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Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy

Lentivirus-mediated Gene Transfer in Hematopoietic Stem Cells Is Impaired in SHIV-infected, ART-treated Nonhuman Primates.


PMID 25648264

Abstract

Recent studies have demonstrated that genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can reduce HIV viremia. We have developed an HIV/AIDS-patient model in Simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)-infected pigtailed macaques that are stably suppressed on antiretroviral therapy (ART: raltegravir, emtricitabine and tenofovir). Following SHIV infection and ART, animals undergo autologous HSC transplantation (HSCT) with lentivirally transduced cluster of differentiation (CD)34(+) cells expressing the mC46 anti-HIV fusion protein. We show that SHIV(+), ART-treated animals had very low gene marking levels after HSCT. Pretransduction CD34(+) cells contained detectable levels of all three ART drugs, likely contributing to the low gene transfer efficiency. Following HSCT recovery and the cessation of ART, plasma viremia rebounded, indicating that myeloablative total body irradiation cannot completely eliminate viral reservoirs after autologous HSCT. The kinetics of recovery following autologous HSCT in SHIV(+), ART-treated macaques paralleled those observed following transplantation of control animals. However, T-cell subset analyses demonstrated a high percentage of C-C chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5)-expressing CD4(+) T-cells after HSCT. These data suggest that an extended ART interruption time may be required for more efficient lentiviral transduction. To avoid complications associated with ART interruption in the context of high percentages of CD4(+)CCR5(+)T-cells after HSCT, the use of vector systems not impaired by the presence of residual ART may also be beneficial.