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Gene Ther. 2010 Nov;17(11):1372-83. doi: 10.1038/gt.2010.90. Epub 2010 Jun 10.

MVA-nef induces HIV-1-specific polyfunctional and proliferative T-cell responses revealed by the combination of short- and long-term immune assays.

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  • 1Institute of Virology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany. sarah.kutscher@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Abstract

Several vaccination trials are evaluating the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) as a delivery vector in various clinical settings. In this paper, we present the reevaluation of a therapeutic vaccination trial in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-infected individuals treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy using MVA-expressing HIV-1 nef. Immunogenicity of MVA-nef was assessed using multicolor flow cytometry. Vaccine-induced polyfunctionality and proliferative capacity, which are associated with nonprogressive HIV-1 infection, were detectable by combining two immune assays. By means of short-term polychromatic intracellular cytokine staining, we observed a significant increase in polyfunctional Nef-specific CD4 T cells expressing interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-2 and CD154 after vaccination, whereas changes in the quality of CD8 T-cell response could not be observed. Only the additional use of a long-term polychromatic Carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE)-based proliferation assay revealed vaccine-induced Nef-specific CD8, as well as CD4 T cells with proliferative capacity. The correlation between vaccine-induced IL-2 production by CD4 T cells and the increase in proliferating Nef-specific CD8 T cells suggests a causal link between these two functions. These results highlight the importance of combining sophisticated immunomonitoring tools to unravel concealed effects of immunological interventions and support the use of the poxvirus-derived MVA vector to stimulate highly functional HIV-1-specific T-cell responses. However, the clinical benefit of these functional T cells remains to be determined.

PMID:
20535218
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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