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J Virol. 2005 Feb;79(4):2124-32.

Human dendritic cells transduced with herpes simplex virus amplicons encoding human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp120 elicit adaptive immune responses from human cells engrafted into NOD/SCID mice and confer partial protection against HIV-1 challenge.

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  • 1Center for Neurovirology and Neurodegenerative Disorders, 985880 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5880, USA.


Small-animal models are needed to test human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine efficacy following viral challenge. To this end, we examined HIV-1-specific immune responses following immunization of nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficient mice that were repopulated with human peripheral blood lymphocytes (hu-PBL-NOD/SCID mice). Autologous dendritic cells (DC) were transduced ex vivo with replication-defective, helper virus-free, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) amplicons that expressed HIV-1 gp120 and were then injected into the hu-PBL-NOD/SCID mice. This resulted in primary HIV-1-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Serum samples from vaccinated animals contained human immunoglobulin G that reacted with HIV-1 Env proteins by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and neutralized the infectivity of HIV-1 LAI and ADA strains. T cells isolated from the mice responded to viral antigens by producing gamma interferon when analyzed by enzyme-linked immunospot assay. Importantly, exposure of the vaccinated animals to infectious HIV-1 demonstrated partial protection against infectious HIV-1 challenge. This was reflected by a reduction in HIV-1(ADA) and by protection of the engrafted human CD4(+) T lymphocytes against HIV-1(LAI)-induced cytotoxicity. These data demonstrate that transduction of DC by HSV amplicon vectors expressing HIV-1 gp120 induce virus-specific immune responses in hu-PBL-NOD/SCID mice. This mouse model may be a useful tool to evaluate human immune responses and protection against viral infection following vaccination.

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