Rhesus monkeys infected with the simian immunodeficiency virus of macaques (SIVmac) demonstrate significant virologic and clinical improvement as a result of treatment with human recombinant soluble CD4 (rsCD4). We show that human rsCD4 does not efficiently inhibit SIVmac replication in bone marrow macrophages of rhesus monkeys and does not significantly augment bone marrow hematopoietic colony formation in vitro. However, plasma of human rsCD4-treated rhesus monkeys does exhibit significant anti-SIVmac activity in vitro. Plasma of these animals efficiently blocks SIVmac replication in peripheral blood lymphocytes and bone marrow macrophages. It also increases granulocyte/macrophage colony formation in vitro by bone marrow cells of SIVmac-infected monkeys. This plasma and the IgG fraction of plasma from a rhesus monkey immunized with human rsCD4 in adjuvant demonstrate reactivity with a soluble form of the rhesus monkey CD4 molecule, exhibit binding to CD4+ but not CD8+ concanavalin A-activated rhesus monkey peripheral blood lymphocytes, and precipitate the CD4 molecule from surface-labeled activated rhesus monkey peripheral blood lymphocytes. Moreover, anti-viral activity is demonstrable in the IgG fraction of plasma from a human rsCD4-immunized monkey. These studies raise the possibility that a modified human CD4 molecule serving as an immunogen might elicit an antibody response that could potentially induce a beneficial therapeutic response in human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals.