Vaccine Induced Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Specific CD8 T Cell Responses Focused on a Single Nef Epitope Select for Escape Variants Shortly after Infection
Certain major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) alleles (e.g., HLA-B*27) are enriched among human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals who suppress viremia without treatment (termed 'elite controllers' [ECs]). Likewise, Mamu-B*08 expression also predisposes rhesus macaques to control simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replication. Given the similarities between Mamu-B*08 and HLA-B*27, SIV-infected Mamu-B*08(+) animals provide a model to investigate HLA-B*27-mediated elite control. We have recently shown that vaccination with three immunodominant Mamu-B*08-restricted epitopes (Vif RL8, Vif RL9, and Nef RL10) increased the incidence of elite control in Mamu-B*08(+) macaques after challenge with the pathogenic SIVmac239 clone. Furthermore, a correlate analysis revealed that CD8(+) T cells targeting Nef RL10 was correlated with improved outcome. Interestingly, this epitope is conserved between SIV and HIV-1 and exhibits a delayed and atypical escape pattern. These features led us to postulate that a monotypic vaccine-induced Nef RL10-specific CD8(+) T-cell response would facilitate the development of elite control in Mamu-B*08(+) animals following repeated intrarectal challenges with SIVmac239. To test this, we vaccinated Mamu-B*08(+) animals with nef inserts in which Nef RL10 was either left intact (group 1) or disrupted by mutations (group 2). Although monkeys in both groups mounted Nef-specific cellular responses, only those in group 1 developed Nef RL10-specific CD8(+) T cells. These vaccine-induced effector memory CD8(+) T cells did not prevent infection. Escape variants emerged rapidly in the group 1 vaccinees, and ultimately, the numbers of ECs were similar in groups 1 and 2. High-frequency vaccine-induced CD8(+) T cells focused on a single conserved epitope and therefore did not prevent infection or increase the incidence of elite control in Mamu-B*08(+) macaques.
- PMID Author:
Martins MA, Tully DC, Cruz MA, Power KA, Veloso de Santana MG, Bean DJ, Ogilvie CB, Gadgil R, Lima NS, Magnani DM, Ejima K, Allison DB, Piatak M, Altman JD, Parks CL, Rakasz EG, Capuano S, Galler R, Bonaldo MC, Lifson JD, Allen TM, Watkins DI
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