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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1998 Jul 1;14(10):901-9.

Adjuvant is required when using Env lipopeptide construct to induce HIV type 1-specific neutralizing antibody responses in mice in vivo.

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Laboratoire d'Immunologie des Interactions Cellulaires et Moléculaires, INSERM U445, Institut Cochin de Génétique Moléculaire, Paris, France.


Extensive immunological studies on HIV-1 infection, the causative agent of AIDS in humans, have led to the conclusion that efficient protection against this infection should require early elicitation of neutralizing antibodies as well as cellular immune and particularly cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses. The use of synthetic peptides modified at one end by introduction of a lipidic tail is now well known to be an effective means of eliciting virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses in vivo, both in mouse and humans. To ascertain that such a strategy can be used for vaccinal purposes, particularly against HIV-1 infection, it remains to be determined whether these molecules can also act as effective inducers of antibody responses, most of all of the neutralizing type. The present study set out to address this question by using a synthetic HIV-1 ENV lipopeptide construct, previously identified as a potent immunogen for in vivo induction of ENV-specific CTL responses in BALB/c mice. We first showed that V3 peptide-specific antibodies were effectively induced by the lipopeptide construct. However, we provided evidence that the biological activity of these antibodies, i.e., their ability to neutralize HIV-1 infectivity in vitro, was strongly influenced by the immunizing conditions and protocol, in that only those antibodies generated by the use of adjuvanted lipopeptide formulations were effective. Albeit at a slightly lower efficacy than by the intraperitoneal route, neutralizing antibodies could also be induced using the subcutaneous route. With the prospect of a human peptide vaccine in mind, we then studied the properties of different known or possibly clinically relevant adjuvants. We found that alum, the only relevant adjuvant for human use, not only provides inefficient help to the lipopeptide construct in generating neutralizing antibodies, but tends to have deleterious effects on the ability of the construct to induce CTL responses. The only protocol that gave satisfactory results in terms of the magnitude of the neutralizing antibody responses was a mineral oil-based lipopeptide formulation. When induced under those conditions, strong neutralizing activities were still present up to 8 months after the last injection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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