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J Med Primatol. 1999 Aug-Oct;28(4-5):233-41.

Characterization of SIV-specific CD4+ T-helper proliferative responses in macaques immunized with live-attenuated SIV.

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Division of Immunology, New England Regional Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Southborough, MA 01772-9102, USA.


Analysis of immune responses generated by live-attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) strains may provide clues to the mechanisms of protective immunity induced by this approach. We examined SIV-specific T-helper responses in macaques immunized with the live-attenuated SIV strains SIVmac239deltanef and SIVmac239delta3. Optimization of the concentration and duration of antigenic stimulation resulted in the detection of relatively strong SIV-specific proliferative responses, with peak stimulation indices of up to 84. SIV-specific proliferative responses were mediated by CD4+ T cells and were major histocompatibility (MHC) class II restricted. Limiting dilution analysis revealed SIV-specific T-helper precursor frequencies of up to 96 per 10(6) peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Intracellular flow-cytometric analysis demonstrated the production of interleukin (IL)-2, interferon (IFN)-gamma, RANTES and macrophage inhibitory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha) by T lymphocytes from SIVmac239deltanef-vaccinated animals following SIV p55 stimulation. Induction of strong SIV-specific T-helper responses by live-attenuated SIV vaccines may play a role in their ability to induce protective immunity.

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