Neutralization of HIV by Antibodies
Antibodies can neutralize HIV-1 with potency and cross-reactivity that varies widely and is related but not correlated to their antigen-binding affinity. Therefore, in addition to measuring binding affinity, an evaluation of the antibody neutralizing activity in tissue cultures is important for development of antibody-based therapeutics, design of candidate vaccine immunogens, and understanding the mechanisms of virus entry, neutralization, and evasion of immune responses. The development of a standardized assay for measurement of the in vitro neutralizing activities of the antibody has remained a challenging goal in the last two decades. There are two types of widely used assays, which vary in details between different laboratories – assays based on cell line/pseudovirus and assays based on infection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Here we describe in detail the PBMC-based assay, which is more laborious but in our opinion represents a closer approximation of the in vivo situation. As with all other in vitro assays the results of such measurements are only an indication of the antibody potency in vivo, and animal studies and ultimately clinical trials are needed for the development of such antibodies as potential prophylactics and therapeutics.
Key wordsHIV-1 PBMC neutralization p24 infection inhibition of infection IC50
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