Live attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) vaccines (LAVs) remain the most efficacious of all vaccines in nonhuman primate models of HIV and AIDS, yet the basis of their robust protection remains poorly understood. Here we show that the degree of LAV-mediated protection against intravenous wild-type SIVmac239 challenge strongly correlates with the magnitude and function of SIV-specific, effector-differentiated T cells in the lymph node but not with the responses of such T cells in the blood or with other cellular, humoral and innate immune parameters. We found that maintenance of protective T cell responses is associated with persistent LAV replication in the lymph node, which occurs almost exclusively in follicular helper T cells. Thus, effective LAVs maintain lymphoid tissue-based, effector-differentiated, SIV-specific T cells that intercept and suppress early wild-type SIV amplification and, if present in sufficient frequencies, can completely control and perhaps clear infection, an observation that provides a rationale for the development of safe, persistent vectors that can elicit and maintain such responses.
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This work was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (grant #41185), the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (including the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant R37 AI054292 (L.J.P.), contract HHSN272200900037C and the Center for HIV-AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) program), the NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (P51 OD 011092) and the National Cancer Institute (contract HHSN261200800001E). The authors acknowledge R. Desrosiers (Harvard University) for providing SIVmac239Δnef and SIVmac239Δ3; P. Johnson and T. Lui (University of Pennsylvania) for SIVsmE543Δnef; C. Miller (University of California, Davis) for SHIV89.6 and wild-type SIVmac239; D. Evans (Harvard University) for a single-cycle SIVmac239; N. Letvin for TRIM5 allele typing; and R. Wiseman and D. Watkins for MHC typing. We thank N. Winstone, A. Leon, J. Clock, A. Nogueron, L. Pan, M. Cartwright, A. Filali and P. Wilkinson for technical assistance and J. McElrath, S. Self, W. Koff, A. Okoye, J. Schmitz and J. Ahler for helpful discussion and advice.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Fukazawa, Y., Park, H., Cameron, M. et al. Lymph node T cell responses predict the efficacy of live attenuated SIV vaccines. Nat Med 18, 1673–1681 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.2934
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