The female reproductive tract (FRT) is one of the major mucosal invasion sites for HIV-1. This site has been neglected in previous HIV-1 vaccine studies. Immune responses in the FRT after systemic vaccination remain to be characterized. Using a modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) as a vaccine model, we characterized specific immune responses in all compartments of the FRT of nonhuman primates after systemic vaccination. Memory T cells were preferentially found in the lower tract (vagina and cervix), whereas APCs and innate lymphoid cells were mainly located in the upper tract (uterus and fallopian tubes). This compartmentalization of immune cells in the FRT was supported by transcriptomic analyses and a correlation network. Polyfunctional MVA-specific CD8+ T cells were detected in the blood, lymph nodes, vagina, cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Anti-MVA IgG and IgA were detected in cervicovaginal fluid after a second vaccine dose. Thus, systemic vaccination with an MVA vector elicits cellular and Ab responses in the FRT.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.