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Isolation of Leukocytes From Human Breast Milk for Use in an Antibody-dependent Cellular Phagocytosis Assay of HIV Targets

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Isolation of Leukocytes From Human Breast Milk for Use in an Antibody-dependent Cellular Phagocytosis Assay of HIV Targets

Rebecca L R Powell et al. J Vis Exp.

Abstract

Even in the absence of antiretroviral drugs, only ~15% of infants breastfed by HIV-infected mothers become infected, suggesting a strong protective effect of breast milk (BM). Unless access to clean water and appropriate infant formula is reliable, the WHO does not recommend cessation of breastfeeding for HIV-infected mothers. Numerous factors likely work in tandem to reduce BM transmission. Breastfed infants ingest ~105-108 maternal leukocytes daily, though what remains largely unclear is the contribution of these cells to the antiviral qualities of BM. Presently we aimed to isolate cells from human BM in order to measure antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), one of the most essential and pervasive innate immune responses, by BM phagocytes against HIV targets. Cells were isolated from 5 human BM samples obtained at various stages of lactation. Isolation was carried out via gentle centrifugation followed by careful removal of milk fat and repeated washing of the cell pellet. Fluorescent beads coated with HIV envelope (Env) epitope were used as targets for analysis of ADCP. Cells were stained with the CD45 surface marker to identify leukocytes. It was found that ADCP activity was significant above control experiments and reproducibly measurable using an HIV-specific antibody 830A.

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