The repertoire of antibodies (Abs) produced upon vaccination against a particular antigenic site is rarely studied due to the complexity of the immunogens. We received such an opportunity when one rhesus macaque was immunized six times at 0, 4, 10, 16, 32, and 143 weeks with C4-447 peptide containing the 8-mer epitope for human monoclonal Ab (mAb) 447-52D specific to the V3 region of gp120 HIV-1. Strong anti-V3 antibody responses reached 50% binding titer in serum of 10-5 at week 10 that declined to 10-3 by week 70. After an additional boost of C4-447 peptide at week 143, titers rebounded to 10-5 at week 146, or 2.7 years after the first immunization. Using the blood sample at week 146, we produced 41 V3-specific recombinant mAbs by single B cell isolation and cloning. Sequence analysis revealed 21B cell lineages, single and clonally related, based on immunoglobulin gene usage and CDR3s. The broad repertoire of Abs directed to a small antigenic site shows the targeting potency of a vaccine-elicited immune response in rhesus macaques.
Keywords: Non-human primates’ immunization; Repertoire of antibodies; Rhesus macaque immunoglobulin genes; V3 monoclonal antibodies; Vaccine-induced antibodies.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.