Author(s): Vieillard V, Le Grand R, Dausset J, Debr P
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Abstract We previously showed that a gp41 peptide (3S) induces expression of a natural killer (NK) ligand (NKp44L) on CD4+ T cells during HIV-1 infection and that those cells are highly sensitive to NK lysis. In HIV-infected patients, anti-3S antibodies are associated with the maintenance of CD4+ T cell counts close to their baseline values, and CD4+ T cells decrease with the antibody titer. This study sought to determine whether anti-3S immunization could prevent NKp44L expression on these CD4+ T cells in vivo and inhibits the subsequent decline in CD4+ T cell counts by immunizing macaques with 3S and then infecting them with simian HIV(162P3). The results show that anti-3S antibodies inhibited NKp44L expression and NK activity and cytotoxicity. They also decreased the apoptosis rate of CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood and lymph nodes. These data raise questions about the pathogenesis of HIV and present opportunities for both preventive and therapeutic HIV vaccine strategies.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination