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1.  The Nonnucleoside Reverse Transcription Inhibitor MIV-160 Delivered from an Intravaginal Ring, But Not from a Carrageenan Gel, Protects Against Simian/Human Immunodeficiency Virus-RT Infection 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2012;28(11):1467-1475.
Abstract
We previously showed that a carrageenan (CG) gel containing 50 μM MIV-150 (MIV-150/CG) reduced vaginal simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)-RT infection of macaques (56%, p>0.05) when administered daily for 2 weeks with the last dose given 8 h before challenge. Additionally, when 100 mg of MIV-150 was loaded into an intravaginal ring (IVR) inserted 24 h before challenge and removed 2 weeks after challenge, >80% protection was observed (p<0.03). MIV-160 is a related NNRTI with a similar IC50, greater aqueous solubility, and a shorter synthesis. To objectively compare MIV-160 with MIV-150, herein we evaluated the antiviral effects of unformulated MIV-160 in vitro as well as the in vivo protection afforded by MIV-160 delivered in CG (MIV-160/CG gel) and in an IVR under regimens used with MIV-150 in earlier studies. Like MIV-150, MIV-160 exhibited potent antiviral activity against SHIV-RT in macaque vaginal explants. However, formulated MIV-160 exhibited divergent effects in vivo. The MIV-160/CG gel offered no protection compared to CG alone, whereas the MIV-160 IVRs protected significantly. Importantly, the results of in vitro release studies of the MIV-160/CG gel and the MIV-160 IVR suggested that in vivo efficacy paralleled the amount of MIV-160 released in vitro. Hundreds of micrograms of MIV-160 were released daily from IVRs while undetectable amounts of MIV-160 were released from the CG gel. Our findings highlight the importance of testing different modalities of microbicide delivery to identify the optimal formulation for efficacy in vivo.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0080
PMCID: PMC3484820  PMID: 22816564
2.  MIV-150-Containing Intravaginal Rings Protect Macaque Vaginal Explants against SHIV-RT Infection 
Recent studies demonstrated that intravaginal rings (IVRs) containing 100 mg of the nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) MIV-150 significantly protect macaques against a chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus that expresses the HIV-1 HxB2 reverse transcriptase (SHIV-RT) when present before and after vaginal challenge. The objectives of this study were to (i) evaluate the pharmacodynamics (PD) of MIV-150 in vaginal fluids (VF) and in ectocervical and vaginal tissues following 100-mg MIV-150 IVR exposure and to (ii) gain more insight whether pharmacokinetics (PK) of MIV-150 can predict PD. MIV-150 in VF collected at 1 day and 14 days post-MIV-150 IVR insertion inhibited ex vivo SHIV-RT infection in vaginal biopsy specimens from untreated animals (not carrying IVRs) in a dose-dependent manner. Previous PK studies demonstrated a significant increase of ectocervical and vaginal tissue MIV-150 concentrations 14 days versus 1 day post-IVR insertion, with the highest increase in vaginal tissue. Therefore, we tested PD of MIV-150 in tissues 14 days post-MIV-150 IVR insertion. Ex vivo SHIV-RT infection of vaginal, but not ectocervical, tissues collected 14 days post-MIV-150 IVR insertion was significantly inhibited compared to infection at the baseline (prior to MIV-150 IVR exposure). No changes in vaginal and ectocervical tissue infection were observed after placebo IVR exposure. Overall, these data underscore the use of the ex vivo macaque explant challenge models to evaluate tissue and VF PK/PD of candidate microbicides before in vivo animal efficacy studies. The data support further development of MIV-150-containing IVRs.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01529-13
PMCID: PMC3993268  PMID: 24614384
3.  The Nonnucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor MIV-150 in Carrageenan Gel Prevents Rectal Transmission of Simian/Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Macaques▿† 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(11):5504-5512.
Development of a microbicide that prevents rectal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a vital component in reducing HIV spread. We recently demonstrated that a formulation of the nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) MIV-150 in carrageenan reduced vaginal infection of macaques with simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac239 with HIV-1HxB2 reverse transcriptase (SHIV-RT). Herein, we performed the first testing of MIV-150–carrageenan against rectal infection. Rhesus macaques were treated rectally with MIV-150–carrageenan or methyl cellulose (MC) placebo gel up to 4 h prior to rectal challenge with 103 or 104 50% tissue culture infective doses (TCID50) of SHIV-RT. Infection was assessed by measuring plasma virus RNA as well as T and B cell responses. MIV-150–carrageenan protected all animals challenged with 103 TCID50 when gel was applied either 30 min or 4 h prior to challenge, while 100% of the MC-treated animals became infected (n = 4 each; P < 0.03). Partial protection (2 of 4 animals) by MIV-150–carrageenan was observed for rectal challenge with 10-fold more virus applied 4 h after the gel. Sequencing of the RT gene from plasma virus RNA isolated at peak viremia confirmed that both of these animals (like infected MC controls) were infected with wild-type virus. Infection correlated with the development of SIV-specific T and B cell responses. MIV-150 was detected in the rectal fluids and tissues 4 h after gel application but was not detected in the blood at any time (0.5 to 24 h). These data are promising for the development of NNRTI-containing gels to prevent rectal HIV transmission.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02422-10
PMCID: PMC3094984  PMID: 21411526
4.  An Antiretroviral/Zinc Combination Gel Provides 24 Hours of Complete Protection against Vaginal SHIV Infection in Macaques 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e15835.
Background
Repeated use, coitus-independent microbicide gels that do not contain antiretroviral agents also used as first line HIV therapy are urgently needed to curb HIV spread. Current formulations require high doses (millimolar range) of antiretroviral drugs and typically only provide short-term protection in macaques. We used the macaque model to test the efficacy of a novel combination microbicide gel containing zinc acetate and micromolar doses of the novel non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor MIV-150 for up to 24 h after repeated gel application.
Methods and Findings
Rhesus macaques were vaginally challenged with SHIV-RT up to 24 h after repeated administration of microbicide versus placebo gels. Infection status was determined by measuring virologic and immunologic parameters. Combination microbicide gels containing 14 mM zinc acetate dihydrate and 50 µM MIV-150 afforded full protection (21 of 21 animals) for up to 24 h after 2 weeks of daily application. Partial protection was achieved with the MIV-150 gel (56% of control at 8 h after last application, 11% at 24 h), while the zinc acetate gel afforded more pronounced protection (67% at 8–24 h). Marked protection persisted when the zinc acetate or MIV-150/zinc acetate gels were applied every other day for 4 weeks prior to challenge 24 h after the last gel was administered (11 of 14 protected). More MIV-150 was associated with cervical tissue 8 h after daily dosing of MIV-150/zinc acetate versus MIV-150, while comparable MIV-150 levels were associated with vaginal tissues and at 24 h.
Conclusions
A combination MIV-150/zinc acetate gel and a zinc acetate gel provide significant protection against SHIV-RT infection for up to 24 h. This represents a novel advancement, identifying microbicides that do not contain anti-viral agents used to treat HIV infection and which can be used repeatedly and independently of coitus, and underscores the need for future clinical testing of their safety and ability to prevent HIV transmission in humans.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015835
PMCID: PMC3016413  PMID: 21246052
5.  A MIV-150/Zinc Acetate Gel Inhibits SHIV-RT Infection in Macaque Vaginal Explants 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108109.
To extend our observations that single or repeated application of a gel containing the NNRTI MIV-150 (M) and zinc acetate dihydrate (ZA) in carrageenan (CG) (MZC) inhibits vaginal transmission of simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)-RT in macaques, we evaluated safety and anti-SHIV-RT activity of MZC and related gel formulations ex vivo in macaque mucosal explants. In addition, safety was further evaluated in human ectocervical explants. The gels did not induce mucosal toxicity. A single ex vivo exposure to diluted MZC (1∶30, 1∶100) and MC (1∶30, the only dilution tested), but not to ZC gel, up to 4 days prior to viral challenge, significantly inhibited SHIV-RT infection in macaque vaginal mucosa. MZC's activity was not affected by seminal plasma. The antiviral activity of unformulated MIV-150 was not enhanced in the presence of ZA, suggesting that the antiviral activity of MZC was mediated predominantly by MIV-150. In vivo administration of MZC and CG significantly inhibited ex vivo SHIV-RT infection (51–62% inhibition relative to baselines) of vaginal (but not cervical) mucosa collected 24 h post last gel exposure, indicating barrier effect of CG. Although the inhibitory effect of MZC (65–74%) did not significantly differ from CG (32–45%), it was within the range of protection (∼75%) against vaginal SHIV-RT challenge 24 h after gel dosing. Overall, the data suggest that evaluation of candidate microbicides in macaque explants can inform macaque efficacy and clinical studies design. The data support advancing MZC gel for clinical evaluation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108109
PMCID: PMC4178065  PMID: 25259616
6.  A Potent Combination Microbicide that Targets SHIV-RT, HSV-2 and HPV 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94547.
Prevalent infection with human herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) or human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with increased human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition. Microbicides that target HIV as well as these sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may more effectively limit HIV incidence. Previously, we showed that a microbicide gel (MZC) containing MIV-150, zinc acetate (ZA) and carrageenan (CG) protected macaques against simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV-RT) infection and that a ZC gel protected mice against HSV-2 infection. Here we evaluated a modified MZC gel (containing different buffers, co-solvents, and preservatives suitable for clinical testing) against both vaginal and rectal challenge of animals with SHIV-RT, HSV-2 or HPV. MZC was stable and safe in vitro (cell viability and monolayer integrity) and in vivo (histology). MZC protected macaques against vaginal (p<0.0001) SHIV-RT infection when applied up to 8 hours (h) prior to challenge. When used close to the time of challenge, MZC prevented rectal SHIV-RT infection of macaques similar to the CG control. MZC significantly reduced vaginal (p<0.0001) and anorectal (p = 0.0187) infection of mice when 106 pfu HSV-2 were applied immediately after vaginal challenge and also when 5×103 pfu were applied between 8 h before and 4 h after vaginal challenge (p<0.0248). Protection of mice against 8×106 HPV16 pseudovirus particles (HPV16 PsV) was significant for MZC applied up to 24 h before and 2 h after vaginal challenge (p<0.0001) and also if applied 2 h before or after anorectal challenge (p<0.0006). MZC provides a durable window of protection against vaginal infection with these three viruses and, against HSV-2 and HPV making it an excellent candidate microbicide for clinical use.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094547
PMCID: PMC3989196  PMID: 24740100
7.  Exposure to MIV-150 from a High-Dose Intravaginal Ring Results in Limited Emergence of Drug Resistance Mutations in SHIV-RT Infected Rhesus Macaques 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89300.
When microbicides used for HIV prevention contain antiretroviral drugs, there is concern for the potential emergence of drug-resistant HIV following use in infected individuals who are either unaware of their HIV infection status or who are aware but still choose to use the microbicide. Resistant virus could ultimately impact their responsiveness to treatment and/or result in subsequent transmission of drug-resistant virus. We tested whether drug resistance mutations (DRMs) would emerge in macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus expressing HIV reverse transcriptase (SHIV-RT) after sustained exposure to the potent non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) MIV-150 delivered via an intravaginal ring (IVR). We first treated 4 SHIV-RT-infected animals with daily intramuscular injections of MIV-150 over two 21 day (d) intervals separated by a 7 d drug hiatus. In all 4 animals, NNRTI DRMs (single and combinations) were detected within 14 d and expanded in proportion and diversity with time. Knowing that we could detect in vivo emergence of NNRTI DRMs in response to MIV-150, we then tested whether a high-dose MIV-150 IVR (loaded with >10 times the amount being used in a combination microbicide IVR in development) would select for resistance in 6 infected animals, modeling use of this prevention method by an HIV-infected woman. We previously demonstrated that this MIV-150 IVR provides significant protection against vaginal SHIV-RT challenge. Wearing the MIV-150 IVR for 56 d led to only 2 single DRMs in 2 of 6 animals (430 RT sequences analyzed total, 0.46%) from plasma and lymph nodes despite MIV-150 persisting in the plasma, vaginal fluids, and genital tissues. Only wild type virus sequences were detected in the genital tissues. These findings indicate a low probability for the emergence of DRMs after topical MIV-150 exposure and support the advancement of MIV-150-containing microbicides.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089300
PMCID: PMC3937329  PMID: 24586674
8.  A Combination Microbicide Gel Protects Macaques Against Vaginal Simian Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Reverse Transcriptase Infection, But Only Partially Reduces Herpes Simplex Virus-2 Infection After a Single High-Dose Cochallenge 
Abstract
Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection increases HIV susceptibility. We previously established a rhesus macaque model of vaginal HSV-2 preexposure followed by cochallenge with HSV-2 and simian/human immunodeficiency virus-reverse transcriptase (SHIV-RT). Using this model, we showed that a gel containing the nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) MIV-150 in carrageenan (CG) reduced SHIV-RT infection. To evaluate the efficacy of new generation microbicides against both viruses, we first established dual infection after single vaginal cochallenge with SHIV-RT and HSV-2 in HSV-2-naive macaques. All animals (6/6) became HSV-2 infected, with 4/6 coinfected with SHIV-RT. In a control group cochallenged with SHIV-RT and UV-inactivated HSV-2, 2/4 became SHIV-RT infected, and none had detectable HSV-2. Low-level HSV-2-specific antibody and T cell responses were detected in some HSV-2-infected animals. To test a CG gel containing MIV-150 and zinc acetate (MZC), which provided naive animals full protection from SHIV-RT for at least 8 h, MZC (vs. CG) was applied daily for 14 days followed by cochallenge 8 h later. MZC prevented SHIV-RT infection (0/9 infected, p=0.04 vs. 3/6 in CG controls), but only reduced HSV-2 infection by 20% (6/9 infected vs. 5/6 in CG, p=0.6). In HSV-2-infected animals, none of the gel-treated animals seroconverted, and only the CG controls had measurable HSV-2-specific T cell responses. This study shows the promise of MZC to prevent immunodeficiency virus infection (even in the presence of HSV-2) and reduce HSV-2 infection after exposure to a high-dose inoculum. Additionally, it demonstrates the potential of a macaque coinfection model to evaluate broad-spectrum microbicides.
doi:10.1089/aid.2013.0165
PMCID: PMC3910668  PMID: 24117013
9.  Prevention of SIV Rectal Transmission and Priming of T Cell Responses in Macaques after Local Pre-exposure Application of Tenofovir Gel 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(8):e157.
Background
The rectum is particularly vulnerable to HIV transmission having only a single protective layer of columnar epithelium overlying tissue rich in activated lymphoid cells; thus, unprotected anal intercourse in both women and men carries a higher risk of infection than other sexual routes. In the absence of effective prophylactic vaccines, increasing attention is being given to the use of microbicides and preventative antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. To prevent mucosal transmission of HIV, a microbicide/ARV should ideally act locally at and near the virus portal of entry. As part of an integrated rectal microbicide development programme, we have evaluated rectal application of the nucleotide reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor tenofovir (PMPA, 9-[(R)-2-(phosphonomethoxy) propyl] adenine monohydrate), a drug licensed for therapeutic use, for protective efficacy against rectal challenge with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in a well-established and standardised macaque model.
Methods and Findings
A total of 20 purpose-bred Indian rhesus macaques were used to evaluate the protective efficacy of topical tenofovir. Nine animals received 1% tenofovir gel per rectum up to 2 h prior to virus challenge, four macaques received placebo gel, and four macaques remained untreated. In addition, three macaques were given tenofovir gel 2 h after virus challenge. Following intrarectal instillation of 20 median rectal infectious doses (MID50) of a noncloned, virulent stock of SIVmac251/32H, all animals were analysed for virus infection, by virus isolation from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), quantitative proviral DNA load in PBMC, plasma viral RNA (vRNA) load by sensitive quantitative competitive (qc) RT-PCR, and presence of SIV-specific serum antibodies by ELISA. We report here a significant protective effect (p = 0.003; Fisher exact probability test) wherein eight of nine macaques given tenofovir per rectum up to 2 h prior to virus challenge were protected from infection (n = 6) or had modified virus outcomes (n = 2), while all untreated macaques and three of four macaques given placebo gel were infected, as were two of three animals receiving tenofovir gel after challenge. Moreover, analysis of lymphoid tissues post mortem failed to reveal sequestration of SIV in the protected animals. We found a strong positive association between the concentration of tenofovir in the plasma 15 min after rectal application of gel and the degree of protection in the six animals challenged with virus at this time point. Moreover, colorectal explants from non-SIV challenged tenofovir-treated macaques were resistant to infection ex vivo, whereas no inhibition was seen in explants from the small intestine. Tissue-specific inhibition of infection was associated with the intracellular detection of tenofovir. Intriguingly, in the absence of seroconversion, Gag-specific gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-secreting T cells were detected in the blood of four of seven protected animals tested, with frequencies ranging from 144 spot forming cells (SFC)/106 PBMC to 261 spot forming cells (SFC)/106 PBMC.
Conclusions
These results indicate that colorectal pretreatment with ARV drugs, such as tenofovir, has potential as a clinically relevant strategy for the prevention of HIV transmission. We conclude that plasma tenofovir concentration measured 15 min after rectal administration may serve as a surrogate indicator of protective efficacy. This may prove to be useful in the design of clinical studies. Furthermore, in vitro intestinal explants served as a model for drug distribution in vivo and susceptibility to virus infection. The finding of T cell priming following exposure to virus in the absence of overt infection is provocative. Further studies would reveal if a combined modality microbicide and vaccination strategy is feasible by determining the full extent of local immune responses induced and their protective potential.
Martin Cranage and colleagues find that topical tenofovir gel can protect against rectal challenge with SIV in a macaque model, and can permit the induction of SIV-specific T cell responses.
Editors' Summary
Background.
About 33 million people are now infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS by killing immune system cells. As yet, there is no cure for AIDS, although HIV infections can be held in check with antiretroviral drugs. Also, despite years of research, there is no vaccine available that effectively protects people against HIV infection. So, to halt the AIDS epidemic, other ways of preventing the spread of HIV are being sought. For example, pre-exposure treatment (prophylaxis) with antiretroviral drugs is being investigated as a way to prevent HIV transmission. In addition, because HIV is often spread through heterosexual penile-to-vaginal sex with an infected partner, several vaginal microbicides (compounds that protect against HIV when applied inside the vagina) are being developed, some of which contain antiretroviral drugs.
Why Was This Study Done?
Because HIV can cross the membranes that line the mouth and the rectum (the lower end of the large intestine that connects to the anus) in addition to the membrane that lines the vagina, HIV transmission can also occur during oral and anal sex. The lining of the rectum in particular is extremely thin and overlies tissues rich in activated T cells (the immune system cells that HIV targets), so unprotected anal intercourse carries a high risk of HIV infection. Anal intercourse is common among men who have sex with men but is also more common in heterosexual populations than is generally thought. Tenofovir (an antiretroviral drug that counteracts HIV after it has entered human cells) given by mouth partly protects macaques against rectal infection with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV; a virus that induces AIDS in monkeys and apes) so the researchers wanted to know whether this drug might be effective against rectal SIV infection if applied at the site where the virus enters the body.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
To answer this question, the researchers rectally infected several macaques with SIV up to 2 h after rectal application of a gel containing tenofovir, after rectal application of a gel not containing the drug, or after no treatment. In addition, a few animals were treated with the tenofovir gel after the viral challenge. Most of the animals given the tenofovir gel before the viral challenge were partly or totally protected from SIV infection, whereas all the untreated animals and most of those treated with the placebo gel or with the drug-containing gel after the viral challenge became infected with SIV. High blood levels of tenofovir 15 min after its rectal application correlated with protection from viral infection. The researchers also collected rectal and small intestine samples from tenofovir-treated macaques that had not been exposed to SIV and asked which samples were resistant to SIV infection in laboratory dishes. They found that only the rectal samples were resistant to infection and only rectal cells contained tenofovir. Finally, activated T cells that recognized an SIV protein were present in the blood of some of the animals that were protected from SIV infection by the tenofovir gel.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings, although based on experiments in only a few animals, suggest that rectal treatment with antiretroviral drugs before rectal exposure to HIV might prevent rectal HIV transmission in people. However, results from animal experiments do not always reflect what happens in people. Indeed, clinical trials of a potential vaginal microbicide that worked well in macaques were halted recently because women using the microbicide had higher rates of HIV infection than those using a control preparation. The finding that immune-system activation can occur in the absence of overt infection in animals treated with the tenofovir gel additionally suggests that a combination of a local antiretroviral/microbicide and vaccination might be a particularly effective way to prevent HIV transmission. However, because HIV targets activated T cells, viral rechallenge experiments must be done to check that the activated T cells induced by the virus in the presence of tenofovir do not increase the likelihood of infection upon re-exposure to HIV before this potential microbicide is tried in people.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050157.
Read the accompanying PLoS Medicine Perspective by Florian Hladik
An overview of HIV infection and AIDS is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
HIVInSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including an article on safer sex, which includes information on the risks associated with specific types of sex and on microbicides and other methods to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV
Information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, including information on HIV prevention and on microbicides
The World Health Organization has a fact sheet on microbicides
The UK charity NAM also provides detailed information on microbicides
PrEP Watch is a comprehensive information source on pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention
Global Campaign for Microbicides is an international coalition of organisations dedicated to accelerating access to new HIV prevention options
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050157
PMCID: PMC2494562  PMID: 18684007
10.  A Modified Zinc Acetate Gel, a Potential Nonantiretroviral Microbicide, Is Safe and Effective against Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Herpes Simplex Virus 2 Infection In Vivo 
We previously showed that a prototype gel comprising zinc acetate (ZA) in carrageenan (CG) protected mice against vaginal and rectal herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) challenge as well as macaques against vaginal simian-human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase (SHIV-RT) challenge. In this work, we modified buffers and cosolvents to obtain a stable, nearly iso-osmolal formulation and evaluated its safety and efficacy against SHIV-RT and HSV-2. In vitro toxicity to lactobacilli and Candida albicans was determined. Macaques were given daily doses of ZA and CG (ZA/CG) or CG alone vaginally for 14 days and challenged with SHIV-RT 24 h later. Mice were challenged vaginally or rectally with HSV-2 immediately after a single gel treatment to measure efficacy or vaginally 12 h after daily gel treatment for 7 days to evaluate the gel's impact on susceptibility to HSV-2 infection. The modified ZA/CG neither affected the viability of lactobacilli or C. albicans nor enhanced vaginal HSV-2 infection after daily ZA/CG treatment. Vaginal SHIV-RT infection of macaques was reduced by 66% (P = 0.006) when macaques were challenged 24 h after the last dose of gel. We observed 60% to 80% uninfected mice after vaginal (P < 0.0001) and rectal (P = 0.008) high-dose HSV-2 challenge. The modified ZA/CG gel is safe and effective in animal models and represents a potential candidate to limit the transmission of HIV and HSV-2.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00796-13
PMCID: PMC3719770  PMID: 23752515
11.  Zinc Acetate/Carrageenan Gels Exhibit Potent Activity In Vivo against High-Dose Herpes Simplex Virus 2 Vaginal and Rectal Challenge 
Topical microbicides that block the sexual transmission of HIV and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) are desperately needed to reduce the incidence of HIV infections worldwide. Previously we completed phase 3 testing of the carrageenan-based gel Carraguard. Although the trial did not show that Carraguard is effective in preventing HIV transmission during vaginal sex, it did show that Carraguard is safe when used weekly for up to 2 years. Moreover, Carraguard has in vitro activity against human papillomavirus (HPV) and HSV-2 and favorable physical and rheological properties, which makes it a useful vehicle to deliver antiviral agents such as zinc acetate. To that end, we previously reported that a prototype zinc acetate carrageenan gel protects macaques against vaginal challenge with combined simian-human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase (SHIV-RT). Herein, we report the safety and efficacy of a series of zinc acetate and/or carrageenan gels. The gels protected mice (75 to 85% survival; P < 0.001) against high-dose (106-PFU) HSV-2 vaginal or rectal challenge. In contrast, zinc acetate formulated in HEC (hydroxyethylcellulose; or the Universal Placebo) failed to protect mice against the high-dose vaginal HSV-2 challenge (similar to aqueous zinc acetate solution and the placebo controls). The gels were found to be effective spreading gels, exhibited limited toxicity in vitro, caused minimal damage to the architecture of the cervicovaginal and rectal mucosae in vivo, and induced no increased susceptibility to HSV-2 infection in a mouse model. Our results provide a strong rationale to further optimize and evaluate the zinc acetate/carrageenan gels for their ability to block the sexual transmission of HIV and HSV-2.
doi:10.1128/AAC.05461-11
PMCID: PMC3256046  PMID: 22064530
12.  Efficacy of Carraguard®-Based Microbicides In Vivo Despite Variable In Vitro Activity 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(9):e3162.
Anti-HIV microbicides are being investigated in clinical trials and understanding how promising strategies work, coincident with demonstrating efficacy in vivo, is central to advancing new generation microbicides. We evaluated Carraguard® and a new generation Carraguard-based formulation containing the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) MIV-150 (PC-817). Since dendritic cells (DCs) are believed to be important in HIV transmission, the formulations were tested for the ability to limit DC-driven infection in vitro versus vaginal infection of macaques with RT-SHIV (SIVmac239 bearing HIV reverse transcriptase). Carraguard showed limited activity against cell-free and mature DC-driven RT-SHIV infections and, surprisingly, low doses of Carraguard enhanced infection. However, nanomolar amounts of MIV-150 overcame enhancement and blocked DC-transmitted infection. In contrast, Carraguard impeded infection of immature DCs coincident with DC maturation. Despite this variable activity in vitro, Carraguard and PC-817 prevented vaginal transmission of RT-SHIV when applied 30 min prior to challenge. PC-817 appeared no more effective than Carraguard in vivo, due to the limited activity of a single dose of MIV-150 and the dominant barrier effect of Carraguard. However, 3 doses of MIV-150 in placebo gel at and around challenge limited vaginal infection, demonstrating the potential activity of a topically applied NNRTI. These data demonstrate discordant observations when comparing in vitro and in vivo efficacy of Carraguard-based microbicides, highlighting the difficulties in testing putative anti-viral strategies in vitro to predict in vivo activity. This work also underscores the potential of Carraguard-based formulations for the delivery of anti-viral drugs to prevent vaginal HIV infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003162
PMCID: PMC2525816  PMID: 18776937
13.  A Macaque Model to Study Vaginal HSV-2/Immunodeficiency Virus Co-Infection and the Impact of HSV-2 on Microbicide Efficacy 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e8060.
Background
Herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) infection enhances the transmission and acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This occurs in symptomatic and asymptomatic stages of HSV-2 infection, suggesting that obvious herpetic lesions are not required to increase HIV spread. An animal model to investigate the underlying causes of the synergistic action of the two viruses and where preventative strategies can be tested under such complex physiological conditions is currently unavailable.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We set out to establish a rhesus macaque model in which HSV-2 infection increases the susceptibility to vaginal infection with a model immunodeficiency virus (simian-human immunodeficiency virus, SHIV-RT), and to more stringently test promising microbicides. HSV-2 exposure significantly increased the frequency of vaginal SHIV-RT infection (n = 6). Although cervical lesions were detected in only ∼10% of the animals, long term HSV-2 DNA shedding was detected (in 50% of animals followed for 2 years). Vaginal HSV-2 exposure elicited local cytokine/chemokine (n = 12) and systemic low-level HSV-2-specific adaptive responses in all animals (n = 8), involving CD4+ and CD8+ HSV-specific T cells (n = 5). Local cytokine/chemokine responses were lower in co-infected animals, while simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-specific adaptive responses were comparable in naïve and HSV-2-infected animals (n = 6). Despite the increased frequency of SHIV-RT infection, a new generation microbicide gel, comprised of Carraguard® and a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor MIV-150 (PC-817), blocked vaginal SHIV-RT infection in HSV-2-exposed animals (n = 8), just as in naïve animals.
Conclusions/Significance
We established a unique HSV-2 macaque model that will likely facilitate research to define how HSV-2 increases HIV transmission, and enable more rigorous evaluation of candidate anti-viral approaches in vivo.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008060
PMCID: PMC2787245  PMID: 20011586
14.  Durable Protection from Vaginal Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Macaques by Tenofovir Gel and Its Relationship to Drug Levels in Tissue 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(2):718-725.
A vaginal gel containing 1% tenofovir (TFV) was found to be safe and effective in reducing HIV infection in women when used pericoitally. Because of the long intracellular half-life of TFV and high drug exposure in vaginal tissues, we hypothesized that a vaginal gel containing TFV may provide long-lasting protection. Here, we performed delayed-challenge experiments and showed that vaginal 1% TFV gel protected 4/6 macaques against vaginal simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) exposures occurring 3 days after gel application, demonstrating long-lasting protection. Despite continued gel dosing postinfection, neither breakthrough infection had evidence of drug resistance by ultrasensitive testing of SHIV in plasma and vaginal lavage. Analysis of the active intracellular tenofovir diphosphate (TFV-DP) in vaginal lymphocytes collected 4 h to 3 days after gel dosing persistently showed high TFV-DP levels (median, 1,810 fmol/106 cells) between 4 and 24 h that exceed the 95% inhibitory concentration (IC95), reflecting rapid accumulation and long persistence. In contrast to those in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) following oral dosing, TFV-DP levels in vaginal lymphocytes decreased approximately 7-fold by 3 days, exhibiting a much higher rate of decay. We observed a strong correlation between intracellular TFV-DP in vaginal lymphocytes, in vitro antiviral activity, and in vivo protection, suggesting that TFV-DP above the in vitro IC95 in vaginal lymphocytes is a good predictor of high efficacy. Data from this model reveal an extended window of protection by TFV gel that supports coitus-independent use. The identification of protective TFV-DP concentrations in vaginal lymphocytes may facilitate the evaluation of improved delivery methods of topical TFV and inform clinical studies.
doi:10.1128/JVI.05842-11
PMCID: PMC3255839  PMID: 22072766
15.  Pharmacokinetics of Tenofovir following Intravaginal and Intrarectal Administration of Tenofovir Gel to Rhesus Macaques 
Tenofovir gel (1%) is being developed as a microbicide for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and has been shown to reduce transmission to women by 39%. The gel also prevents infection in macaques when applied intravaginally or intrarectally prior to challenge with simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV), but very little pharmacokinetic information for macaques is available to help extrapolate the data to humans and thus inform future development activities. We have determined the pharmacokinetics of tenofovir in macaques following intravaginal and intrarectal administration of 0.2, 1, and 5% gels. Plasma and vaginal and rectal fluid samples were collected up to 24 h after dosing, and at 24 h postdosing biopsy specimens were taken from the vaginal wall, cervix, and rectum. Following vaginal and rectal administration, tenofovir rapidly distributed to the matrices distal to the site of administration. In all matrices, exposure increased with increasing dose, and with the 1% and 5% formulations, concentrations remained detectable in most animals 24 h after dosing. At all doses, concentrations at the dosing site were typically 1 to 2 log units higher than those in the opposite compartment and 4 to 5 log units higher than those in plasma. Exposure in vaginal fluid after vaginal dosing was 58 to 82% lower than that in rectal fluid after rectal dosing, but plasma exposure was 1- to 2-fold greater after vaginal dosing than after rectal dosing. These data suggest that a tenofovir-based microbicide may have the potential to protect when exposure is via vaginal or anal intercourse, regardless of whether the microbicide is applied vaginally or rectally.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00597-11
PMCID: PMC3256015  PMID: 21986823
16.  Short Communication: A Repeated Simian Human Immunodeficiency Virus Reverse Transcriptase/Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Cochallenge Macaque Model for the Evaluation of Microbicides 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2014;30(11):1117-1124.
Abstract
Epidemiological studies suggest that prevalent herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection increases the risk of HIV acquisition, underscoring the need to develop coinfection models to evaluate promising prevention strategies. We previously established a single high-dose vaginal coinfection model of simian human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)/HSV-2 in Depo-Provera (DP)-treated macaques. However, this model does not appropriately mimic women's exposure. Repeated limiting dose SHIV challenge models are now used routinely to test prevention strategies, yet, at present, there are no reports of a repeated limiting dose cochallenge model in which to evaluate products targeting HIV and HSV-2. Herein, we show that 20 weekly cochallenges with 2–50 TCID50 simian human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase (SHIV-RT) and 107 pfu HSV-2 results in infection with both viruses (4/6 SHIV-RT, 6/6 HSV-2). The frequency and level of vaginal HSV-2 shedding were significantly greater in the repeated exposure model compared to the single high-dose model (p<0.0001). We used this new model to test the Council's on-demand microbicide gel, MZC, which is active against SHIV-RT in DP-treated macaques and HSV-2 and human papillomavirus (HPV) in mice. While MZC reduced SHIV and HSV-2 infections in our repeated limiting dose model when cochallenging 8 h after each gel application, a barrier effect of carrageenan (CG) that was not seen in DP-treated animals precluded evaluation of the significance of the antiviral activity of MZC. Both MZC and CG significantly (p<0.0001) reduced the frequency and level of vaginal HSV-2 shedding compared to no gel treatment. This validates the use of this repeated limiting dose cochallenge model for testing products targeting HIV and HSV-2.
doi:10.1089/aid.2014.0207
PMCID: PMC4208605  PMID: 25354024
17.  Prevention of Vaginal SHIV Transmission in Macaques by a Coitally-Dependent Truvada Regimen 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50632.
Background
Daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with Truvada (a combination of emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir (TFV) disoproxil fumarate (TDF)) is a novel HIV prevention strategy recently found to prevent HIV transmission in men who have sex with men and heterosexual couples. We previously showed that a coitally-dependent Truvada regimen protected macaques against rectal SHIV transmission. Here we examined FTC and tenofovir TFV exposure in vaginal tissues after oral dosing and assessed if peri-coital Truvada also protects macaques against vaginal SHIV infection.
Methods
The pharmacokinetic profile of emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir (TFV) was evaluated at first dose. FTC and TFV levels were measured in blood plasma, rectal, and vaginal secretions. Intracellular concentrations of FTC-triphosphate (FTC-TP) and TFV-diphosphate (TFV-DP) were measured in PBMCs, rectal tissues, and vaginal tissues. Efficacy of Truvada in preventing vaginal SHIV infection was assessed using a repeat-exposure vaginal SHIV transmission model consisting of weekly exposures to low doses of SHIV162p3. Six pigtail macaques with normal menstrual cycles received Truvada 24 h before and 2 h after each weekly virus exposure and six received placebo. Infection was monitored by serology and PCR amplification of SHIV RNA and DNA.
Results
As in humans, the concentration of FTC was higher than the concentration of TFV in vaginal secretions. Also as in humans, TFV levels in vaginal secretions were lower than in rectal secretions. Intracellular TFV-DP concentrations were also lower in vaginal tissues than in rectal tissues. Despite the low vaginal TFV exposure, all six treated macaques were protected from infection after 18 exposures or 4 full menstrual cycles. In contrast, all 6 control animals were infected.
Conclusions
We modeled a peri-coital regimen with two doses of Truvada and showed that it fully protected macaques from repeated SHIV exposures. Our results open the possibility for simplified PrEP regimens to prevent vaginal HIV transmission in women.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050632
PMCID: PMC3514231  PMID: 23226529
18.  Partial protection against multiple RT-SHIV162P3 vaginal challenge of rhesus macaques by a silicone elastomer vaginal ring releasing the NNRTI MC1220 
Objectives
The non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor MC1220 has potent in vitro activity against HIV type 1 (HIV-1). A liposome gel formulation of MC1220 has previously been reported to partially protect rhesus macaques against vaginal challenge with a simian HIV (SHIV). Here, we describe the pre-clinical development of an MC1220-releasing silicone elastomer vaginal ring (SEVR), including pharmacokinetic (PK) and efficacy studies in macaques.
Methods
In vitro release studies were conducted on SEVRs loaded with 400 mg of MC1220, using simulated vaginal fluid (SVF, n = 4) and 1 : 1 isopropanol/water (IPA/H2O, n = 4) as release media. For PK evaluation, SEVRs were inserted into adult female macaques (n = 6) for 30 days. Following a 1week washout period, fresh rings were placed in the same animals, which were then challenged vaginally with RT-SHIV162P3 once weekly for 4 weeks.
Results
SEVRs released 1.66 and 101 mg of MC1220 into SVF and IPA/H2O, respectively, over 30 days, the differential reflecting the low aqueous solubility of the drug. In macaque PK studies, MC1220 was consistently detected in vaginal fluid (peak 845 ng/mL) and plasma (peak 0.91 ng/mL). Kaplan–Meier analysis over 9weeks showed significantly lower infection rates for animals given MC1220-containing SEVRs than placebo rings (hazard ratio 0.20, P = 0.0037).
Conclusions
An MC1220-releasing SEVR partially protected macaques from vaginal challenge. Such ring devices are a practical method for providing sustained, coitally independent protection against vaginal exposure to HIV-1.
doi:10.1093/jac/dks415
PMCID: PMC3543122  PMID: 23109186
HIV-1 microbicide; silicone elastomer vaginal ring; rhesus macaque; pharmacokinetics; RT-SHIV challenge
19.  Pharmacokinetics and efficacy of a vaginally administered maraviroc gel in rhesus macaques 
Objectives
To investigate the pharmacokinetics (PK) of maraviroc, a CCR5-targeted HIV-1 entry inhibitor, in rhesus macaques following vaginal administration of various maraviroc-loaded aqueous hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) gels, and to correlate the PK data with efficacy in a single high-dose vaginal SHIV-162P3 challenge model.
Methods
Maraviroc concentrations in vaginal fluid (Weck-Cel® sponge), vaginal tissue (punch biopsy) and plasma were assessed over 72 h following single-dose vaginal application of various maraviroc-loaded HEC gels. The range of maraviroc gel concentrations was sufficiently broad (0.003%–3.3% w/w) that test gels included both fully solubilized and predominantly dispersed formulations. The efficacy of the HEC gels against a single high-dose vaginal SHIV-162P3 challenge was also measured, and correlated with the PK concentrations.
Results
Maraviroc concentrations in vaginal fluid (range 104–107 ng/mL), vaginal tissue (100–1200 ng/g) and plasma (<102 ng/mL) were highly dependent on maraviroc gel loading, irrespective of the form of the maraviroc component within the gel (solubilized versus dispersed). Fluid and plasma concentrations were generally highest 0.5 or 2 h after gel application, before declining steadily through to 72 h. Maraviroc concentrations in the various biological compartments correlated strongly with the extent of protection against vaginal SHIV-162P3 challenge. Complete protection was achieved with a 3.3% w/w maraviroc gel.
Conclusions
A high degree of correlation between PK and efficacy was observed. Based on the data obtained with the 3.3% w/w maraviroc gel, maintenance of vaginal fluid and tissue levels in the order of 107 ng/mL and 103 ng/g, respectively, are required for complete protection with this compound.
doi:10.1093/jac/dks422
PMCID: PMC3566668  PMID: 23111849
HIV; vaginal microbicide; drug delivery
20.  Contemporary Seasonal Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection Primes for a More Robust Response To Split Inactivated Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Vaccination in Ferrets ▿  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2010;17(12):1998-2006.
Human influenza pandemics occur when influenza viruses to which the population has little or no immunity emerge and acquire the ability to achieve human-to-human transmission. In April 2009, cases of a novel H1N1 influenza virus in children in the southwestern United States were reported. It was retrospectively shown that these cases represented the spread of this virus from an ongoing outbreak in Mexico. The emergence of the pandemic led to a number of national vaccination programs. Surprisingly, early human clinical trial data have shown that a single dose of nonadjuvanted pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent inactivated vaccine (pMIV) has led to a seroprotective response in a majority of individuals, despite earlier studies showing a lack of cross-reactivity between seasonal and pandemic H1N1 viruses. Here we show that previous exposure to a contemporary seasonal H1N1 influenza virus and to a lesser degree a seasonal influenza virus trivalent inactivated vaccine is able to prime for a higher antibody response after a subsequent dose of pMIV in ferrets. The more protective response was partially dependent on the presence of CD8+ cells. Two doses of pMIV were also able to induce a detectable antibody response that provided protection from subsequent challenge. These data show that previous infection with seasonal H1N1 influenza viruses likely explains the requirement for only a single dose of pMIV in adults and that vaccination campaigns with the current pandemic influenza vaccines should reduce viral burden and disease severity in humans.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00247-10
PMCID: PMC3008197  PMID: 20962210
21.  Replicating Adenovirus-Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) Recombinant Priming and Envelope Protein Boosting Elicits Localized, Mucosal IgA Immunity in Rhesus Macaques Correlated with Delayed Acquisition following a Repeated Low-Dose Rectal SIVmac251 Challenge 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(8):4644-4657.
We have shown that sequential replicating adenovirus type 5 host range mutant human immunodeficiency virus/simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV/SIV) recombinant priming delivered first intranasally (i.n.) plus orally and then intratracheally (i.t.), followed by envelope protein boosting, elicits broad cellular immunity and functional, envelope-specific serum and mucosal antibodies that correlate with protection from high-dose SIV and simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenges in rhesus macaques. Here we extended these studies to compare the standard i.n./i.t. regimen with additional mucosal administration routes, including sublingual, rectal, and vaginal routes. Similar systemic cellular and humoral immunity was elicited by all immunization routes. Central and effector memory T cell responses were also elicited by the four immunization routes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and jejunal, rectal, and vaginal tissue samples. Cellular responses in vaginal tissue were more compartmentalized, being induced primarily by intravaginal administration. In contrast, all immunization routes elicited secretory IgA (sIgA) responses at multiple mucosal sites. Following a repeated low-dose intrarectal (i.r.) challenge with SIVmac251 at a dose transmitting one or two variants, protection against acquisition was not achieved except in one macaque in the i.r. immunized group. All immunized macaques exhibited reduced peak viremia compared to that of controls, correlated inversely with prechallenge serum antienvelope avidity, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) titers, and percent antibody-dependent cell-mediated viral inhibition. Both antibody avidity and ADCC titers were correlated with the number of exposures required for infection. Notably, we show for the first time a significant correlation of vaccine-induced sIgA titers in rectal secretions with delayed acquisition. Further investigation of the characteristics and properties of the sIgA should elucidate the mechanism leading to this protective effect.
doi:10.1128/JVI.06812-11
PMCID: PMC3318604  PMID: 22345466
22.  Profound Antiviral Effect of Oral Administration of MIV-210 on Chronic Hepadnaviral Infection in a Woodchuck Model of Hepatitis B▿  
MIV-210 is a prodrug of 3′-fluoro-2′,3′-dideoxyguanosine with high oral bioavailability in humans and potent activity against hepatitis B virus (HBV). Woodchucks infected with woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) represent an accurate model of HBV infection that is utilized for evaluation of the efficacy and safety of novel anti-HBV agents. Oral administration of MIV-210 at 20 or 60 mg/kg of body weight/day induced a rapid virological response in chronically infected woodchucks, reducing serum WHV DNA levels by 4.75 log10 and 5.72 log10, respectively, in 2 weeks. A progressive decline in WHV viremia occurred throughout the 10-week therapy, giving final reductions of 7.23 log10 and 7.68 log10 in the 20- and 60-mg/kg/day groups, respectively. Further, a daily dose of 10 mg/kg decreased the serum WHV load 400-fold after 4 weeks of treatment, and a dose of 5 mg/kg/day was sufficient to maintain this antiviral effect during the following 6-week period. MIV-210 at 20 or 60 mg/kg/day reduced the liver WHV DNA load 200- to 2,500-fold from pretreatment levels and, importantly, led to a 2.0 log10 drop in the hepatic content of WHV covalently closed circular DNA. The treatment with 60 mg/kg/day was well tolerated. Liver biopsy specimens obtained after the 10-week treatment with 20 or 60 mg/kg/day and after the 10-week follow-up showed hepatocyte and mitochondrial ultrastructures comparable to those in the placebo-treated group. It was concluded that MIV-210 is highly effective against chronic WHV infection. These findings, together with the previously demonstrated inhibitory activity of MIV-210 against lamivudine-, adefovir-, and entecavir-resistant HBV variants, make MIV-210 a highly valuable candidate for further testing as an agent against chronic hepatitis B.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00263-09
PMCID: PMC2737870  PMID: 19564357
23.  A Topical Microbicide Gel Formulation of CCR5 Antagonist Maraviroc Prevents HIV-1 Vaginal Transmission in Humanized RAG-hu Mice 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20209.
For prevention of HIV infection many currently licensed anti-HIV drugs and new ones in the pipeline show potential as topically applied microbicides. While macaque models have been the gold standard for in vivo microbicide testing, they are expensive and sufficient numbers are not available. Therefore, a small animal model that facilitates rapid evaluation of potential candidates for their preliminary efficacy is urgently needed in the microbicide field. We previously demonstrated that RAG-hu humanized mouse model permits HIV-1 mucosal transmission via both vaginal and rectal routes and that oral pre-exposure chemo-prophylactic strategies could be tested in this system. Here in these proof-of-concept studies, we extended this system for topical microbicide testing using HIV-1 as the challenge virus. Maraviroc, a clinically approved CCR5 inhibitor drug for HIV treatment, was formulated as a microbicide gel at 5 mM concentration in 2.2% hydroxyl ethyl cellulose. Female RAG-hu mice were challenged vaginally with HIV-1 an hour after intravaginal application of the maraviroc gel. Our results showed that maraviroc gel treated mice were fully protected against vaginal HIV-1 challenge in contrast to placebo gel treated mice which all became infected. These findings highlight the utility of the humanized mouse models for microbicide testing and, together with the recent data from macaque studies, suggest that maraviroc is a promising candidate for future microbicide clinical trials in the field.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020209
PMCID: PMC3105981  PMID: 21673796
24.  Antiviral CD8+ T cells in the genital tract control viral replication and delay progression to AIDS after vaginal SIV challenge in rhesus macaques immunized with virulence attenuated SHIV 89.6 
Journal of Internal Medicine  2009;265(1):67-77.
Genescà M, McChesney MB, Miller CJ (Center for Comparative Medicine and California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA). Antiviral CD8+ T cells in the genital tract control viral replication and delay progression to AIDS after vaginal SIV challenge in rhesus macaques immunized with virulence attenuated SHIV 89.6 (Review).
The recently failed clinical efficacy trial of an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) vaccine that elicits antiviral CD8+ T-cell responses has emphasized the challenge of producing an effective vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)/rhesus monkey model of AIDS, live-attenuated lentivirus ‘vaccines’ provide the best protection from uncontrolled viral replication and clinical disease after pathogenic SIV challenge. This review summarizes a recent series of studies in which we show that after vaginal SIV challenge of rhesus macaques immunized with an attenuated lentivirus protection from uncontrolled viral replication is primarily mediated by CD8+ T cells in the vaginal mucosa. Immunization with a chimeric simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) results in a systemic infection that induces a moderate population of SIV-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells with cytolytic potential in the vaginal mucosa. Depletion of CD8+ T cells at the time of SIV challenge completely abrogates the protection mediated by prior infection with attenuated SHIV. Further after vaginal SIV challenge, the only significant expansion of SIV-specific T cells occurs in the vagina in these animals. No significant expansion of T-cell responses was observed in systemic lymphoid tissues. Thus, the presence of SIV-specific CD8+ T cells in the vagina on the day of vaginal SIV challenge and a modest expansion of local effector T cells is sufficient to stop uncontrolled SIV replication. It seems that T-cell based vaccine strategies that can elicit mucosal effector CD8+ T-cell populations and avoid inducing systemic T-cell proliferation upon exposure to HIV have the greatest potential for mimicking the success of live-attenuated lentiviral vaccines.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02051.x
PMCID: PMC3401014  PMID: 19093961
caspase-3; CD107; cytolytic T cells; Ki67; T-cell activation; vagina
25.  Live-Attenuated Lentivirus Immunization Modulates Innate Immunity and Inflammation while Protecting Rhesus Macaques from Vaginal Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Challenge 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(17):9188-9200.
Immunization with attenuated lentiviruses is the only reliable method of protecting rhesus macaques (RM) from vaginal challenge with pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). CD8+ lymphocyte depletion prior to SIVmac239 vaginal challenge demonstrated that a modest, Gag-specific CD8+ T cell response induced by immunization with simian-human immunodeficiency virus 89.6 (SHIV89.6) protects RM. Although CD8+ T cells are required for protection, there is no anamnestic expansion of SIV-specific CD8+ T cells in any tissues except the vagina after challenge. Further, SHIV immunization increased the number of viral target cells in the vagina and cervix, suggesting that the ratio of target cells to antiviral CD8+ T cells was not a determinant of protection. We hypothesized that persistent replication of the attenuated vaccine virus modulates inflammatory responses and limits T cell activation and expansion by inducing immunoregulatory T cell populations. We found that attenuated SHIV infection decreased the number of circulating plasmacytoid dendritic cells, suppressed T cell activation, decreased mRNA levels of proinflammatory mediators, and increased mRNA levels of immunoregulatory molecules. Three days after SIV vaginal challenge, SHIV-immunized RM had significantly more T regulatory cells in the vagina than the unimmunized RM. By day 14 postchallenge, immune activation and inflammation were characteristic of unimmunized RM but were minimal in SHIV-immunized RM. Thus, a modest vaccine-induced CD8+ T cell response in the context of immunoregulatory suppression of T cell activation may protect against vaginal HIV transmission.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00532-12
PMCID: PMC3416105  PMID: 22696662

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