Purpose of review: Recent discoveries of highly potent broadly HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies provide new opportunities to successfully prevent, treat, and potentially cure HIV-1 infection. To test their activity in vivo, humanized mice have been shown to be a powerful model and were used to investigate antibody-mediated prevention and therapy approaches. In this review, we will summarize recent findings in humanized mice that have informed on the potential use of broadly neutralizing antibodies targeting HIV-1 in humans.
Recent findings: Humanized mouse models have been used to demonstrate the antiviral efficacy of HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies in vivo. It has been shown that a combination of antibodies can suppress viremia below the limit of detection and targets the HIV-1 reservoir. Moreover, passively administered antibodies and vector-mediated antibody production protect humanized mice from HIV-1 infection. Finally, immunization studies in knock-in/transgenic mice carrying human antibody gene segments have informed on potential vaccination strategies to induce broad and potent HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies.
Summary: Humanized mouse models are of great value for HIV-1 research. They represent a highly versatile in vivo system to investigate novel approaches for HIV-1 prevention and therapy and expedite the critical translation from basic findings to clinical application.