[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected African nonhuman primates do not progress to AIDS in spite of high and persistent viral loads (VLs). Some authors consider the high viral replication observed in chronic natural SIV infections to be due to lower anti-SIV antibody titers than those in rhesus macaques, suggesting a role of antibodies in controlling viral replication. We therefore investigated the impact of antibody responses on the outcome of acute and chronic SIVagm replication in African green monkeys (AGMs). Nine AGMs were infected with SIVagm.sab. Four AGMs were infused with 50 mg/kg of body weight anti-CD20 (rituximab; a gift from Genentech) every 21 days, starting from day -7 postinfection up to 184 days. The remaining AGMs were used as controls and received SIVagm only. Rituximab-treated AGMs were successfully depleted of CD20 cells in peripheral blood, lymph nodes (LNs), and intestine, as shown by the dynamics of CD20+ and CD79a+ cells. There was no significant difference in VLs between CD20-depleted AGMs and control monkeys: peak VLs ranged from 10(7) to 10(8) copies/ml; set-point values were 10(4) to 10(5) SIV RNA copies/ml. Levels of acute mucosal CD4+ T-cell depletion were similar for treated and nontreated animals. SIVagm seroconversion was delayed for the CD20-depleted AGMs compared to results for the controls. There was a significant difference in both the timing and magnitude of neutralizing antibody responses for CD20-depleted AGMs compared to results for controls. CD20 depletion significantly altered the histological structure of the germinal centers in the LNs and Peyer's patches. Our results, although obtained with a limited number of animals, suggest that humoral immune responses play only a minor role in the control of SIV viral replication during acute and chronic SIV infection in natural hosts.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
Preview · Article · May 2008 · Journal of Virology