The development of therapeutic strategies to control the reactivation of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is an unaddressed priority. In this study, we evaluated whether Tat, a HIV-1 protein displaying adjuvant functions, could improve previously established HSV-specific memory responses and prevent viral reactivation. To this aim, mice were infected with non-lethal doses of HSV-1 and, 44 days later, injected or not with Tat. Mice were then monitored to check their health status and measure memory HSV-specific cellular and humoral responses. The appearance of symptoms associated with HSV-reactivation was observed at significantly higher frequencies in the control group than in the Tat-treated mice. In addition, the control animals experienced a time-dependent decrease in HSV-specific Immunoglobulin G (IgG), while the Tat-treated mice maintained antibody titers over time. IgG levels were directly correlated with the number of HSV-specific CD8+ T cells, suggesting an effect of Tat on both arms of the adaptive immunity. Consistent with the maintenance of HSV-specific immune memory, Tat-treated mice showed a better control of HSV-1 re-infection. Although further studies are necessary to assess whether similar effects are observed in other models, these results indicate that Tat exerts a therapeutic effect against latent HSV-1 infection and re-infection by favoring the maintenance of adaptive immunity.

The Tat Protein of HIV-1 Prevents the Loss of HSV-Specific Memory Adaptive Responses and Favors the Control of Viral Reactivation

Nicoli, Francesco
Primo
;
Gallerani, Eleonora
Secondo
;
Sicurella, Mariaconcetta;Pacifico, Salvatore;Ensoli, Barbara;Marconi, Peggy;Caputo, Antonella
Penultimo
;
Gavioli, Riccardo
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

The development of therapeutic strategies to control the reactivation of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is an unaddressed priority. In this study, we evaluated whether Tat, a HIV-1 protein displaying adjuvant functions, could improve previously established HSV-specific memory responses and prevent viral reactivation. To this aim, mice were infected with non-lethal doses of HSV-1 and, 44 days later, injected or not with Tat. Mice were then monitored to check their health status and measure memory HSV-specific cellular and humoral responses. The appearance of symptoms associated with HSV-reactivation was observed at significantly higher frequencies in the control group than in the Tat-treated mice. In addition, the control animals experienced a time-dependent decrease in HSV-specific Immunoglobulin G (IgG), while the Tat-treated mice maintained antibody titers over time. IgG levels were directly correlated with the number of HSV-specific CD8+ T cells, suggesting an effect of Tat on both arms of the adaptive immunity. Consistent with the maintenance of HSV-specific immune memory, Tat-treated mice showed a better control of HSV-1 re-infection. Although further studies are necessary to assess whether similar effects are observed in other models, these results indicate that Tat exerts a therapeutic effect against latent HSV-1 infection and re-infection by favoring the maintenance of adaptive immunity.
Nicoli, Francesco; Gallerani, Eleonora; Sicurella, Mariaconcetta; Pacifico, Salvatore; Cafaro, Aurelio; Ensoli, Barbara; Marconi, Peggy; Caputo, Antonella; Gavioli, Riccardo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2419932
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