Vaccine-delivered HIV envelope inhibits CD4+ T-cell activation, a mechanism for poor HIV vaccine responses

Kathy Fernando, Haitao Hu, Houping Ni, James A. Hoxie, Drew Weissman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2538-2544
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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