Increases in NKG2C Expression on T Cells and Higher Levels of Circulating CD8+ B Cells Are Associated with Sterilizing Immunity Provided by a Live Attenuated SIV Vaccine

Vida L. Hodara, Laura M. Parodi, M. Shannon Keckler, Luis D. Giavedoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Vaccines based on live attenuated viruses are highly effective immunogens in the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)/rhesus macaque animal model and offer the possibility of studying correlates of protection against infection with virulent virus. We utilized a tether system for studying, in naive macaques and animals vaccinated with a live-attenuated vaccine, the acute events after challenge with pathogenic SIV. This approach allowed for the frequent sampling of small blood volumes without sedation or restraining of the animals, thus reducing the confounding effect of sampling stress. Before challenge, vaccinated animals presented significantly higher levels of proliferating and activated B cells than naive macaques, which were manifested by high expression of CD8 on B cells. After SIV challenge, the only changes observed in protected vaccinated macaques were significant increases in expression of the NK marker NKG2C on CD4 and CD8 T cells. We also identified that infection of naive macaques with SIV resulted in a transient peak of expression of CD20 on CD8 T cells and a constant rise in the number of B cells expressing CD8. Finally, analysis of a larger cohort of vaccinated animals identified that, even when circulating levels of vaccine virus are below the limit of detection, live attenuated vaccines induce systemic increases of IP-10 and perforin. These studies indicate that components of both the innate and adaptive immune systems of animals inoculated with a live-attenuated SIV vaccine respond to and control infection with virulent virus. Persistence of the vaccine virus in tissues may explain the elevated cytokine and B-cell activation levels. In addition, our report underpins the utility of the tether system for the intensive study of acute immune responses to viral infections. Copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc 2016.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1125-1134
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number10-11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • acute
  • challenge
  • cytokines
  • immunity
  • inflammation
  • lymphocytes
  • macaques
  • NKG2C
  • rhesus
  • SIV
  • sterilizing
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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