HIV type 1 intraperitoneal infection of rabbits permits early detection of serum antibodies to Gag, Pol, and Env proteins, neutralizing antibodies, and proviral DNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells

M. Debiaggi, R. Bruno, M. Carlevari, G. Achilli, B. Emanuelli, P. M. Cereda, E. Romero, G. Filice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this study is the development of an animal model useful for studying HIV-1 pathogenesis, candidate vaccines, and antiviral drugs. Aseptic thioglycolate peritonitis was induced in six rabbits. After 4 days, four rabbits were infected with 1 ml of HIV-1 stock containing 100 times the MID50. Blood samples were collected every 2 weeks for 8 months. Serum antibodies were tested by ELISA, using as antigen the recombinant protein p24; synthetic peptides of highly conserved regions of p31, gp41, and gp120; and a synthetic peptide of gp120 at the V3 loop region of HIV-1 strains IIIB and MN. Furthermore, neutralizing antibodies were tested by a microscale neutralization assay. Proviral DNA was detected by PCR, and virus isolation was performed by a cocultivation technique using primary rabbit peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). All infected rabbits produced antibodies to HIV-1 proteins within 2 weeks and up to 8 months after virus infection. Serum antibodies were directed against the Env (gp120 and gp41), Gag (p24), and Pol (p31) proteins and against two synthetic peptides whose sequence corresponds to gp120 at the V3 loop region of HIV-1 strains IIIB and MN. Neutralizing antibodies were also detected in the sera of infected animals. Proviral DNA was detected in PBMCs by PCR within 4 weeks and up to 8 months after HIV-1 infection. HIV-1 was also isolated from PBMCs of infected animals at 30, 60, and 120 days after infection. Results obtained indicate that HIV-1 intraperitoneal infection of the rabbit permits the early detection of serum antibodies to Gag, Pol, and Env proteins, neutralizing antibodies, and proviral DNA sequences from PBMCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-296
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Volume11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology

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