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Open AccessArticle

Quantifying Anti-HIV Envelope-Specific Antibodies in Plasma from HIV Infected Individuals

1
Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), Montreal, QC H3A 3J1, Canada
2
Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1, Canada
3
Infectious Diseases, Immunology and Global Health Program, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1, Canada
4
Division of Hematology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1, Canada
5
Chronic Viral Illness Service, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1, Canada
6
Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Montreal, QC H2X 3H8, Canada
7
Department of Microbiology Infectiology and Immunology, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
8
Clinique médicale l’Actuel, Montréal, QC H2L 4P9, Canada
9
Clinique Médicale Quartier Latin, Montréal, QC H2L 4E9, Canada
10
Clinique Médicale Opus, Montréal, QC H3A 1T1, Canada
11
Département de microbiologie, infectiologie et immunologie, Faculté de médecine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H2L 4M1, Canada
12
St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the work.
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060487
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 21 May 2019 / Accepted: 25 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of NK Cells in Antiviral Innate Immunity)
Quantifying HIV Envelope (Env)-specific antibodies in HIV+ plasma is useful for interpreting antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity assay results. HIV Env, the only viral protein expressed on the surface of infected cells, has a native trimeric closed conformation on cells infected with wild-type HIV. However, CD4+ uninfected bystander cells in HIV+ cell cultures bind gp120 shed from HIV+ cells exposing CD4-induced epitopes normally hidden in native Env. We used flow-cytometry based assays to quantify antibodies in HIV+ plasma specific for native trimeric Env or gp120/CD4 conjugates using CEM.NKr.CCR5 (CEM) cells infected with HIV (iCEM) or coated with recombinant gp120 (cCEM), as a surrogate for gp120+ HIV- bystander cells. Results from both assays were compared to those of a plate-based ELISA to monomeric gp120. The levels of Env-specific antibodies to cCEM and iCEM, measured by flow cytometry, and to gp120 by ELISA were positively correlated. More antibodies in HIV+ plasma recognized the gp120 conformation exposed on cCEM than on iCEM. Comparisons of plasma from untreated progressors, treated progressors, and elite controllers revealed that antibodies to Env epitopes were the lowest in treated progressors. Plasma from elite controllers and untreated progressors had similarly high levels of Env-specific antibodies, despite elite controllers having undetectable HIV viral loads, while untreated progressors maintained high viral loads. View Full-Text
Keywords: HIV; HIV envelope; antibodies; flow cytometry; ELISA; CEM.NKr.CCR5 HIV; HIV envelope; antibodies; flow cytometry; ELISA; CEM.NKr.CCR5
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Kant, S.; Zhang, N.; Routy, J.-P.; Tremblay, C.; Thomas, R.; Szabo, J.; Côté, P.; Trottier, B.; LeBlanc, R.; Rouleau, D.; Harris, M.; Dupuy, F.P.; Bernard, N.F. Quantifying Anti-HIV Envelope-Specific Antibodies in Plasma from HIV Infected Individuals. Viruses 2019, 11, 487.

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