CD8+ lymphocytes do not mediate protection against acute superinfection 20 days after vaccination with a live attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus.
Stebbings R., Berry N., Waldmann H., Bird P., Hale G., Stott J., North D., Hull R., Hall J., Lines J., Brown S., D'Arcy N., Davis L., Elsley W., Edwards C., Ferguson D., Allen J., Almond N.
In order to test the hypothesis that CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes mediate protection against acute superinfection, we depleted >99% of CD8+ lymphocytes in live attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus macC8 (SIVmacC8) vaccinees from the onset of vaccination, maintained that depletion for 20 days, and then challenged with pathogenic, wild-type SIVmacJ5. Vaccinees received 5 mg per kg of humanized anti-CD8 monoclonal antibody (MAb) 1 h before inoculation, followed by the same dose again on days 3, 7, 10, 13, and 17. On day 13, peripheral CD8+ T lymphocytes were >99% depleted in three out of four anti-CD8 MAb-treated vaccinees. At this time attenuated SIVmacC8 viral RNA loads in anti-CD8 MAb-treated vaccinees were significantly higher than control vaccinees treated contemporaneously with nonspecific human immunoglobulin. Lymphoid tissue CD8+ T lymphocyte depletion was >99% in three out of four anti-CD8 MAb-treated vaccinees on the day of wild-type SIVmacJ5 challenge. All four control vaccinees and three out of four anti-CD8 MAb-treated vaccinees were protected against detectable superinfection with wild-type SIVmacJ5. Although superinfection with wild-type SIVmacJ5 was detected at postmortem in a single anti-CD8 MAb-treated vaccinee, this did not correlate with the degree of preceding CD8+ T lymphocyte depletion. Clearance of attenuated SIVmacC8 viremia coincided with recovery of normal CD8+ T lymphocyte counts between days 48 and 76. These results support the view that cytotoxic T lymphocytes are important for host-mediated control of SIV primary viremia but do not indicate a central role in protection against acute superinfection conferred by inoculation with live attenuated SIV.