Publications & Reports

Differential Expression of HIV Envelope Epitopes on the Surface of HIV-Infected Macrophages and CD4+ T cells.

Kek H, Laumaea A, Parise S, Poumbourios P, Hearps AC, Jaworowski A
Life Sciences Discipline, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Immunology, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


HIV-infected macrophages contribute to persistence of HIV reservoirs in people living with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy. A potential strategy to eliminate reservoirs is the use of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) against infected cells expressing the HIV envelope (Env) protein on their surface. Designing ADCC strategies requires knowledge of exposed Env epitopes on the cell surface and identifying antibodies capable of opsonising infected cells, yet little is known regarding the ability of HIV-infected macrophages to be targeted with such strategies. Using a panel of neutralising and poorly-neutralising anti-Env antibodies we compared Env epitopes expressed on infected monocyte-derived macrophages and autologous T cells. Our results reveal potential differences in epitope expression on macrophage- and T cell-expressed Env. Notably, HIVBaL-infected macrophages were more susceptible to opsonisation by NIH45-46 (median=40.4%) compared to infected T cells (13.6%; p=0.002), which were more susceptible to opsonisation by 17b and 447.52D (88.6% and 45.6% respectively) compared to MDM (30% and 6.7%, p=0.002 and 0.004 respectively). Furthermore, neutralising antibodies 10E8 and PGT145 were relatively ineffective at opsonising Env expressed on the surface of infected T cells or macrophages, indicating that the context in which Env is presented on infected cells may differ to that of cell-free virions.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Antiviral Research
  • Published: 04/05/2021
  • Volume: 191
  • Pagination: 105085