A crucial role for infected-cell/antibody immune complexes in the enhancement of endogenous antiviral immunity by short passive immunotherapy

Michaud, H. A.; Gomard, T.; Gros, L.; Thiolon, K.; Nasser, R.; Jacquet, C.; Hernandez, J.; Piechaczyk, M.; Pelegrin, M.

PLoS Pathog

2010 / vol 6 / pages e1000948


Antiviral monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) represent promising therapeutics. However, most mAbs-based immunotherapies conducted so far have only considered the blunting of viral propagation and not other possible therapeutic effects independent of virus neutralization, namely the modulation of the endogenous immune response. As induction of long-term antiviral immunity still remains a paramount challenge for treating chronic infections, we have asked here whether neutralizing mAbs can, in addition to blunting viral propagation, exert immunomodulatory effects with protective outcomes. Supporting this idea, we report here that mice infected with the FrCas(E) murine retrovirus on day 8 after birth die of leukemia within 4-5 months and mount a non-protective immune response, whereas those rapidly subjected to short immunotherapy with a neutralizing mAb survive healthy and mount a long-lasting protective antiviral immunity with strong humoral and cellular immune responses. Interestingly, the administered mAb mediates lysis of infected cells through an antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity (ADCC) mechanism. In addition, it forms immune complexes (ICs) with infected cells that enhance antiviral CTL responses through Fc gammaR-mediated binding to dendritic cells (DCs). Importantly, the endogenous antiviral antibodies generated in mAb-treated mice also display the same properties, allowing containment of viral propagation and enhancement of memory cellular responses after disappearance of the administered mAb. Thus, our data demonstrate that neutralizing antiviral mAbs can act as immunomodulatory agents capable of stimulating a protective immunity lasting long after the end of the treatment. They also show an important role of infected-cells/antibody complexes in the induction and the maintenance of protective immunity through enhancement of both primary and memory antiviral T-cell responses. They also indicate that targeting infected cells, and not just viruses, by antibodies can be crucial for elicitation of efficient, long-lasting antiviral T-cell responses. This must be considered when designing antiviral mAb-based immunotherapies.

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Animals; Cell Proliferation; Mice; Flow Cytometry; *Immunization, Passive; Retroviridae/*immunology; Antibodies, Monoclonal/*therapeutic use; Antibodies, Viral/*immunology; Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity/immunology; Antigen-Antibody Complex; Retroviridae Infections/*immunology/*therapy; T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/*immunology

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