Administration of fludarabine-loaded autologous red blood cells in simian immunodeficiency virus-infected sooty mangabeys depletes pSTAT-1-expressing macrophages and delays the rebound of viremia after suspension of antiretroviral therapy

B. Cervasi, M. Paiardini, S. Serafini, A. Fraternale, M. Menotta, J. Engram, B. Lawson, S. I. Staprans, G. Piedimonte, C. F. Perno, G. Silvestri, M. Magnani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A major limitation of highly active antiretroviral therapy is that it fails to eradicate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection due to its limited effects on viral reservoirs carrying replication-competent HIV, including monocytes/macrophages (M/M). Therefore, therapeutic approaches aimed at targeting HIV-infected M/M may prove useful in the clinical management of HIV-infected patients. In previous studies, we have shown that administration of fludarabine-loaded red blood cells (RBC) in vitro selectively induces cell death in HIV-infected M/M via a pSTAT1-dependent pathway. To determine the in vivo efficacy of this novel therapeutic strategy, we treated six naturally simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected sooty mangabeys (SMs) with either 9-[2-(R)-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl]adenine (PMPA) only, fludarabine-loaded RBC only, or PMPA in association with fludarabine-loaded RBC. The rationale of this treatment was to target infected M/M with fludarabine-loaded RBC at a time when PMPA is suppressing viral replication taking place in activated CD4+ T cells. In vivo administration of fludarabine-loaded RBC was well tolerated and did not induce any discernible side effect. Importantly, addition of fludarabine-loaded RBC to PMPA delayed the rebound of viral replication after suspension of therapy, thus suggesting a reduction in the size of SIV reservoirs. While administrations of fludarabine-loaded RBC did not induce any change in the CD4+ or CD8+ T-cell compartments, we observed, in chronically SIV-infected SMs, a selective depletion of M/M expressing pSTAT1. This study suggests that therapeutic strategies based on the administration of fludarabine-loaded RBC may be further explored as interventions aimed at reducing the size of the M/M reservoirs during chronic HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10335-10345
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume80
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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