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Barcelona, Spain

Papagno L.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Papagno L.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Alter G.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Assoumou L.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | And 18 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2011

Background: HIV-specific T-cell-based vaccines have been extensively studied in both prevention and therapeutic settings, with most studies failing to show benefit, and some suggesting harm. We previously performed a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial in which 65 antiretroviral-treated patients were randomized to receive an HIV-1 recombinant canarypox vaccine (vCP1452) or placebo, followed by analytical treatment interruption. Patients exposed to vaccine had higher levels of viral replication and more rapid time to treatment resumption. OBJECTIVE:: In the present study we report the results from extensive immunological investigations to test whether the preferential expansion of HIV-specific CD4, rather than CD8 T cells, could account for these unexpected results. Methods: Polychromatic flow cytometry was used to characterize the functional and phenotypic profile of antigen-specific CD8 and CD4 T cells induced by the immunization. Results: We found a significant increase in HIV-specific CD4 T cells producing IFN-γ and IL-2 in the 4 injections arm compared to the placebo arm following vaccination. In contrast, no difference was observed following vaccination in the phenotype and functional capacity within the CD8 T-cell compartment. Neither HLA biases, nor immune hyper-activation, or Env-specific facilitating antibodies were associated with the enhanced virus rebound observed in vaccinees. Conclusion: Our data suggest that a vaccine-induced transient activation of HIV-specific CD4 but not CD8 T cells may have a detrimental effect on HIV outcomes. These findings may provide a mechanistic basis for higher rates of HIV acquisition or replication that have been associated with some T-cell vaccines. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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