HIV-1 envelope induces memory B cell responses that correlate with plasma antibody levels after envelope gp120 protein vaccination or HIV-1 infection
Bonsignori, M., Moody, M. A., Parks, R. J., Holl, T. M., Kelsoe, G., Hicks, C. B., ... Haynes, B. F. (2009). HIV-1 envelope induces memory B cell responses that correlate with plasma antibody levels after envelope gp120 protein vaccination or HIV-1 infection. Journal of Immunology, 183(4), 2708-2717. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0901068
Successful vaccines (i.e., tetanus and diphtheria) can induce long-lived Ab levels that are maintained by bone marrow plasma cells and plasma Ab levels do not correlate with numbers of blood memory B cells. Destruction of CD4(+) T cells early in HIV-1 acute infection may result in insufficient induction of neutralizing Ab responses; thus, an HIV-1 vaccine should elicit high levels of durable Abs by long-lived plasma cells to be protective. We asked if HIV-1 envelope-specific memory responses were sustained by memory B cells in the settings of HIV-1 gp120 envelope vaccination and chronic HIV-1 infection. Levels of anti-HIV-1 envelope plasma Abs and memory B cells were found to correlate in both settings. Moreover, whereas the expected half-life of plasma Ab levels to protein vaccines was > 10 years when maintained by long-lived plasma cells, anti-envelope Ab level half-lives were similar to 33-81 wk in plasma from antiretroviral drug-treated HIV-1(+) subjects. In contrast, anti-p55 Gag Ab level half-life was 648 wk, and Ab titers against influenza did not decay in-between yearly or biennial influenza vaccine boosts in the same patients. These data demonstrated that HIV-1 envelope induces predominantly short-lived memory B cell-dependent plasma Abs in the settings of envelope vaccination and HIV-1 infection. The inability to generate high titers of long-lived anti-envelope Abs is a major hurdle to overcome for the development of a successful HIV-1 vaccine. The Journal of Immunology, 2009, 183: 2708-2717.