HIV vaccine candidates with improved immunogenicity and induction of mucosal T-cell immunity are needed. A prime-boost strategy using a novel HIV glycoprotein 120 DNA vaccine was employed to immunize rhesus macaques. The DNA vaccine encoded a chimeric gp120 protein in fusion with monocyte chemoattractant protein-3, which was hypothesized to improve the ability of antigen-presenting cells to capture viral antigen through chemokine receptor-mediated endocytosis. DNA vaccination induced virus-reactive T cells in peripheral blood, detectable by T cell proliferation, INFγ ELISPOT and sustained IL-6 production, without humoral responses. With a peptide-cocktail vaccine containing a set of conserved polypeptides of HIV-1 envelope protein, given by nasogastric administration, primed T-cell immunity was significantly boosted. Surprisingly, long-term and peptide-specific mucosal memory T-cell immunity was detected in both vaccinated macaques after one year. Therefore, data from this investigation offer proof-of-principle for potential effectiveness of the prime-boost strategy with a chemokine-fused gp120 DNA and warrant further testing in the nonhuman primate models for developing as a potential HIV vaccine candidate in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis