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Blood. 2012 Nov 29;120(23):4571-82. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-04-422303. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

Inhibitory effect of HIV-specific neutralizing IgA on mucosal transmission of HIV in humanized mice.

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  • 1Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


HIV-1 infections are generally initiated at mucosal sites. Thus, IgA antibody, which plays pivotal roles in mucosal immunity, might efficiently prevent HIV infection. However, mounting a highly effective HIV-specific mucosal IgA response by conventional immunization has been challenging and the potency of HIV-specific IgA against infection needs to be addressed in vivo. Here we show that the polymeric IgA form of anti-HIV antibody inhibits HIV mucosal transmission more effectively than the monomeric IgA or IgG1 form in a comparable range of concentrations in humanized mice. To deliver anti-HIV IgA in a continual manner, we devised a hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC)-based genetic approach using an IgA gene. We transplanted human HSPCs transduced with a lentiviral construct encoding a class-switched anti-HIV IgA (b12-IgA) into the humanized bone marrow-liver-thymus (BLT) mice. The transgene was expressed specifically in B cells and plasma cells in lymphoid organs and mucosal sites. After vaginal HIV-1 challenge, mucosal CD4(+) T cells in the b12-IgA-producing mice were protected from virus-mediated depletion. Similar results were also obtained in a second humanized model, "human immune system mice." Our study demonstrates the potential of anti-HIV IgA in immunoprophylaxis in vivo, emphasizing the importance of the mucosal IgA response in defense against HIV/AIDS.

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