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Viruses 2014, 6(8), 3334-3347; https://doi.org/10.3390/v6083334

Divergence of Primary Cognate B- and T-Cell Proliferative Responses to Subcutaneous and Intravenous Immunization with Virus-Like Particles

Department of Molecular and Medical Virology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, D-44780, Germany
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Received: 28 May 2014 / Revised: 15 August 2014 / Accepted: 18 August 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AIDS Vaccine 2014)
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Abstract

A major advantage of virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines against HIV is their structural identity to wild-type viruses, ensuring that antigen-specific B-cells encounter the envelope protein in its natural conformation. For the induction of affinity-matured antibodies, the B-cells must also obtain help from T-cells that are restricted by linear epitopes. Using B- and T-cell transgenic mouse models, we compared the efficacy of modified HIV-VLPs delivered by subcutaneous and intravenous immunization to stimulate primary B- and T-cell proliferative responses in different lymphoid organs. VLPs containing an influenza virus hemagglutinin epitope within the HIV-Gag protein induced comparable primary cognate T-cell proliferative responses in the draining lymph node and the spleen, irrespective of the delivery route. In contrast, after subcutaneous immunization with HIV-Gag VLPs containing hen egg lysozyme (HEL) on their surface, the proliferative response of transgenic HEL-specific B-cells was restricted to the draining lymph nodes, while intravenous VLP immunization primarily induced a B-cell proliferative response in the spleen. In vitro co-culture experiments further revealed that the presentation of VLP-associated surface antigens by dendritic cells to cognate B-cells is inefficient. This is consistent with a direct triggering of the B-cell proliferative response by the VLPs and suggests that HIV VLPs may indeed be suitable to directly promote the expansion of B-cells specific for conformational epitopes that are unique to functionally-active Env spikes on the virion. Further investigations are warranted to explore potential differences in the quality and protective potency of HIV-specific antibody responses induced by the two routes. View Full-Text
Keywords: lentiviral VLP; B-cell proliferation; T-cell proliferation lentiviral VLP; B-cell proliferation; T-cell proliferation
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Temchura, V.; Kalinin, S.; Nabi, G.; Tippler, B.; Niezold, T.; Überla, K. Divergence of Primary Cognate B- and T-Cell Proliferative Responses to Subcutaneous and Intravenous Immunization with Virus-Like Particles. Viruses 2014, 6, 3334-3347.

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