, Volume 55, Issue 1-3, pp 249-260
Date: 09 Sep 2012

Humoral immunity in the Friend retrovirus infection model

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Major conceptual roadblocks impede the development of an HIV-1 vaccine that can stimulate a potent neutralizing antibody response. Animal models that support HIV-1 replication and allow for host genetic manipulation would be an ideal platform for testing various immunological hypotheses, but progress on this research front has been slow and disappointing. In contrast, many valuable concepts emerged from more than 50 years of studying the Friend retrovirus model. This was recently exemplified by the identification of an innate restriction gene, Apobec3, that could promote the retrovirus-specific neutralizing antibody response. Here we review both classical and recent data on humoral immunity against Friend retrovirus infection, and highlight the potential of this model for unraveling novel aspects of the retrovirus-specific antibody response that may guide HIV-1 vaccine development efforts.