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Extensive CD8β depletion does not prevent control of viral replication or protection from challenge in macaques chronically infected with a live attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus

By Matthew S Sutton, Amy Ellis-Connell, Alexis J. Balgeman, Gabrielle Barry, Andrea M Weiler, Scott J. Hetzel, Yan Zhou, Annie Kilby, Rosemarie D. Mason, Kristin K. Biris, John R Mascola, Nancy J Sullivan, Mario Roederer, Thomas C. Friedrich, Shelby L. O’Connor

Posted 13 Apr 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/608554 (published DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00537-19)

We evaluated the contribution of CD8αβ+ T cells on control of live-attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus (LASIV) replication during chronic infection and subsequent protection from pathogenic SIV challenge. Unlike previous reports with a CD8α-specific depleting monoclonal antibody (mAb), the CD8β-specific mAb CD8β255R1 selectively depleted CD8αβ+ T cells without also depleting non-CD8+ T cell populations that express CD8α, such as natural killer (NK) cells and γδ T cells. Following infusion with CD8β255R1, plasma viremia transiently increased coincident with declining peripheral CD8αβ+ T cells. Interestingly, plasma viremia returned to pre-depletion levels even when peripheral CD8αβ+ T cells did not. Although depletion of CD8αβ+ T cells in the lymph node (LN) was incomplete, frequencies of these cells were three-fold lower (p=0.006) in animals that received CD8β255R1 compared to control IgG. It is possible that these residual SIV-specific CD8αβ+ T cells may have contributed to suppression of viremia during chronic infection. We also determined whether infusion of CD8β255R1 in the LASIV-vaccinated animals increased their susceptibility to infection following intravenous challenge with pathogenic SIVmac239. We found that 7/8 animals infused with CD8β255R1, and 3/4 animals infused with the control IgG, were resistant to SIVmac239 infection. These results suggest that infusion with CD8β255R1 did not eliminate the protection afforded to LASIV vaccination. This provides a comprehensive description of the impact of CD8β255R1 infusion on the immunological composition of the host, when compared to an isotype matched control IgG, while showing that the control of LASIV viremia and protection from challenge can occur even after CD8β255R1 administration.

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