Author(s): Barassi C, Marenzi C, Pastori C, Longhi R, Lazzarin A, , Barassi C, Marenzi C, Pastori C, Longhi R, Lazzarin A,
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Abstract Natural resistance to HIV is widely growing in humans. An example of an extremely efficacious resistance is represented by exposed seronegative (ESN) subjects, i.e. individuals who, despite repeated sexual and/or parenteral exposure to HIV, remain seronegative and apparently uninfected. A small group within ESN produces anti-CCR5 antibodies which cause antigen down-modulation and a CCR5 minus phenotype. It has been previously demonstrated that a single conformed extracellular domain (corresponding to first cystein loop) of CCR5 is recognized by ESN antibodies. In order to verify the possibility to induce and reproduce infection-protecting anti-CCR5 antibodies in individuals at high risk of HIV infection, we generated immunogens containing the relevant CCR5 peptide. Since the first cysteine loop of human CCR5 is identical in sequence to its mouse homologue, mice were immunized according to an intra-peritoneal procedure with CCR5 peptide loop, #90-103. Anti-CCR5-responses elicited in mice did share the same specificity and functions as human anti-CCR5 immunoglobulins previously identified in ESN cohorts. In particular, murine IgG and IgA: 1. Specifically recognize both mouse and human CCR5. 2. Down-modulate CCR5 expression on CD4+ cells of both untreated mice and human. 3. Downregulate "in vivo" peripheral CCR5 expression on mice CD4+CCR5+ cells. 4. Inhibit CD4+ CCR5+ lymphocytes chemotaxis. These findings show that CCR5-mediated effects on CD4+ cells can be achieved in mice both "in vitro" and "in vivo". Therefore, novel immune strategies aimed at generating partial or complete immune protection through anti-CCR5 downregulation at genital mucosa could be elicited successfully also in monkey and eventually in humans.
This article was published in New Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research