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Sci Transl Med. 2015 Aug 12;7(300):300ra125. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5547.

Exposure to SIV in utero results in reduced viral loads and altered responsiveness to postnatal challenge.

Author information

1
Graduate Group in Infectious Diseases and Immunity, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Division of Experimental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.
2
Division of Experimental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.
3
Division of Experimental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA. Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA. California National Primate Research Center, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
4
AIDS and Cancer Virus Program, Leidos Biomedical Research Inc., Frederick National Laboratory, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.
5
Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases, California National Primate Research Center, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
6
Division of Experimental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA. mike.mccune@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

HIV disease progression appears to be driven by increased immune activation. Given observations that fetal exposure to infectious pathogens in utero can result in reduced immune responses, or tolerance, to those pathogens postnatally, we hypothesized that fetal exposure to HIV may render the fetus tolerant to the virus, thus reducing damage caused by immune activation during infection later in life. To test this hypothesis, fetal rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were injected with the attenuated virus SIVmac1A11 in utero and challenged with pathogenic SIVmac239 1 year after birth. SIVmac1A11-injected animals had significantly reduced plasma RNA viral loads (P < 0.02) up to 35 weeks after infection. Generalized estimating equations analysis was performed to identify immunologic and clinical measurements associated with plasma RNA viral load. A positive association with plasma RNA viral load was observed with the proportion of CD8(+) T cells expressing the transcription factor, FoxP3, and the proportion of CD4(+) T cells producing the lymphoproliferative cytokine, IL-2. In contrast, an inverse relationship was found with the frequencies of circulating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells displaying intermediate expression of the proliferation marker, Ki-67. Animals exposed to simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in utero appeared to have enhanced SIV-specific immune responses, a lower proportion of CD8(+) T cells expressing the exhaustion marker PD-1, and more circulating TH17 cells than controls. Although the development of tolerance was not demonstrated, these data suggest that rhesus monkeys exposed to SIVmac1A11 in utero had distinct immune responses associated with the control of viral replication after postnatal challenge.

PMID:
26268312
PMCID:
PMC5100009
DOI:
10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5547
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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