in viral effective population size, with a peak occurring at ~50-80 days p.i., was observed across all longitudinally monitored macaques. Phylogeographic analysis indicated continual viral seeding of the brain from several peripheral tissues throughout infection, with the last migration event before terminal illness occurring in all macaques from cells within the bone marrow. The results strongly supported the role of infected bone marrow cells in HIV/SIV neuropathogenesis. In addition, our work demonstrated the applicability of Bayesian phylogeography to intra-host studies in order to assess the interplay between viral evolution and pathogenesis.
Project description:While a clear understanding of the events leading to successful establishment of host-specific viral populations and productive infection in the central nervous system (CNS) has not yet been reached, the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaque provides a powerful model for the study of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) intrahost evolution and neuropathogenesis. The evolution of the gp120 and nef genes, which encode two key proteins required for the establishment and maintenance of infection, was assessed in macaques that were intravenously inoculated with the same viral swarm and allowed to naturally progress to simian AIDS and potential SIV-associated encephalitis (SIVE). Longitudinal plasma samples and immune markers were monitored until terminal illness. Single-genome sequencing was employed to amplify full-length env through nef transcripts from plasma over time and from brain tissues at necropsy. nef sequences diverged from the founder virus faster than gp120 diverged. Host-specific sequence populations were detected in nef (~92 days) before they were detected in gp120 (~182 days). At necropsy, similar brain nef sequences were found in different macaques, indicating convergent evolution, while gp120 brain sequences remained largely host specific. Molecular clock and selection analyses showed weaker clock-like behavior and stronger selection pressure in nef than in gp120, with the strongest nef selection in the macaque with SIVE. Rapid nef diversification, occurring prior to gp120 diversification, indicates that early adaptation of nef in the new host is essential for successful infection. Moreover, the convergent evolution of nef sequences in the CNS suggests a significant role for nef in establishing neurotropic strains.The SIV-infected rhesus macaque model closely resembles HIV-1 immunopathogenesis, neuropathogenesis, and disease progression in humans. Macaques were intravenously infected with identical viral swarms to investigate evolutionary patterns in the gp120 and nef genes leading to the emergence of host-specific viral populations and potentially linked to disease progression. Although each macaque exhibited unique immune profiles, macaque-specific nef sequences evolving under selection were consistently detected in plasma samples at 3 months postinfection, significantly earlier than in gp120 macaque-specific sequences. On the other hand, nef sequences in brain tissues, collected at necropsy of two animals with detectable infection in the central nervous system (CNS), revealed convergent evolution. The results not only indicate that early adaptation of nef in the new host may be essential for successful infection, but also suggest that specific nef variants may be required for SIV to efficiently invade CNS macrophages and/or enhance macrophage migration, resulting in HIV neuropathology.
Project description:Vaccine-induced protection against infection by HIV or highly pathogenic and virulent SIV strains has been limited. In a proof-of-concept study, we show that a novel vaccine approach significantly protects rhesus macaques from mucosal infection by the highly pathogenic strain SIVmac251. We vaccinated three cohorts of 12 macaques each with live, irradiated vaccine cells secreting the modified endoplasmic reticulum chaperone gp96-Ig. Cohort 1 was vaccinated with cells secreting gp96(SIV)Ig carrying SIV peptides. In addition, Cohort 2 received recombinant envelope protein SIV-gp120. Cohort 3 was injected with cells secreting gp96-Ig (no SIV Ags) vaccines. Cohort 2 was protected from infection. After seven rectal challenges with highly pathogenic SIVmac251, the hazard ratio was 0.27, corresponding to a highly significant, 73% reduced risk for viral acquisition. The apparent success of the novel vaccine modality recommends further study.
Project description:Infecting rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is an established animal model of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pathogenesis. Many studies have used various derivatives of the SIVmac251 viral swarm to investigate several aspects of the disease, including transmission, progression, response to vaccination, and SIV/HIV-associated neurological disorders. However, the lack of standardization of the infecting inoculum complicates comparative analyses. We investigated the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of the 1991 animal-titered SIVmac251 swarm, the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) passaged SIVmac251, and additional SIVmac251 sequences derived over the past 20 years. Significant sequence divergence and diversity were evident among the different viral sources. This finding highlights the importance of characterizing the exact source and genetic makeup of the infecting inoculum to achieve controlled experimental conditions and enable meaningful comparisons across studies.
Project description:Infection of pig-tailed macaques with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) isolate SIVsmmFGb frequently results in SIV encephalitis (SIVE) in addition to immunodeficiency and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. We used in situ hybridization to quantitate the number of SIV-infected cells in brain parenchyma, choroid plexus, and meninges from 17 macaques that developed acquired immune deficiency syndrome after infection with SIVsmmFGb. SIV-infected cells and histopathological lesions of SIVE were identified in 15 of 17 animals (88.2%), including 12 of 12 rapid progressors (RP) and 3 of 5 slow progressors (SP). The parenchymal virus burden was much greater in RP macaques than in the three SP macaques with SIVE (median values of 24.3 versus 0.3 infected cells/mm(2), respectively; P < 0.05). Viral load differences between RP and SP with SIVE were less marked in choroid plexus (29.6 versus 12.8 infected cells/mm(2), respectively) and meninges (133.0 versus 34.2 infected cells/mm(2), respectively). A significant negative correlation was observed between the magnitude of the anti-SIV antibody titer at 1 month after inoculation and brain virus burden at necropsy (r = -0.614; P < 0.01). The close association between immune response and SIVE in this model should prove useful for identifying correlates of immune protection against primate lentiviral encephalitis.
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:Human immunodeficiency virus intra-host recombination has never been studied in vivo both during early infection and throughout disease progression. The CD8-depleted rhesus macaque model of neuroAIDS was used to investigate the impact of recombination from early infection up to the onset of neuropathology in animals inoculated with a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) swarm. Several lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues were collected longitudinally at 21 days post-infection (p.i.), 61 days p.i. and necropsy (75-118 days p.i.) from four macaques that developed SIV-encephalitis or meningitis, as well as from two animals euthanized at 21 days p.i. The number of recombinant sequences and breakpoints in different tissues and over time from each primate were compared. Breakpoint locations were mapped onto predicted RNA and protein secondary structures. Recombinants were found at each time point and in each primate as early as 21 days p.i. No association was found between recombination rates and specific tissue of origin. Several identical breakpoints were identified in sequences derived from different tissues in the same primate and among different primates. Breakpoints predominantly mapped to unpaired nucleotides or pseudoknots in RNA secondary structures, and proximal to glycosylation sites and cysteine residues in protein sequences, suggesting selective advantage in the emergence of specific recombinant sequences. Results indicate that recombinant sequences can become fixed very early after infection with a heterogeneous viral swarm. Features of RNA and protein secondary structure appear to play a role in driving the production of recombinants and their selection in the rapid disease model of neuroAIDS.
Project description:The recombinant Canarypox ALVAC-HIV/gp120/alum vaccine regimen was the first to significantly decrease the risk of HIV acquisition in humans, with equal effectiveness in both males and females. Similarly, an equivalent SIV-based ALVAC vaccine regimen decreased the risk of virus acquisition in Indian rhesus macaques of both sexes following intrarectal exposure to low doses of SIVmac251. Here, we demonstrate that the ALVAC-SIV/gp120/alum vaccine is also efficacious in female Chinese rhesus macaques following intravaginal exposure to low doses of SIVmac251 and we confirm that CD14+ classical monocytes are a strong correlate of decreased risk of virus acquisition. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the frequency of CD14+ cells and/or their gene expression correlates with blood Type 1 CD4+ T helper cells, ?4?7+ plasmablasts, and vaginal cytocidal NKG2A+ cells. To better understand the correlate of protection, we contrasted the ALVAC-SIV vaccine with a NYVAC-based SIV/gp120 regimen that used the identical immunogen. We found that NYVAC-SIV induced higher immune activation via CD4+Ki67+CD38+ and CD4+Ki67+?4?7+ T cells, higher SIV envelope-specific IFN-? producing cells, equivalent ADCC, and did not decrease the risk of SIVmac251 acquisition. Using the systems biology approach, we demonstrate that specific expression profiles of plasmablasts, NKG2A+ cells, and monocytes elicited by the ALVAC-based regimen correlated with decreased risk of virus acquisition.
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:A better understanding of the host and viral factors associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission is essential to developing effective strategies to curb the global HIV epidemic. Here we used the rhesus macaque-simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) animal model of HIV infection to study the range of viral genotypes that are transmitted by different routes of inoculation and by different types of viral inocula. Analysis of transmitted variants was undertaken in outbred rhesus macaques inoculated intravenously (IV) or intravaginally (IVAG) with a genetically heterogeneous SIVmac251 stock derived from a well-characterized rhesus macaque viral isolate. In addition, we performed serial IV and IVAG passage experiments using plasma from SIV-infected macaques as the inoculum. We analyzed the V1-V2 region of the SIV envelope gene from virion-associated RNA in plasma from infected animals by the heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA) and by DNA sequence analysis. We found that a more diverse population of SIV genetic variants was present in the earliest virus-positive plasma samples from all five IV SIVmac251-inoculated monkeys and from two of five IVAG SIVmac251-inoculated monkeys. In contrast, we found a relatively homogeneous population of SIV envelope variants in three of five monkeys inoculated IVAG with SIVmac251 stock and in two monkeys infected after IVAG inoculation with plasma from an SIV-infected animal. In some IVAG-inoculated animals, the transmitted SIV variant was the most common variant in the inoculum. However, a specific viral variant in the SIVmac251 stock was not consistently transmitted by IVAG inoculation. Thus, it is likely that host factors or stochastic processes determine the specific viral variants that infect an animal after IVAG SIV exposure. In addition, our results clearly demonstrate that the route of inoculation is associated with the extent and breadth of the genetic complexity of the viral variant population in the earliest stages of systemic infection.