Simian Immunodeficiency Virus SIVagm Dynamics in African Green Monkeys

Division of Comparative Pathology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Road, Covington, LA 70433, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 05/2008; 82(7):3713-24. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02402-07
Source: PubMed


The mechanisms underlying the lack of disease progression in natural simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) hosts are still poorly understood. To test the hypothesis that SIV-infected African green monkeys (AGMs) avoid AIDS due to virus replication occurring in long-lived infected cells, we infected six animals with SIVagm and treated them with potent antiretroviral therapy [ART; 9-R-(2-phosphonomethoxypropyl) adenine (tenofovir) and beta-2,3-dideoxy-3-thia-5-fluorocytidine (emtricitabine)]. All AGMs showed a rapid decay of plasma viremia that became undetectable 36 h after ART initiation. A significant decrease of viral load was observed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and intestine. Mathematical modeling of viremia decay post-ART indicates a half-life of productively infected cells ranging from 4 to 9.5 h, i.e., faster than previously reported for human immunodeficiency virus and SIV. ART induced a slight but significant increase in peripheral CD4(+) T-cell counts but no significant changes in CD4(+) T-cell levels in lymph nodes and intestine. Similarly, ART did not significantly change the levels of cell proliferation, activation, and apoptosis, already low in AGMs chronically infected with SIVagm. Collectively, these results indicate that, in SIVagm-infected AGMs, the bulk of virus replication is sustained by short-lived cells; therefore, differences in disease outcome between SIVmac infection of macaques and SIVagm infection of AGMs are unlikely due to intrinsic differences in the in vivo cytopathicities between the two viruses.

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    • "Lymphocytes were separated from pinch biopsies and resections as previously described [5,14,57,58]. Mononuclear cells were separated from the blood through Ficoll density gradient centrifugation. "
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    ABSTRACT: In vivo CD8+ cell depletions in pathogenic SIV infections identified a key role for cellular immunity in controlling viral load (VL) and disease progression. However, similar studies gave discordant results in chronically-infected SMs, leading some authors to propose that in natural hosts, SIV replication is independent of cellular immunity. To assess the role of cellular immune responses in the control of SIV replication in natural hosts, we investigated the impact of CD8+ cell depletion during acute SIV infection in AGMs. Nine AGMs were infected with SIVagm.sab and were followed up to day 225 p.i. Four were intravenously infused with the cM-T807 antibody on days 0 (50 mg/kg), 6, and 13 (10 mg/kg, respectively) post infection (p.i.). CD8+ cells were depleted for up to 28 days p.i. in peripheral blood and LNs in all treated AGMs. Partial CD8+ T cell depletion occurred in the intestine. SIVagm VLs peaked at similar levels in both groups (107-108 RNA copies/ml). However, while VLs were controlled in undepleted AGMs, reaching set-point levels (104-105 RNA copies/ml) by day 28 p.i., high VLs (>106 RNA copies/ml) were maintained by day 21 p.i. in CD8-depleted AGMs. By day 42 p.i., VLs were comparable between the two groups. The levels of immune activation and proliferation remained elevated up to day 72 p.i. in CD8-depleted AGMs and returned to preinfection levels in controls by day 28 p.i. None of the CD8-depleted animals progressed to AIDS. CD8+ cells are responsible for a partial control of postacute viral replication in SIVagm.sab-infected AGMs. In contrast to macaques, the SIVagm-infected AGMs are able to control viral replication after recovery of the CD8+ T cells and avoid disease progression.
    Retrovirology 05/2010; 7(1):42. DOI:10.1186/1742-4690-7-42 · 4.19 Impact Factor
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    • "Viral dynamics studies in natural hosts also showed that viral replication occurs in short-lived cells that have a shorter average lifespan than those reported for HIV-infected humans and SIVmac-infected macaques [32, 33]. "
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    ABSTRACT: African nonhuman primates that are natural hosts of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) are generally spared from disease progression. Pathogenic and nonpathogenic SIV infections share some major features: high viral replication, massive acute depletion of mucosal CD4(+) T cells, and partial control of the virus by both adaptive and innate immune responses. A key distinction of natural SIV infections is rapid and active control of immune activation and apoptosis of T cells that contributes to the integrity of mucosal barrier and lack of microbial translocation. This allows partial recovery of CD4(+) T cells and preservation of the function of other immune cell subsets. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the lack of disease in natural hosts for SIV infection will likely provide important clues as to the therapy of HIV-1 infection.
    Current HIV/AIDS Reports 02/2010; 7(1):28-36. DOI:10.1007/s11904-009-0034-8 · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    • "In particular, the human cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) immune response directed against foreign antigens plays a major role in exerting selective pressure on antigenic proteins, including those of HIV-1. The activation and characteristics of the immune responses against the virus have been found to differ remarkably between human and chimpanzee [7,18-20]: an elevated anti-HIV immune response upon infection is characteristic in humans, but the chimpanzee generally maintains a low level of immune activation. The human immune response may therefore exert higher selective pressure on the virus sequence compared to immune responses of the natural host. "
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    ABSTRACT: The cytotoxic T-lymphocyte immune response is important in controlling HIV-1 replication in infected humans. In this immune pathway, viral peptides within infected cells are presented to T-lymphocytes by the polymorphic human leukocyte antigens (HLA). HLA alleles exert selective pressure on the peptide regions and immune escape mutations that occur at some of the targeted sites can enable the virus to adapt to the infected host. The pattern of ongoing immune escape and reversion associated with several human HLA alleles has been studied extensively. Such mutations revert upon transmission to a host without the HLA allele because the escape mutation incurs a fitness cost. However, to-date there has been little attempt to study permanent loss of CTL epitopes due to escape mutations without an effect on fitness. Here, we set out to determine the extent of adaptation of HIV-1 to three well-characterized HLA alleles during the initial exposure of the virus to the human cytotoxic immune responses following transmission from chimpanzee. We generated a chimpanzee consensus sequence to approximate the virus sequence that was initially transmitted to the human host and used a method based on peptide binding affinity to HLA crystal structures to predict peptides that were potentially targeted by the HLA alleles on this sequence. Next, we used codon-based phylogenetic models to quantify the average selective pressure that acted on these regions during the period immediately following the zoonosis event, corresponding to the branch of the phylogenetic tree leading to the common ancestor of all of the HIV-1 sequences. Evidence for adaptive evolution during this period was observed at regions recognised by HLA A*6801 and A*0201, both of which are common in African populations. No evidence of adaptive evolution was observed at sites targeted by HLA-B*2705, which is a rare allele in African populations. Our results suggest that the ancestral HIV-1 virus experienced a period of positive selective pressure due to immune responses associated with HLA alleles that were common in the infected human population. We propose that this resulted in permanent escape from immune responses targeting unconstrained regions of the virus.
    Virology Journal 10/2009; 6:164. DOI:10.1186/1743-422X-6-164 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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