Title: Robust and persistent reactivation of SIV and HIV by N-803 and depletion of CD8 + cells
Author: Julia Bergild McBrien, Maud Mavigner, Lavinia Franchitti, S. Abigail Smith, Erick White, Gregory K. Tharp, Hasse Walum, Kathleen Busman-Suhay, Christian R. Aguilera-Sandoval, William O. Thayer, Rae Ann Spagnuolo, Martina Kovarova, Angela Wahl, Barbara Cervasi, David M. Margolis, Thomas H. Vanderford, Diane G. Carnathan, Mirko Paiardini, Jeffrey D. Lifson, John H. Lee, Jeffrey T. Safrit, Steven E. Bosinger, Jacob D. Estes, Cynthia A. Derdeyn, J. Victor Garcia, Deanna A. Kulpa, Ann Chahroudi, Guido Silvestri
Abstract: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) persists indefinitely in individuals with HIV who receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) owing to a reservoir of latently infected cells that contain replication-competent virus1,2,3,4. Here, to better understand the mechanisms responsible for latency persistence and reversal, we used the interleukin-15 superagonist N-803 in conjunction with the depletion of CD8+ lymphocytes in ART-treated macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Although N-803 alone did not reactivate virus production, its administration after the depletion of CD8+ lymphocytes in conjunction with ART treatment induced robust and persistent reactivation of the virus in vivo. We found viraemia of more than 60 copies per ml in all macaques (n = 14; 100%) and in 41 out of a total of 56 samples (73.2%) that were collected each week after N-803 administration. Notably, concordant results were obtained in ART-treated HIV-infected humanized mice. In addition, we observed that co-culture with CD8+ T cells blocked the in vitro latency-reversing effect of N-803 on primary human CD4+ T cells that were latently infected with HIV. These results advance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for latency reversal and lentivirus reactivation during ART-suppressed infection.