The magnitude and breadth of neutralizing antibodies raised in response to infection with chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) in rhesus macaques were evaluated. Infection with either SHIV-HXB2, SHIV-89.6, or SHIV-89.6PD raised high-titer neutralizing antibodies to the homologous SHIV (SHIV-89.6P in the case of SHIV-89.6PD-infected animals) and significant titers of neutralizing antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains MN and SF-2. With few exceptions, however, titers of neutralizing antibodies to heterologous SHIV were low or undetectable. The antibodies occasionally neutralized heterologous primary isolates of HIV-1; these antibodies required >40 weeks of infection to reach detectable levels. Notable was the potent neutralization of the HIV-1 89.6 primary isolate by serum samples from SHIV-89.6-infected macaques. These results demonstrate that SHIV-HXB2, SHIV-89.6, and SHIV-89.6P possess highly divergent, strain-specific neutralization epitopes. The results also provide insights into the requirements for raising neutralizing antibodies to primary isolates of HIV-1.
The lack of animal models of HIV-related pulmonary arterial hypertension (HIV-PAH) severely limits investigation of this serious disease. While histological evidence of HIV-PAH has been demonstrated in macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) as well as with chimeric simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) containing HIV-1-derived Nef protein, other primate models have not been studied. The objective was to document and describe the development of pulmonary vascular changes in macaques infected with SIV or with SIV containing HIV-1-derived envelope protein (SHIV-env). Lung tissue was obtained at necropsy from 13 SHIV (89.6P)-env-infected macaques and 10 SIV (ΔB670)-infected macaques. Pulmonary arterial pathology, including arterial hyperplasia and the presence of plexiform lesions, was compared to normal monkey lung. Pulmonary artery hyperplasia was present in 8 of 13 (62%) SHIV-env-infected macaques and 4/10 (36%) SIV-infected macaques. The most common histopathological lesions were intimal and medial hyperplasia of medium and large pulmonary arteries. Hyperplastic lesions were predominantly due to smooth muscle cell hyperplasia. This is the first report of pulmonary vascular lesions in SHIV-env-infected macaques and confirms prior reports of pulmonary vasculopathy in SIV-infected macaques. The finding of pulmonary arteriopathy in monkeys infected with SHIV not containing HIV-nef suggests that other factors might also be important in the development of HIV-PAH. This SHIV-env model provides a new means to investigate HIV-PAH.
Host-virus interactions control disease progression in human immunodeficiency virus-infected human beings and in nonhuman primates infected with simian or simian/human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIV). These interactions evolve rapidly during acute infection and are key to the mechanisms of viral persistence and AIDS. SHIV89.6PD infection in rhesus macaques can deplete CD4+ T cells from the peripheral blood, spleen, and lymph nodes within 2 weeks after exposure and is a model for virulent, acute infection. Lymphocytes isolated from blood and tissues during the interval of acute SHIV89.6PD infection have lost the capacity to proliferate in response to phytohemagglutinin (PHA). T-cell unresponsiveness to mitogen occurred within 1 week after mucosal inoculation yet prior to massive CD4+ T-cell depletion and extensive virus dissemination. The lack of mitogen response was due to apoptosis in vitro, and increased activation marker expression on circulating T cells in vivo coincided with the appearance of PHA-induced apoptosis in vitro. Inappropriately high immune stimulation associated with rapid loss of mature CD4+ T cells suggested that activation-induced cell death is a mechanism for helper T-cell depletion in the brief period before widespread virus dissemination. Elevated levels of lymphocyte activation likely enhance SHIV89.6PD replication, thus increasing the loss of CD4+ T cells and diminishing the levels of virus-specific immunity that remain after acute infection. The level of surviving immunity may dictate the capacity to control virus replication and disease progression. We describe this level of immune competence as the host set point to show its pivotal role in AIDS pathogenesis.
Vaccine-elicited antibodies specific for the third hypervariable domain of the surface gp120 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) (V3 loop) were assessed for their contribution to protection against infection in the simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)/rhesus monkey model. Peptide vaccine-elicited anti-V3 loop antibody responses were examined for their ability to contain replication of SHIV-89.6, a nonpathogenic SHIV expressing a primary patient isolate HIV-1 envelope, as well as SHIV-89.6P, a pathogenic variant of that virus. Low-titer neutralizing antibodies to SHIV-89.6 that provided partial protection against viremia following SHIV-89.6 infection were generated. A similarly low-titer neutralizing antibody response to SHIV-89.6P that did not contain viremia after infection with SHIV-89.6P was generated, but a trend toward protection against CD4+ T-lymphocyte loss was seen in these infected monkeys. These observations suggest that the V3 loop on some primary patient HIV-1 isolates may be a partially effective target for neutralizing antibodies induced by peptide immunogens.
Chimeric simian/human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIVs) that express the env genes derived from distinct HIV type 1 (HIV-1) isolates were tested for the ability to infect rhesus macaques following intravaginal inoculation. SHIVs containing either the HIV-1 HXBc2 or the HIV-1 89.6 envelope glycoproteins were capable of replicating in intravenously inoculated rhesus macaques. However, intravaginal inoculation of animals with these two SHIVs resulted in infection only with the SHIV containing the HIV-1 89.6 glycoprotein. Thus, properties conferred by the envelope glycoproteins in the chimeric virus affect the ability of particular SHIVs to initiate a systemic infection following vaginal inoculation. These results provide indirect support for the hypothesis that the selection of specific viral variants occurs in the genital tracts of individuals exposed to HIV by sexual contact.
Nontraumatic vaginal inoculation of rhesus macaques with a simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SIV/HIV) chimera containing the envelope gene from HIV-1 89.6 (SHIV 89.6) results in systemic infection (Y. Lu, B. Brosio, M. Lafaile, J. Li, R. G. Collman, J. Sodroski, and C. J. Miller, J. Virol. 70:3045-3050, 1996). A total of five rhesus macaques have each been infected by exposure to at least three intravaginal inoculations of SHIV 89.6. The SHIV 89.6 infection is characterized by a transient viremia that evokes humoral and cellular immune responses to HIV and SIV antigens, but disease does not develop in animals infected with SHIV 89.6. To determine if a previous infection with SHIV 89.6 by vaginal inoculation could protect animals from vaginal challenge with pathogenic SIV, all five animals were intravaginally inoculated twice with pathogenic SIV-mac239. After challenge, all of the SHIV-immunized animals had low or undetectable viral RNA levels in plasma compared to control animals. Three of the five of the SHIV-immunized animals remained virus isolation negative for more than 8 months, while two became virus isolation positive. The presence of SIV Gag-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and SIV-specific antibodies in cervicovaginal secretions at the time of challenge was associated with resistance to pathogenic SIV infection after vaginal challenge. These results suggest that protection from sexual transmission of HIV may be possible by effectively stimulating both humoral and cellular antiviral immunity in the systemic and genital mucosal immune compartments.
The utility of the simian immunodeficiency virus of macaques (SIVmac) model of AIDS has been limited by the genetic divergence of the envelope glycoproteins of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and the SIVs. To develop a better AIDS animal model, we have been exploring the infection of rhesus monkeys with chimeric simian/human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIVs) composed of SIVmac239 expressing HIV-1 env and the associated auxiliary HIV-1 genes tat, vpu, and rev. SHIV-89.6, constructed with the HIV-1 env of a cytopathic, macrophage-tropic clone of a patient isolate of HIV-1 (89.6), was previously shown to replicate to a high degree in monkeys during primary infection. However, pathogenic consequences of chronic infection were not evident. We now show that after two serial in vivo passages by intravenous blood inoculation of naive rhesus monkeys, this SHIV (SHIV-89.6P) induced CD4 lymphopenia and an AIDS-like disease with wasting and opportunistic infections. Genetic and serologic evaluation indicated that the reisolated SHIV-89.6P expressed envelope glycoproteins that resembled those of HIV-1. When inoculated into naive rhesus monkeys, SHIV-89.6P caused persistent infection and CD4 lymphopenia. This chimeric virus expressing patient isolate HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins will be valuable as a challenge virus for evaluating HIV-1 envelope-based vaccines and for exploring the genetic determinants of HIV-1 pathogenicity.
The mechanism of the progressive loss of CD4+ T lymphocytes, which underlies the development of AIDS in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1)-infected individuals, is unknown. Animal models, such as the infection of Old World monkeys by simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) chimerae, can assist studies of HIV-1 pathogenesis. Serial in vivo passage of the nonpathogenic SHIV-89.6 generated a virus, SHIV-89.6P, that causes rapid depletion of CD4+ T lymphocytes and AIDS-like illness in monkeys. SHIV-KB9, a molecularly cloned virus derived from SHIV-89.6P, also caused CD4+ T-cell decline and AIDS in inoculated monkeys. It has been demonstrated that changes in the envelope glycoproteins of SHIV-89.6 and SHIV-KB9 determine the degree of CD4+ T-cell loss that accompanies a given level of virus replication in the host animals (G. B. Karlsson et. al., J. Exp. Med. 188:1159–1171, 1998). The envelope glycoproteins of the pathogenic SHIV mediated membrane fusion more efficiently than those of the parental, nonpathogenic virus. Here we show that the minimal envelope glycoprotein region that specifies this increase in membrane-fusing capacity is sufficient to convert SHIV-89.6 into a virus that causes profound CD4+ T-lymphocyte depletion in monkeys. We also studied two single amino acid changes that decrease the membrane-fusing ability of the SHIV-KB9 envelope glycoproteins by different mechanisms. Each of these changes attenuated the CD4+ T-cell destruction that accompanied a given level of virus replication in SHIV-infected monkeys. Thus, the ability of the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins to fuse membranes, which has been implicated in the induction of viral cytopathic effects in vitro, contributes to the capacity of the pathogenic SHIV to deplete CD4+ T lymphocytes in vivo.
Several different strains of simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) that contain the envelope glycoproteins of either T-cell-line-adapted (TCLA) strains or primary isolates of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are now available. One of the advantages of these chimeric viruses is their application to studies of HIV-1-specific neutralizing antibodies in preclinical AIDS vaccine studies in nonhuman primates. In this regard, an important consideration is the spectrum of antigenic properties exhibited by the different envelope glycoproteins used for SHIV construction. The antigenic properties of six SHIV variants were characterized here in neutralization assays with recombinant soluble CD4 (rsCD4), monoclonal antibodies, and serum samples from SHIV-infected macaques and HIV-1-infected individuals. Neutralization of SHIV variants HXBc2, KU2, 89.6, and 89.6P by autologous and heterologous sera from SHIV-infected macaques was restricted to an extent that these viruses may be considered heterologous to one another in their major neutralization determinants. Little or no variation was seen in the neutralization determinants on SHIV variants 89.6P, 89.6PD, and SHIV-KB9. Neutralization of SHIV HXBc2 by sera from HXBc2-infected macaques could be blocked with autologous V3-loop peptide; this was less true in the case of SHIV 89.6 and sera from SHIV 89.6-infected macaques. The poorly immunogenic but highly conserved epitope for monoclonal antibody IgG1b12 was a target for neutralization on SHIV variants HXBc2, KU2, and 89.6 but not on 89.6P and KB9. The 2G12 epitope was a target for neutralization on all five SHIV variants. SHIV variants KU2, 89.6, 89.6P, 89.6PD, and KB9 exhibited antigenic properties characteristic of primary isolates by being relatively insensitive to neutralization in peripheral blood mononuclear cells with serum samples from HIV-1-infected individuals and 12-fold to 38-fold less sensitive to inhibition with recombinant soluble CD4 than TCLA strains of HIV-1. The utility of nonhuman primate models in AIDS vaccine development is strengthened by the availability of SHIV variants that are heterologous in their neutralization determinants and exhibit antigenic properties shared with primary isolates.
Pulmonary colonization by the opportunistic pathogen Pneumocystis jiroveci is common in HIV+ subjects and has been associated with development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Host and environmental factors associated with colonization susceptibility are undefined. Using a simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) model of HIV infection, the immunologic parameters associated with natural Pneumocystis jiroveci transmission were evaluated. SHIV-infected macaques were exposed to P. jiroveci by cohousing with immunosuppressed, P. jiroveci-colonized macaques in two independent experiments. Serial plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples were examined for changes in antibody titers to recombinant Pneumocystis-kexin protein (KEX1) and evidence of Pneumocystis colonization by nested PCR of BAL fluid. In experiment 1, 10 of 14 monkeys became Pneumocystis colonized (Pc+) by 8 weeks post-SHIV infection, while 4 animals remained Pneumocystis colonization negative (Pc−) throughout the study. In experiment 2, 11 of 17 animals became Pneumocystis colonized by 16 weeks post-SHIV infection, while 6 monkeys remained Pc−. Baseline plasma KEX1-IgG titers were significantly higher in monkeys that remained Pc−, compared to Pc+ monkeys, in experiments 1 (P = 0.013) and 2 (P = 0.022). Pc− monkeys had greater percentages of Pneumocystis-specific memory B cells after SHIV infection compared to Pc+ monkeys (P = 0.037). After SHIV infection, Pc+ monkeys developed progressive obstructive pulmonary disease, whereas Pc− monkeys maintained normal lung function throughout the study. These results demonstrate a correlation between the KEX1 humoral response and the prevention of Pneumocystis colonization and obstructive lung disease in the SHIV model. In addition, these results indicate that an effective Pneumocystis-specific memory B-cell response is maintained despite progressive loss of CD4+ T cells during SHIV infection.
The recent announcement that a replication defective adenovirus-type 5 Gag-Pol-Nef HIV-1 vaccine developed by Merck failed in the STEP human Phase IIb efficacy trial to either prevent HIV-1 infection or to suppress viral load in subjects who subsequently became infected, was predicted by studies that had evaluated analogous vaccines in the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) challenge/rhesus macaque model. In contrast, vaccine protection studies in macaques that used a chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV89.6P) challenge failed to predict the human trial results. Adenovirus-vector based vaccines did not protect animals from infection after SHIV89.6P challenge but did cause a substantial reduction in viral load and a preservation of CD4+ T-cell counts post-infection, findings that were not reproduced in the human trials. While disappointing for the clinical development of Merck’s vaccine candidate, these studies now enable vaccine designers to utilize the SIV-challenged macaque model with more confidence, thus facilitating the future prioritization of candidate vaccines. Vaccine designers must now develop T-cell vaccine strategies that reduce viral load after heterologous challenge.
We have compared the abilities of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope V3 peptides and recombinant gp120 to induce antibodies that neutralize simian/human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIVs). SHIV-89.6 is a nonpathogenic SHIV that expresses the envelope protein of primary HIV-1 isolate 89.6. SHIV-89.6P, clone KB9, is a pathogenic SHIV variant derived from SHIV-89.6. Infection of rhesus monkeys with these SHIVs rarely induces anti-V3 region antibodies. To determine the availability of the gp120 V3 loop for neutralizing antibody binding on SHIV-89.6 and KB9 virions, we have constructed immunogenic C4-V3 peptides from these SHIVs and induced anti-V3 antibodies in guinea pigs and rhesus monkeys. We found that both SHIV-89.6 and KB9 C4-V3 peptides induced antibodies that neutralized SHIV-89.6 but that only SHIV-KB9 C4-V3 peptide induced antibodies that neutralized SHIV-KB9. Immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that SHIV-KB9 C4-V3 peptide-induced antibodies had a greater ability to bind SHIV-KB9 envelope proteins than did antibodies raised against SHIV-89.6 C4-V3 peptide. We have used a series of mutant HIV-1 envelope constructs to map the gp120 determinants that affect neutralization by anti-V3 antibodies. The residue change at position 305 of arginine (in SHIV-89.6) to glutamic acid (in SHIV-KB9) played a central role in determining the ability of peptide-induced anti-V3 antiserum to neutralize primary isolate SHIVs. Moreover, residue changes in the SHIV-89.6 V1/V2 loops also played roles in regulating the availability of the V3 neutralizing epitope on SHIV-89.6 and -KB9. Thus, SHIV-89.6 and -KB9 V3 region peptides are capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies against these primary isolate SHIVs, although the pathogenic SHIV-KB9 is less easily neutralized than its nonpathogenic variant SHIV-89.6. In contrast to natural infection with SHIV-89.6, in which few animals make anti-V3 antibodies, C4-V3 peptides frequently induced anti-V3 antibodies that neutralized primary isolate SHIV strains.
Because most studies of AIDS pathogenesis in nonhuman primates have been performed in Indian-origin rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), little is known about lentiviral pathogenicity and control of virus replication following infection of alternative macaque species. Here, we report the consequences of simian-human immunodeficiency virus SHIV-89.6P and SIVmac251 infection in cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) and rhesus macaques of Chinese origin. Compared to the pathogenicity of the same viruses in Indian rhesus macaques, both cynomolgus and Chinese rhesus macaques showed lower levels of plasma virus. By 9 to 10 months after infection, both viruses became undetectable in plasma more frequently in cynomolgus than in either Chinese or Indian rhesus macaques. Furthermore, after SHIV-89.6P infection, CD4+ T-cell numbers declined less and survival was longer in cynomolgus and Chinese rhesus macaques than in Indian rhesus macaques. This attenuated pathogenicity was associated with gamma interferon ELISPOT responses to Gag and Env that were generated earlier and of higher frequency in cynomolgus than in Indian rhesus macaques. Cynomolgus macaques also developed higher titer neutralizing antibodies against SHIV-89.6 at 10 and 20 weeks postinoculation than Indian rhesus macaques. These studies demonstrate that the pathogenicity of nonhuman primate lentiviruses varies markedly based on the species or geographic origin of the macaques infected and suggest that the cellular immune responses may contribute to the control of pathogenicity in cynomolgus macaques. While cynomolgus and Chinese rhesus macaques provide alternative animal models of lentiviral infection, the lower levels of viremia in cynomolgus macaques limit the usefulness of infection of this species for vaccine trials that utilize viral load as an experimental endpoint.
Live attenuated lentivirus immunization is the only vaccine strategy that elicits consistent protection against intravaginal challenge with pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). To determine the mechanism of protection in rhesus monkeys infected with attenuated simian–human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) 89.6, a detailed analysis of SIV Gag-specific T-cell responses in several tissues including the genital tract was performed. Six months after SHIV infection, antiviral T-cell responses were rare in the cervix; however, polyfunctional, cytokine-secreting, and degranulating SIV Gag-specific CD4+ T cells were consistently found in the vagina of the immunized macaques. SIV-specific CD8+ T cells were also detected in the vagina, blood, and genital lymph nodes of most of the animals. Thus, an attenuated SHIV vaccine induces persistent antiviral T cells in tissues, including the vagina, where these effector T-cell responses may mediate the consistent protection from vaginal SIV challenge observed in this model.
The presence, at the time of challenge, of antiviral effector T cells in the vaginal mucosa of female rhesus macaques immunized with live-attenuated simian-human immunodeficiency virus 89.6 (SHIV89.6) is associated with consistent and reproducible protection from pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) vaginal challenge (18). Here, we definitively demonstrate the protective role of the SIV-specific CD8+ T-cell response in SHIV-immunized monkeys by CD8+ lymphocyte depletion, an intervention that abrogated SHIV-mediated control of challenge virus replication and largely eliminated the SIV-specific T-cell responses in blood, lymph nodes, and genital mucosa. While in the T-cell-intact SHIV-immunized animals, polyfunctional and degranulating SIV-specific CD8+ T cells were present in the genital tract and lymphoid tissues from the day of challenge until day 14 postchallenge, strikingly, expansion of SIV-specific CD8+ T cells in the immunized monkeys was minimal and limited to the vagina. Thus, protection from uncontrolled SIV replication in animals immunized with attenuated SHIV89.6 is primarily mediated by CD8+ T cells that do not undergo dramatic systemic expansion after SIV challenge. These findings demonstrate that despite, and perhaps because of, minimal systemic expansion of T cells at the time of challenge, a stable population of effector-cytotoxic CD8+ T cells can provide significant protection from vaginal SIV challenge.
We previously demonstrated that replication-competent adenovirus (Ad)-simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) recombinant prime/protein boost regimens elicit potent immunogenicity and strong, durable protection of rhesus macaques against SIVmac251. Additionally, native Tat vaccines have conferred strong protection against simian/human immunodeficiency virus SHIV89.6P challenge of cynomolgus monkeys, while native, inactivated, or vectored Tat vaccines have failed to elicit similar protective efficacy in rhesus macaques. Here we asked if priming rhesus macaques with replicating Ad-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tat and boosting with the Tat protein would elicit protection against SHIV89.6P. We also evaluated a Tat/Env regimen, adding an Ad-HIV env recombinant and envelope protein boost to test whether envelope antibodies would augment acute-phase protection. Further, expecting cellular immunity to enhance chronic viremia control, we tested a multigenic group: Ad-HIV tat, -HIV env, -SIV gag, and -SIV nef recombinants and Tat, Env, and Nef proteins. All regimens were immunogenic. A hierarchy was observed in enzyme-linked immunospot responses (with the strongest response for Env, followed by Gag, followed by Nef, followed by Tat) and antibody titers (with the highest titer for Env, followed by Tat, followed by Nef, followed by Gag). Following intravenous SHIV89.6P challenge, all macaques became infected. Compared to controls, no protection was seen in the Tat-only group, confirming previous reports for rhesus macaques. However, the multigenic group blunted acute viremia by approximately 1 log (P = 0.017), and both the multigenic and Tat/Env groups reduced chronic viremia by 3 and 4 logs, respectively, compared to controls (multigenic, P = 0.0003; Tat/Env, P < 0.0001). The strikingly greater reduction in the Tat/Env group than in the multigenic group (P = 0.014) was correlated with Tat and Env binding antibodies. Since prechallenge anti-Env antibodies lacked SHIV89.6P-neutralizing activity, other functional anti-Env and anti-Tat activities are under investigation, as is a possible synergy between the Tat and Env immunogens.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is increased in HIV, but its pathogenesis is not fully understood. Nonhuman primates infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or SIV-HIV chimeric virus (SHIV) exhibit histologic changes characteristic of human PAH, but whether hemodynamic changes accompany this pathology is unknown. Repeated measurements of pulmonary artery pressures would permit longitudinal assessments of disease development and provide insights into pathogenesis. We tested the hypothesis that SIV-infected and SHIV-infected macaques develop physiologic manifestations of PAH. We performed right heart catheterizations, echocardiography, and computed tomography (CT) scans in macaques infected with either SIV (ΔB670) or SHIV (89.6P), and compared right heart and pulmonary artery pressures, as well as pulmonary vascular changes on CT scans, with those in uninfected control animals. Right atrial, right ventricular systolic, and pulmonary artery pressures (PAPs) were significantly elevated in 100% of macaques infected with either SIV or SHIV compared with control animals, with no difference in pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. PAPs increased as early as 3 months after SIV infection. Radiographic evidence of pulmonary vascular pruning was also found. Both SIV-infected and SHIV-infected macaques exhibited histologic changes in pulmonary arteries, predominantly consisting of intimal and medial hyperplasia. This report is the first to demonstrate SHIV-infected and SIV-infected macaques develop pulmonary hypertension at a high frequency, with physiologic changes occurring as early as 3 months after infection. These studies establish an important nonhuman primate model of HIV-associated PAH that will be useful in studies of disease pathogenesis and the efficacy of interventions.
pulmonary hypertension; HIV; SIV; SHIV; macaque model
Simian-Human immunodeficiency virus is a chimeric virus which, in rhesus macaques (Macacca mulatta) closely imitates immunodeficiency virus infection in human (HIV). A relatively new way to study pathogenesis of viral infection is to study alterations in host gene expression induced by the virus. SHIV infection with certain strains does not result in clinical signs. We hypothesized that alterations in gene expression relating to the immune system would be present in SHIV-infected animals despite the lack of clinical signs. Splenic tissue from four adult male Indian-origin Rhesus monkeys serologically positive for non-pathogenic SHIV 89.6 was processed by cDNA microarray analysis. Results were compared with the corresponding outcome using splenic tissues from four unexposed adult male Rhesus monkeys. Subsequent gene analysis confirmed statistically significant variations between control and infected samples. Interestingly, SHIV-infected monkeys exhibited altered expression in genes related to apoptosis, signal transduction, T and B lymphocyte activation and importantly, to immune regulation. Although infected animals appeared asymptomatic, our study demonstrated that SHIV-infected monkeys cannot reliably be used in studies of other infectious agents as their baseline gene expression differs from that of normal Rhesus monkeys. The gene expression differences in SHIV-infected animals relative to uninfected animals offer additional clues to the pathogenesis of altered immune function in response to secondary infection.
Given the current difficulties generating vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the focus of the vaccine community has shifted toward creating cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte (CTL)-based vaccines. Recent reports of CTL-based vaccine trials in macaques challenged with simian/human immunodeficiency virus SHIV-89.6P have supported the notion that such vaccines can ameliorate the course of disease. However, almost all of these studies included Env as an immunogen and since SHIV-89.6P is sensitive to neutralizing antibodies it is difficult to determine the mechanism(s) of protection. Consequently, SHIV-89.6P challenge of macaques may be a poor model for determining vaccine efficacy in humans. To ascertain the effect of vaccine-induced multispecific mucosal CTL, in the absence of Env-specific antibody, on the control of an immunodeficiency virus challenge, we vaccinated Mamu-A*01+ macaques with constructs encoding a combination of CTL epitopes and full-length proteins (Tat, Rev, and Nef) by using a DNA prime/recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (rMVA) boost regimen. The vaccination induced virus-specific CTL and CD4+ helper T lymphocytes with CTL frequencies as high as 20,000/million peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The final rMVA vaccination, delivered intravenously, engendered long-lived mucosal CTL. At 16 weeks after the final rMVA vaccination, the vaccinees and naive, Mamu-A*01+ controls were challenged intrarectally with SIVmac239. Massive early anamnestic cellular immune responses controlled acute-phase viral replication; however, the three vaccinees were unable to control virus replication in the chronic phase. The present study suggests that multispecific mucosal CTL, in the absence of neutralizing antibodies, can achieve a modicum of control over early viral replication but are unable to control chronic-phase viral replication after a high-dose mucosal challenge with a pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus.
The relevance of simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection of macaques to HIV-1 infection in humans depends on how closely SHIVs mimic HIV-1 transmission, pathogenesis, and diversity. Circulating HIV-1 strains are predominantly subtypes C and A and overwhelmingly require CCR5 for entry, yet most SHIVs incorporate CXCR4-using subtype B envelopes (Envs). While pathogenic subtype C-based SHIVs have been constructed, the subtype A-based SHIVs (SHIV-As) constructed to date have been unable to replicate in macaque cells. To understand the barriers to SHIV-A replication in macaque cells, HIVAQ23/SIVvif was constructed by engineering a CCR5-tropic subtype A provirus to express SIV vif, which counters the macaque APOBEC3G restriction. HIVAQ23/SIVvif replicated poorly in pig-tailed macaque (Ptm) lymphocytes, but viruses were adapted to Ptm lymphocytes. Two independent mutations in gp120, G312V (V3 loop) and A204E (C2 region), were identified that increased peak virus levels by >100-fold. Introduction of G312V and A204E to multiple subtype A Envs and substitution of G312 and A204 with other residues increased entry into Ptm cells by 10- to 100-fold. G312V and A204E Env variants continued to require CCR5 for entry but were up to 50- and 200-fold more sensitive to neutralization by IgG1b12 and soluble CD4 and had a 5- to 50-fold increase in their ability to utilize Ptm CD4 compared to their wild-type counterparts. These findings identify the inefficient use of Ptm CD4 as an unappreciated restriction to subtype A HIV-1 replication in Ptm cells and reveal amino acid changes to gp120 that can overcome this barrier.
The increasing prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype C infection worldwide calls for efforts to develop a relevant animal model for evaluating strategies against the transmission of the virus. A chimeric simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV), SHIVCHN19, was generated with a primary, non-syncytium-inducing HIV-1 subtype C envelope from a Chinese strain in the background of SHIV33. Unlike R5-tropic SHIV162, SHIVCHN19 was not found to replicate in rhesus CD4+ T lymphocytes. SHIVCHN19 does, however, replicate in CD4+ T lymphocytes of pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina). The observed replication competence of SHIVCHN19 requires the full tat/rev genes and partial gp41 region derived from SHIV33. To evaluate in vivo infectivity, SHIVCHN19 was intravenously inoculated, at first, into two pig-tailed and two rhesus macaques. Although all four animals became infected, the virus replicated preferentially in pig-tailed macaques with an earlier plasma viral peak and a faster seroconversion. To determine whether in vivo adaptation would enhance the infectivity of SHIVCHN19, passages were carried out serially in three groups of two pig-tailed macaques each, via intravenous blood-bone marrow transfusion. The passages greatly enhanced the infectivity of the virus as shown by the increasingly elevated viral loads during acute infection in animals with each passage. Moreover, the doubling time of plasma virus during acute infection became much shorter in passage 4 (P4) animals (0.2 day) in comparison to P1 animals (1 to 2 days). P2 to P4 animals all became seropositive around 2 to 3 weeks postinoculation and had a decline in CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio during the early phase of infection. In P4 animals, a profound depletion of CD4 T cells in the lamina propria of the jejunum was observed. Persistent plasma viremia has been found in most of the infected animals with sustained viral loads ranging from 103 to 105 per ml up to 6 months postinfection. Serial passages did not change the viral phenotype as confirmed by the persistence of the R5 tropism of SHIVCHN19 isolated from P4 animals. In addition, the infectivity of SHIVCHN19 in rhesus peripheral blood mononuclear cells was also increased after in vivo passages. Our data indicate that SHIVCHN19 has adapted well to grow in macaque cells. This established R5-tropic SHIVCHN19/macaque model would be very useful for HIV-1 subtype C vaccine and pathogenesis studies.
The hematological abnormalities observed in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients appear to be mainly due to bone marrow dysfunction. A macaque models of AIDS could greatly facilitate an in vivo approach to the pathogenesis of such dysfunction. Here, we evaluated in this model the impact of infection with a pathogenic simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) on bone marrow hematopoiesis. Three groups of macaques were inoculated with 50 50% median infective doses of pathogenic SHIV 89.P, which expresses env of dual-tropic HIV type 1 (HIV-1) 89.6 primary isolate. During the primary phase of infection, animals were treated with either a placebo or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) combining zidovudine, lamivudine, and indinavir, initiated 4 or 72 h postinfection (p.i.) and administered twice a day until day 28 p.i. In both placebo-treated and HAART-treated animals, bone marrow colony-forming cells (CFC) progressively decreased quite early, during the first month p.i. One year p.i., both placebo- and HAART-treated animals displayed decreases in CFC to about 56% of preinfection values. At the same time, a dramatic decrease (greater than 77%) of bone marrow CD34+ long-term culture-initiating cells was noted in all animals were found. No statistically significant differences between placebo- and HAART-treated monkeys were found. These data argue for an early and profound alteration of myelopoiesis at the level of the most primitive CD34+ progenitor cells during SHIV infection, independently of the level of viremia, circulating CD4+ cell counts, or antiviral treatment.
The incidence of simian virus 40 (SV40) infections in rhesus macaques infected with simian-human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIV) and in uninfected animals was determined using PCR. Rates varied from 5% in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of uninfected monkeys to 19.6% in SHIV-infected macaques. Much higher detection rates, up to 75%, were found in lymph nodes and spleen samples of SHIV-infected animals. Sequence analysis of PCR amplicons revealed that they form two genetic clusters, one containing the majority of known SV40 strains and the other formed by variants with 7% genetic difference. Based on this difference, we propose two SV40 types: “type 1” or “classical type” for the majority of SV40 strains and “type 2” for the novel SV40 variants. The genome of one variant, SV40-Ri257, was completely sequenced and analyzed. The agnogene of SV40-Ri257 extends into the VP2 open reading frame and encodes a typical agnoprotein fused to a C-terminal hydrophobic region. The transcriptional control region (TCR) of SV40-Ri257 is the least conserved region compared to type 1 viruses. Particularly, the 3′ end of the TCR, containing the early promoter and enhancer region, exhibits considerable variation. Further analysis of SHIV-infected macaques with type-specific PCRs revealed that the TCR of type 1 was completely conserved, whereas this region in type 2 varied considerably within the early enhancer region. We provide evidence here for the existence of a novel SV40 type in rhesus macaques and show that double infections with both types frequently occur.
With the development of chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)-infected macaques as a model for assessing novel human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein (Env)-based vaccine strategies for preventing HIV-1 infection in man, it will be important to determine HIV-1 Env-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses in vaccinated and virus-infected monkeys. To facilitate performing such CTL studies, we have defined two HIV-1 Env CTL epitopes in SHIV-infected rhesus monkeys and characterized the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I alleles that bind these Env peptide fragments and present them to CTL. A 9-amino-acid (aa) fragment of HIV-1 gp4l (p6B, aa 553 to 561) is presented to CD8+ CTLs of SHIV-infected animals by the rhesus monkey HLA-B homolog molecule Mamu-B*12. An 8-aa HIV-1 gpl.20 peptide (p9CD, aa 117 to 124) represents a CTL epitope in rhesus monkeys restricted by the HLA-A homolog MHC allele Mamu-A*08. This gp120 CTL epitope is fully conserved in all simian immunodeficiency virus, HIV-1, and HIV-2 isolates that have been sequenced to date and exhibits functional cross-reactivity. Screening of 14 unselected rhesus monkeys for expression of the two novel MHC class I alleles revealed the presence of each of the alleles in more than 40% of the animals. The characterization of the two HIV-1 Env CTL epitopes and their restricting MHC class I alleles will provide a basis for studying vaccine- and virus-elicited cytotoxic effector cell responses in rhesus monkeys.
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are an important category of drugs for both chemotherapy and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. However, current non-human primate (NHP) models utilizing simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or commonly used chimeric SHIV (SIV expressing HIV-1 envelope) are inadequate due to the insensitivity to NNRTIs. To develop a NHP model for evaluation of NNRTI compounds, we characterized a RT-SHIV virus that was assembled by replacing the SIVmac239 reverse transcriptase (RT) with that of HIV-1HXB2. Since RT-SHIV exhibited in vitro characteristics of high infectivity, CCR5-usage, and sensitivity to HIV-1 specific NNRTIs, this virus was thought to be suitable for mucosal transmission and then was used to carry out a vaginal transmission study in pigtail macaques (Macaca nemestrina).
RT-SHIV exhibited in vitro characteristics of an infectious CCR5-tropic chimeric virus. This virus was not only highly sensitive to HIV-1 RT specific NNRTIs; its replication was also inhibited by a variety of NRTIs and protease inhibitors. For in vivo vaginal transmission studies, macaques were either pretreated with a single dose of DMPA (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate) or left untreated before intravaginal inoculation with 500 or 1,000 TCID50 of RT-SHIV. All macaques became systemically infected by 2 or 3 weeks post-inoculation exhibiting persistent high viremia, marked CD4+T cell depletion, and antiviral antibody response. DMPA-pretreated macaques showed a higher mean plasma viral load after the acute infection stage, highly variable antiviral antibody response, and a higher incidence of AIDS-like disease as compared with macaques without DMPA pretreatment.
This chimeric RT-SHIV has exhibited productive replication in both macaque and human PBMCs, predominantly CCR5-coreceptor usage for viral entry, and sensitivity to NNRTIs as well as other anti-HIV compounds. This study demonstrates rapid systemic infection in macaques following intravaginal exposure to RT-SHIV. This RT-SHIV/macaque model could be useful for evaluation of NNRTI-based therapies, microbicides, or other preventive strategies.