The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes impairment of the immune system in part by targeting CD4+ T cells for infection and dysfunction. HIV envelope (Env) present on free virions and infected cells causes dysfunction of uninfected bystander CD4+ T cells via interaction with both CD4 and coreceptors. Env is commonly used as part of a cocktail of HIV antigens in current vaccines. In DNA and viral vector vaccine approaches, antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and non-APCs in the vicinity of the vaccine delivery site and draining lymph node express vaccine-derived antigens. The studies here demonstrate that cell-surface expression of Env on APCs and non-APCs as part of the vaccine action causes an inhibition of antigen-induced CD4+ T-cell activation and proliferation mediated by CD4 binding and suggests a potential mechanism for reduced activity of Env-containing HIV vaccines. Similar studies using a functional Env lacking CD4 binding circumvented suppression, suggesting an alternative and potentially superior approach to HIV vaccine design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology