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Anti-viral immune response in the semen of cynomolgus macaques and inhibition of cell to cell transmission by broadly neutralizing antibodies in an SIV/SHIV model of infection

  • Suphaphiphat, Karunasinee
Publication Date
Dec 17, 2019
Kaleidoscope Open Archive
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HIV-1 sexual transmission occurs mostly through contaminated semen, which contains both free virions and infected leukocytes. Moreover, factors in seminal plasma (SP) can influence both semen infectivity and host’s response. Therefore, we used the experimental model of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) infection of macaques, to investigate semen cells infectivity and the antiviral immune responses and to evaluate the potency of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to block cell-to-cell virus transmission.In SIVmac251 infected cynomolgus macaques, we investigated SIV-specific innate and adaptive responses in semen, including CD8+ T cell response, humoral response and levels of cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. SIV infection induced pro-inflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokines in semen and a concomitant upregulation of activated CD69+ CD8+ T cells and CCR5+ CXCR3+ CD8+ T cells. Neither SIV-specific CD8+ T-cell responses nor humoral responses controlled seminal viral shedding. Failure to control viral replication in SIV-infected semen is related to a general inflammation and immune activation, which possibly mirrors what happen in the male genital tract and which could lead to enhanced HIV/SIV transmission.Moreover, we developed cell-to-cell transmission assays, using either TZM-bl or human PBMC as target cells and SHIV162P3-infected splenocytes and CD45+ semen leukocytes as donor cells, and evaluated bNAbs-mediated inhibition. The bNAb panel included four 1st generation bNAbs and eight 2nd generation bNAbs. A combination of 1st generation bNAbs (2F5+2G12+4E10) was able to efficiently inhibit CAV transmission, while double combination or single bNAbs showed reduced potency. Of note, individual 2nd generation bNAbs inhibited transmission as efficiently as bNAbs combinations. An anti-V3 bNAb has been selected to evaluate its potential to block cell-to-cell transmission in vivo.

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