Comparison of the patterns of antibody recall responses to HIV-1 gp120 and hepatitis B surface antigen in immunized mice

Vaccine. 2016 Dec 7;34(50):6276-6284. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.10.063. Epub 2016 Nov 11.


To date, we still lack an ideal strategy for designing envelope glycoprotein (Env) vaccines to elicit potent protective antibodies against HIV-1 infection. Since the human hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) is representative of effective vaccines that can induce ideal humoral immune responses, knowledge of how it elicits antibody responses and T helper cells would be an useful reference for HIV vaccine development. We compared the characteristics of the HIV-1 Env gp120 trimer and HBsAg in antibody elicitation and induction of T follicular helper (Tfh) and memory B cells in immunized Balb/c mice. Using the strategy of protein prime-protein boost, we found that HIV-1 gp120 induced slower recall antibody responses but redundant non-specific IgG responses at early time after boosting compared to HBsAg. The higher frequency of PD-1hiCD4+ T cells and Tfh cells that appeared at the early time point after gp120 boosting is likely to limit the development of memory B cells, memory T cells, and specific antibody recall responses. These findings regarding the different features of HIV envelope and HBsAg in T helper cell responses may provide a direction to improve HIV envelope immunogenicity.

Keywords: Envelope; HBsAg; HIV-1; Immune memory; PD-1; T follicular helper cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibody Formation*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / immunology*
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • gp120 protein, Human immunodeficiency virus 1