Nonclassical mucosal antibodies predominate in genital secretions of HIV-1 infected chimpanzees

J Med Primatol. 1995 Feb;24(2):53-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0684.1995.tb00146.x.


To identify mucosal immunity in HIV-infected chimpanzees, IgG, IgA, and IgM from plasma, saliva, rectal swabs, vaginal washes, semen, and urethral washes were tested from four male and three female HIV-1IIIB infected chimpanzees. The level of HIV infections in the seven chimpanzees were classified as high, intermediate and low depending on the number of HIV-1 infected cells per 10(7) peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). One male chimpanzee had a relatively high viral load, two males and two females had moderate viral loads and one male and one female had low levels of infection. All seven animals had plasma antibody. The principal finding was that nonclassical mucosal antibodies of the IgG isotype were the predominant antibody in the saliva, rectal swabs, vaginal washes, semen, and urethral washes of infected animals. All plasma and mucosal samples were negative for IgM antibodies. The results show that HIV-1 specific IgG responses and not sIgA predominate at mucosal surfaces of HIV-1IIIB infected chimpanzees. A trend was observed in which high viral loads correlated with high plasma IgG, IgA and sIgA titers. An overall correlation between relatively high virus loads and high amounts of mucosal IgG was also found.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Female
  • HIV Antibodies / analysis
  • HIV Antibodies / biosynthesis*
  • HIV-1* / isolation & purification
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin A / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / virology
  • Male
  • Pan troglodytes
  • Rectum / immunology
  • Saliva / immunology
  • Semen / immunology*
  • Urethra / immunology*
  • Vagina / immunology*
  • Vagina / metabolism


  • HIV Antibodies
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Immunoglobulin M