Small-animal models are needed to test human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine efficacy following viral challenge. To this end, we examined HIV-1-specific immune responses following immunization of nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficient mice that were repopulated with human peripheral blood lymphocytes (hu-PBL-NOD/SCID mice). Autologous dendritic cells (DC) were transduced ex vivo with replication-defective, helper virus-free, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) amplicons that expressed HIV-1 gp120 and were then injected into the hu-PBL-NOD/SCID mice. This resulted in primary HIV-1-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Serum samples from vaccinated animals contained human immunoglobulin G that reacted with HIV-1 Env proteins by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and neutralized the infectivity of HIV-1 LAI and ADA strains. T cells isolated from the mice responded to viral antigens by producing gamma interferon when analyzed by enzyme-linked immunospot assay. Importantly, exposure of the vaccinated animals to infectious HIV-1 demonstrated partial protection against infectious HIV-1 challenge. This was reflected by a reduction in HIV-1ADA and by protection of the engrafted human CD4+ T lymphocytes against HIV-1LAI- induced cytotoxicity. These data demonstrate that transduction of DC by HSV amplicon vectors expressing HIV-1 gp120 induce virus-specific immune responses in hu-PBL-NOD/SCID mice. This mouse model may be a useful tool to evaluate human immune responses and protection against viral infection following vaccination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science