Vaccination with DNA-SIV + ALVAC-SIV + gp120 alum results in inflammasome activation, high levels of IL-1β production, emergency myelopoiesis, and the egress of CXCR4+ CD14+ pre-monocytes from bone marrow. Previously we have shown that this vaccine-induced innate monocyte memory is associated with decreased risk of SIVmac251 acquisition. Because IL-1β also promotes the propagation of monocyte-derived suppressor (M-MDSC)-like cells, here we extended our analysis to this negative regulator subset, characterizing its levels and functions in macaques. Interestingly, we found that DNA prime engages M-MDSC-like cells and their levels are positively associated with the frequency of CD14+ classical monocytes, and negatively with the levels of CD16+ monocytes, correlates of decreased and increased risk of SIV acquisition, respectively. Accordingly, M-MDSC frequency, arginase activity, and NO were all associated with decrease of CD8 T cells responses and worse vaccination outcome. DNA vaccination thus induces innate immunity by engaging three subsets of myeloid cells, M-MDSCs, CD14+ innate monocyte memory, and CD16+ monocytes all playing different role in protection. The full characterization of the immunological space created by myeloid cell crosstalk will likely provide clues to improve the efficacy of HIV vaccine candidates.
Keywords: HIV/SIV; MDSC; myeloid cells; trained immunity; vaccine.