Viral suppression by noncytolytic CD8+ T cells, in addition to that by classic antiviral CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes, has been described for human immunodeficiency virus and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infections. However, the role of soluble effector molecules, especially beta-chemokines, in antiviral immunity is still controversial. In an attenuated vaccine model, approximately 60% of animals immunized with simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) 89.6 and then challenged intravaginally with SIVmac239 controlled viral replication (viral RNA level in plasma, <10 4 copies/ml) and were considered protected (K. Abel, L. Compton, T. Rourke, D. Montefiori, D. Lu, K. Rothaeusler, L. Fritts, K. Bost, and C. J. Miller, J. Virol. 77:3099-3118, 2003). To determine the in vivo importance of beta-chemokine secretion and CD8+-T-cell proliferation in the control of viral replication in this vaccine model, we examined the relationship between viral RNA levels in the axillary and genital lymph nodes of vaccinated, protected (n = 20) and vaccinated, unprotected (n = 11) monkeys by measuring beta-chemokine mRNA levels and protein expression, the frequency of CD8+ T cells expressing beta-chemokines, and the extent of CD8+-T-cell proliferation. Tissues from uninfected (n = 3) and unvaccinated, SIVmac239-infected (n = 9) monkeys served as controls. Axillary and genital lymph nodes from unvaccinated and vaccinated, unprotected monkeys had significantly higher beta-chemokine mRNA expression levels and increased numbers of beta-chemokine-positive cells than did vaccinated, protected animals. Furthermore, the lymph nodes of vaccinated, unprotected monkeys had significantly higher numbers of beta-chemokine+ CD8+ T cells than did vaccinated, protected monkeys. Lymph nodes from vaccinated, unprotected animals also had significantly more CD8+-T-cell proliferation and marked lymph node hyperplasia than the lymph nodes of vaccinated, protected monkeys. Thus, higher levels of virus replication were associated with increased beta-chemokine secretion and there is no evidence that beta-chemokines contributed to the SHIV89.6-mediated control of viral replication after intravaginal challenge with SIVmac239.
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