We have previously reported on the generation of specific functional immune responses after inoculation of animals with expression vectors encoding HIV-1 genes. This article provides the details of the first application of this new technology to induce immune responses against HIV-2. This virus is molecularly and serologically distinct from HIV-1 and is in fact more closely related to the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Anti- HIV-2 and SIV antibodies were induced in mice of three different haplotypes following a single intramuscular inoculation with an HIV-2/ROD envelope glycoprotein expression vector (pcEnv-2). Boosting of animals with pcEnv-2 induced both anti-HIV-2 neutralizing antibodies and T cell-proliferative responses against HIV-2 and SIVmac proteins. We compared the humoral and cellular immune responses of mice injected with pcEnv-2 and then boosted with either the homologous DNA construct or a recombinant Env protein. Animals boosted with pcEnv-2 generated B and T cell immune responses as strong as those of mice boosted with recombinant gp140 protein in adjuvant. Finally, cellular immune responses were significantly increased with the coadministration of pcEnv-2 and a plasmid expressing interleukin 12. We therefore conclude that DNA plasmid inoculation induces cross-reactive anti- HIV-2 and anti-SIVmac immune responses in mice. This technology should be further investigated as a potential vaccine component for this human pathogen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases