Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) gp120 superantigen-binding serum antibodies: A host factor in homosexual HIV-1 transmission

Janet Townsley-Fuchs, Lawrence Kam, Rick Fairhurst, Stephen J. Gange, Lee Goodglick, Janis V. Giorgi, Neil Sidell, Roger Detels, Jonathan Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

HIV-1 gp120 is an immunoglobulin superantigen which can bind to preimmune serum Ig. We hypothesize that levels of such preimmune antibodies vary in the population and might affect host resistance or susceptibility to viral transmission. This study tests two predictions: (a) levels of preimmune anti-gp120 Igs are a polymorphic trait; and, (b) these levels are correlated with resistance or susceptibility to HIV-1 transmission. The first prediction was confirmed in a longitudinal study of a low-risk seronegative population. In this group, levels of both endogenous anti-gp120 IgM and IgG varied widely, but were characteristic and stable for each individual. The second prediction was addressed in a study of participants of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, in which men 'susceptible' and 'resistant' to HIV infection were identified based on numbers of sexual partners and eventual seroconversion. Specimens consisted of archival sera obtained > 2 yr before seroconversion. Men in the susceptible population (low-risk seroconverters) were distinguished by low levels of anti-gp120 IgG. We conclude that the level of preimmune anti-gp120 IgG is a polymorphic population trait, and low levels are a potentially specific and significant factor in homosexual transmission of HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1794-1801
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume98
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 1996

Keywords

  • AIDS
  • VH3
  • disease transmission
  • immunoglobulin
  • superantigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Townsley-Fuchs, J., Kam, L., Fairhurst, R., Gange, S. J., Goodglick, L., Giorgi, J. V., Sidell, N., Detels, R., & Braun, J. (1996). Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) gp120 superantigen-binding serum antibodies: A host factor in homosexual HIV-1 transmission. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 98(8), 1794-1801. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI118979