In vivo blockade of CD28 and CD40 T cell costimulation pathways during acute simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of rhesus macaques was performed to assess the relative contributions of CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and Ab responses in modulating SIV replication and disease progression. Transient administration of CTLA4-Ig and anti–CD40L mAb to SIV-infected rhesus macaques resulted in dramatic inhibition of the generation of both SIV-specific cellular and humoral immune responses. Acute levels of proliferating CD8+ T cells were associated with early control of SIV viremia but did not predict ensuing set point viremia or survival. The level of in vivo CD4+ T cell proliferation during acute SIV infection correlated with concomitant peak levels of SIV plasma viremia, whereas measures of in vivo CD4+ T cell proliferation that extended into chronic infection correlated with lower SIV viral load and increased survival. These results suggest that proliferating CD4+ T cells function both as sources of virus production and as antiviral effectors and that increased levels of CD4+ T cell proliferation during SIV infections reflect antigen-driven antiviral responses rather than a compensatory homeostatic response. These results highlight the interrelated actions of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in vivo that modulate SIV replication and pathogenesis.
David A. Garber, Guido Silvestri, Ashley P. Barry, Andrew Fedanov, Natalia Kozyr, Harold McClure, David C. Montefiori, Christian P. Larsen, John D. Altman, Silvija I. Staprans, Mark B. Feinberg