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J Virol. 2012 Jan;86(2):718-25. doi: 10.1128/JVI.05842-11. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

Durable protection from vaginal simian-human immunodeficiency virus infection in macaques by tenofovir gel and its relationship to drug levels in tissue.

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  • 1Laboratory Branch and Quantitative Sciences and Data Management Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Abstract

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/10(6) cells) between 4 and 24 h that exceed the 95% inhibitory concentration (IC(95)), 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 IC(95) 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.

PMID:
22072766
PMCID:
PMC3255839
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.05842-11
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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