PD-1 Blockade in Chronically HIV-1-Infected Humanized Mice Suppresses Viral Loads
Allen, Todd M.
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CitationSeung, Edward, Timothy E. Dudek, Todd M. Allen, Gordon J. Freeman, Andrew D. Luster, and Andrew M. Tager. 2013. “PD-1 Blockade in Chronically HIV-1-Infected Humanized Mice Suppresses Viral Loads.” PLoS ONE 8 (10): e77780. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077780. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0077780.
AbstractAn estimated 34 million people are living with HIV worldwide (UNAIDS, 2012), with the number of infected persons rising every year. Increases in HIV prevalence have resulted not only from new infections, but also from increases in the survival of HIV-infected persons produced by effective anti-retroviral therapies. Augmentation of anti-viral immune responses may be able to further increase the survival of HIV-infected persons. One strategy to augment these responses is to reinvigorate exhausted anti-HIV immune cells present in chronically infected persons. The PD-1-PD-L1 pathway has been implicated in the exhaustion of virus-specific T cells during chronic HIV infection. Inhibition of PD-1 signaling using blocking anti-PD-1 antibodies has been shown to reduce simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) loads in monkeys. We now show that PD-1 blockade can improve control of HIV replication in vivo in an animal model. BLT (Bone marrow-Liver-Thymus) humanized mice chronically infected with HIV-1 were treated with an anti-PD-1 antibody over a 10-day period. The PD-1 blockade resulted in a very significant 45-fold reduction in HIV viral loads in humanized mice with high CD8+ T cell expression of PD-1, compared to controls at 4 weeks post-treatment. The anti-PD-1 antibody treatment also resulted in a significant increase in CD8+ T cells. PD-1 blockade did not affect T cell expression of other inhibitory receptors co-expressed with PD-1, including CD244, CD160 and LAG-3, and did not appear to affect virus-specific humoral immune responses. These data demonstrate that inhibiting PD-1 signaling can reduce HIV viral loads in vivo in the humanized BLT mouse model, suggesting that blockade of the PD-1-PD-L1 pathway may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of patients already infected with the AIDS virus.
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